Who Needs Grooming?

By General

All dogs can benefit from routine grooming! You don’t need to have a poodle with a show coat to reap the rewards of a professional groomer. Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and coat types require some level of coat, nail, and ear care.

We’ll start with the obvious types (i.e. poodles, shih tzus, yorkies, havanese, doodles). These dogs definitely require regular grooming which is at least every 6-8 weeks, sometimes more depending on the amount of coat you want to keep on your dog. These dogs also need regular maintenance done at home in between their grooming appointments, your groomer will appreciate it!

Next up we will talk about the semi-obvious types (i.e. golden, aussies, terriers, collies). Dogs like these may not look like they would require the attention of a groomer but they most certainly do! A groomer can not only tidy up the overall look of your pet, but you would be amazed at the amount of undercoat (all the stuff you vacuum up from your floors, sofa, etc) that we can get off of your dog during an appointment. Also check out our fantastic deshedding service! Again, every 6-8 weeks is ideal to keep your pup’s coat in tip top shape.

Now on to the not so obvious types (i.e. labs, shepherds, huskys, viszlas, boxers). These types of dogs typically have a short coat that would seem like they don’t need the professional attention of a groomer but they benefit greatly from routine grooming. We don’t typically have to do much hair cutting on dogs of this sort but again, the undercoat we can remove is beneficial to them and your sweeper! Regular nail maintenance is crucial also. Nails that become overgrown cause a myriad of health problems for your pet. Again, every 6-8 weeks is a good time frame to keep your pet in optimal shape.

If your dog falls in to one of these categories (it does!), then your dog could use the expertise of a professional groomer!

Jenn Morgan

Training for the Everyday Companion

By General

Laying a good foundation to help our dogs be better pets

“I don’t want him to do any extra work! He won’t like that!” “She’s just here to keep me company, why would I bother teaching her all that stuff? We won’t ever use it.” “We already took a class with him. What a waste that was – he’s already forgotten it all.”

Trainers hear it all the time. While a growing number of pet owners are getting more involved in the world of training and behavior, there remains a steady population of those who couldn’t be less interested. Some believe training obedience to be a waste of time and energy, while others even find it cruel to make their dogs work for anything at all. As a trainer, this type of mindset frustrates me terribly. As a dog owner, it leaves me completely baffled.

Yes, it’s true that many training regimens and programs these days are too much for the beginner or even long-time dog parents. The industry is advancing quickly to keep up with the fast-growing world of dog sports and events, and the end is nowhere in sight. This can certainly be daunting, but even the pros had to start somewhere. Whether you hope to trial in agility one day or just need to fine-tune your furry companion’s manners, the benefits to basic training are countless.

The most obvious perk is a better behaved dog. No matter how much you adore your four-legged buddy, there is almost definitely at least one thing he does that drives you crazy. Maybe it’s a bad recall, maybe he jumps to greet guests, or perhaps you’ve been struggling with something such as housebreaking. Training allows you to replace these naughty behaviors with acceptable ones instead of having to manage these issues for the rest of the dog’s life. And for those who aren’t facing any major behavioral mishaps at home, training absolutely still has a place in your dog’s routine. For me, I wanted a dog that performs party tricks like fetching a cold can from the fridge. You may be looking to season a travel companion to see the world with you, or maybe you’re looking for your calling doing therapy work as a team. Training will get you there. If nothing else, you’ll strengthen your bond and the mutual respect between dog and owner will grow infinitely, once again leading to a happier, more peaceful life together.

Not only does training help make life with our dogs a little bit smoother for us, it also gives them a steady framework for how their world is supposed to work. Training builds a dog’s confidence and allows you to clearly set the expectations you have. Once your pup understands what you’re asking of him, he knows what to expect in the future when he’s faced with the same thing.

You see, dogs don’t understand situational boundaries. There can’t be gray areas – either something is allowed or something is not allowed. So many of us are guilty of trying to show love by occasionally breaking our own rules, but the only thing this does is create confusion.

Another argument against dog training as a whole is buried in the methods. We have old school owners who use old school techniques pitted against a newer generation of force free advocates who are looking to change the game entirely. Frankly, it can get mean and nasty if you get caught in the wrong spot, but it’s still not a valid excuse for not training at all. Simply find a trainer whose methods align with your beliefs, or spend some time studying on your own and use techniques that you personally agree with. Find a mentor that you can reach out to with questions. Every dog is different and so is every handler, so it may take some time to find a balance that works for you. As long as you remain respectful and keep your dog’s best interest at heart, the progress will come naturally with patience and persistence.

Finally, one more reminder when it comes to this collective indifference toward our dogs’ behavior is that training isn’t ever over. Taking one class through a major retail chain isn’t going to result in a rock star of a dog that never makes one mistake. In more than a decade of training, I’ve never stopped taking more classes and meeting more trainers. There are conferences and seminars for that sort of thing too. I always learn something new, and oftentimes it’s something that I never would have been exposed to had I not reached out to others. If you think your dog is a lost cause because he barely graduated from Fido 101, think again. Sometimes it just takes more repetition, other times very simple changes in technique or environment can lend to new success.

Long story short, when you undertake any kind of dog training, the dog isn’t the only one being trained. You’re going to learn plenty, too. I absolutely believe that every dog has something to teach you, and they’re not always easy lessons. But despite the struggles and the setbacks, there’s no excuse not to train your dog. He deserves the effort. After all, if you could give him a world that makes perfect sense to him, wouldn’t you?

by Taylor Herr
Daycare Attendant and Trainer

Top 5 Things About Working at the Front Desk

By General

Hello everyone! My name is Shannon Walter and, as some of you may know, I have worked as a front desk/customer service associate for awhile now at Happy Dogs! I have come to know and love all of our customers (on both two and four legs) and would love to share my favorite things about working at the desk! Here we go!

1. First and foremost, you get to interact with dogs on a daily basis!
I never in a million years imagined I would get paid to work with dogs but I cannot tell you how much I love it and each and every dog that I have the pleasure of meeting! Getting up to come to work is made that much easier knowing that I am walking into a place where your fur babies are constantly entertaining and loving on us!

2. The front desk knows all (or at least we try to!)
I have always been a very organized and detail oriented person, so getting paid to keep track of and schedule appointments, keep everything organized in the store and make sure everything is correct in the computer is my dream job! It may get overwhelming at times doing so many things at once, but I would not have it any other way!

3. I have gained a great knowledge of dog breeds and dog temperaments!
After working here for just about a year and a half, I am amazed at how much I have learned about dog breeds and the behaviors that accompany dogs! It has been a lot of fun expanding my knowledge about your four-legged family members!

4. I get a taste of everything that we do at Happy Dogs!
While most positions in our facility are specific to one service that we provide (daycare/boarding or grooming), the front desk gets to dip their toes in every service we offer! Through scheduling grooming appointments, daycare/boarding reservations, helping self wash and retail customers, and much more, this position has the pleasure of working on something new with every customer who walks through the door and every phone call that comes in! (Always something new an unexpected, much like this lawn mower riding dog, haha!)

5. Last but not least, our customers are the best!
While our daycare attendants love to brag that they get paid to “hang out with dogs all day”, the front desk associates have the privilege of getting to know both our human and fur baby customers! I can safely say that our customers at Happy Dogs are some of the sweetest people I have had the pleasure of helping, and I look forward to seeing our customers (and their dogs) every day! (Our customers make me just about as happy as head scratches make this pooch!)