Monday, December 01, 2008

Hi Everybody

The year 2008 is almost over... and 2009 approaches...


Another Thanksgiving is past and the end of the year celebrations are still going. How did your dog do this past weekend? Was your dog good with your guests? How did the potty training go? Was your dog obedient? Did your dog get into any trouble? Did you have to keep your dog away from everyone, or was your dog able to participate in all the activities?

Holidays and pets can either be a fun thing or a not so fun thing. I have always been one to emphasize preparation for holidays. I start brushing up on my dog’s training weeks prior to these events. Training and manners can get rusty as the months go by, and then the training you thought you had isn’t there when you need it. So, right now is a good time to do a tune up on your dog! You can either do lessons at home, or we can arrange for a board and train program. Either way, you can be better prepared, and your dog will be happier. It isn’t any fun for the dog to be in trouble the entire time, or banished from the family, when guests arrive and everyone is hustling to and fro from the stores and in and out of the home.

Or maybe you are planning on getting another dog over the holidays. If you haven’t had a puppy in a while, it is best to start the planning now. I highly recommend doing a house training lesson BEFORE the puppy comes home, so you are prepared. And for some breeds, it is also good to do a Puppy Manners lesson before the pup comes home so everyone is prepared for what to do when the pup starts to bite, and tear up things, and gets everyone aggravated. It doesn’t have to be a hassle… do the preparation work in advance.

Or maybe you are trying to think of a good gift for someone who is planning on getting a dog over the holidays. I have had numerous people purchase Gift Certificates for dog training over the years. Gifts can be pretty difficult to find, right? Most people have the things they need: TV’s, sweaters, pants, jewelry, DVD players, cameras, and so forth. It is hard to get something personal and unique. A gift of dog training can be just the thing! (And sometimes, you get them the dog training gift because it is such a hassle going over to their place, because their dogs are totally out of control… and here’s a way to help them with that problem).

Or maybe your dog just needs a tune up, or you never did complete the training of your dog, and you want a bit more control and a few less hassles.

Need some holiday training? Call me! And if you are out of the area... find a good local trainer!


Here is a recent customer… who hired me to introduce a new bull terrier to the family, when the main dog, another bull terrier, wasn’t typically good with other dogs…

Thank you, Sam. Things have gone so well that it is like a dream for us. We have put off getting another dog because we always thought that it just could not be done. Unfortunately, we blamed or male dog for it and didn’t realize that it took getting just the right dog at the right time along with some good advice. It has taken a lot of work (especially on my part) but we are so happy. It just seems like she was meant to become part of our family.


From: Sam The Dog Trainer

Super! I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. Usually when things are going well, I don’t get any feedback… and you wonder how things went.

From: A

To: Sam The Dog Trainer
Hi, Sam. I have been so swamped that I have not had a chance to get back with you. Things are going really well at our home between our dogs. Our third dog, has also accepted her.


I have owned dogs for many years. However, 2 years ago I inherited a cat after I got married. Because the cat was “someone else’s” (meaning it was a family member’s cat), and I was busy working, I didn’t much pay attention to what was going on. I figured that cats were pretty self sufficient. How wrong I was! The cat stopped eating, and $600 in vet bills later, I have learned a very important lesson.

I have saved numerous customers’ dogs. Because I have read a lot about dog health, I can oftentimes spot medical problems early on. I have come into customers houses and seen dogs that had a medical issue. I have immediately stopped the lesson, and urged the customer to get their pet to the veterinarian immediately. And some of these dogs would have died or had other serious medical issues if they hadn’t gotten their dog to the vet immediately. Years ago, I started recommending that my customers get a pet first aid book for their dogs, read it from cover to cover, and make up a first aid kit for their dogs. I have said over and over again, that this one step could save you thousands of dollars at some point in veterinary bills.

I should have done that with the cat. Once I got married, that cat was mine, too, right? Why it didn’t occur to me… I don’t know. I think if I had known more about cat medicine, maybe I would have seen early on that something wrong was going on, and would have been able to head off the problem. Maybe that is wishful thinking, and maybe none of that would have helped. Now it is past that point: we are having to force feed the cat, and inject it with fluids. Maybe the cat lives, maybe the cat dies. It is heartbreaking to have to deal with this every day.

I see this kind of thing with pet dogs all the time.


My grandfather always taught us: Today is the first day of the rest of your life. He also taught us: When you get knocked down, get back up again. I still try to grasp the wisdom in these sayings, and keep trying to implement them in my life.

This year has been a time for a lot of changes for many of us… myself included. Yet, this year is now almost over, and even though it is useful to reflect on the past, and learn the lessons that life has for us, 2009 is about to start. You can’t re-do 2008, and 2009 is coming whether you like it or not. Some of you have had a great year, some of you haven’t. Whatever the case, it’s time to start planning for the next year, and to let this year go.

What are you going to do with your 2009? I’m trying to answer that question for myself this week. I’m making plans for growth and opportunity… how about you?

Give your dogs a hug for me…

Best Regards,

Sam Basso
Dog Trainer & Behaviorist

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