BetCo Jul/Aug 2018 Newsletter

Hello ,

Congratulations to the teams who passed the CGC®-test (Canine Good Citizen) in June! Everybody was very committed to their dog and helped them through with lots of enthusiasm. The dogs who didn't pass were all lovely and I'm sure they all can pass at a later time with a bit more training. 

Our new CGC®- teams:
Kay with Shelby
Lexa with Hobbes
Saunders with Puck

Important news and reads in this issue:

1) Agility Workshop & Summer Practices

2) More Sports Classes - Trick Dog and Treibball

3) Upcoming Classes

4) Monthly Training Tip: How to Choose a Dog Trainer

On June 30, 2018, Claudia celebrates 15 years of being a CPDT, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. She just re-certified for another three years. But what does that mean? How important are credentials and what are legit credentials in the dog training world? Find out more in the feature at the end of this issue.

All clickable links in this newsletter are in PURPLE.

Enjoy life with your better companion,


Aussie Nadi navigating a set of 12 weaves. There are different approaches to teach a dog to weave, and we'll show you the most common ones we found work the best in our Agility Go Weave-Workshop! These methods include ways that are rather impractical in a class situation but work very well for at-home training. Date: July 14, 2018.

1) Agility Workshop & Summer Practices

Waiting for more agility classes? Wanting to get a head start on weaving? Join this workshop and learn more ways how you can teach weaves at home with more fun and little equipment! The methods will include approaches you won't see in our classes, as some are rather impractical in a class setting but awesome to use at home!

This workshop is for everybody after at least one Agility Beginner class and if your dog isn't yet fluent on running 6 poles independently.

Agility Go Weave! Saturday, July 14th, 1 PM - 3:30 PM (2-3 hrs) at BetCo

Already graduated from Agility Skills and Sequencing, or trialing with your dog? Would you like to practice at a different venue on a full course or part of a full course? We have secured Sirius Ranch to practice on their fully fenced grass field with an agility course already set up!

Agility Practices: Saturday, July 14th and August 11th at Sirius Ranch

Agility Classes and Practices will start up again Saturday, September 15th - Sign up for the first set of classes is already open!

2) More Sports Classes - Trick Dog and Treibball

Ella-Kate will be back from her summer break to teach more tricks! Her first set of classes will start in August/September, and includes a Trick Dog - Intermediate class for all our Trick Dog - Novice graduates from the spring, and a Treibball Beginner class, for everybody who'd like to pick up the exercise ball with their dog!

Trick Dog Intermediate: Thursdays, starting August 23 at 6:15 PM

Treibball Beginner: Thursdays, starting August 23 at 7:30 PM

3) Upcoming Classes

Classes that start every month:

Puppy 1 - Preschool, Puppy 2 - Kindergarten, Foundation Class, Grade School;
Click HERE for the full schedule. The classes start on different days of the week and different times of the day, so pick the one that fits you best!

July classes:

K9 Nose Work® - Beginners starts Sunday, July 15 and has a few openings! Already a Beginner graduate? Then join K9 Nose Work® - Intro to Odor, starting the same day! Even if your Beginner graduation was quite a while ago, if your dog was ready to advance back then, s/he still is!

Junior High for Grade School graduates starts Wednesday, July 18. The focus of this class is on adding and practicing more behaviors that are useful for great manners in public, like heeling, finish, front and leave it. We'll also discuss and practice emergency situations on your walk, like encountering wild animals or loose, unsupervised dogs. By the way, we'll improve the dog's hind end awareness and trick repertoire.

Rally College for Junior High graduates and for dogs already practicing for Rally trials starts Wednesday, July 18. This will be the last round of classes before a summer break. We'll continue with agility classes again in September! As we're trying to be as flexible as possible to accommodate everybody, we might double up a class or combine classes instead of canceling them. This could impact the times of other agility classes before and after. The earlier we know that you want to join us, the better!

August classes:

Trick Dog - Intermediate for all our Novice graduates! This class starts August 23rd, at 6:15 PM. That's one week later than originally planned, to give school people a chance to get back in the groove with school first. This is a great way to deepen the connection with your dog, learn how to make even obedience more fun, increase your dog's attention and find out how to train that trick you always wanted your dog to learn. You'll by the way get signed off throughout the class for the tricks you show and could earn your next Trick Dog Title just by attending this class! The titles can then be requested from Do More With Your Dog and/or the AKC.  

Treibball - Beginner will also be offered on Thursdays, starting August 23rd, at 7:30 PM. This fun sport involves having your dog roll exercise balls (big or small) towards you, and at the same time teaches sending, distance control and self control. We'll offer the follow-up class, Treibball - Intermediate, right afterwards in October, so don't miss out on this opportunity!

Preview for September and beyond:

K9 Nose Work® - Elements in September! (For NW-Intro to Odor graduates). The last one for the season!

Treibball - Intermediate in October! Our TB-Beginner graduates from the spring have been waiting for this!


Here's what some of our clients had to say after taking Junior High

"[The greatest benefit was that it] keeps us motivated to continue training ... "

"He now knows "go to your spot" and his recall has improved greatly. Loose leash walking is still a working progress but we're getting there!"

"[My husband] forgot she (the dog) was out when he was bringing the horse in. She started to run toward the horse barking, but he said Stay and she stayed!"

'This class covered a huge amount of material. A little like getting a drink from a fire hose ... You get what you need but not all of it. I may take this course a second time to get more of it."

Read more testimonies HERE!
4) Monthly Training Tip:

How to Choose a Dog Trainer

The Council for Certified Professional Dog Trainers, the CCPDT, is a nationwide acknowledged entity with a very high standard in dog training and professionalism.
The CCPDT believes that the public has the right to work with dog training and behavior professionals who are not only knowledgeable but whose knowledge is based on current, sound scientific principles. The CCPDT promotes universal understanding of and respect for dog training and behavior consulting as a profession by endorsing strict adherence to scientific and humane methods.The CCPDT also encourages growth in and fluency of knowledge in the profession through high standards of examination and the requirement for continuing education.

Exams can be taken during two time windows per year and after that certificants need to stay informed in the field by attending lectures, workshops or conferences to collect CEUs (Continued Educational Units). Every exam and re-certification includes the signing of a Code of Ethics, which includes (among 15 other points) the following:

- To assist clients in establishing humane, realistic, training and behavior goals in accordance with the CCPDT Humane Hierarchy Position Statement.
- To understand and fully comply with the CCPDT Training and Behavior Practices Policy.
- To use training and behavior modification methods based on accurate scientific research, emphasizing positive relationships between people and dogs and using positive reinforcement-based techniques to the maximum extent possible.

As a CPDT-KSA (Knowledge and Skills Assessed), I always strive to follow these principles throughout my facility, be it the classes taught by me, by other instructors or the supervision of the daycare and play times.

If you're looking for a knowledgeable dog trainer, there are other credentials that indicate somebody who strives for continued education and skills in positive reinforcement methods:

- Certified Behavior Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA), offered through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)

- Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), offered through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)

- Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI), offered through the founder of Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT), Grisha Steward.

- Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). This is not a certification, but it does cost money to belong to this organization and they hold huge  annual dog trainer conferences to help keep their members informed about developments in dog training and the science around it.

A good basic foundation of knowledge and skills is also provided through dog training instructor schools like Animal Behavior College and the Karen Pryor Academy.

There are a lot of dog training instructors out there that haven't gone through a specific dog training instructor education and don't have any of these credentials, so how can regular dog owners choose one they can trust?

If you're looking for a dog trainer that uses scientifically proven methods based on positive reinforcement training, ask the following questions:

1) How did you learn to become a dog training instructor? If they mention certificates, research them online. What does it take to get such a certificate? Could you, the dog owner, get one if you just spend enough money and  answer a few questions? If they learned it all on Google, I'd be hesitant! :-) A good foundation can be education in the veterinary field, shadowing and assisting a certified instructor and having attended lectures or workshops. Let them give you specific examples, so that you again can research them and find out if they follow your idea of how your dog should be trained.

2) Which methods are you using and do you have any specific trainer idols who's methods you are following? Write down the names of the trainer idols they're mentioning, and check them out online. Do they have any of the above credentials? Are they listed as speakers at well-known educational events like the APDT or IAABC conference and the Clicker Expo? You can also always contact us and ask us about a certain training method and if we haven't heard about that method, we'll research it for you and share the results with you.

3) What tools will I need or will you use when training my dog? Positive reinforcement methods will not rely on choke chains, pinch/prong collars or e-collars. Your dog should wear a regular fabric or leather collar that doesn't choke or has a stop-slip function, and you might add a no-pull harness (front clip) and/or a head halter to stay in control of your dog (no punishment, just taking the power out of the dog). You'll work through rewarding your dog for good behaviors, so usually you'll be asked to bring tasty treats, at least kibble, and maybe a favorite toy for the dog.

4) What does a specific course promise? If a course of a specific length promises a certain outcome, e.g. off-leash with distractions after X weeks, you should again be hesitant. Dogs come from very different backgrounds with very different genetics, and no trainer should promise a specific outcome. We can promise you that we'll work on specific tasks and exercises, that you'll learn valuable communication tools, and that your dog should improve over the length of the course rather than getting worse, but too many factors influence the outcome of the training to make a more specific promise.

We're proud to be the first and so far only full-time and year-round dog training facility in Alaska led by a Certified Professional Dog Trainer since 2003, and hope to serve you for a long time to come!

Let's enjoy the Journey of Dog Training together!
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The Better Companion, LLC, 1400 Regine Ave, Wasilla, AK 99654, United States

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