Archive for May, 2012

Meet the Trainer: Ami Jones, MS, KPA-CPT

May 30, 2012

Ami Jones, Dog Trainer at Animal Hospital of PolarisAmi always had an affinity working with animals from the time she was young.  In college, she diversified her studies (psychology, biology, ecology, anthropology) so that she could have a more well-rounded approach to understanding animal behavior.  She worked with various species and even served as the director of research for an advanced tropical ecology field school in Costa Rica.  There, she was able to release three rehabilitated black handed spider monkeys into their native habitat. In graduate school, Ami wanted to continue this multi-faceted approach and therefore earned a Masters in Evolution, Ecology and Behavior.  Her Masters project & thesis focused on the types of bonds exhibited between group members of social species.  She studied how these bonds are formed and maintained over time, and even examined how triadic interactions affect dyadic dynamics.

Well over 50% of the animals surrendered to shelters are there because of behavioral problems.  Knowing this, Ami further diversified her studies and earned national certification as a dog trainer.  Ami wanted to utilize her knowledge about the behavior of social species, bonds and how animals learn best in order to help pet owners obtain the healthiest relationship possible with their pets.  Her ultimate goal is to help bridge the human/pet communication gap.  She wants to help owners and their pets create and maintain a strong, secure and healthy bond throughout the duration of their lives.  This is why Ami only uses force-free methods and positive reinforcement training.  On the plus side, it has also been shown to be the most effective method of training that exists!  She offers puppy and adult classes, private lessons and more.

Learn more about our exciting new dog/puppy training courses on this blog or give us a call at (614) 888-4050.

Behavior Training Courses are coming to Animal Hospital of Polaris in June!

May 23, 2012

ImageAt Animal Hospital of Polaris, we’re thrilled to introduce our new puppy/dog behavior courses, lead by the very talented Ami Jones!  You may have seen her smiling face greeting you as you enter the clinic, but did you know she is highly educated in the areas of evolution, ecology, and animal behavior?  She also holds a national certification as a dog trainer.  Stop by our blog next week as we’ll be putting the spotlight on Ami!

Our various training options are carefully developed to assure positive, lasting results and help to bridge the human/pet communication gap.

  • For puppies under 6 mo. only.  $150/6 wk course.   Most generic dog training classes will teach your dog to sit, stay, and come, but these do nothing to teach your dog how to acclimate to his new home environment and why manners are important.  In this course you will learn to understand your puppy’s emotional signals and body language so you can understand him better, while at the same time teaching him to speak your language.  We will discuss topics such as housetraining, proper teething management, how to keep your kids safe, how to handle resource guarding, crate training issues and proper socialization. Additionally, you will teach your dog to respond and come when called, stay, how to walk politely on a leash and “mine” versus “take it.”  We will also spend time teaching you how to prepare your puppy for trips to the veterinarian and groomer, along with basic puppy care that you should do at home.  All puppies will receive a free fitting for a gentle leader or harness.  The first course will be a 2 hour orientation for people only—no dogs.  The remaining 5 classes will be 1 hour long and will involve training your pet to do all of these behaviors.
  • Puppy version (<6 mo.) and Adult version (>6 mo.).  $150/6 wk course.  In this class Ami will teach you the tools to be your own trainer…skills you will be able to take with you and use to help train your dog anything you want throughout his/her lifetime.  You can use these skills on all of your animals, so rather than paying for training for every pet you obtain in the future, all you need is to apply the materials you will learn in this one course!  We will teach Sit v. Stand, Lie Down, How to Settle on a Mat, Target/Touch Training, How to Follow a Target, “Watch Me,” and various fun shaping games.   You will learn to speak your dog’s language so you can understand him better, while at the same time teaching him to speak your language.  The first course will be a 2 hour orientation for people only—no dogs.  The remaining 5 classes will be one hour long and will involve training your pet to do all of these behaviors.
  • Private lessons are $80/hr, $375 for a package of 5 (save $25), or $750 for a package of 10 (save $50).  Would you rather work one-on-one?  Do you have the “basics” down but need help with one particular issue you are having?  Ami is happy to work with you and will create a training plan to fit your own personal goals and needs.  Private lessons are also great fun for the whole family to do together in order to ensure everyone is on the same page and training consistently!  For those who have nervous and anxious dogs, this could also be a better option than a class setting.

Call (614) 888-4050 now for more information and to register your pet before spaces fill up!  Our 2012 training schedule is as follows:

June 24th-July 29th

Sun, June 24th:  Orientation 12:00-2:00pm.  People only, no dogs. (Basic and Intermediate Classes will join as one large class during Orientation).

Sun, July 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th:

Basic Puppy-10:30-11:30am

Intermediate Puppy: 12-1pm

Intermediate Adult 1:30-2:30pm

August 5-September 16th:

Sun, Aug 5th:  Orientation 12:00-2:00pm.  People only, no dogs. (Basic and Intermediate Classes will join as one large class during Orientation).

Sun, Aug 12th, 19th, 26th, Sept 9th, 16th:

Basic Puppy: 10:30-11:30am

Intermediate Puppy: 12-1pm

Intermediate Adult: 1:30-2:30pm

**Note:  There will be NO CLASS September 2nd (Labor Day Weekend)

September 23rd-November 4th:

Sun, Sept 23rd:  Orientation 12:00-2:00pm.  People only, no dogs. (Basic and Intermediate Classes will join as one large class during Orientation).

Sun, Oct 7th, Oct 14th, 21st, 28th, Nov 4th

Basic Puppy: 10:30-11:30am

Intermediate Puppy: 12-1pm

Intermediate Adult: 1:30-2:30pm

**Note:  There will be NO CLASS Sept. 30th (Ami out of town)

November 11th-Dec 30th:

Sun, Nov 11th:  Orientation 12:00-2:00pm.  People only, no dogs. (Basic and Intermediate Classes will join as one large class during Orientation).

Sun, Nov 18th, Dec 2nd, 9th, 16th, 30th

Basic Puppy: 10:30-11:30am

Intermediate Puppy: 12-1pm

Intermediate Adult: 1:30-2:30pm

**Note:  There will be NO CLASS Nov 25th (Thanksgiving) or Dec 23rd (Christmas)



Does your dog sweat in hot weather?

May 21, 2012

The answer is not what you might expect….But what do dogs do when their bodies are too hot?

A dog’s skin is different from human skin. While they do sweat, they do so in much smaller quantities than we do. Most of their perspiration occurs through their paw pads, and it’s not enough to greatly change their body temperature.

The main way dogs cool themselves is by panting and breathing. Have you ever felt a dog’s breath as it panted? It’s much warmer than you might expect. This is because a dog’s tongue and the lining of their lungs are the primary locations where body heat is transferred to the air. Many people believe that a dog’s tongue contains sweat glands, but this is not true.

Dogs also dissipate heat by dilating (expanding) blood vessels in their face and ears. This helps to cool the dog’s blood by causing it to flow closer to the surface of the skin. Put together, these 3 methods of temperature regulation aren’t extremely efficient. A dog’s body can be easily overwhelmed by heat, often causing the dog to suffer from heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke.

Excessive play on a hot day can lead to overheating (hyperthermia) and eventually to heat stroke. A dog that is overheated will seem sluggish or confused. His gums and tongue may appear bright red, and he will be panting hard. The dog may vomit, collapse, have a seizure or go into a coma.

It is crucial to never, ever let your dog get this overheated. Constantly offer him a supply of fresh water, and take frequent breaks from playing in hot weather. Make sure that he always has a shady and cool place to relax, and never leave him alone in a vehicle on a warm day.

If you ever find your pet has been exposed to extreme heat, seems sluggish, is vomiting, collapses or has a seizure…call us immediately.  With the summer fast approaching, we know that the lure of warmer temperatures and longer days can sometimes lead to overexposure for our furry friends.

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Is your dog a picky eater?

May 17, 2012

Sometimes it’s a personality trait that dogs have their entire lives, and sometimes it’s a relatively new development. Before we give you some pointers on how to help your picky eater, there are some things to investigate:

1. Be sure there are no underlying medical issues. Consult your veterinarian about your dog’s picky behavior, especially if there is vomiting and/or diarrhea or any other signs of illness present, weight loss, or if the problem has developed suddenly.

2. Check out the food you’re feeding your pet. Is it high quality and nutritious? Does it contain wholesome protein sources instead of cheap non-nutritive fillers? It’s only natural for a dog to reject inferior food. (It would be like a human eating very low-grade microwave dinners for every meal—eventually they’ll get sick of it.) Also, check to ensure that food has not gone stale or rancid as this can also put off your dog’s appetite.

3. Do you rotate foods? Many veterinarians recommend feeding only one type of food. Changing your pet’s food can create a finicky appetite when he thinks there may be something tastier coming if he doesn’t eat. New foods can also cause stomach upset and diarrhea which can discourage eating.

4. Is there anything affecting his appetite for meals? Is your dog stealing food from another pet or trash can? Could a family member be slipping him extra treats or table scraps between meals? Anything that cuts down on his appetite at dinner time can affect whether he eats his regular food.

Surprisingly, how you respond to your dog’s finicky eating habits can either help make them or break them.  If your pet has become a picky eater and you have a suspicion that something just isn’t the same… call us and we’ll be happy to help figure out if there is something more serious to be concerned with!

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