How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner
By Lisa King
Dog Ownership 101
Being a responsible dog owner starts before you even get a dog. Before visiting a shelter or calling a rescue, be certain that you have the time, energy and finances to properly care for a new pet. Here are a few rules to follow before the fact:
1. Don’t get a dog for your children unless you are prepared to do 100 percent of his care, if not right away then when they move out of the house. This is the voice of experience speaking.
2. Do your research and choose a breed or mix whose activity level matches your own. If you’re a couch potato, don’t get a Border Collie. If you want to go running or biking with your dog, forget the Pug.
3. How much space do you have? A large dog will be miserable in a studio apartment, while a small lap dog will be quite comfortable.
4. Do you want to deal with all the training required for a puppy? Adopting an adult dog who’s already housetrained puts you ahead of the game.
Now that you have an idea of the type of dog you’d like, go online and search local shelters for a dog who fits your requirements. If your heart is set on a purebred, these can sometimes be found at shelters. Breed-specific rescues are also good sources for purebred dogs. If you go to a breeder, do some research to ensure she’s reputable. DO NOT buy a dog from a pet shop—these adorable puppies usually come from puppy mills, which keep breeding animals in deplorable conditions.
Dog Health Tips
Once you get your dog home, follow these 10 tips to ensure he has a long, happy and healthy life.
1. Take him in for regular vet checkups. Spay or neuter your dog if it hasn’t already been done. Keep him current on shots, dewormer and flea and tick protection.
2. Give your dog plenty of exercise according to the needs of his breed or breeds.
3. Train your dog. Take him to a training class or train him yourself by consulting books, magazines and online resources. He should know basic commands such as “Come,” “Leave It,” “Sit” and “Lie Down.” Keep him on a leash when not in a secure, fenced yard. Even a well-trained dog with a strong prey drive can be distracted by squirrels or other small animals and run into traffic.
4. Brush your dog regularly to prevent mats. The frequency of brushing depends on his coat type. Take him to a reliable groomer if he is a breed that needs more complicated grooming, such as a Poodle or a Maltese. Keep his nails clipped. If you’re nervous about clipping them yourself, have your groomer or vet do the job.
5. Wash your dog regularly. Depending on the dog’s coat and environment that can mean once a month, once every couple of weeks or even more often if he gets into something nasty. Use a high-quality natural shampoo. Don’t wash him too often, though; too-frequent baths can cause dry, itchy skin.
6. Secure your dog in the car, either in a crate or with a harness that hooks onto the seatbelt. A dog who’s loose in the car becomes a dangerous projectile in a crash. If he’s in the front seat, or God forbid on the driver’s lap, he can be killed if the airbags deploy.
7. Provide proper ID for your dog so he can be returned to you if lost. Attach a tag bearing his name and your phone number to his collar. For added safety, consider having your vet microchip him.
8. Feed him the best diet you can afford. Your options are many: kibble, canned, frozen raw and freshly made cooked. Find a food that makes you both happy. Keep dishes clean and always provide plenty of fresh water.
9. Be a good neighbor and pick up your dog’s poop. Cleaning up after him even in your own yard is important to keep harmful bacteria out of groundwater.
10. Provide plenty of love and affection; it will be returned tenfold.
About the Author: Lisa King is a freelance writer living in Southern California. She is the former managing editor of Pet Product News International, Dogs USA, and Natural Dog magazines. Lisa is also the author of the well-received murder mystery novel “Death in a Wine Dark Sea.”
Keeping Indoors Cats
By Sandy Robins
Indoor Cats Need to Play, Too
There’s no question that cats who have an indoors-only lifestyle are much safer and better protected from environmental dangers, such as flea and tick infestations and predators. But at the same time, they miss out on exercise opportunities the great outdoors has to offer. Therefore, it’s important to compensate by instituting play times that offer both exercise and a chance to hone their natural instincts to hunt, pounce and play.
Cats are not supposed to be decorative couch potatoes. Those who spend a lot of time curled up sleeping do so because they are bored and lonely. In fact, felines enjoy short bursts of playtime throughout the day. If you are working, consider splitting your mini-feline workouts to before work and again in the evening.
For interactive play sessions, laser toys are great. They also allow you to multitask by enjoying a cup of coffee and possibly even reading a book while manipulating a laser dot to fly around the room and shimmy across the floor. Lasers rev up a cat’s prey drive. You need to let the beam rest in a spot long enough for your feline to pounce and try to capture her prey. Never get the beam in her eyes. Also, because laser play isn’t really a fair game—after all, your cat will never catch anything—give her a treat at the end of each session. And make sure the next toy you bring out is one she can actually capture and kick around with her paws.
Wand toys are also great fun and really allow cats to pounce and hone their natural hunting skills, too.
Cats are really smart and many enjoy playing games of fetch. They can be trained to bring toys to you to engage in more play. Small material mice are great for such interactive play, as are feline stationary items—the latest post-it notes and other paper products infused with catnip and make wonderful crinkly noises when batted about. Some cats will even bring you their favorite wand toy to encourage you to play more.
To help stave off boredom while you are out working, a “treasure hunt” comprising of her favorite toys and treats will keep her actively engaged during your absence.
The idea is to hide her favorite toys in different places around the home. Focus on places you know she is likely to seek out,such as her favorite scratchers and snooze zones. Hide treats, too. If you are worried about putting out too many treats, you can take a portion of her kibble allowance and put it out instead. Apart from simply placing the treats next to catnip toys, consider placing small amounts inside special feline treat balls and puzzle toys. These will help keep her both mentally and physically stimulated.
If your feline is one of those cats with a reputation for the nighttime crazies—rushing around the house at 2.00 a.m. when you are trying to sleep—consider scheduling your last play session together just before you go to bed. It should tire her out and induce her to come and cuddle in and sleep, too.
By getting involved in feline fun and games, you are also spending real quality time together. It’s a great way to strengthen that wonderful emotional bond you share with your cat(s).
About the Author: Sandy Robins is the 2013 winner of the “Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contribution to the Pet Industry Award.” Her work appears on many of the country’s leading pet platforms, such as MSNBC.com, MSN.com and TODAYShow.com. She is a regular contributor and columnist in multiple national and international publications, including Cat Fancy, as well as the author of the award-winning books “Fabulous Felines: Health and Beauty Secrets for the Pampered Cat” and “For The Love of Cats.” Learn more about Sandy on her website or Facebook page. #welovecats
AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Award
By Audrey Pavia
If you’ve got a purebred or mixed breed dog who listens when you tell him what to do, is good with other dogs, and is just a joy to be around, he’s a perfect candidate for the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) award. And if your dog’s behavior leaves something to be desired, start working on fixing it, with the CGC as your goal.
In order to earn a CGC award, your dog has to pass a 10-step test that consists of the following:
- Accepting a friendly stranger. While you have your dog on a leash, a person will approach you, say “Hello” and shake your hand. Your dog is expected to stay calm and ignore the person. Your dog is not to jump on the person or show any aggression.
- Sitting politely for petting. The stranger who approached you will bend down to pet your dog. Your dog is expected to stand calmly while being petted. He’s not supposed to jump on the person or shy away.
- Appearance and grooming. Your dog will allow someone to groom him and examine him (touch his ears and lift his front feet) while you are holding his leash.
- Walking loosely on leash. You walk your dog across the examination yard on a loose leash. Your dog doesn’t pull on the leash, or refuse to follow.
- Walking calmly through a crowd. At least three people will stand in the examination yard while you walk your dog through the group. He is expected to walk quietly past without jumping on people or straining at the leash.
- Performing the sit and down on command, and staying. You will ask your dog to sit. You will then ask him to lie down. Once he has performed these commands, you can keep him in the down position or put him back in a sit, and then tell him to stay. You then step back away from him. He is expected to stay in place for several seconds.
- Coming when called. Someone will hold your dog while you walk away from him. Once you are 10-feet away, you turn around and call your dog to you. He is expected to return to you immediately.
- Reaction to another dog. Someone with a dog on a leash will approach you and your dog. Your dog is expected to ignore the handler and the other dog. He is not supposed strain on the leash, act aggressive or behave in an out-of-control way.
- Keeping calm during a distraction. Your dog will be asked to act confidently during two common distractions, such as dropping a large object nearby or having a jogger run past.
- Waiting calmly for his owner while being supervised by a stranger. You will hand your dog to someone and then walk away and hide out of sight. Your dog is expected to wait quietly during the three minutes when he can’t see you. He is not to bark, whine or act unruly.
If your dog doesn’t sound up for all this, simply enroll him in one of the many CGC preparation classes being held all around the country by dog clubs, pet stores and private trainers, such as an Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer or ABCDT. In this class, your dog will learn to do everything required of him on the test.
Once your dog passes the test, he receives a certificate from the AKC in the mail and the right to wear a CGC tag on his collar. If he’s a purebred, he’s ready to tackle any other AKC performance event, such as obedience, agility or rally. If your dog is a mixed breed, he can still compete in these types of competitions through non-AKC clubs.
For more information, visit the CGC section of the AKC website at:
About the Author: Audrey Pavia is an award-winning freelance writer and author of “The Labrador Retriever Handbook.” She is a former staff editor of Dog Fancy, Dog World and The AKC Gazette magazines. To learn more about her work, visit www.audreypavia.com.
The Story of Daley the Beautiful German Shepherd
Rebel Ernst and her husband wanted to rescue a dog. They saw a picture of Daley, a 3 1/2 year old German Shepherd, on Petfinder.com and immediately fell in love. Daley soon had her forever home. I was so touched by the truth of Rebel’s blog post. Not only is it a great story, it’s one that Rebel took the time to post it to our Facebook wall. It made me smile to know that the Ernsts are just like everyone here at Animal Behavior College (ABC)–they love and care for animals.
Read Daley’s Story by Rebel L. Ernst: https://www.facebook.com/AnimalBehaviorCollege/posts/10151691251447983?notif_t=like
Here at ABC, we’ve decided to share our love of animals in a more visual way. Our marketing team (myself included) and employees from every department have pitched in to create videos that showcase our dedication to pets of all kinds. The videos were also created to share Animal Behavior College’s core values with people throughout the U.S. & Canada. People just like us.
We love dogs and we love cats, too. We are animal lovers to the bone.
Over the last few months, I have been steadily working on our Open Your Heart video series. Everyone here at ABC wants to share these great messages and help raise awareness and get more pets rescued and adopted each and every day.
Did you know an untrained dog is more likely to be returned to a shelter after being adopted? This is a big reason why Animal Behavior College was founded by Steven Appelbaum 15 years ago. Steven immediately brought aboard Debbie Kendrick, a stellar local dog trainer who had worked with Steve at his previous company. Together, they set out on a mission to change the dog-training world. While they knew the two of them could not train every dog in every city, they could teach animal lovers to become dog trainers. Those newly minted dog trainers could then train more dogs throughout North America.
By also educating animal lovers on how to work with their pets, ABC-certified dog trainer help ensure fewer dogs and cats are returned to rescues/shelters. They save animals’ lives.
Speaking of which, did you know that in the process of becoming dog trainers, our students have volunteered more than 93,000 hours in rescues and shelters across North America? We’re not bragging, were are simply telling you, our faithful fans, so you can help us spread the words: Adopt. Spay. Neuter. Train. Love.
Rebel Ernst shared Daley’s Story with us and now we’ve shared it with you. Hopefully, you will tell or share this post on Facebook or by email with other animal lovers.
We would also love to hear your stories. Leave your comments below, Like Us on Facebook and/or send us your adoption and rescue stories to Anthony@dawgbiz.net.
Want to do more? Enroll in Animal Behavior College today. We offer three certification programs, Dog Training, Veterinary Assistance and Dog Grooming, for people across North America who are just like us.
The Story of Daley the Beautiful German Shepherd
Adopt A DOG! Save a Life – One Family’s Fantastic Story
Animal Behavior College Employees Open Their Hearts
At Animal Behavior College our company is built on the belief that together employees and the students of ABC can help save animal lives.
Animal Behavior College began offering Dog Training Certifications in 1998. Our Founder, Steven Appelbaum believed that training dogs can lead to saving their lives. A well trained dog will be more likely to be adopted to a forever home, and less likely to end up in a shelter to begin with. This passion of Loving pets, Adopting them. Spaying or Neutering, and Training pets has been handed down to employees and students of Animal Behavior College for over 14 years. Now over 10,000 dog training graduates across the U.S. and Canada, we are proud of all our ABC Certified Dog Trainers. ABC Dog Trainers save lives. Together we can change the world. If you are interested in becoming a Dog Trainer please contact our Admissions Department at (800) 795-3294.
We are the #1 Dog Training School in North America. Offering Dog Training Certifications, as well as certifications in Dog Grooming and Veterinary Assistance.
All of the dogs, cats, and animals shown in this video were adopted, rescued, or saved by an Animal Behavior College employee.
Animal Behavior College – Dog Training School
Open Your Heart & Join Us In The Fight to Save Animal Lives
Max Was Rescued from
the Streets of Georgia
I’m Max and while roaming the streets of Georgia a rescue found me and brought me to California. I had mange, mites, worms, and a double ear infection but my mommy Kimberly adopted me and after a few months, nursed me back to health…now I’m a senior dog living the good life. She said I had won the lottery… but now she says that she did!! I like to sit in my wagon for long walks and I enjoy relaxing on my own chase lounge when we are camping.
Come Visit Us this weekend Sunday September 15th at Woodley Park in van Nuys, CA for Bestfriends.org – Strut Your Mutt, Save, Adopt and Train shelter dogs. Help raise money for Best Friends Animal Society www.bestfriends.org
ABCDT-L2 – Animal Behavior College Dog Training – Level 2
As many of you know, Animal Behavior College is just a few days away from launching the Level 2 Dog Training Certification (ABCDT-L2). This certification will be available to qualified dog trainers across North America who have met the requisite amount of professional dog training experience and continuing education units. While we definitely appreciate your enthusiasm and interest, please be patient while we are working out the final details. It is our goal to have the website answer all your questions and help you easily navigate through the process of certification. For those of you who would like to get on the email list, please forward your email address, name and contact information to ABCDT-L2info@dawgbiz.net. Thank you for your patience and understanding. We know you are just as excited as we are about the ABCDT-L2 official launch.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The Humane Society of the United States (May 2013), estimates 6 to 8 million cats and dogs enter shelters each year and approximately 2.7 million of them are euthanized, even though they are considered healthy and adoptable.
It’s been said that one death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic. At Animal Behavior College (ABC), we do not agree with that and we are doing something to help prevent such wonderful animals from becoming death-row dogs and cats.
The “Students Saving Lives” program at Animal Behavior College is part of the school’s international campaign to improve shelter dog rehabilitation and adoption. All students in the ABC certified dog trainer instructor program are asked to volunteer at least 10 hours of training time to a local shelter, humane society or rescue organization. Since 2004, more than 7,800 ABC students have donated in excess of 92,000 hours to animal shelters and rescue facilities across North America helping pets find forever homes.
I’d be happy to connect you with actual students within specific geographic areas who are currently saving lives at shelters and rescues. In addition, ABC’s founder and CEO Steven Appelbaum is available to discuss how the “Student Saving Lives” program came together, why it was created, and how the program reduces the amount of animals who become death-row dogs and cats.
Steven, a trainer for 30+ years, is a lecturer, consultant and contributing podcast co-host for “Love that Dog Hollywood.” I will call to follow up in few days.
About ABC: Animal Behavior College was founded in 1998 and the school’s unique structure incorporates a distance-learning and hands-on externship-training model. ABC offers courses for certified dog training, pet grooming and veterinary assistants in all 50 states and every Canadian province, making it the largest vocational school of its kind in North America.
ABC Dog Trainer Classroom Program
Monday June 17th, was one of the best days ever for the five students of our On-site ABC Dog Trainer Classroom Program. Why? All five students graduated the program with honors. To be an honors graduate each student is required to obtain above 90% on all the exams taken during the Classroom Program.
ABC is committed to helping its military students with tuition assistance and funding is available for qualified military families. We are proud to announce that four of the five graduates are Veterans of the U.S. military.
The Dog Trainer Classroom Program has the approval to train veterans and eligible persons under the provisions of title 38, United States Code.
Two of the graduates are pictured below, both were happy to tell us why they chose ABC.
Diana has always loved pets and has been rescuing dogs from the streets of Las Vegas, NV for many years. Diana decided to better her skills to train dogs, so that she could train the strays she was saving.
This is what led her to Animal Behavior College Dog Training Program. Diana has been serving in the United States Army Reserves since she was 19. Now 7 years later she is still currently serving in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Nikole’s Dog Training career began back when she was a small girl. At the age of 10 her parents give her a certificate good for one Puppy of her choice, but the catch was that she had to prove to her parents she was responsible enough to take care of the dog.
Right away Nikole began reading several books about Dog Training, and she prepared a PowerPoint presentation for her parents. Once her parents could see she was serious and ready for the challenge they took her to adopt an Italian Greyhound mix named Tiny.
Nikole worked with Tiny and trained him each day at home, and while going to retrieve the mail from her mailbox up the street. It didn’t take her very long to teach the dog to sit and follow her commands. As she kept walking Tiny, the neighbors began to take notice of how well trained the dog actually was. Soon many of her neighbors asked Nikole to train their dogs.
It was that moment that she knew that Dog Training was something she was good at, and she loved it. As Nikole grew up and moved out on her own she rescued Cooper, a mix of Rottweiler, American Staffordshire, and English Bulldog, from the Castaic Animal Shelter. While training Cooper at the local dog park, people took notice of how well the dog responded to her and the recall training she had done with him.
The dog park visitors would stop and say what a fine job she was doing. After several suggestions by patrons to become a Professional Dog Trainer, Nikole decided to attend a school for dog trainers at Animal Behavior College. Now a graduate of ABC’s On-site Dog Trainer Classroom Program, Nikole has over 13 years experience training dogs and has been rescuing dogs since 2009. Nikole is now the owner of Pawesome Animal Training located in Santa Clarita Valley. She hopes to continue helping dogs and their owners better communicate.
Find out more by watching the event coverage by Studio Santa Clarita.
Animal Behavior College (ABC) is a vocational school that specializes in animal-related career training.