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DOGGY DAY CARE / PLAY GROUPS / BETCO – DOG BEHAVIOR,/TRAINING, AGILITY & OTHER DOG SPORTS!

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Claudia Sihler
CPDT-KSA
Phone (907) 357-2521

1400 Regine Ave
Wasilla, Alaska  99654




Full Member



Member

Happy Tales



We are pleased to report our classes have been a huge success!
"Paws" and read some of our Happy Tales!

NEW! Submit your own Happy Tale - Online
 


"The greatest benefit I derived from these classes was Linus learning to come & that being calm gets you treats"

Rachel & William with Linus Class: Puppy 2

A comment about the online Pet Parenting Program we offer to all new Puppy 1 and Foundation Class students:

“I am enjoying the articles you have sent and the other articles in the library. Thank you so much! The only thing I wish is that I had started reading them BEFORE bringing my pup home. We have made many of the mistakes you recommend against in your articles, especially with regard to potty training. So, I feel like we are starting from the beginning now, and Hero is already 4 months! But better late than never. Thank you for all the articles, and Thank you to Better Companion for signing us up for these! They are a great help!”

Ferne and Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, “Hero”
Class: Puppy 1


“Peat used to run around the yard and resisted coming inside when playtime or potty time was over. Now, after Puppy 1 class, I’m able to use the training we learned about recall to teach Peat what I want, and he’s much more willing to come when called! The small class size allowed for a lot of time for each student as well as individual attention when needed.”
Adam and Terrier, “Peat”
Class: Puppy 1


“I liked that instructors were willing to help when they could tell you were having problems with an exercise. For me, the “touch the hand” was the most interesting exercise. Our story: We took Tag out to the field behind our house to potty one night and it was too dark to see where he went. My husband shined the flashlight on his hand - and Tag came running to touch his hand for a treat! Success!”
Kathy and Border Collie, “Tag”
Class: Foundation


“I really enjoyed the puppy play time at the very start of the class each week - it helped our puppy focus on the new training. It was overall a very impressive class. My favorite exercise of all was “Touch” because of all the ways it can be used!
Rebekah and Husky, “Kavi”
Class: Puppy 1


Lucy gets so excited when we drive in the parking lot at BetCo! Every Saturday she looks for her ‘backpack’ and can’t wait to go! Our favorite exercise is the Teeter. Claudia is SO patient. We love agility class!
Kathryn and Golden/Gordon, “Lucy”
Class: Agility Skills; summer 2013


“We very much appreciated the training ‘manual’ (class curriculum) which we were given at the start of Foundation class. It supplemented the class training very well with all the extra information! The small class size, well-structured training, the techniques and learning “clicker training” were all helpful. Molly is working better around distractions than she did before the class.

Jenny Stogsdill


This is the 3rd dog I’ve done this [Nose Work] sport with - we are always learning something new! I love the excitement and interest my dogs show when working a scent. Before class; Treasure will bark, pull the leash and hurry to the facility door, in through the door and directly to the gate where he knows he can start “working” - he is always ready and excited to start training.

One of the most interesting parts of this class has been learning what each of my dogs’ specific “alert” signs will be. Probably the greatest benefit I’ve derived has been bonding with my dogs and learning more about how to understand and read their signs of success, frustration, etc.

Thank you, Claudia, for excellent teaching and helping us to “find our alert”!
Beverly Labani 4/22/2013
Class: Nose Work - Intro To Odor


We just completed Elementary School and I wanted you to know I really appreciate your understanding that dogs learn at and for different times/reasons. I learned not to stress about situations when the dog wasn’t “acting” like he understood - and was rewarded for my patience always when I practiced at home!

My “Happy Tale” was when I was running the dogs on a trail in the woods. They scared up a spruce hen and several chicks - I told them to “Leave it!”. Boreas turned on a dime and came straight back to me, and he stayed with me even as 3 people on ATVs rode by. No treat reward either - only praise! Boreas is listening better every day!

Patricia Volpe & “Boreas


Our dog is much better about meeting other dogs when we are out walking now. We are also very happy with our dog learning to STAY! One of the things we most liked about the Elementary School class was meeting other dogs and seeing the progress of our and other people’s dogs.


Debbie and Mika Barto & “Dakota

Claudia,
Just wanted to let you know about one of your students and how he uses the skills you helped teach him to help children.  We both thank you for all of your patience over the past 3 years!

Margaret and Jackson Read Story and Watch Video

Claudia,
Before the C.L.A.S.S.-B.A. class, my Shih Tzu “Tucker” would not sit/stay at doorways (my fault - I never taught it to him). Now, he will “stop” until I give the release command at least 90% of the time. He also used to be scared of hula hoops. Now they are just fine. The most interesting single exercise for me was the “Do you REALLY know “Sit”? We also like the “Hide & Seek” game. I think the greatest benefit I derived from the class was continued interaction with my “puppies” and the concept of trying to give them only 1 command! What I like most about the program is the concept - training for real life situations. We really appreciate the different levels of training; “BA”, “MA” & “PhD”. We hope to get that PhD someday! Having the syllabus available at the beginning was most helpful. We (the doggy community) appreciate you becoming a teacher and evaluator of C.L.A.S.S. The whole program seems well thought out and presented in a very sequential order.
Jane Ann & Tucker - C.L.A.S.S.-B.A. February 2012

Claudia,
I just wanted to share a mini-success story. I took my 9-month old Aussie pup Jackie (P1, P2 and Elem Obedience) to PetZoo the other day. She had not been in a store since she was about 5 months old. I just wanted you to know that our training really paid off!

She entered the store, heeling, was not too concerned about the auto door, walked calmly alongside me as I pushed the cart (she had not worked with a cart before ) ...even responded to "leave it" when we spotted an open barrel of biscuits at ground level! She of course appreciated the Yummy Chummy the helpful store employee gave her, sitting quickly to accept it.

We were approached by a mom with a young child of about four; he began having a small tantrum upon seeing Jackie...he was really afraid of dogs! She wanted her boy to pet Jackie, but he was having nothing of it. He was quite loud. Jackie kept a respectful distance as we let the child and mom sort it out themselves.

We walked around several aisles, made some tight squeezes and returned with our puppy chow and puppy cookies to the cash register. I asked her here to sit...and she sat quietly. Soon, though, the dad of the scared little boy approached us from behind, the scared child in tow. Dad was insistent that the child pet Jackie. ("He's got to learn to like dogs!" the dad said.) Jackie was calm and stood quietly, watching the boy who again, painfully, was crying in fear and pulling away. I felt sorry for him!

The mom came over and told the dad to drop it, and she explained to me that the child had been bitten when he was younger. As they moved away, I asked Jackie to sit and stay, which she did, and we proceeded to pay for our puppy food, leaving the store calmly, on a loose leash! I was so happy with her; I called my husband right away.

I know I am gaining the companion I have always wanted...one who can accompany me anywhere! I could see she was really relying on me to tell her what she needed to do in this new situation. And since we had learned quite a few things, she could easily follow my request.

Hope to be back for more work before too long....
Julie - Jackie (puppy), Australian Shepherd
Puppy 1, Puppy 2, Elementary Obedience

Claudia,
I’ve brought four dogs for classes, and I learn new skills & tricks every time! It’s never boring!
Thank you!”
Nancy with Cooper
Puppy 1 - Preschool, February 2012

Claudia,
I just wanted to say thank you for all of the foundational training you gave Beau and I. We are now living in the midwest, and a member of the the Fort Wayne Obedience Training Club, and without your expert advise and progressive training methods, we would not be as far along. You helped me build confidence in him, and he is comfortable with anything I ask him to do. I hope your business is becoming more successful every year, and I hope that dog owners realize how important it is to create a good community and family member, I'm sure there would be less dogs in animal controls hands.
Thank you and Best Wishes,
Susan Carpenter.... and Boxer... Beau
attended P1 + P2 in 2008

Claudia,
I really enjoyed your seminar last Wednesday and like your news letter. My daughter and I realized that we were training our Pit-bull puppy (Maximus) incorrectly. I wish I would have had time to get into your puppy classes two months ago. My family has had two Rottweilers and one Doberman (all three imported from Germany with Schutzhund III and IPO III parents, grandparents ect...) prior to Maximus. The Rottweilers always required a firm hand. I read several Schutzhund training books and the Kohler method of guard dog training. During your three hour class I realized I was wrong. I never would have guessed the reward method was the correct way to train big stubborn breeds. I believe that most of the population could never have changed my mine, but you did a great job at your seminar. I am glad my puppy is only 6 months old and will be trained correctly. Thank you for changing the way I treat my dog. I am the typical stubborn type who demands his dog and kids do as they are told, but I look forward to your outlook on how a dog and owner trust each other. Great presentation.
Thanks,
Ron Phillips

Claudia,
I finally got out this weekend to try the new harness [our Bjorkis Buggy harness] on my dog Buddy [Springer Spaniel].  …  First we did the ¼ mile track to see how the harness would work and he did so well we moved to the 4 mile track.  I was amazed, no wheezing (no ring to cut into his neck) and more power.  I didn’t realize but when the ring was cutting into him he was backing off – I thought he just didn’t like to pull that much but with this new harness he pulls hard the whole time and didn’t slow down, he was even trying to pull me up the steep hills!  4.5 miles was nothing for him in that harness, not so for me, the last few hills were killers but I plan to go back again this week sometime.  Thanks so much for the harness! 
Maggie

I realize this is the basics for our relationship. I have very much enjoyed Claudia’s attention to details about every dog. We will continue with you because you nurture owner and dog.

Keep up the exceptional work!! I am enjoying my buddy more than I thought possible!

Gus the German Shepherds Mom

I have attended many different dog trainings in the past 10 years. All were adequate in dealing with typical commands, but your course and the way it is organized tops them all! You have a good handle on dogs and their behaviors. I love the way you “act” out a dog behavior for the class. It helps us relate to our dogs!

Mason's Mom

When I final got a puppy in December of '07 I knew I had to start her out on the right racl from square one. As soo n as she was old enough she was enrolled in P1. I was so happy with the results that I didn't have to think twice about putting her in P2. When I was done with that we jumped straight to High School. We repeated the High School course right before the Canine Good Citizen test. We took the test and passed it with flying colors. She knows over 30 commands. She and I go into my moms work and an Extended Care Facility to visit the patients. I couldn't be happier with the results that Better Companion has given me.
Thanks You SO Much!!!

~Emily and Cabela

“She (my dog) is better at staying when people come to the door. She has stopped getting excited when asked to stay.”

Carolyn and Hound-mix Osa, Elementary School 2008

Greatest benefit from the classes: “I have a well-adjusted dog – I feel more capable of handling him. He is more willing to work for me, (our) communication is better, (the class) built confidence in me!”

Beau was walking next to me like a gentlemen going down the road when we passed a Yellow Lab that was pulling his owner all over the place and of course towards me. Beau and I walked calmly passed the dog, it was wonderful – thank you!

Susan Carpenter and Boxer “Beau”, Elementary School 2008

I have a 2 year male Black Labrador (Rebel) that has never been in any type of class for obedience or otherwise (enough said?!). It took me a while to decide to sign up for the Foundations Class. I was afraid my dog would run over every other dog in class or I wouldn't be able to control him or he would be completely untrainable (it's not like I didn't try at home first!) or the instructor would somehow hate me because he was 2 years old and this was his first class! Plus, $110 is quite a lot of money for me to spend!

I finally decided it was now or never and signed up. I wish there was a video of him the first day of class--he was barking, fighting to get off his leash, he wrapped his leash around my legs so many times I had bruises the next day. I had no idea how to control him. With the instructor's help (and an application of the 'gentle leader'), the next class Rebel actually laid down beside me! Which may sound uneventful to the 'normal' dog owner, but it was a freaking miracle for me! After the next class I was in tears he was doing so well (and I'm not a crier!). Those dogs that I always see in PetCo, Pet Zoo, etc. that behave so well, Rebel was acting like that! I didn't think it was possible for a Labrador to be calm and attentive!

I just can't say enough about your class and your instructor! Y'all do AMAZING work! I loved it, Rebel loved it, and I don't have bruises on my legs anymore! You, Rose, and Emily are my heroes!!! Thank you!!!

--Beth & Rebel, Foundations Class, March 2008

Buddy has learned some manners. Before Foundation Class, he raced around the house in circles when we took the leash down. Now, when it's time for a walk, he waits nicely to get his leash on and before going through the door. When we return home, he waits patiently on the porch while I unlock the door and lets me enter first. He has learned the commands sit, down, stand, stay, let's go, okay, go back, and leave it. He's much more fun around the house and on walks and seems like a happier dog as well.

Margaret and "Buddy", 1-24-07

To anyone wishing to help their dog to be a better citizen, please always remember, "it's the trainer who needs the training not the dog or pet!". Your pet will only behave as well as you are able to teach it good, positive behavior.

Thank you Claudia for helping me to understand and appreciate my pet even more and for teaching me valuable training information to help her be a "Better Companion".

Barbara Cadden and "Cayenne", High School - CGC class, date: 7-9-06

The greatest benefit from the classes was to understand how my behavior affects the dog's training. I loved having the class outdoors! The most interesting exercise was weaving around other people and dogs. I was amazed at how well GrayBob learned to listen to me - even around other dogs!

Holly Stinson and GrayBob, Adolescent Preschool Class, Summer 2004


It was great to have a safe, controlled atmosphere promoting socialization and obedience. I liked most about the training program that it provides gradual but challenging levels of training tailored to everyday life. The most interesting part of the exercises was the variety of distractions Claudia gave while the dogs were in a "Stay!". Zoe is happy to have met some new people who love dogs of all shapes and sizes; and she was able to calm down and learn with other dogs present. I enrolled in Adult Elementary with only one wish: to help socialize my dog. I was pleasently surprised to find out my high-strung dog was so excited to learn new things and now she has excelled at stays and heeling, which are merely bonuses from my hope for socialization! Claudia's classes are well worth the money! It's never too late to be a responsible pet owner.

 Hillary and Zoe, Adult Elementary Class, Summer 2004

 

 The greatest benefit from the classes were the socialization and the confidence my dog gained around people and other dogs. I liked the positive, happy approach to training - you could tell the dgs enjoyed the classes. The most interesting exercises were the "puppy push-ups" and the recalls during free play. Patch was attacked by an older dog when he was 4 mo old and was badly frightened. Puppy Class taught him that other dogs could be fun companions. He's happy and confident now.

Deb and Patch, Puppy 1 Class, 2004

Due to this class, my dog at only 3.5 months old can already sit, stand and down. She and I had a wonderful time doing this class. I learned so much!
Other comments:
Thank you for being a very "positive" teacher. You really explained things in a very understanding way. It was so nice to have my dog socialized and to learn new ways to train my dog.
Krista Burris with "Dutchess", Puppy 1, Nov 2004

What is the greatest benefit you derived from these classes?
Socialization
What did you like most about the training program?
Reinforcement
Which was the most interesting exercise of the whole course?
Importance of motor sit, down
Tell us your dog's "Happy Tale":
(She) was able to stop hiding during playtime.
Other comments:
Everything was well organized & planned out.
Anati Kizer with "Hairy", Puppy 1, Nov 2004


What is the greatest benefit you derived from these classes?
Sandy really watches and listens and stays with me now.
What did you like most about the training program?
I liked getting to hear the topics and then having the chance to try things with individual attention from the instructor.
Which was the most interesting exercise of the whole course?
Holding the dog on it's side (for vet procedures, etc.)
Tell us your dog's "Happy Tale":
Play time !!!
"Sandy", Puppy 1, Nov 2004

What is the greatest benefit you derived from these classes?
That the training of my Dog is ongoing. I will be training him all of his life and he is learning every minute we spend together.
What did you like most about the training program?
Learning to restrain my Dog without stressing him out. I taught him to trust me.
Which was the most interesting exercise of the whole course?
The relay exercises - I never knew if my Dog would perform as fast as the others.
Tell us your dog's "Happy Tale":
My dog liked the play time and the amount of treats he got.
Teresa Andersen with "Shep", Puppy 1, Nov 2004

What is the greatest benefit you derived from these classes?
Learn how to handle the dogs and get the kids involved.
What did you like most about the training program?
Step by step program, fun.
Which was the most interesting exercise of the whole course?
Watch Aurora learn to sit &down command.
Tell us your dog's "Happy Tale":
Fun playtime with the other dogs in class.
Other comments:
We're looking forward to continue classes. Thank you!
Herb & Bettina Everett with "Aurora", Adolescent Preschool Class, Nov 2004

What is the greatest benefit you derived from these classes?
Time together with family while training dogs.
What did you like most about the training program?
Relaxed environment and interaction.
Which was the most interesting exercise of the whole course?
All of them.
Tell us your dog's "Happy Tale":
Perfect angel for one hour once a week. Ha!Ha!
Other comments:
Thanks!
Herb & Bettina Everett with "Borealis", Adolescent Preschool Class, Nov 2004


What is the greatest benefit you derived from these classes?
Better control of Nia's behavior.
What did you like most about the training program?
It was great fun for my dog to go to class.
Which was the most interesting exercise of the whole course?
Great to learn different ways to get the dog to understand what I'm asking of her.
Tell us your dog's "Happy Tale":
She (Nia) learned how to focus on us anddisregard other dogs and people and distractions.
"Nia", Adolescent Preschool Class, Nov 2004

What is the greatest benefit you derived from these classes?
I learned more about my dog.
What did you like most about the training program?
It kept my dog motivated.
Which was the most interesting exercise of the whole course?
Loose leash (walk).
Tami, Adolescent Preschool Class, Nov 2004


What is the greatest benefit you derived from these classes?
Having my dog listen to me/ one on one time with Rainy.
What did you like most about the training program?
Watching Rainy improve every week.
Which was the most interesting exercise of the whole course?
The "looping" around other dogs with a loose leash
Tell us your dog's "Happy Tale":
From the first class when Rainy was scared and snapping at other dogs to watching her play with them including Abby.
Other comments:
I looked forward to the class even though I work 10hr days + drive 2hrs a day. I would barely make to class on time and was always glad I did make it . Great investment!!
Terri with "Rainy", Adolescent Preschool, Summer 2004

What is the greatest benefit you derived from these classes?
Realizing I must be more firm and in control with my dog.
What did you like most about the training program?
Seeing my dog make improvements in her behavior.
Which was the most interesting exercise of the whole course?
Doing a sit stand; sit down and the recall.
Tell us your dog's "Happy Tale":
It was a joy to see Heidi behave better and watching her interact with the other puppies.
Karen with "Heidi", Puppy 1 Class, Fall 2004

What is the greatest benefit you derived from these classes?
Learning not to say "NO" but to reward good behavior.
What did you like most about the training program?
Fun, relaxed but organized and disciplined.
Which was the most interesting exercise of the whole course?
The "down" position - hardest to achieve.
Tell us your dog's "Happy Tale":
Jet discovered the fun of lake swimming in summer & he's really happy about this (note: not part of the class curriculum)
Other comments:
Thanks so much for showing me how to handle Jet and this helped me with his sister - I especially appreciate learning that "I am the Boss!"
Wendy Delaurentis and "Jet", Adolescent Preschool Class, Fall 2004


 

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Students - please email us your happy tales!

 

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