3. Trainer On Call

Stuff on my mind

Posted on December 30, 2010. Filed under: 1. Daily Life, 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: , , |

I noticed Michelle and Nina updated the site today, and was checking out the new stories.  I just wanted to share how much it touched me reading about David Dayan Fisher’s new book Puppy School.  I am sure I am a little biased since NCIS is my favorite show, and I can’t  watch enough reruns of it, but it really touched me that Fisher wrote the book, and is donating 1/2 of his proceeds to In Defense of Animals.  What a cool story, I can’t wait to check out the book.

Only a couple of days away from the new year.  Please be safe everyone, keep people food and drinks away from your pets, and if your pets don’t like a lot of commotion, confine them to a quiet area with lots of their toys and blankets.  Have a great New Year!!!

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“The Love That Dog Training Program” Book Review

Posted on December 6, 2010. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: , , , , |

I recently got asked to review a book for Petopia.tv called “The Love That Dog Training Program.  I thought it would be interesting to brush up on some of my training skills and see if my ideas were similar to those of a very renowned trainer.  Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz has worked with dogs in famous families, such as the Kennedy’s and the Obama’s.

What struck me initially is that Dawn is a normal person who had animal training fall into her lap.  She became one only because she loved dogs.  She had a normal life with kids and family and found her life taking a turn during a divorce and needing to bring in an income for herself.

There are always areas of training that you can brush up on, and the wonderful thing about training is there are so many ways to train a behavior that you can always pull ideas from other people.  Dawn does a wonderful job of explaining training in simple everyday terminology that everyone can understand.  She bases her training on positive reinforcement but is not afraid to admit that even she used other methods of training that have been more accepted in the past.  Such methods as punishing for accidents in the house.  One of the hardest concepts to understand as a trainer is positive and negative reinforcement and positive and negative punishment.  I will spare you the details in this blog, but if you are interested, you can e-mail me or read “The Love That Dog Training Program.”  Dawn diagrams it out so everyone can understand the principles.
In this book, Dawn prepares a new family thinking about getting a dog.  She covers everything you should consider from choosing the right dog, going to the shelter, working with breeders, and developing training goals.  She even provides checklists, including what supplies you will need and dog proofing your home and yard.  She literally covers everything in detail.  You will even learn to set up your daily routine based on your new puppies needs.

Once you have the necessities, you can begin learning how to train the basic training behaviors to create an obedient healthy puppy.  These include sit, stay, come, crate training, luring and leash walking, down and release.  Dawn explains everything very well and teaches you how to be consistent and successful.

For the more advanced pet, Dawn gives ideas on how to do more advanced tricks and behaviors, such as using a clicker, shaking, rolling over, targeting and fetching just to name a few.
“The Love That Dog Training Program”  is a wonderful book.  I was able to confirm some training principles I practice, as well as brush up on some of the other behaviors that I have not trained in a while.  It is very easy to read and understand so any pet owner can succeed.  I highly recommend this book to anyone thinking of getting a new dog, or anyone that has just taken that leap and is ready to get started training their new addition with basic obedience and puppy needs.

Devon Gaudet; dbozlinski@petopia.tv

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Del Mar’s 3 Dog Walk

Posted on October 25, 2010. Filed under: 1. Daily Life, 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: |

Last weekend I participated in Del Mar’s 3 Dog Walk.  The event who’s play on words for the Breast Cancer 3 day walk gives 100% of it’s proceeds to the Susan G Komen Foundation.  We did a short 10 block walk around downtown Del Mar and then schmoozed with different Vendors after the walk.  The event was small but great.  Many companies donated treats for the walkers both human and canine.  I have done the 3 day walk twice in the past and didn’t have anything planned to help the fight against breast cancer this year.  I am glad I participated in this event.  Here are some fun pictures from the walk.

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Preparing Your Pet for Boarding

Posted on August 19, 2010. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: , |

No one likes to put their pet in a boarding facility, but eventually most pet owners will eventually have to.  My first suggestion is to try to find someone who can pet sit at your house, or have your pet go to their house.  The one on one attention and being in a home can be much more comfortable for your pet.  If you aren’t able to find a pet sitter, follow these simple steps to make your pets stay in a boarding facility a little more comfortable.

1.)  Update your pets vaccinations.  Dogs should have their Distemper, Parvo, Corona, Bordatella, and Rabies Vaccines.  Cats should have their Distemper, Feline Leukemia and Rabies Vaccines.

2.) Visit the boarding facility you are going to use.  Get a tour, see how clean it is, check with the staff about play times, and how your pet will be interacting with other pets there.  Also check out the staff, are they upbeat and does it look like they enjoy their job.  Look at the other pets that are boarding, do they look happy?  Is the facility indoor/outdoor?  Where will your pet go to the bathroom?

3.)  Bring your own pet food.  Many pets will get upset stomachs if they change food abruptly.  If you bring your own food, it will help keep their stomachs on track.

4.)  If the kennel will allow, bring a blanket or towel that has your scent.  Keep in mind however, that you may not get it back.  If it gets soiled, it may end up in laundry and get lost or thrown away.

5.)  Bring toys for your pets that they enjoy playing with.  Of course the same rule applies from number 4.

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How to become an Animal Trainer

Posted on July 25, 2010. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: |

Have you ever wondered how to become an animal trainer.  You might be interested in small animal training like dogs, or exotic animal training like big cats or dolphins.

There are a number of avenues you could take to get your dream job.  The first thing to do regardless is get experience volunteering in an area you are interested in.  There are a number of places to consider volunteering, shelters, animal hospitals, or even rescue and rehabilitation facilities for animals like dolphins, seals and sea lions.

Education is key.  Most commercial facilities like Zoo’s and Aquariums require at least a 2 year associates degree.  Many prefer a 4 year Bachelors Degree.  Focus your studies on subjects that relate to your interests, the ocean, behavior, or psychology are all helpful for animal training.  There is also a facility in Moorpark, Ca that is a 2 year school for obtaining a degree in Exotic Animal Training.

Make sure you go the extra mile.  If you are interested in marine mammals, get your scuba certification and brush up on your swimming skills.  You will have to pass a basic swim and dive test.

If small animals are your thing.  Get a job working as a dog walker, or in a kennel or veterinary hospital to get lots of experience handling animals.  Take some classes with your own pets, and look into taking some classes for people.

To get more answers on how to become an animal trainer, contact me at dbozlinski@petopia.tv

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Control Points

Posted on February 22, 2010. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: |

When training your dog, maintaining control points is the most important tool you can use.  A control point is a point in time when your pet is focused directly on  you.  They are not running around excited, they are not sniffing around looking for something else.  The best control point is when your pet is sitting in front of you looking up at you.  They should be calm, waiting for their next command.

When wanting to train a new behavior, start with control points to get your pet focused on you.  If their attention strays from you, bring it back to you by reinforcing a control point with a treat.

For more information on how to utilize control points during training, e-mail me at dbozdlphn@hotmail.com

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Easiest Tip Ever

Posted on February 7, 2010. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: , |

My tip this week is one that is so easy, that I even take for granted.  

On a daily basis or at least weekly basis, give your pets a good “looking over.”  Look for any bumps, masses, torn nails, skin irritations.  Anything that looks out of place.

About 2 weeks ago, Dylan noticed that Faith had a growth in her ear.  She gets bumps every so often with her age, and I was aware she had a few little growths, but this one popped up quick.  I clean the dogs ears on a semi regular basis, and I had cleaned them not too long before.  And what seems like overnight, she developed a rather large “bump” on the inside of her ear.  It is bigger than the others on her skin, and seems to irritate her because she is scratching at it at times.

We tend to love on our pets and pet them, and not really notice the areas that we aren’t petting.  (like inside the ear)  So give your pets a good looking over every so often to catch the little  things that could develop before they become big problems.


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A Dog Named Jasmine

Posted on February 7, 2010. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: , , |


A Dog Named Jasmine

 I got this email from my mom and thought it was so adorable……

In 2003, police in Warwickshire , England , opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog.  It had been locked in the shed and abandoned.  It was dirty and malnourished and had clearly been abused.

In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, which was a Greyhound female, to the nearby Nuneaton Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, run by a man named Geoff Grewcock and known as a willing haven for animals abandoned, orphaned or otherwise in need.  Geoff and the other sanctuary staff went to work with two aims to restore the dog to full health, and to win her trust.  It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved.

They named her Jasmine, and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home.


But Jasmine had other ideas.  No one remembers how it began, but she started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary.  It wouldn’t matter if it was a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, any other lost or hurting animal.  Jasmine would peer into the box or cage and, where possible, deliver a welcoming lick.


Geoff relates one of the early incidents.  “We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line.  One was a Lakeland Terrier cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman cross.  They were tiny when they arrived at the center and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee.  Then she fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them.”

“But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits.  She takes all the stress out of them and it helps them to not only feel close to her, but to settle into their new surroundings.  She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs, she licks the rabbits and guinea pigs and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose.”


Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted waif, became the animal sanctuary’s resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born.  The list of orphaned and abandoned youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and 15 rabbits.

And one roe deer fawn.  Tiny Bramble, 11 weeks old, was found semiconscious in a field.  Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm, and then went into the full foster mum role.  Jasmine the greyhound showers Bramble the Roe deer with affection and makes sure nothing is matted.


“They are inseparable,” says Geoff.  “Bramble walks between her legs and they keep kissing each other.  They walk together round the sanctuary.  It’s a real treat to see them.”


Jasmine will continue to care for Bramble until she is old enough to be returned to woodland life.  When that happens, Jasmine will not be lonely.  She will be too busy showering love and affection on the next Orphan or victim of abuse.


From left, Toby, a stray Lakeland dog; Bramble, orphaned Roe deer; Buster, a stray Jack Russell; a dumped rabbit; Sky, an injured barn owl; and Jasmine with a Mother’s heart doing best what a caring Mother would do.. Such is the order of God’s Creation.

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Storms can be so scary

Posted on January 19, 2010. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: , |

I thought this week it would be a great idea to address some noise phobias in pets (particularly dogs).  With the week of storms approaching, many people may find themselves with a pet that is quite distraught.  Here is some information about Noise Phobias.

Storms with thunder and lightning can be scary for pets.  No one really know why a certain pet has a noise phobia.  It could be any number of things.  Maybe they had a bad experience with loud noises, or certain breeds tend to be more prone to the phobia.  Or your pet could have developed it because you yourself are scared of storms and loud noises, or maybe that is just the way they are.

If your pet has a noise phobia, here are some tips you can try to help your pet.

1.)  Create a place in the house where they feel safe, this may be a crate or a room where the noise may be muffled.

2.) Don’t react to the pet.  If you praise them and keep telling them it’s OK, you could be reinforcing the anxious behavior.  Don’t yell at them to calm down either, or you could be creating more anxiety in the situation.  The more they hear the noises with no reaction from you, the more they could become desensitized to it.

3.)  Wear your pet out if you know a storm is coming.  Give them lots of exercise in a scenario they enjoy, the beach or the parks.  If they are tired, hopefully they will be less likely to react to the storm.

4.)  Keep a level head and try not to react  to the noise.

5.)  If your pet has a favorite activity or toy, give it to them only when there times the phobia may arise.  After time, they may associate the noise with something they really enjoy.

If you have a pet with noise phobias and have more questions, e-mail me at dbozlinski@petopia.tv

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Why do dogs dig?

Posted on January 6, 2010. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: |

I saw the most amazing thing this weekend.  My dog Faith, who is not a digger at all, trying to bury a bone we gave her.  There were so many strange things about this whole event.  1.)  Faith always eats treats we give her right away.  2.) She hasn’t dug since she was a puppy only a couple months old.  She is 10 now, going on 11.  When she dug as a puppy, it was never to bury anything, just playing in the dirt.  So I thought about a question, why do dogs dig? Besides the obvious reason, to bury something, is there a reason a digging response would be triggered?

I found this on the site Pet Library:

“Digging is also a dog’s way of relieving stress and “letting it all out” so to speak. If a puppy is experiencing anxiety levels due to a new baby in the house, a recent move, strange people, or lack of attention, then he is going to dig in order to help himself feel better.”

I tried to apply this to Faith, not much has changed in her environment, definitely not babies, or recent move.  The best I could come up with was the lack of attention in this scenario.  With the upcoming wedding, and Moose’s recent knee surgery, Faith has unfortunately been a little left out.  We have been busy running here and there for wedding plans, and Moose gets physical therapy walks.  Faith often gets left behind on those.  Mostly because of convenience.  Luckily, we have begun to take Faith on a few more walks now that Moose is a little sturdier on his knee.

From Dogs Only, I found some of the reasoning to be, to keep cool, to escape (especially if in heat or trying to find a dog in heat).  These didn’t apply to her situation.  I also saw that sometimes they will dig just to save them for a “rainy day.”  This I knew, but it seems like too easy of an explanation.  Especially since she has never done it before.  Also according to the site, dogs will dig if you use a fertilizer with bone or blood meal in it.  They then can’t resist the smell and will dig to try to find the hidden “nonexistent” bone.

I did one more final search on Pet Place and found something I didn’t think of.  Dogs still have natural instincts.  Even though they are domesticated, they still have these natural instincts they follow.  Often times when dogs were wild, they would kill a prey that was larger than they could eat at once.  They then had to save the nutrient rich bones with marrow for later eating.  They would carry them back to their dens.  This all does make sense in Faith’s case.  We gave her the bone in the morning because we were working on our bathroom remodel.  She never gets treats that early in the AM, let alone a big bone.  She must have been following her instincts and been saving it for later.  She wasn’t ready for another big meal.  We gave it to her only a short time after she had eaten her breakfast.

She was following her instincts.

Watch Faith’s Video!

Any questions, contact me at dbozlinski@petopia.tv

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