BetCo August 2017 Newsletter

Hello ,

BetCo is thrilled to announce we have several new team members to help serve you better on your journey of training your dog!

Our call for an office assistant was a huge success, thank you to all who responded promptly! We'll keep all resumes on file for future references.

Please welcome not only Jeanette in the office but also Christina as our third daycare position, assisting our two daycare supervisors Jaralynn and Laura. Welcome Jeanette and Christina!

We also have some changes in our team of instructors. Monica will soon be on maternity leave and June is moving out of state this fall. We're very sad to see June go, but wish her the best for her new adventures in the lower 48.

This gives new instructors the opportunity to join our BetCo team! We'll start two new instructors who both graduated from Animal Behavior College. One is our own daycare supervisor and office assistant Laura, and the other is a long-time client of ours, Lori Jo. 

This means that over the next several months you might get the benefit of having TWO instructors in your behavior class, one being a trainee, the other one an experienced trainer.

RDO-Day (Responsible Dog Ownership Day) is coming up soon on Saturday, September 9, 2017! Mark your calendar or reserve a vendor spot now! We'll again have Pampered Paws offer a $5 nail trim for your dog, microchipping will be available, and have already secured MATSAR for our popular search and rescue demo

Are you collecting stamps for completing classes on your class flow chart??? As part of our BetCo Rewards Program, we're giving out first goodies for having collected at least 4 stamps on the same page (manners or sports classes)! Ask your instructor on graduation day and show them your 4 stamps! 
Is your dog a good candidate to be a Therapy Dog? Contact our local Pet Partners instructors Terry or Pete for more info! They'll offer a Therapy Animal Handler Course on Saturday, September 9 (unfortunately same day as our Doggy Day) in Anchorage.
Terry: or (907) 694-4777
Pete: or (907) 727-8633

All clickable links in this newsletter are underlined and in PURPLE.

Enjoy life with your better companion,


BetCo has expanded its services and now offers mounted archery lessons. Here you see instructor Frank on his own mount, Icelandic mare Gjof. Find us on Facebook or give Frank a call at 841-7468! 

State Fair dog day August 27, 2017

The Better Companion will this year NOT be able to take part in the dog demos at the State Fair in Palmer. Most of our key volunteers for the demo will be attending a K9 Nose Work® trial in Soldotna that weekend. So if you'd like to see doggy demos from The Better Companion, come to our own RDO Doggy Day at our facility on Saturday, September 9, 2017! The State Fair still has great dog demos to offer - check it out and support their celebration of our four-legged friends!

Responsible Dog Ownership-Day (Doggy Day) September 9, 2017

Come join us with your family and maybe your friendly dog! We have great entertainment scheduled for the whole family! Start with a free door prize ticket and listen to the hourly drawings, stroll through our vendors and booths representing rescue organizations, breed groups, veterinary clinics and more! You might find great deals only valid that day!

Listen to our feature presentation,
watch the demonstrations of agility and nose work by our students and a special search and rescue demo by MATSAR! Try out our manners games with your own dog and maybe join the Canine Good Citizen-test on Sunday? 

Grab a free hot dog and soda plus cookies; enjoy the presentation of different dog breeds - maybe show off your own dog in a Meet-The-Breed presentation?

Need a microchip for your dog? Kool Katz Rescue offers microchipping again! Bring your dog to a nail trim by Pampered Paws for only $5! Both are available all day from 10am - 4pm.

Summer Workshops:

Feisty Fido Workshop is for dogs that are reactive to other dogs when walked on leash. They might be fine playing with other dogs off-leash, or it's unknown if they'd be friendly or not to other dogs. If you have been dreading or avoiding a leash-walk because of possible encounters with other dogs, this is your chance to change that! Dogs should be people friendly for this workshop.

This is a 6-hour workshop plus a lunch break for a maximum of 6 dogs. The workshop scheduled for Saturday, August 19 has just filled all working dog positions. You're welcome to pay for an auditing spot and come without your dog! Please let us know if you're interested in a working dog position if it becomes available. The system does allow to pay for a waitlist position, and all paid waitlist and audit positions will have first dips on an opening. 

Shy Dog Workshop is for dogs that are not comfortable around strangers. They'll shy away, take their time to warm up, and might even bark at strangers if they get approached. If you'd like to improve your dog's trust in your visitors and shorten the warm-up time between your guests and your dog, or if you'd like to reduce the barking at strangers and guests, this workshop is for you!

Date and time: Sunday, August 20 at 2-6 PM. We still have a couple working spots!
Manners classes

Grade School Graduates - want to improve your dog's Canine Life And Social Skills? Take the C.L.A.S.S.-BA Course, our bachelor of arts program, starting August 17th on Thursday evenings at 7:30 PM. See testimony below! 

My dog did Junior High, too!
Wouldn't you love to say that about your dog?
For our Grade School graduates, take Junior High class on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 PM, starting September 13 and graduate only 6 weeks later - don't wait a full school year! We'll work on heeling, stays, practice emergency situations out on your walk, refine the recall and more.

This could be your fourth behavior class after P1, P2 and GS (or FC, GS and CGC or CLASS?) - earning you a little surprise gift
 with your fourth stamp on your flow chart through the new BetCo Rewards program! 

Junior High Graduates - we added Rally College to the calendar! In November on Wednesday evenings at 6:15 PM. In the meantime, improve your and your dog's skills at the C.L.A.S.S.-BA Course in August

Haven't done Grade School yet?
Puppy 2 - Kindergarten and Foundation Class graduates can continue on to Grade School, offered every month.  Grade School applies all the learned techniques to valuable exercises, improving your handling skills and your dog's behavior through more practice. Next GS starting August 17th, Thursdays at 6:15 PM. In September on Sunday afternoons.

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. Next Puppy 1 classes: Starting August 14th, on Mondays at 6:15pm! In September on Sundays again. Puppy 2 class starts in August, on Mondays at 7:30 PM and on Thursdays at 5:00 PM. In September on Sundays. For dogs over 6 months new to BetCo, join our Foundation Class, also starting every month! Next FC starting in August, on Mondays at 5:00 PM. In September on Sunday afternoon.

Here's what one of our clients had to say after taking our C.L.A.S.S.-BA Course:
"[The class and instructor] taught me to be a better teacher for Atlas. Be flexible! Make it fun! We didn't learn anything 'new', but we practiced the lessons in new and unique ways. This class helps solidify all of the things we've learned in earlier classes. Lessons are becoming habits! These classes make me love my turkey even more, and he loves playing these games at home too."

Lorali and her Jack Russell Terrier Atlas

Read more testimonies HERE!
Activity classes:

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. Starting September 16th, on Saturdays

Nose Work classes will be again on Sundays starting in September as well. Start with our Beginner class at 5:15 PM or continue to the 'Intro to Odor' class at 6:30 PM. Continue with the advanced Nose Work-Elements (trial prep) class on Tuesdays at 5:00 PM.

Which sports class would you like to see coming up in the fall - October or later? Freestyle, Treibball, Trick Dog or anything else we could offer on a Thursday evening??? Email us your wishes and you might see it coming true!

Monthly Training Tip:
Make the most of your TAGulator

Here at BetCo we aren't just dog trainers, we're dog training instructors. That's because we help YOU train your dog! We want to show you how to interact with your dog the 6 days and 23 hours between the sessions of our class to improve your dog's behavior and manners.

The TAGulator can have three different functions:

1) The clicker is used to capture  a special split-second of your dog's behavior when teaching a new trick or refining an old behavior. The dog learns that this very secondwas worth a reward, and the treat can be delivered with a short time-delay. We'll teach you at class how to use the clicker properly to improve your dog's behavior. Always have treats handy when using the clicker with your dog.

2) The beads are used to reward ourselves! As the training methods for the dogs have evolved into rather avoiding the wrong behavior and rewarding the good behavior, we need to change our old habits as well! Instead of catching the dog in the act of doing wrong, we want to be one step ahead, like trying to avoid the dog jumping up on people rather than reacting to the dog during or after the jump. That also means proactively practicing the wanted behaviors like sitting instead of jumping or laying down quietly instead of nagging.

The TAGulator REWARDS YOU for doing a great job training your dog! So every time you catch yourself having pro-actively rewarded your dog for the very uneventful behavior of just sitting or laying down (e.g. practiced 'Good Behavior At Home' from your class folder), you're allowed to TAG yourself - like patting yourself on your shoulder! On the TAGulator, you'll pull one bead down for each time you successfully avoided an unwanted behavior by practicing and rewarding a wanted behavior. Then you decide what type of reward you'd like to give yourself once all ten beads are pulled down. Time for ice-cream or chocolate? Or maybe you're just as happy as a clam to finish the ten beads, and that's reward enough for you? I love this approach because now I don't just eat ice-cream, I wait until I pulled the ten beads down. That helps me LOWERING my overall calorie intake! If it's too easy for me to earn the ice-cream, I'll raise the criteria to not over-eat.

The TAGulator - tag now, reward later!

The combination of clicker and beads can be used if you want to help another person improving their timing or performance, e.g. you'd click and pull a bead down for the perfect handstand position in gymnastics and then stopping after 10 repetitions for a well deserved break, maybe in combination with an additional reward for the student. This is a rather new method to train e.g. sport students and is called TAGteach. The student gets 'tagged' for each correct position. The methodology of TAGteach is also used successfully in companies to improve employee engagement and with autistic children.

The TAGulator - tag now, reward later!

We'll probably ask you later for more ideas on how to use the TAGulator at home to train yourself and your dog. For now, email us with any questions you may have about the use of the TAGulator! Your question (with our answer) could end up in a FAQ section on our web page later!
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The Better Companion, LLC, 1400 Regine Ave, Wasilla, AK 99654, United States

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