Pet Care & Training
Dog Training & Obedience Class
Our goal in offering these classes is to improve the bonds of co-operation, trust, and love that you experience with your dog. We hope to help you learn the skills required to better communicate and lead your dog in becoming a treasured family member and good canine citizen. We do not offer any magic pills or wave any magic wands to achieve this end. Successful dog training requires time, commitment, and patience from the humans involved. A well behaved dog does not often "just happen". It is a lifetime process. A great dog is the result of great owners. We hope that we can set you on the path to becoming a great owner and help your dog reach their full potential.
Remember- "don't just complain - TRAIN"
Dogs are smart and can learn, no matter what the age! At the completion of the 8-week course, your dog will receive his or her diploma at a graduation celebration.
If your dog is not socialized with people or other dogs, needs work walking on a leash, jumps, barks, or any other issues, our training class can make a difference.
Primary Class (Basic): A more structured approach to becoming a better family member. Teaching basic commands and addressing most canine problem behaviors.
It is easy to register for an upcoming class. Call the Humane Society and tell us you want to attend the next class. See our Events Page for current classes and schedules. A copy of current rabies, distemper, and bordetella vaccine records will need to accompany your completed form and payment for you to become registered.
The Benefits of Spaying & Neutering Your Pet
- Spaying females not only eliminates their heat cycle but eliminates the chance of uterine infection, ovarian, or uterine cancers & greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer.
- Neutering males eliminates the possibility of testicular cancer & greatly reduces the risk of tumors of the penis & anal areas, as well as the risk of perineal hernia.
- Prostate enlargement occurs in at least 60% of all unneutered male animals which can lead to prostate tumors & infections.
- Intact male & female dogs & cats will have more of an urge to roam which increases their chances of being hit by a car, poisoned, abused, or stolen.
- What's in it for you? Spaying and neutering helps control unwanted animals from overpopulating animal shelters and it can also be of benefit to you, your home, & your family.
- Neutered male dogs & cats are less likely to mark their territory & your furniture with urine
- Unfulfilled sexual energy can cause frustration which can lead to intact animals to exhibit destructive behavior.
- Intact female dogs & cats will menstruate for 10 days, twice a year which means blood on your carpet, furniture, & clothing.
- Animal shelter overflow: When you choose not to spay & neuter your pet, YOU are directly contributing to the overflow of stray & unwanted animals in shelters. Even if you find homes for your puppies or kittens, that is one less home that is available to a homeless pet in an animal shelter. There are more animals born each day than there are good homes for them. The responsibility falls on every pet owner to do their part to help with this problem by spaying or neutering their pets.
Win the Flea War!
Fleas carry diseases such as tapeworms and Lyme's disease. Although tapeworms are not actually transmitted through flea bites, the fleas often carry tapeworm eggs. When your pet bites to relieve itching, he may ingest the parasite and become infected.
You should also keep a sharp eye on ticks. They can transmit serious diseases (such as rickettsial diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis) to dogs, and even to humans.
Don't wait! Keep your pet and home flea and tick free by taking preventive measures now. Here's how to protect your pet and your home.
- Begin with a Game Plan! Get your veterinarian's advice now, early in the season. It is easier to prevent fleas than to eliminate them from your pet (and home).
- Prevent Fleas and Ticks! Products available from your vet provide the best protection available against fleas and ticks. Over-the-counter collars and medicines are NOT effective!
- Protect Your Home and Yard! Remove piles of damp twigs or grass from around your home.
- Protect Your Pet! Check pets for ticks before bringing them inside. Remove embedded ticks using fine-pointed tweezers and destroy them in a jar of isopropyl alcohol.
- Treat Infestations Immediately! Fleas spread fast, which is why immediate treatment is necessary.
- Ask your veterinarian about the flea protection that works best for your pet.
Once Infested... If you currently have infestations on your pet and in your home, it may take approximately 2 to 3 weeks after the initial application before you see complete flea eradication. You may need to treat your home again after 2 weeks.
CAUTION! Misapplications of flea and tick medications are the third-highest cause of pet poisoning! Read all instructions and follow them exactly.
A crate is a tool used for housebreaking and confining your dog so they can be safe when you are not at home. It is also used for transporting your pet in any vehicle, on camping trips, in hotels, or taking your dog to a friend's house. Think of the crate as a den, a safe place, a room, time-out for your dog. Dogs are den dwelling animals and like small spaces. Of course, they should be exercised regularly and spend more time out of the crate than in it. You should always use the crate in a positive way, never as a punishment. If used correctly, your pet will enter the crate on their own. Remember to keep the door open when your pet is not inside for easy access. You must believe this is a good, safe space and convey that to your dog in order for them to believe it too.
Set-up the crate in a central part of your home, such as the living room, kitchen, or family room. Some trainers think placing the crate beside your bed especially helps young dogs feel less abandoned.
Food or water bowls should never be placed inside the crate. We recommend a set feeding and water schedule to be adhered to in order for the dog to establish timely body functions. At no time should a dog be placed in their crate without knowing they eliminated, both pee and poop, nor before giving them time to do so.
Crate time vs. age of the dog: At 3 months and younger a puppy can only use the crate for confinement up to 2 hours at a time without going outside. Serious crating can begin around 4 months. The 4-month-old puppy begins with only 3 hours maximum in the crate. For every month over 4 months, you can add an hour. (example: 5 months = 4 hours.)
Expect crate training to continue through the age of 6 months. To be successful you must be consistent. Don't stop using the crate after a while and then try to go back to it. For best results, continue to use the crate through the age of 2 years.
Let's Get Started!
5 am - 7 am: Grab your coat, boots, treats, and leash before going near the crate. Open the door and hook the leash on the dog without saying anything except "outside" and "go potty." Take the dog to the place in the yard you want them to go. A common mistake made in potty training is taking the dog for a walk to pee or poop. Teach your dog to eliminate in your yard first. That is where they will need to go on a cold, snowy day. When you are where you want the dog to go, say your command word. (Something like "potty, park-it, go," you decide.) Remember to be consistent with your commands, everyone who takes the dog out should use the same command word each time. Once the dog eliminates, repeat your command word, so they can make the connection between what you're saying and their actions, then speak in an excited voice and reward them instantly with a treat and praise. Don't wait until you come inside to give them the treat! When you bring them back in, it's time for breakfast! Feed by placing their food down for 15 min. If they don't eat it all it that time, pick it up until the next feeding. Remember you are training to get the dog on a schedule. Leaving the food down will only set them up to fail, as it can lead to them having an accident in their crate. Check the clock to note the time and take the dog back outside. Young pups usually eliminate within 5 min. after eating. If after 5 min. the dog has not pooped, bring them back into the house, and place them in their crate. Wait for another 15 min. then try taking them outside again, while giving your command. Repeat trying outside for 5 min./crating 15 min. until the dog goes. Check the clock again and note how long it takes from the time the dog eats to when they eliminate. This should be used as a gauge for giving your dog enough time between eating breakfast to going potty.
Before leaving the dog in the crate, take them outside one more time. Say your word for the crate (bed, crate, kennel-up etc.), then set them up with music and a safe toy. Leave without a lot of gooey good-byes. It may be difficult, but remember you're not leaving them for long.
After the dog has eliminated, they can play freely in the home until it's time to go into the crate. Potty time is every hour or two after play or after sleep. If you can't watch your dog at any time, place them in their crate until you can give your full attention. Older dogs won't need as much supervision out of the crate as younger dogs.
4 pm - 6 pm Feed the dog their dinner, then check the clock. Usually, the dog will eliminate 3-4 hours after eating. Younger dogs will poop several times a day, while most older dogs go about twice a day. When the dog is not being supervised, they should be crated until they need to eliminate. If the dog poops 2 hours after the PM feeding, then they can stay out of the crate supervised.
TIME OUT OF THE CRATE SHOULD ALWAYS EXCEED TIME IN. The crate was never meant for any dog of any age to be inside of it all day. Crating is a tool to help in housetraining for short periods of time. You should never crate a dog all day. Keep crate time to a maximum of 3-4 hours at a time, allowing the dog to relieve themselves and stretch their legs. It's a good idea to take them for a walk before being put back into the crate. Exercise is the key to successful crate training.
When housebreaking a puppy, water intake should be limited. Give drinks 3-4 times a day. Take water away no later than 7 pm to ensure a dry night. Dogs under the age of 7 months will need to be let out more often, every two hours as they do not have the ability to "hold it" for long periods of time.
Bedtime Again, your dog has gone out several times, but give them one last chance to go before bed. Crate your dog at night. Once housebroken, they can be trusted to sleep elsewhere or just leave the crate door open. Usually, after 6 months the dog is out of the crate at night. Keep using the crate through the age of 2 to get through the chewing stages when you are not home. THE FIRST TWO NIGHTS ARE THE TOUGHEST If the dog whines, ignore it, and do not take them out of the crate. The dog is OK, they are only trying to see what they can get away with. If the whining continues, wait for at least an hour, and then quietly take the dog out, giving your command. Give them 5 min. to go outside to go potty and then return them to the crate. Do not play with the dog and do not give in on this introduction.
If the dog poops or pees in the house and you did not see it happen, you cannot discipline them. It is over in their mind. They will not understand why you are upset and will not make the connection between your yelling and the mess they made. Clean up the mess with a paper towel and place it in the yard where you want the dog to go. If you witness the dog going in the house, clap your hands and sharply say NO. Never drag the dog to push their face in the mess. Take them outside where you want the dog to go, while saying your command. Give them a few minutes before returning inside. Do not act angry as this only confuses the dog. Remember, accidents can be prevented, use the crate if you are not supervising.
If you are still having problems after the first week, give us a call at (814) 726-1961, we can help. Older dogs can be housebroken with a crate, they just need the same schedule as younger dogs but can go longer before eliminating. It is important to prevent bad habits from forming early on, the sooner you start, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits of crate training.
New Head Halter Makes Walks More Enjoyable
Do you walk your dog or does your dog walk you? The new Gentle Leader head halter is a great alternative to being pulled on your walk. Once introduced, your dog will enjoy the walk as much as you because his throat is relieved of any hard pulling action - a more humane way to exercise your dog. Stop by the shelter and buy one now or call 726-1961 for more information.
Litter Box Knowledge
- The cat is suffering from a medical problem involving the urinary tract.
- The cat experiences a bout of geriatric constipation.
- The caretaker does not keep the box as clean as the cat wants it to be.
- The owner changes the brand or tries disposable plastic liners.
- The owner changes the location of the litterbox.
- The owner switches to deodorized or perfumed litter.
- The owner buys a new box and throws out the old one or covers the box with a hood.
- The owner cleans the litterbox with too harsh a cleaning product.
- The location of the litterbox is too busy or not private enough for the cat.
- The home is too large for just one litterbox.
- The cat inadvertently gets locked out of reach of the litterbox.
- The cat is kept from using the litterbox by another animal in the house.
- There are too many cats and not enough litterboxes.
- There are too many cats and not enough territory.
- Stray cats can be seen/smelled near the cat's territory.
- The unneutered male cat has come of age and is marking his territory.
- The unspayed female is in heat and advertising for suitors.
- Over time, the cat has developed an aversion to the texture of the litter.
- The cat was never properly trained to use the litterbox in the first place.
- The cat is stressed by a change in routine or environment, including new baby, new furniture, work schedule changes, vacations, overnight guests, or a move.
Have you ever noticed your dog is quite energetic after a brisk walk but completely zonked out after a short training session? That's because just 10-15 minutes of mental stimulation, an activity that requires your dog to concentrate and really process information, is about as physically exhausting as a half-hour of moderate exercise like walking or playing.
So, when you're stuck inside and your dog's bouncing off the walls, try exercising her brain with a training session of sit, stay, shake, or one of the many dog toys out there that can hold treats inside and have to be rolled and shaken to dispense.
Some Dangers to Avoid
- Transfer of diseases & illnesses: Feline Leukemia (FeLV), Feline AIDS (FIV), Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), Upper Respiratory Infections (URI), Rabies.
- Acquiring internal & external parasites (worms, fleas, ticks, mange).
- Injuries or death from being hit by vehicles, attacks from or fighting with other animals, caught in traps, poisonings, and mistreatment from inhumane people.
The dangers of chaining or confining your dog:
- Dogs are naturally social beings who need interaction with humans and/or other animals. Consistent or long-term confinement can severely damage their physical & psychological well-being. A dog, when kept continuously chained or confined in any way, may become neurotic, unhappy, anxious, & often aggressive.
- Tethered dogs may also suffer from irregular feedings, overturned water bowls, inadequate veterinary care, & extreme temperatures. Owners who chain their dogs are less likely to clean the area of confinement, causing the dogs to eat & sleep in an area contaminated with urine & feces. What's more, because their often neurotic behavior makes them difficult to approach, chained dogs are rarely given even minimal affection. Tethered dogs may become "part of the scenery" & can be easily ignored by their owners.
- It is common for continuously tethered dogs to endure physical ailments as a result of being continuously tethered. Their necks can become raw & sore, & their collars can painfully grow into their skin (embedded collar). They are vulnerable to insect bites & parasites, & are at high risk of entanglement, strangulation, & harassment or attacks by other dogs or people.
Summer & Winter Care
- For dogs and cats: MUST ALWAYS have shelter from the rain, snow, & winds & shade from the hot summer sun (dog house must be placed in the shade-not in direct sunlight).
- For livestock: Proper shelter for livestock would be access to an open barn, a three-sided lean-to with a roof, or a run in off the side of a barn. The shelter should face east, away from the incoming weather. A tree line is not adequate shelter by Pennsylvania law! There are no specifications in the PA Animal Cruelty Laws in regards to the size of pasture or shelter--the shelter must accommodate the number of animals you have.
- All animals MUST ALWAYS have access to water at all times--no excuses! Secure water container so it cannot tip or be knocked over (use a bungee cord to secure to a fence/post/tree, surround water container with cinderblocks or place water container inside a tire, dig a hole in the ground & place water container inside).
- Animal's living area must be kept clean and sanitary at all times (clean of feces, urine, trash, debris, mud & standing water).
- Animals must be kept free of fleas & internal parasites (worms). Deworm your pet regularly & treat your pet with a proper monthly flea preventative from your veterinarian.
- If your animal is kept on a chain, the chain must be at least 3 times the length of the animal's body at all times & cannot tangle on anything nor kink up, thus shortening the chain. Swivels on either end of the chain will ensure it will not kink. Tie the animal out on a level area so animals cannot fall off & hang itself. If more than one animal chained in an area, make sure they cannot reach each other to get wrapped around each other & strangle to death.
Winter Care for the Outdoor Animal:
- For dogs & cats: A proper & adequate dog house that is airtight & up off the ground several inches must be provided. The dog house must have a solid roof & floor & four solid sides. The opening should be just wide enough for the animal to gain entry. The dog house MUST have hay, straw, or cedar chips as bedding & a flap (rubber mud flap, tarp, shower liner, etc.) must be affixed to the dog house door to keep the heat inside the dog house. Soft beddings (blankets, pillows, or dog beds) should not be used as they can become wet & freeze & could become entangled in the chain. The dog house should face east, away from the incoming weather.
- Check their water several times daily, in case of freezing, or purchase a heated water bowl (at any feed mill or tractor supply store).
An animal outside in the winter should be provided with a heavier diet to withstand the colder weather - your animal's food should be doubled!