Big Paw Pet Care Earns Professional Pet Sitting Certification

Mike Meibuhr, Co-Owner of Big Paw Pet Care, Earns the Pet Sitters International Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting

[Windermere, FLORIDA] (August 11, 2015)—Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational association for professional pet sitters, has announced that Mike Meibuhr, owner of Big Paw Pet Care in Windermere, Florida, has completed the PSI Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting and earned the designation of PSI Certified Professional Pet Sitter.

PSI-CPPS-logoTo earn this prestigious designation, a professional pet sitter must successfully earn the PSI Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting, agree to adhere to PSI’s Recommended Quality Standards for Excellence and agree to abide by PSI’s Member Code of Conduct and Ethics.

Successfully completing the Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting Program indicates that an individual has acquired the knowledge necessary to make vital assessments on pet health and nutrition, canine and feline behavior, separation anxiety, pet loss and more. A certificate holder is also equipped, as a business owner, to make decisions on customer service, employee hiring and safety.

According to Ellen Price, PSI’s academic manager, the certificate is earned after completing extensive coursework and successfully passing a comprehensive final exam on 39 sections of instructional material.

“A PSI certificate holder brings valuable knowledge to the care of companion animals,” Price said. “A pet owner who relies on a program graduate will receive top-quality pet care. The curriculum’s in-depth material also assures that a pet sitter is highly capable of making accurate judgments and quick decisions in an emergency.”

Mike’s commitment to his business and clients led him to pursue this certificate.

“As a pet sitter, I value continuing education that allows me to offer reliable service to the pets entrusted to my care,” Meibuhr said. “Earning the designation of PSI Certified Professional Pet Sitter demonstrates that I am an animal steward committed to delivering excellent service.”

 

5 Fun Facts about Dachshunds

Sausage DogBeneath the squatty, streamlined body of the Dachshund, is a strong and nimble hunter. Although they resemble the frankfurter, these pups were originally bread for their stubborn tenacity to hunt a very ornery critter.

Learn more about the beloved Dachshund with these 5 fun facts:

  1. The name “dachshund” is German and literally translates to “badger dog” but they were also referred to as “hole dogs” as far back as the 18th century. Originally larger than their modern counterparts with longer legs, these fearless warriors were used to exterminate badgers throughout Europe.
  2. dachshund Waldi

    Waldi, the mascot of the 1972 Summer Olympic Games

    Because of their strong association with Germany, the dachshund was the symbol of the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich. His name was Waldi.

  3. As of 2012 the dachshund was the 10th most popular dog breed in the USA, according to the American Kennel Club.
  4. Prone to back injuries, a specialized laser surgery developed at the Oklahoma State University Veterinary Hospital was used in clinical trials to correct defects in injured Dachshunds, with a goal of expanding the treatment to all dachshunds as a preventative measure against spinal injuries.
  5. wiener dog races

    Wiener dogs race to finish line

    Known for their speed, thousands of dachshunds and their owners compete dachshund races around the country. One of the longest running is the annual Wiener Nationals which has been held in Orange County California for over 20 years. Locally, the annual Weinerfest held in Orlando, includes entertainment, food and a dachshund race.

“Ruff” Week? Time For Yappy Hour in Dr Phillips

Yappy Hour in Dr PhillipsThe week has barely started and you’re already looking forward to a weekend of wine and spending time with your dog. Well, Big Paw Pet Care and Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips have a TREAT for you! Join us Wednesday May 20, 2015 from 6pm to 8pm for a Yappy Hour at:

Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips
7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Suite 8
Orlando, FL 32819
(located in the Dr Phillips Marketplace next to Publix)

Bring Your Dog to Yappy Hour in Dr Phillips

This isn’t your normal happy hour. Our Yappy Hour in Dr Phillips will be a great time for you AND your furry best friend. Explore the shop and it’s delightful fresh baked treats. Mingle with other pet lovers like yourself. You’ll also enjoy:

  • Free wine and snacks for people and dog treat samples for your pup (while supplies last).
  • Bring your dog training questions and learn a new technique from Big Paw Pet Care’s Dog Trainer, John Standefer
  • Learn how a simple weekly wellness assessment can keep help keep you better informed about your dog or cat’s health with Mike Meibuhr, Certified Pet Tech Pet First Aid and CPR Instructor.
Please RSVP For You and Your Dog Too

We can’t wait to meet you and your dog this Wednesday!  For more information please call Big Paw Pet Care at (321) 345-7387 or Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips at (407) 363-5550. RSVP on Facebook by clicking here.

About Woof Gang Bakery Dr. PhillipsYappy Hour Dr Phillips

Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips is your neighborhood pet store! Your dogs will love their full service dog spa for a simple bath or full groom. Woof Gang Bakery Dr. Phillips offers a full line of natural dog and cat food, fresh baked treats, chews, bones, cool collars, leashes, toys and more. Don’t forget: All four legged friends welcome.

About Big Paw Pet Care

Big Paw Pet CareBig Paw Pet Care® is Central Florida’s Total Pet Care providing pet sitting and daily dog walking services 365 days of the year. Big Paw Pet Care® provides pet sitting services for cats, dogs and small mammals like hamsters or guinea pigs. Big Paw Pet Care also offers a “PAWsitive” approach to dog training with both private and class room style dog training. And as Orlando’s best resource for Pet First Aid and CPR training, you can learn skills that may save your pet’s life taught by our PetTech Certified Instructors.

5 Fun Facts About The Chihuahua

ChihuahuaOne of the most popular breeds of dog in the world is the Chihuahua. They actually hover around the 20th most popular breed in the US for each year surveyed.

Small and spunkiness are the key features of this breed. They are also known to be loyal to a fault – it’s said a Chihuahua can die of a broken heart if separated from it’s owner.

Here are 5 Fun Facts you may not know about the much loved Chihuahua:

  1. Chihuahuas were originally known as the Arizona Dog, for the predominance along the present day Arizona and Mexico boarder.
  2. Archeologists have found remains of the Chihuahua in dog effigy pots buried deep in ancient Mexican tombs. Scientists have a consensus that the breed may be a descendent of the Techichi breed, who’s remains have been found dating back as far as 300 BCE.
  3. Chihuahuas are the smallest breed of dog with a average weight around 10lbs. For show dogs, the suggested weight is 6-7lbs. Chihuahua puppies can weigh just a few grams at birth!
  4. The “Taco Bell Dog” served as Taco Bell’s mascot from 1994 to 2002 and is credited with the breed’s popularity explosion over the last two decades. (Bonus Fact: The Taco Bell dog was a female named Gidget.)
  5. Small breed dogs outlive their larger counterparts, but the Chihuahua can live 10-18 years with many living a long and full life of 20 years.

5 Fun Facts About The Chihuahua If you’re considering adding a Chihuahua to your family, here’s a couple things to know about owning the breed:

  • These small dogs are susceptible to serious dental conditions. A program of brushing their teeth early on his a good way to prevent illness or sickness caused by gum and tooth infections
  • Known to be nippy and protective, a good dog training program is required from puppy to adolescent ages.
  • The Chihuahua is highly susceptible to separation anxiety and boredom. Lots of exercise and walking is key to the foundation of managing these conditions. A bored or anxious Chihuahua can also be very “barky” and aggressive towards strangers or other dogs.

 

Orlando Dog Trainer: The Positive Interrupter – A Tool More Powerful Than No

Nobody Likes To Hear No

Many people get frustrated when they can’t seem to communicate with their dogs. Often times they will fall into a cycle of saying, “No” “No” “No” when their dog is doing something they don’t like. Unfortunately, dogs don’t speak English.

Dogs can certainly tell by the tone of your voice that you are displeased. In all likelihood, telling or yelling “No!” over and over will increase stress in your pup. Most likely, Sparky may even tune you out.

This Orlando Dog Trainer Believes In Positivity

Orlando Dog TrainerLet’s do a little Classical Conditioning with your pooch. (Remember Pavlov’s dog?)

For the next few days make a kissing noise and give your dog a really delicious treat-for NO reason.

His behavior is irrelevant. He doesn’t have to look at you. He doesn’t have to sit. He doesn’t have to stop what he is doing.

Just walk up to your dog, make a kissing noise and give him a piece of grilled chicken or chicken hot dog. Make sure it’s something extraordinary, not his normal treat. Do this a dozen times a day for several days.

Happy Results

What you will notice very quickly is that when you make that kissing noise, your dog will swing his head around in anticipation of the really delicious treat. Now you’ve got a “Positive Interrupter” that you can use to get your dog’s attention away from unwanted activities and you can redirect him to something YOU want him to do.

Instead of inducing stress with “No!” You are interrupting him with the positive feelings of your Classically Conditioned kissing noise.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, feel free to call me any time at 321-345-7387 ext 2.

Classical Conditioning: A Foundation Of Dog Training

2014-10-13_1413210572My dog, Chase is a “rescue” dog in the most literal sense of the word, rescue. We learned about Chase when we were just launching Big Paw Pet Care. All we ‘knew’ about him was from a frantic email exchange from a friend; an older German Shepherd Dog with a broken leg, and he had 15-minutes to live.

What we got was a one-year-old possible Australian Cattle Dog mix that had been living on the street with a dislocated toe and a huge fear of diesel trucks.

The Adoption

The exchange went down like a hostage swap in a Hardee’s parking lot halfway between Orlando and Sebring, FL. Chase was 35 pounds of skin and bones and looked like a malnourished coyote even after 10 days of dog-pound food . We found on the ride home, Chase’s fear of all things truck. When we would approach a semi truck driving down the highway, this soon-to-be 53-pound dog would try desperately to crawl under the back of the passenger seat of our Saturn Vue.

After letting Chase acclimate to his new ‘foster’-home, our first plan of attack to work on his fear of trucks was to try and create positive associations. We had to desensitize the poor little street urchin through Classical Conditioning.

What is Classical Conditioning?

Classical ConditioningClassical Conditioning is defined as: In Psychology, a learning process that occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired; a response that is at first elicited by the second stimulus is eventually elicited by the first stimulus alone.

Think Pavlov’s dog. Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist. A short version of what Pavlov did: Pavlov would ring a bell immediately before giving his dog food. He found after repeatedly pairing these two stimuli that when he would ring the bell, his dog would salivate even without the presentation of food.

Putting Theory To Work

With this in mind, Chase and I loaded up in the car with a stash of chicken hotdog bits and went out hunting down diesel trucks and semis. Every time we neared a truck, I would quickly start flipping little pieces of hotdogs into the back seat. It helped that Chase was extremely food motivated. Chase would squirm and get as far away and a low as possible when we got too close. But, it didn’t matter. As long as we were in the presence of trucks, hotdogs would fall from the sky.

Unexpected Result

A few short weeks later, as I was stopped at a stoplight and distracted with my own thoughts, I noticed Chase standing with his front paws on the center console. As I turned to him, I noticed a semi-truck directly next to us. In my blissfully unaware state, I had failed to see the truck pull up beside us.

But Chase didn’t. Chase knew that the truck meant something. In his mind, he was saying, “Hey, where are my hotdogs? Hotdogs should be falling from the sky!”

We successfully modified the association Chase had with trucks from one of fear to one of pleasure. Trucks no longer meant terror. Trucks meant something delicious.

It’s Tough Being A Dog

Don’t get me wrong, being a dog is AWESOME. Not a day passes that I don’t wish to trade places with my pup.

But we sometimes underestimate what it takes to be a dog. It’s a lifetime commitment of training, eating and sleeping nothing but D.O.G.

The video below shows some of the hardships dogs experience each day, but still pull off being AWESOME.

These hardships include:

Doors

tough being a dog

 

 

 

 

Doors aren’t always your friend. How do they work anyway?

Reaching

tough being a dog

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes selective breeding puts your toys out of reach.

Retrieving

tough being a dog

 

 

 

 

 

What is this? A force field?

Fetching

tough being a dog

 

 

 

 

 

Top heavy puppies should always pump the brakes.

Catching

tough being a dog

 

 

 

 

You can’t be 100% all the time when showing off your sick skills. Witness how tough it is being a dog, handled by dogs who are professional at awesomeness :

source: youtube.com

Dog Catch Fails

Poor Fritz. He’s a golden retriever who can’t catch his treats.

For a golden retriever who can’t retrieve, it’s almost like a cat that can’t land on his feet or a hamster who can’t run in a wheel.

Time and time again his owner tosses him treats that get bigger and more crazy. From pizza to tacos – nothing seems to get in the right spot.

That is until…

 

 

Windermere Dog Walkers Warn Pee Pads Cause Problems

Every morning I, like everyone else, scroll through Facebook to check up on family, friends and (sadly) catch a bit of news. With each view comes the obligatory ad or two for products you may or may not have heard about already. This morning an ad for PeePooPads.com scrolled through my feed. Pee Poo Pads promise to “save you money, protect your floors and make house training a breeze”.

The ad also stated that Pee Poo Pads are cheaper than dog walkers. But are they? [Read more…]

Does My Dog Understand Me?

Does your dog know what you say when you say it? That’s the question posed by Jon Hanson, Ph.D. He introduces us to Chaser, a border collie who’s owner has taught her more than 1000 words. That’s as much as a preschooler!

But does she really know what is being asked of her? Watch now:

What is obvious is that with after standing by our sides for thousands of years, dogs have really figured us out. From our tone of speech, to facial cues and posture, a dog knows what we’re really saying, without saying it.

Can I Make My Dog Understand Me?

Like children, dogs can learn words and basic commands through positive reinforcement. I’m proud to say my golden retriever can go potty on command – that’s #1 AND #2, thank you very much!

Have you had success training your dog to be as smart as Chaser? Share in the comments below now!