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.”
Dog Walking Etiquette
By Stacy Mantle
Walk Your Dog Each Day
In a world where many different species enjoy walking each day, it’s important to understand the rules of the road for canines. The rules below are not hard and fast, they aren’t legally binding and they aren’t meant to be regulated. They are intended as good “common sense” rules for any pets who enjoy walks.
1. Respect personal space. Whether you’re on a trailhead or at the dog park, there are people who will not love your dog. Even fellow dog lovers are hesitant around other breeds. Some small-breed lovers will be in complete fear of your large-breed dog no matter how friendly, and vice versa. Never force your dog on another person or animal.
Teach your pet to keep his nose to himself. People don’t generally like to be sniffed—particularly if they are running or walking or just enjoying the day. Keep your pet under control and never allow her to pull at the leash in search of a quick sniff of another dog or person.
2. Leashes are required. Besides being good common sense, leashes are required by law in nearly every state and that includes state and national forests. It doesn’t matter if your dog is friendly, it doesn’t matter if your dog always listens. If any other person views your pet as a threat, they can legally defend themselves, which can lead to tragic results.
Keep your leash short. This can help eliminate problems with tangled leashes, territorial sidewalk users and other such problems. The only exception to using a leash is in a designated off-leash area.
3. Clean up after your pet. You should not allow your pet to urinate or defecate in a person’s yard, a golf course or in a public park. Urine can leave ugly brown spots and create problems for a property owner. Look for a public, remote area for your pet to do her business. If an accident does happen, be courteous and clean up after your pet. It’s the law in most municipalities and it makes for good neighbors.
4. Not all dogs are friendly. You should never assume that because your pets are friendly, other people’s pets are friendly, too. Don’t allow your pet to approach other animals without an invitation. You never know how controlled the other animal may be.
5. Be respectful of other species. Cats are going out on walks more frequently, as are birds, ferrets and even other lesser-known and more unusual species. This is why you should never allow or encourage your dog to chase any type of animal. Your dog may interpret a cat to be a squirrel, leading to disastrous consequences. Train your pets to recognize and be receptive to other species.
6. Announce your arrival. When running or walking with your dog, it’s always polite to inform those ahead of you that you’re coming up behind. This can be done with a simple “Behind you” or “To your left” announcement, letting them know you’re planning to pass. This is particularly important when using public walkways.
7. Teach children. Nearly 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year and more than 72 percent of those are children. We have to begin educating kids (even other people’s children) on the proper way to approach an animal. This begins with you and your dog. Let parents and children know they need to approach slowly, ask to pet your dog and always keep their faces away from the dog.
8. Elevators and enclosed areas. When in an elevator or other enclosed area of a public building, your dog should move to the back corner of the elevator and sit quietly near you as people get on and off. Keep your pet on a short leash, as some people have a real fear of being in an elevator with a dog.
9. Stop and sit at crosswalks. Your dog should always stop before a crosswalk and sit quietly beside you. While not all dogs can be trained to do this, it’s important to work up to it. Not only that, it could save their lives if they ever got loose.
10. The five training commands. Come, drop, leave it, heel and sit-stay are the five basic commands every pet should know before walking out the door. If your pets cannot do these things, you should focus your training until they can.
Owning a pet is about being a responsible pet owner. You are responsible for teaching your pets good etiquette as they will not learn from others. Together we can make the world a better place for our animals and other humans.
About the Author: Stacy Mantle is the founder of PetsWeekly.com and the bestselling author of “Shepherd’s Moon.” Learn more great tips for living with animals by visiting PetsWeekly.com or get to know a little more about the author at www.StacyMantle.com
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.
Dog Obedience Externship Coordinator
Externship Coordinators are responsible for working with our students and keeping them on track as they progress through their hands-on externship. The main focus of this position is to formulate business relationships with professional in the animal industry and set up our students with these mentors.
Animal Behavior College Dog Obedience Externship Coordinator Position
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to
- Establishing and negotiating relationships with dog trainers
- Pairing students with mentor trainers to complete their hands-on training
- Communicating directly to students and mentors via phone conversations and email
- Grading evaluation forms
- Monitoring students’ progress
- Researching for Mentor Trainers and interviewing them
- Data entry
- Prior animal related experience is a must!
- Internet Savvy
- Type a minimum of 40 WPM
- Excellent communication skills
- Excellent customer service and people skills
- Friendly, outgoing, and positive demeanor
- Well-organized and self-driven
- Strong work ethic
- Ability to multi-task
- A team player who enjoys working closely with other office personnel
Hours are generally 8:00-4:30pm although staff works to fit the needs of potential students so hours sometimes vary.
This job opening is for the Animal Behavior College – Valencia, CA Campus.
To apply for this position please send resume with a cover letter to:
Cris Acuna at firstname.lastname@example.org
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
ABC Dog Training Program
Student of the Month
Lee Anne Rogers
Lee Anne Rogers had a steady career in administration and accounting and trained agility part-time for her local dog club in Alberta, Canada, when her world suddenly changed. Her husband received a transfer from the Royal Canadian Air Force to Edwards Air Force Base in California. Thousands of miles away from her friends and family, Lee Anne was compelled to do some soul searching; and realized she wanted enroll in a dog trainer school and train dogs full-time. Some online exploration led Lee Anne to the ABC dog obedience program, and she passed with honors in July. She now offers private lessons and volunteers for a rescue in Pearblossom, Calif. Continue reading
ABC Veterinary Assistant Program Student of the Month– August 2013
Georgianna Traney lives in Langhorne, Pa., and is the proud “mom” of a 12-year-old short-haired domestic kitty named Simba. She completed her externship at Flowers Mill Veterinary Hospital, which is also in Langhorne. During her spare time, Georgianna loves to volunteer at her local non-kill shelter, where she helps cats and dogs find a forever homes. She is currently pursuing a full-time career since completing her ABC certification. Georgianna is seriously considering continuing her education to become a veterinary technician. Continue reading
ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– August 2013
Sara Uhalde lives in Red Bluff, Calif. She began her path toward becoming a professional groomer in May 2012, when she started the grooming program at Animal Behavior College. Sara did very well in her externship and even though she has not graduated yet, she was hired on as a part-time groomer at Rub A Dub Dog Grooming and is loving every minute of it. Continue reading