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Why Dogs Act Aggressively Toward People and Other Dogs

Reasons for Aggression in Dogs

By Stacy Mantle

Dog aggression can stem from a variety of causes, and once you understand them, you can start learning the solutions.

Dog aggression can stem from a variety of causes, and once you understand them, you can start learning the solutions.

The stories show up in the news nearly every day—someone was attacked by her dog, another dog was attacked by a dog or a child was bitten by a dog. The public begins to think that all dogs are vicious, trainers look at the ways they could have been avoided and animal lovers rise to the defense of the animal.

More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, according to the American Veterinary Association of America (AVMA). Considering there are 70 million dogs in the USA, these stats show we need to do more on all levels; from educating the public on how to work with animals to teaching children how to recognize dogs’ body language and signals.

Under most circumstances, bite cases can be summarized into three categories:

  1. A lack of veterinary care for dogs suffering from a medical condition
  2. Children who have not been taught to read animal behavior
  3. Multi-dog households with owners who are not trained in working with multiple pets

Pet aggression can stem from a variety of causes. These are the more common reasons for aggression in dogs. Once you understand the causes, you can start learning the solutions.

Pain Aggression

One of the most common causes of aggression in pets is a result of the dog being in pain. Since associative learning is a dog’s most important way of learning, it can result in long-term damage to the dog and the owners. The most obvious solution is to have the dog medically evaluated.

Multi-dog Households

If you have more than one dog in your home, you are five times more likely to be bitten than a home with only one dog. This is largely due to owners reaching in to break up fights between dogs. This is a problem that can only be solved by educating owners on how to live within a multi-pet household. Fortunately, there are many good sites that focus solely on this problem, and plenty of material that you can share with family members.

Side Effects from Medication

There are hundreds of medical conditions that can stimulate biting behavior in pets. In many cases, pets have sustained damage before they were even brought them into a home. But more commonly, aggression can be caused by side effects from prescription medications. Check with your veterinarian and pharmacy to learn which types of medications are most likely to encourage aggressive behavior.

DogBiteInfographic

Fear Aggression

Just as screaming or striking out at someone who surprised you would be considered a perfectly normal response, dogs react with the same instinctual response. Since children are fond of “sneaking up” on a pet, this is one more reason why most bites occur in kids. Threatening a dog, negative training methods or lack of socialization can cause a pet to react in fear.

Children

From 2010 to 2012, there were 359,223 reported bites in children. 57 percent of these children were between the ages of 5 to 9. Sixty-six percent of these injuries were to children 4 years and younger. This is just one more reason it’s so important to teach children how to understand dogs at a very young age or keep them separated from dogs until they can learn how to read them. There are many child-friendly books, diagrams and infographics that are free to download and available from a variety of sources. Simply search on “Body language of dogs” and print one out. It’s free and it could save a child or a pet’s life.

Behavioral Aggression

Behavioral aggression can include everything from resource guarding to frustration aggression. Dogs are naturally territorial and if your pet perceives you as the cause of a resource being withheld, you could be at risk for a bite. This is one more reason it’s so important to socialize and train pets. Dogs learn by association and once they have successfully used a negative reaction (biting) to obtain results they want (food or a toy), they will begin to do it more often. Dogs learn by association, which is why it’s so important to integrate positive training approaches.

Genetics

There is a lot of controversy about breeds that bite. Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is rampant on a global level, particularly in regards to the “bully breeds.” While it’s true that many bites occur from bully breeds, the facts are rather skewed. Often, a smaller dog’s bite is not reported because of the minor damage smaller dogs inflict. However, a large-breed bite is nearly always reported due to a larger bite radius and therefore increased damage. Bully breeds tend to get most of the blame due to selective breeding in the world of dog-fighting. It’s important to remember that there is no “inherently vicious” breed of dog. There are only dogs who have been bred, trained or taught to become vicious.

Education is the key to preventing dog bites. By training yourself, your children and your friends who have pets on how to interact with animals, you will be helping to decrease the number of bites and the number of animals who enter the system and are destroyed.


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

August 2014 – ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA

ABC Dog Training Program Student of the Month – USA – August 2014

Stephanie “Sarah” Trujillo, ABCDT

August Dog Training Program Student Of The Month

Recent ABC Graduate Sarah Trujillo, lives in Kingsburg, Calif.. She is now the Director of Second Chance Animal Shelter of Selma and also owns her own dog training company called K9 Solutions. While at the shelter, Sarah oversees the operations of the shelter, evaluates dogs and educates the public on animal behavior. Dog training was not her first career choice. Before she became a student at Animal Behavior College, Tania was studying Computer Science and Math, as well as working in the accounting office at the college she was attending. While in the Dog Obedience Program, Sarah said one of the biggest challenges she had to face was overcoming self-doubt. The way she overcame it was to think about why she chose training dogs, and to remember the joy that working with dogs gives her.

What prompted you to become a dog trainer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

In 2012, I started feeling complacent in my daily routine and felt I needed to do something to change it up. I have always loved working with animals, so I chose to look for a local animal shelter in my area; little did I know there was a shelter in a nearby city that was 15 minutes from me. I was very excited to help at this small shelter in Selma, Calif. After only a few months, I was helping manage the volunteers, coordinate events and assisting with adoptions. I started working closely with the city police department that oversaw the operations of the shelter. Sometimes I would be asked if dogs were adoptable or not. In having to make these tough decisions, I felt I needed to expand my knowledge in this area—not only to help understand dogs better, but to be able to educate others about their pets so they can avoid having to resort to an animal shelter.

Describe one pet story that touched you the most during your volunteer hours. Do you plan on continuing your volunteer work?

While working on my Students Saving Lives volunteer hours, I worked with a German Shepard mix named Rocky. He was brought into the shelter due to inadequate housing. He was found in a yard tied to a tree with no shelter, food, or water. He had no manners around people and would jump to greet. My goal was to teach him how to greet people and walk in a mannerly fashion.

Rocky was successful with these new concepts and they proved helpful to his overall adoption-appeal. His adopters said his well-mannered behavior was one of the most significant reasons why they chose him as a new family member.

Because I’ve witnessed how effective basic training is, I continue to volunteer at Second Chance Animal Shelter of Selma and with other rescue groups in need. The feeling of helping others and cultivating adoptability is one of the greatest.

How did you hear about the ABC program and what convinced you to become certified?

Knowing that working with animals is a great passion of mine, my husband informed me of the ABC program after seeing an advertisement on TV. When I called, I was given more information about the Dog Obedience Program as well as the Continuing Education Programs. The one that caught my attention was “Training Shelter Dogs.” They also told me about the Students Saving Lives Program, where we donate a minimum of 10 hours at a local shelter prior to graduating. My whole reason for becoming a trainer was to help shelter animals. I knew this was the school for me, a school that promoted saving lives.

What are your plans for dog training? Do you want specialize in particular type of training (e.g., aggression, PTSD, therapy or guide dogs) or in training a particular breed of dog? Please describe.

I plan to continue to grow my business here in Kingsburg, Calif., and show owners the joy that comes along with being a pet parent and how smart their dog really is. I want to do therapy and service dog training with a focus on former shelter dogs.

What will be the secret to your success in the pet industry as a dog trainer?

The secret to my success is working with the intention of giving back to others. Dogs can give so much to their owners, and being able to bridge the communication between dog and owner is the key to creating a successful relationship between the two.

August – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
August 2014

Sinead McMahon Stuessy

Veterinary Assistance Program Student of the month - August 2014 - Sinead McMahon Stuessy

Sinead lives in Oceanside, Calif., where she enjoys being a full-time mom. She was watching TV when she heard about Animal Behavior College and its Veterinary Assistant Program, and decided to visit the website. Since childhood, Sinead has had a deep love for animals and credits her mom for it. She chose to become certified because she knew it would give her a competitive edge when looking for a position as a veterinary assistant.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?

So far, my biggest challenge has been working with military working dogs. They are mostly German Shepherds and I had an extremely bad experience with one a few years ago. I overcome my fear by showing up everyday to work with those dogs, by practicing safe handling and remembering to breathe.

Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.

Everyday has been fun and filled with smiles. Two of the Camp Pendleton Veterinary Treatment Facility’s office staff, who are from the East Coast, were getting really excited about a store that is similar to a 7-11, only better, they said. I’ve never seen someone get so excited about something like that.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My most rewarding moment involved working with the Army veterinarians. They do things a little different but they included me in just about everything.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Veterinary Assistant Program?

My experience with ABC has been very rewarding. Everyone, including those at my externship location, has been very kind.

What skills do you want to master during the next 12 months?

I would like to be able to improve on reading chemistries such as blood work and urinalysis. I would also love to master the anatomy of common animals, especially horses.

What are your future career plans?

I want to work with large animals, especially horses. I would also like to continue my education and pursue becoming an RVT.

If you could work with any exotic animal, what would it be and why?

Wolves; I want to learn more about them. I’ve always loved wolves, I’m fascinated by them.

August – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
August 2014

Barbara Messino

USA Grooming Student of the Month - August 2014Barbara Messino lives in Ocean City, Md., and owns Tails of the Town Grooming Salon, which is located in Pittsville. Although she knew it might be risky, when the opportunity presented itself to own her own shop she couldn’t pass it up. Barbara uses the skills she learned in her externship every day and she reports that her client list keeps growing. She is always learning and having fun.

What prompted you to become a pet groomer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

I really wanted to do something that made me happy and I was passionate about. I volunteer at shelters and the humane society and have had many different animals in my life. I can’t ever imagine my life without animals in it. There were many times I wasn’t happy with the groomer who worked on my dogs. In addition, I wanted to be able to offer people a place where they could bring their dogs and know they were being cared for like they were my own. I wish I had done this a lot sooner.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?

I think the biggest challenge for me during my externship was learning all the different breeds and how to do their faces. Each one had little differences, and people want their dogs cut in very specific ways. It was a bit overwhelming. I watched all the training videos over and over again, and once I felt somewhat comfortable, I asked the groomer at the shop I was at to let me clip the complete dog. We decided that she would do one side of the dog and I would do the other. This way I had something to go by and match up; from there I got to the point where I would do the whole face myself.

How did you hear about the ABC program and what convinced you to become certified?

I did a lot of research about dog grooming, schools and programs that were out there for training. I went to a few salons and asked about on-the-job training, but after checking all of these things out, I felt it was important to be certified. I also liked the idea of being able to do this at home, except for the externship. All the course work I could do at my own pace and I needed that flexibility. The ABC Grooming program was the best match for me.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Grooming Instruction Program?

The ABC Grooming Program has been great. My program coordinator and externship coordinator were very helpful, answering any questions and assisting with any problems I was facing. The curriculum is very thorough, and the DVDs are great to see some of the grooming steps put into practice. I have had a great experience with ABC and I am very glad I chose to go through the program.

What grooming skill(s) or technique(s) do you want to master during the next 12 months?

The skill I would like to master in the next 12 months is to perfect the faces.. Since that is the first thing pet parents look at when they pick up their baby, its important they look great. I am learning new techniques all the time, using my thinning shears and scissors along with the clippers. I am going to perfect those skills and learn new ways to be creative in my styles.

August Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– August 2014

Tania Langreher

Tania Langrehr - August 2014 Canadian Grooming Instruction Program's Student of the MonthSince completing the ABC grooming program Tania Langrehr has opened her own grooming facility in her hometown of Preston, Ontario, Canada. Although grooming was not her first career choice, Tania always new she wanted to work with animals. She tried to work in the veterinary field and learned it was not the right choice for her. Tania is succeeding in the grooming field and plans to continue to build her business as well as learn more grooming techniques.

What prompted you to become a pet groomer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

I have always loved animals, especially dogs. One day my mom asked if I would like to try and groom her Pekingese, I did and I loved it. I have a few friends with dogs and asked them if I could groom them as well. I had so much fun trying different styles and cuts on them that I decided to pursue my career in dog grooming.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge I faced during my externship was being able to work with all the different types of dog personalities. There are so many different types of dogs and it was a challenge at times to figure out how to work with each one individually.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

The most rewarding moment during my externship was helping really matted dogs. Some dogs came in and were so matted you could not see their faces. Watching the dogs run around after the groom and being able to see put a smile on my face.

Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.

A gentleman walked in with his dog to get groomed and we looked down to greet the dog and he managed to slip out of its harness and ran right onto the grooming table. I guess he really loved to be groomed.

What grooming skill(s) or technique(s) do you want to master during the next 12 months?

One thing I would like to perfect is to be able to groom a Poodle to the specific breed standard. I would like to be able to do a show cut or specific style cut on a Standard Poodle.

Make Sure Your Pets are Prepared in Case Disaster Strikes

Preparing Your Pets for Evacuation

By Stacy Mantle

RescuePetFloodWe never think it will happen to us, but the truth is a disaster can strike anywhere at any time. From hurricanes and fires, to gas leaks and terrorist threats, there are hundreds of reasons why you and your pets may need to evacuate your home. The important thing is to be prepared and to be certain your pets are, too. Here are some guidelines on getting your pets ready for evacuation.

Microchip Your Pets: This is the best way to ensure you and your pet are reunited. Be sure to register the tag (or change ownership if you adopted a dog or cat from a rescue). If you move, be sure to update your pet’s microchip information.  Always keep a recent photo of you and your pets on you. You never know when this information will be needed in case of separation. In addition to microchipping, your pets should always be wearing a collar with ID tags.

QR-coded tags are handy if you have a pet with a medical condition as you can store the information needed in one simple app. You decide how much of the information a stranger who finds your pet needs to know.

Know Where to Go: You should be certain you have a place to go in case of emergency. Search in advance for pet-friendly hotels in your area. In the event of long-term evacuation, you should have a plan in place with family or friends where you can take your pets.  You might also want to make prior arrangements with a kennel (for dogs or cats), a ranch (for large animals) or an animal rescue (for exotics).

Know Your Emergency Veterinarian Hospitals: Even if you don’t think you’ll need a veterinarian, you should know where your nearest 24-hour hospital is for your pets. This is particularly important if you have large animals who are more likely to injure themselves due to the stress of evacuation.

Make a Plan: You should have several ways to get out of your home with your pets, know how you will gather them safely in a timely period and identify a “meet place” with other family members. Map out your area and know where the nearest 24-hr veterinarian clinic is located so you can ensure your pets receive prompt attention in case of emergency. Verify that your veterinarian, pet sitter, trainer or daycare facility has an emergency plan in place if anything happens while your pets are under their care.

Create a “Go Bag”: Every household should have a single backpack that you can “grab and go” on the way out the door. This is a perfect bag for quick evacuations (gas leak, police evacuation or other temporary threat).

This bag includes a three-day supply of whatever your pets need for longer-term evacuations. Larger animals can carry their own packs if you plan well. You should have a go-bag in place for each animal and teach them ahead of time how to carry a pack. Smaller pets may need you to do the carrying.

  • Documentation: This includes an updated photo of you with your pet, microchip numbers, ID tag numbers and any emergency contact information in case anything happens to you.
  • Water: You and your pet need water. Keep a three-day supply of water for you and your pets in your go-bag. Plan on keeping 1 to 3 ounces of water per pound of body weight for each animal, each day.
  • Food: Keep at least three days of food for each pet in an airtight, waterproof container. Rotate these out on a monthly basis to ensure freshness. You may want to consider feeding your pets moist or canned food to assist in preventing dehydration. You can also consider purchasing premade emergency meal kits. (See resources below.)
  • Medicine: Keep an extra week of medicine on hand for pets who are on prescription medication.
  • Collar, Leash, ID Tags: Your pets should always be wearing a collar and ID tags, but it’s also a good idea to have an extra set stored in your “go bag.”
  • Dishes: Be sure you have at least one dish for feeding and watering your pets.

Crate: Be sure you have a way of transporting your pet securely. Conduct training exercises on a regular basis so that pets know the crate is a safe place. The goal is to have the crate be their location to run if anything frightens them. There’s nothing worse than trying to find a cat that has hidden in fear during an emergency situation.

Sanitation: Be sure you have a way to clean up after your pet. For cats, this means a spare litterbox and litter (these are premade and easy to dispose of). For dogs, this means plastic doggy bags. Your sanitation bags should also include paper towels, a disinfectant and wipes.

Use the Buddy System: A buddy system can be incredibly beneficial in saving your pets lives. Particularly if you work away from the home or have large animals (like horses), larger dogs who may be considered threatening (shepherds, pit bulls, etc.), or exotics (reptiles, ferrets, birds, etc.). Proper handling of these animals often means the difference between life and death. Work out an agreement between three and four families to learn how to handle one another’s animals. That way, you have back up if you’re out of town and emergency strikes at home.

Emergency Resources ASPCAPetFirstAid

 Premade Meal Kits and Bottled Water for Pets:

 First Aid Kit for Pets

 


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

What to Do if Your Cat Gets Stung

The Cats and the Bees

By Sandy Robins

CatBeeGardenDid you know that July 10 was “Don’t Step on a Bee Day.” Seriously, who comes up with this stuff? If you don’t believe me, go to a website called DaysOfTheYear.com and check this out along with national waffle day and national gummi bear day…

The whole idea of this day is to help preserve bees, which are in danger in many parts of the world. While saving bees is a good thing, they can present a problem when you have cats. Cats find them irresistible to watch, chase—and catch.

We have a succulent on our balcony where the cats are allowed to sit safely and sun themselves. Every year it produces a huge stem with hundreds of tiny yellow flowers and with it comes the bees that probably get more pollen from this one stop than from flitting from flower to flower.

Fudge couldn’t care less. Been there done that—this occurs every year. But Ziggy is fixated, watching their every movement. It must make him dizzy when several bees arrive at once and flit all over this huge flowering stem. When one bee lost its sense of direction and flew inside Ziggy took after it at high speed. I had to spring into action to prevent ensuing conflict.

After a couple of weeks of this, I realized I couldn’t sit and watch Ziggy watching the bees any longer because eventually he could catch one and probably get stung, so I cut off the huge stem and put into it into a vase instead.

CatwBeesWhat do you do if your cat gets stung on her nose, paws or anywhere else? First off, if possible, get the entire stinger out. (Note: wasps, yellow jackets, hornets and bumble bees don’t leave their “stingers” behind.) A credit card is your best friend when it comes to removing a stinger. Use the credit card to scrape it away, making sure you get the whole stinger. Don’t use tweezers or your fingers as you might end up releasing more venom into or onto your cat. A sting won’t be too painful for your cat, according to veterinarians, but the site can swell up quickly. Ice will help reduce the swelling and it’s also a good idea to apply an antibiotic cream.

A friend’s cat chomped on a bee and got stung inside his cheek. That necessitated a trip to the vet and an antihistamine injection. In fact, any bee sting is definitely worth a follow up to the vet because cats can have an allergic reaction and go into shock. They might have difficulty breathing if the tissues of the throat swell. In addition, their blood pressure could plunge, resulting in a life-threatening complication. If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms after being stung, take her to a veterinarian immediately.

Sorry bees. Next year when this plant flowers, I am going to cut off the flowering stem and put it in a vase straight away. I am going to buy Ziggy a toy that replicates a bee on a wand and play with him instead.


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

Keep Your Dog Cool with Homemade Frozen Treats

Tasty Frozen Snacks for Dogs

By Lisa King

DogIceCreamHot weather is dangerous to humans and animals alike, and climate change means that longer and hotter summers are on the way. Keeping pets cool is an owner’s responsibility, but confining a dog to an air-conditioned house all day just isn’t feasible. Both you and your dog are going to want to spend time outdoors, so while you’re enjoying the pool, barbecuing or working in the garden, make sure your dog has a way to stay cool and be near you.

We have all seen photos of lions and tigers in zoos licking giant “bloodsicles” during heat waves. These effectively cool down the animals’ bodies so they don’t suffer as much from the heat. You can do the same for your dog without resorting to freezing blood. 

If you have a large dog or multiple dogs, freeze water or salt-free chicken stock in layers in a large plastic container and drop in small toys and treats as each layer freezes. Once it’s fully frozen, run a little hot water over the container and slide the block of ice out onto a flat pan or plate. Set it in the shade where your dog can reach it. He will be able to see the treats and toys and will happily lick away the ice to get to them.

Commercial frozen dog treats are available at pet supply stores and some supermarkets. These are handy, but can be pricey. If you want to save money and be certain of what your dog is consuming, make healthy frozen treats for him at home.

frozendogtreatsThe principles behind making frozen treats are simple: Use foods your dog likes and that are safe for him and combine them in imaginative ways, and then freeze them in ice cube trays (the silicon ones make popping out the treats easy). There are even trays designed for dog treats in which the holes are bone-shaped. You can also freeze treats in small Dixie cups, disposable plastic cups or cupcake liners.

Never add salt or sugar to your dog’s treats. Don’t use grapes, onions, avocados, chocolate, macadamia nuts or anything else on the ASPCA list of foods hazardous to dogs.

Give your dog his frozen treats outside; he is bound to make a mess as the treat melts. Keep in mind that these treats do have calories, so don’t overdo it.

Here is a list of suggested ingredients for frozen dog treats:

  • Plain nonfat yogurt
  • Peanut butter (the natural kind without sweeteners or salt)
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Melons
  • Chopped apples or applesauce
  • Canned pumpkin purée (avoid pumpkin pie filling)
  • Grated carrots
  • Cooked ground or shredded meat or poultry
  • Salt-free chicken stock or beef stock
  • Grated cheese (low salt)

The easiest treats to make involve putting a few berries or pieces of chopped fruit (such as banana, melon or apple) in the bottom of each section of an ice cube tray and then filling the tray with yogurt or one of the combinations below. This gives your dog a sweet and healthy treat. For a low-fat savory treat, put a little leftover unseasoned meat or chicken and a pinch of cheese in each section and fill with salt-free stock.

Here are some ideas for combinations your dog will like. If the mixture seems too thick, thin with a little stock or water.

  • Combine peanut butter with a little yogurt or applesauce.
  • Mix pumpkin purée with peanut butter.
  • Pumpkin is also tasty mixed with plain yogurt.
  • Mashed bananas are delicious mixed with yogurt, peanut butter, or a combination.

This isn’t gourmet cooking. Keep the combinations simple and appealing to your dog. While you and your guests are enjoying frozen margaritas on the deck, he’ll feel as if he’s joined the party.


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” and the recently released “Vulture au Vin.”

A Safe, Cozy Home for Your Dog

In the Doghouse

By Audrey Pavia

DogHouseYardDogs are a lot like humans in one respect—they appreciate a safe, cozy home. Descended from wolves, dogs have a strong denning instinct, which means they feel happiest when they have a secure hideaway they can call their own.

Providing your dog with his own “den” will go a long way toward helping him feel comfortable and secure. That den can be in the form of a doghouse or a crate, depending on your situation and your dog’s needs.

 

Doghouses

In the days when dogs lived mostly outdoors, doghouses were a necessity. They provided shelter from the elements and a place for an outside dog to feel secure. Today, we know that dogs need human companionship and should spend the majority of their time in the house, especially at night. But for dogs that need to be outdoors during the day when their owners are away at school or work, a doghouse can provide a welcome respite.

Unlike the simple wooden doghouses of the past, today’s commercially made doghouses come in a variety of materials and designs. While some houses are made from plastic or metal, the most popular styles are still made from wood, with some featuring windows, skylights and front porches.

When selecting a house for your dog, look for a design that allows for good ventilation along with protection from bad weather. Make sure the house is insulated, and large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around.

If you choose to build your own doghouse, choose a plan that provides these same benefits. Be sure to use untreated wood in case your dog chews on any part of the house.

 

Crates

Dog crates are useful not only for providing a dog a safe place to retreat indoors, but also to help with training. Crates are invaluable for housetraining puppies, and for confining dogs that are still learning the rules of the house. Crates are also the safest way to confine a dog for travel.

Dog crates come in two basic styles: airline and solid wire. Airline-style crates have plastic sides, with a wire door

MidWest Homes For Pets' LifeStages ACE crates are designed to be a safe place for a dog to retreat.

MidWest Homes For Pets’ LifeStages ACE crates are designed to be a safe place for a dog to retreat.

and windows. Solid wire crates are made of a wire grid on all sides.

Airline-style crates are the most adaptable type of crate. They provide dogs with a sense of security because of their solid sides, and can be used for travel. In fact, these crates are the only type approved for use on airlines, and are a safe place to confine your dog when he’s going somewhere by car.

Wire crates are also popular with some dog owners, who believe this style makes it easier to observe the dog while he’s confined. These crates can also be folded up when not in use for easy storage or transport.

Whatever type of doghouse or crate you choose, keep your dog’s health and wellbeing in mind. Make his “den” as cozy and welcoming as you can by including a soft blanket and his favorite toys.


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.

Animal Behavior College Honors the 2014 Dog Trainer In-Classroom Program Graduates

ABC President Steven Appelbaum Challenges graduates to use their training to make a difference

ABC President Steven Appelbaum Challenges graduates to use their training to make a difference

Animal Behavior College celebrated its third graduation class during a commencement ceremony on June 13 honoring the many achievements of its Dog Trainer In-Classroom Program students. The late morning event took place on the grounds of the school’s headquarters located at 25104 Rye Canyon Loop in Mann Biomedical Park, Santa Clarita, Calif.

Dressed in royal blue academic regalia, the enthusiastic graduates, some accompanied by their canine friends, sat composed during the ceremony. Many of the graduates are former military personnel who decided to use the discipline, drive and determination skills they acquired while in the armed services to train dogs professionally, ensuring dogs and their owners enjoy a harmonious and mutually respectful relationship.

“You are professional dog trainers who will continue to make a difference in many lives,” said Steven Appelbaum, president and CEO of Animal Behavior College, to an audience of family, friends and employees of the college. “The road ahead is paved with many challenges. Challenges you are equipped and ready to handle. However, readiness is dependent on your willingness to keep an open mind by expanding beyond your comfort level and maintaining a passion for learning and aspiring to continue to grow professionally.”

Debbie Kendrick, vice president of operations for ABC, also praised the graduates’ accomplishments and joined Appelbaum in presenting award certificates giving special mention to students who graduated from the program with honors. Those students include, Brian Hastings, Irma “Toni” Medina Leitneberg, Breanna Rappleya and Angel Samano Jr.

“Five years ago we came to this school with different expectations,” Angel said during his address. “We have spent the last five months since then learning what it takes to train dogs and their owners and have been given a myriad of tools to use as professionals.”

Beth Harrison, the program’s course instructor, congratulated Angel and his fellow graduates. She provided remarks encouraging them to use their newly acquired knowledge and skills to strive for excellence with the goal of “being the best dog trainer they could be.” Amanda Yocom of Best Friends’ Animal Society and Chris Gant, a former graduate of the college and professional dog trainer, thanked graduates for volunteering in the shelter and inspired them to stay compassionate about helping dogs and working with their owners to ensure a positive owner-to-dog relationship.

The students received certification for mastering various dog training tools and techniques using positive reinforcement for handling canine behaviors. The program covers everything from training basics and safety to effective problem solving and pet first aid. The hands-on portion of the program provides students with an opportunity to participate in an internship at shelters like Best Friends’ Animal Society with a mentor, giving them invaluable practical experience in real life situations.

Angel Samano, with his dog, Bosco, shares how the Dog Obedience Program changed his life

Angel Samano, with his dog, Bosco, shares how the Dog Obedience Program changed his life

“I have more knowledge and tools at my disposal to continue to serve people in a new way,” Angel said. With his dog, Bosco, at his side, the former Marine lance corporal credits the program with helping him embark on a new and exciting career. “If you had asked me a year ago what I would do (after the military), being a dog trainer wouldn’t have been on the list. ABC has not only helped to change my life, but has helped to change Bosco’s life.”

Pets today are living longer, eating healthier and receiving more services. In fact, the jobs forecast for dog trainers and other animal care and service workers in the U.S. appear promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment will grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. With more people in the U.S. owning dogs (35.5 percent or 43,346,000), ABC certified dog trainers have the option of working for an established company or building their own successful dog training business.

To learn more about the program visit Dog Obedience Instructor Training Program or call 800-795-3294.

The Class of 2014!

The Class of 2014!

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