Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Healthy Pet is a Safer Pet

Healthy and happy pets are less likely to bite, than pets who are ill or in pain. Keeping pets fit has many health benefits and can also keep your kids safer. Be sure to give healthy treats for training and cut down on food at meals to balance out the calories from treats.

Check out this fun infographic from Pet365 to help you understand pet obesity:

Pet Obesity

Pet obesity graphic produced by Matt Beswick for Pet365  Click here to view the full post.

Fun With Be a Tree

By Judi Dowson


Last Friday I did three pre-school classes. I like those little ones!!! As a result, I have a booking for three more in the New Year!

One little girl jumped up every time I held up a poster. She wanted to be the one to put it someplace for me! I even got one very shy little boy to be my "happy dog". Then he wouldn't leave me alone! LOL

I've put some feelers out for sponsoring the coloring books, as I am sure these little ones would get a huge kick out of them.

Along that line - I have a four year old in my obedience class (with Mum of course). This little one sits on the chair sideways, backwards, upside down totally oblivious to what I am telling or demonstrating. Yet, she's the first one in the middle of floor "working" her dog (a little poodle X) doing exactly what I was talking about. All along, I didn't think she was paying attention.

I should write a book!! LOL

Judi

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Radio Public Service Announcements for Holiday Child Safety Around Dogs

Doggone Safe offers some radio PSAs to help keep kids safe around dogs over the holidays. Radio stations in North America must devote some air time to PSAs. Contact your local radio station to see if they are interested in playing any of these.


These dog bite prevention Public Service Announcements can be read live and some can be downloaded as recorded WAV or WMA files. Some of these are specific for the holidays and some are general for use any time. The WAV files have been professionally recorded, ready for radio play.

Download a zip file containing the PSA scripts and just the holiday PSA recordings in high quality WAV format, suitable for radio play.

Download a printable version of all scripts (holiday scripts are marked as such)

Download a zip file contained printable version of scripts and all recorded PSAs in WMA format. These are suitable for listening to with a computer or posting to a web site.

Download a zip file containing scripts and high quality WAV files for all PSAs (holiday and anytime)

Download or listen to individual PSAs produced by Doggone Safe and view each script

Thanks to Theresa McKeon and Brian McKeon for donating their time to creating the recorded PSAs

Listen to PSAs produced by Big Dog 92.7 in Regina, Saskatchewan


Thanks to Tracy Block of Big Dog 97.2 and Sally Cleland for their time in creating these. If other radio stations would like to air any of these, please contact Tracy Block for broadcast quality versions.



bigdogPSAs Produced by Big Dog 92.7

26 Stitches

Adopt a Classroom

Learn to Be a Tree

Relearn ABCs

Straight Facts

Strange Dogs

SVMA 100th Anniversary


listentoPSAs PSAs and Scripts Produced by Doggone Safe


To download individual files right click and choose "save target as" to download. indicates holiday PSA

 PSA1

Listen   

 


Celebrations at Grandma’s house over the holidays are the stuff of fond memories. Noisy gatherings can make Grandma’s dog very anxious. Even the most docile pet may bite if provoked. Supervise!
 Download high quality(WAV)
 

PSA2


Ho! Ho! Ho!  A man in a red suit coming down the chimney may be very scary for the family dog. More dog bites occur during holiday times than any other time of the year. Supervise!

PSA3


Did you know that dogs talk to us all the time? A happy dog pants and wags his tail. A bossy dog has his ears forward, his mouth closed and his tail held high. This dog does not want to meet you. 
 Download high quality(WAV)

 PSA4


 Did you know that dogs talk to us all the time? A happy dog pants and wags his tail. A scared dog has his mouth closed and holds his tail between his legs, he may even be wagging it or backing away. Give a scared dog his space, he might be scared enough to bite or growl to get you to go away. 
no recording

 PSA5


Did you know that dogs talk to us all the time? A happy dog pants and wags his tail. A bossy dog stands tall, leaning forward with his ears forward, his mouth closed and his tail held as high as he can get it. This dog does not want to meet you, he wants you to leave his place and his stuff alone.
no recording

PSA6


If you are visiting a friend with a puppy and the puppy is too frisky and jumping , you should…
A. push the puppy away
B. pick the puppy up by the scruff of the neck
C. Be a Tree and stand still
 The answer is C. Be a Tree. Trees are boring and the puppy will soon lose interest. 


PSA7


If a strange dog comes over to you, you should… 
A. yell at the dog to go away
B. Be a Tree and stand still
C. try to make friends with the dog
 The answer is B. Be a Tree. The dog will most likely sniff around you and move on. Never touch  a strange dog. 
 Download high quality(WAV)

PSA8


If a dog is loose and barking at you, you should… 
A. Be a Tree and stand still until he gets bored and goes away
B. run away screaming
C. try to pet him to calm him down 
The answer is A. Be a Tree. Stand still and look at your feet.

            

PSA9


 Did you know that dogs don’t like hugs and kisses, especially from kids or strangers?. Your dog may tolerate many hugs before finally snapping.

 PSA10


 Did you know that most dog bites to children are by a family pet in someone’s home and that hugging the dog is a common cause if these bites? Dogs warn before they bite and you can learn to speak dog and recognize the signs of a dog that is tolerating, but not enjoying attention from a child. Keep kids and dogs safe this holiday season, watch for signs of anxiety in the dog and intervene if you see them. no recording

PSA11


 Did you know that most dog bites to children are by a family pet in someone’s home? Dogs warn before they bite often by yawning or licking their chops.

PSA12


 Dogs don’t like hugs and kisses. Surprised?

PSA13


 Did you know that more dog bites happen over the holidays than any other time of the year? Supervise and give the dog a private space with bone to chew when kids visit.

 PSA14


Do you know how to speak dog? A dog that yawns or licks his chops want to be left alone. no recording

 PSA15


 Noisy gatherings, changes in routines and excited children may stress and overwhelm even the most docile dog.  Keep holiday celebrations in homes with dogs safe by thinking ahead. no recording

 PSA16


 Dog bites occur during holiday times more then any other time of the year! no recording

PSA17


 Did you know that dogs talk to us all time? Parents, if you see the half moon of white in your dog’s eye when kids are around, intervene before an accident happens.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Parents: Learn About Dog Body Language Before the Holidays

Many dog bites happen over the holidays, partly because dogs are stressed and overwhelmed by changes in routine and increased activity levels in the house. Parents are also stressed and frequently overwhelmed as well. The combination can lead to a set of circumstances that conducive to unfortunate accidents in which a child is bitten. These bites DO NOT HAPPEN OUT OF THE BLUE. Sorry for yelling, but we have just heard so many parents and dog owners tell us that the dog bit without warning, that he has never bitten before, that he loves kids. The latter two statements are true in most cases, the former is not. The fact is, that the dog did warn in some way, it was just that no-one noticed. By the time the dog gets to the point of growling or snapping, he is stressed to the point where he is likely to bite. For many people these overt warnings, or even the bite itself are the only things blatant enough to be noticeable. Before a dog brings out the big guns of overt aggression he will signal his distress and anxiety with more subtle signs. Most commonly these include licking his chops or flicking his tongue out, yawning, scratching himself or showing a half moon of white in his eye when a child approaches or tries to interact with him. He may give a whole body shake after an interaction with a child. Slightly more obvious, but often ignored are signs of avoidance, such as turning his head away, shifting his body away or getting up and leaving. Effusive licking of a child's face is another way that a dog might try to increase distance. This type of licking should not be confused with affection. Read more about this.

We want parents to learn all about dog body language so that they know what to look for and how to tell if their dog is happy or stressed around their child and how to tell when intervention is required. We want all parents to know the warning signs so that no family's holidays are ruined by a dog bite incident. There is lots of information at our website, but the best source of information for parents is our online course: Basic Dog Body Language. To celebrate the coming holidays and hopefully prevent some nice family dogs from biting "out of the blue" we have put this course on sale for $20 until Nov 15.

Click here for more information

Click here to register

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Holiday Dog Bite Prevention Tips


Holidays Are Stressful for Dogs

The holidays are especially stressful for dogs due to changes in routine and the comings and going of visitors. Many dog bites happen at this time of year.

When visiting a house with a dog, children should be taught not to approach the dog (even if the dog has been friendly on other occasions). If the dog comes to them they should stand still like a tree and let the dog sniff. Only if the the dog is wagging and panting and coming to them for attention, and parent and dog owners are supervising and have given permission, should a child touch the dog. Dog owners should gauge their dog’s reaction to visitors. If the dog is overly excited, barking or growling, cowering away, trying to hide or otherwise showing signs of anxiety or aggression, the dog should be kept separate from visiting children for the ENTIRE DURATION of the child’s visit. The dog should have its own place in a crate or another room with toys, a bone to chew on and its special bed or blanket so that it can be happy and comfortable and away from guests. Even dogs who seem happy with visitors should never be alone in the room with visiting children. No preschooler, toddler or baby should be allowed to be near your dog unless you personally also have your hands on the dog and can prevent face to face contact between child and dog and can prevent the child from hugging or otherwise bothering the dog.

Greeting People at the Door

Dogs should not be allowed to greet visitors at the door. This is for the safety of the dog and the visitors. Keep the dogs in separate room or crate until the visitors are settled and then allow the dog to say hello if appropriate. If you are not sure about your dog, then leave him confined or keep him on a leash. Make sure that the dog associates visitors with something good for the dog, such as special treats or a stuffed bone.

Not the Time to Train the Dog

If you do perceive a problem between your dog and visiting children - THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO WORK ON IT. It is not reasonable to use visiting children to help train your dog. Take preventative measures to ensure that your dog does not have the opportunity to bite and once the holiday season is over seek the help of a dog behavior specialist who uses positive reinforcement methods to solve the dog's problem.

Family Gatherings

Family gatherings at a relative’s house are the source of fond memories for many. The relative’s dog may not enjoy these events as much as the rest of the family. Noise, confusion and changes in routine are stressful for dogs. Even a normally calm and docile pet may become agitated enough to bite under the extreme circumstances of a boisterous family celebration. Supervision may be lax if each adult thinks that another is watching the children. Children are the most likely victims of dog bites in this situation. Doggone Safe offers the following tips:

  • Put the dog in his crate with a bone or favorite chew toy, at least during the most hectic times – guests arriving and leaving as well as dinner preparation and serving.
  • Assign one adult to be in charge of the dog, to watch for signs of stress and protect from unwanted attention from children.
  • Signs of stress include: The dog yawns or licks his chops.The dog shows the white part of his eye in a half moon shape.
  • If the dog shows any of these signs, then he is worried and wants to be left alone. Put the dog in his crate or in a room away from the guests with a favorite chew toy or bone. 
  • If the dog licks his chops, yawns or shows the half moon eye when a child approaches or is petting him, intervene immediately and ensure that the child cannot access the dog. 
  • Do not allow visiting children to hug the dog. Dogs don’t like hugs and kisses. Even if the dog tolerates this under normal circumstances he may not tolerate this from strangers or in a high stress situation with lots of noise and people. 
  • Other signs that the dog does not welcome attention from children (or adult) guests include the following:

  • The dog turns his head away, walks away or tries to hide under furniture.
  • The dog freezes and becomes very still, with his mouth closed. He may be staring intensely at the person who is bothering him and may growl. This dog is a few seconds away from a bite.
  • The dog growls or raises the fur along his back.

  • Assign one adult to supervise each baby or toddler with no other tasks expected. 
  • If you have multiple dogs, consider kenneling them, crating them or keeping them in another room during large gatherings. 
  • Supervise at all times.



Download our handout with a summary of tips for parents and dog owners

Articles:

Visit our article library for some articles about keeping kids and dogs safe during the holidays. Scroll through the list looking for those articles marked with a candy cane. Download the Doggone Safe Holiday Press Release with more tips

Members:

Doggone Safe Members: Download the Doggone Safe Holiday Press Release that you can edit to send to local newspaper, radio and TV media to promote your business and disseminate our safety messages. Join Doggone Safe.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Great Doggone Crazy! Give Away

To celebrate our announcement of the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge for 2012, Doggone Safe will donate 2 cases of 6 Doggone Crazy! board games to the first 10 animal shelters, rescues, humane societies or other non-profit organizations dedicated to animal or child welfare who write on our Facebook wall making this request. Just write that you want Doggone Crazy! games and include a link to your site so that we can see that you are a charity or registered non-profit organization in Canada or the US.

You can sell these to raise funds, donate them to local schools or use them in your own programs.

Click here to visit our Facebook Wall

Click here to purchase the game from the Doggone Safe store if you do not qualify for the give-away. Makes a great Christmas gift!

If you haven't heard of the The Doggone Crazy! board game, here is a video to show how it works:


Here are some testimonials about the game:

Doggone Crazy! is the first board game in a long time to keep my kids attention...they played the game so much that I wasn't allowed to touch the game for review until the week-end was over." -Alyice Edrich - Editor-in-Chief - The Dabbling Mum - National Parenting Magazine

Doggone Crazy is a fun game that teaches children how to interpret the body language and expressions of dogs. I gave the game to my grandchildren and they enjoyed it immensely. The oldest taught the dog signals and appropriate responses to her younger brothers and then proceeded to 'instruct' her parents as well. I think that this is a wonderful contribution toward understanding dogs better and keeping kids safer.- Stanley Coren, Author of "The Intelligence of Dogs", "How to Speak Dog" and "How Dogs Think."

Doggone Crazy! is a great game and an important tool for dog bite prevention education. I will support it any way I can  Dr. Clayton MacKay - Veterinarian - Former president of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association; Former president of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario; Former president of the American Animal Hospital Association

A must-have gift...- Melanie Deveaux - Host of Windsor Now CKLW AM 800

Everyone should go out now and buy Doggone Crazy! for their kids - Keiley Abbat - Host of Canine Companions - CHML AM 900 Radio - Hamilton ON

It's a great game! - Jack Dyson - Retired Vice President - Irwin Toys

The described and/or pictured dog postures, movement patterns and specific situations do an excellent job of teaching the child what to look for, what to avoid, and most importantly how to defuse a possibly dangerous situation. I recommend it highly without reservation.    Dr. Ed Bailey, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Animal Behavior University of Guelph

My grade 3 class experienced the Doggone Crazy! game first hand. They were absolutely enthused about it. The game taught them responsible behaviour to not only reduce  the chances of their being bitten, but also, it showed them how to enhance the relationship they have with their dog. I hope other children will get the chance to learn about canine safety in an interactive way by playing Doggone Crazy!    Kristina Brcic - Milton ON - Grade 3 teacher

This game should be in every school.  Retired Superindendent of Curriculum - Halton Catholic School Board

The kids are having a lot of fun with it.  Debbie Boycott - Brookville ON - Grade 2 teacher

The game is very educational and my family enjoyed playing it.   Dr. Ross Dawson -Milton ON - Veterinarian

[I] really enjoyed it (so did my niece - who played it a lot!) Dr. Sue Kilborn - Veterinarian - Ottawa ON

It was lots of fun. Christine - Age 9

My grandchildren love this game. They play it all the time. Jackie Rosart - Grandmother - Burlington ON

I think this is a great site and a great game and it is amazing that you made this game. Leanna - Age 12

I played your game and it is so cool. I think that all kids should play it to learn about what their dog is thinking. Ashley and Nicky - age 9 and 11

Since writing this book, I have been referred to many Dog Bite Prevention programs  and I must say with all honesty that I think your site and the idea of a board game to teach kids the importance of dog safety could be one of the most effective programs I've seen. Karen Delise - Author of Fatal Dog Attacks (www.fataldogattacks.com)

I want it for Christmas. Cam - Age 8

Doggone Crazy! is an excellent game and a significant contribution to the future welfare of the dog industry . Dr. Don McKeown - Cofounder - Professional Animal Behaviour Associates - London ON

I have to tell you that your Doggone Crazy game was one of the highlights of our holidays. The girls opened a couple of things on Christmas Eve and one of them was a joint gift of Dog Gone Crazy. We played that night with their grandmother, which was a perfect inclusive and involving game to play, during that anxious evening before the big day. Since being back in Toronto, the kids have played many times and we have played as a family. We are a family who loves to play games. So, we may not have been a big part of your holidays, but you have been a big part of ours! Susan Bishop - mother - Toronto ON

The kids were thrilled to come and tell me that they did a tree on the beach and made a strange dog go away. Cathy Vanderheyden - mother - Atlanta GA

My grandchildren have insisted on playing Doggone Crazy! every day since I gave it to them as a birthday present. Barb Cooper - grandmother - Campbellville ON

The kids opened the package when they came home from summer camp yesterday.  It was in perfect condition.  They loved it!  They immediately played a game before they would even considerstarting to unpack their suitcases.  Then they spent most of the evening telling me all about what to do when an aggressive dog approaches (something about a tree) and about what Fiji is thinking at that moment based on her expressions.  Good stuff. Henry Raud - father - Pickering ON

We finally had a calm evening together last night where we were able to play it and we had a blast.Beth Wheeler - mother - Marblehead MA

Doggone Crazy! is an excellent game and a significant contribution to the future welfare of the dog industry. Dr. Don McKeown - Cofounder - Professional Animal Behaviour Associates

My grandchildren love this game. They play it all the time. - Jackie Rosart - 
Grandmother

I love your game! It's the best...my dad, my mom, my sister and I played. We all loved playing your game. It taught me a lot about dogs and how to act around them. Rachel - Age 10

This game makes it fun for children to learn how to behave toward dogs, and how to understand what dog expressions and actions mean. It's a positive and reinforcing tool for enhancing child safety, reducing bite risk, and improving the human-animal bond. - Karen Pryor, author of Don't Shoot the Dog and CEO of Karen Pryor Clickertraining

Announcing the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge 2012

After the terrific response to the first International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge, we have decided to do it again for 2012 and hopefully every year thereafter. If you haven't heard about this, it is a challenge from Doggone Safe to its members and presenters, to educate as many children as possible in celebration of Dog Bite Prevention Week (May20-26, 2012). We are making a two changes for 2012 based on feedback from teachers and presenters. These are as follows:

  1. Announce it earlier so that teachers and presenters have lots of time to schedule presentations. We are doing that right now!
  2. Extend the Challenge period so that presentations done outside the actual Dog Bite Prevention week can still count in the total. We are going to hold the Challenge for the entire month of May for 2012.
The goal is to educate 50,000 children using the Be a Tree program during the month of May.

Click here for more information about the Challenge.
Click here to volunteer to help with organizing the Challenge.
Click here to register as a presenter.
Click here to register as a school who wants a presentation.
Click here if you would like information about becoming a sponsor.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sad that Kids Can't Hug Their Dog

Who is enjoying this hug?
One of our most important messages at Doggone Safe is that dogs don't like hugs and kisses. This is very controversial among dog owners and has caused many challenges for our Be a Tree presenters. Many people simply do not believe this and are sure that their dog loves to be hugged.

We got a comment on one of our previous posts from a reader who said that it is sad that kids can't hug their dogs and that her own dogs do like hugs and actually solicit this type of attention. This is a very good comment and many people have said this same thing to us over the years. We agree that there are dogs who do enjoy certain types of attention and will solicit this at times. The main thing to note in these cases is that the dog is asking for this on its own terms. Even these types of dogs will not enjoy a hug if they are busy watching a squirrel or chewing on a favorite toy. They are also unlikely to enjoy hugs the way kids do it (that is wrap their arms around the dog's neck and hang on). Adults tend to scratch the dog on the chest or engage in other petting the dog enjoys, while they are hugging. Thus the dog becomes conditioned to enjoy certain specific types of hugging from specific people.

You can tell if you dog likes hugs by watching for body language signs. Does he yawn, lick his lips or show a half moon of white in his eye while you are hugging or when you approach to hug? Does he start trying to lick your face while you are hugging him? Does he shake the hug off (wet dog shake) when you release him? All of these are signs that the dog does not enjoy the hug.

It is confusing for children to learn that they can hug this dog but not that one, can hug this way, but not that way, can hug in this situation but not that one. It is simpler to teach them to avoid hugging any dog. It may seem sad to tell a child that they should not hug a dog to show how much they love him. It is much sadder when a beloved dog bites a child in the face leaving lasting emotional and physical scars and costing the dog his family or even his life. There are many, many parents in our dog bite victim support group who have said "I wish I had known that dogs don't like hugs", after their child hugged or kissed a nice family dog. The most common scenario is a child at a  family function who hugs the grandparent's, relative's or neighbor's dog. The dog is stressed because of all the commotion and people and noise and is less tolerant than usual. In most cases the dog has never bitten before.

It is also sad to think that a child is trying to show love, while the recipient of the "love" is just hoping it will stop. Luckily most dogs are tolerant and do not bite, but why should they have to tolerate something they don't enjoy? Please read about the Curse of the Good Dog for more about this. The vast majority of dog owners believe that their dogs like hugs, while the vast majority of dogs do not like hugs. There is a disconnect here that leads to many dogs being unhappy and to many facial bites to children.

Here is a video that shows a lovely, tolerant dog who is not enjoying the hug from a child. This is a great example of a nice dog who is tolerating something he doesn't like. If you search on YouTube for videos of kids or babies hugging dogs you will see numerous examples of dogs yawning, licking their chops, licking the children, showing a half moon of white in their eyes, turning their heads away or getting up and leaving. You will rarely if ever find one of a dog that is enjoying the hug. 




Dog behavior experts agree that it is best to teach children other ways to show love to dogs. Well known behavior expert Dr Patricia McConnell in her wonderful book For the Love of a Dog says that she has at least 50 photos of kids hugging dogs and in not one of them is the dog happy about it. There are lots of safe ways for kids to show love to a dog. Read about these in our article: How to Love Your Dog.

World Rabies Day Celebration in Liberia Reaches 1200 Kids


By Morris Darbo

The Liberia Animal Welfare Society is a local community based animal welfare organization registered with the government of Liberia in 2004 with the aim of promoting a peaceful society where both animals and humans can live in as companions.

In partnership with a non-profit organization- Doggone Safe, LAWS was able to celebration this year World Rabies Day. This year World Rabies Day celebration focused on dog bite prevention among children. Little is known about this deadly and neglected disease in Liberia. Educating school children about this disease and how to prevent it, helps to spread the information in various communities in Liberia.

Dogs are the main carriers of rabies in Liberia. Children are the main victim of dog bite.
The Liberia Animal Welfare Society carried out dog bite prevention in ten (10) schools and four (4) communities. 1,200 school children and community children were trained in dog bite prevention. The celebration was very successful. The children fully participated in the sessions. Teachers in those schools were also part of the training. During the training, we encouraged the children to report all dog bite cases to the nearer clinics or hospitals. They were also taught on first aid treatment before getting to the clinics or hospitals by thoroughly washing the wound with soap and lot of water.

LAWS would not have done this without the assistance from Doggone Safe through it President Joan Orr; therefore, we want to extend our thanks and appreciation to Doggone Safe.

We are hoping to receive assistance from other groups to help continue this program. Please visit our site
to see our activities and make a donation.

Thanks,

Morris Darbo
Coordinator
+3216844236

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Doggone Safe Member, Victoria Stilwell Steps Up!

Today Victoria Stilwell posted the following on Facebook:
I'm worried now that the family is in danger of getting bitten by their JR after the abusive techniques that were used by Jordan Shelley on the BBC's One Show and if so the JR will get put down. If anyone knows who the family is, please tell them that I will come over to England free of charge and teach them how to stop their dog guarding in a humane and beautifully effective way. No point in just complaining, I want to save this dog and this family. Please send this to everyone you know.
Congratulations to Victoria for her generosity of spirit and willingness to stand up for her belief in the power of positive reinforcement training. We are proud to have Victoria as a member of Doggone Safe!

 I hope everyone will pass this on and help Victoria find the name of the family that she wants to help.

You can contact her at http://www.facebook.com/VictoriaStilwell or through her website http://positively.com/.

Here is the video that caused the concern:



Here are some articles that explain the proper and safe way to deal with and prevent resource guarding:

http://doggonesafe.blogspot.com/2009/10/stop-puppy-from-biting-part-2.html

http://doggonesafe.blogspot.com/2010/04/stop-puppy-from-biting-part-3.html

http://doggonesafe.blogspot.com/2010/06/serious-warning-signs-from-dog.html

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Doggone Safe Co-ordinator, Judi Dowson, First in Canada to be Certified APDT C.L.A.S.S. Evaluator

By Judi Dowson, Doggone Safe Canada West Co-ordinator

I have had the pleasure of going through APDT’s new C.L.A.S.S. program tests. C.L.A.S.S. stands for Canine Life And Social Skills. Even though I had a hard time at first (due to no one’s fault buy my own), the process was rather painless. Ann Allums at APDT put up with all my silly questions and was of tremendous help.
C.L.A.S.S. is a three-level evaluation for students to demonstrate the real-life skills of their dogs, as well as a knowledge assessment of the students’ understanding of basic dog handling and care. C.L.A.S.S., through its evaluation, curriculum, and training resources, advocates the use of reward-based training. Positive, reward-based training minimizes the use of punishment and is fun for both owner and dog! Dog owners can earn a PhD for their dog at the highest level in this program.
 
The certification procedure for becoming an evaluator consists of three exams – 30 questions based on the manual, 30 questions based on your general knowledge of dog training and finally 30 videos which you have to “evaluate”. All questions are multiple choice.

So I took the bull by the horns and ventured into these tests. First one – no problem. Second one – a bit testy with some questions. Had to take a breather and make sure I had enough time to take the video portion. You are allowed to view the videos repeatedly, so I was thinking I’d best do this when I know there will be no interruptions (like a secluded spot in the forest where one can get computer connections????). Finally one evening, I decided that this was “the night”. I got to video #19 and heard a ruckus coming from outside with my chickens. I went out to see what was going on to find my cat face to face with a fox. Thank goodness my cat has a better recall than my dogs!! Same goes for the chickens! By the time I got said cat back into the house and the chickens tucked away in their shed, my computer had been idle for more than 10 minutes. I HAD TO START OVER!!! That’s the rules of the three tests!

I let it go for another few days and once again sat down to the computer to do the video test. It had been over a month since taking the first two tests, so I had start all over again with Test #1. Same with test #2 and FINALLY, the video test. I made it – did all three in one sitting!!! YAY

I am currently using the APDT Shelter Program for my dogs at the Prince George Regional Correctional Centre. Some of the current inmates had been through the previous program I was using and have said they really like the CLASS program and are anxious to have their dogs tested. Unfortunately, no one is prepared to pay to register the dogs, but they do like the new format.

Now, I just have to convince APDT that I live in British Columbia. I was the first one listed that was outside the US and I guess they didn’t know what to do with me! LOL

Have fun with the program everyone – I think it’s great!

Judi Dowson
Prince George, BC

For more information please visit: http://www.mydoghasclass.com/

Free C.L.A.S.S. Webinar

Attend an informative FREE webinar about the C.L.A.S.S. program on Oct 6 at 3 PM EDT: