Posts Tagged ‘behavior’

Not only can cats and dogs be friends, in my house… they are part of one family!

August 30, 2012

The answer, of course, is a resounding “yes”! In fact, in my house, one of our beloved cats and our lovablepet love lab are the best of buddies.  People have often stopped in front of our home to take a quick photo of these two snuggled up on the front porch watching the world go by! As pet owners; however, we have a great deal of influence and control in helping our pets develop a harmonious life at home. Here are some tips to fostering a great relationship among and between the canine and feline species:

When introducing cats and dogs to each other do it slowly and make sure that you are in control. Introductions must be supervised, and they must be handled with planning, care and patience. Never leave your pets without supervision while they are learning to get along with each other. Feeding your cat and dog in separate places, and at separate times is probably best until they are used to one another.

Under no circumstances should cat-dog introductions be handled by throwing the animals together and letting them work out things on their own. That method is far too stressful even in the best of circumstances. It’s also important to keep in mind that introductions can be dangerous, usually for the cat. Some dogs see cats as prey, and even those dogs who are generally easygoing may react instinctively to a cat on the run, attacking the smaller animal. Getting a dog and cat to accept one another can be difficult, though, as anyone who’s tried to introduce them well knows.

So can cats and dogs live together as friends? Yes, they can but it may take patience and perseverance on your part, but the result will be worth it.  Millions of cats and dogs live in harmony, and millions of people feel no family would be complete without at least one of each pet.

If you are experiencing any problems with establishing a happy relationship among the dogs and cats in your house, please give us a call.  Not only might we have some helpful suggestions but our in-house trainer is equipped to offer additional assistance!

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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)