Friday, March 29, 2013

10 Things to Remember when Training a Puppy

Booker at 10 weeks old.
  1. Keep your session short.
  2. Have several sessions each day.
  3. Review your last session briefly.
  4. Smile!!!
  5. He's a puppy! Limited attention span!
  6. Work on one or two things per session.
  7. Put on your happy voice!
  8. No corrections - he's a puppy and doesn't know anything!
  9. Be consistent!
  10. Use super-yummy treats to keep his focus on you. - Fran

Friday, March 22, 2013

Baby gate shuffle!

The logistics are difficult when we want to train one dog without the others "showing off." Booker needs a few sessions to himself during the day, but I don't want the other dogs sitting in front of me when I'm telling Booker to sit! They'd get the treats. Now, there are times when jealousy is a great trainer - like dumbbell work, but that's for much later! So, we do the baby gate shuffle. Treats for everyone as I move them into one room and move the baby gates so they can't get out. Luckily Booker is small enough so that I can pick him up and carry him into the room where I want to work! He likes to stand on his hind legs for everything, so we're working hard on having "4 on the floor!" - Fran

Thursday, March 14, 2013

An open letter to the Chairman of AT&T

An open letter to Randall L. Stephenson, Chairman and CEO of AT&T:

Dear Mr. Stephenson,
My family’s small business has been an AT&T customer since we opened our doors in 1984. It is time to sever that 29-year relationship and I thought you might like to know why.
Your customer service employees, worldwide, are unfailingly courteous. They are also incompetent, uncaring, and oblivious.
In September of 2012 a sales person from one of your competitors came to our business. She offered a price for the same services we enjoy for about half the price.
In light of our long-standing relationship with AT&T and the reliability of the service, I called AT&T Customer Service to see if we could get a comparable savings. I was referred to the “Retention Department,” where your employee “DelRonica” offered a package that was slightly higher than the quote I had, but seemed worthwhile to maintain the service. She said the changes would be implemented with 7 business days.
When our bill came the next month, the changes did not appear. I spoke to “Patricia” in the Retention Department who said she would take care of it and the changes would be reflected in the next billing cycle.
I must admit, I forgot to follow up until last month.  No changes had been made and our bill was even higher.
I spoke to your employee “Gio” (Employee number SA527N) on February 27th of this year who assured me the changes discussed last September would be implemented within 3 to 5 business days. They were not.
I spoke to your employee “Joy” (Employee number  NP072Y) on March 7. She offered no help at all.
I spoke to your employee “Paul” (Employee number PB654F) on March 7. He promised the changes would be implemented and a credit adjustment made to our account within the week.  It has not been done.
I spoke to Dan (Position number 0117) in the Billing Department today (March 14). Nothing has been done – no changes, no request for any adjustment. No follow up. And all he could do was offer to connect me with someone from the “Retention Department.”
I know there is documented evidence of every conversation and promise – before every single conversation with your employees I was informed it would be “monitored or recorded for quality assurance.”
If a small company, like mine, was this poor at customer service, we would not exist.  How fortunate you are that AT&T can afford to lose customers!
Hope Saidel
President, Second Editions, Inc. (DBA

Booker's first class!

Booker is about 18 weeks old now, perfect for starting puppy class with North Shore Dog Training Club! The main focus of the first class was focus and attention. Very difficult for a puppy who just wants to play with everyone! Fortunately, I had yummy treats, and after Booker tried to go over to the Viszla puppy, then the Boxer puppy, then the Chihuahua puppy, he came back to me and we had a party! The idea is for me to be more fun and more rewarding than the other puppies and people who don't have anything for Booker. (Interaction between puppies is discouraged in this class - people can find places for their dogs to play with other dogs on their own. Class time is for instruction.) The goal is for the people to build a strong bond with their dogs - both for work and play. So, we had a good first class - yesterday we took a walk in the neighborhood, even though winter is hanging on and it was below freezing! Booker is starting to walk quite nicely on  lead. - Fran

Friday, March 08, 2013

New web site, new headaches

Ever try communicating in a language you don't really know? Yup, I'm faking it! I'm not a programmer. I don't know code! Our new online store's shopping cart is all asp. I have no idea what that even means. Pages that worked in the old website didn't work in the new one. As an example, we had a great questionnaire that dog owners could use to ask us for harness recommendations. It doesn't work with asp! It took me a couple of weeks to even think of asking why the old one didn't work. I just kept trying different things. Rrrgggghhh! Once I knew that the old form would not work no matter how hard I tried, I got busy and found a new one! Works like a charm. So, if your little dog needs a new harness but you're confused by all the choices, just fill out the Harness Picker Questionnaire! We'll get back to you with recommendations and links in a day or so. By the way, that's little Baxter in the EasyGo Harness & Leash Set. - Fran

Friday, March 01, 2013

Booker's getting ready for school!

Booker is 16 weeks old! He's growing by leaps and bounds, and he's eager to learn everything. (Otherwise he'll be getting into trouble!) So I'll be taking him to the next puppy class session which starts in a couple of weeks. We took this shot yesterday to highlight some school supplies. But I just think it's a cute picture of Booker! Hope is great at shooting this constant-motion machine! She just shoots away and knows that at least one picture will be good. And she was right!
(Booker is wearing a Yellow Dog Design Collar, the 3/8 inch Leather Leash that's 6 feet long. Those are Toy Temptation treats, the Outward Hound Treat 'n Training Bag, biodegradable Poop Bags (he's a puppy, after all!), an iClick Clicker and Wrist Coil. So many supplies for a little puppy!) We're going to have a great time! - Fran