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Pawsitivity Service Dogs

Cost (price) of a service dog

While the average cost (price) to train a service dog in 2021 is almost $40,000* (this is the same for all nonprofit service dog organizations). At Pawsitivity, while there is an income-based sliding-scale fee because that policy keeps the process sustainable, scholarships (up to 100%) are available. *Source: Coutts, Jason. “Cost of Canine Program Across the United States.” Syracuse, New York: American Society of Canine Trainers, 2012: 24. Continue reading

Notes from book, "Chatter: The Voice in Our Head"

Notes from a great book, "Chatter The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It". The author is Ethan Kross. The tools include self-talk, plus tips involving interacting with others and changing your environment. Continue reading

Solving dog behavior problems without punishment

When a dog has a behavior problem, the first impulse can be to solve the problem with punishment. According to LIMA, however, (Least Invasive, Minimally Adversive, publicized by Karen Pryor), punishment is virtually never required because there are many other methods to change behavior (that do not cause side effects such as fear and aggression). These problems can be solved by maintenance (first choice) and positive reinforcement (second choice). Note: Many of these solutions require that you previously train Sit-Stay (with distractions) before the problem happens. Continue reading

Flyer, poster, brochure: How Service Dogs Help Veterans

Helping veterans partner with service dogs is one of the most effective ways you can help America's heroes. Feel free to download and print this 8.5" x 11" flier/brochure/poster in either color or black and white.    Continue reading

Best landscaper in Minneapolis/St Paul

We are excited to do a shout-out to one of our sponsors, Turbo Landscaping and Construction, LLC, who has transformed our outdoor dog area into something practical gorgeous! :-) Here is our first photo, which shows how they laid concrete to match the curves of the old cement patio.   Continue reading

How to potty train a puppy at night

Short answer: Wake up in the middle of the night, then walk the puppy out to potty.  A puppy can't make it the whole night without peeing, and it's not good to have the puppy pee in their crate. For one, the puppy would soon learn that it's okay to pee in their crate (plus, it would delay potty training for a long time). Continue reading

Ian Dunbar's Potty Training Method

Dr. Dunbar has a very precise method of potty-training puppies. He says that in some ways, they are very easy to train, but they have very small bladders and can only hold their pee for a little over an hour. Thus, if you can bring your puppy outside every hour (on the hour), then the pup will never pee or poop inside.  What do you do at night? At night, puppies can hold their pee and poop for about 4 hours. So set your alarm for 4 hours into the night, then wake up, go wake up the pup, and lead the puppy outside to pee. (Note: Don't carry the puppy, but rather, insist that the puppy actually walks out with you). What do you do when you have to leave the house for more than an hour? Well, sometimes you may have to leave the puppy alone (although it's best to bring the puppy with you because then they can get more socialization). In this case, set up a fence around the crate (see this post, which is two blog pages of notes on Dunbar's potty training book, for details). In the area between the crate and the edge of the fence, put down a potty pad. That way, the puppy can pee in a "designated spot" rather than randomly peeing on your floor. Again, this method is only as a backup. Usually, you shouldn't be leaving your puppy alone for more than an hour (because you want to bring the puppy outside to pee every hour, thus never letting the puppy pee inside).   Continue reading

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Part 3, Notes on book "Animal Assisted Play Therapy"

Encourage people to let the dog come to them. 3-second rule Works especially well for cats Pet for 3 seconds. Stoop. Watch for stress signals. Relationship builder: Point out treats that you "find" on the ground, Horses: Work for 90 minutes. Break for 60. Work for 90.   Continue reading