The Power of Recycling

By Benjamin Blackburn, Marketing Merchandiser for Pet Waste Eliminator

Recycling is by far one of the best ways you can have a positive impact on the world we live in. I know some individuals, companies, and facilities feel like they can’t make a difference by recycling, but after some intense research, I have compiled some stats that may change that perspective.

Why should you be recycling? 

Let’s start off with the big WHY!  As I stated above, recycling helps protect and preserve the environment one piece of trash at a time.  It helps reduce pollution that is caused by waste and reduces the need for raw materials so that rainforests can be preserved.

As recycling saves a ton of energy, it also reduces greenhouse gases and thus helps to tackle climate change.  When we recycle, materials are reprocessed into new products and as a result, the amount of trash sent for incineration reduces significantly.  Reducing, reusing, and recycling is very important because it decreases the amount of waste on the planet and preserves natural resources by maintaining space and decreasing landfills.

When it comes to pet waste products, Pet Waste Eliminator is definitely on the green train and striving to make the earth a better place with efficient products.

Using a product that contains recycled content helps reduce waste and pollution; completing the Recycling Circle.  Products like the Pet Waste Eliminator poopie bags E40 & E41 help to ensure that recyclable materials will continue to be recycled and not wasted.  These pet waste bags are made from 100% recycled materials and have a total thickness of 3.15 Mils.  That’s thicker than a Heavy Duty trash bag, so you will not feel any warmth when picking up waste and it eliminates any transmission of bacteria.  In this day and age you might think that creating a bag that’s made from 100% recycled material sounds easy, but as it turns out – it was a “nifty” trick that took a lot of time and effort.

Now you’re probably wondering “What do I do with waste after I pick it up?”  There are a number of things you can do with pet waste after it’s collected:

  • Most obvious solution is flushing it down the toilet
  • Another option is to bury you pet’s droppings…be sure to bury the waste in several locations and at least 12 inches deep
  • An easier & cleaner solution would be to simply bag it up in one of Pet Waste Eliminator’s poopie bags (E40 or E41) and throw it in the recycling bin

What if we stopped recycling?

Nobody ever stops and thinks; what would happen if we didn’t recycle?  What would the world look like if we all just said “no” to recycling and continued producing the same amount of waste?

Honestly, you wouldn’t see any changes tomorrow if the world decided not to recycle.  However, the landfills that currently handle all of the waste would take the hugest hit.  On average, a person generates 4 pounds of waste per day.  If all of their waste goes to the trash, multiply it by 7.484 billion people on earth.  That’s 29.9 billion pounds of waste in landfills every single day.

Now take all of that and multiply it by the days in the month.  Try a year, or even a decade.  It doesn’t take long to see the compounding long term effects that not recycling would have on our precious earth.

To sum it all up, you as an organization or even an individual can help the Earth by simply building those healthy recycling habits in your facilities, work areas, and homes.

The goal with Pet Waste Eliminator is pretty simple. We want to make sure there are Pet Waste Stations filled with the highest quality bags all over the country so pet owners won’t have to scramble to find a bag when their pets make a mess.

This wide selection of high-quality of Pet Waste Systems includes Dog Waste Bag Dispenser Boxes, Pet Waste Stations, Trash Cans and Dog Waste Bags.

Quick Facts:

  • The average person generates 4 lbs. of trash daily
  • A glass container can go from a recycling bin to a store shelf in as few as 30 days
  • Americans throw away about 25,000,000 bottles an hour

Quick Tips:

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Buy recycled
  • Anticipate Recycling

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About the Author:

Benjamin Blackburn is a Marketing Merchandiser for Pet Waste Eliminator based out of Houston, Texas but also serves customers throughout the United States. He has always had a passion helping others and contributing his talents for the team to succeed as a whole.  Creating and developing products that help customers keep dog left overs off of the ground is Benjamin’s top priority in his Marketing role at Pet Waste Eliminator.

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Social Learning in Dogs

By Gaby Dufresne-Cyr, Owner and Founder of the Dogue Shop

What is social learning in dogs, and why bother with social cognitive learning theory (SCT)? Here is a look at a theory which is rapidly changing dog training, but more specifically, dog behavior modification. The topic is complex; therefore, allow me to break it down into a few sections.

What is social cognitive learning theory?

Social cognitive learning is an extension of Albert Bandura’s social learning theory developed in the 1960s. One definition for social learning is reciprocal determinism based on social influences developed during attachment. The social bond directly influences imitation. In the SCT the attachment style is the most important aspect of learning.

Bandura concluded his observations after he conducted an experiment we now refer to as the bobo doll. Researchers exposed children to aggressive behaviors exhibited by adults towards toys. Researchers found children who observed adults inflicting aggressive behaviors to toys were more likely to replicate the aggression than children exposed to passive behavior. Furthermore, the attachment of the child towards the adult yielded more aggressive behaviors than observations from strangers.

Bandura explained the model with the use of a triangle. Each part of the triangle is bi-directional and must be present for learning to occur. Break one direction and learning ceases. The theory states a secure attachment between individual subjects allows for learning to take place when placed in a favorable environment; therefore, if all three components are present, learning takes place. The revolutionary process has to do with cognition. Problem solving links to attachment to problem solving because it creates a trusting association between the two individuals.

A secure attachment, in turn, allows the cognitive process to flourish. However, if the environment is stressful, distracting, or uncomfortable: too hot, too cold, noisy, smelly, cluttered, too small, too big, etc. learning will be very difficult, not to say impossible. Another important factor influences learning: the individuals involved. Both parties within the triangle need to be predisposed to learning. The biological environment we call the body is directly responsible to successes or failures. If you need to urinate, you will not teach or learn. If a dog needs to urinate, we obtain the same result. Below are the necessary components for social cognitive learning to occur.

  • Human
    • Biology
    • Cognition
  • Dog
    • Biology
    • Cognition
  • Attachment
    • Secure
  • Environment
    • Climate
    • Size
    • Sensory

Although some components can change over time, others will remain the same. Behaviorism remains essential and we will not replace one theory with another. I propose you add it to your tool box.

Why bother with social cognitive theory?             

Social cognitive learning is not only fun, it saves training time, effort, emotional disturbances, and cost. It prevents stress, confusion, emotional overload, and weight problems associated with overfeeding treats. It also reduces aggression and eliminates punishment and the use of aversive tools such as chokes, prongs, electric shock, or e-collars. Any method can be made abusive and inadequate, but social learning breaks the rule.

A person cannot create a triangle from pokes and kicks. Problem solving will not occur if electric shocks or “vibrations” are administered to animals. In my experience, the social cognitive learning model prevents and eliminates abuse. Extreme positive reinforcement only and punishment based trainers cannot establish a relationship if one of the pieces of the triangle is missing or if one direction is not functional.

Another reason to hop-on the social cognitive learning bandwaggon is the effectiveness and speed at which behavior modification occurs. Here is an example: you want to train a service dog to accomplish the open drawer behavior. With behaviorism’s classical and operant conditioning, it would take month, if not years, to shape the behavior. If we apply SCT learning to the training process, we can train complex behavior chains in a matter of minutes. I do not know about you, but to me, that is amazing and practical when dogs needed to know their behaviors, say, yesterday.

Furthermore, SCT learning facilitates behavior modification because it addresses problems at their source: emotions. Behaviorism works toward behavior changes, positive or negative. Social cognitive learning changes emotions at their fundamental core; consequently, SCT is an excellent addition to your toolbox. I know, I am repeating myself, but the process is so amazing. Imagine dogs that not only learn; imagine dogs that have learned how to learn; consequently, they offer you behaviors you have just demonstrated.

Conclusion

Social cognitive learning theory will not replace behaviorism – it will complement it. Our responsibility towards animals is to train them in the least amount of time, limit financial strain, and lessen emotional disturbance as much as possible. When we can, our role is to utilize all the knowledge available to us. I believe, as an animal professional, attachment and imitation can help us train and modify behavior without lengthy protocols or emotional disturbance, so why turn a blind eye?

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About the Author:

Gaby Dufresne-Cyr, Owner and Founder of the Dogue Shop, has been training animals professionally for over 30 years. She offers innovative training programs, workshops, conferences, and seminars which will undoubtedly challenge your dog knowledge. Gaby works with a wide variety of species but concentrates on canidae (wolves, coyotes, and dogs), equidae (zebras, horses, mules, and donkeys), and muriadae (rats and mice). Her favorite animal to train is the giraffe. Gaby spends most of her time bettering the animal community however she can. Her perspective on life is to never think within the box, for the box limits you.

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Tips for Recovering Lost Dogs on July 4th

By Kathy Pobloskie, Co-founder Lost Dogs of America

At Lost Dogs of America, we try to prevent dogs from getting lost by educating the public about the dangers of fireworks and other stressful situations for pets surrounding the July 4th holiday. But we also recognize that over the holiday, we will receive dozens of reports for missing dogs from owners who were caught unaware. We are a first response agency and our mission is not to judge owners for not heeding the warnings, but to give sound, logical advice that will give them the best opportunity to recover their missing dog safely.

We help owners “profile” their situation so that they can concentrate their efforts on what probably happened to their dog.  Dogs lost from the noise of fireworks fall into our category of “dogs lost from stressful situations”. Although we never say never, dogs lost from stressful situations do not usually go far unless they are chased.  They bolt in fear and then hide.  They often will return home on their own when everything goes quiet (maybe a few hours or a few days later) or they will be recovered nearby when they finally come out of hiding.

We find that if owners follow our “Five Things to Do When You Have Lost Your Dog” action plan (see below) , the chance that they will be successfully reunited with their dog is greatly increased. It is also extremely important that owners ask everyone who is helping them to not call or chase their dog if they see him. Dogs who aren’t being called or chased will make wise decisions and may survive indefinitely – allowing the owner a chance to implement a strategic plan to catch them. Dogs who are being chased will make poor decisions and run the risk of bolting into traffic and being injured or killed.

We also discourage owners from posting rewards for their missing dogs. Rewards encourage people to chase the dog which can endanger his life. Lost dogs who are allowed to settle and relax can usually be successfully and safely caught.  

Enjoy your July 4th holiday but please be aware of the dangers of fireworks and keep your pets safe!  If your dog does go missing please file a report immediately with our software partner, Helping Lost Pets, who will create a free flyer and social media links for you to use.  We are an entirely free service run by volunteers and we want to help you get your dog back home safely. Happy July 4th!

Five Things To Do If You Have Lost Your Dog
[please click the above image to enlarge]

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About the author:

Kathy Pobloskie is the director and co-founder of Lost Dogs of Wisconsin, an all-volunteer 501c.3 organization committed to reuniting owners with their lost dogs. Lost Dogs of Wisconsin currently has sixty plus volunteers and over 70,000 Facebook fans who share postings and help find lost dogs in Wisconsin.  Kathy is also a co-founder of Lost Dogs of America, an umbrella organization that is helping other Lost Dogs State Facebook pages get off the ground.  Currently 35 states are participating. In 2016 alone, Lost Dogs of America helped reunite over 27,000 dogs with their families. All of the services provided by Lost Dogs of Wisconsin and Lost Dogs of America are free to the public.

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Dog Parks: To Go Or Not To Go

by Jennifer Prill, owner of SideKick Dog Training

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on www.sidekick-dogtraining.com]

Dog parks! In a perfect world, they’re such awesome places to take our SideKicks: You can get some great off-leash training practice in; dogs are able to run free and really stretch their legs inside secure fencing (and, sometimes, parks even have agility equipment for your dog to climb around on); and the dog park provides the opportunity to meet new people and other dogs!

 But, there are a few operative words at work there: “In a perfect world.” Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world and a wonderful trip to the dog park can turn south very quickly.

 Dog Park 2Going to the dog park involves so many variables – more than we could ever hope to control or account for – and a lot of the concerning variables revolve around untrained, unruly, off-leash dogs and inattentive or inexperienced dog parents. The dynamics of dog play and dog interactions are sensitive and it only takes the introduction of one new dog to completely throw those dynamics into chaos.

 “But, it’s such a great place to socialize your dog!”

 Well…yes and no.

 As I mentioned, the dog park can be a great place to meet new people and dogs, smell new stuff, experience new sights and places – this is exactly what socialization is! However, proper socialization involves slowly introducing your dog to new things and small challenges in a controlled, positive experience. Proper socialization means you’re doing everything you can to ensure your dog leaves that experience feeling successful!

 Proper socialization is not taking your dog some place and plopping them in the middle of a new situation with new dogs and new people. We cannot wave a magic wand with a flourish and shout, “Socialize!” This method of socialization can quickly result in fear of anything and/or everything and definitely doesn’t help your SideKick feel successful tackling new challenges.

 Suggestions

 I’ve had several clients ask about dog parks, asking if they should go or not; and I’ve had several clients who haven’t had the best experiences with them. To be fair, I’ve probably had a number of clients who have had wonderful experiences at the dog park, but they weren’t noteworthy because nothing went awry.

I’ve never told a client to outright avoid dog parks; they have enough benefits that the dog park experience can be very helpful and a useful tool in the dog-rearing toolbox. However, I’ve made several suggestions to each client who asks:

  1. Go to the dog park during non-peak hours – when there are fewer dogs and you have more control over who your dog interacts with. Fewer dogs means fewer variables to account for in your dog’s interactions.

  2. Go to the park when there are dogs you know there. There’s usually a Saturday or Sunday morning crowd, “the regulars,” or people/dogs who you can socialize with regularly and know already that your dog does well with.

  3. Go when your dog can play appropriately; for instance, avoid the park if your dog is cranky from allergies or is already tired out. An irritable dog is less predictable and not as willing to hang out with other dogs.

  4. Go to the park only when you can dedicate your full, undivided attention to your dog – when you can watch your dog and the other dogs, get yours out of a tight spot if needed, or prevent scuffles from happening in the first place. You’re there to monitor and intervene if necessary. (And there is absolutely no shame in needing to intervene!)

  5. When at the park, try to introduce your dog to the others there one-on-one with appropriate dog greetings. If it doesn’t seem like they’ll be suitable playmates, no worries – just keep them separate. If things really won’t work out or there are too many dogs (or especially if you notice your dog getting overwhelmed or stressed out), pack up and leave. You can go back another time or wander around the park together instead!

 Play it by ear and see how things go! And, hey, if you find someone at the park your SideKick gets along really well with, see if the other dog parent is willing to exchange numbers and set up play dates during non-peak hours for the two to romp around safely!

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About the Author:

Jennifer Prill is the owner of SideKick Dog Training, providing private dog training services to the Southeastern Wisconsin area. Jennifer promotes better training through better relationships, helping dog guardians improve their training and their relationships with the consistency of force free, positive reinforcement training.
 
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Real or Fake — What Difference Does it Make?

By Marianne McKiernan, author of Let the Dogs Speak!
 
We are a nation of pet lovers. According to the American Pet Products Association, in 2015 65% of U.S. households owned a pet, and we spent over $60 billion on pet care. In particular, 54 million households owned upwards of 77 million dogs. Now, most of those dogs are happily hanging out in the yard, snoozing on the sofa, romping at the dog park or keeping a wary eye on the cookie jar. A disturbing trend among some dog owners, however, is to feel that Fluffy is somehow unfulfilled in canine pursuits at home, and must accompany her human on all excursions, including the grocery, the mall, the movie theater, a restaurant, and even an airplane. 
 
“I need Fluffy,” the owner explains. “She’s my (fill in the blank) emotional support dog/service dog/therapy dog. And look, I bought a vest online so they have to let her be with me.”
 
GRRR. My hackles rise, my redheaded temper flares. Allow me to explain why.
 
First, a little background. I am a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence (cci.org), the nation’s oldest service dog organization. Along with my husband, I am currently raising Dubarry, my 11th puppy. Puppy raisers receive the pups at 8 weeks and keep them for 15-18 months. During that time we teach the pups around 30 basic commands and socialize them, gradually introducing them to pubic settings. When the puppies are around 18 months old we return them to our regional training center (there are six nationwide) for advanced training with professional trainers for another 6-9 months. If the dog has “the right stuff” it is matched with a person with a disability (other than blindness – guide dogs are a different type of assistance dog). One of the things I admire about CCI is that only the dogs who love to work graduate. Even if a dog is magnificently trained, if it is unhappy as a working dog, the trainers will release it from the program. This is one reason why only 35-40% of the pups in training go on to graduate. A stressed, unhappy dog is not a safe partner, and the safety of the graduate team is always CCI’s top priority.
 
An assistance dog has public access because of the person it is assisting. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is legally defined as a dog (or a miniature horse, but we’re sticking with dogs here) that has been individually trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability, such as guiding, warning of an impending drop in blood sugar, turning on/off lights, retrieving dropped items, opening/closing doors, alerting to sounds, etc. The tasks the dog performs must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Someone who has bought a vest, and so-called “credentials” (under the ADA there is no such thing as credentials or a service dog registry) off the internet for the purpose of taking a pet to public places is presenting himself as disabled. Some states have passed laws making it a crime to misrepresent a pet as a service dog. 
 
Emotional support animals (ESA) may be used to relieve stress or help with depression and anxiety, but they have not been trained to perform tasks to assist persons with disabilities. ESAs are not considered service animals under the ADA and do not have public access rights. However, ESAs are allowed in apartments under the Fair Housing Act, and the landlord may request documentation. Some airlines will allow a passenger to fly with an ESA and may ask for documentation. “Examples of documentation that may be requested by the airline: Current documentation (not more than one year old) on letterhead from a licensed mental health professional stating (1) the passenger has a mental health-related disability listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV); (2) having the animal accompany the passenger is necessary to the passenger’s mental health or treatment; (3) the individual providing the assessment of the passenger is a licensed mental health professional and the passenger is under his or her professional care; and (4) the date and type of the mental health professional’s license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued.”  (https://adata.org/publication/service-animals-booklet
 
But why is it such a big deal, you ask. Why can’t Fluffy go to the store or the restaurant or on the airplane? She’s really good and she loves going with me.
 
First of all, Fluffy may not want to go. Poor Fluffy, who would rather be at home on your comfy bed, is possibly terrified out of her mind, shaking and whimpering. What you think is an excited, happy dog may in fact be a highly stressed, anxious dog. It takes puppy raisers over a year of training with our puppies to work up to busy, distracting environments such as grocery stores, restaurants and airports. Our dogs have to learn to be calm, quiet and exceptionally well-mannered, no matter what is going on around them. Something tasty on the floor? Leave it. Another dog in the area? Ignore it. People making kissy noises at the puppy? Sit and wait for permission to be petted. Weird noises, long security lines, TSA agents with gloves handing the puppy? Stay calm, wait for the next command. No barking, no whining, no lunging, no picking fights with other dogs, no sitting on chairs, tables, grocery carts or laps, no chewing, no hoovering, no accidents, no shedding — oh, wait. We can’t teach them not to shed. But we can teach them everything else. A puppy raiser’s favorite compliment is “I didn’t even know you had a dog!” Service dogs are meant to be unobtrusive as they quietly do their jobs. 
 
((And as a side note, let me tell you about flying with a dog. Some airlines kindly allow puppy raisers to fly with their pups in the cabin. This is important because I do not want my dog’s first flight to be with his new partner. Flying is stressful, with all the hullabaloo at the airport, elevators, different surfaces to walk on, trains and shuttles, rolling suitcases, crying babies, security lines, etc. As many times as I’ve flown with well-trained pups over the last 15 years, I’m always a little uneasy. Therefore I want my pups to have at least a couple of flights under their collars before they graduate (if they graduate!) so that their partner has confidence that the dog can handle it. Not only do we have to navigate the airport, but once we board the plane my pup is expected to curl up in the small bulkhead space or under the seat in front of me, and stay there for the duration of the flight. Not every dog is going to be happy about doing that. Every pup I’ve flown with has given me a look that clearly says “You have got to be kidding!” when I give him the command to curl up in the small space under the seat. But they sigh, and they do it. I can’t imagine putting an untrained dog through the stress of flying, much less expecting it to behave perfectly.)) 
 
Second, fake service dogs jeopardize real working dogs and their partners. I’ve heard so many stories from graduates about their dogs being attacked by other “service dogs” or being asked to leave a store because the last “service dog” pooped all over the floor, or having to explain to the restaurant manager that yes, this is a real service dog, and no, he will not bother the other diners, steal food or climb on the table. Every time a fake service dog causes a problem, it complicates and compromises access for real service dog teams. Business owners and the public begin to look at all dogs in public settings as nuisances. Someone with a disability just wants to go about their life; questioning and/or endangering their legitimate service dog’s right to accompany and assist them should not be part of the daily routine. 
 
Real service dogs help their partners live independent lives. Fake service dogs are at best a ridiculous indulgence, and at worst, a crime. Please don’t buy a vest and pretend your pet is a service dog. After all, Fluffy already has an important job: being your adored companion, protector and stealer of cookies. 
 
 
Additional information:
 
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Marianne McKiernan has been a volunteer puppy raiser for CCI since October, 2001. She is the author of Let the Dogs Speak! Puppies in Training Tell the Story of Canine Companions for Independence. She lives in Denver with her husband, two cats, two pet dogs and current CCI puppy, Dubarry.