BetCo December Newsletter

Hello ,

Our dogs want to be exercised despite the cold, windy or icy conditions out there. Dress up and take them out or find games to play indoors with them! We can help with doggy daycare and open play times as well.

Winter reminder: Please be aware when allowing your dog(s) to play off-leash along the trails, that trapping season has started!  Most trappers try to be considerate of heavily-used multi-use trails, but you might be in a less frequented area or your dog might venture along game trails exactly where trappers do lay their traps off the main path, or you could be in an area where some people newer to trapping set traps right along your trail, which isn't forbidden, just not considerate. As much as we have expectations for trappers to be considerate, trappers expect us to keep our dogs on the main trail and on a leash. Just be aware of this possibility when out and walking local trails. 

To be prepared to cut a snare if your dog accidentally gets caught in one, you'll need a wire cutting tool. A knife or Leatherman tool will not be strong enough to cut that little wire. Unlikely as this scenario may (hopefully) be, it never hurts to be prepared! 

Ready for another class? Check below for upcoming behavior and sports classes:

1) Winter is here and indoor sports classes are a hot item!

December: Agility classes will start December 10th, and we do have a few spots available in some of the classes! (Saturdays)

December: Rally Practice is back for all Rally College graduates! Trick Dog Intermediate takes you further after the Trick Dog Beginner class. (Thursday evenings)

January: K9 Intro to Nose Work is the fastest growing sport for lots of good reasons! Join us as we learn to better understand our dog's 'view' of the world! (Sundays and Tuesdays)

2) Interested in improving your dog's manners in more behavior classes? We have the right class for you!

December: Grade School  - practice manners in an increasingly distracting environment. (Mondays)

December: Junior High - reach higher levels of obedience. (Mondays)

January: CGC-Prep Class - games and role play to improve your dog's behavior in public, working towards the Canine Good Citizen-test. (Wednesdays)

All clickable links in this newsletter are in PURPLE.

Enjoy life with your better companion,


Grace is the youngest of the Springer Spaniels in June's household. At the age of 2 years she has taken 13 classes, including all the behavior classes up to Rally College, CLASS-BA and the CGC-Prep class, Nose Work, Freestyle and Tricks 'N Clicks. She's competing in Nose Work trials with her dad Brett.
1) Sports classes:

All Rally College graduates, join our Rally Practice, starting December 8th, on Thursdays at 5pm.

Continue your Trick Dog training and even earn titles with our Trick Dog Intermediate class, starting December 8th, on Thursdays at 6:15pm. If you already enjoyed the Trick Dog Beginner class, here's your chance to earn more Trick Dog titles for your dog conveniently from the comfort of our classroom! This may be the last Trick Dog class for a while, after this we want to offer other dog sports like Freestyle and maybe Treibball.

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 December 10th, on Saturdays, this class will have several breaks for holidays, instructor training (agility workshop) and an agility trial, finishing February 11.

K9 Intro to Nose Work® is the best 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! Channel the energy of your dog into a 'nosy' behavior you can control! Starts in November, filling already! We might find room for an overflow class if needed ...

Preview February 2017:  We're starting up Freestyle again with a Freestyle Beginner class in February, most likely followed by a Freestyle II class in April! Want to refresh your Freestyle skills? You can join the Beginner class again! Lucy did it three times and never got bored! Brand-new to this? Learn a few new tricks, how to chain several tricks together in a fluent sequence and to finally 'heel to music', combining it all!

2) Manners classes

Haven't done Grade School yet?
Puppy 2 - Kindergarten and Foundation Class graduates 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 Dec 5th, Mondays at 6:15pm. In January 2017 on Wednesday evenings, and in February 2017 on Monday mornings and Thursday evenings.

Grade School graduates and any level beyond:
Take obedience to the higher levels in our Junior High class, offered in December or improve your dog's manners in our CGC Prep-class in January, which also prepares you for AKC's Canine Good Citizen-test (test might be offered separately after the class is finished) 
Junior High graduates: Try Rally College in February or take the CGC Prep-class first!

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 December 5th, on Mondays at 10:15am and  5pm. In January 2017 on Wednesday evenings. Puppy 2 class starts December 5th, on Mondays at 9am. In January 2017 on Sundays. For dogs over 6 months new to BetCo, join our Foundation Class, also starting every month! Next FC starting December 5th, on Mondays at 11:30am or on Thursdays at 7:30pm. In January 2017 on Sundays.

Here's what one of our clients had to say after taking K9 Intro to Nose Work:
"[The greatest benefit from this class is that I now have] a better relationship with my dog, who now has a purpose/job to do. Abby and I have a much improved relationship. Before we started Nose Work, she'd choose when she felt like listening. She's very much a 'runner'. Now she doesn't leave the yard half as much as she used to and responds to me when I call her to return. We have more respect for each other."

Read more testimonies HERE!
Monthly Training Tip:

Exercising Your Dog(s) - Body and Mind!

Our Dog’s Needs - Just Like Us

When we think about exercising, most of us think about the physical work-out like at the gym, jogging, or walking. We like to rest our mind, just trot along and stop thinking of work or how to solve a problem. But in the right mood, we like to challenge our mind by playing memory games, reading a good book or solving a crossword puzzle.

Our dogs have the same need for physical and mental exercise/ challenge. They want to run, play, follow tracks, practice strategic tactics for interacting with other dogs, humans or prey, and lots more. If we don’t show them ways to satisfy these needs, they might find their own ways which don’t always comply with our sense of manners. Buddy might start digging up the yard or Maggie might decide to visit the neighborhood.

Here Are Some Ideas:

Walking on leash or off leash (also off the trail), hiking, biking (for strong dogs, use the Springer), swimming, weight pulling, mushing, skijoring, … Interrupt a walk or ride to give it a more interesting note. Integrate a little training session with lots of praise, to keep your dog mentally with you. 

Playing with other dogs, wrestling, hide and seek, fetch (ball, Frisbee, stick,…), obedience training, tracking, search for hidden objects, agility, freestyle, treibball, nose work … Make sure the play follows your rules: you start and end when you want; you end with a win; play ends immediately if it gets too rough, your dog gets aroused or growly in any way. 

Teaching tricks like roll over, shake hand, sit nice, weave through the legs, bring the remote control, close the door… This list could go on and on. We offer a class just for teaching fun tricks: Trick Dog. 

Joining a group for socialization, play, basic training (e.g. for a ‘Canine Good Citizen‘) or competition training like your local club, a dog training class (hint, hint ;-), friends of yours with their dogs, the breeder, animal welfare organizations (Friends Of Pets’ dog jog,…) A nice opportunity to meet other ‘dog people’ to connect with as well. 

Helping others by training your dog to be a therapy dog or for search and rescue … Ask us for more information, we can provide you with the contact information for most organizations located in the Valley. 

Competitions and the training for those: conformation (dog shows), obedience (AKC, UKC and ASCA; Obedience/Rally), agility (AKC, NADAC, ASCA), flyball, Frisbee, tracking, schutzhund, nose work…

About Competitions

In Conformation Dog Shows the judges look at the dog's appearance, how the dog is built and how it walks. They also incorporate part of the dog's behavior in these competitions, observing the handling in the ring or the attitude of the dog when the judge approaches and examines the dog.

The temperament and working ability of the different breeds is further tested in more specific competitions like herding, hunting, schutzhund or dog races. Most of our dogs are not used for work anymore, but are great companions and pet dogs. They still need exercise and training and the dogs and their handlers can show their training results in competitions like obedience, agility, nose work, herding and other games.

The obedience trials, being one of the oldest tests for dog training and having started in the military and police, are still quite strict and therefore lost a lot of interest in favor of the fun games like agility and nose work.

Obedience training is and will be the most important dog training for a well behaved dog as well as for setting a foundation before training for fun games or working competitions. Since obedience training is so important and should be the base for everything else, the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) created an obedience competition, which includes a changing course like at agility, allows hand signals and even requests the handler to praise the dog for a well done exercise.

This is called Rally Obedience (or just Rally)! Rally is now also offered through the AKC and UKC. The APDT has since turned the sanctioning of the original Rally to the USDAA. All hosts have their own slightly varying rules and allow purebred and mixed breeds.

Our Rally College and following Rally Practices help you in preparing for AKC Rally trials, which are most common here in Alaska.

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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