BetCo Oct/Nov 2017 Newsletter

Hello ,

While the most beautiful fall colors ease our way into winter, we have time to get ready for the dark and cold winter months.

Read more about getting ready for winter below.

Doggy Day: Thanks to a wonderful crowd of volunteers, vendors and visitors, our Doggy Day was a full success! Over 200 people watched the different dog demos, visited the over 20 booths and enjoyed getting welcome gifts and winning door prizes on a sunny day.

Thank you to ALL OF YOU!!! This event wouldn't be possible without you, no matter if you're a volunteer, manned a booth and/or came as a visitor!

Mark your calendars for our next Doggy Day:
Saturday, September 8th, 2018!

Are you ready for winter? Does your outside enclosure have a warm and dry place for your dog to cuddle up? How will you provide water? Is your heated water bucket still working? Now's the time to check.

While you're thinking about it; have you checked out all the gear that's available to brighten yourself and your dog up for those evening walks in the dark? Safety vest, blinking or glow-in-the-dark neon collars or tags, reflective gear? Yes, it's fun stuff, but also very practical!

How do you plan to exercise your dog as it's getting darker and colder? Dog's need mental stimulation the most, not just working their muscles. This becomes even more important as walks (might) become shorter.

Treadmills can be helpful to bridge the gap some days, but if used too regularly, they'll actually improve the physical condition of your dog, leaving them needing even more daily exercise ... but possibly still bored. Daycare for your dog can be very useful too, although some dogs might become too aroused if they go more than 1-2 times per week. At our daycare we'll even give dogs kennel breaks to avoid high arousal.

Mental stimulation is provided in a class environment, plus doing the exercises at home. This could be an obedience class or a sports class, like Agility or Nose Work. In October, we also offer Treibball for beginners! Read more about that below.

Monthly feature
at the end of this newsletter:
Training your dog with the family - all on board?

All clickable links in this newsletter are in PURPLE.

Enjoy life with your better companion,


Lucena (call name "Luce") is the newest addition to Claudia's family! Having three dogs, ages 12, 13 and 16, Claudia was itching for a puppy, but not for a fourth dog, so the plan had been to wait. Finally though, destiny decided to give her a yearling; one who looks a lot like her oldest dog, Sally, and who was already named like her Jack Russell, Lucy. Lucena is a leggy Alaskan Husky, a little timid at times and very agile! She's going to be so much fun to train! Follow some of her training adventures on our Facebook page!
Sports classes:

The Treibball Beginner class is on the schedule for October and secured!!! We have enough students and room for a couple more. It starts October 12th, on Thursdays at 5:00 PM. Teach your dogs different tricks including pushing an exercise ball to improve your bond and control even at a distance! A great supplement especially for agility prospects! The class will run straight through for six weeks, ending November 16th.

Start or keep going with our popular Agility classes! If we have enough additional interest, we'll even double up whichever classes are necessary, so times as listed could still change by about an hour. Starting again November 4th, on Saturdays, this session will have one break on December 2nd to accommodate an agility trial, finishing December 16th.

K9 Nose Work® is a fun sport and a great outlet for any dog; puppies or seniors, shy or outgoing, mellow or energetic, little or lots of obedience, even a little reactive to other dogs - no problem! Newer research supports that mental stimulation, not necessarily physical exercise alone, is the best activity for dogs. For this reason and more, nose work has become the fastest growing sport in the country! Channel the energy of your 'nosy' dog into a behavior you can control! The next Nose Work classes (Beginners and Intro to Odor) start on Sunday, November 5th.

We are working on adding other sports classes to the calendar, too! Email us your wishes and you might see it coming true!

2) Manners classes

Any time after Grade School:
Take obedience to higher levels in our Junior High class, offered again in November. Junior High graduates: There will be another Rally College in November as well! Already finished Junior High and Rally College? Practice and brush up your dog's manners in our Canine Good Citizen® (CGC)-Prep class! The next start date is in December.

Haven't done Grade School yet?
After Puppy 2 - Kindergarten or Foundation Class, you can continue on to Grade School, offered every month. Pick the day and time that fits your schedule best! Grade School applies all the learned techniques to valuable exercises, improving your handling skills and your dog's behavior through more practice with controlled but increasing distractions. Next GS starting October 9th on Monday evenings at 7:30 PM, after that in November on Sunday Afternoons. Grade School is already on the schedule for December as well.

Want to start your dog now?
Our Package deals are the best option for the young dogs - bundle two or more classes for a great discount! You learn valuable lessons and your dog gets the best start. Package Puppy 1 and Puppy 2 or Foundation Class and Grade School together to receive the best rate! Puppy owners can even bundle P1, P2 and Grade School together for even bigger savings.

Next Puppy 1 classes: Starting in October on Monday evenings and in November on Wednesdays. Puppy 2 class starts in October on Thursdays and in November on Sundays.

For dogs over 6 months new to BetCo, join our Foundation Class, also starting every month! Next FC starting in October on Monday and Wednesday evenings and in November on Sunday afternoon.

Here's what one of our clients had to say after taking Foundation Class:
"[The greatest benefit was] reminding me of my behavior and using positive reinforcement. [I liked most about the program] the layout and how one thing added to the next ... "

Read more testimonies HERE!
Monthly Training Tip:

Training your dog with the family - all on board?

We often get questions like "how can I get my spouse to help with the training?" or "should my family attend classes with me?" and statements like "this is my daughter's/ son's dog and he'll do all the training" with the age of the child varying from 5 to 30 years.

I want to try to give you my opinion on these questions, partly based on research and partly based on my own or other trainers' experience.

1) Involving the family in the training:

Generally said, involve them as much as they'd like to be involved. "My spouse let's the dog jump all over him, and I'm trying so hard to teach him not to" is a very common phrase. Actually, your dog will come to know with whom he'll have to behave and how, just like children know whom to ask for ice cream right before lunch and with whom not to even bother trying.

You can approach this several different ways:

- Train the dog in your presence the way you want to, and ignore what the other family members do with the dog, until they are willing to be on board. They might ask you for help when they see how the dog behaves for you, but not for them ("Why does he come to you but not to me?"). If necessary, keep a leash on your dog for more control. Your dog will learn to listen to you and behave when you're there. It just might take a bit longer while he's allowed to rehearse unwanted behaviors with others.

- Have the dog stay in a crate or other confinement when you aren't there, and only the family members who will follow your training approach are allowed to interact with the dog while you're gone or don't have time to interact with it. If they want to interact with the puppy/ dog more often, they'll have to agree to follow your training rules.

- Note: Trying to force a training protocol onto somebody else in your household just causes frustration, tension between family members and adds too much pressure to the fun of having a dog together.

2) Who should come to the class with the dog?

- Number of people: We see best results with 1-2 handlers. More is possible, but often too confusing for the dog and if it's one adult with several children, supervising the dog AND the children can be quite a chore and too much training information gets lost.

- Age of participants: According to research, children can start being involved in the training at about 8 years and can take responsibilities for the outcome of the training starting at 12 - 14 years. That means the true responsibility for training the family dog will be in the hands of the adults! You can bring your child at age 8 or older with you to class and let them handle as much as they'd like to, as long as it's safe. But keep in mind that the outcome of the training is YOUR responsibility as the adult, so listen well and make sure you get some practice under supervision, too.

3) How can you help a family member to get the dog to listen to them?

Remember this is not as important for children under 8 years. For younger children, it'll be YOUR management and supervision that will control the family dog, not the child!

Let's call the family member who needs help "Alf".

- Start with easy behaviors that the dog already knows, because you taught them already. Maybe demonstrate once to Alf how to get the dog to do it, then let Alf try.

- When it's Alf's turn to ask the dog for a behavior and he doesn't get the dog to do it, don't interrupt and take over, only COACH Alf on how to maybe change his strategy to be successful (e.g. "try holding your hand a bit higher"). If it's too hard and Alf gets frustrated, offer him to take over, but ask if that's what he wants.

- If Alf gets too frustrated with the dog, patiently explain that these emotions are understandable, but will confuse the dog and that it's better to take a break now. Don't take over, just give both a break. Maybe try something easier next time as the first exercise.

- Allow Alf to do chores with the dog like letting him out of the kennel, feeding him and playing with him, to increase the bond between them.

We have a very good book for sale at our facility that helps understand how to raise children and dogs together, depending on age. We highly recommend this book to every family that has underage children and a dog - or who is even just thinking about getting a dog!

Enjoy the Journey of Dog Training!

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The Better Companion, LLC, 1400 Regine Ave, Wasilla, AK 99654, United States

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