Should a trainer be a certified dog trainer?

March 29, 2011 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Dog Training 

Most dog trainers have no certification. They may have been self-taught, learned through trial and error, may have apprenticed with other trainers, may have watched tv, or any combination of other options.

One of the benefits of a training program is that there is a program of study associated with the certification. Testing is also required before certification is completed. Some programs are recognized Read more

Beware of the trainer who has learned by watching TV trainers

March 29, 2011 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Dog Training 

I was viewing some trainer’s websites and couldn’t believe what I saw. One trainer proudly states that he/she has learned their techniques by watching TV. Good grief! They don’t know that they don’t know.

Learning about dog training takes more effort than watching TV and emulating those techniques. Plus, TV shows are edited for the most effect.

Regardless of editing, what may appear to be effective may actually backfire Read more

Crates for Puppies & Dogs

January 12, 2011 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Dog Training 

A crate is a great management tool for a puppy when he can’t be supervised. It will keep him out of trouble and prevent him from injuring himself or causing damage. It also helps with, and encourages, housetraining. The crate can be a peaceful place for the pup to rest, to get away from the activity of the home and it helps him relax.

However, should a dog be shut in a crate once he has matured and has proven that he can be trusted in the home? Long hours in a crate may stress and frustrate the dog and Read more

Preparing your home for a prolonged absense

December 9, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Your Home 

Shell Busey has some suggestions on preparing your home for a prolonged absense regarding whether you should shut off the water, setting thermostats, etc. Links to his articles are below.

What you should do before going away for long periods of time

Safety Tips When Leaving Your Home During Winter Months

Preparing your Home Before You Leave for Extended Vacations

His main site is http://www.housesmartcentre.com/

Pets Stay Home - Pet Sitting Plus is a premium pet care and dog training service in Winnipeg, MB.
See our main website at http://www.petsstayhome.ca

Dog Years: How old is your dog?

December 5, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Pets 

Animal Planet had a show with Dr. Stanley Coren. Rather than adding 7 for each year (a myth) he gave the equivalent dog years to human years based on the size of the breed.

Small Breeds:
1 yr = 15 yrs
2 yrs = 24 human yrs
Add 4 human yrs thereafter for each dog year

Medium Breeds:
1 yr = 13 human yrs
2 yrs = 21 human yrs
Add 5 human yrs thereafter for each dog year

Large Breeds:
1 yr = 12 human yrs
2 yrs = 19 human yrs
Add 7 human yrs thereafter for each dog year

Alpha?

October 25, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Dog Training 

One of the best descriptions of the family role with the dog was given by Trish King  at the APDT conference. There is  the outdated Alpha role which is based on the rigid military model and the other is based on the family model. The trend today is towards the family model rather than military model. 

Pets Stay Home - Pet Sitting Plus is a premium pet care and dog training service in Winnipeg, MB http://www.petsstayhome.ca/

Semantics

September 18, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Boarding, Pets 

The definition of a pet sitter, according to various dictionaries, is “caring for pets in their own home while their owners are away from home”.

The definition of boarding is care for a pet at an establishment which provides accommodation, feeding and general care for dogs and cats on a short term, or longer, basis. In-home boarding is by a pet care provider who provides care in their own home.

So, based on the definitions, a pet sitter will provide care in the pet’s home and not in the pet sitter’s home. In that case it is boarding.

Pets Stay Home - Pet Sitting Plus is a premium pet care and dog training service in Winnipeg, MB. http://www.petsstayhome.ca

Dog Trainers

September 15, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Dog Training 

Dog training continues to evolve. When I started training my own dogs for competition in the early 80’s we were taught methods that would no longer be acceptable with many trainers. While I wasn’t taught the alpha roll, it was a common practise with trainers. Choke chains were commonly used and we were taught the technique for using them effectively.

In the 90’s the training style shifted to a positive approach. Science supported this and it became the preferred style with many trainers.

When I took the dog trainer certification, I became aware of why the positive approach was more effective. We studied how dogs learn and why the aversive techniques should not be used as the first choice for training.

The standard of care in determining training practices is defined by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. They recommend the Humane Hierarchy which defines an order of implementation for applying training practices.

Even though dog training has evolved, unfortunately there are still many trainers who use force-based, old-style training. Perhaps they just haven’t accepted the newer techniques and prefer their “we’ve always done it this way” methods.

Pets Stay Home - Pet Sitting Plus is a pet care and dog training service in Winnipeg, MB http://www.petsstayhome.ca/

Interviewing a pet sitter

September 2, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

The pet sitting industry is no different from other industries in that there are honest and dishonest service providers. I have come across pet sitters who advertise that they are insured and bonded and are members of certain professional organizations when none of that is true.

Ask to see proof. Any professional pet sitter should have a presentation manual with the certificate of insurance and bonding and various memberships and certifications included in their book. The insurance and bonding usually comes with multiple certified copies from the insurance company, so there should be plenty of copies if one is misplaced. The policy needs to include the Lost Key Endorsement and the Care Custody and Control Extension.

Pets Stay Home - Pet Sitting Plus is a premium pet care and dog training service in Winnipeg, MB

More on professional pet sitting software

September 2, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

One of the benefits of the pet sitting software is the reminders that are generated for clients and for us. It’s powerful software that helps manage our client visits. The software generates a list of visits for each day and each morning we receive the list. For client protection no address info is in this list. At the end of the day we check off the completed visits. It helps ensure that nothing is missed.

The software is the equivalent of having an office manager which then allows us to focus on other work.

Pets Stay Home - Pet Sitting Plus is a premium pet care and dog training service in Winnipeg, MB http://www.petsstayhome.ca

Why we chose professional pet sitting software

August 30, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

We switched from a manual scheduling process to professional pet sitting software in mid 2009 . For new clients, our old process involved four different forms plus a Service Request that we would fill in at the interview. For repeat bookings, the client would email us, we would create another Service Request for the new timeframe, email it back to the client for approval, and the client would email confirmation to us. This was a long, tedious process. When we needed information, we would find it to be outdated or incomplete.

We needed to simplify the process and the record keeping. We reviewed a number of professional pet sitting software applications. As a member of Pet Sitters International we chose their recommended software, Power Pet Sitter. We chose a trial run of it and attended a couple of teleseminars in its usage. We were very happy with it. We introduced it to the clients and received good reviews of it.

What we especially like about the software is that the client maintains his/her own information and appointment dates. We are still involved in the process in that we approve the appointments but much of the work has been shifted. For those clients who don’t have access to the internet, we will create and maintain an account for them.

There are security measures in place for accessing any of the information. We tell clients that if they don’t wish to enter any of the information, not to. We can record other information in the file instead.

After having used the software for over a year, it was definitely the right choice, not only for simplifying the process but in having access to current information for all clients.

Pets Stay Home is a premium pet care and dog training service in Winnipeg, MB

http://Pets Stay Home

Timed Visits for Pet Sitters

August 23, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Pets 

Some pet sitters advertise 20 minute visits or 30 minute visits and charge a different rate for each. I have to wonder, what if the pet is ill, needs extra care or if there is a problem in the house? What do you do then? Do you say, “Time’s up, have to leave!”?

We don’t provide timed visits. We know that one day the basic care is fine and the next day the pet may need extra time. But even basic care can be 30 minutes. It’s surprising the amount of work that is involved in pet care. Timed visits do not work!

Pets Stay Home - Pet Sitting Plus is a premium pet care and dog training service in Winnipeg, MB www.petsstayhome.ca

What Happened to the ACPSN?

August 17, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

ACPSN stands for All Canadian Pet Services Network. It was started in 2004, filling a need for a Canadian pet industry group. While the name implies it is an organization and some say it is a non-profit group, it is actually a sole proprietorship registered to Lara Willis in Toronto.

During the first few years, the owner of ACPSN provided everything a pet service would need. There were contracts and all the business forms, Read more

Retirement Business

August 17, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

What do retired people for the next 10 to 20 years after retiring? Travelling, golfing and having lots of free time can become old very quickly. Some start consulting businesses in their specialty, others start B&B’s, some open stores and coffee shops. I started a pet service. This business idea was something that I had read about long before I retired.

I had read the book, Pet Sitting for Profit by Patti Moran. Many parts of that book spoke to me Read more

Reducing Waste When Cleaning Litter Boxes

August 15, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Pets 

Litter boxes require daily scooping. If a new bag is used each day, that’s a lot of extra bags that are going into the landfill and that could easily be reduced to a third or less.

Here’s something that works very well. Get a small plastic garbage can, one with a lid. Line it Read more

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