When you acquire your dog, you become their advocate. What this means is that you protect your dog from injury, from other dogs, and from themselves. How do you protect your dog from themself? By teaching them the skills to be successful, correcting them in that teaching process when they are wrong, preventing them from being in a situation where they cannot be successful (being ridden by small children, the dog park, being let loose to roam property) and pushing their boundaries so they can cope with the unexpected.
That is your responsibility to your dog, and when you fulfill it, they will pay you back in spades.
Creek is a lovely, intelligent, earnest boy, and he is learning here to temper his enthusiasm with restraint – and get what he wants in the end!
This is only Angelina’s 5th lesson, EVER! She is a little hotshot, and so can your dog be!
There has been a “trendy” attitude the past few years about getting dogs enough exercise…yes dogs do need exercise and here comes the “but”…
Walking your Labradoodle, your German Shepherd, or your Great Dane around the neighborhood on a leash does not qualify as exercise, except maybe for you.
Under-exercised dogs are more reactive to all kinds of things more than ones who get enough exercise. “But” if you are trailing your dog around your neighborhood with him dragging you, fence fighting, charging dogs, kids, adults with beards and peeing his or her way to China you are letting your dog know that is how you want him to walk around the neighborhood. So in my opinion you are doing more harm than good.
Dogs need to run or trot, even if they are just playing ball in the house. If you have a normal sized backyard or even if you don’t you will see your dog doing what I call “loop de loops” they will run fast around the yard for 10 or 15 minutes all by themselves; dogs really do know what is good for themselves…if you have two dogs they get plenty of exercise!
Dogs profit tremendously from having something constructive to think about they need mental exercise, and that gets us back to obedience training!
Obedience training always makes a dog (and owner) more confident…it will teach your dog to walk on a loose leash with no drama….come when called and to pay attention to you…you’re alpha remember? Then go beyond basic dog training! Teach your dog to track a scent (your kids or grandkids for example) find your cell phone…jump over agility obstacles; hold still while a child reads to him. Teach him anything but bad habits, and keep his mind and body busy…
Well here goes: those of you in my classes know how I feel about dog parks….on the whole I do not suggest people use them…now before you start spewing your hate mail to me I am going to give my reasons….I do NOT think that they are a good way to socialize your dog…you want your dog to be under control around other dogs…think about it …turning your dog loose to run like a maniac with other dogs does not teach them self control when encountering other dogs; all they learn is to be out of control around other dogs…. do dogs appreciate another dogs company YES! the other dog in your household or an actual dog that they are familiar with that they can have a play date with is how that works. Do dogs play rough and tumble when with each other yes..again it does not usually involve 20 other swirling, twirling dogs. And yes the Bully’s…there are some in every dog park…do you want your dog to become a bully? or to become so submissive that is is always picked on? If your dog has never had any formal training and you take it to the park so that it can really ignore your commands show me the productivity in that! Is my dog trainer’s diary full of crappy dog park stories? Do they out- number the good dog park stories? Yes and Yes…can you have a good experience at a dog park …I guess so…who should use a dog park…those of you who live in an apartment and your dog needs to get out and run some loop-de-loops preferably not with 20 other dogs chasing him…is there an alternative to dog parks? you bet..Dog Day Cares that have a schedule and structured play times that match well suited dogs with each other You can always teach your dogs some tricks…teach him to find your cell phone, your keys….your kids….better yet let him have some “Zen” time in your yard just connecting with the earth and enjoying the day.
I’m not sure of the allure of dog parks…it makes no sense to me…I of course have multiple dogs so they have plenty of time to play with each other…do they have time to be by themselves..always…do I think they have to play well with strange dogs NO and NO and NO…are my dogs perfectly fine around strange dogs YES and YES; have they gotten that way because they went to a dog park No…and No…have they gotten that way because I let them sniff every dog in the face that they meet? NO and NO…but that will be the next post…Meeting and Greeting….Hooey I say…
Please keep your hate mail to a minimum…you won’t change my mind…and it will just get deleted!!!
Ellie is a sweet little 8 year old girl with special needs due to mosaic Trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome). She is full of life and extremely physically healthy despite this diagnosis, which is both wonderful and potentially dangerous. She has many of the same safety and sensory considerations that are usually associated with autism spectrum disorder: She is a “runner,” and does not fully understand the dangers of streets, parking lots, pools, etc. She is a very strong climber and has recently learned to unlock and open doors. This is not as much of a problem during the day, however Ellie sometimes gets out of bed in the middle of the night and plays for a while before deciding to wake us up. We’re so concerned that she will decide to try to go outside at night that one of us sleeps either with her or on the couch by the double deadbolt and chain locked door! Her sensory needs are profound. One of the therapists at her school said that Ellie is the most sensory-seeking child she had ever met. She loves anything that squishes down, swings, shakes, or spins her. Pressure, rocking on her hands and knees, and fidgeting with things between her fingers is very soothing to her when she’s overstimulated or panicking (at every single medical appointment she goes to).
We have been able to manage her behaviors and sensory needs so far, but she has reached the “No! Ellie do!” stage and has no appreciation for our efforts to ensure her safety. She has even started to sneak around and try to do things on her own without our seeing her! Her special needs may change some over time, but Ellie will always need extra help. She is obsessed with dogs, which makes a service animal the ideal way to give her a sense of independence while allowing us some peace of mind.
We went to Glad Wags, Inc. in Tulsa, OK, a couple of weeks ago to meet Phoenix, an Australian Shepherd who was already trained to be a level 5 service dog. Level 5 dogs are most often paired with people who need assistance with multiple (possibly complex) tasks on a daily basis
Ellie is not the typical recipient of a Level 5 dog, but after we emailed Marj the Dog Trainer our service dog inquiry with a description of Ellie’s safety and sensory needs, we received her reply within hours, “I may have a dog for you right now!” As it turns out, Phoenix had been returned because his desire to be as close as possible to his human was problematic for the original owner. He and Ellie will be like peas in a little tiny pod; she’s a top- notch space invader, too!
My name is Paul Broerman, I am 56 years old and was born with mild Cerebral Palsy. At the age of eleven, I developed Transverse Myelitis’ leaving me paraplegic. Eight years ago I wore out my shoulders. I am now effectively a quadriplegic and rely on a power chair. Recently, I met Marj Satterfield and Glad Wags, and was teamed with a service dog named Jet. Working with Jet has given me new hope in helping myself and others recognize the value of a service animal.
Hello Name is Katie McFarland I have PTSD and was so excited to find Glad Wags. Not only did they share my enthusiasm for training a retired racing greyhound as my service dog…Marj was with me by phone assisting me in testing “Cora” when I made the trip to Memphis to meet her. Cora is one of a dozen working Greyhounds as Service Dogs. Marj and the staff at Glad Wags have made my weekly drive from northwest Arkansas worth the trip! Cora has given me back my “life”
Braydon was born one day before his due date on October 3, 2006. His pregnancy was totally normal, uneventful, and wonderful! After I had not felt him move I decided, I needed to get to the hospital. Born just in time, Braydon had to be resuscitated, but he was alive. Due to his traumatic birth, Braydon suffered a severe stroke. The stroke had lasting effects on Braydon. He now has cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, and epilepsy. He is unable to eat and requires a feeding tube for nourishment. He also struggles with sleep, waking up about 10 to 20 times a night.
Braydon is a miracle and an absolute joy! His smile can brighten the darkest days! He is so tough and happy and rarely shows any negative emotions. We are so proud of Braydon and are so excited to get his dog, Charlie. I know they will be best buddies!
Carter, in July of 2006, was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes more commonly known as Type 1. His pancreas no longer produces beta cells needed to make insulin for his body to regulate his blood sugar. Due to type 1, Carter cannot live without artificial insulin. He wears an insulin pump 24 hours a day, checks his blood sugar 6-10 times a day, and has several shots a week to bring his blood sugar into “normal” ranges. Even though Carter has checked his blood sugar over 2920 times the past 8 years, he still struggles to detect when his blood sugar is “low” or “high”. When Carter goes low, he can have seizures and lose consciousness and when he is running “high”, he has a horrible headache, vomits, and feels extremely ill. If he is high for too long, there is damage to his body and he can go into diabetic ketosis (coma). As Carter grows low blood sugars at night can become very scary because he doesn’t recognize then while he is asleep. We have had a few terrifying nights with Carter’s blood sugar reaching down into the high teens. We are excited about Carter having a service dog. Dogs are incredibly sensitive to smells and can recognize drops and spikes in blood sugar before humans are aware.
Thank you Glad Wags and Autumn Rigsbee!!!
So I shouldn’t be amazed, but I am. Carter and I went to Tulsa to work with the dog training to be his service dog. Over the past several week…s we’ve been supplying the trainer with some of Carter’s smelly things as well as qtip swabs of his mouth recorded at various blood sugar levels. Once fully trained, the dog will be his 24/7 companion and notify him or others when his glucose levels are out of range. Last night, Carter checked his blood sugar at the beginning of class and it was normal (within range) at 116.
They worked hard together on commands, distractions and then they were just playing. The dog out of the blue kept going after Carters wrist and licking it. At first we thought it was just being playful. However the dog grew more persistent and it dawned on us that the dog was trying to alert Carter. Carter quickly checked his blood sugar and it was 76 and dropping. I was completely amazed as was the trainer.
Those are activities they didn’t expect to see him display for several more weeks or longer. I immediately had tons of respect and confidence in Carter’s new companion. BTW the dog is a beautiful Golden Retriever / Australian Shepard mix with long deep red hair. We needed to come up with a unique name to register him as a service dog. The trainer had been calling him Teddy and he reminds one of a Teddy Graham snack. So with Carter’s love for soccer he went for Teddy Graham Zusi.
Note: D.A.D. stands for Diabetic Alert Dog.
My name is Autumn. Kuma is my Diabetic Alert Service Dog for hypoglycemia. He has been trained to read low blood sugar levels whenever I dip below 70. More times than I can count has he let me know that I need to take care of myself to prevent disaster. Kuma provides other services for me as well. He has been taught to assist me up the steps (give me the extra umpf I don’t have myself), helps me up off the ground when I fall, as well as bracing to hold me steady when my sugars do drop before I get to where I am going and I get lightheaded. I am so thankful for Marj and her training for Kuma and helping me to have such a wonderful dog that brings me a piece of mind.
Glad Wags is a program under Ms. Abilities America. Sassy is our current title holder’s service dog, and was the first graduate from Glad Wags. Marj is the trainer of the Glad Wags dogs, and has been doing it for several years. Sassy was a dog that came from the Wal-Mart Parking lot. Elizabeth tried to train Sassy on her own, but was struggling to get Sassy to become the best service dog. Through frustration, Elizabeth reached out to find a program that would help get Sassy into becoming the best service dog possible. Sassy was showing many aggressive behaviors due to Elizabeth not understanding and knowing how to train Sassy. Thankfully, she came across Marj. Through many training sessions Sassy has become a service dog that is able to help with Elizabeth’s balancing (Elizabeth utilizes a wheelchair due to her paralysis, Spina Bifida, MS, Sarcoidosis, and Congestive Heart failure). Sassy also helps with Elizabeth knowing when her sugars are out of balance, she might have an asthma attack, and knowing when her heart is giving her troubles. Sassy also helps with Elizabeth’s spasms in her legs and back by adding pressure where needed rather sitting in her lap to decrease the spasms of the legs or adding pressure to her back to decrease the spasms in the back. Sassy also will alert Elizabeth is someone is coming up beside Elizabeth in her blind areas or when Elizabeth has a dizzy spell. Sassy has been able to go to help Elizabeth teach in a Public School classroom and also at Wal-Mart. Sassy is an amazing dog due to the training that Marj has provided to her.
I was diagnosed 12 years ago with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am also told by doctors that this is a permanent condition. Until about a year and a half ago I was completely unable to go out in public and making doctors appointments was traumatic. I had gotten Riley Dawg to train as a service Dog about 3 years ago to help me cope with my disorder. The first year and a half I went to various trainers for help in preparing him for his work. Not only was there no success in training him, he was completely miss trained for Service Dog Work. I had given up hope that he would ever be able to help me in public. I was so embarrassed to have him seen in public, his actions so inappropriate I would not take him with me when I needed to. I had given up hope he could be a Service Dog in public even though his work at home was invaluable. My therapists and a doctor told me of and recommended Glad Wags and Marj The Dog Trainer for my needs. After just one hour of evaluation Marj explained what Riley needed and what I would need to have a competent Service Dog. AT the time I was still unable to talk much less communicate well and was at a great disadvantage. The first six months of his training not only set Riley up for proper work and behavior, Marj completely reversed all the incorrect training I had followed. Today I can leave my home and go our without hesitation and confident Riley will do all that he needs to do to get me through it. I continue training with Marj to not only enhance Riley’s Service Dog work but have a goal of him being able to provide Search and Rescue services. Thanks to Marj and Glad Wags I have a True Service Dog Working that will not fail me the rest of his life. I thank God every time I go out for Marj in our lives and enabling all the needed changes for this to be a success.
When our daughter, Sarah was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, generalized anxiety and panic disorder, we began our search for ways to maintain her independence as a college student. In addition to getting her medical care and counseling, we learned the benefits of service dogs. As I pursued acquiring service dog for her, little did I know how daunting the task would be. I was told there would be at least a 6 month to 2 year wait and the cost could be upwards to $20,000.00. I was even told that only certain breeds could be utilized and that our existing dogs couldn’t remain in our household. In my heart, I knew that we couldn’t part with our 3 dog family members and my experience with training our own dogs told me that it couldn’t possibly take a full 2 years to train a low level service dog in spite of the responses I was getting. We didn’t need a dog to open doors or walk our daughter through traffic; some of the tasks we needed for service dogs for PTSD, depression and anxiety were to help reorient the person to reality, provide a calming presence and to apply pressure to the abdomen to help relieve anxiety. I knew that in addition, the dog had to be well trained in basic obedience, but knew this didn’t take 2 years. Some of the local service dog organizations wouldn’t even discuss this option with me and were downright rude. Enter Marj Satterfield of Glad Wags.
I found Marj through a chance encounter online and quickly emailed her with our story and our needs. She emailed me back within hours and I called her the next day. My tears of joy couldn’t be contained when I heard those magic words “I can help you and we can have a dog for Sarah within a few weeks.” By this point, we were desperate to find help to keep her in school and I knew a service dog was vital. We met with Marj and Sarah visited with 2 or 3 dogs to try to find the right fit but there just wasn’t a good emotional connection. While talking with her about options, such as going to the kill shelters to pick out a dog, which she often does, she asked what breed we would prefer. We already had an Australian Shepherd and knowing their intelligence, ease of training and their nickname as the Velcro dog, that was our suggestion. After a pause, Marj offered us one of her personal dogs who she had purchased as a puppy to show that had not grown large enough to meet the breed standard. Our shock was replaced with joy when Sage met Sarah and the love affair began. Sage moved into Sarah’s dorm room within a couple of weeks. As parents, my husband and I truly believe that but for Sage, Sarah might have taken her life.
Sage and Sarah are a real team now; we have only had Sage in our life for 7 months now but with continued training, Sage has learned new skills as needed. Sarah has recently been diagnosed with Narcolepsy and Cataplexy and Sage loves her newest task of waking Sarah up every morning. She has also, on her own without promoting or training by Sarah or Marj, began “herding” Sarah to the bed to take a nap when she is becoming irritable or appears excessively sleepy.
Sage accompanied Sarah and I to Las Vegas this summer where I attended a professional conference. Sage went through the TSA security checkpoint off leash and without even as much as a collar like a champ. She flew Southwest Airlines like it was an everyday event and even conquered the moving sidewalk in the Las Vegas Airport. The casinos were of no issue and even went to the Grand Canyon.
When we received Sage from Marj, she told us the cost of Sage but gave her to us without expecting a penny that day, with the statement of “pay me what you can, when you can, as you can.” This is not just a business but truly the calling of her heart to help those with disabilities. Last spring, our family organized a motorcycle poker run to raise money for Glad Wags and was able to pay off the balance we owed on Sage. Not everyone is that fortunate. Sarah has continued to work to find other organizations that will raise funds for Glad Wags to help fund other service dogs. Recently, a service organization she was part of while at school had a fund raiser and brought in $111.00. That’s a lot from poor college students!
Marj and Glad Wags continue to provide assistance to those with disabilities, often at Marj’s own personal expense. As a healthcare provider, I know professionally and personally the benefits a service dog can provide and have referred several people to Glad Wags. In October, Sarah, Sage and I will travel to Atlanta to attend a national conference on Narcolepsy. Hopefully, we will be able to share how vital Sage’s assistance is to Sarah’s health and well-being, thus helping others with narcolepsy.
Marj and Glad Wags have been a blessing to so many, including our family. Even after a few short months, we cannot imagine our lives without Sage in it. Sarah will tell you that Sage is better than any medicine and is a vital part of her healthcare. We have hope for Sarah’s future and Sage, Marj Satterfield and Glad Wags played a huge role that!!
Cute song but a pet store is not where you want to buy a puppy UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!! Let’s address where to actually buy a puppy ….before I get on this soapbox let me give you some facts about puppies from birth to 8 weeks (the PROPER age to get a puppy) The mother dog contributes 75% of the puppies genetic makeup and temperament. Meaning if the mommy dog has genetic problems 75%of those problems i.e. hip dysplasia will be passed on to her puppies. If she is afraid of people, is aggressive towards people, afraid of thunderstorms etc. she passes that on to her puppies. If puppies are separated from their mother before 5 weeks they become an aggressive dog risk. The mother dog teaches her puppies “inhibited” bite between the 5th and 7th week. Meaning when the puppy tries to bite hard on his mom the mother dog corrects that puppy so he does not clamp down with his mouth. This is called “inhibited” bite. So when a crappy uninformed breeder sells you a puppy that is under 6 weeks of age you have now purchased a puppy who is at risk to bite you or your kids in the future. So when you take home this underage puppy and then start playing tug of war, chase me games, wrestle games and you all of a sudden have scars on your arms or your kids are now afraid of the puppy you got especially for them guess where it came from? An ethical, informed breeder handles his/her puppies properly from birth; raises them inside, keeps them clean and matches them to the proper buyer. The buyer then has a great dog that will stay with them until a ripe old age.
So I am going to make people mad or at least I will get them thinking about where to “get” a dog. We have entered into a trend of being politically correct about where we get dogs…the shelter folks have done a great job in convincing people the only place to get a dog is from a shelter. “Crap” I say. I would NEVER suggest that a family with kids (especially under 5; and why are you getting a dog with “little” kids in the house anyway) adopt a dog from a shelter. That’s right not from a shelter; especially from a shelter that does not “test” their dogs for adoptability; and match them to the proper family for it’s temperament, size, age, etc. Most dogs are not in shelters because they are “well behaved” Since 1974 when I started to do dog rescue up until now I have yet to meet someone abandoning a dog that is well-behaved.
Sooo if you are going to adopt a dog for your family of kids you are adopting a dog with “baggage”. You will have no idea about that “baggage” it could be as simple as a barking problem or as serious as a “biting” problem. So where are you supposed to get a dog you ask? I have no problem with saving a dog that has been abandoned but be thoughtful about where you adopt if from…if you want a Poodle go to a local Poodle rescue. They usually have the dogs living in a foster home and can tell you exactly what the behavior problems are and/or have actually fixed the problems or will assist you in fixing them. They are also (or should be ) good at telling you NO a Poodle is not the right breed for your family and tell you why. If you gt to a shelter or private rescue group ask if they temperament test…if they don’t know what that is; or say No simply go somewhere else.
Most shelters have an 80% return rate…
So you have done your research, you have gotten on some reliable websites and you have decided that you want a “Three toed herding dog” where do you go?
What do you ask for or look for in selecting where to get your “Three-toed herding dog”
You can start by contacting your local AKC or UKC kennel club and see if they offer a breeder referral list. Many times these breeders have to sign a code of ethics and maintain certain standards to be on the referral list.
An ethical breeder will only breed a litter every couple of years. they will require you to sign a contract that will guarantee you a genetically sound puppy (because they have tested and screened parents for genetic diseases) and a temperamentally sound puppy according to the breed standard. If something goes wrong with the puppy genetically they will refund your money or replace the puppy. You may have to agree to spay/neuter the puppy, keep it as a house dog , and/or take it to training. My contract to purchase a puppy from me is 5 pages long. My adoption contract for a rescue dog is 3 pages long. If I brought a puppy into the world or I rescued a dog; it is my moral responsibility to maintain an interest in that puppy/dog for it’s life time. Meaning if at ANY time you cannot keep a dog that you have gotten from me it comes back to me immediately.
Now some shelters/rescue groups/ breeders go over the top when it comes to requirements to obtain a dog from them but I would rather have too many than not enough. If you do not feel comfortable with the breeder/shelter/rescue group and you don’t feel that they will be available to answer any questions that you may have then go ELSEWHERE!
What to pay for a puppy/dog? Well that is a huge debate..in my opinion a pet purebred puppy (that you must spay or neuter) from an ethical breeder that comes with a guarantee will cost anywhere from $600 to $1,200 dollars depending on the breed. Show puppies are a different discussion. Can you get a nice puppy for $300 dollars sure; purchased with the knowledge that it may have a genetic problem that could be heartbreaking.
Let’s talk puppy mills..my description of a “puppy mill” is ANYONE who breeds dogs for profit, does no genetic testing, places puppies too early, or has more than one litter every two to three years.
Common sense would dictate that you DO NOT “meet” someone in a parking lot and buy a puppy out of the back of their truck or van or on the side of the road or a Wal Mart parking lot. The same goes for the internet a great way to let lots of people know you are breeding dogs; but quite often these are puppies from puppy mills, or careless breeders.. ask lots of questions before you have a puppy shipped to you sight unseen, How old is the mother dog, do they show their dogs, why did they have this litter, what type of guarantee do they give; are the puppies raised in the house, have they had at least one round of shots, is this the only breed of dog they raise; do they test for genetic diseases; can you come to their home and pick up your puppy? If they don’t answer yes to these questions or have good answers they are most likely a puppy mill or at best a careless breeder and these puppies are not socialized, the parents are warehoused and given minimum care and treated like a commodity. You end up with their gross misconduct when it comes to breeding dogs and the only “victim” is the puppy who gets abandoned because you cannot get it house-trained or continues to have behavior problems no matter what you do to correct it.
That being said..be sure whatever dog you purchase, find, inherit, or adopt you buy a crate; use it and immediately enroll said dog in a training class to ensure that the dog is a companion that you will enjoy for a lifetime..
Ok all of you that know me or have attended our classes know my opinion about walking dogs mindlessly through the neighborhood. That being said before striking our for a stroll with your dog in this heat..please be mindful of how hot the sidewalks get…
Do this test before you start…put your hand on the sidewalk and let it sit there for 10 seconds; now raise it up to the level of where your dog’s belly should be; feel the heat rising? Now you have an accurate “dogmometer” Let’s face it no one does well when it’s so hot and no walk is worth having your dog have an episode of heatstroke..it can be fatal…or have paw damage from walking on scalding hot pavement. Save your walks for the cooler part of the day..or better yet…do 10 minutes of ArmChair Dog Training and mentally fatigue your dog without heatstroke!!!
Go Forth and Train!
My quirky, beautiful, funny, generous, talented, creative, computer whiz, always had a smile on her face, dependable and an exceptional dog trainer..how heartbreaking to have lost you.I was so blessed to have had Autumn as part of my staff and as a friend.Hopefully all of us strive to leave a positive mark in the world before we leave it. Autumn did just that: Her legacy is JET and TEDDY and BLUSH and DOTTIE and GIBS and KUMA her gentle giant! and let us not forget BACON!Please join me in prayers and light for Chris (her husband since June 4th of this year) and her family in this time of loss for all of us!Glad Wags will always have a piece of us missing!I will post more about a final celebration in honor of Autumn in the days to come Marj today the Heartbroken Dog Trainer