Have You Bought Your Ticket Yet?

Change Starts With Action

 “There is a wonderful, old, Italian joke
about a poor man who goes to church every
day and prays before the statue of a great
saint, begging, ‘Dear saint, please, please,
please let me win the lottery.’”

“Finally, the exasperated statue comes to life
and looks down at the begging man and says,
“My son, please, please, please buy a ticket.”

What’s this got to do with dog training? Well, I think EVERYTHING has to do with dogs and behavior, but this amusing little antidote speaks volumes to me.

We all want change. We all want our dogs (kids, spouses, employees, bodies, bank accounts fill in the blank really) to behave better.  But what are we DOING to bring about the change. It is so much easier to wish for something (or complain about it) than it is to actually do something to bring about that change.

Coming to class once a week is NOT going to train your dog. It is the day to day interactions you have with your dog that will train him. But coming to class IS a great start. Hopefully class with give you the tools and the confidence to carry on that training at home. I also hope class with motivate and inspire you to keep working with your dog and really see his potential.

There is no magic wand or pill to give your dog to potty train him or to keep him from jumping on people.  Sorry.  The truth is the key to changing your dog’s behavior is changing your behavior. If you want change you must take action. Sitting and yelling at your dog from across the room will not make want to come to you.

“But he SHOULD just come to me,” is the response I get all the time. Why? Why should he come to you?  To get your dog to come when you call you have to buy a ticket.

Give me a call or email me and let’s get you and your dog a ticket.

(714)393-0432
cindy@thedogsetc.com


enlightened training™

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My Solution To Pet Food Recalls

Recent recalls of expensive, previously well respected commercial pet food brands has me rethinking the whole pet food industry. It's not just about the ingredients, it is how the food is prepared and distributed. Did you know most commercial brands sit in warehouses and on retail shelves for a year by the time your pet eats it? How fresh can that be?

This is what I have fed my own furry crew for 7 years now. I love the company and they love the food. I initially started feeding this brand because of the top quality ingredients and guarantees of quality and freshness. But I am continually impressed by their customer service and now by their dedication to safety. Quality, freshness and peace of mind in every bag. :)

 To order or for more information go to fivestarpetfood.com

save shipping charges phone in your order and pick it up at the Fullerton warehouse.

877-387-4564

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A Tired Dog = A Happy Owner™

IMG_0204   Dogs need to play.  Especially young dogs must have appropriate outlets for all of their endless energy.  Left to their own accord, dogs may make up their own game out of rearranging your landscaping or redesigning your shoes.  They also are good at getting their owners to play along.  Many a dog has taught his owner to play the “chase me game”.  This is the one where the dog steals a child’s toy or something else of value and gets their owner to run after them to get it back.  Dogs seem to really enjoy this one.
Or there is the “fun” game of “bark at everything that moves” or my personal favorite “jump on everyone ‘til they give me a toy or attention”.  As “fun” as these games are for the dogs, they are less than amusing for their owners.  So the owners need to take some time to teach their dog games that everyone enjoys.  This is great for the human-dog bond as well.  Playing with your dog not only redirects their energy into a positive outlet but it can also be used for other behavior modification and just good fun.
Knowing you dog is a good start to developing some games for him to play.  If you live with a working dog (one that was bred for a specific job) you must incorporate a play routine into your life to help your dog positively expel his energy.  Remember dogs are a result of generations of selective breeding to give your dog his temperament, physical appearance as well as energy level.  If you have a terrier you need to know from the start these dog were bred to have an endless supply of energy to run after vermin.  Terriers are typically very tenacious and bright so they can easily catch on to any game or trick for that matter.  Know your dog.
Retrievers usually are naturals at the fetch game but other breeds can easily learn it as well.   Pairing treats and lot of praise with a ball encourages your dog’s interest.  Then lots and lots of excited praise and cheer him on as your dog chases the ball and begins to bring it back.  To teach your dog to drop the ball, swap him a food treat for it or even another ball.  Never try to pry the ball from your dog’s mouth as this just encourages the game of “keep away”.
Use your hound’s strong sense of smell to find treats or toys you have hidden.  Give him the command “find the ball (or bone or squeaky pig whatever the name of the prize you are using)” and show him the prize to start with.  Then as he gets better at the game use better hiding places and let him sniff it out for himself.
Since terriers love the chase, tie a chew toy to the end of a long leash or rope and let him chase it to his heart’s content as you move it along the ground.   Earth dogs naturally like to dig, so set up a digging pit where they can dig.  Purchase a plastic kiddy pool from any discount store and fill it with sand or dirt, your preference.  Then bury little treats or toys your dog enjoys and watch him go crazy burning lots of energy.
The plastic kiddy pool is great for water dogs as well.  Only fill it with water instead of sand and you have a doggie wading pool.  Toss cheerios (they float) in and watch your lab, golden retriever or standard poodle go crazy burning, you guessed it, lots of energy.  This is as much fun to watch as it is for the dog.  Of course use common sense with puppies and small dogs; never leave the water out where it may pose a drowning threat.  As always, safety first!
There are also many toys on the market these days that are designed for your dog to play with you or alone.  The best toy around is by far the Kong ball.  Use it to play a game of fetch or fill it with treats and let your dog play by himself. Trying to get all the yummies out of the Kong is great exercise both mentally and physically.  It truly is Nintendo for your dog.  If your dog is going to be left alone for any amount of time, leave him with lots of these types of toys to play with.
Dogs need physical and mental stimulation.  They are incredibly intelligent and clever creatures that will get bored easily.  It is when they are bored that they get into trouble.  So we must teach them the correct toys and games with which to play.
There are many organized dog sports.  No dog sport has increased in popularity more dramatically than Dog Agility.  Dog Agility is a course consisting of obstacles such as hurdles, tunnels, boardwalks, teeter-totters and pause tables just to name a few.  Every size and shape dog can compete and it is the most fun you can have with your dog.
Backyard agility courses are easy to set up using everyday objects.  A couple of bricks and a broomstick make a good hurdle.  Cut the bottom off a plastic trash can and you have a barrel tunnel.  A few boxes braced together form a long tunnel.   Be sure to make everything sturdy enough for your dog to use.
After your course is set up, use some treats, a ball or toy to lure your dog into, through or around the obstacles.  Never push or force your dog to do any of the obstacles.  The dog should have fun with it, never be afraid of it.  A few repetitions and your dog will soon get the hang of it.  Agility is a great way for your dog to burn off some extra energy, not to mention a few extra calories.
Remember your dog cannot be chewing your shoes, digging up your garden or stealing your children’s toys if he is asleep in the corner.  Wear him out by playing some games, running an agility course and just have some fun.  It’s a great stress reliever for us as well.  After all, who can be in a bad mood watching their dog bobbing for Cheerios?  Repeat after me, “a tired dog is a happy owner.”   Now go play.
________________________________________________________________
© dogs etc.

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7 Myths About Dog Training (and how they can ruin your dog)

We’ve all heard them. It’s true that if you hear something enough you believe it, no matter how outlandish. When it comes to dogs, just like kids, it seems everyone is an expert and they have no problem parroting any “tip” they saw on t.v. or read “somewhere”. Your neighbor, your kid’s soccer coach and your hair dresser all will tell you what you how you should be feeding, training or caring for your dog.

After 2 decades as an Animal Behavior Consultant I think I have heard them all. But seven myths keep coming up over and over again. I want to finally put these to rest. It all comes down to education, if you have the right information you can make the right choices for you and your dog.

So, here are the 7 myths about dog training in no particular order.

1.) Food should only come from a bag.
The truth is the less processed and closer to nature your dog’s food (and your food for that matter) the healthier it is. With a few exceptions most food from a bag is over processed and full of filler that is just not good for your dog. Of course everything in moderation. A few “junk food” treats here and there are not going to seriously impact your dog’s health unless of course he has food allergies.

Home cooked and raw food diets are probably the most nutritious for your dog. Good home recipes are available on-line and from your vet. There are several brands of raw food you can buy frozen and ready to feed. If you choose the convenience of dry food, I recommend a smaller brand and really read those ingredients.

The first 3 ingredients listed on the label are the most important. On of the first ingredients should be a protein. It should specify chicken or turkey not just poultry. Meal is o.k., it just means all the fat and water have been taken out of the food. You also want to make sure the food does not contain wheat, corn or soy. Those are the big 3 foods most dogs are allergic to. If you notice your dog scratching or licking himself a lot be on the look out for one of those 3 in his diet. Barley, oats and brown rice are o.k. as are other carbohydrates such as are sweet potatoes and other veggies.

As a bonus a good diet should have enzymes, omega 3 and omega 6 as well as probiotic. Of course artificial food coloring and preservatives are deal breakers. Immediately put the food back if it contains those. For more info on how to read a dog food label please go to www.fivestarpetfood.com.

I suggest using a really good treat for training. Food is like money to your dog, so a piece of their dry food is worth maybe $2 to them where as a piece of chicken may be worth $1,000 to them. The higher the value the higher the motivation and the faster the learning.

“But we never feed people food to our dogs,” is something I hear all the time. My response is if you eat it why not give it to your dog. Giving him a piece of chicken will not teach him to like it, he doesn’t have to learn that. It will not teach him to beg either, unless of course you feed him at the table or while you are eating. It’s all about the context.

2.) Start training your dog when they are 6 months of age.
The old myth was that you had to wait until your dog was 6 months old to do any training. This just isn’t true. In fact the best time to train your dog is before the are 4 months old. Developmentally little puppies are just sponges soaking up all information. That is the best time to teach them their formal obedience commands as well as socialization and housetraining.

As your dog gets older it becomes more difficult to learn new things. A 2 month old pup can pick up something new in a matter of minutes whereas a 6 month old may take hours. A 6-year-old dog may take weeks or even moths to learn the same behavior. As long as they are healthy you can teach an old dog new tricks – it just takes longer.

The 6 month age was the training standard when choke chains were used. Put a choke chain on a small puppy and you can do some serious physical (not to mention mental) damage.

3.) Choke chains are necessary training equipment.
It used to be the first item you bought for your dog was a choke chain. I remember back in the 1980’s Barbara Woodhouse and the Woodhouse Method was all the rage. She was older British lady who showed the world how to pop a leash correction on a dog’s neck while saying “walkies” in a sweet voice. It was about this time veterinarians started using the term “Woodhouse neck” to describe their canine patients with nerve and muscle damage to their necks, legs and other regions.

Punishment training for dogs started back with the world wars and their use in the military. Dogs were expendable. It the dog couldn’t take the training or turned aggressive it was collateral damage. The long-term effects on those dogs that did respond to the heavy-handed training and saw active duty didn’t matter much. Thankfully our ideas and techniques have improved since them, but the old choke chain myth still pervades.

The reality is that dogs are very shrewd animals. They know when they have on the choke chain they have to behave a certain way. The collar comes off and the behavior changes. When this happens the dog is said to be “collar wise”. Many shock collar manufacturers also make dummy collars with no shock mechanism to fool the dog into thinking they are wearing the real collar.

Punishment doesn’t work. It just teaches the organism to avoid the punishment. It does not teach the correct behavior. If your training efforts focus on teaching the correct behavior the bad behavior naturally dies out, no matter what collar they are wearing.

4.) Rub your dog’s nose in potty accidents.
I’m not really sure where this one came from. Probably someone, somewhere got frustrated and did it to make themselves feel better. But let me tell you it does not work. First of all, dogs live in the now. If your dog is sleeping in the corner and you drag him over to a pile of poop in the next room, you just punished your dog for sleeping in the corner. You have also just taught him you hate poop. He still has to poop, so now he won’t do it in front of you. Punishment does not teach the correct behavior, it teaches the organism to be sneaky.

If your dog has a potty accident and you did not catch him in the act, there is nothing you can do about it. Except learn from that mistake to prevent it from happening again. The most effective way to potty train your dog is through positive reinforcement. Teach them where you want them to go. The better the reward (i.e. treats) the faster they will catch on to what you want.

5.) Your dog will outgrow behavior problems.
“Oh, it’s only a phase. He’ll grow out of it.” I’m frequently told by owners that their dog is chewing just because he is a puppy and once he’s a year he’ll stop. I also hear a lot from owners of dogs who have reached a year and are still chewing or peeing on the carpet and they are about ready to get rid of their dog because of it.

Behavior is always changing, it never stays the same. Either the behavior is getting better or it is getting worse. Why put up with bad behavior for a month or a year? Most unwanted behaviors are fairly easy to correct. You don’t have to put up with it and hope for the best. Do something about it.

6.) Temperament is not hereditary.
I studied genetics in school and I’ve studied dog breeds throughout my career. But it was having kids of my own that really taught me just how much is inherited. My older son not only looks just like his dad but also has the same mannerisms. He holds his head and walks the same way. Sure some of it can be attributed to learned and modeled behavior. But that doesn’t explain why my youngest son acts just like his grandfather who died 6 weeks after he was born. No possibility of modeling there.

When it comes to dogs it’s important to remember that they are not a naturally occurring species. We, humans, created them. We selectively bred them to look and act a certain way. The dog is species with the most variety. The fact that the Chihuahua and the St. Bernard are the same species is incredible. Look what we’ve done. If you have a herding dog you can not fault it for having a lot of energy. You cannot blame a Labrador for running through your sprinklers. You can know that about your dog and redirect that natural love of running or water into a positive action.

Fearful or aggressive dogs tend to have fearful or aggressive offspring. This is why it’s important to see your dog’s parents and relatives if possible. It gives you a better idea how your puppy will behave as an adult. This is one thing that separates a great breeder from bad one. A nice looking dog is fine but it’s the one with a great temperament that’s what you want.

7.) All training is the same and can be guaranteed.
I can’t even guarantee my behavior. How I will act in a certain situation is unknowable. I can be fairly certain about it, but I can’t guarantee it. There are so many variables when it comes to behavior. I can’t guarantee the owner’s behavior let alone the dog’s.

With the use of positive reinforcement we can increase the likelihood of a behavior occurring and reoccurring. The more the behavior is rewarded the more it will become a habit. But there is just no way of guaranteeing anyone will behave a certain way consistently.

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Is Your Dog’s Shampoo Endangering His Health?

I grew up in the 1970′s. It was a time of Wonder Bread, Twinkies and Skippy peanut butter. There were a few “fringe” groups raising the alarm about preservatives, refined sugar and processed “food”. But for the most part the convenience foods were embraced along with bell bottoms and Led Zeppelin. We were taught chemicals make our lives easier and better.

So now when I start talking about the dangers of chemicals most people my age understandably still just roll their eyes. But really it’s not just a matter of what chemicals we put in our mouths, it’s also important what we put on our skin. What touches our skin is absorbed directly into our system.

So what do all these chemicals do? What is in the shampoo you are putting on your dog?

  • parabens
  • sulfates
  • DEA

Parabens are a class of chemicals widely used as a low cost preservative by cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies.  They are found widely in shampoos, make-up, skin creams, deodorant and toothpaste.

So what’s the big deal? They have been found in breast cancer tumors and have the ability to mimic estrogen which is linked to early puberty.

While the studies are still continuing and the FDA calls them “inconclusive”, my personal philosophy is “when in doubt – get it out”.  Why take the chance?  I look at health as just trying to stack the cards in my favor as much as possible.

Sulfates are the foaming agent–or surfactant–in shampoos and other beauty products, such as body wash. Sulfates are used in shampoo because they are inexpensive and they foam a lot, giving you the impression–no matter how untrue–that your hair is getting cleaner because it’s “soapier.” Unfortunately, these sulfates are also linked to unnatural hair loss, due to follicle damage. When looking for a shampoo without sulfates, read the label and don’t purchase anything with Sodium Laureth (or Lauryl) Sulfate or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. These are also known as SLS and ALS. Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES) is a milder sulfate that is often used.

Common Pitfalls

According to the haircare website Killer Strands, people expect a lot of foaming and lather from their shampoo. Unfortunately, for the amount of money spent, the amount of lather and the smell have very little to do with how clean your hair will get. “Ideally,” writes KC Ellis, Killer Strands founder, a Vidal Sassoon-trained hairstylist and color correction specialist, “the head should have just enough lather to lubricate the scalp and hair. This will help your fingers massage the shampoo more effectively into the hair. Fragrances and foaming qualities are not good ways to evaluate shampoos.”

 DEA is diethanolamine, a chemical that is used as a wetting agent in shampoos, lotions, creams and other cosmetics. DEA is used widely because it provides a rich lather in shampoos and keeps a favorable consistency in lotions and creams. DEA by itself is not harmful but while sitting on the stores shelves or in your cabinet at home, DEA can react with other ingredients in the cosmetic formula to form an extremely potent carcinogen called nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA). NDEA is readily absorbed through the skin and has been linked with stomach, esophagus, liver and bladder cancers.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), “There is sufficient evidence of a carcinogenic effect of N-nitrosodiethanolamine — .” (1) IARC recommends that NDEA should be treated as if it were a carcinogen in humans. The National Toxicology Program similarly concluded: “There is sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of N-nitrosodiethanolamine in experimental animals.”(2) Of over 44 different species in which N-nitroso compounds have been tested, all have been susceptible.(3) Humans are most unlikely to be the only exception to this trend.

Out of concern for my own pets’ health I formulated Dogs Etc. Natural Hair Care with only natural ingredients. No chemicals, no artificial dyes or fragrances.   For more info check it out at shopdogsetc.com

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Dogs Etc.’s 15th Anniversary

That’s right. Fifteen years ago this month I started Dogs Etc. WIth an infant and a toddler in tow I trudged down to the courthouse (no online applications then) to fill out all the paperwork to start my own company. I had never intended to be a business owner but it just made sense.

I had already been an Animal Behavior Consultant for several years and when baby number 2 came along I needed the flexibility and freedom of running my own show. Being there for my kids has always been top priority for me (and always will be) but I had so much knowledge that could help people and dogs I felt I had to keep sharing it.

My sons have grown up along side many dogs and puppies to be amazingly kind and compassionate people. I remember once watching my oldest son, Alex, running around the yard with several dogs and I thought of how my idol Jane Godall raised her son with chimpanzees. Oh, Alex and Dr. Godall’s son have a lot in common.

Now, after 15 years in business, I have met so many wonderful people and dogs I can’t tell you how fullfilling it has been. Thank you all so much for allowing me the honor of knowing you and your dogs. I have the best job in the world.

Here’s to the next 15 years!!

Cindy

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Join The Club

Welcome to stress free training

Puppy Genius Club ~
*2 years unlimited group classes* ($440 value just taking classes one time)
*One in-home private training session* ($125 value – when you join before September 1st)
*One Puppy Playgroup 6 week session* ($75 value)
*digital copy of The Zen Chien ($9.95 value)
plus all workshops & seminars* $649.95 value

Puppy Genius Club price just $399
**BONUS – Join the Puppy Genius Club before September 1st
and also get one in-home private training session ($125 value)

Canine Coaching Club ~

*2 years unlimited group classes * ($880 value just taking classes two times)
*One Puppy Playgroup 6 week session* ($75 value)
*plus all workshops, seminars*
*digital copy of The Zen Chien ($9.95 value)
*PLUS – not 1, not 2 but 5 private in – home training sessions* ($625 value) ______________
$1589.95 value

*(all taught by a behavior consultant with over 20 years experience)

Canine Coaching Club price just $995

Many Ways To Pay
*One payment
*Payment plan
*Visa, Mastercard, American Express
*PayPal

For more information or to get started
call (714)393-0432 or email cindy@thedogsetc.com

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Make It Official

Now Make YOUR Dog A Good Canine Citizen

New Classes

start

Tuesday, June 19

at

Camp Bow Wow
330 N. Brea Blvd.
(Brea Blvd. & Lambert)

Basic Doggie Manners

For dogs 4 months and older. Teach your dog all the basic obedience commands – sit, down, come, stay, walk on leash – as well as how to modify “problem” behaviors like jumping, chewing and barking. Also introduces agility and tricks.

6pm-7pm

$105

Canine Good Citizen/STAR Puppy Pre Class & Test

The class goes over, step by step, each of the requirements for the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test. On class #6 the CGC test will be given and upon passing your dog will receive their CGC certification from the AKC. STAR puppy is for dogs under 12 months who have already attended a puppy class taught by an AKC evaluator.

7pm-8pm

$105

both classes are 6 weeks

for more information or to enroll

call (714)393-0432 or email cindy@thedogsetc.com

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What Is The CGC?

AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program
What is it?

What is the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program. Started in 1989, the CGC Program is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.

AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program

Many dog owners choose Canine Good Citizen training as the first step in training their dogs. The Canine Good Citizen Program lays the foundation for other AKC activities such as obedience, agility, tracking, and performance events. As you work with your dog to teach the CGC skills, you’ll discover the many benefits and joys of training your dog. Training will enhance the bond between you and your dog.

Dogs who have a solid obedience education are a joy to live with-they respond well to household routines, have good manners in the presence of people and other dogs, and they fully enjoy the company of the owner who took the time to provide training, intellectual stimulation, and a high quality life. We sincerely hope that CGC will be only a beginning for you and your dog and that after passing the CGC test, you’ll continue training in obedience, agility, tracking, or performance events.

AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program is one of the most rapidly growing programs in the American Kennel Club. There are many exciting applications of this wonderful, entry level that go beyond the testing and certifying of dogs.

Many other countries (including England, Australia, Japan, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, and Finland) have developed CGC programs based on the AKC’s CGC Program. A CGC Neighborhood Model has been established, police and animal control agencies use CGC for dealing with dog problems in communities, some therapy dog groups use the CGC as a partial screening tool, and some 4-H groups around the country have been using the CGC as a beginning dog training program for children.

AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program

A number of specialty (one breed only) clubs give the CGC at their annual national dog show. Dog clubs have discovered that the CGC is an event that allows everyone to go home a winner. Veterinarians have recognized the benefits of well-trained dogs and there are some CGC programs in place in veterinary hospitals. State legislatures began recognizing the CGC program as a means of advocating responsible dog ownership and 34 states now have Canine Good Citizen resolutions.

In a little over one decade, the Canine Good Citizen Program has begun to have an extremely positive impact in many of our communities. This is a program that can help us assure that the dogs we love will always be welcomed and well-respected members of our communities.

AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program
Training/Testing: CGC Test Items

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger

Test 2: Sitting politely for petting

Test 3: Appearance and grooming

Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)

Test 5: Walking through a crowd

Test 7: Coming when called

Test 8: Reaction to another dog

Test 9: Reaction to distraction

Test 10: Supervised separation

Equipment

All tests must be performed on leash. For collars, dogs should wear well-fitting buckle or slip collars made of leather, fabric, or chain. Special training collars such as pinch collars, head halters, and electronic collars are not permitted in the CGC test.

As of November 4, 2010, body harnesses may be used in the CGC test. The evaluator should check to make sure the harness is not of a type that completely restricts the dog’s movement such that it could not pull or jump up if it tried.

We recognize that special training collars such as head collars and no-jump harnesses may be very useful tools for beginning dog training, however, we feel that dogs are ready to take the CGC test at the point at which they are transitioned to equipment that allows the evaluator to see that the dog has been trained.

Encouragement

Owners/handlers may use praise and encouragement throughout the test. The owner may pet the dog between exercises. Food and treats are not permitted during testing, nor is the use of toys, squeaky toys, etc. to get the dog to do something. We recognize that food and toys may provide valuable reinforcement or encouragement during the training process but these items should not be used during the test.

Failures – Dismissals

Any dog that eliminates during testing must be marked failed. The only exception to this rule is that elimination is allowable in test Item 10, but only when test Item 10 is held outdoors.

Any dog that growls, snaps, bites, attacks, or attempts to attack a person or another dog is not a good citizen and must be dismissed from the test.

(reprinted from akc.org)

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Now Taking Credit Cards (debit cards too!)

Yes, that’s right. I am getting techno savy – scary I know. Thanks to a great app I am able to take credit cards payments anywhere. Makes it quick and easy from all my class locations, dog events even at the dog park. I love my iphone. <3

Now pay for all training services using your Visa, Mastercard or American Express.

Group Classes
Private Training
Playgroups
DOGA
Puppy Genius Club
Canine Coaching Club

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