ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– November 2013
Michelle Franco is one of Animal Behavior College’s achieving grooming students. She resides in San Burno, Calif., and works as a Salon Manager at Shamrock Ranch, in Pacifica, Calif. Michelle is currently enjoying her externship at Le Chein Fortune in Millbrae, Calif. Continue reading
ABC Dog Training Program
Student of the Month
Nicole Turesky lives in Minneapolis after moving from upstate New York in July 2013. She is volunteering at the Humane Society and hopes to develop a massage program for shelter dogs. Continue reading
Dog Obedience Instruction Program
Canadian Student of the Month
Amanda Leask is an ABC student nearing the end of her externship in the dog obedience program. She presently assists her mentor trainer’s classes in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. After she graduates, Amanda would like to open a dog daycare, boarding kennel and training center. She would also like to become an ABC mentor trainer while continuing to build on her knowledge base. Amanda knows she has truly found her calling and looks forward to her future as a dog trainer for years to come. Continue reading
ABC Veterinary Assistant Program
Student of the Month
Stacia Orange, a student from Wenatchee, Wash, knew she wanted a career in the animal industry, but was just not sure which one yet. As time went by with her assortment of animals, including dogs, snakes and an iguana, she decided a career in the veterinary field as a veterinary assistant was something she wanted to do. Following her externship, she was hired on part time as a veterinary assistant at Cascade Veterinary Clinic. She plans to continue studying and eventually become a veterinary technician. Continue reading
Animal Behavior College
Dog Obedience Training Program
On-Site Dog Obedience Training Program
This is the second on-site classroom of dog obedience trainers who graduated from Animal Behavior College. Every one of the 10 graduate dog trainers is a U.S. veteran who fought for and served our country overseas. Many of the students have given up time away from their families to complete the on-site classroom Dog Training Certification during the last 6 months.
Each and every student, along with their instructor Beth Harrison (A Paw Above Dog Training), participated in the Best Friends Animal Society “Strut Your Mutt” event. Together, spearheaded by Jackie and her classmate Hailey Ulrich, the students were able to raise over $1,200 to donate to BestFriends.org. The entire class spent a minimum of one day per week for the last 6 months volunteering at Best Friends A.S. in Mission Hills, Calif. The students held numerous play groups with the shelter dogs. They also worked with the dogs in terms of training, socialization and behavior. Many of the students went above and beyond their duties, assisting Mike Harmon and the staff at Best Friends in cleaning the kennels.
Jackie had read a poem that Animal Behavior College shared on Facebook a few weeks ago, and she decided she was going to write her own poem to share at graduation.
The Untrained Human
Poem by Jackie McKenzie
We saw the puppy in a happy pet store.
I said I’d have to have it, and I wanted nothing more.
The first day home we played and played.
And, I laughed at the little poo-pooh the puppy made.
We allowed the pup a care-free life to run the house and chew everything in sight.
It’s so cute to see my old sheets in shreds, the puppy is even allowed in my bed.
But then something happened, it grew so big; and now it’s poops are larger than a pig.
My couch is now gone, along with the rug.
What happened to that cute little game we called tug?
I got this number from a friend at the store, she said call this trainer, they’re a dog trainer galore. They went to a school that can train any fool.
That’s right, we went to ABC (Animal Behavior College), a place that loves dogs, and had the education to fix any wrongs.
Now let’s go handle the untrained human one dog at a time.
Jackie also left the fellow graduates with some words of encouragement.
“Go forth and save dogs, my fellow classmates. Let your training never fail you. Dog Trainers always remember, Why, How, Show, Try…l’chaim.”
We wish all the graduates of the On-site Dog Obedience Training program a wonderful, happy and successful career as Dog Trainers.
Find out more about Jackie and the work she and fellow students did helping shelter dogs at Best Friends Animal Society: http://www.animalbehaviorcollege.com/blog/animal-behavior-college-student-loves-animals-best-friends-animal-society-volunteer/
Watch the entire ceremony: School for Dog Trainers
Are you thankful for something? Tell us about it. @AnimalBehaviorC
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How to play in the contest:
Tweet Us using @AnimalBehaviorC, tell us what you are most thankful for.
>Pictures are encouraged.
The person with the most retweets by Thanksgiving day will be the winner.
One Volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society forms a bond with Pit Bull named Chad
Training Shelter Dogs
Jackie McKenzie is one of the 14 Animal Behavior College students in the On-site classroom program for Dog Training this semester. This specific On-site Dog Training class is held at the Animal Behavior College Valencia, Calif. campus. Every week Jackie and her classmates volunteer at Best Friends Animal Shelter in Mission Hills, CA. Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity for the student dog trainers to receive real-life training experience. Each student works with different shelter dogs that need to improve socialization skills, house training, and better manners. During Jackie’s time at Best Friends she has built a strong connection with Chad.
Chad is an America Pit Bull that Jackie describes as really awesome and sweet. In the past few months Jackie has trained Chadwig (her nickname for the dog) to heel, lay-down, sit, stay, and circle. “He is very easy to work with and he learns fast.” Her first impression of Chad was that he is a bit intimidating. But, Jackie says “once you get to know him he is a lovely dog.” She would love to see Chad get adopted and find his forever home. Jackie admits that working with Chad has opened up her mind to American Bully breeds. Before the experience at Best Friends she did not know how kind and loving the breed can be.
Back in September Best Friends held a fundraiser in Los Angeles called Strut Your Mutt. Jackie and several other students including Hailey Ulrich all participated in the event representing SGT. Mack’s Bully Pack. Together they were able to raise over $1,200 as a team, to donate to Best Friends Animal Society. All the students love Best Friends and really enjoy the opportunity to help train shelter dogs. It is an awesome way for them to gain experience, and it increases the chance that someone will adopt one of these wonderful pets.
Jackie has been a member of the Army National Guard for over 8 years. Her job title has been Military Police since her enlistment. Jackie has done three deployments and visited many countries around the world. During her service Jackie was stationed in Iraq twice and Afghanistan once. She said that deployments were always something that she looked forward to. She enjoys the service so much that she recently enlisted for another 6 years. Jackie has always been an animal lover, ever since she was a child. She grew up on a dairy farm in Michigan. She has a knack for working with dogs. Shortly after she returned from her last deployment her wife suggested that she pursue a career in dog training.
Jackie decided to Google “how to become a dog trainer?” That is how she found Animal Behavior College. Jackie knew that she had the talent be a dog trainer, but wanted the education as a way to add credibility to her future career outside of the National Guard. Her next goal is to develop the hours, time, and case studies needed to become Canine Good Citizen certified. Jackie McKenzie says the skills she has learned in school like: back chaining, patience, and motivation, makes dog training a breeze.
After graduation at Animal Behavior College Jackie plans on moving back to Salem, Oregon. She would like to begin training service dogs for Veterans. Maybelline will be her first service dog. Jackie said that she loves her so much, she couldn’t see not having her forever. Back at home she has 2 other dogs (SGT and Ralphie), 3 cats (Layla, SMAC, and Zumiez), and a snake named Cocooi. She loves to do anything outdoors like fishing, shooting, and camping. Jackie also spends some of her free time playing PlayStation 3 games like Grand Theft Auto or Assassins Creed; and she loves watching Law and Order SVU.
Jackie plans on going back to visit her parents farm for the holiday season. When asked what was it like growing up on a farm? Jackie said “It was one of the best experiences anyone could have.” She has truly done some amazing things in the short time that we got to know her here at Animal Behavior College. We salute you for all your hard word, service, and sacrifices. Great work Jackie. Keep it up.
Keep Your Dog Safe at Thanksgiving
By following a few rules, you can prevent an emergency trip to the vet for your animals.
By Lisa King
Pet Safety During the Holidays
During the holidays, especially on Thanksgiving, which is food-focused, keep in mind that although canines and humans area both omnivores, their digestions and dietary requirements are very different. Those roasted pearl onions you love can make your dog anemic. Your favorite chocolate cream pie will make her very sick. And cooked poultry bones can splinter and cause abdominal perforations.
Canines do have something in common with sharks, however. Most dogs will eat pretty much anything. My sister has found everything from wine corks to rubber bands to Legos in her Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s poop. When the dog ate a bunch of grapes and half an onion left on the counter, the vet had to induce vomiting. If your dog is a land shark like this, you must be extra vigilant at Thanksgiving if you want to avoid spending the day at the emergency vet clinic. Here are some tips to keep her safe:
- Make sure your kitchen garbage container has a tight-filling lid. There are plenty of tempting morsels being thrown away this time of year—yummy stuff like turkey bones and skin that your dog would love to get at.
- Carefully dispose of all the plastic bags, clips,and ties that the turkey came in; they smell of meat and are very appealing to dogs.
- Don’t put appetizers on low coffee tables. A dining table, counter or something of similar height should be safe, unless you own a large dog. In any case, don’t leave food unattended.
- Exercise and feed your dog on her normal schedule. Take a long walk before guests arrive so she’s tired out and not too active.
- Buy her a new and interesting toy—perhaps one you can fill with treats—to keep her happy while you eat your Thanksgiving feast.
- When guests are coming and going, be sure your dog can’t run out the door.
- Put her bed in a quiet room where she can retreat if the party gets to be too much for her.
- Ask your guests not to feed your dog human food, no matter how adorable she is when she begs. Provide safe treats that guests can give her.
- Put leftovers away in the fridge promptly. If you’re in a postprandial stupor, you might not pay attention to what your dog is scavenging off the table.
- Keep decorations out of your dog’s reach. Wreaths, bunting, scented candles, decorative gourds and small pumpkins are all tempting to a curious dog.
- Many types of flowers are poisonous to dogs. Keep arrangements well out of reach.
Here are some holiday no-nos that are either toxic, too fatty or otherwise dangerous to your dog:
- Xylitol or other artificial sweeteners
- Onions, garlic, shallots, or other members of the allium family
- Butter, turkey skin, or other fats
- Raw turkey
- Cooked poultry bones
- Uncooked bread dough
- Raw fish
- Raw eggs
- Foods with lots of herbs
- Corn on the cob
- Grapes and raisins
- All alcoholic beverages
- Coffee, tea or anything else with caffeine in it
Your dog can have a few treats on the big day. It’s OK for her to have small amounts of these foods:
- Turkey meat
- Plain mashed white potatoes
- Plain sweet potatoes
- Plain green beans
- Plain carrots
- Plain loose corn
- Cranberry sauce (if it’s not too sweet)
- Pumpkin pie (hold the whipped cream)
If you want to give her a bit of turkey, put a few pieces of well-cooked skinless, boneless white meat on top of her regular food.Do the same with small amounts of the other allowed foods. Whatever you do, don’t feed her from the table. That will encourage her to beg at dinner every night.
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.”
Taking Your Cat to the Vet
You can make a stressful event less so with these feline transportation tips.
By Sandy Robins
It’s no secret; cats, carriers and cars do not add up to a fun time. The mournful meows en route can be very stressful on the driver too. Usually the destination is the vet’s office, which exacerbates the situation. And some cats are so anxious they pee inside the carrier, which just makes the trip even more uncomfortable for all concerned.
What to Know About Cat Carriers
It’s really important for your cat to understand that the carrier is not a big bad box.The best way to do this is to leave it open around the house and allow her curiosity to take over and initiate detailed explorations.
If your cat is so freaked out by your existing carrier, it might be a good idea to donate the one you have to an animal shelter and start over with a new one that has no bad associations. The latest designs offer additional ventilation and wider windows so they can look out at their surroundings.
If you are not planning on using it for air travel, consider purchasing a round carrier. Cats like to sleep curled up “in the round” and this could help her feel more at ease. Alternatively, a dog carrier could offer more comfort, as often they are a little roomier than those designed specifically for cats.
There are lots of things you can do beforehand to help make the journey less stressful for her, too. Start by adding some Rescue Remedy to the water bowl the night before. This is a tasteless calmative to help ease travel stress.
It’s also a good idea to spray the carrier just before a trip with a pheromone spray.
Research has shown that cats (as do dogs) communicate with each other via certain pheromones. A mother cat is able to calm her kittens through the natural pheromones she emits. Thus, products that mimic these pheromones can help a cat of any age feel more secure in the carrier and cope better while in the car.You can also consider placing a favorite toy in the carrier for comfort.
My Ziggy gets very stressed when we travel to the vet’s office. Consequently, I bought him a ThunderShirt, now available in different sizes for felines. The ThunderShirt works on the swaddling principle that mothers use to calm small babies and toddlers, and it has definitely made a difference for him. He still meows a bit, but he no longer emits long mournful meows and seems much calmer when we get to the destination and back home.
If your cat simply can’t control her bladder, it’s a really good idea to line the carrier with a puppy pee pad to absorb the accident and keep her dry and the carrier from smelling. Put a second one in a carrier pocket so that you have a fresh liner for the journey home.
The safest place for a carrier is on the floor of the front passenger seat or the floor area of the back seat. In this position, if you break suddenly, there is nowhere for the carrier to fly forward. However, this means your cat can’t really see what happening. Consequently, playing music on the journey can help keep her calm. There are even music modules specially designed to fit into a carrier to block out car and traffic noises.And don’t forget to talk to her, too. The latest research done by scientists at the University of Tokyo has shown that cats react to their owner’s voice.
However, if all this doesn’t help, there is the possibility that she suffers from motion sickness. Seek advice from your veterinarian. There are prescription products to ease the situation.
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
Wintertime Indoor Fun
Entertainment options abound for dogs—and their owners.
By Stacy Mantle
Winter is nearly upon us and for many that means making adjustments in order to keep our pets safe and warm during the colder winter months. Here are several indoor activities that can help keep cabin fever at bay.
Teach Dogs New Tricks
Winter is a great time to hone your training skills. Not only does training provide mental stimulation for your pets, it helps cement the bond with your dog and gives you both something to focus on besides going outside. If you’ve thought about implementing clicker training, this is a great time to start.
Puzzle Toys for Pups
Puzzle toys are a fantastic way to keep a dog’s mind engaged, which tires them out more quickly. These types of toys also encourage sedentary dogs to become more active, even when left alone. Interactive toys range from squirrel trees to puzzle boxes, and the rewards can vary from plush toys to pet treats (be sure to use a low-cal treat). There is really a toy for every activity level, so do a search—you might be surprised by what you find.
Make Feeding Time Fun
Make feeding time more interesting with an interactive pet feeder. These feeders engage pets’ primal instincts by allowing them to “hunt” for their food. Interactive feeders, such as those available from Nina Ottoson or Aikiou, keep dogs interested during mealtime while decreasing their eating rate—something that is physically and emotional important.
Treadmills for Pets
You may not think of your dog as the “running” type, but she may just surprise you. Winter provides a great opportunity for implementing interval training into your dog’s workout. Dog Tread carries a wide selection of treadmills designed especially for pets. If you’re in an area where rain and snow prevail, this is probably the system for you. To step up the power level, try adding a K9 FIT Vest™, which comes with various sized weights that you add or decrease as your dog gets in shape.
Building up Balance for the Pet’s Body & Mind
The best way to tire out your dog is to engage her mentally and physically. Balance balls can do the trick.Sometimes referred to thera-balls, exercise balls, fitness balls, gymnastics balls or Swiss balls;these are a great tool for working on balance, core strengthening and endurance. If you have an agility dog, this is going to be an especially valuable activity for your pet. Best of all; it can all be done indoors (under proper supervision, of course). Dog Tread carries a wonderful line of balance toys for pets, as does Fit Paws USA, and there are other companies that offer innovative balance equipment for pets.
Experiment in the Kitchen
If you’re as bored as your dog during the cold and dark winter months, consider experimenting with some new recipes. There are many great ways to integrate leftover holiday food (such as pumpkin puree or turkey) into recipes that are healthy and easy to make.
Scavenger Hunts for Dogs
Scavenger hunts can be entertaining for you and your human kids, as well as your pets. This is very easy game to set up. Simply put your dog outside or in another room while you “hide” the treats around the house. Start out with easy hides (such as in the corner of a room), then move into the “high value” hides (under a box or the couch). Be careful you don’t inadvertently enforce bad habits while playing. Hide treats and toys only in areas where your dog is allowed.
Doga (Dog Yoga)
There is nothing more relaxing in winter than a morning yoga session. You can integrate your dog into this healthy routine by simply encouraging her to participate. Practice simple stretches together and when your pet lies down for a rest, use the time to interact with her—it will help make your own morning yoga that much more valuable as petting animals has been shown to lower blood pressure and decrease stress.
Grooming the Pet
A grooming session can do wonders for your pet when the cold, dry air of winter is taking its toll on her skin. Consider purchasing some pet-friendly Bath Salts from DERMagic for a gentle exfoliating scrub that will remove dandruff and help loosen dry skin, preparing it for an invigorating shampoo. This is not only great for your pets, but will help keep you warm and relaxed during the cold winter days.
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