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Summer 2011




magazine Also Inside: Why Become a Canine Blood Donor? Renting With Dogs Destinations: Occoquan Water Trail

Chosing the best method for you and your pup

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contents Summer 2011

N O R T H E R N V I R G I N I A D O G : T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O C A N I N E - I N S P I R E D L I V I N G I N T H E D C M E T R O A R E A



Training 101 Chosing the best method for you and your pup By Taylor Ham


Renting With Dogs Securing dog-friendly rental housing can be challenging, but it’s not impossible By Janelle Welch

13 D E PA RT M E N T S


News, information, and products


On the cover:

Three-year-old Cockapoo, Willow, is the recepient of the NOVADog training scholarship, and is loved by Hannah in Alexandria, VA. Photograph by Carina Thornton. To schedule your own session with Carina, visit www.fuzzypantspets.com.


A glimpse into the life of Northern Virginia dogs


Happenings we’ve sniffed out

Advice and information on canine health issues




Let your pup follow his nose with this new sport


Dog-friendly spaces in Northern Virginia and beyond


27 HIT THE TRAIL Local walks to enjoy


Adoption success stories

11 PETCENTRIC PEOPLE Hanging with DC Metro’s dog-crazy crowd

Find a pet service provider—see the directory on page 25.


novadog T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O C A N I N E - I N S P I R E D L I V I N G I N T H E D C M E T R O A R E A


PUBLISHER Janelle Welch janelle@2houndsproductions.com CONTRIBUTORS Christy Bell, Dr Ann Schneider, Anne Davis, Alexandra Schauffler, Elissa Matulis Myers, Taylor Ham, Lydia Best, Sophia Malakooti, Carina Thornton, Sabrina Hicks, Ines de Pablo, Ingrid King ADVERTISING For rates and information, please contact: Angela Meyers Vice President, Advertising p: 703.887.8387 f: 815.301.8304 ahazuda@yahoo.com

DISTRIBUTION H.D. Services, Inc. 571.435.2161

We’re Environmentally Friendly. The pages of NOVADog are printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks. Please help us make a difference by recycling your copy or pass this issue along to a fellow dog lover.

A Country Vacation for Your Dog

NOVADog Magazine is committed to creating and fostering an active and supportive community for local dogs and their owners to share, learn, interact, and engage. Our mission is three-fold: • Educate—Training and canine health care tips to help dogs live long and fulfilling lives. • Inspire—Insightful stories about local heroes and organizations that are doing good in our community. • Collaborate—Helping local animal welfare organizations to save and enrich the lives of homeless and abused animals.

Northern Virginia Dog Magazine © 2011 is published quarterly by 2hounds Productions, LLC. Limited complimentary copies are distributed throughout the DC Metro area, and are available in select locations. One and two year subscriptions are available. Visit the NOVADog web site for more information. Send change of address information to janelle@2houndsproductions.com or P.O. Box 30072, Alexandria, VA 22310, 703.850.6963.

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NOVADog Magazine neither endorses or opposes any charity, welfare organization, product, or service, dog-related or otherwise. As an independent publisher and media organization, we report on news and events happening in our local area. Events are used as an outlet to reach new readers interested in all aspects of dog ownership. We encourage all readers to make their own decisions as to which products and services to use, organizations to support, and events to attend.

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t’s hot, it’s muggy, and let’s face it—the temps won’t be comfortable again until the longer days of fall creep in. So, how to fill your humid summer days? Why not spend them in air-conditioned bliss— teaching your old dog a new trick or your new puppy some basic obedience. Whatever your training goals, on page 13, we provide a primer on some popular methods of training and how to choose the right one for you and your pup. Also, on page 18, see our handy guide to local area trainers who are ready and willing to help you with your toughest training challenges. According to a recent Apartments.com survey, 84 percent of surveyed renters own pets. And although one-third of them

described finding a rental that allowed pets “very difficult,” we have put together some tips and tricks to help you in your search. Finding pet-friendly rental housing is not impossible, but it takes dedication and perseverance to get the job done. Back by “pup”ular demand, the Washington Nationals are once again offering the chance to bring your dog to a baseball game. NOVADog Magazine has participated in “Pups in the Park” for three years now. It still amazes me how well all of the dogs get along, and they just seem to have such a wonderful time. The May game saw a record attendance of more than 1,000 humans and 500 dogs. Get your tickets early for the July 9 and September 24 games because, even though they have expanded the seating, the

games tend to sell out fast. The total purchase price for the dog ticket is donated directly to the Washington Humane Society. For more information, see our Destinations department on page 9. This issue’s Hit the Trail explores the natural beauty and sparkling waterways of the 40mile Occoquan Water Trail. Your guides, Sophia Malakooti and her dog Lilo, explored the trail by kayak, and give some tips on how you can best enjoy this aquatic jewel with your four-legged friend. As always, we thank you for reading, and best wishes for a safe and happy summer!

Janelle Welch, Publisher janelle@2houndsproductions.com

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A Little Unique offers six different style custom fabric dog collars to fit all of your pet’s fashion and training needs. Each order is handmade one at a time and are available in more than 100 cotton prints, including patriotic stars and stripes for the summer. Also available to match your collar are harnesses, leashes, and poo bag holders. Mention NOVA Dog Magazine and get a free tag mover! ND FIND  it: www.alittleunique.com

Olde Towne Pet Resort Expands The Olde Towne Pet Resort (OTPR), headquartered for more than 9 years in Springfield, VA, recently announced its expansion into Loudoun County. Located near Dulles International Airport and the Dulles Town Center Mall, the new Sterling-based pet resort is presently under construction and scheduled to open to the public in October. The approximately 32,000-square-foot facility includes many highend features, with three expansive day camp rooms, 70+ newly constructed cat condos, and more than 100 spacious dog boarding suites. “We sought to create comfortable animal housing for Loudoun’s companion animals complete with executive suites, a large swimming pool, and a grooming salon,” says Sadaf Atashbarghi, Marketing Manager for OTPR. “The end result will be a premium resort experience for Loudoun’s pets and their pet-loving families.” ND FIND  it: www.oldetownepetresort.com

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| Summer 2011

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Book your dog’s summer vacation today wagging for safety

Have a Safe Summer As the cool weather slowly fades and the mercury rises, families begin preparing for another summer filled with outdoor fun. As children and pets will spend more time outside playing, lets review the various summertime hazards that can result in injury or illness to your pet.

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Keep to the trails. Northern Virginia has a significant Copperhead population; the Timber Rattlesnake is found in the Blue Ridge Mountains; and the Cottonmouth lives in the swamps south of Richmond.

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Keep your dog hydrated. No running or jogging during the day! Dogs only sweat through their paw pads, and hot asphalt/ pavement can burn their pads, impairing cooling/sweating and result in heatstroke.


Keep your dog safe. Cars are rolling ovens. On 85°F days, temperatures inside can soar to 120°F within 6 to 10 minutes. Leaving a car window cracked has a negligible effect on both the inside temperature and the rate at which the car heats up. Dogs regulate temperature by panting. In a hot car, there is no cool air to replace the hot air, so he will be fighting a losing battle against heatstroke. Dog death by hot car is 100 percent preventable. Don’t do it! ND Wagging for Safety is sponsored by Wag’N Enterprises, LLC. Ines de Pablo, president & CEO, has an extensive background in emergency management, EMS, and risk mitigation, and she is a certified Pet Tech Pet First Aid Instructor. To learn more, visit www.wagn4u.com.

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H E A L T H  W I S E

A d v i ce an d i n fo rm ati on o n c a n i n e h e a l th i s s u e s Moosee, a 5-year old Weimaraner gives blood, as Dave Anderson, Dr. Ann Schneider, and Rebecca Pierce look on.

Why Become a Canine Blood Donor? By Christ y B ell, LV T, a n d D r An n Sc h n e i de r, D VM


ave you ever thought about what you would do if your dog was critically ill? Where would you take him or her?  What veterinarian would you try to see?  What would you do if things didn’t go well? Have you ever thought about what would happen if your dog needed a blood transfusion? Luckily for many such critically ill dogs, canine blood products (red blood cells and plasma) are available.  This is thanks to organizations like the Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank (BRVBB) and many, many wonderful volunteer doggie blood donors. The BRVBB officially opened its doors in January 2011, when the Eastern Veterinary Blood Bank (which opened in Maryland in 1993) moved to Purcellville.  The largest all volunteer-based canine blood bank in the country, BRVBB takes blood only from volunteer donors, dogs owned by families like yours.  This is in contrast to “closed colony” or “farmed” canine blood banks, where dogs

are kept confined and used solely as blood donors. BRVBB has 35 donation “sites” at various facilities throughout the Washington and Baltimore area. Dogs donate a small amount of blood based on their weight and age approximately every five - seven weeks.  A typical donation takes less than 20 minutes. 

How Do Dogs Donate Blood? How does it work?  To believe it, you probably would need to see it.  The BRVBB staff is skilled at “convincing” dogs that blood donation is fun!  Visits start out with lots of treats and praise.  After the special treatment, many dogs are then willing to do whatever is asked of them.  For others, it takes extra TLC and fancy treats.  A physical examination is performed to verify good health.  When the time comes, the relaxed and happy donors are gently restrained.  A small strip of hair is shaved from their neck, the skin is cleaned, and a donation is carefully drawn.  Afterwards,

treats continue and lavish praise. The donors leave happy and fulfilled, while the proud owners are able to tell  of their special “Life Savers!”

Why Do It? Each unit of donated blood is divided into two, three, or four blood components. Each component will be given to a critically ill dog in need somewhere across the country.  In this way, volunteer canine donor can save as many as four lives by this one, simple act of altruism.  Does that make you feel good?  Is that enough incentive for you?  Just in case, there is more.  When you sign your dog up as a volunteer donor, there are great benefits for you and your pet.  Each donor is blood tested for general health and infectious diseases (including Heartworm and Lyme Disease.)  Each dog is blood typed; should your dog become ill, you will know what type in advance for blood

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An s w e rs to y ou r be h a v i o r a n d tra i n i n g q u e s ti o n s

Let Your Pup Follow His Nose B y An n e D a v i s

Try to be patient when you have your dog outside, because he is checking email and reading the paper by smelling everything in his reach.

Anne’s home is in Vienna with her husband, Gene, and their three rescue dogs, Rudy, Cooper, and Missie. After careers in teaching and also in the corporate world Anne moved to her true love of dog training in 2000. In addition to private in-home training she offers small group classes in Arlington and at the Reston Community Center. Contact Anne at www.RudysFriendsDogTraining.com.

8 Northern Virginia Dog

counter or table surfing. As the beginner dog advances, add challenges of height and depth with distractions. Sometimes it can be difficult for dogs to realize that a scent is not always on the floor. Teach them to lift their heads and look at various heights. Nose Work II involves teaching a dog to find an odor (such as birch or cloves). Additional challenges come with searching in different rooms, progressing to outside where the whole world is a distraction.

“I feel like my dog isn’t challenged enough with his daily walks and just going to the dog park. Is there something you can recommend that would engage him more?” QUESTION

This is such a comANSWER mon question and K9 Nose Work is a great solution—plus it’s fun!

What is K9 Nose Work? Do you ever wonder why your dog stops to smell anything and everything while out on a walk? The answer is simple: Dogs have more than 220 million receptors in their noses—30 percent of their brain—compared to humans who have around 5 million receptors. Try to be patient when you have your dog outside, because he is checking email and reading the paper by smelling everything in his reach. K9 Nose Work is a new sport that is gaining popularity, and is designed to develop your dog’s natural scenting abilities by using his desire to hunt and his love of food and exercise.

Why Do This Sport? Nose Work is the perfect outlet for your dog’s energy and natural drive. Additional benefits include: • increases mental stimulation • helps with focus • builds confidence • provides great exercise | Summer 2011

• allows any dog to play (including reactive dogs, fearful dogs, hyper dogs) • is easy—takes little space and no expensive equipment—and fun!

Types of Searches You can use any type of search to interest your dog, but if you intend to compete in the sport, the individual competition has four elements: container search, interior building search, exterior area search, and vehicle search. Visit the National Association of Canine Scent Work online (www. nacsw.net) for more information on competition trials. Class begins with box searches. Boxes are easily available and economical. You learn how to arrange boxes and other obstacles in order to change the flow of air, so your dog can more easily pick up the scent. Find something that truly motivates your dog and excites his hunting instinct, like a high-value food (such as tiny pieces of chicken, steak, chicken hotdogs, or salmon). But it’s best not to practice Nose Work in the kitchen or near any eating areas because that might encourage

Play Nose Work at Home Choose three or four different locations in a room. Allow your dog to watch you place a treat in one of the spaces while he is sitting in the middle of the room. Give the “find it” command. While this is a self-rewarding activity, it’s important for you to also quickly reward by immediately tossing another treat in the same place. Repeat, using all of the designated spots. Next, remove the dog from the room and place a treat in one of the previously used spots. Allow him to return and say “find it!” Continue to practice and see if he can successfully find the treat in all locations. Next, place the treat in a new location in the same room when the dog is not watching, and see if he can discover it. When playing this game with multiple dogs, make sure they are not food aggressive towards each other. I enjoy using K9 Nose Work as a reward for obedience. After our dogs understood the “find it” command, we expanded to other rooms. I ask all three of them to go to their beds, while I hide chopped carrots all over the house. Some are in plain sight on the floor; others may be on the edge of the bathtub or under a box. It’s so much fun to see the excitement in our dogs as they search. This is a wonderful activity for those rainy days or just times when you’re tired and want to relax. ND


D og -fri en d l y s p a c e s i n No rth e rn V i rg i n i a a n d b e y o n d

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Owners and their four-legged friends can enjoy a day with the Nats By Al ex a n d r a S ch a u f f le r


he dog days of summer officially began on Saturday, May 14 when the Washington Nationals welcomed two-legged and four-legged fans alike to celebrate the first “Pups in the Park” event of the season, presented by Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Pet Foods. Returning for a third year, the Nationals brought the unique series back by “pup”ular demand. “We tried to go last year, but it was sold out,” says Michael Mahaffey, owner of a Boxer-Rhodesian Ridgeback named Mollie. “We were very excited to get tickets this year.” Baseball fans and their canine companions enjoyed watching the Nationals take on the Florida Marlins together in a specially-reserved seating area close to all Photos courtesy of the Washington Nationals

of the action in sections 140 through 143. Nearby in the Natural Balance Pet Zone, the pups had access to a water station and relief area, and were provided pet food samples courtesy of Natural Balance. For owners, dog-sitting services were available throughout the game.

A Sold Out Event “It was a great event,” says Kelly Skubick, owner of Camden, a two-year old Lab mix. “All of the dog owners were responsible, all of the dogs were very friendly, everyone was enjoying themselves, and the canine company. We had a great time and so did Camden.” Owners were excited to have an opportunity to share a ballgame with their tail-wagging pals at the sold-out event.

IF YOU GO Tickets can be purchased online at www.nationals.com/nova. Owner ticket: $20 Dog ticket: $5 100 percent of every $5 dog ticket purchased will benefit the Washington Humane Society. Upon completing your purchase, you will receive a confirmation email. Prior to your game date, you will receive an email with information specifically pertaining to Pups in the Park. Helpful hints, directions for entering the park, and a waiver requiring proof of rabies and bordetella vaccinations will be included in this email. Please note that no dogs will be admitted without a signed waiver. Game Dates Saturday, July 9 vs. Colorado Rockies 7:05 p.m. Saturday, September 24 vs. Atlanta Braves 1:05 p.m.




D og -fri en d l y s p a c e s i n No rth e rn V i rg i n i a a n d b e y o n d

“My wife Sara and I are the kind of obnoxious dog owners who want to take our pet everywhere we go,” Mahaffey remarks. “So we really enjoyed being able to take Mollie to the game.” Dogs and their owners gathered before the game for a special Pup Rally, hosted by Steve Garvey, former Major League MVP and 10-time All-Star first baseman with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Prizes were given to the pups who displayed the most Nationals pride and who performed the best tricks, among other awards. “It was very well run; great giveaways, great dog owners,” Skubick reports. The lucky pooches in attendance were also given a special opportunity to strut their stuff in a Pup Parade on the field before the start of the game. Special guest Tillman, “The World’s Fastest Skateboarding Bulldog” and Natural Balance spokesdog led the pack and served as the parade’s grand marshal along with his


10 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2011


extreme puppy posse. Arriving at Nationals Park in his customized RV, Tillman was accompanied by the Natural Balance team of athletic canines as they made their Washington, DC debut. Before and after the game, Tillman wowed the crowd as he performed the skateboarding tricks that have made him a viral video sensation. Fans who missed out on this first Pups in the Park event of the season can still buy tickets to the remaining games in the 2011 series scheduled for Saturday, July 9, and Saturday, September 24. Owner tickets can be purchased for just $20, while tickets for their furry friends cost $5 and benefit the Washington Humane Society. To purchase Pups in the Park tickets, fans can visit nationals.com/pups or call 202.675.NATS (6287). ND Alexandra Schauffler is Manager of Communications for The Washington Nationals Baseball Club.



H a n g i n g wi th DC Me tro ’s d o g -c ra z y c ro wd

Great Dog Nutrition is a Family Affair By El i s sa M a t u lis M y er s


elley and Mark Renshaw were considering future options, when they attended a franchisors meeting for an Australian-based dog training company called Bark Busters. As a police officer, Mark had some experience working with police dogs, but neither had specific experience in dog training. They immediately saw the potential, got trained, opened a Northern Virginia franchise, and found themselves in the pet industry. At a pet event, they met the owner of a small local dog food company built on the principle of making healthy, quality pet food. Kelley and Mark could see that the diet of the dogs they were training affected not only their health but also their behavior. “A clear link exists between a wellbalanced, biologically appropriate diet and improved behavior. By providing the proper nutrition his body needs, your dog will have less of a tendency to exhibit unwanted behaviors,” says Kelley. They became the best customers of Canine Caterers, and when it came up for sale, Mark and Kelley purchased the company. There was enormous synergy, but running two small pet-focused companies was proving daunting. When Kelley’s sister Kate LoStracco moved to Northern Virginia, with a degree in marketing, advertising, and a passion for pets, Kate quickly took the helm as managing partner of Canine Caterers. “I am committed to educating pet owners about the pet food industry,” she says. “We maintain a total focus on super premium foods. And it is my strict policy to sell only the foods that I feed to my own four-legged family members.” The premium dog food that Canine Caterers sells is manufactured by Ohio Pet Foods (OPF) in Lisbon, Ohio. “OPF meets both the high European Union and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards for pet food quality. None of OPF’s pet foods contain beef or beef by-products, and their poultry and other meat proteins are pur-


chased from vendors on the basis of quality—not price—to ensure that our pet foods meet our own high quality standards, says Kate. Under Kate’s leadership, Canine Caterers serves more than 1,000 pet owners in Northern Virginia and is growing daily. As local people running a local company, they stand behind their products with a guarantee of satisfaction. “Marvin Flores, our delivery and warehouse manager, delivers on holidays and in snow storms, even though we advise him to put safety first. He takes our slogan ‘We Always Deliver’ to heart,” says Kate. “Many of our clients think of him like Santa Claus because he silently delivers the food very early in the morning, and when people wake up, the food is at their front door!” One customer in Alexandria, Christine, wrote to Kate to say that she unsuccessfully experimented with one major “quality” brand of dog food after another to try to rebuild the health of her adopted Great Dane. The dog, who was underweight and lethargic, “greatly improved within days of transitioning to Canine Caterers.” Though the basic formula is the same in all of the dog foods they sell—no wheat, corn, or byproducts—they do offer different varieties of protein (including chicken, lamb, or salmon) and can help you pick just the right formula for the age, weight, and activity level of your dog. In addition to dog and cat food, they sell locally produced treats and toys, and everything they sell is manufactured in the United States. “Canine Caterers truly is a family company,” says Kate. “My six-year-old son Dominic fills ‘sample bags’ and even four-year old Angelina helps by putting our labels on the bags.” ND Elissa Myers is a writer in Northern Virginia. She lives in Springfield with her tireless Black Lab Indi and writes a daily column for the on-line Examiner.

Kate & Kel ley in the warehous e Biggest challenge? Helping people avoid equating cost with quality. We offer premium quality at competitive prices. Tip for dog owners? If you use a bin to store the food, always line it with a fresh plastic bag—the food residue can get rancid and contaminate new food. Funniest moments? You wouldn’t believe how many people call to see if we can cater their dog’s birthday party. We don’t do that—but maybe we should! Dogs of their own? The two families share seven dogs— “SmEllie” Stinkbaum, a Rodesian Ridgeback mix; Dobermans Lucifer, Reign, and Bees; a Rottweiler mix Dudie the Chin, and Labradors Moose and Piggy. And that’s not counting the cats, fish, hermit crabs, and chickens. Dream for the future? To be able to work on the business and not just in it!

Join the pack. Stay informed.




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A gl i m ps e i n to the l i fe of No rth e rn V i rg i n i a d o g s

1. SAVANNAH loved by Rita




in Sterling

2. PHOENIX loved by Catherine



in Woodbridge

3. STELLA loved by Catherine in



4. TIFFANY loved by Carolyn in


Mount Vernon

5. LUCY loved by Lauren in Arlington


6. TOFFEE loved by Sofia in Alexandria



7. CLANCEY loved by Liam in Fairfax

8. SADIE loved by Daniel in Fairfax


9. CHOCOLAT loved Gioia in McLean



Hey, where’s my dog? If you submitted a photo, and don’t see it here, check out the NOVADog slide show! Click on “submit your photos” from our homepage:

10. OISIN loved Katherine in Fairfax


Frying Pan Farm Park’s Your Pet Care Provider

Where every dog is an A student Agility-non-competitive Dog Obedience-all levels Registration starts August 9

M. Nico

le Fische

r Photog


To register or for information, call Frying Pan Farm Park




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12 Northern Virginia Dog

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Chosing the best method for you and your pup By Taylor Ham


ummer is upon us, and, if you’re like most Northern Virginia dog owners, summertime means hours of fun in the sun with your pup—but are you and your dog ready for it? If you watch longingly as other dog owners stroll calmly through the crowd at the farmers market or enjoy a quiet cup of coffee at an outdoor café with their canine, you may have some work to do. Whether you dream about your dog being your constant companion or simply not terrorizing your guests at the backyard barbecue, this is the season to consider professional training.

Where to Start The vast array of dog training books and videos on the market today can be overwhelming. Trainers also abound, their websites promising fail-proof methods and sometimes seemingly conflicting advice. So, how do you sort through it all? We polled 10 Northern Virginia dog trainers for their expert advice. Hilary Bolea, certified professional dog trainer and founder of Old Town Dog Behavior, suggests starting with yourself. “Before you hire a dog trainer, understand what kind of owner www.novadogmagazine.com


you are, and then find out if the trainer’s approach matches what you want,” she says. She encourages owners to first consider what they are looking for from their dogs—do you want instant obedience, a happy, well-balanced companion, or is there a specific behavior problem you want to change? Some dog owners prefer a formal school of training, such as AKC obedience or Schutzhund personal protection training. These owners want a trainer to teach strict adherence to traditional commands and skills. Other dog owners, Bolea says, are looking for what she calls a “livable dog.” These owners want to train their dogs not to pull on the leash, but don’t mind whether the dog walks to the left, right, or even in front of them. Clearly defining your goals will help you decide what method of training will be the best fit. Perhaps the best way for NOVADog readers to approach dog training is to investigate training and obedience programs and instructors, then decide whose dog-training philosophies coincide most closely with their own.

A Method to the Madness Most dog training techniques used today are based on the concept of operant conditioning, first described by psychologist B.F. Skinner in the 1950s. Operant conditioning is the process by which a dog learns to associate a behavior

with consequences of that behavior. Behaviors are modified and strengthened through positive or negative reinforcement. The most prevalent training methods—traditional, positive, and balanced—apply this theory in slightly different ways. Traditional . The methods of traditional dog training focus on the use of negative reinforcement, or removal of a negative consequence, to strengthen a behavior. For instance, if you tell your dog to sit and he stays standing, you might push down on his hindquarters to create an unpleasant sensation. If the pressure is released when the dog sits down, he will be more likely to do the same in the future. Rewards for a completed task include praise or a treat. Slip collars, prong collars, and e-collars are common tools in traditional training, which some view as overly harsh. Advocates of traditional training argue that it can provide very reliable results when done correctly and with care. As with any of the methods of training described in this article, if something doesn’t feel quite right about how your dog is responding, don’t be afraid to speak up. Nick White, owner of Off-Leash K9 Training in Woodbridge, has trained dogs for the Marine Corps and Secret Service and now uses a combination of e-collar and markerbased training to guarantee his clients instant,

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off-leash obedience. “What we enjoy most is seeing dogs that have spent their whole life on a leash, now being 100 percent off-leash and obedient,” he says. Jenn Guerriero, owner of Big City Dogs in Washington, DC, specializes in training dogs for the urban environment using city living common sense. “I take on a lot of difficult cases and have been around quite a bit of unstable dogs. With the right structure and an owner willing to put in the work, we can make progress on these dogs,” she says. One of her most difficult cases involved a female owner with two very unstable Pit Bull mixes. “These dogs couldn’t be within a two block radius of other dogs without reacting, and, when they did, they would displace and turn on each other,” says Guerriero. The owner had tried everything: head halters, prong collars, treats in the pocket, walking them separately. Nothing could give her the control she needed. Guerriero and her client decided to try a mixture of e-collar training and a rigid obedience plan. “Both dogs were conditioned to the collar, placed on a rigid obedience plan, and by the end of week two, were riding elevators and walking past other dogs on the sidewalk,” says Guerriero. “We continued working together until our final lesson, where we were able to take both dogs to an off-leash area and allow

these dogs to actually play with other dogs and recall on command. My client was speechless and broke down in tears,” says Guerriero. Positive. The main goal of a positive reinforcement trainer is to use what the dog finds rewarding as motivation for learning. Positive reinforcement is a science-based operant learning principle, and advocates of this method believe it is effective at teaching reliable behaviors and helping to build a relationship built on trust rather than punishment and coercion. For example, if you give your dog a treat when he lies down, he will start to lie down more frequently in order to get the reward. This type of training is often enhanced with the use of a clicker to “mark” desirable behaviors. Clicker training is a popular method of positive training, in which the sound of the clicker creates an association between a desired behavior and a positive consequence, like a treat. The absence of any form of negative reinforcement, punishment, or controversial training device makes positive training a very friendly and safe method of training that is easy for most owners to learn and use. The trainers at KissAble Canines, LLC choose not to use slip chains or e-collars, and say they have had great success using positive methods. “Not only do we treat our clients’

Meet Our Scholarship Winner This Spring, NOVADog Magazine invited readers to apply for a $300 training scholarship, to be awarded based on an essay application. We received so many applications that it took longer than expected to come up with a winner,” says Janelle Welch, publisher of NOVADog Magazine. “There were so many deserving doggies that we had to narrow it down to our top 10 and choose by lottery,” she says. The winner? Meet Willow, a three-year-old Cockapoo, and her owner Hannah Berrgland of Alexandria. “Hi, my name is Willow, and I get lots of compliments from people about my calm temperament; friendly, caring personality; and on how I would be an amazing therapy dog! My mom works with troubled children and their families. I’ve seen these kids from afar and, boy oh boy, they look so sad. If I could just curl up in their laps for a few minutes, I just know it would brighten their day and turn their frowns upside down. “I also want volunteer my smile to visit with people she used to work with in the inner city who can’t have pets because they have serious mental illnesses that make it hard for them even to take care of themselves. She says my stubby little tail will bring those people lots of joy. But to do this I need your help. “Mom has done research on how helpful someone like me can be in the lives of these people, but I need to be trained as a Canine Good Citizen and pass a test with a therapy dog organization before mom and her boss will let me help these folks. I’ve had a little bit of training, but if I’m being honest, I could use a little bit more work on my manners, obedience, and maybe some special help in working as a therapy dog. Mom has been great at giving me all the love in the world, she just needs a little extra training to smooth out some of my rough edges. My vocabulary is excellent, if I do say so myself. I’m affectionate and loving, but I don’t go overboard like Scooby Doo… Well, I do like giving mom kisses when she gets home from work!”



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dogs with positive-based methods, we treat our clients the same way,” says Lisa Tudor, owner of KissAble Canines. One of Lisa’s clients was a woman who was wheelchair bound and had a young herding breed with lots of energy to burn. “We worked on having her walk the dog while in the chair, and, in a few lessons, I was teary-eyed from seeing the woman taking her dog for a walk while the dog walked beautifully next to her,” says Tudor. “Those are the moments I love to train for.” Positive training can be used not only to teach basic obedience commands but also to solve common household behavioral problems. Anne Davis, founder of Rudy’s Friends Dog Training, Inc., tries to be creative and think outside the box when using positive training to solve behavioral problems. “Recently,” she says, “I used the ‘find it’ game to help a very fearful dog feel more comfortable with me. The dog was so busy finding chicken hotdogs that very

soon she was taking them from my hand.” Teresa Hogge, founder and president of Belly Rubs Pet Care, in Ashburn, uses her experience as both a trainer and a groomer to help pet parents build that special bond between themselves and their furry family members. “Our training approach is geared towards being fun for you and your dog. Our biggest goal is to teach you how to communicate more effectively with your dog,” says Hogge. Michele Fisher, owner of Always There Pet Care in Falls Church, learned from one of her training experiences that the solution is not always going to be black and white. Her toughest training challenge was an owner who had a physical disability, preventing the use of her arms to direct the dog in training exercises. Michele adapted her training methods to incorporate her feet instead of her hands and arms. “I worked with the little dog for four weeks, and he learned the foot commands very fast. Every

Dog Trainer Credentials There are many ways that one can become a professional dog trainer. Some trainers have apprenticed for a period of time with an experienced trainer before branching out on their own. Some have special schooling, such as higher degrees from colleges and universities in animal behavior. Others came into the profession through working in animal shelters or competing in dog sports and competition. It is not unusual to come to the profession through a combination of experiences both experiential and educational. However, like many other professions, there are different levels of education and training needed to obtain the credentials listed after a dog trainer’s name.

Certificate Programs are educational programs awarded by an educational program or institution designed to teach a certain set of skills or knowledge. Upon graduating from the program, trainers receive a certificate. Examples of certificate programs include the Karen Pryor Academy, Animal Behavior College, San Francisco SPCA, and more. The main focus of a certificate program is education and the educational process begins and ends with the program—from enrollment through graduation. A Certification has a different focus of assessing skills and/or knowledge, and are awarded by a thirdparty, standard-setting organization. A certification is designed to show that the recepient has met a set of standard skills/knowledge in their profession. In order to maintain a certification, further education from independent organizations is required, usually in the form of continuing education units (CEUs). Examples of certifications are the CPDT-KA (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers) and the CDBC (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants). Here are some popular certifications and the corresponding approving organization: CPDT-KA: Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed through Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers ACAAB: Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist by The Animal Behavior Society CAAB: Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist by The Animal Behavior Society CABC: Certified Animal Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants CDBC: Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants Behaviour CCAB: Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist through the International Association for the Study of Animal Behavior DACVB: Diplomate American College of Veterinary Behaviorists Here are some popular certificate programs and the corresponding schools: ABC: Certified Dog Trainer through Animal Behavior College AHT: Animal Health Technology (Associate of Science) through San Diego Mesa College IACP: Certified Dog Trainer through the International Association of Canine Professionals Cert.PDTST: Professional Dog Training Science and Technology Certificate from the Companion Animal Sciences Institute CTC: Certificate in Training and Counseling through San Francisco SPCA Dog Training Academy CTP: Certified Training Program through the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Behavior and Training Source: Association of Pet Dog Trainers

dog, client, or situation is different, and there are going to be many grey areas,” says Fisher. Hilary Bolea used positive training methods to successfully house train Lucy, a 3-year-old blind border collie rescued from a puppy mill. Lucy had neurological problems that caused her to blink and stagger uncontrollably, and whenever she smelled food she became ferociously aggressive, biting anything around her. “I knew that in order to train her to go to the bathroom outside we would have to be able to give her treats, but she had bitten my hand the first time I tried, thinking I was a competitor for the treat,” says Bolea. So she devised a method where her owner would drop a treat onto a china dish, and tap the dish with a shoe. As soon as Lucy started walking toward the dish, the owner walked away. That way, Lucy got her treat, and no one got bitten. “By the end of our sessions, Lucy was fully house trained, bonding with her family, and enjoying the life she deserved,” Bolea says. Balanced. The balanced trainer uses a combination of positive and negative reinforcement and appropriate corrections when needed. Followers of this school of thought may use clickers, slip or correctional collars, or a combination of techniques, and often adapt their methods to suit the needs of their clients.

“I try not to go into a new situation with a predetermined set of ideas and strategies,” says Keri Putonen, owner and trainer at Unleashed Abilities. “Every dog is different, as is every owner and every environment,” she says. Sandy and Carlos Mejias at Old Town School for Dogs also work with a balanced approach. They say that the secret to success is working with repetition to teach each exercise, using praise or correction when necessary. Even though opinions and techniques vary from trainer to trainer, practicioners of all three methods do agree on one thing: dog training must be consistent, and family members should use the same prompts, responses, and methods when training to avoid confusing the dog.

At Home or Away If you want to teach your dog basic commands like “lie down,” “come,” and “stay,” a class setting may work well for you. On the other hand, if your problem is specific to your home or neighborhood—your dog is jumping on visitors at the door or showing aggression to dogs on your street—you may find that working with a trainer in your home is more effective. Arlington-based company Fur-Get Me Not recently expanded into the space next door to open a larger training facility. The big, bright


We asked Northern Virginia trainers what should be on every dog owner’s summer reading list. Visit the NOVADog Blog online for a list of books recommended by our experts. www.novadogmagazine.com/ summerbooks

new space offers a series of “specialty” classes that are unique to the area, including building confidence in fearful dogs, working with bully breeds and reactive dogs, outdoor city walks, and one night workshops that focus on specific behaviors like leash manners, recalls, and polite greetings, all using positive reinforcement. And if your dog is a star pupil, Fur-Get Me Not’s flexible level-based training program lets you progress at your own pace. “Whichever method and setting you choose,” says Tammy Rosen, owner of Fur-Get Me Not, “ask yourself whether your dog is happy, safe, and learning effectively—you are your dog’s greatest advocate.” ND Taylor Ham is a freelance writer from Ithaca, NY. She currently lives in Alexandria with her husband Stephen and two dogs, Samson and TJ.




Guide to Dog Trainers Owner’s Certification/ Credentials

Region Served

Always There Pet Care, LLC Owner: Michele Fisher 703.932.8136 130 West Jefferson St. Falls Church, VA 22046 atpc01@aol.com www.alwaystherepetcare.com

Positive Reinforcement

Serving all of Northern VA

Certified Dog Trainer through Animal Behavior College

9 Years

Belly Rubs Owner: Teresa Hogge 571.295.5516 bark@bellyrubspetcare.com www.bellyrubspetcare.com

Positive Reinforcement

Fairfax & Loudoun Counties

CPDT Certified Professional Dog Trainer*

4 Years

Balanced Training Methods

Northern VA, DC Metro Area

Certified Canine Behavior and Training Specialist through Triple Crown Academy

8 Years

Big City Dogs Owner: Jenn Guerriero 917.628.8015 jenn@bigcitydogs.net www.bigcitydogs.net

Private, In-Home Training Offered

Has a Storefront Location

Years of Experience Training as a Lead Instructor

Self-Described Training Style

Group Classes Offered

International School for Dog Trainers

Fur-Get Me Not Owner: Tammy Rosen 703.933.1935 4140 S Four Mile Run Dr. Arlington, VA 22206 tammy@furgetmenot.com www.furgetmenot.com

Positive Reinforcement

KissAble Canine, LLC Owner: Lisa Tudor 703.574.3383 trainer@kissablecanine.com www.kissablecanine.com

Positive Reinforcement

Arlington Alexandria Annandale Fairfax Falls Church McLean Washington DC

Arlington Alexandria Fairfax Reston Ashburn Mclean Great Falls


10 Years

Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed


5 Years

Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed

*Credentials of Lead Trainer/Employee

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Self-Described Training Style

Off-Leash K9 Training Owner: Nick White 888.413.0896 2627 Hanco Center Drive Woodbridge, VA 22191 info@offleashk9training.com www.offleashk9training.com Old Town Dog Behavior Owner: Hilary Bolea 202.725.5598 hilary@oldtowndogs.com www.oldtowndogs.com

Old Town School for Dogs Owners: Sandy & Carlos Mejias 703.836.7643 529 Oronoco St. Alexandria, VA 22314 otsfd@hotmail.com www.ostfd.com Rudy’s Friends Dog Training, Inc. Owner: Anne Davis 703.395.9450 rudysfriends@cox.net www.rudysfriendsdogtraining.com

Unleashed Abilities Owner: Keri Putonen 703.371.9800 keri.putonen@unleashed abilities.com www.unleashedabilities.com

Balanced Training Methods

Positive Reinforcement

Balanced Training Methods

Positive Reinforcement

Balanced Training Methods

Region Served DC Virginia Maryland

DC, Maryland and Virginia within one hour of the Beltway in any direction

Northern VA, DC Metro Area

Northern Virginia

Owner’s Certification/ Credentials Trained dogs for US Marine Corps, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, US Secret Service Academy CPDT-KA

Private, In-Home Training Offered

Has a Storefront Location

Group Classes Offered

Years of Experience Training as a Lead Instructor 9 Years

5 Years

Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed

Trained over 35,000 dogs, serving the DC Metro area for 36 years

42 Years


11 Years

Certified Dog Trainer by the International Association of Canine Professionals

Northern VA, DC Metro Area


8 Years

Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed



Securing dog-friendly rental housing can be challenging, but it’s not impossible By Janelle Welch

renting     with   pets I

n March 2007, when dire circumstances arose and Beth Greenberg found out she had three weeks to move out of her home, she did what thousands of Virginians do every year—she packed up and moved. Being the owner of four large breed dogs, Greenberg was concerned—and rightly so—about finding a rental that would accept her and her brood. Not only did she have four dogs, but also they were all over 50 lbs. When she had trouble finding an agent to work with in such a short time, she decided to buckle down and do all the legwork herself. After contacting a few of the rentals she found herself, Greenberg became frustrated when she was turned down because of the number of dogs in her pack. “Many landlords said that renting with two dogs would be acceptable, but not the four. Breaking up the family wasn’t an option. “The thought never even crossed my mind to find homes for two of my dogs,” says Greenberg. At this point, she knew finding a home was going to be a challenge and was growing more desperate to find a place. Using craigslist.

com, Greenberg contacted as many listings as possible making sure to be very upfront about owning four dogs. After much hard work and dedicated searching, she successfully signed a one-year lease for a single family rambler, with a great yard for her four furry family members: Smurf, Bear, Sheba, and Sasha. Rental number one down. Four rental houses and four years later, I guess you’d call Greenberg an expert at renting with dogs. After moving with her boyfriend David to Illinois on a military transfer, the couple is moving back to the area this summer. Adding an extra layer of difficulty, Greenberg is searching for a dog-friendly rental from 850 miles away and will soon be moving back to Virginia with her three large dogs. She again hit Craigslist, the Long and Foster website, and ahrn.com, searching for the perfect space for the family to move. “It’s definitely tougher trying to rent with dogs, but we didn’t want to settle for something that neither of us wanted. It was exhausting and frustrating at times, but we didn’t let that stop us from continuing to look,” says Greenberg. “My suggestion to oth-

ers looking for pet-friendly housing: Prepare to be discouraged, prepare to be turned down. The right house is out there, you just need to be willing to put in the work to find it.”

Make Use of Available Resources With technology so prevalent and smartphones multiplying like crazy, online rental housing sites are a good place to start your search: n www.rentwithpets.org: Maintained by the Humane Society of the United States, this site has helpful hints for conducting a successful search for animal-friendly housing. n www.peoplewithpets.com: Listings by state pet-friendly apartments, this site has a travel section where you can find pet-friendly hotel accommodations if needed. n www.rentals.com: Narrow down your search with specific information, such as zip code, price range, number of bedrooms, and more. Make sure to click on the pet policy and choose “dogs allowed,” as part of your search criteria. n www.apartments.oodle.com and www.craigslist.com: Search the online classifieds, listing rentals, and other real estate by city. n www.militarybyowner.com and www.ahrn. com: This site lists military homes for rent near U.S. military installations. Reach into your social network. If you know any real estate agents, rental agents, or resident managers who own pets themselves or share your love of pets, ask them for leads. Consider posting your situation on Facebook or other social networking sites—one of your friends may know of a great dog-friendly place that just hit the market.

Location, Location, Location Keep an eye out for dog-friendly amenities that will make your life easier, like outdoor pet waste receptacles and pet waste bag stations. If

e Anderson Photo by Le

Beth Greenberg’s Pack (Left to right): Sheba, Bear, Smurf, and Sasha.

Fido is the social type, you’ll want to ask about nearby dog parks or dog-friendly walking trails. Some large apartment complexes go the extra mile by offering treats and water bowls in the indoor common areas. Ask your landlord for referrals on nearby dog walking and pet care companies for when you will be out of town and need to leave your dog at home.

Prep for the Meeting When you arrive to tour a possible new rental home, be prepared to discuss your dog. “If you have an exceptional pet and the landlord is hesitant... Ask to set up a meeting so he or she can meet the pet to judge in person,” says Pat Wirth, an agent in Northern Virginia with RE/MAX Allegiance. “Document all previous experiences, landlords, and recommendations to put in writing for the new landlord,” says Wirth. One way to do this is to set up a “resume” for your dog. Structure it much like you would your own resume, complete with a photograph, references, and any accolades that your pet has received like Canine Good Citizen testing or obedience classes. Written proof that your pet is spayed or neutered and on a fleacontrol program will also help your case. Make it clear that you keep your dog under control at all times and that you understand the health and safety benefits of doing so. One tactic that Greenberg used was to offer a larger security deposit than the landlord was asking. “If they’re on the fence about renting to you, sometimes the additional money helps make the case that you aim to be a responsible dog owner,” she says. Greenberg also had letters of recommendation from previous landlords and a personal letter of recommendation from her pet sitter stating that, while in her care, the dogs didn’t have accidents in the house, didn’t bark excessively, and were well-trained and non-aggressive. Greenberg is well-versed in the pet care field, as co-owner of All Friends Pet Care in Northern Virginia; she adds that references from pet care professionals can play an important roll in helping you find a dog-friendly rental.

Read Contracts Carefully Before signing on the dotted line, be sure there is a pet addendum to your rental agreement

and that you understand the requirements the landlord is asking of you. This may include, but is not limited to the following: extra security deposit, specific cleaning methods on carpets or flooring after you vacate the premesis, or holding you responsible if your dog engages in nuisance barking. Comprehensive agreements protect people, property, and the pets themselves. For additional legal tips, see the sidebar at right.

Be Respectful Ahhhh… so you’ve found the perfect place. The number one thing you can do to ensure a happy existence in your new home is to be respectful of the property and your neighbors. Be sure to make additional efforts to respond quickly to accidents in the house to minimize the possibility of staining and odors. Regularly vacuuming will make it easier on move out and minimize the amount of cleaning required when you vacate the property. Many areas have strict rules about picking up dog waste and keeping your pet leashed in any common areas, so make sure you know the rules going in. Respectfully caring for the rental unit will speak volumes, and if you ever need to move out, you will be sure to get an excellent reference from your landlord— which will make your next rental search even easier. Finally, put yourself in the shoes of the landlord, property owner, condominium manager, or property manager for a moment. They may have had bad experiences with irresponsible pet owners that left the rental unit in a state of ruin. That’s why it’s up to you to sell yourself as a responsible pet owner and neighbor, one who understands the importance of maintaining a clean and safe environment for your pet. ND

WORDSFROMTHEWISE 1. Get explicit permission from the landlord/owner and explicit language in the lease about your dogs, addressing specific concerns like number of dogs, weight limit, and breed. 2. Renter’s insurance will probably not address dog bite claims. Check that the owner of the property has homeowner’s insurance that covers dog bite claims and that the policy does not have breed restrictions that would disqualify your dog. 3. If you are moving to a place governed by a homeowner or condo association, review the association’s bylaws and other documents to see how they address pets. Besides breed restrictions, the association may address other issues like leashing and muzzling requirements and where to exercise your dog. Get up to speed also on the city or county’s laws on leashing and tethering laws. 4. As soon as you move in, register your dog with the city or county at your new address, and update your dog’s identification tag and microchip. Heidi Meinzer is an attorney and shareholder with Bean, Kinney & Korman, P.C. She handles a variety of animal-related matters for pet owners, pet care industry companies, and nonprofit organizations and rescues. Visit www.petlawblog.com for more information.




H a p p e n i ng s w e’ v e s ni ff e d o u t

My Trip to Scooby Medina By Lydia Best


everal years ago I took a trip to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Southern Utah to volunteer for a week. That trip affected me a great deal. It showed me with nothing but hard work, perseverance, and generosity a small shelter can have a huge impact on society and become a roll model for shelters all over the world. Shortly after returning from Best Friends, a good friend and client asked me to get involved with an organization called Scooby North America. Scooby North America exists exclusively for charitable and educational purposes as the voice between the Scooby Animal Refuge in Medina del Campo, Spain, and the people of North America. After volunteering at Best Friends, I was excited to be able to take some of what I learned and hopefully apply it to a shelter that could use a lot of help. My involvement in Scooby North America was limited at first, but, this May, I had the opportunity to go to Scooby Medina to take much needed supplies, volunteer in the shelter for a week, and bring back four dogs that had been adopted by individuals in the United States. Scooby Medina is a privately-owned refuge, the largest safe haven in Spain for all sorts of animals. Scooby started out in 1987 as a shel-

22 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2011

ter under poor conditions, providing refuge for the stray cat and dog population and the numerous Galgos (Spanish greyhounds) discarded mainly by the local hunters in the area of Medina del Campo, Spain. Tens of thousands of Galgos are bred annually in Spain in the hope of producing the national competitive hunting champion. Medina del Campo is the focal point for those with a competitive hunting interest in Spain. For the hunters (known as galgueros in Spain), it has been an annual tradition to kill their Galgos by hanging them in mass in the local pine forests at the end of the season. My experience at Scooby Medina was far different then any other shelter or rescue experience I have ever had. Their needs are so vast that nearly all day is spent just doing the basics like feeding the animals, cleaning pens, and caring for sick animals. We struggled to find the time to provide the animals the additional love, attention, and comfort that they all deserve. While I was there, the shelter didn’t have enough food to feed all the dogs because they were over capacity. Being over capacity is a good thing in that more animals are being rescued, but it also means that resources—especially monetary—get used up quicker. Though the time I was there was emotion-

ally and physically exhausting at times, it also was very rewarding. I truly got to work in an environment where I knew that everything I did was desperately needed. And when you are a volunteer at Scooby Medina, you truly do it all. I also cherished those moments when I could throw a ball for a dog or sit in a kennel run and just give these animals some good old fashioned love. I left Scooby Medina with feelings of hope. Feeling that if Best Friends Animal Sanctuary can achieve all it has, then so can Scooby. Now that I’m back stateside, I need to spread the word about this amazing refuge, a place that without the help of people all over the world would not exist. A place that only wants to protect and speak for all animals. For more information or to get involved, please visit www.scoobynorthamerica.org. ND

Lyda Best (pictured above), lives in Leesburg, VA, and owns Everything and the Dog, a company providing dog walking, pet sitting, and errand services to the Northern Virginia area. Reach her at www.everythingandthedog.com.

Here’s a sampling of the many exciting events that NOVADog Magazine participated in this spring:

good stuff dog stuff

50-70% off stuff! Animal Welfare League of Arlington 16th Annual Walk for the Animals Saturday, May 14

Shop every Wednesday for local doggie bargins at 50-70% off. Sign up today to get the stuff your dog craves!

novadogmagazine.com/wooftastic Scan this code with your smartphone to go directly to the wooftastic signup page.

K92K Fun Walk & Doggie Expo Saturday, June 4

Reston Pet Fiesta Saturday, May 7

Touch a Life and Change Your Own You and your cat, dog or rabbit are needed to join other Fairfax Pets on Wheels, Inc. volunteers who make a difference in the community by visiting residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Visit: www.fpow.org or Call: 703-324-5406 www.novadogmagazine.com



E v e n ts y o u wo n ’ t wa n t to miss

J U LY July 18 8:30 PM—Leash Manners Workshop at Fur-Get Me Not Dog Training School, 4120 S Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA. Cost is $35. Register online at furgetmenot.com.

July 19 6-8PM—Treat Night! Dog ice cream provided by Doggie Style at Fur-Get Me Not Dog Wash, 1722 Florida Avenue, Washington, DC 20009.

Paws for Fitness at the

Dog Days Dog Swim Sept 10

12:30-3PM—SPCA of Northern Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Supermarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs.

(rain or shine)

Pirate's Cove Water Park

AUGUST August 1 8:30 PM—Polite Greetings: No Jumping! Workshop at Fur-Get Me Not Dog Training School, 4120 S Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA. Cost is $35. Register online at furgetmenot.com.

Lorton, VA

Doggie Walk:


August 13

Dog Swim:


July 23


Vendor and sponsor opportunities available contact ahazuda@yahoo.com

7_9_9_24_NoVa_Dog_Mag.indd 1

24 Northern Virginia Dog

12:30-3PM—SPCA of Northern Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Supermarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs.

6/21/11 7:25 PM

| Summer 2011

August 15 8:30 PM—Recalls Workshop at Fur-Get Me Not Dog Training School, 4120 S Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA. Cost is $35. Register online at furgetmenot.com.

August 16 6-8PM—Treat Night! Dog ice cream provided by Doggie Style at Fur-Get Me Not Dog Wash, 1722 Florida Avenue, Washington, DC 20009.

August 21 1PM—Canine Good Citizen testing at Fur-Get Me Not Dog Training School, 4120 S Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA. $20 to register online at furgetmenot. com.

August 25 6:30 – 8:30 PM—Low-cost Rabies Clinic at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Cost: $10. Please bring proof of a prior rabies shot (a rabies certificate, not a tag) to get a three-year rabies shot. Without it, your pet will receive a one-year shot. More info www.awla.org or call 703.931.9241.

August 27 11AM-4PM—Wags N Whiskers at the Village at Shirlington. Bring your dog along for a fun-filled day. More than 30 exhibitors, pet adoptions, free pet photos, treat or trick contest, live music, and family fun.More info: www.villageatshirlington.com.

12:30-3PM—SPCA of Northern Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Supermarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs.

August 29 8:30 PM—Leash Manners Workshop at Fur-Get Me Not Dog Training School, 4120 S Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA. Cost is $35. Register online at furgetmenot.com.

SEPTEMBER September 10 10AM-4PM—Paws for Fitness Dog Swim and Mutts in Motion Dog Walk at Pirate’s Cove Water Park, Pohick Bay Regional Park, 6501 Pohick Bay Drive, Lorton, VA.Your doggie can dive in the pool and splash around the water park. Plus, vendors, games, and prizes! The Mutts in Motion dog walk is a beautiful 1 mile loop, by the bay. Each registration includes an event T-shirt, admission to the pool for 1 human and 1 dog. A portion of proceeds

from the day will be donated to GoodDogz. More info: www.novadogmagazine. com/dogswim.

permarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs.

12:30-3PM—SPCA of Northern Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Supermarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs.

1:05PM—Pups in the Park with the Washington Nationals. Bring your dog for a special day of baseball. Braves vs. Nationals. Tickets must be purchased in advance: www.nationals.com/nova

September 20 6-8PM—Treat Night! Dog ice cream provided by Doggie Style at Fur-Get Me Not Dog Wash, 1722 Florida Avenue, Washington, DC 20009.

September 22 6:30 – 8:30 PM—Low-cost Rabies Clinic at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Cost: $10. Please bring proof of a prior rabies shot (a rabies certificate, not a tag) to get a three-year rabies shot. Without it, your pet will receive a one-year shot. More info www.awla.org or call 703.931.9241.

September 24 12:30-3PM—SPCA of Northern Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Su-

OCTOBER October 17 6:30 - 8:30 PM—Baby-Ready Pets at Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Offers free preparation and assistance to help expectant families prepare their home and their pets for the arrival of the new baby. Dogs are not invited to this class. Endorsed by the ASPCA. To register, contact Jennifer Newman at jnewman@awla.org or call 703.931.9241 x213.

not a tag) to get a three-year rabies shot. Without it, your pet will receive a one-year shot. More info www.awla.org or call 703.931.9241. 6:30 – 8:30 PM—Low-cost Rabies Clinic at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Cost: $10. Please bring proof of a prior rabies shot (a rabies certificate, not a tag) to get a three-year rabies shot. Without it, your pet will receive a one-year shot. More info www.awla.org or call 703.931.9241. ND

QUICK  link: Find more events online at www. novadogmagazine.com or scan the QR code for a quick link.

October 27 6:30 – 8:30 PM—Low-cost Rabies Clinic at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Cost: $10. Please bring proof of a prior rabies shot (a rabies certificate,

Directory of Service Providers SAVE MONEY! Look for the SAVE $$ logo for special offers from participating companies. Turn to the page number listed and see their ad for special savings offers for NOVADog readers. Agility

Northern Virginia Professional Pet Sitters Network www.novapetsitters.com.........................p. 28 Passionately Pets www.passionatelypets.com.........................p. 7 The Next Best Thing Pet Care www.thenextbestthingpetcare.com.........................................p. 5 Tickled Paws www.tickledpaws.com.......................................p. 12 Your Dog Smiles www.yourdogsmiles.com.............................p. 2

Frying Pan Farm Park 703.437.9101.....................................p. 12


Liberty Hill Pet Resort www.LHPaws.com..............................p. 2 Olde Towne Pet Resort www.oldetownepetresort.com.............p. 10 The Dog Eaze Inn www.dogeazeinn.com................................p. 4

Cremation Services

Sunset Pet Services, Inc www.sunsetpetservices.com...........p. 23


Fairfax Pets On Wheels, Inc. www.fpow.org...........................p. 23


Dog Day Care

Fuzzypants Pet Photography www.fuzzypantspets.com .........p. 22 Matt Hildebrandt Photography www.matthildebrandtphotography .........................................p. 3

Photographers/Pet Portraits

Dogma Dog Bakery www.dogmabakery.com...........................p. 4 Dogtopia www.dogdaycare.com.............................................p. 5

Dog Food/Nutrition

Canine Caterers www.caninecaterers.com.....................inside back SAVE $$ Whole Pet Central www.wholepetcentral.com.........................p. 6

Dog Spa/Grooming



Dog Days Dog Swim..............................................................p. 24 Wags N Whiskers ..................................................................p. 24 Washington Nationals ...........................................................p. 24

Full Pet Services (dog walking/pet sitting/boarding/daycare/training) Always There Pet Care www.alwaystherepetcare.com.............p. 14 Fur-Get Me Not www.furgetmenot.com..................................p. 18

Pet Sitting/Dog Walking


Pet Therapy/Volunteerism

Dog Bakery/Treats

Bark ’N Bubbles www.barknbubblesdogwash.com........inside front. Belly Rubs ‘N Suds www.bellyrubspetcare.com.....................p. 14 Pampered Pets Grooming www.pampered-pets.us.................p. 26 The Purrfect Grooming Company www.purrfectgrrooming.com...................................................p. 26


All Friends Pet Care www.allfriendspetcare.com ............inside front. SAVE $$ Amanda’s Pet Care www.amandaspetcare.com......................p. 26 SAVE $$ Becky’s Pet Care www.beckyspetcare.com.............................p. 3 SAVE $$ Biscuit Break www.biscuitbreak.com.....................................p. 26 Bow House Pet Care www.bow-housepetcare.com.................p. 26 DogOn Fitness, LLC www.dogonfitness.com...........................p. 26


Rescue Organizations

Friends of Homeless Animals www.foha.org....................... p. 26 Washington Humane Society www.washhumane.org ............p. 28 Westie Rescue, Inc. www.helpwesties.org .............................p. 26

Retail Goods

A Little Unique www.alittleunique.com..................................p. 26 Do-Rite Disposable Dog Diaper www.Do-Rites.com................p. 26 Doodlebug Quilts www.doodlebugquilts.com..........................p. 26


Training/Behavioral Counseling/Advice

Big City Dogs www.bigcitydogs.net.........................................p. 15 Good Dog Workshop www.gooddogworkshop.com..................p. 26 KissAble Canine www.kissablecanine.com.............................p. 16 Off Leash K9 Training www.offleashk9training.com.......back cover. Olde Towne School For Dogs www.otsfd.com.........................p. 19 Old Town Dog Behavior www.oldtowndogs.com......................p. 17 Rudy’s Friends Dog Training, Inc. www.rudysfriendsdogtraining.com..........................................p. 18 Unleashed Abilities www.unleashedabilities.com...................p. 26



Veterinary Services

Blue Ridge Veterinary Hospital www.blueridgevets.com.........p. 7 NOVA Pets Health Center www.VA-PETS.com........................p. 26



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26 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2011

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VA-PETS.COM Tired of diapers that don’t stay on? Don’t make do with less when you can do right with “Do-Rite” ® Introducing The Do-Rite Disposable Dog Diaper 1-888-770-0111 www.Do-Rites.com


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Local walks to enjoy

The Occoquan Water Trail By So ph ia M a la koot i


s soon as I opened Lilo’s cabinet full of biscuits, peanut butter, collars, and leashes, she ran towards me with two

hopes; either I would reach for a treat or I would reach for her leash. As I grabbed the leash, Lilo did a dance. She knew we were going on an adventure, but little did she know that we were going to discover the aquatic wonders of the Occoquan Water Trail.

A Unique Water Experience The Occoquan Water Trail is a 40-mile waterway of the Occoquan and Potomac Rivers of Northern Virginia, leading into the Chesapeake Bay. Paddlers, both novices and pros, gather from all over the east coast to embark on this unique

ing at the Upper Segment, the access points

were low and muddy. We learned that the best

water experience. The Occoquan Water Trail is

are Bull Run Regional Park, Route 28 Bridge,

area to access and paddle the trail is in the the

rich in history, natural beauty, and abundant

Bull Run Marina Regional Park, Fountainhead

Lower Segment in and around the general Oc-

animal and plant life.

Regional Park, Lake Ridge Community Park, Oc-

coquan area. Furthermore, we found out that we

coquan Regional Park, Mason Neck State Park,

could not ride the entire length of the Occoquan

years of human history, having an effect on more

and Pohick Bay Regional Park. For maps and

Water Trail because of a dam that sits about

than 15 million people. Northern Virginians

more information, visit http://www.nvrpa.org/park/

three quarters south of the trail.

take pride in the Occoqaun Water Trail, as the


This adventure wonderland embodies 13,000

Occoquan Reservoir within it is the drinking sup-

Not all of the access points are alike. In fact,

Conclusively, the Occoquan region of the trail is the wisest point to enter, where a paddler can

ply for the region. Public land of 10,000 acres

only a select few have boat rentals. The best

boat north or south of the trail in a larger area of

are dedicated to resource conservation in this

access points with boat rentals are Fountainhead

water. Lilo and I adventured in and around the

northern neck of Virginia. Visitors savor this area

Regional Park, Lake Ridge Community Park, and

water trail, exploring different spaces to enjoy.

for the boating, fishing, camping, and picnicking,

Pohick Bay Regional Park. Fountainhead rents

with most of these activities being dog friendly,

jon boats, canoes, and kayaks; Lake Ridge rents

the land of Virginia. Its natural beauty is encom-

you won’t have to leave your best friend behind.

jon boats, canoes, and paddleboats; and Pohick

passed by graceful waters, treelined perimeters,

Bay rents jon boats, pedal boats, sailboats, kay-

lush plant life, vivacious animals, unique coves,

bodies of water. I paddle, and Lilo perches in the

aks, and canoes. All boat rentals have human life

and fresh air. Paddlers from all experience levels

front similar to a captain, soaring over the water.

vests, but you’ll need to bring one along for your

can enjoy this water trail with their best four-

We were keen on exploring this aqueous vain

dog. Visit http://pawsaboard.com for resources.

legged friends. ND

Lilo and I have kayaked together on various

of Virginia, but with such an elongated strip of water, we had to decide on where to enter.

Upper and Lower Segments

The rental boats are dog friendly; however, for novice boaters with their dogs, the best boat to rent is the jon boat due its great stability on water. Along the watercourse are coves and public

The trail has two parts to it, the Upper Segment

parks to enjoy. Boaters can pack a picnic and a

and the Lower Segment. Within these segments

snack for their dogs and lounge at a park for a

are eight access points to enter the water. Start-

nice break. Please be advised, because the water of this trail is the drinking water supply, no human

About Your Guide Sophia Malakooti and her dog Lilo like to travel around Northern Virginina exploring new opportunities and experiences.

The Occoquan Water Trail is a jewel within

or dog swimming is allowed. Park rules also state that dogs must be leashed at all times and owners are required to clean up pet waste promptly. Lilo and I had hopes of beginning our boating


Location: 40-mile waterway of the Occoquan and Potomac Rivers, leading into the Chesapeake Bay. Use: boating, fishing, camping, and picnics Best Time To Go: Anytime. For Maps and More Information: visit http://www.nvrpa.org/park/occoquan_ water_trail Rated: 3 paws

trip at the Upper Segment at Bull Run. However, upon arrival we discovered that the water levels

1 paw = easy; 5 = expert



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Rocco: A playful and loving boy!

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How did he get his name? Rocco’s original name was “Rock,” which was too tough-sounding for his demeanor. I wanted to keep it close to his original name, but soften his name to be more playful and sweet.

You picked him because... I wanted a young dog to raise in a loving home. I felt I could shape his early experiences and help him to realize that he is in a safe and secure home. I loved him from the beginning!

Favorite treat or snack: Rocco loves a variety of healthy snacks, including Blue Buffalo Mini Blue Bars, Buddy Biscuits (sweet potato flavor), and Zukes Mini Naturals.

Favorite toy: His favorite toy would have to be the Kong Wubba. But he also loves his Nylabone for teething. Rocco loves anything that squeaks and his K-9 Flyer Frisbee.

Favorite activity together: I love to watch him play with his “playmates.” Rocco loves frisbee and tug-of-war, but the cuddling and snuggling helps to calm “me!”

You love him because... Rocco is a playful and loving boy. It’s wonderful to see him grow and become the loving dog he is meant to be. It’s gratifying to see him learn new things and adapt to living with a family. ND

The Washington Humane Society (WHS), the only Congressionallychartered animal welfare agency in the United States, has been the area’s leading voice for animals since 1870. As the only open-access shelter in the Nation’s Capital, the Washington Humane Society provides comfort and care to nearly 30,000 animals each year through its broad range of programs and services. Visit WHS online at www.washhumane.org.

28 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2011

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