Friday, March 09, 2018

You Can’t Outsmart Your Training

You can’t outsmart your training. In other words, in an emergency situation, you and your dog will only respond as well as the level of your training.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Man Falls 500 Feet To His Death Rescuing His Dog from Seaside Cliff

I have hiked thousands of miles, often with one of my dogs. I've had a few close calls in which my off leash dog could have died falling off a cliff or doing some other dangerous thing. Fortunately, all my dogs were well trained, and I was able to save them.

Anyone who hikes has to be prepared for this kind of emergency. But the same is true in the city. Dogs can get away from us. Unless you have trained for emergencies, however, your dog might die... and you might die. This is why I always train dogs in public locations, for the sake of the dog, but to also prepare the owners for emergencies. I'm always stressing safe practices and situational awareness.

A good Sit or Down command is essential, for example. Freezing a dog in place so you can get to them. So are directional commands at a distance, much like what is done with hunting dogs.

Unfortunately, sometimes training fails, or an owner gets past the limits of safety in trying to rescue their dog... something bad happened here, all we know so far is the following:

In this case, a tragedy occurred... "DALY CITY (KPIX) – A heartbreaking recovery unfolded at Thornton State Beach Monday after a 67-year-old man fell down a 500-foot cliff while he was trying to rescue his dog. The Golden Gate National Park ranger said the man’s dog got away from him, and when he tried to go after it he slipped to his death"

You have to assume something like this could happen to YOU AND YOUR DOG. You must have a plan, train for it, and be careful of the risks. This sad outcome could come your way, so what are you doing now to prevent it?


Monday, February 19, 2018

It's official: Pets benefit our mental health

"A new meta-analysis of 17 academic papers finds evidence that having a pet benefits people with mental health problems. The research also reviews the pet owners' testimonials, laying out the various ways that pets offer them much-needed solace."

I have trained a number of emotional support dogs. They provide necessary emotional support and allow mobility for people who would otherwise, in many cases, end up as shut in's. Now... if we can only get the public and regulators to recognize this...

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Citizens Animal Welfare Society

I am the founder and CEO of Citizens Animal Welfare Society. Approximately 4 1/2 years ago, I became so concerned about the massive number of innocent and adoptable animals being killed by Maricopa Animal Care And Control, the second largest shelter system in the US, I began private meetings to develop a plan to reform animal control.

Today, we are seeking to build our own animal shelter, and to continue to pursue a public / private partnership with Maricopa County, such as was done with Austin Pets Alive! and the KC Pet Project in Kansas City.

While there have been significant improvements over the past year, as a result of community outrage at what has happened here in the Phoenix, AZ, metropolitan area, the goal of turning Maricopa into a "no kill" county will not happen without private animal rescue support.

Learn more about our efforts at our Citizens Animal Welfare Society Facebook page

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

MY CURRENT MENTOR

Here's a secret. Prospective students want to know some things about my background before hiring me to train their dogs. That is normal. I expect that and can give references.

Which leads me to the thought... who is my current mentor? Every good trainer has people they learned from, mentors. My best mentors for the past decade have been... YOU AND YOUR DOGS. I have learned more from you than any other source during that time. You have made me better, made me strive for higher heights, to study and work harder every year.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Is A Dog The Best Self Protection?

"The lieutenant reminded people to be careful of their surroundings while out walking dogs. He said if you have a permit, carry your gun"

I get frequent inquiries about using dogs for self defense. In this instance, the alleged attackers threatened the dog owner with a gun. There is no dog that can defend against a gun. Even the police are recommending people in his neighborhood, if they have a permit, to carry a gun. These days, dogs are PETS, not for self defense.

Learn to protect YOURSELF. Learn martial arts. Get a gun, and take several professional training courses. Carry a weapon when you are qualified. Install security alarms and cameras. Don’t advertise to criminals that you’d make a good victim. Move to a safer town, don't think you can be Charles Bronson and be a vigilante. Get a better job that pays more money and find a safer life. Stay away from dangerous places and dangerous people, winning is surviving instead of facing off a bad guy and being killed. A dog can’t do any of this for you.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Dogs Allowed At Ball Stadiums?

"Kicking back and watching sport is something best done with your mates. Now, rugby fans have the chance to take their four-legged best friends to Westpac Stadium to support the Wellington Lions as they take on Canterbury in Sunday's Mitre 10 Cup duel. Two aisles will be designated "dog friendly" in the first Bark in the Park event, which will convert a section of the Cake Tin into a Dog Bowl."

I have said there are MANY public places that should allow dogs. Here is another good example. If they can do this in New Zealand, we can do this here. The more we get our dogs out and about, the fewer dog behavior problems at home in in our neighborhoods.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Don't Abandon Your Pets During A Disaster

"Florida authorities may file felony charges against residents who abandoned their pets during Irma

What I can’t understand is why any of those degenerates would tether their pet to something with widespread flooding and 120-mph winds descending. If you’re going to abandon your dog or cat to its fate, let it roam free so that it has a fighting chance to find a safe place to hide. Leaving it out in the elements to wonder where its family went as it’s sheared to pieces by the wind and rain is the cruelest thing you could do."

Yep, there really is no excuse for this kind of thing. People have choices, pets don't.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

4-Year-Old Girl Attacked by Dog at Restaurant

"A woman sitting near the family asked if their two daughters would like to pet her dog. The owner walked off, leaving the dog with the girls.The dog then bit four-year-old Lacey Burke on the face. “My daughter was on her knees, petting the dog’s head like the owner had showed, and the dog went at her face”

My personal opinion is that your dog doesn't need to be petted by the kids of strangers. Yes, there is a place for socializing puppies, but after that, it is just a risk that isn't worth taking. Tell your kid to leave the dog alone, and tell strangers that you'd rather not have their kid pet your dog.

Some Theories: My suspicion of what happened... it was a restaurant. Possibly the dog was guarding a piece of food on the ground. Another theory, the dog is in a strange place, and the kid got in the dog's face or touched the dog in a way the dog was uncomfortable with. Not all dogs are as comfortable outside the home as they are at home. You have to supervise all interactions between unknown kids and dogs to monitor the body language and interactions.

Can You Shoot A Dog?

"He said the park does require dogs to be leashed. The gunman's dog was not on a leash, while the pit bulls were both on leashes."

"The gunman had been playing in the park with his own dog, which was off-leash, when the owner of the two pit bulls walked by, said Logan Police Capt. Tyson Budge. It was unclear how the fight between the dogs began, Budge said, but the man tried to stop the attack by pulling out a gun and firing a pair of warning shots into the ground, hoping to scare the pit bulls away. Undeterred by the gunfire, the pit bulls apparently continued to attack and the man then shot one of the pit bulls, the captain said."

As a general rule, if your dog is off leash, and the other dog is on leash, if a fight happens, it is going to be your dog's fault. However, we don't know enough about this story to know what the prosecutor is going to do.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Animal Cruelty Investigation: 50 pets tethered to trees in Florida as Irma approaches

Hurricane is coming... “Even a tiny bit of sand can hurt an animal when it’s traveling through 100-plus mph winds,” Sauve said.

These animals were tied out and abandoned, according to the article... Imagine 100 mph winds, plus 10 feet of flooding.

If what is alleged is true, I'm guessing someone is going to jail...


If You Are In The Dog World, You Should Do Rescue


New Stuff

It's been a couple of years since I blogged. It was time to get some new perspective on the dog world, so I could come back with fresh content. It is about growing.

Blogging is difficult work, to do it year after year. Since we last talked a lot has happened!

2013: I founded Citizens Animal Welfare Society (see and "Like" our Facebook page). The idea was to turn Maricopa into a no kill county.
2015: Citizens Animal Welfare Society bid to privatize MCACC, to turn it into an open admission, no kill shelter. See our CAWS Facebook page.
2016: CAWS held its first public meeting in Tempe, AZ
2016: Our bid for takeover was not accepted, however, we did not give up. After meeting with County officials, we were invited to do demonstration projects for the County to show the way towards a new shelter system. CAWS is now a well respected member of the local animal rescue community. Sam Basso is CEO of CAWS, and has an entire team of professionals working to turn Maricopa into a no kill community. You can search the local media to see some of the things we have been involved with. This is still a very active project.
2017: CAWS continues to be an animal rescue leader in the Phoenix metropolitan area. We have numerous projects and initiatives running. Watch our Facebook page for the latest updates.

I have learned a considerable amount about animal rescue, from the bottom to the top. I'll be posting more of this topic.

It is good to be back

Sam