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BetCo May Newsletter

Hello ,


Alaska is being good to us this year giving us (so far) an early spring and summer! It's fun to be out with our dogs and romp around with them!


Please remember the moose will calve in May and that means the mothers will be extra grumpy and protective with a lower flight and much higher fight instinct than any other time! Keep your dogs under increased supervision, be considerate of these native four-legged Alaskans and respect their space.


Big kudos to all our students! The parking lot and surrounding grass areas have been very clean all winter long. Everybody tries hard to clean up after their pups and maybe even take out some extra loads. THANK YOU!!!


Soon you'll see our BetCo Mobile driving around - our SUV is getting wrapped! Just look for a train - symbolizing the journey of dog training - with lots of paw and hoof prints. We didn't want to leave out the horses - they're an important part of our journey to become better trainers :-) And whenever we haul the horses around, our BetCo-Mobile will turn into the Icelandic Express!



Contest!


Draw us a flow chart for our behavior classes and get the chance to win a $20 coupon for a class of your choice! Deadline is May 31. See details below.



May Highlights:


Want to be part of our inaugural Junior High School class? We're inviting our Grade School graduates to join us on Mondays, from 7:30-8:30pm, starting May 9th! Read the class description for our revised former Elementary School class below.


Join our K9 Nose Work Beginner classes! New: Puppy Primer for puppies from 4-9 months and K9 NW Beginners for all dogs 10 months and older. This will be our last NW Beginner classes until at least September!


Shy Dog Workshop will be on May 21st! Four hours packed with information, the truth about common beliefs and lots of positive practice without overloading your people-shy dog!



New: Private Lessons by a BetCo trainer!


Our instructor June Snyder is expanding her services and coming to your home! Read more below.



Monthly Training Tip:

Mouthing in puppies and adolescent dogs.



All clickable links in this newsletter are in PURPLE.


Enjoy life with your better companion, while we enjoy accompanying and guiding you through the journey of dog training,

Claudia


Contest!

Draw us a flow chart for our behavior classes and get the chance to win a $20 coupon to use towards a class of your choice!

- The chart should include P1, P2, FC, GS, Jr. High, CGC-Prep, CLASS-BA and Rally College and fit on a 8"x11" sheet.

- The March Newsletter explained the order of the classes. Don't have that newsletter? Find our BetCo March Newsletter on Facebook. Also, our web page explains for each class what other class(es) should be attended before specific classes can be taken. Check out our class descriptions and work out your flow chart from there!

- You can email, mail or fax the flow chart to us: info@bettercompanion.com, fax to (907) 357-2377 or mail to: 1400 Regine Ave, Wasilla, AK 99654

- Deadline is May 31, and the winner will be announced in our July Newsletter!
Junior High School 

Reach higher levels of obedience with new exercises, tricks and tips to help you through everyday situations, show off in front of your family and friends and have fun while spending quality time with your dog.

Exercises include teaching the heel (attentive loose leash walking at your side), come "Front" and "Finish" (coming back into heel position) among others; what to do when you see a moose or a loose dog coming towards you; how to engage your dog's hind end and turn that into a trick (hind end awareness will also help your dog's muscle development and crosses over into other dog sports like agility and freestyle) and much more! We're now building on the foundation set during the classes up through Grade School and continue allowing our dogs to amaze us!

Date and time: Jr. High class starts Monday, May 9th, 7:30-8:30pm. No class on Memorial Monday, last class on June 20th.
Next Junior High after this one not until September.
K9 Nose Work

Join the fastest growing dog activity - allowing your dog's or puppy's NOSE to go places! Channel their deep and much-loved instinct to sniff into a controlled behavior and game - any dog can do it! May offers not only another K9 Nose Work® Beginners class for dogs of all ages, but a Nose Work Puppy Primer class specifically geared for trying out and sampling the different aspects of this new sport with our younger ones from 12 weeks to 9 months of age. Classes start Tuesday, May 17 and end June 21. Over 9 months, please sign up for K9 NW-Beginner class.

BTW, we'll continue with Freestyle Practice for our Freestyle II graduates on Thursday evenings in April and May, and add Rally Practice by mid May! Need a Sports punch card first? Click HERE!
Shy Dog Workshop

Is your dog barking at visitors in your home and/or strangers you see on your walks? Is your dog uncomfortable and doesn't want to get patted by friends of yours? Does it take longer than normal for your dog to warm up to your guests? Do you have difficulties getting a house sitter because of your dog not warming up to them?

Then come to this workshop and learn why your dog hasn't improved (or only very slowly) and maybe even got worse with some people or overall. Let us uncover the truth about some myths of common practices that everybody thinks are helpful and correct but are in reality rather harmful. Learn new techniques proven and supported by science and learning theory - the gentle but effective ways to build a healthy confidence in your dog!

Shy Dog Workshop is for dogs that are timid when meeting new people, even growly or barky towards strangers. They should be able to settle and take treats in an unknown environment (our dog training facility) and not be aggressive.

Date and time: Saturday, May 21st, 2 - 6 pm at our facility.

Next workshop after this:
Feisty Fido Workshop for leash-reactive dogs - Saturday, August 6th, 10 am - 5 pm
Private Lessons

We already offer private consultations to help dogs with specific problem behaviors that can't be resolved in a classroom situation; like aggression or reactivity to other dogs, to people, separation anxiety, house soiling and problems in the dynamics of a multi-dog household.

Now we can also offer private lessons to resolve issues like pulling on leash, jumping up on people, mouthing, unruliness and not coming when called. Our instructors will come to your home to help you either because you can't make our class schedule (e.g. slope worker or nurse?), your situation makes it impossible to come to a class (e.g. no babysitter?), you're in between classes and would like to improve one specific behavior that seems to be harder to tackle or wasn't addressed as detailed in the class as you needed it.

Get individualized help from our instructors and know they'll use the same gentle, force-free methods we promote for our group classes. No shock collars or prong collars, no leash corrections, no harsh words. Just scientifically proven proper communication with the dog about what will work for them and what won't. In the end they'll want to behave and show good manners because it's the best outcome for them.

We already have a few open slots available! This is a new part of our online system, so please let us know if anything isn't working the way it should be or if you have any questions! Under the headline "View Openings", the overview calendar on the left shows available dates in BOLD. Then check the hourly calendar for colored areas and click on that square to start your sign-up for that slot.
Monthly Training Tip:
Mouthing

In positive reinforcement training, we DON'T wait for the behavior to happen and then CORRECT it. We actually want to be one step ahead of the dog: Our goal is to:
 
AVOID this behavior from happening by being pro-active:

- Exercise your dog before high arousal (exciting) times. For example; play in the yard a little fetch (3-5 throws) and then take your dog for a walk or continue your play in the yard with a 'seek' game - hide the toy or treat and let the dog search for it for a calmer, mental exercise.  
- Have your dog kenneled or otherwise confined during high arousal times (e.g. visitors entering the house)
- Have your dog on a leash (e.g. when meeting people, even in your home) and step with your foot on the middle of the leash while still holding the end in your hand. You can now decide how much room you'll give your dog to move by raising or lowering your hand.
- During regular social times with your dog; take the time to play with your dog with a toy and show them that it is fun to play with you with that toy so that this is a highly desirable and known behavior when you offer the toy during high arousal (excitement) times. Tug toys (e.g. rope toys) are best for that, so that you can hold onto the toy while your dog grabs another end of it. Puppies often prefer the shirt sleeve or pant legs over their toy. This game can change that.  
- If you can see it coming: have your dog's tug toy ready to offer your dog to grab it or ask for an alternate behavior (e.g. Sit) BEFORE your dog gets close to you.
- If you have children that get mouthed by your dog: Be aware that until your child is about 12-14 years old, the responsibility of the dog's training and behavior is yours. So if you can't supervise your dog yourself around children that are younger, confinement is the best choice to allow the children to play their games without being interrupted by a mouthy dog.

If it still happens:

- Tell your dog that this hurts (you or your clothing) by loudly saying "Ouch!" and stopping play. This helps in puppies to build a bite inhibition threshold for our sensitive skin. If you were sitting or on the ground with the dog, stand up.
- Turn sideways away from the dog, keep your hands above your elbows close to your body (touching your upper chest) and walk away. Don't push your dog away, this just reinforces the attention seeking behavior.
- If your dog keeps mouthing, tell them 'time out' with a smile in your face and gently take them to their confinement for 10-15 minutes of a break. This is not 'jail time', but calming time.
- If you can't hold your dog by the collar without getting mouthed at, take your dog on a leash to the kennel.

Puppies are fun, but they can be challenging! Just remember, with some simple training tips, this too will pass!
The Better Companion, LLC, 1400 Regine Ave, Wasilla, AK 99654, United States

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