Thursday, September 8, 2016


A dear client of our shared the following with us.  We were so moved by it, we wanted
to share it with you. Enjoy!
Hi Angi,
I wanted to share with you my husband's speech to his school district staff because it has to do with Kona. He is the superintendent of the Meridian school district and this is an excerpt of his "kick-off the year" speech to all district staff. He projected a picture of Kona on the gym wall as he began his speech.


Baby Kona


Needless to say it has been a busy summer living with a puppy in our house. The cat is really mad.
KONA is always happy, always eager and always excited. 24 hours a day. She is a non-­‐stop bundle of energy, is easily distracted by shiny things, sticks, leaves, things that smell good or things that smell bad, things that move, things that don’t move, dead things and more. She easily loses focus.
What I have learned this summer is that just “wanting” her to “be a good puppy” is not enough. It’s become clear that I need to have a better strategy than “wishing and hoping.”
I first learned this when KONA struggled in the first class at puppy preschool and we were encouraged to get “private” training for her. Of course, I immediately thought, “Yeah. Somebody should teach that dog to behave.” Of course, I found out was that the training is not for the dog, but for the humans (my wife Patty and I) so we could learn how to teach her to “be a good puppy.”
Here are 8 things we learned. You, as educators, may recognize some of these, as we did.
1.     We learned that being intentional is more effective than being reactive.  Telling her what we wanted her to do rather than telling her what not to do is better in the long run.
2.     We learned that she needs to understand what we want her to do if we expect her to do it.
3.     We learned that we needed to break down what we wanted her to learn into small steps. 
4.     We learned that we could not just teach her one time, but that we had to reteach, sometimes many times, before she found success.
5.     We learned that positive reinforcement is effective and works better than punishment.
6.     We learned to look and plan ahead to structure her environment so that she will be successful and to try not to put her in situations where she will not.
7.     We learned that it is unrealistic to expect things to be perfect right away and that there will some mistakes made along the way.
8.     We learned to look for growth over time and to celebrate successes along the way. We haven’t made any color-coded graphs yet or assembled a data team but we have seen measurable growth.
The message is, of course, that puppies like children don’t just learn everything on their own without guidance and support. What the adults in their lives do to guide them is what really matters. Teaching matters. Teaching well matters. 

Thank you for your professional work.  What you do as the adults does make a difference for kids…..and puppies. Have a great year!



Monday, August 29, 2016




We know you have options in Bellingham when it comes to day care for your dog.  We want you to know why you should choose Tails-A-Wagging. 
What makes us SO different from any other day care in town?



Veterinary technician and lead dog trainer on staff daily

Early drop off available upon request

Properly trained staff physically with dogs AT ALL TIMES

We brush all the dogs’ teeth every day with homemade organic toothpaste

We can administer all forms of medicine to your pet (oral, topical, injectable etc.)  And will do so at no additional charge

Daily lunches given in Kong Food Puzzles

Organic wheat/corn/soy free snack for all the dogs

Live web cameras accessible from your phone, laptop or desktop

Manners training for all the dogs, at no additional charge

Temperament test for each and every dog

Progress Reports and training plans for all dogs who need it

Full and complete Pet Personality Profiles for each and every dog, up to date and available for all staff for review

Collar Free Play

Daily flea check to keep us flea free

Birthday Parties,  posted to social media and a special birthday suprise on their special day

Free training advice and tips

Afternoon chew time with Nylabones

All toys, beds, chews, Kong’s etc. are sanitized daily

Written report cards on a dogs first day, birthday and upon request

Holiday Art Projects (done by the dogs)

Daily written log of all poo output

Sanitized space, cleaned each and every day by our full time janitorial staff

Internal parasite test requirement for every dog every 6 months

Eco Friendly: we won PSE greenest Doggie Day Care Award

Raised beds and snuggle blankets for all

Supplied Doggie Coats on days you may have left yours at home

Appropriate dog to person ratio

4 large separate playrooms for all different sizes (the littles, the middles and the bigs)

Daily field trips to our 2500 sq. ft. training room for extra work on manners and impulse control

Over 10,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor play space

Air Cooled Play Rooms with separate room ventilation

100 % sealed recycled rubber floors

Staff trained in Canine Body Language

New Staff receive 30 hours shadow training with existing staff, plus 22 additional hours of online class/book work


Friday, May 13, 2016

We're Hiring


Join our team! Tails-A-Wagging is looking to add a dog trainer to our great staff
Tails-A-Wagging Doggie Day Care and Canine Training Center is hiring.

Founded in 1997, we are the largest doggie day care and pet dog training facility in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We are a 100% reward based, positive approach, dog friendly training center with evidence based outcomes. Our goal is not only share the benefits of reward based training in our community, but to strive to make all dogs lives better. We have been recognized as the best doggie day care and training center in our area for many years and are the #1 referred training center for all local veterinarians, groomers, pet care facilities and shelter/rescue groups.
Our facility is over 10,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor space, with a 2500 sq ft. heated/air-conditioned training room. Our current class offerings include: puppy pre school, puppy kindergarten, basic manners, advanced dog manners, reactive dog classes, tricks classes, agility, treibball, WAG IT games, and workshops.


We also offer a multitude of behavior seminars to educate clients and the community. In addition to our classes, we also offer private sessions, behavior consultations, doggie day care, and free puppy play classes.


An ideal candidate for our team will have:

Experience where she/he has taught group classes/private sessions as a lead instructor
Completed a program at a dog training school and/or apprenticed under an experienced trainer
We are open to candidates with CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, CDBC (or be working towards a comparable professional credential) but this is not required with appropriate experience

Experience providing assessments and providing follow up training with behavior issues such as separation anxiety, resource guarding, dog-dog reactivity, and dog-people reactivity
The ability to work well without supervision and constant direction; however also able to switch gears and work well as a team
Extreme comfort/knowledge with dog play styles and body language
Strong written and verbal communication skills
Creativity and problem solving skills


Assist in behavior consults, follow-up training and behavior clinics
Evaluate dogs for play groups
Behavioral evaluations for our rescue partners
Willingness to teach and assist in curriculum development for pet dog group classes
Eagerness to learn more through self study and continuing education - Proficiency using a computer and have access to a laptop Requirements: - Available to teach classes 2 to 6 hours a weeks (typically weekends or week nights)
Available for in home private training sessions in client homes
Willing to be a Tails-A-Wagging ambassador and help with marketing events (such as local dog festivals 1 to 3 times a year)


Recognize that being employed as a dog trainer requires other admin responsibilities outside of teaching a class/private session. Example: phone/email follow up, record keeping, curriculum/lesson plan development, etc -
A true team player who understands and works well within a diverse team and changing environment.
A strong sense of initiative and ability to work independently 

3+ years group class instruction experience
2 + years private lessons experience
Proficiency with a variety of positive training methodologies (clicker, lure and reward, toy training etc) and the flexibility to use whatever reward based methods best meets the needs of our busy clients and their family pets, including the use of humane training tools.
Critical thinking skills and a commitment to a scientific approach to training

Must be professional, flexible, organized, timely, work well under pressure and be an active problem solver
Keep training area clean, organized and tidy (although no janitorial duties in this position, we have a full time staff for cleaning)

Our trainers are paid 55% of all class/lesson fees. In addition, they are paid a monthly medical stipends for health care.
The hours of this position are extremely flexible and can be as little as just a few a week or can be more along 10 hours per week and could even grow into a full time position. We invite you to check out www.tails-a-wagging.com and interested candidates should send their resume to



Name: Angela Lenz, owner and lead trainer Tails-A-Wagging
Phone: 360-733-7387


Email: info@tails-a-wagging.com

Required experience:
  • Dog Trainer: 3 years

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dogs greeting each other, on leash



Let’s talk about the basics that you should be aware of when you have your dog greet another dog so the meet and greet goes as smoothly as possible. 

We have all been in the situation where our leashed dog is asked to greet another leashed dog.  Walking down the street, in the lobby at the veterinary hospital, or some friends come over with their dog for a visit... you are asked to meet and greet.  

Most dogs are happy-joyful-social dogs, but they might not just “click” with every dog.  This is normal.  Just like with people…so let’s learn more to set up our dogs to succeed.  We don’t expect everyone to get along, but we do expect us all to be respectful of each other.  The same goes for Poochie.

First, let me shout it loud and clear.  Just because someone wants to their dog to meet your dog does not mean you have to comply. You officially have my permission to say “Sorry, not today” Maybe you know your mind is on other things, maybe you think your dog has had to deal with a bit too many squirrels today, maybe you are concerned about the approaching dogs body language.  No reason is needed.  If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. 

You know your dog better than anyone. You are your dog’s advocate.  If your dog has a history of showing reactive behavior (lunging, barking or nipping at other dogs) STOP and consult a dog training professional to help your dog with his particular needs.

Before you have your dog meet another dog, all humans need to be mindful, agree to meet and be comfortable with the situation.   Don't allow yourself to be talked into a meet and greet with another dog and certainly don’t be one of those people who try to convince someone else if they don't want to greet. No one is on their phone, no one has head phones in... we are all mindful.  Rather than asking if the other persons dog is friendly,  I prefer to hang back and watch the other dog for a bit.  Is the other dog focused or bonkers?  Four feet on the floor or jumping around?  Is the other dog relaxed and looking away or stiff and starring?    Not sure what those have to do with a dog’s state of mind? Come to one of our FREE Body language seminars, or email us for some free handouts to learn more. Now ask, “Does your dog enjoy meeting other dogs on leash? “  This is a very different question than “is your dog friendly” it might help the other person be more mindful too.

Your dogs outfit matters:  I think it’s best for all dogs to meet with no pressure on their necks.  Harness are simply better than collars when dogs are greeting another dog.  When pressure is applied to the neck (even by the dog leaning forward on their own) it can restrict the breath, creating a bit of a panic response for the dog.  Body harness’ even better, a harness that clips in the front, not only gives you more control but little to no neck pressure. (We won’t get into the discussion of choke chains or pinch collars here, other than to say get rid of them.... but if you have one...call us and we can gift you a harness if you surrender it to us)

Ok, you’ve got a relaxed dog on a harness, and the other dog is also comfortable... what’s next?  Lets talk about a loose leash.  Think of that leash as a direct link to your dog’s brain.  Soft, flexible and relaxed?  Or tight, stiff and taunt?  Keep the leash relaxed, even if this means you have to move around a bit or not greet at all because your dog is pulling too hard. Don’t allow leashes to become tangled, just in case someone decides to do a crocodile impression and roll on the ground. Safety first.

READY?  Here we go!

·         Eye to eye greeting are almost always a disaster,  approach the other dog at an angle and if either dog is starring,  decide to greet another day.

·         Wait until both dogs have an open mouth with exposed tongue.  This is a “yes, please approach” signal.  Closed mouth is your dogs way of saying “no thanks, please don’t approach”

·         Encourage the greeting to be all about the butt sniffing, prepare to walk just past each other and around in a circle.

·         Now it’s time to count... the 2 second rule

·        One Mississippi, two Mississippi, turn and leave. Let’s try that again... one, two LEAVE. (It’s not one, two, three leave) Certainly if you see a dog tensing up, or begins to growl or snarl before your 2 seconds, turn and leave sooner.


·         Gently turn and walk away encouraging your dog to come away with you, giving at least 6 feet for the other dog to relax. Don’t have 6 feet? Don’t greet.  Don’t have a planned exit? Don’t greet. Not “feeling it” today?  Don’t greet. 

·         As soon as your dog turns their head, begin to verbally reward them “Good Dog!  What a good dog” When you are a few feet away, pet them and give a treat. Ideally something soft and stinky.

 

How did it go? Great, do it again.  Another 2 seconds, then walk away. Some dogs like this 3 or 4 times before a longer greeting.

 

This greeting style not only teaches your dog how to be respectful of other dogs, but it also teaches your dog that you have their back, building trust between the two of you.

 

Angela Lenz, owner and lead trainer

Tails-A-Wagging

 

 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Emergency Preparedness for your pet


Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared.

Step 1: Get a Rescue Alert Sticker


This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers, and that it includes 1) the types and number of pets in your household; 2) the name of your veterinarian; and 3) your veterinarian's phone number. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write "EVACUATED" across the stickers.

To get your sticker, contact petStop in Sehome Village at 738-3663.

Step 2: Arrange a Safe Haven


Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Remember, if it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Note that not all Red Cross disaster shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time:

·         Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities. If your dog is a regular at Tails-A-Wagging, contact us for getting on our emergency list, as your pet might be able to stay at Tails-A-Wagging in an emergency situation.

·         Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets. Our local shelter is : Whatcom Humane Society 733-2080

·         Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.

·         Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.

Step 3: Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits


Keep an Evac-Pack and supplies handy for your pets. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is. This kit should be clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your pack include:

·         Pet first-aid kit (specifically for pets) and guide book.  These can be purchased locally or at the ASPCA store online. OR build one on your own. (SEE LIST BELOW)

·         3-7 days' worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)

·         Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)

·         Litter or paper toweling

·         Liquid dish soap and disinfectant

·         Disposable garbage bags for clean-up

·         Pet feeding dishes

·         Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash

·         Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless.)

·         Bottled water, at least 7 days' worth for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)

·         A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet

·         Flashlight, ideally non battery crank activated

·         Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)

·         Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make "Lost" posters)

·         Especially for cats: Pillowcase or EvackSack, toys, scoopable litter

·         Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week's worth of cage liner.

You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.


Step 4: Choose “Designated Caregivers”

This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. He or she should be someone who is generally home during the day while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with neighbors who have pets of their own—you may even swap responsibilities, depending upon who has accessibility.

When selecting a permanent caregiver, you’ll need to consider other criteria. This is a person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet in the event that something should happen to you. When selecting this "foster parent," consider people who have met your pet and have successfully cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet.


Step 5: Evacuation Preparation

If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. If you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:

·         Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible.

·         Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. Your pet's ID tag should contain his name, telephone number, and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to write your pet's name, your name and contact information on your pet's carrier.

·         We recommend microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted in the animal's shoulder area, and can be read by scanner at most animal shelters.

·         Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.

·         Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the danger zone at the first sign of disaster.

 

 


Step 6: Geographic and Climatic Considerations

Do you live in an area that is prone to certain natural catastrophes, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods? If so, you should plan accordingly.

·         Determine well in advance which rooms offer safe havens. These rooms should be clear of hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.

·         Choose easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms, and basements as safe zones.

·         Access to a supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during a power outage or other crises.

·         In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter.

If emergency officials recommend that you stay in your home, it's crucial that you keep your pets with you. Keep your Evac-Pack and supplies close at hand. Your pets may become stressed during the in-house confinement, so you may consider crating them for safety and comfort.

Special Considerations for Birds

·         Birds should be transported in a secure travel cage or carrier.

·         In cold weather, make certain you have a blanket over your pet’s cage. This may also help reduce the stress of traveling.

·         In warm weather, carry a spray bottle to periodically moisten your bird's feathers.

·         Have recent photos available, and keep your bird’s leg bands on for identification.

·         If the carrier does not have a perch, line it with paper towels that you can change frequently.

·         Keep the carrier in as quiet an area as possible.

·         It is particularly imperative that birds eat on a daily basis, so purchase a timed feeder. If you need to leave your bird unexpectedly, the feeder will ensure his daily feeding schedule.

·         Items to keep on hand: Catch net, heavy towel, blanket or sheet to cover cage, cage liner.

Special Considerations for Reptiles

·         A snake may be transported in a pillowcase, but you should have permanent and secure housing for him when you reach a safe place.

·         Take a sturdy bowl that is large for your pet to soak in. It’s also a good idea to bring along a heating pad or other warming device, such as a hot water bottle.

·         Lizards can be transported like birds (see above).

Special Considerations for Small Animals

·         Small animals, such as hamsters, gerbils, mice and guinea pigs, should be transported in secure carriers with bedding materials, food and food bowls.

·         Items to keep on hand: Salt lick, extra water bottle, small hidebox or tube, a week's worth of bedding.

 

 


The ASPCA is launching the first-ever disaster preparedness app for pet parents. This free app will help pet parents spread the word about their missing pets, store vital medical records, and make life-saving decisions during natural disasters. www.aspca.org

 

 

Making your own FIRST AIT KIT: here are a list of items to include in your homemade kit.

  • Scissors with blunt edges - for cutting out things matted in fur, freeing your pet from entanglements, but also for cutting bandage material.
  • Sterile eye wash - make sure it is eye wash, not contact lens solution.
  • Tweezers - to remove splinters, or other foreign materials from wounds.
  • Tick remover tool - if you are in a tick-infested area, consider one of many tools to easily remove ticks and reduce additional damage or infection during removal.
  • Ear wash - speak to your vet about what one would be best for your pet.
  • Toenail trimmer and styptic pencil or powder, for torn toe nails. Cornstarch also works for torn nails, but not for mild skin wounds.
  • Tape - preferably the 1" white medical tape. Easy to tear off and holds well.
  • Roll Gauze - used for bandaging, an aid to stop bleeding, and padding for splints.

  • Vet Wrap - this is a conforming bandage wrap used over a telfa pad or roll gauze that comes in many colors and two sizes (2" and 4" - pick one that best fits your pet). It clings to itself and is semi-watertight. Caution is advised to not wrap this too tight. It is best to unwrap it from the roll, then use it for the bandage with very light tension. It can be purchased at many feed stores (often in the horse section) and some veterinary clinics.
  • Telfa pads - non-stick dressings for bandaging a wound.
  • Antiseptic wash or wipes - look for non-stinging preparations such as chlorhexidine or betadine. Rubbing alcohol is not good for open sores or wounds.
  • Antibiotic ointment - over-the-counter "general purpose" antibiotic ointment for light use with minor skin wounds. Not for eye use. Caution is advised for animals that may ingest by licking. The antibiotics are absorbed via the skin, remaining ointment may collect debris or actually slow healing in some cases. Use with discretion.
  • Vet-prescribed pain relief (NSAID) - speak to your vet about obtaining as-needed first aid kit pain relief. Do not use human prescription or over-the-counter pain medications for pets. Some medications, like Tylenol, are poisonous and may be fatal to pets.
  • Latex or plastic exam gloves - for your protection and your pet's protection - use when the situation is messy.
  • A muzzle - or materials to make a muzzle (roll gauze works well). Even the most well-trained animals may bite when injured or afraid.
  • Thermometer -  Digital or ear only.  Learn how to use the thermometer with a pet.  Normal Temp for a dog and cat is 101 to 102.5 degrees F.
  • Water-based lubricating jelly - for use with rectal thermometers.
  • Ice and hot packs - cool down skin after a burn or keep an animal warm if hypothermic. Always use a cloth between the pack and skin and check frequently for redness or irritation.
  • Extra towels, wash cloths and a blanket - use for washing, keeping warm/cool, and if necessary, a way to transport the injured pet (sling).
  • Diphenhydramine aka Benadryl. For stings and allergic reactions - speak with your vet first about proper dosing.
  • Syringe or large eye dropper - to flush wounds or administer fluids by mouth.
  • A list of phone numbers - your regular vet, the emergency vet, animal control, and animal poison control number.  ALSO: Pre Program these numbers into your mobile phone.
  • A sturdy box - ideally plastic or metal - to hold all of your supplies and is easy to carry and pack with you will complete your kit.

Customizing a First Aid Kit for Your Pet
Different species, age groups, and pet lifestyles have different first aid kit needs. For example, a ferret or diabetic pet kit should include honey or Karo syrup in the event of a low blood sugar episode. Your veterinarian can help you customize a first aid kit to meet your pet's additional medical needs.
ASPCA