Petiquette Training for the Family Dog

Many people refer to pet adoption as a happy ending. We prefer to think of it as a "happy beginning" because that lucky pet is venturing out on a whole new journey with his new family. A journey filled with new things to see and smell and lots of new things to learn. Especially when the new pet is a family dog.

Family dogs have a lot of learning to do. As pet parents, we want them to be good in the house, patient with kids, not annoy our guests, and not bark too much. We want them to be content in the yard without digging or barking at the neighbors, good in the kitchen without stealing food off the counter, and nice to other dogs when out for a walk, even if, in their mind, the other dog is scary or rude.

Unfortunately, most dogs don't come with these skills ingrained in their brains. Almost every one of these qualities and behaviors is a learned skill that must be acquired through training.

Fortunately, the SPCA Albrecht Center is here to help. Our Phideaux (pronounced Fi-do) University training classes are age-specific and address the unique challenges owners face at every stage of a dog's development.

Going to "school" will help your dog make good decisions, be confident and calm, follow instructions and be a trusting, happy, well-behaved companion. And just like every great learning institution, our program offers you and your dog opportunities for fun - sports and recreation classes like Varsity Tricks & Games, Canine Nose Work and more!

Each course lasts six weeks, and courses range from Puppy Preschool (8-16 week old pups) through one year old and up. We even have Fast Track Classes, ideal for addressing the most common problems owners have with their dogs. Register for an entire course or pay only for the individual classes you want to attend, whatever works best for you and your dog. You can view all of the class descriptions and sign up on our website:

And who's going to teach all of these fantastic new behaviors to your dog? Well, we are pleased to introduce our new Phideaux University Headmaster, Trish Wamsat!

Trish joins us all the way from northern California and has been training dogs professionally since 1977. She also built a parallel career as a veterinary technician, caring for dogs in clinics and animal hospitals and joining Adobe Animal Hospital in 1998, one of the largest and most respected veterinarian practices in the country. There she led outpatient services, where she came to know thousands of dogs and their families.

In 2007, Trish founded Adobe Dogs, turning her professional dog training talents into a thriving business. Her work involved group classes for puppies and adolescent dogs, obedience, search, and even sheep herding! During this time, she even found time to write a book: "Choosing and Raising a Puppy (How Hard Could It Be?)" Her interest in puppy behavior and hard-to-train “problem dogs” led her to become an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator.

As if that isn't enough, Trish is also the inventor of The Body Collar, a product that has been featured on Animal Planet as a humane alternative to choke chains, head harnesses and prong collars.

Needless to say, we are absolutely thrilled to have Trish come on board as Headmaster of our Phideaux University extension program. Her talent, knowledge and experience is second to none, and we look forward to offering Aiken residents and their dogs a whole new menu of exciting and FUN group classes!

Join us on Sunday, April 10th from 2:00 - 3:30pm for a FREE meet & greet with Trish, Q & A and a training demonstration. 199 Willow Run Road, Aiken SC.

Visit our website, to learn more about Trish, the Phideaux University program and register for classes. While you're there, register for the Walk for Animals! It's going to be a fantastically fun event for you and your dog and you'll be supporting our efforts to continue helping homeless and needy animals in our community.

Sarah Neikam is the Marketing Director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She is an Aiken native and has been with the SPCA since 2012. Sarah lives in Graniteville with her husband, Tom, mother, Cheryl and three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna and Grady.

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The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare is a

tax-exempt 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.

EIN: 57-0329782

  199 Willow Run Road  Aiken, SC 29801      Shelter: (803) 648-6863    Vet Care: (803) 648-6864

Copyright 2014     SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare      All rights reserved