Premier dog training in Northern California serving Sacramento,
   El Dorado and Placer counties. Licensed and insured.
Association of Professional Dog Trainers Pet Partners Therapy Dogs Style Magazine Award to Kevin Limm
Home | About | Our Philosophy | Training Tools | Nutrition | Testimonials | Videos | Photos | FAQs | Resources
Phase Training | Dog Training Classes | Puppy Training | Service Dog Training | Seminar/Workshop | Contact Us
Resources and Reviews
In our line of business, we are often asked for advice on everything from products like food, toys and training equipment, to services like pet-sitters, dog washers and groomers. While we know that the needs of each dog and situation is unique, from time to time we come across outstanding products and services, as well as some folks that go above and beyond when it comes to dogs. This page is dedicated to helping you find the right solutions for your needs.
RESOURCES
 
Electronic Training Collars

   This is a hot and heavy topic with dog owners, as well as in training circles today, and rightly so. The reason this topic tops our own list of resources is to help prevent dogs from becoming victims of improper and inappropriate use of electronic collars.

   Electronic training collars are not for every dog, certainly not for every owner, and should definitely not be used by some trainers we've had the misfortune to witness in action. In the wrong hands electronic collars are indeed the inhumane devices referred to by the derogatory nickname they've earned as "shock collars".

   Even in the hands of an ethical owner or handler who employs the proper applications, methods and techniques of using an electronic collar, the wrong type of collar, wrong configuration, or simply the way it's fastened onto a dog can result in borderline cruelty. It is for this reason that Dog Training For Owners has become an authorized distributor of the Dogtra line of electronic collars.

   Note that we do not resell any other electronic collar. The only reason we became a Dogtra dealer is because Dogtra manufactures the only electronic collars that won't result in abuse when the appropriate collar is selected, the collar is configured with the proper options, and the collar is fitted properly on the dog. So, if we can help an owner select the right collar and proper options for the collar, we believe that's half the battle in us helping to save dogs from needless suffering.

   If you've decided that you really want to acquire an electronic collar, please do yourself and your dog a favor, and let us assist you in obtaining the appropriate electronic collar for your dog. We will ensure that it is the right collar for your dog and is pre-configured with the correct options for your particular dog and your specific application. Click here.

   Should you opt to train your dog via use of an electronic collar, we implore you to also obtain proper training on the application of an electronic collar from a trainer that is well-versed in electronic collar training. Don't be afraid to ask to see a demonstration with a dog that was trained with an electronic collar, either. Observing the behavior of such a dog will tell you a lot about whether or not the trainer used the proper techniques. For example, when asked to "Come", a dog that was trained properly will come enthusiastically, whereas a dog that was "shocked" with an electronic collar will indeed come, but in a more dejected manner.

Pet Sitting

   If you've ever had to travel but could not take your beloved best friend with you, we don't need to tell you how hard it is to find someone who you can trust to properly look after the welfare of your best friend. While we normally don't ferret out pet sitters, by chance we happened upon Happy Tails Pet Sitting, which is owned and operated by dog lover, Tamara Loeffler. You can be sure that Tamara will not only keep an eye on your pal, but she and her handlers will treat your pal like he or she is their very own.

Nutrition

   For nutrition resources, visit our Nutrition page.

 
 
REVIEWS
 

Ruffwear Hover Craft

   The Hover Craft is by far the best flying disc we have tested, and we have tested a vast number of discs.

   The Petstages Orka and Kong products are indeed durable, but they fly like bricks. They might be fine for a game of simple fetch, but if you want your dog to be able to catch a disc in the air, these two discs are virtually useless as they'll hit the ground in no time flat. Although the Petstages Orka supposedly floats, after experiencing the poor performance of the product's main feature, we didn't bother testing that aspect of it. In our opinion, these two products are nothing more than chew toys that look like discs.

   While the Nylabone-Frisbee model with the bone molded into the top does fly, it only performs decently in certain conditions. It can really only be flown into a wind, otherwise the bone molded into the top produces drag that weighs it down, as well as causes it to cantilever to one side. Because it can only be thrown into the wind, albeit only a light breeze is needed, due to the nature of its design, and the material used, no real flight distance can be achieved. The bone on top also gets ripped up quite quickly, which renders the product useless, and if you remove the bone altogether, the product then surprisingly doesn't even resemble "flight" when it's thrown.

   Another Nylabone-Frisbee model that looks like a traditional Frisbee (without a bone molded into the top) is billed as "flexible", however it is quite hard - harder than even the tournament Frisbee for humans. This model is so hard on a dog's mouth it isn't even funny. One dog ended up with a large gash on her tongue after only a few short rounds. Thinking that was an anomaly, we tried it again a week later, and ended up with the same result. The hard plastic is also hard on teeth and gums. It appears that no real world testing was employed before the release of this model.

   Aspen's Booda Soft Bite Turbo Disc is a beautiful product that LOOKS as if it is perfect. With a disc made of soft, flexible plastic or nylon stretched over a reinforced frame, its presentation shouts "This is the ultimate disc." Three throws and retrieves of this product resulted in crushed and punctured plastic! 'Nuff said.

   All the nylon, firehose, etc. "soft" discs on the market are fine for good old fetch, but since they don't really fly like a disc should, again, they are useless when trying to use them to have a dog catch a flying disc.

   The Ruffwear Hover Craft may LOOK like a toy, but this baby is one for the record books. We rigorously tested the unit sent to us for six months, and it was used daily. It was used in a variety of areas and conditions. It was tested on grass and dirt. It was tested in the surf at Huntington Beach, California. It was tested in Lake Folsom near Sacramento, and even on cement at Disneyland. Believe it or not, there was not one scratch or tear in the covering material. In daily use, this Hover Craft was put through the ringer. Part of the ritual was to have a dog wash the Hover Craft in a bucket periodically during sessions. Upon returning from the bucket, sometimes the dog's grip had the Hover Craft folded in half. Imagine our surprise to find that it did not crush under such circumstances. After multiple submersions, the Hover Craft can be thrown sopping wet, however, it will take on an out-of-round shape if soaked and not allowed to dry flat. But, no harm done, because soaking it and letting it dry flat restores it's original shape.

   As far as flight is concerned, the Hover Craft's performance belies it's appearance. Even though it looks like it won't fly far or float in the air, the product is superb in both regards. To increase speed, dipping it in water adds weight, enabling you to throw it harder. We've found that you can actually adjust weight by varying the amount of water. For example, a quick dip and it takes on only a little weight. Complete submersion for 30 seconds and you get more weight.

   The covering material itself does tend to get dirty over time, especially if you play with it in dirt, but it does not affect its performance. During first use, you can easily see teeth marks, which might be cause for alarm, especially if you've already been through a myriad of other products that do not last, but surprisingly, the material is never punctured, which in itself is amazing, even when snatched in mid-flight by dogs that sport a scissors bite pattern, like German Shepherds. Not that they would intentionally crush the disc, but under moments of excitement, you can imagine how hard they would take a disc out of the air. In fact, with high throws you can easily hear their teeth snapping from a distance of 30 yards or more.

   The only real signs of wear on the Hover Craft after rigorous use is some very light fraying on the molded edge, some indentations from teeth marks on the underside, and interestingly the most apparent wear is the stitching that adheres the Ruffwear label is unraveling. We still use the same disc Ruffwear initially sent us, and it's bit dirty now, but other than that it is completely intact! Kudos to the Ruffwear design team! Ruffwear Hover Craft

 

 
Quick appointments available for Sacramento and surrounding areas including Fair Oaks, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Granite Bay, Roseville, Loomis, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park, Shingle Springs, Placerville, Lake Tahoe and more. We are available for travel to other areas of California and Nevada on a case by case basis. Contact us for details.