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 or through her website

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:

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:

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:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Doggone Safe a Top 3 Finalist in the CLASSY Awards

The CLASSY Awards is the largest philanthropic awards ceremony in the USA, recognizing the most outstanding philanthropic achievements by charities, businesses and individuals nationwide.

More than 2,000 nominations were submitted to StayClassy for consideration. After a vetting process, StayClassy posted each nomination as an article on the CLASSY Awards Achievements Blog ( to put a national spotlight on amazing philanthropic stories. Doggone Safe rallied their supporters to generate at least 100 Facebook ‘Likes’ on their article to qualify them for the judging round. Out of thousands of nominations, the judges narrowed the list down to the Top 25 most inspiring and impactful in each category. Doggone Safe is a finalist in the category: Most Effective Awareness Campaign.

After a period of public voting Doggone Safe has emerged as a top 3 finalist for its efforts with the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge. The winners will be decided on the basis of judging by a panel plus the public voting results and will be recognized live on-stage at the Oscars-style CLASSY Awards ceremony in San Diego on September 17th.

Thanks to Our Supporters!

A huge thank you goes to all our supporters who voted for us and to all the Be a Tree presenters who participated in the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge and helped to educate over 16,000 kids in one week about safety around dogs.

A Charitable Event to Remember

The 3rd Annual CLASSY Awards competition will culminate at a red-carpet awards ceremony on Saturday, September 17 in San Diego, California. It will feature celebrity appearances, chart-topping music talent, nonprofit and technology leaders, and thousands of CLASSY Awards supporters. More than $150,000 in cash and prizes will be donated to support the charitable efforts of the 12 National CLASSY Awards Winners.

This year’s CLASSY Awards weekend will also feature the CLASSY Collaborative, a day-long networking event on Friday, September 16 at the W Hotel San Diego. Participants will have the opportunity to meet, mingle and share ideas with some of the foremost leaders in philanthropy, technology, innovation, and entertainment.