Aches & Pains with Socialization and Adult Dogs

So, you get a dog, you think nothing but wonderful thoughts and maybe you were even told some really good things to make you not think that anything bad can happen…

and then things start to happen…

You see issues with other dogs, people, aggression, assertiveness, or possibly fear-based behaviors. Plus, it isn’t always the same instance and you can’t see consistently the same thing happen every time.

You sit down in your chair and think “How did this happen?” “Do I need to take him/her back?” “Did I get a bad dog?”

Your next step is to get mad at the person who gave you the dog and think what on earth happened? What did they do to the dog?

You were told the dog was good with other dogs, good with kids, good when out in public.

What you’re actually finding is that none of these things are true. It may even go as far is you were told that the dog was cat tested and it is clearly a lie.

You took on the responsibility of a new dog thinking it was going to be like all the others, but now you found that it is not like the others and can you handle it?

Let’s throw another side wrench to this equation and say you have had a dog for years and suddenly your seeing the dog in a different light due to a life change, dog change or transition. Your life is turned upside down within a short period of time. Now what do you do?

This is the thing, most dogs are going to require work. However, one thing that suffers the most with rescue dogs or dogs that are rehomed through a rescue or from the Internet is SOCIALIZATION has been limited or done incorrectly. Behavior isn’t noticed right away and can become worse over time.

So what do you do?

Here’s some facts.

The best time to properly socialize and desensitize a dog is under six months. So from 10 weeks to six months, the amount of change in a dog make up sexually and maturely is huge. Plus, everything that happens to them is happening for the first time so the dog is building it’s knowledge based on memories and scenarios. Which means, if it has negative scenarios it learns to avoid those items and if it has positive experiences it learns to be confident.

If a dog is around a lot of dogs in a positive way for a long period of time, they’re going to see Dog’s as a positive thing. If they’re around kids from early on and have a lot of positive experiences with kids, they’re going to think kids are great.

On the flipside, if the dog is rarely around other dogs or is rarely around kids, the specific experiences that it has had is based on it’s knowledge on the subject. Example: It has three experiences with dogs and only one was positive, it may not feel as confident about dogs. It has three experiences with children and two of those experiences involved negative circumstances, the dog may start to shy away from children thinking they all are the same.

Regarding ownership and training, the dog only knows what is has been taught and how things are run at home. Things don’t change if there isn’t concern seen. Over time, symptoms become worse due to habit.

Does genetics matter?

Yes, genetics play a valuable role. If genetically, the dog was nervous and scared when it was a puppy and then it has two negative experiences with dogs, it’s going to show even more fear-based behaviors. If genetically, it is happy go lucky and does not have confidence issues and it has two negative experiences with dogs he can still have a positive outcome. Why? I will tell you.

The more balanced a dog is, the better they can handle situations. If a dog is unsure, insecure, or fearful when it’s a puppy it’s confidence in negative situations would be little to none. If a dog is happy go lucky and has a couple negative experiences, it can have a positive outlook primarily because it is not as emotionally affected as it does not have fear-based perceptions.

Now, let’s race forward through time and now a dog is three years old. The puppy who was insecure, unsure and had fear-based behaviors would be just the same if not more and probably not as social. The happy go lucky puppy who is a lot more confident will be even more confident.

Most owners do not think that they need to do anything behaviorally with a dog that is shy or nervous, most think they will just grow out of it and they will be just fine. Reality of the subject is that that dog needs to be guided and shown positive experiences in order to have more faith and trust in the environment. This will then help confidence grow to where the dog will be a lot happier and do better in life.

This is the problem. Most owners do not see issues until the dog is in an adult phase. Once the dog has come into an adult phase and is no longer a puppy who wants to play all the time or a puppy who is scared all the time, they start to see behaviors that are more assertive or reactive. They then become more concerned because obviously the damage when done would be much more harsh than if the dog was a puppy. This also means that socializing a dog to its full potential is a lot more difficult and can be extremely time-consuming. Even behaviors like pack order or “bullying” can increase over time because they were “allowed” to do it without the owner realizing it was happening.

Important factors in tools in resocialize and balance a dog include:

  1. A balanced pack of dogs that are not reactive
  2. A behaviorist to understand how to show proper socialization techniques to the new dog in the pack
  3. Time, lots of time
  4. Positive associations and memories with each training session
  5. The correct training tools in order to achieve this.

The most important one on that list is #3. Making up for lost time or building a foundation to a dog that has not had it from the beginning takes lots of time. Depending on the time frame it may not be ideal or work out in that same atmosphere.

As I always tell my clients, it takes one day to learn a bad habit and 27 days to undo that bad habit. Now, think about how many YEARS this dog has been habitually being fearful, scared or insecure. Or how long that dog has been bullying other dogs. The dog is now trying to use that fear as its primary motivator and reason for doing everything.

Think about “superstitions” or “habits” a baseball player has before they go to a game. The player will only wear the same underwear, they will only use a certain bat, they will not say a certain phrase or word the day of the game. Why are these things done? Over time while playing baseball, they learn that certain things work and certain things don’t. They get into habits based on what happens from those activities. They learn that if they sway from this routine and ritual that bad things will happen. So they get into habits.

This is the same with dogs. They learned that if they stay in their comfort zone and don’t go outside of their comfort zone that they can control their life and results. The problem is that if they choose negative scenarios to help them feel better they only grow in a negative way.

Sample, if they learn to bark at someone when they come in through the door as a puppy and it keeps that person at arms length away and no one corrects them, they start to do it more as they grow out of habit. Eventually, they bark enough to where the person can’t even come into the room. They have now manifested that survival skill to help them when really it only made them more nervous and now they are even more scared than when they were little. The scary item when they were a puppy has now grown into a full-size ogre wanting to come after them. (When in theory it is nothing.)

Hopefully now you understand with socialization and behaviors that these things need to be handled right away. A dog that is fearful or insecure or scared, the change isn’t gonna happen overnight it may not even happen over a couple years. Depending on the severity, it could take a lifetime.

For dogs that have acquired a habit based on years of activities, it is going to take more than just a bag of treats to change their mind. You have to retrain the mind which is very difficult. Plus, is the dog going to be open to this change since it could require a complete life change for both of you?

I have come across so many clients lately hitting the 3 year mark with their pups and suddenly things are changing. Behaviors are developing they didn’t see before and now there are questions on behavior and if it can be resolved.

The answer? I can’t tell you. It is different based on every dog. What I CAN tell you is that if you can understand WHY the dog is doing what it is doing and ACCEPT that, you are a lot closer to a happier dog and a happier you. It will also take patience, time and commitment to truly learn how to move forward which is why you MUST consult a behaviorist. Someone who can explain to you what is happening.

The rest is up to you!

And your dog of course! For more information on training, follow this blog and check out or website If you need a private consultation, schedule one online and a trainer will come to your home and have a discussion with you after meeting your dog.

Woof! Woof!


Some just like the pull

Back when I had my first dog, I liked the pull. I got Sam from a humane society, was given a flex lead along with adoption and thought, “Well that’s cool, he can go far!” I even had a routine down where he would be out in front and when an intersection came up (I lived in town at the time,) I would say “Sit! Sit! Sit!” By the third Sit! he would be in a sit waiting for me to come to the corner.

I thought it was cool, others watching it thought it was cool and we lived happily ever after…

Until I started watching dogs beautifully walk NEXT to their owners on a walk with little to no effort and wanted that. I tried, however, Sam wanted to be way up in front. That’s what I had taught him. That’s what he knew. So getting him back into the heel position next to me was not easy.

We actually compromised with him being a bit ahead of me, but not pulling. It was fine, as he got older and slowed down, he cane into the heel spot easier, however, he still preferred the spot out in front the best.

Now, almost 20 years later, as a professional trainer I prefer the heel next to me position rather than way out in front. I have tried doing the out in front of me position, but they just sway back and forth, pull whenever they want and having two 74 pound dogs it is way different. If I had two Pugs I would be good!

I watch other owners let their dogs “pull” them down the street, “pull” them around food trucks, use harnesses that give no support for good walking and try to help. We have good training tools and follow through now in place and people enjoy our classes. “Loose leash walking” is not really something we teach anymore as it is more about finding the right tool to have a nice respectful relationship with no pulling.

We recommend starting with a long line and practice turning and focus work(similar to Loose Leash walking,) and then bring the dog in closer. Using treats to reinforce and teach them to pay attention to you helps. Using items like Gentle Leaders and Easy Walk Harnesses can help using proper leash pressure and of course the quickest way is the extra small prong. It has immediate results using slight pressure and reinforcement with treats.

There is definitely good ways and bad ways to walk your dog and I see them everyday. Honestly, I truly think that some owners “like the pull.” They like their dog being out front and center and feel they are giving them more “freedom” that way. Structure isn’t part of walking their dog, they like to see them run and frolic out front while they smile and take in the scenery.

That’s ok. As long as they are happy, all is well. I just hope that when their dog sees a squirrel and decides to dart across the road or their dog sees another dog and decides to wrap themself around the owner causing rope burn that the owner just laughs and says “Oh Milo, silly dog” as they are laying on the ground thinking how did this happen? Now they can think of me!

Training, consistency and routine.

For information regarding how to improve your walking skills, training tools to help walks get better, feedback and advice, go to our website or check out the videos on our RUFF Academy YouTube Channel!

Animal Communicator

Recently, I was at an event. The event had fun activities and was set at a fun place. Baby goats jumping on people, beer & Cheese being enjoyed and a nice sunny day. There was also an animal Communicator by the name of Lois Reetz.

I was excited she was there because I wanted to ask her about the service Pups. As some know, we are training service dogs for children with autism and this year we started with our very first two. Isa is a Golden Doodle and we got her at 9 weeks old and Finne is an English Cream Golden Retriever and we got him at 8 weeks old. Both are from reputable breeders and have amazing temperaments.

As a trainer, I always wonder if the dogs are happy. I was wonder if they enjoy what they’re doing. I enjoy what I’m doing, but being a service dog is a big responsibility and a big commitment.

So, I asked the animal communicator about both of them and this is what she said:

Isa was destined to be a service dog even before she was born. This explains to me why when I ask her to do something, I can see her literally rolling her eyes. She already knows this, she already knows what she needs to do but she is humoring me.

Finne says that he is having fun and likes it, but he isn’t sure why. He also asked why he couldn’t “keep” Sarah his puppy raiser. She said that in his future, she sees pink bows in his hair which to me means that the child he’s going to end up with is going to be dressing him up for a tea party. This is adorable.

I asked her about behavioral things which made sense and also chatted with her about my own dog who had passed years and years ago. I found her to be quite truthful and a lot of fun to talk to. I saw others at the event also enjoy talking to her and finding information about their dogs as well.

If you haven’t spoke with one, I encourage it! She will be at our next event this next month on September 22nd at 3 Sheeps from 11-3pm!!

Unrealistic Week

I call this week unrealistic week. It is a week where everyone seems to not understand what is most important, training and hard work.

I had a couple potential clients talk with me about their predicaments and some did not have a clue and some were open to what had to be done.

The ones that had no clue called their dog a “lemon,” and said their only choice was to take the dog to the humane society. No, that’s not your only choice. Another had owned the dog for over 3 years and had not done a thing regarding obedience and now wanted it changed as if it’s a clock in need of a repair.

The realistic ones listened, understood that it takes understanding of dog behavior and mechanics of the home environment to then start management for the long run. Those guys have a better opportunity of things changing.

This is what is the most frustrating. Dogs are not robots, they are animals that are a product of their own environment. Just like us, they get into a routine of doing the same thing everyday. We are part of that routine, molding them without realizing it. We allow more than we realize and after it gets to a certain point WE SAY “it has to stop.” Really? Why not before?

Dogs ALWAYS do things for a reason. Even though we may not see it, there is always a reason. Neutering or giving the dog shots, will not “change” the dogs behavior and sending it to a trainer for a couple weeks will not get you out of your commitment to the end goal…taking responsibility and being a solid pack leader.

We train a lot of dogs, rehabilitate a lot of dogs and in the end it is more about training the people and rehabilitating the people. The owners need to “see” what is actually going on and need to take leadership steps to change it. That’s where we come in.

We guide, focus on trying to help them understand and hopefully create success in the long run. I call this week “unrealistic week” because listening to some of these cases I found myself just shaking my head and saying to myself…”these guys just don’t get it. It’s not the dogs fault..”

Hopefully next week will be better!

Stay tuned for more blog posts and don’t forget to come out to 3 Sheeps this weekend on Sunday at 11-3pm for our Goga & Brew Event! Goat Yoga and Beer & Cheese Pairing!! How can you go wrong!!

We Are Back!

So, we used to do a Two Paws Up Tuesday Blog had fun with it! We grew as a business, got super busy and when we say “we,” we mean I. Lol My name is Rebekah Hintzman and I am a behaviorist/trainer/dog enthusiast and service dog trainer for Autism Assistance Service Dogs!

I have been running with the business for 6 years now on my own and have acquired some trainers, staff and volunteers! We run obedience classes, go out to do private training and have started a non-profit training Service Dogs for families that have children with autism!

Needless to say, we are busy!! We have learned a lot along the way, are continually growing and overall have a great reputation in the community!

Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!

The Social Pet Project!




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

According to veterinary behaviorists, for the first three years, your dog is more likely to die from a behavior problem than from disease. Fortunately, it’s avoidable by socializing your puppy as soon as possible.

What Is Socialization? Socialization is introducing a dog to new people, dogs and other animals, situations, and things.

Most important is that he accept people without fear. Introduce puppies to tall people, short people, ones with beards, others with hats, those with high voices and low voices, as well as people who move fast and those who go slow, like some in wheelchairs. The list of things to socialize a pup or dog to is even longer. Consider umbrellas, bikes, cars, vacuums, and sudden sounds, like recordings of thunder and fireworks.

What Is The Best Age To Do It? From 8-12 weeks of age puppies go through a fear-imprinting stage. During this time, it is crucial to introduce puppies to different stimuli every day and ensure those experiences are positive.

For example, the first time a puppy sees a car, it could be a nice experience or a scary one. A nice experience may be feeding your puppy treats next to a stationary car, and later on, taking him for a slow ride while he’s settled and secure on the seat. A scary event would be standing on a sidewalk with your puppy as a loud car goes by at highway speed. You can control this situation and help your puppy learn not to fear cars with proper planning. But be careful, you don’t want to create a situation where your pup wants to chase cars either. This will cause other behaviors that will need immediate correction.

His reaction in these early situations determines how he reacts in the future. If he’s taught to be fearful of the first new things he sees, he may adopt that mindset rather than being comfortable when encountering new things.

For older dogs with fear responses, it’s possible to change their reactions to positive responses, but it will take more time for them to learn to avoid unproductive and inappropriate responses. That’s why in the case of socialization, earlier is better!

Why Are Puppy Classes So Beneficial For Socialization? During class, puppies get to have playtime with other puppies in a controlled situation. They learn how to interact rather than being a shut-in pup whose body language gets him into trouble with other dogs.

It’s also a great time for them to get to know other puppy owners. Every pup should meet as many people as possible, we recommend at least 100 different people, before he reaches 16 weeks of age. We want them to enjoy the interaction and look forward to meeting new people.

My Little Puppy Is Scared Of Big Dogs, Should I Go To A Little-Dog Class? No!!!! We see many little dogs who are aggressive to or scared of big dogs because they haven’t been socialized correctly. If we allow a pup’s fears to stay rooted, he isn’t going to learn to overcome them. Get your dog into a training class and don’t hold back on introducing him to dogs of all sizes. That said, be sensible. Do it with a trainer who can recognize if there is an issue and can separate them if needed. Always supervise your dog’s play sessions, no matter how big or small the other dogs are.

Does Socialization Finish Once Puppyhood Is Over? Of course not. During puppyhood, you lay the foundation. Don’t let it crumble because you fail to reinforce it. Owners diligently go to a class for eight weeks and then stop. By the time the dog is three years old, you can see that his training has lapsed because he has some fear responses. It may be only to men with beards, but something small like that is how it starts. Keep the program going throughout a dog’s life!

Information courtesy of the: American Kennel Club Use this link to find all your dog training needs. Barking, jumping on guests, car chasing, nipping, biting, shy, fearful, or reactive?? These are just a few of the behaviors we can help with. Not only immediate help, but also continued support from professional trainers with extensive experience.

Training Tip: Get the entire family involved in the socialization process by making a list of 10 new people or things your dog will meet that day and repeat the process making each day a new adventure for both you and your pup!!!

10 Things to Teach Your Puppy….It’s like Pre-K for Canines!




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

The to-do list associated with getting a new puppy may seem overwhelming. To make it more manageable, we’ve compiled the most important training items to teach your new four-legged family member.

  1. To Know And Love His Name. What’s in a name? Well, nothing if your puppy doesn’t know it. Teach your puppy his name by saying it and immediately offering something fun and rewarding. Many times, puppies are used to hearing their name said in an angry tone, so they learn they better head for the hills when they hear it. Make sure to associate his name with positive experiences.
  2. To Come. You can start preparing your puppy for this command even before you start training. Teach him that coming over to you means lots of fun, whether in the form of tug games, food rewards, meals, or belly rubs. You’ll be building a balance in the “come when called” relationship bank so that when the inevitable time comes when there is an emergency and you need your puppy to come to you, he will.
  3. To Let You Grab His Collar. Many puppies have a “fight or flight” fear response when someone reaches for or grabs their collars. Your job is to create a puppy who has an expectation of an awesome reward when his collar is grabbed. Do this by practicing looping a finger through his collar and following it with a high-value treat or a game of tug. You also want to play this game clipping and unclipping a leash. This will teach them whether you are clipping or unclipping their leash they should stay with you and not make a run for it.
  4. Desensitize. Some puppies are easily scared or skeptical, especially during the fear period that usually occurs between 4 and 6 months of age. The best thing to do is to pair potentially scary experiences with something rewarding. But do this carefully. For instance, if your puppy were afraid of the vacuum cleaner offer a treat when you bring it out, then turn it on and offer another treat and immediately turn it off again offering yet another treat. Repeat this process several times and gradually increase the time you keep the vacuum cleaner on.  Never force your puppy into a scary situation or punish him for anxiety.
  5. That Nothing Is Free. Teach your puppy that he can have his meals, treats, toys, and playtime by earning them through playing training games with you. It’ll move training forward and strengthen the relationship with your pup. Also, dogs are contra freeloaders, which means that they derive greater joy and value from working for things they love, rather than getting them for free. Ditch the food bowl and instead spend 10-15 minutes getting your puppy to work for his meal by practicing basic commands. As rewards, offer him kibble or spoonfuls of canned or homemade diets.
  6. To Love The Crate. Your puppy will need to nap often. You can help him understand that his crate is the perfect siesta spot and a fun place to hang out by reserving certain treats and toys for him to get only while in the crate. And instead of crating your puppy only when you go to bed or leave the house, put him in there for small amounts of time when you’re home, too.
  7. To Trust People. Teach your puppy that good people bring good things. Whenever someone is coming over to the house have your guest bring the dog an extra special high value treat. If your dog is in training your guest should have the dog sit. If not, calm behavior earns the treat. It’s an effective way to create an optimistic dog who trusts strangers and knows to work for treats. CAUTION: When doing this make sure your dog will only take the treat with your permission. The reason for this is you don’t want your dog to take everything from anyone. For example, if a child wants to give your dog food it could be something harmful, dangerous, or even worse, deadly.  This, of course, would be unintentional by the child because they may not know that the food they just gave Fido was toxic if ingested.
  8. That You’re His Best Bud. My dogs love other dogs, but they love me more!!! That’s because I taught them to find me more rewarding than most anything else. Work on that skill while allowing your dog to socialize. You’ll know you’ve succeeded when he can come when called even if he’s in the middle of interacting with other dogs.
  9. “Go To Place” or “Hotspot”. Prevent jumping on guests and door dashing all with one command. Early on in training, pair the sound of a doorbell to a reward for when your pup retreats to a mat or bed. By teaching this, you require a strong “go to place” or “hotspot” behavior, all cued up by the sound of the doorbell.
  10. To Learn Self Control. Learning how to go from excited to calm on your command is an invaluable skill for a puppy. A great way to teach this is through playing tug. If you’ve not properly taken the time to teach this game, I would do it today. You won’t regret it, and everything else you teach will become stronger and more functional because of this game. Also, you’ll never again have an issue asking your dog to sit when he’s excited because guests came to the house.

Information courtesy of the: American Kennel Club

Training tip: When teaching your puppy his name make a game of it by tossing a treat away from you and then use it’s name immediately when he reaches the treat and comes back to you. Always end all training sessions on a positive note! Use this link to register for special clubs, memberships, and special events. RUFF Academy Real Life Dog Training offers classes that range from Puppy Playhouse to Advanced Agility and more. We also offer continued support once you’ve completed any of the programs.

New specialty classes start this fall and winter to include Nose work, Brainiac, Parkour, and Treadmill classes. One of our newest programs is Board-N Train and it’s a big hit!!! Check us out on FaceBook and Instagram for videos and pictures of our various classes and programs.

What Are All These Vaccines For?




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

Going to the vet repeatedly over several months for vaccinations, and then for boosters throughout the dog’s life, may seem like a bother, but the diseases from which vaccines shield our pets are truly dreadful, potentially deadly, and largely preventable. Always discuss vaccine schedules with your vet, since not all dogs need every vaccination. But to let you know why vaccinations are important, here are descriptions of the diseases they will help your pet avoid.

Bordetella Bronchiseptica is a highly communicable bacterium that causes severe fits of coughing, whooping, vomiting, and, in rare cases, seizures and death. It is the primary cause of kennel cough. The vaccine can be administered as an injection, nasal spray, or chewable tablet. ***There are several strains of Bordetella Bronchiseptica and the vaccine may not protect against all strains that exist.

Canine Distemper is a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), and nervous systems of dogs, wild canids, raccoons, skunks, and other animals. It causes discharges from the eyes and nose, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, twitching, paralysis, and, often, death. There is no specific drug for the virus – the systems can be alleviated, giving the dog’s immune system a chance to fight it off.

Canine Hepatitis is a disease of the liver caused by a virus that is unrelated to the human form of hepatitis. Symptoms range from a slight fever and congestion of the mucous membranes to severe depression, vomiting, jaundice, stomach enlargement, and pain around the liver. Many dogs can overcome the mild form of the disease, but the severe form can kill. There is no cure, but doctors can treat the symptoms.

Coronavirus is a nasty  virus that usually affects dogs’ gastrointestinal systems, though it can also cause respiratory infections. Signs include most GI symptoms, including loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Doctors can keep a dog hydrated, warm, and comfortable, and help alleviate nausea, but there is no drug that kills coronaviruses.

Heartworm Though there is no vaccine for this condition, it is preventable with regular medication. The name is descriptive – these worms lodge in the right side of the heart and the pulmonary arteries (that send blood to the lungs), though they can travel through the rest of the body and sometimes invade the liver and kidneys. The worms can grow to 14 inches long and, if clumped together, block and injure organs. A new infection often causes no symptoms, though dogs in later stages of the disease may cough, become lethargic, lose their appetite or have difficulty breathing. Infected dogs may tire after mild exercise. Unlike most of the diseases listed here, which are passed by urine, feces, and other body fluids, heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. The disease is treatable if caught early.

Kennel Cough , also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, results from inflammation of the upper airways. It can be caused by bacterial, viral, or other infections (see bordetella and canine parainfluenza), and often involves multiple infections simultaneously. Usually the disease is mild and self-limiting, causing bouts of harsh, dry coughing, sometimes severe enough to spur retching and gagging, along with a loss of appetite, but in rare cases it can kill. It is easily spread between dogs kept close together, which is why it passes quickly through kennels. Antibiotics are usually not necessary, except in severe, chronic cases. Cough suppressants can make a dog more comfortable.

Parvovirus attacks the gastrointestinal system and creates loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and often severe, bloody diarrhea. Extreme dehydration can come on rapidly and kill a dog within 48-72 hours, so prompt veterinary attention is crucial. There is no cure, so keeping the dog hydrated and controlling the secondary symptoms can keep him going until his immune system beats the illness.

Rabies is a virus that invades the central nervous system, causing headache, anxiety, hallucinations, excessive drooling, fear of water, paralysis, and death.  Treatment within hours of infection is essential, otherwise death is highly likely. Most states require a rabies vaccination at set intervals (every one to five years). Check with your vet about local rabies vaccination laws.

***Many household items and foods that people eat can be dangerous for dogs. Signs of poisoning include trembling, drooling, vomiting, and loss of bowel control.

Informatin courtesy of: American Kennel Club   Use this link for various educational information and classes. Starting in October we will be offering specialty 4 week classes, such as, Nose Work, Brainiac, Agility, and Parkour!!!!!! In addition, we offer in home private training.

Training Tip: When teaching basic commands be sure not to repeat the command over and over again. For example if you’re teaching “sit” say it once and wait for the dog to react. Don’t repeat the command  over and over again, otherwise the dog may think the command is “sit”, “sit”, “sit”, “sit”.



Good Surprise or Bad?




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

Dangerous (and Surprising) Items That Contain Xylitol 

Dog owners know the dangers that foods like chocolate, garlic, onions, and grapes pose to their canine companions’ health; foods that are harmless to most people.

Another common substance that’s harmless to most humans but potentially life-threatening if consumed by dogs is Xylitol – a sugar alcohol that is used as a sugar substitute in many human foods.

But for dogs, xylitol poisoning is a major problem, according to the associate director of veterinary services at the Pet Poison Helpline. Ingesting xylitol causes a rapid and massive insulin release in dogs, which will manifest itself outwardly to a pet owner as acute weakness, staggering, and vomiting. Within 15-20 minutes, they might even be comatose, and depending on the amount consumed, a dog can also experience liver failure from ingesting xylitol.

Gum: If a gum is labeled as sugar-free, that should be a warning sign for xylitol. The Pet Poison Helpline cites gum as the source of nearly 80% of cases.

Mouthwash and Toothpaste: While not usually containing the same levels of xylitol as gum, dental health products tend to use this sugar substitute because of its appealing sweet taste and its teeth strengthening, plaque-fitting properties.

Baked Goods: Because packaged xylitol can be bought in bulk at many food stores, baked foods are becoming a more common source of canine health emergencies. Cupcakes and cookies have a lot more sweetener in them than mouthwash, a pet that consumes a baked good packed with xylitol is in danger of facing a life-threatening situation. You need to call your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately and give them as much information as you can. Depending on the severity, they may suggest feeding your dog syrup or honey-something sweet to help keep their blood sugar up temporarily while you drive to seek emergency help.  On the other hand many grocery stores have stated carrying sugar-free foods like ketchup, peanut butter, protein bars, pudding, and more that contain xylitol as one of their primary ingredients. It is important to always carefully read the entire ingredient list of any food before giving it to your dog.

Medications: Most medications that contain xylitol are of the “meltaway” variety. These accounted for 12% of cases referred to a veterinary emergency facility, according to the Pet Poison Helpline-the second most behind gum. You also might see xylitol in some medications containing melatonin, liquid prescription products, and gummy vitamins.

Lotions, Gels, and Deodorants: You’re probably thinking, “why does my deodorant contain an artificial sweetener?” Fair question. Xylitol has humectant properties, which means it can help a product retain moisture, which makes it perfect for products like this.

Information courtesy of: PetMD

Use the link above to register for a variety of classes for both you and your dog!




What Can I Do To Prepare For The Unexpected?




“Two Paws Up Tuesday”

Planning for your pet’s long-term needs.

Because pets usually have shorter lifespans than their human caregivers, you may have planned for the passing of your companion animals. But what if you are the one who becomes ill, incapacitated or dies first?

As a responsible pet owner, you provide your pet with food and water, shelter, veterinarian care, and LOVE. To ensure your beloved pet will continue to receive this care should something unexpected happen to you, it’s critical to plan ahead.

What can I do now to prepare for the unexpected?

In the confusion that accompanies a person’s unexpected illness, accident, or death, pets may be overlooked. In some cases, pets are discovered in the person’s home days after a tragedy.

To prevent this from happening to your pet, take these simple precautions:

  • Find at least two responsible friends or relatives who agree to serve as temporary emergency caregivers in the event that something unexpected happens to you. Provide them with keys to your home; feeding and care instructions; the name of your vet; and information about the permanent care provisions you have made for your pet.
  • Make sure your neighbors, friends, and relatives know how many pets you have and the names and contact numbers of the individuals who have agreed to serve as emergency caregivers. Emergency caregivers should also know how to contact each other.
  • Carry a wallet “alert card” that lists the names and phone numbers of your emergency contacts.
  • Post removable “in case of emergency” notices on your doors or windows specifying how many and what types of pets you have. These notices will alert emergency-response personnel during a fire or other home emergency. Don’t use stickers; hard to remove stickers are often left behind by former residents, so firefighters may assume that the sticker is outdated or, worse, risk their lives trying to find a pet who is no longer in the house.

How can I ensure long-term permanent care for my pet if I become seriously ill or die?

The best way to make sure your wishes are fulfilled is by also making formal arrangements that specifically cover the care of your pet.

It’s not enough that long ago a friend verbally promised to take in your animal or even that you’ve decided to leave money to a friend for that purpose. Work with an attorney or go on-line to draw up a special will, trust, or other document to provide for the care and ownership of your pet as well as the money necessary to care for them.

How do I choose a permanent caregiver?

First, decide whether you want all of your pets to go to one person, or whether different pets should go to different people. If possible, keep pets who have bonded with one another together.

When selecting caregivers, consider partners, adult children, parents, siblings, and friends who have met your pet and have successfully cared for pets themselves. Also  name alternate caregivers in case your first choice becomes unable or unwilling to take your pet.

Be sure to discuss your expectations with potential caregivers so they understand the large responsibility of caring for your pet.

Remember: the new owner will have full discretion over the animal’s care – including veterinary treatment and euthanasia – so make sure you choose a person you trust implicitly and who will do what is in the best interests of your pet.

Stay in touch with designated caregivers and alternates. Over time, people’s circumstances and priorities change, and you want to make sure that the arrangements you have made continue to hold from the designated caregivers’ vantage points.

If all else fails, it is also possible to direct your executor or personal representative in your will to place the animal with another individual or family member.

You should also authorize your executor to expend funds from your estate for the temporary care of your pet as well as for the costs of looking for a new home and transporting the animal. The will should also grant broad discretion to your executor in making decisions about the animal and in expending estate funds on the animal’s behalf.

NOTE: The foregoing is intended to provide general information and to stimulate your thinking about providing for your pet in the event of your incapacity or death. It is not intended to provide legal advice and is definitely not a substitute for consulting a local attorney of your choosing who is familiar both with the laws of your state and with your personal circumstances and needs, and those of your pet.

Information courtesy of: The Humane Society Of The United States

Check out RUFF Academy by using the link above for a multitude of classes and programs that are currently being offered. We are always updating our programs to remain current and relevant to what’s going on in the dog world.

Thanks to all of our loyal clients and local veterinary office’s for all the referrals you send our way. We owe our continued success to all of you!

Training tip: provided by Megan Tershner a RUFF Academy Agility Trainer. The pause table is one of the harder obstacles because it requires a hyper dog to stop for 5 seconds. If your agility club does not require a sit or down on the table you can use this time to do a few simple tricks to get your dog hyped up again.

Answers to last weeks puzzle:

  1. Foster
  2. Service Dog
  3. RUFF Academy
  4. Prong
  5. Beagle
  6. Tags
  7. Barking
  8. Weave
  9. Spot Can Sit!
  10. Puppies
  11. Poodle
  12. Great Dane
  13. Dog House
  14. Leash
  15. Jack Pot