SEMINAR NOTICE – Helping Your Pet Age Gracefully – 18APR09
Basic Manners Classes Added to Schedule
Don Hanson, BFRP, CDBC, CPDTDon Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop where he is also the Director of Behavior Counseling and Training. As a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) and Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner (BFRP) animal specialist, Don assists guardians and their dogs and cats with everything from minor training issues to serious behavioral problems such as separation anxiety, fear, and aggression. Don is also a certified evaluator for Therapy Dogs International, testing dog and guardian teams who wish to bring canine companionship to nursing homes and hospitals. You'll find Don writing about animal behavior and training, Bach Flower Remedies, pet nutrition holistic and complementary healthcare, special events and Green Acres services and products. Don is also an experienced public speaker, and has lectured on pets, behavior and the Bach Flower remedies in the USA, Canada, the Caribbean and Japan. He is the author of Best Friends for Life, the book used in our introductory training classes. Since January of 2005 he has been on WVOM-FM every Sunday night with "The Woof-Meow" show with co-host Kate Dutra. The mission of the show is to educate listeners how to care for and train their pets. Don is a certified member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), and the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals (AABP), and a member of the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA), the Pet Care Services Association (PCSA formerly ABKA), and Truly Dog Friendly (TDF). Don and his wife share their lives with two dogs (Tikken - Golden Retriever and Dulcie - Cairn Terrier) and three cats (Batman, Thelma and Louise).
Kate Dutra, CPDTKate joined the Green Acres staff in 1992 and was our Kennel Manager until she returned to her studies at the University of Maine in 2002. She has served as our Training Manager and in the fall of 2008 she became our Operations Manager. Kate is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and is qualified to teach all of our group classes. She also does private training sessions. Kate works with Don on pet behavior consultations, assists with therapy dog testing and is a regular co-host on the Woof-Meow Show. Having worked the retail side of Green Acres for many years, Kate is also very knowledgeable about our products and pet nutrition. She is a Kate will be writing about dog training, kids and dogs, Green Acres services and products, and on a wide variety of other topics. She and her family share their lives with Lizzie, a Hound mix and Emily and Guido the cats.
Becky Ruggiero, CPDTBecky first walked into Green Acres in January of 1999 after adopting her first dog, a 10 month-old Sheltie she named Lady. Becky and Lady enrolled in Green Acres Basic Behaviors class in March of 1999, and Becky has been training dogs ever since. Since officially joining the Green Acres training staff in August of 1999, Becky has earned her Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) accreditation and attended Bob and Marion Bailey's infamous "chicken camp" for animal trainers. Today she is our Senior Lead Instructor and a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). Becky says the best things about teaching dog training classes is "seeing the joy and increased companionship that results when dogs and their guardians truly "get" the clicker training method." Becky will be writing about dog training, kids and dogs, and other topics she thinks you'll find of interest. Becky and her family share their home with four dogs, Lady, Caspian, Narnia, and Minnie. Becky admits she has a special fondness for rescue dogs. She teaches Puppy Headstart, Basic Manners classes and our Level 2 and Level 3 Workshops.
Veterinarians Concerned About Outdated and Confrontational Advice Given by Cesar Millan The Dog Whisperer
SEMINAR NOTICE - Nutrition and Health for Dogs, Cats and You?
What Is A Therapy Dog?
If you are looking for someone with a therapy dog to visit your facility, contact Therapy Dogs International, Inc. at (www.tdi-dog.org).
A therapy dog is in fact part of a therapy dog/handler team. In other words, a dog can only be a therapy dog when working with the handler with whom they have been evaluated and certified, which is also usually their guardian. A dog and their handler only become a therapy dog/handler team when they have been tested and registered by one of the therapy dog registries, such as Therapy Dogs International, Inc. (www.tdi-dog.org). This testing verifies that the dog has been trained to be mannerly and is comfortable around other people, other animals, and in a multitude of environments and is SAFE. Teams must maintain their annual registration with TDI in order to remain certified and covered by TDI's liability insurance.
Once a team has been registered with TDI they may be invited to visit people in hospitals, nursing home, schools and other locations. Therapy dogs should NOT be taken places unless you have first talked with the management of the place you intend to visit and they have indicated you are welcome. A therapy dog/handler team does not have the same rights as an assistance/service dog and in fact, TDI does not register dogs as part of therapy dog/handler teams if they are being used as an assistance/service dog.
What training is necessary for a therapy dog?
The dog in a therapy dog/handler team should be trained to a level so that they can easily pass the TDI therapy dog test. Details of the test can be found at TDI's website (http://www.tdi-dog.org/images/TestingBrochure.pdf). The test is similar to the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen test with some additional tests added. While attendance in a dog training class is not a requirement, in my experience as a TDI Evaluator, most teams that pass the test have gone through at least two or three levels of group training classes. Over the years I have noticed that the following parts of the test are the ones that are most difficult:
Test 4: Out for a Walk (Walking on a Loose Leash) This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog can be on either side of the handler, whichever the handler prefers. There must be a left turn, a right turn and an about turn, with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops.
Per TDI testing guidelines "The Evaluation begins as soon as the Evaluator is able to observe you and your dog, not only when you are going through the test requirements as a dog/handler team." This means that the neither the dog nor the handler should be making the leash tight at any time during the evaluation or at any time when they are in the evaluation area.
Test 8: Reaction to Another Dog This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 10 yards, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 5 yards. The dogs should show no more than a casual interest in each other.
In this part of the test we are actually asking the dog to be indifferent to their own species and expecting them not to try to greet one another. This can be especially difficult for young, friendly dogs. Having an excellent attention behavior and an automatic sit can be very helpful for passing this part of the evaluation.
Test 9: Reactions to Distractions (Leave-It) The handler with the dog on a loose leash walks past food on the ground (placed within a distance of three feet) and, upon command, the dog should ignore the food.
As scavengers, dogs have a natural instinct to check out food. An excellent attention or leave-it behavior will help a dog pass this test.
Test 10: Supervised Separation This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain its training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like. "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then take hold of the dog's leash. The owner will go out of site for three minutes. The dogs does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness.
Dogs need to be well socialized and comfortable around all types of people, including strangers, in order to pass this part of the test. This is not so much a training issue as one of helping your dog learn to cope emotionally with being left with someone new in your absence. Lots of gradual practice is essential to passing this part of the test. Dogs that are asked and expected to "stay" when left in this situation usually get more anxious.
Test 11: Say Hello The TDI Certified Evaluator will test the willingness of each dog to visit a person and that the dog can be made readily accessible for petting (i.e. small dogs can be placed on a person's lap or can be held, medium and larger dogs can sit on a chair or stand close to the patient to be easily reached.)
When I conduct this part of the test I am looking for a dog that willing approaches me and obviously wants to interact in a friendly manner yet, is not overly rambunctious. If a dog does not have a gregarious personality and is not interested in meeting people they may be able to pass other parts of the test but may not enjoy doing therapy work. It is not fair to ask such a dog to be part of a therapy dog/handler team.
Dogs that have been trained to shake or do other things with their paws often fail this part of the test because they initiate contact with their paws without being cued to do so.
Can any dog be part of a therapy dog/handler team?
Any dog/handler team can take the TDI test but as I have alluded to above, not all dogs will be suitable for therapy work. A dog/handler team can take the test, pass, and successfully do therapy work for years and then reach a point where it is no longer fun for the dog. This is what happened with my Golden Retriever, Tikken. She passed the test shortly after her first birthday and we started doing visits two to three times a month, primarily to nursing homes and group homes for children. She did very well and patients really enjoyed her visits. Then after a few years I noticed she was hesitant walking into the door of the nursing home one day. We decide to go home that day and tried a couple of more times. When she continued to be hesitant I knew it was time for Tikken to retire form therapy work. No matter how much the patients need and want to see our dog, our first responsibility is to our dogs needs.
When should one starting training a dog for therapy work?
Although a dog cannot take the TDI therapy dog test until they are one year old, training for therapy work can, and in my opinion should, start in a puppy socialization class at 8 weeks of age. I believe a major factor in a dog's success as a therapy dog will involve a well designed socialization program that will expose a puppy to a wide variety of people, places and things. Open a PDF of this post for printing
STAFF NEWS - Green Acres Kennel Shop Staff Completes Training
For Immediate ReleaseSaturday, March 21, 2009 Contact: Don Hanson Green Acres Kennel Shop 945-6841 [Bangor]- Rachael Bridges, Elizabeth Lutz, and Hilary Woodward, certified pet care technicians and play group supervisors at Green Acres Kennel Shop in Bangor, attended the "Canine Body Language and Contextual Meanings" seminar presented by certified dog behavior consultant Sarah Kalnajs, in Portland on February 28th. The seminar focused on reading a dog's body language to better assess their style of play and emotional state. Angela Allen, Joel Mahaffey, and Becky Ruggiero, certified pet dog trainers at Green Acres Kennel Shop, attended the "On Leash Reactivity: The Problem and The Program" seminar presented by certified dog behavior consultant Sarah Kalnajs, in Portland on March 1st. This seminar focused on training dogs that are reactive towards other dogs and people when on leash. Paula and Don Hanson, co-owners of Green Acres Kennel Shop, attended the Rabies Challenge Fund seminar at Rutgers University on March 14th. Speakers Dr. Ronald D. Schultz and Dr. W. Jean Dodds reviewed the last recommendations on pet vaccination schedules from the American Animal Hospital Association and discussed adverse reactions to vaccinations. In business since 1965, Green Acres Kennel Shop at 1653 Union Street is a Pet Care Services Association (PCSA) accredited facility offering boarding, daycare and grooming for dogs and cats, as well as pet behavior consultations and training classes. The Green Acres retail store offers a wide variety of wholesome pet foods, treats and quality supplies. For more information, please call 945-6841 or visit www.greenacreskennel.com. Open a PDF of this post for printing
HEALTH ALERT! - Sago Palm Plant Toxic to Pets
Welcome to the Green Acres Kennel Shop Blog!
Why A Green Acres Blog?When Paula and I became the owners of Green Acres Kennel Shop in 1995 we not only wanted to provide your pets with a "home away from home," but we also wanted to become a reliable source for useful, pet-related information. It has been our goal to serve as a resource that can help you and your pet to have the best life possible. Over the years we've been able to provide you with information on pet behavior and training, animal nutrition, traditional, alternative and complementary healthcare, grooming, therapy dogs, great books, pet related events and facts about our many products and services. We've communicated that knowledge through our personal conversations with you, in seminars, dog training classes, our periodic newsletter Paw Prints, on our web site (greenacreskennel.com), and on The Woof Meow Show on WVOM and WVQM (103.9FM & 101.3FM). We view a blog as just another communications medium that the Green Acres team can use to help keep you informed via your web browser or email inbox. A blog's great advantage over the other communication mediums in use is its immediacy and opportunity for you to provide us with valuable feedback. We are committed to providing our local clients, as well as the pet community at large, with relevant, focused and useful information that will inform, educate and occasionally entertain. We promise to label each post clearly so as not to waste your valuable time. While we will occasionally discuss services and products, it will be with a primary goal of education. Lastly, now and then we may use this blog to inform you of a special deal or coupon on a specific product or service. We welcome comments on our posts but do ask that you become a subscriber if you wish to comment, subscribing with your full name and a valid email address. I sincerely hope that you will feel comfortable inviting the Green Acres blog into your email inbox and look forward to your participation and comments.
Don Hanson, BFRP, CDBC, CPDT co-owner, Green Acres Kennel Shop
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