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Cultured Canines Blog

Fitness with Fido

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Fitness with Fido is an innovative solution for the busy dog owner. Not only will you get a workout, but your dog will be both mentally and physically challenged.

Classes are 1 one hour in length and are held outdoors. Our program is designed and taught by a certified personal trainer. This is a dynamic and breath taking experience that is good for your heart, lungs, core stability, legs and every muscle group in your body. Your dog gets a mental work out and partakes in all your hard effort. With challenging moves to stimulate your body and mind and an education for your dog, you will inevitably build a stronger & closer bond between you and your pooch.

Touch.. Good and bad!

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Did you know the touch reinforces behaviors in your dog?

This works two ways…

Touch when your dog is exhibiting a desirable behavior encourages them to continue doing whatever it is that you are wanting them to do! For example, you say sit, so your dog sits down, and you reward them with physical and verbal praise. The dog associates something positive with sitting when asked, so they will continue to sit so they receive that reward.

This works against you though.. The most common reaction to a fearful dog is for the owner to pet the dog to “reassure them”. For humans, relief is the common response to that reassuring touch when you are upset or scared. For a dog, you are telling that dog that it is okay to be scared, and you are reinforcing their fear! The dog learns that it gets touched and praised for being afraid, so they will continue to react that way to certain stimuli.

Want to learn more? Contact me and learn how you can better understand your dog’s needs and look at life from their perspective!

Big news

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As of December 13th, Cultured Canines is no longer affiliated with Brad Pattison.

After almost 3 years, I decided that it was time I took my business in a better direction.

What does this mean for my clients? There won’t be any crazy changes! I am now able to expand my learning base and find new ways to help you.

With my own leash and collar brand, some phenomenal partnerships with a few of Calgary’s best dog businesses, the worlds best clients, and two dogs that continue to teach me every day, the sky is the limit.

Christmas Puppies

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There is just one thing I wish I could tell every family in Calgary this holiday season.

Do not get a puppy as a Christmas gift.

Puppies and dogs are not gifts. They are an 8-20 year commitment (depending on breed and diet). Puppies that are bought as gifts are often tossed aside after the novelty wears off. A living, breathing, intelligent creature should not be grouped in the same category as a Nintendo DS, an action figure, fuzzy socks, or an Xbox one.

Toys and presents are easily tossed aside as the next cool thing comes along. That sort of mentality is what leads some to treat the “Christmas Puppies” as more disposable.

A good, responsible breeder would never let a puppy go home on Christmas morning for this reason. A breeder who would allow this is likely less than ethical and is probably in it to make money. Good breeders have litters of puppies to better their chosen breed. They don’t skip crucial steps like DNA testing the parents for known breed specific issues.

Call me a Scrooge if you will, but the magic and joy associated with Christmas morning will come to a shocking halt when that cute puppy starts peeing everywhere and chewing everyone’s shoes! The expectations for the puppy’s behaviour will be unfairly high. Christmas TV specials are partly responsible for this! Many kids and adults expect puppies to come with an innate perfection that never exists. Lassie isn’t a real dog people!!! The level of communication and understanding I have with my dogs has taken hundreds of hours of hard work and learning. It doesn’t just come naturally.

It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of giving, but getting a puppy as a gift without consulting your entire family is dangerous. Everyone in your household needs to be prepared and they have to be willing to make a commitment to caring for and training this new family member. If the puppy is brought home as a surprise, then no promises to care for the puppy are made. No preparation takes place. The puppy has just been set up for failure.

Instead of buying a puppy for Christmas, wrap up a couple dog toys along with a gift certificate for a Cultured Canines Puppy Preparation seminar! Make it clear that is is no promise of getting a puppy, but a first step towards adopting a new family member. (Using the word adopt instead of buy isn’t unintentional…)

To summarize, surprise puppies aren’t always a great surprise. There are so many dogs in shelters and in foster homes that were abandoned because they were unwanted. Don’t let another puppy fall victim to Christmas Day.

Coming when called

Calgary Bylaws

Does your dog come the first time you call them at the off leash park? How about the second time? Third? If you get stopped by a city of Calgary bylaw officer, you get three tries to recall your dog; regardless of what they are doing. Avoid the fine, and the embarrassment! Contact me today about how you can drastically improve your dog’s recall!!!

Halloween safety tips

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Halloween can be a dangerous and scary night for your dog! Let me help you keep you dog safe and happy!

Before the big day:

Take your dog for an extremely tiring walk the two days before Halloween! Go somewhere totally new. This will make sure they are mentally and physically tired.

Take the embarassing costume photos for facebook. Then get the costumes off ASAP! One of the issues¬† with costumes is that other dogs may misinterpret the dressed up dog’s body language which can cause a dog fight. Another is that they may attempt to get the costume off and inadvertently swallow and/or choke on a part of the costume. And honestly… have you ever seen a dog look HAPPY is a costume? I haven’t..

Before the trick-or-treaters arrive:

Put a note on your doorbell asking people not to ring it.

Consider dropping your dog off at someone’s home who isn’t participating in Halloween.

Get your closest emergency vet’s number and keep in on hand. Put it on the fridge!

Put your dog in a room on their own with music and something to entertain them!

TRICK OR TREAT!!

Keep the candy bowl up and away from husbands and dogs. Don’t leave it unattended for even a moment!

Do NOT allow your dog to greet people at the door. DO NOT take your dog trick or treating with you.
The costumes can be quite frightening to your dog. Don’t put your dog in that situation.

Getting your money’s worth for training lessons?

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Why do my classes cost so much? Simple! You are getting more for your money. Most dog training requires that you take 4 or more “levels” of training to learn everything you need. You will end up spending thousands of dollars to go from “sit” to off leash. After you are done the classes, there are typically no maintenance options available so most dogs regress back to their former behaviour anyway.
My class is one course that teaches everything the other classes teach and MORE. My class goes above and beyond with things like urban agility, dog nutrition advice, urban hikes, off leash work, c-train adventures, coyote safety, street safety, and river swims.

When you are done the course, maintaining and furthering your dog’s education is easy with $5 drop in classes. You can come to as many as you would like! No yearly fees, just come when you would like. It doesn’t have to break the bank to stay a part of the cultured canines family!

Here’s the breakdown of the pricing:

Course cost is : $550
You get :
1.) 12 class sessions
2.) 10 drop-in sessions once the initial course is complete
3.) 1 martingale collar ($25 value)
4.) 1 6 foot leash ($25 value)
5.) 1 hands free leash ($60 value)

My rates:
Per class cost is exactly $20
The hourly cost is $14.66

Average rates of competitors:
Hourly cost is ~$30.00

This doesn’t include the help I provide outside of scheduled class. I’m always available via email, phone and text to help with problems that come up. I also make myself available before and after class to answer questions and to help with specific issues.

The training method is easy to integrate into your daily routine. Having a well behaved dog isn’t hard with my help! You don’t need to set aside time for training every day, I will show you how to make it a lifestyle!

Raw or Kibble?

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I get asked this question A LOT. My answer is always RAW!

The raw diet is the healthiest thing you can feed your dog. The proof is in the poop… Their poops are much smaller as there are no fillers in the food. It is not ridiculously expensive either. It costs about $3-$4 a day to feed both of my dogs. You will save money in the long run on vet bills! Dogs are healthier, cleaner, and happier when on the raw diet. The raw diet can help with things like skin problems, digestive issues and much more!
Kibble takes your dog’s body three times longer than it takes raw to be digested. Your dog’s organs don’t have to work as hard. Long term, this can extend your dog’s life expectancy.
Raw bones maintain and clean your pooches teeth too! Take a look at Jake’s choppers sometime. He’s 3.5 and his teeth look just as white as a puppy’s. Brushing with a dog tooth brush and some coconut oil is a great way to clean your dog’s teeth naturally.
Yes its gross. Yes its a pain. The reality is, it takes an extra 5 minutes a day to feed your dog raw. It costs less than your daily Starbucks coffee to feed your dog raw. YOUR DOG IS WORTH IT!

A review of hemp leashes and collars

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Why do I not endorse the use of “hemp” leashes, collars, and martingale collars?

Hemp collars stretch; a lot. My first dog Jett almost died as a result of the inferior quality. He was playing with his good friend Penny (chocolate lab) when her tooth got caught in his collar. He suffocated and was unconscious for over two minutes. Luckily some neighbors heard my friend and I screaming and thanks to some quick thinking, they got pliers and broke the plastic on the collar and Jett began breathing shortly after. He had severe neck trauma and had to wear a harness for two months.

The hemp martingale collars I have seen available in Calgary feature a chain that is not long enough to size properly. The chain can rust and tarnish and they are not kind to your dog’s fur! The proper way to size a martingale collar is that the collar needs to be tight enough so when the dog pulls the two “D” rings cannot touch. This way the pressure is exerted evenly around the dog’s neck instead of all the pressure being on their trachea. The chains on the hemp collars are not long enough to size correctly so if you try to size it properly, they just choke the dogs! Also when sized properly, dogs cannot wiggle out of the collar making a (proper) martingale the safest collar. When not sized properly the dog can still get out of the collar and then run away and put themselves in danger. Using a martingale that isn’t/can’t be sized correctly might as well not even be a martingale.

The hemp leashes are made of the same flimsy material. Any hemp leash I’ve seen that is over a year old are very ratty! The clasps are not that strong and I wouldn’t trust them in any of my classes.

The “hands free” leashes do not stay snug on the waist and when I used to use one, I was constantly fidgeting with it trying to keep it on. The leash portion of the hands free belt has the same untrustworthy clasp and the material can stretch easily.

While using hemp is a cute idea, in practical usage it is an unwise choice to keep your dog safe.

I will only allow certain leashes and collars in my classes and on my dogs. They are made of a soft but durable nylon material that I have NEVER seen (in the three years I have been using them break) stretch, wear out, or fall apart. The leashes are made of the same material. They are soft on your hands, but strong enough to hold your dog. The clasps are the strongest clasps available for dog leashes. There is a 300 psi clasp for smaller dogs and a 600psi clasp for bigger dogs. They are made with your dog’s safety in mind. The chain for the martingale collar is imported from Germany, and the leashes and collars are made in Canada. These leashes and collars are included in the cost of my group course to ensure the dogs in my class have nothing but the best.

I understand that hemp is better for the environment but nylon is just safer. My priority is your dog’s safety. I help save the environment in other ways!

The quality of the leash and collar you use on your dog determines your dog’s safety. Don’t trust your dog’s life with sub par products.