ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
Harley Haehn lives in Columbus, Pa., where she works at a popular restaurant known for having the best hamburgers and hotdogs in the region. When she is not working at the restaurant, Harley is pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinary assistant. Her long-term plan is to work at a zoo where she can interact with elephants, her favorite gentle giant. Continue reading
ABC Dog Training Program
Student of the Month
Dog training is in Manny Pedroza’s DNA. His father was a professional dog trainer and inspired Manny to pursue his dreams. Having just completed his externship, Manny now trains part-time, offering group, private and in-kennel training at his mentor trainer’s location in Chino, Calif. As do many students, Manny found it daunting to speak in front of group classes, but he quickly got the hang of it. Manny attributes his success to his German shepherd-like disposition: smart, strong, quick-to-learn and persistent. Continue reading
Dog Obedience Instruction Program
Canadian Student of the Month
Ryan Kwasnica lives in Springstein, Manitoba, Canada, and he trains in Winnipeg and surrounding areas. Ryan has four kennels attached to his home and he does in-home dog training as well. In addition, Ryan helps out a nearby rescue organization by rehabilitating some of its more troubled dogs. Continue reading
Julie Reber Helping Dogs Find Forever Homes
“We have been discussing the clear correlation between training and adoption for a number of years,” said Steven Appelbaum, founder and CEO of ABC. “It is wonderful that greater numbers of shelters and rescue organizations also get the connection. This is why we reach out to these groups whenever we can. We know that better trained dogs are easier to adopt and less likely to be returned.”
Animal Behavior College is very proud of all our students, each of them has donated 10 hours individually, for a combined total of over 93,000 hours donated to shelters. It is our passion to help dogs & cats find forever homes.
Continue reading this article: http://www.animalbehaviorcollege.com/blog/downloads/Julie-Reber-ABC-Dog-training-grad.pdf
Become a Dog Trainer
Karen Kennedy graduated from the Animal Behavior College Dog Training program in April of 2012. After 300 hours of dog training under her belt, Karen decided to become CPDT-KA certified. The CPDT-KA is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessment exam offered by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT).
Karen sent us an email letting us know that she just received information that she has passed the CPDT-KA exam. Karen boasted that all she needed to do to prepare for the exam was review the Animal Behavior College Dog Training course materials. She is confident that her 300+ hours of training and the ABC Dog Training text books were the right source for her success in this achievement. Becoming a Dog Trainer is something Karen was very passionate about. She tells us “I read it cover to cover… it is a really good manual!!! What a treasure.” Karen has 6 five-star reviews on Yelp for her Dog training business KK Good Dog Training. http://www.yelp.com/biz/kk-good-dog-training-dallas
We look forward to seeing Karen at the ABC Dinner being held during the APDT conference on Saturday October 26, 2013 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Spokane, WA. See you at the show!
Animal Behavior College employee, Sueann, helps raise funds to feed and care for shelter dogs. Sueann has volunteered to share a cage with two shelter dogs at the Brittany Foundation in a local Agua Dulce, No-kill shelter. Your donations will free her and feed them!
Sueann is going to be sitting in a cage all day on Saturday 10/19. She is going to be living the life of a shelter dog for 24 hours.
The goal is donations to raise money for http://www.brittanyfoundationonline.org/
Here is the letter Sueann sent us:
I know you guys love dogs so please support me at Day In Their Paws on Oct. 19. All teams are trying to raise funds that will help the Brittany Foundation, a no kill dog rescue in Agua Dulce. These funds raised will assist the Brittany Foundation to operate throughout the year.
How does it work? Simply by volunteers like myself sitting in a kennel for up to 24 hours (1440 minutes) with adoptable dog(s). You can buy my freedom at the low cost of $1 per minute. Any size donation is appreciated and tax-deductible, too. Just click here (http://www.brittanyfoundationonline.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=48&Itemid=67), and find me on the site and click donate. Thank you so much!
SueAnn O’Connor – Volunteer for Brittany Foundation
As we said Sueann is going to be sitting in a cage all day on Saturday 10/19. The President and Vice President of Animal Behavior College have already donated to the cause. And, they are not the only ones.
If you would like to donate on Sueann’s behalf, please visit the link:
Save a Life: Adopt a Shelter Dog
By Lisa King
Adopting a dog from a shelter is one of the best things you can do to save pets from euthanasia and enrich your life. Dogs usually end up in shelters through no fault of their own. Foreclosure or other financial hardship, a death in the family, a divorce, a move or any sort of life change can cause perfectly wonderful pets to be put in shelters.
Before you visit your local shelter, decide on the type of dog your family wants. Do you live in an apartment or do you have a big yard? Are you athletic or sedentary? Do you have children? How old are they? Do you already have other pets?
Adopting a puppy is problematic. They are unquestionably very cute and appealing, but it requires a tremendous amount of work to train them correctly and keep them out of trouble. It’s a lot like dealing with a toddler. In addition, you only have a vague idea of how big the puppy will get or what his adult temperament will be, especially if he is a mutt. Adopting an adult dog means most of the tough training has already been done; they are usually housebroken and know how to walk on a leash, they won’t get any bigger and their temperament is readily apparent.
Once you’ve decided on the type of dog you are looking for—large or small, docile or frisky, cuddly or independent—stick with your decision. If need be, take a hard-nosed friend with you to prevent your choosing that affectionate, adorable Saint Bernard mix instead of the lapdog you planned to adopt.
If this is your first dog and you’re not sure how to evaluate dog behavior, ask a knowledgeable dog person to come with you. If you don’t have any dog-savvy friends, hire a qualified animal behavior expert to accompany you to the shelter.
Keep in mind that behavioral problems are magnified in shelters. The dogs are frightened, they don’t get enough sleep and they are often unnerved by overwhelming smells and noises. Spend time alone with your potential dog. Most shelters let you visit with a dog in an area away from the kennels. Often, you can walk the dog around the shelter to see how he reacts to the leash. Look for a dog who is eager for your attention and responds positively to you.
The shelter staff is a great resource for learning about the temperament and energy level of each dog. Also ask about the dog’s history, how he interacts with people and other dogs and if he has any health issues. At a good shelter, the staff will ask you as many questions as you ask them to ensure you are a good match for the dog you want.
Bring all family members to meet the dog you are thinking of adopting. That includes dogs you already own. If you have cats, ask the shelter staff how the dog gets along with them. Most shelters test dogs for compatibility with cats before adopting them out.
If you don’t find Mr. Right on your first visit to the shelter, don’t worry. Sadly, new dogs arrive every day. Check the Internet for new arrivals in your area (Petfinder.com is a good resource, as is BestFriends.org) or return to the shelter periodically.
Don’t buy supplies until you have chosen your dog. Size matters when it comes to food and water bowls, collars and leashes, toys and beds. Also, purchase the same food the dog has been eating in the shelter; you can transition him to a higher-quality food once he gets used to his new home.
Choose a veterinarian before you bring your dog home. Take him in as soon as possible for a checkup. Your dog will most likely be neutered or spayed and be up to date on his shots.
If you’re still unsure of what type of dog you want, volunteer to walk dogs at your local shelter. You can even foster a dog to see if he is compatible with your family before making the commitment to adopt him. Chances are, once you bring a dog into your home, you and your family will fall in love with him—forever.
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.”
A Safe and Sound Halloween
With these precautions, your dog can have a howling good time.
By Audrey Pavia
Halloween is a fun time for kids and grown-ups alike, but it can be scary and even dangerous for pets. You can keep your dog safe this year—and even enjoy his participation—by following some precautions.
Trick-or-treaters can be a real hoot, but all that door-knocking and bell ringing can drive your dog crazy. To prevent your dog from barking all night and stressing out over the strangely clad visitors, consider keeping him in a back room of your house or apartment. Leave a radio or TV on to help block out the noise, and give him something to chew on to divert his attention. If your dog is particularly high-strung, consider administering a dose of a natural calming product to help ease his anxiety. (Rescue Remedy is one such product, available in health food and pet stores.)
If you won’t be home on Halloween, keep your dog inside the house or locked in a garage while you are away. Dogs can become frightened by all the activity on the street and can escape from a yard. They also need to be protected from pranksters, who might gain access to them from a gate. Turn the lights off in your house so trick-or-treaters will avoid your home in your absence.
If you plan to take your dog trick-or-treating with the family (a good idea only if your pooch is friendly to strangers, well-behaved and not easily stressed), be sure to fit him with a secure collar and ID tag. Keep him on leash at all times for his safety and the safety of others. If he will be wearing a costume, make sure he’s not upset about wearing it and that it’s comfortable. Watch out for strings, straps and any other part of the costume that might restrict your dog’s movement or sight, or wrap tightly around his neck. Keep an eye on your dog while he’s wearing his costume to make sure it doesn’t affect his ability to move. Some dogs will even chew on their costumes and swallow it in pieces, so watch for this dangerous activity as well.
Halloween decorations can also pose a safety hazard for your dog. Keep an eye on your pet to make sure he doesn’t chew on decorations (especially strings of lights) or knock over lit candles. Some dogs have a hankering for pumpkin, so make sure your jack-o-lantern is out of reach. While it won’t seriously hurt your dog to eat an entire pumpkin, it will mostly likely give him digestive upset.
Candy gathered during Halloween can be dangerous to your dog, too, if he gets into it. In large amounts, chocolate can even be fatal. Theobromine, a chemical found in chocolate, can cause serious damage to a dog’s heart. The fat and sugar also present in chocolate can cause pancreatitis if consumed in large quantities. Xylitol, a natural sweetener that is becoming popular in candy, is also highly toxic to dogs. It is often found in gum and some hard candies. For this reason, it’s wise to keep all Halloween candy well out of your dog’s reach. Be sure to remind your children to keep candy up high up in their rooms where your dog can’t reach it.
With the right amount of precautions, your dog will stay safe and sound on Halloween.
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.
Best Flooring Choices for Fido and Fluffy
Utility, style and value are not mutually exclusive when it comes to what goes under your and your pets’ feet.
By Stacy Mantle
These days, we have more flooring choices than ever. More than 60 percent of families in the U.S. share their homes with pets, so it’s no surprise the flooring industry is getting creative with options that are durable, inexpensive and stylish. Here is a look at some of the best pet-friendly flooring options on the market today.
Cool, Natural and Affordable Solutions
Those in warm southern climates can benefit from the cool, natural flooring options that are so often associated with showcase homes.
Stone: Naturally beautiful, scratch-resistant and easy to clean, stone is probably one of the best options for a pet-friendly household. Since it’s not as slick as tile, you won’t have pets falling throughout the house or causing injury to their hips, and if you’re in the Southwest, it can keep you cool all summer long. The drawback is stone can be uncomfortable for pets to sleep on throughout the day, so it’s very important you provide them with plenty of options for bedding, particularly senior pets.
Tip: Look for stone that doesn’t need to be sealed.
Tile: Easily one of the most popular flooring options for pet owners with allergies, tile is cool, easy to maintain, inexpensive to install and very pet-friendly. Be sure to incorporate some stylish, nonslip rugs into the design. Rugs help ensure young animals don’t slide into walls while playing and create a soft area for senior animals to rest their arthritic bones.
Tip: Stock up on extra tiles at time of purchase to keep color consistent during repairs.
Concrete: Decorative concrete is the new “in” design across the country. Whether you choose to stain, stamp or paint, there is a look you can mimic using the highly versatile concrete. There are an unlimited number of ways you can make concrete look as expensive as marble. Rated as the best alternative for people with pets, concrete can make a beautiful and inexpensive option for your pet-friendly floor.
Tip: Incorporate radiant heating into design to lower winter heating costs.
Warm, Inviting and Durable Solutions
If you live in an “all-weather” region, you might likely be on the hunt for warm, durable solutions. These include vinyl, laminate and carpet-tile options. While wood is beautiful flooring, it’s one of the least durable options for homes with pets—sharp claws can make short work of the floor. Instead, look for chic, aesthetically pleasing options that are easy to maintain.
Vinyl: Vinyl flooring is very durable and resistant to moisture, which makes it a favorite in the rainy areas. Simple to maintain, it has the added bonus of muffling the sounds your pets nails make as they click across the floor. Vinyl flooring comes in a large variety of colors and designs so you never have to sacrifice style for comfort.
Tip: Inlaid vinyl is thicker and has richer colors.
Laminate: If you’re looking for the aristocratic feel of wood floors without all the maintenance; laminate flooring is a durable solution that can hold up to the hard nails of your pet without scratching. While it’s not quite as durable as vinyl, laminate is affordable, easy to maintain and lasts much longer than wood.
Tip: Check the warranty—they range from 10 years to a lifetime.
Carpet Tiles: This is an excellent alternative to heavy floor rugs or to cover up and preserve wood floors. Simple to assemble, these can be used as an entire floor or as a way to preserve a high-use area. Cleaning is as simple as removing the carpet tile that is soiled by running it under water or tossing it in the washer. A vacuum can clean up any larger areas. Use as a runner for areas your pets like to charge through and eliminate any problems of getting toenails caught in shag. The pattern variety enables custom design and you can also make it the perfect option for concrete floors.
Tip: Visit Flor.com for clever ideas to create unique, affordable designs.
Green, Natural and Renewable Solutions
Flooring made from long-lasting, renewable resources is in vogue, which makes cork and bamboo two of my favorite flooring options.
Cork is a natural antimicrobial that reduce smold and other allergens—making it a perfect flooring solution for homes with pets. It also absorbs sound nicely (an excellent selling point if you dogs bark a lot). However, cork floors can fade and discolor if they see too much sunlight, making it a bad option for sunny regions. Consider coating it with a high-quality urethane to reduce wear and tear.
Tip: Avoid cork-vinyl composites. If using sealer, select a low-VOC product.
Bamboo is also an excellent option as it’s the hardest of hardwood—making it very durable and long-lasting. Cleaning is a breeze but remember, while cork and bamboo floors are naturally water-resistant, you need to get stains cleaned up quickly as they will eventually cause discoloration.
Tip: Look for FSC-certified products that have had no formaldehyde added.
Whatever new flooring you select, focus on easily maintained, durable and mildew-resistant designs. Any of the above options can last a long time and add value to your home. Pet-friendly (and pet-resistant) flooring also ensures you won’t grow frustrated with damage caused by your four-legged family members. These days, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort and durability for style.
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
Treating Without Fattening Up Your Cat.
Calories count for felines, too.
By Sandy Robins
There’s no question that giving treats to your adoring and appreciative feline is very much a part of the human-animal bonding experience.
But it’s important to remember that all treats have calories. This must be taken in to account in determining your cat’s daily food allowance. Fortunately, manufacturers are cognizant of this, too, and many go to great lengths to put the number of calories per treat prominently on their packaging. So, it’s entirely up to you to establish the desired number to dish out daily in terms of your pet’s optimal weight and health.
There is also no shortage of types of treats in terms of tastes and textures. And, in order to make the reason for treating cats on a regular basis more “palatable” to pet parents, manufacturers have added a silent “ingredient” to treats: functionality. That’s part of the reason there is a slew of treat products with special ingredients that claim to help prevent ailments such as tartar buildup, bad breathe or even hairballs.
Instead of indiscriminate treating, it’s a good idea to give your feline specific reasons to expect a reward. Grooming is a perfect example. While most cats enjoy long massaging brushing strokes, they often get wriggly when its time for that mani-pedi. To make nail clipping more pleasurable, treat your cat when it’s over and eventually she will begin to realize there is something good about the whole process. In addition, rewarding only for good behavior also helps control the number of treats you give your cat on a regular basis.
I use Fudge’s favorite freeze-dried fish treats as an incentive to get her to sit still for a couple of minutes twice a week when I have to give her subcutaneous fluids. From being totally resistant, she’s now tolerant of the procedure.
As people become more aware that it’s possible to train cats—even if it’s something as simple as getting them to sit on command—a treat is a wonderful reward for an action well done. Consequently, treats are very much a part of the popular clicker-training process whereby cats (and dogs) are trained using the click-and-treat positive-reward methodology.
Cats in the wild are used to hunting and working for food. Consider setting out a treasure hunt in your home by hiding treats and some of your cat’s favorite toys in different locations. This is a great way to prevent boredom and keep her engaged and “on the hunt” when she is home alone. You can also hide treats in specially designed cat puzzle toys or treat balls to keep the games going. And, if your cat has a favorite treat, change things up by trying different ones from time to time.
Another way to control treats—and prevent you from handing them out indiscriminately all day— is to use them to build a routine. I have a friend who likes to treat her three felines just before her bedtime. The cats know this and line up in front of the treat drawer every evening at 10:00 pm.
There might be occasions when your veterinarian says “No treats—ever,” for health reasons. However, you can take a small percentage of your cat’s daily kibble allowance and use it as a substitute for actual treats. By doing so, she still gets to enjoy the treating process without countering the vet’s instructions.
Finally, be sure to store your treats in a well-sealed treat jar, in a kitchen drawer or closet. You want to make sure your feline’s ingenuity for getting into things won’t enable her to party until the packet is finished, defeating your goal of keeping everything under control.
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