Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dog Trainer/Instructor

I have been taking classes online through Penn Foster College for about 3 1/2 months now and am more than half way through it. Each study unit (called a module) covers quite a bit of information and then I have a computer generated test. After so many tests I have a graded project that is human graded and a pretty big deal.  

This is what my study plan has been like in a nutshell: (the blue part is completed)

Sensory Abilities of the Dog
Social Behavior & Communication
How Dogs Learn
Applied Dog Behavior
Testing & Selection of Dogs
Housetraining & Crate Training

Graded Project - Dog Selection

Canine Equipment
Teaching Tricks
Training through Play
Behavior Problems
Basic Veterinary Issues

Graded Project - Behavior Analysis

Dog Breeds
Competition Obedience
Hunting Training
Assistance Dogs
Agility Training
Search & Rescue Training
Recreational Activities with Dogs

Graded Project Agility Handling & Courses

The Dog Training Business, Part I
The Dog Training Business, Part II

Graded Project Creating a Business Plan

Then I am done! 
I have a 98% average right now and I am now on Dog Breeds. 

So what will this mean when I have completed all of this? I will be able to work for other businesses as a dog trainer or instructor, give private lessons or start my own business. I will be able to train in several different areas: basic obedience, agility, service or advanced obedience. 
I hope to retire for my current job in 4 - 5 more years and then have my own business from home. In the meantime, I hope to do private training. 

So far it has been a great experience and I have learned so much. Opie, my American Bulldog, has been my inspiration!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Alayna Victoria Belote Photo Album for Christmas 2014

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Brooklyn Paige Belote Photo Album for Christmas 2014

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Lillian Rose Belote Photo Album for Christmas

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Long Time No Post

It has been quite a while since I have posted on this blog. Why? Well - simple answer - I started another blog giving my dog, Opie, a voice. It is called Opie, The American Bulldog

I got Opie when he was 12 weeks old. I had never owned a dog over 20 pounds in my entire life that lived full time in the house. Talk about a big difference! wow. At this time, Opie is 8 months old and weighs 60 pounds and still growing. He could reach up to 120 pounds. (I doubt that he will, but it is possible.)
Anyway, I did tons of research before deciding on an American Bulldog and felt like it would be doable - I could handle it. I knew I would have to make sure he was fully socialized, had every type of training I could get him in for obedience and I knew it would be costly. The larger the breed, the bigger the expense. 
So - we found our little guy. No, he is not a rescue.  No, I didn't buy him in a pet store or from a backyard breeder, but he is a purebred. We found a family who had 3 children and lived in a small apartment and they had planned on buying a large home with a large fenced in yard but it all fell through and they just couldn't keep him. They were heartsick over it, especially the dad. They actually advertised him on Craigslist - I wasn't even looking for a dog on Craigslist - I have heard of all the horrors of dogs from Craigslist. Anyway, there he was on Craigslist - and they had a fairly hefty price tag on him. Something in those sweet little eyes made a connection for me and I still had to inquire about him. I sent an e-mail asking if he was still available and found that they had just put him on there within the hour. We e-mailed back and forth several times and I told her that I just couldn't pay that much and gave an amount that I thought was fair but didn't think they would accept. Well, they did. We picked him up immediately - shot record included, food, leash, all brand new items - everything they had. Plus his registration papers to transfer into our name. 
I made an appointment right away for our vet and they said he was a perfect American Bulldog. No issues - sweet personality. Very smart. I fell in love immediately. 
From that moment on - I have lived and breathed American Bulldog information. So much so that I even started Penn Foster University online to get my Dog Trainer/Instructor degree. Opie has been such an inspiration to me. I am a member of several AB groups online. Our whole lifestyle has changed due to this dog. We are OK with that! 
Our weeks are filled with doggy daycare, dog parks, trips to Petsmart and Petco. He sheds like crazy, so I have to watch when I wear dark clothing. We exchanged our 2 black leather recliners for 2 extra large recliners. We have baby gates we have to step over. We have to plan our travels around him - making sure we are not gone too long or if we have to be gone over night - we have to make reservations for him at the Pet Hotel. Our house is baby proofed as if a 2 year old lives here.  We have to go walking or make sure he gets exercise whether we want to or not. Every trip we make to any store - the first things I look at are dog related. My favorite stores are pet stores. 
Is it worth it? Sure is!! He has brought tremendous joy to us. 

I would love to hear about your experience with a large breed like the American Bulldog and if you would like to join Opie and I over at my other blog, you are most welcome to do so. I post a lot of photos. For every Opie tale post - I give a Note from Mom at the end. It may be silly to some, but that is ok. It is for fun - - - :-)