Friday, December 30, 2016

K9 Nosework Seminar

WOOFS! is pleased to host a K9 Nosework seminar by Jacy Kelley (Canine Copilots) on Sunday, January 22, 2017. Topic is Container Mysteries: "This full day workshop is geared towards those that are trialing and having struggles with containers, distractions, or anything else that can cause problems."

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Thanksgiving Drive 2016


By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! is holding our 3rd annual Thanksgiving Pet Care Drive to benefit the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Donation bins will be at Ballston and Shirlington Campuses throughout the month of November.Requested donation items include:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Meet the Daycare Team: November 2016

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Marcus D.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

WOOFS! Winter Workshops

Join trainers Erica Pytlovany and Jennifer Thomas at our Ballston Campus for some workshops this winter!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

Free Workshops at Your Dog's Friend

WOOFS! owner Laura Sharkey and senior trainer Erica Pytlovany are scheduled for talks this fall at Your Dog's Friend in Rockville Maryland.  Come on out -- we'd see some of our familiar, friendly faces!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Meet the Daycare Team: September 2016

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs?This month we are featuring Dwight

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Anxiety and Arousal

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ArlNow.com

I’ve been having a lot of conversations with people about their dogs getting into trouble. Not little trouble like chewing up a shoe or stealing a sandwich. That’s easy stuff.  I’m talking about big trouble. Like biting the neighbor’s dog while on a walk or biting a friend who is over for a visit. The thing that most of these incidents had in common is a very high level of anxiety and arousal that precipitated the bites. So how does anxiety and arousal affect our dogs and what can we do about it?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Meet the Daycare Team: August 2016

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Susan.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Meet the Daycare Team: July 2016

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Alexis.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Boarding Your Dog

By Laura Sharkey
Originally Published on ArlNow.com

As school comes to a close for the year it’s time for summer vacations. Where to go? What to do? And who is going to take care of the dog?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Meet the Daycare Team: June 2016

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Flavio.

Upcoming Community Events: June 2016

By Cynthia Robertson

Check out some fun dog-related events in our area!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Puppy Olympics, and the Importance of Early Socialization

By Laura Sharkey

The Puppy Olympics are almost here! 

8 weeks ago, on April 1st 2016, our foster dog Harlie gave birth to 11 tiny puppies. WOOFS! has fostered many pregnant moms and their puppies over the past 13 years, but this time we decided to do something different. We assigned each puppy a WOOFS! trainer. Each trainer was responsible for their pups early socialization and training. The results of these efforts will be on display at the Puppy Olympics on June 3rd. The puppies will be 9 weeks old.

We are doing this for one reason only: the importance of early socialization. The most important time in a dogs life is between 3 and 16 weeks of age. This is known as a puppies critical socialization period. During this time a puppies brain is very plastic and is programmed to be open and accepting of new experiences. After this period a puppies brain changes and is programmed to be much more wary of new things. This means that it is critical to expose a young puppy to as many positive experiences as possible before the age of 3 to 4 months. Since most of this time passes before the puppy gets into their new home, it is critical that the caretaker of young puppies has a robust socialization plan.

So what did we do? This puppies were taught many things. We taught them basic sits and downs and we started them on crate training. We exposed them to new places, people, animals and experiences. Some of them have been to softball games. Some have been to different vet offices. Some can do puppy agility equipment and some have played with children.

WHAT they did does not matter. The fact that they did THINGS is what was important. A puppy that has many interesting experiences during this critical time will be more likely to adapt to new experiences throughout their lives. Perhaps this reduces anxiety? A puppy that learns that training is fun and rewarding is likely to be a lifetime learner. Perhaps becoming very well trained?  A puppy who thinks new people are awesome might be less likely to ever bite someone. The bottom line is that early socialization gives the puppy the best possible chance at a long and happy life. 

We invite you to come and see what we have done with these pups. The Puppy Olympics will be held on Friday June 3rd at 7:30 pm at the WOOFS! Shirlington campus. Admission is free but registration is required.  Space is limited -- register now!

You can also view what we have been doing for the past 8 weeks on our Puppy Olympics Facebook group

Finally, you can learn more about early socialization from Operation Socialization.

Many thanks to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington for rescuing a very pregnant Harlie and trusting us with her pups. They do a fantastic job. A huge shout out to the WOOFS! trainers who volunteered countless hours to help these puppies have the best chance in life. They are an amazing group of people. 

  

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Meet the Daycare Team: May 2016

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Preston.

Upcoming Community Events: May 2016

By Cynthia Robertson

Check out some fun dog-related events in our area!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Walk for the Animals 2016

Come join us at one of two, yes TWO, wonderful Walks for the Animals to benefit the Animal Welfare Leagues of Arlington and Alexandria!  Both events are important fundraisers, and both dog-friendly events feature vendors, goodies, demonstrations, and kid-friendly activities.

Puppy Challenge #1: House Training

By Laura Sharkey
Originally Published on ArlNow.com

So you have a cute new puppy? Congratulations! But now what?

Puppies naturally bite, cry, poop and pee. Then we get them in the house and immediately want them NOT to bite, cry, poop or pee. It’s a pretty tall order for an 8 week old. So here are a few tips on how to gently mold your tiny new best friend into the awesome dog you know she can be.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Jane and Frankie Win Regional Championship

Congratulations to WOOFS! trainer Jane Saunders and her Papillion Frankie for their performance last weekend at the USDAA 2016 Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships!  Jane and Frankie won the Regional Championship for 8" Performance Masters Challenge Biathlon, came in 3rd place the 8" Performance Triathlon, and made it to the finals for all events. And on top of all of that, Frankie was top 10 for 2015 in both Standard and Snooker for Masters 12" dogs!  Way to go!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

New! Puppy Prep School

By Laura Sharkey

You have GOT to meet Lucy.  Lucy is our first Puppy Prep School student and she is adorable. Lucy is an 8 week old mini dachshund who started Prep School on April 5th. I will be chronicling her progress here. We have a lot planned for this little girl.

We immediately started working on Lucy's crate training. Her owners reported some seriously pitiful crying when she was crated, including an episode of getting her teeth stuck on the crate bars which was terrifying for everyone. Our goal is to have her willingly crating without protest by the time she goes home so today we started to teach her to go into her crate on cue.

The next thing we did was switch Lucy from a large metal crate to a small plastic crate. There were reports of her urinating in her crate so we wanted to make sure the crate was the proper size.   She will absolutely sleep in her crate every single night. No exceptions. No sleeping in the bed. Last night she cried for about 15 minutes before going to sleep. We are hoping for similar results on night two. Her crate will be right next to the bed. Close enough that I can put my fingers through the bars to comfort her if needed. I expect she will wake me up once or twice in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Totally normal for her age and size.

Lucy had a busy day today. In between sleeping and training, she spent most of her day in the WOOFS! front office hanging out with some other dogs.  In the evening she went on a field trip to ProFeed to get some puppy supplies where she met at least 5 new people and was passed around for lots of loving. Yay socialization! Then it was home to my house to meet the big dogs, play some tug and crash out on the couch.

Can't wait until tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Help for Dog Reactivity

By Laura Sharkey
Originally Published on ARLNow.com

A reactive dog is a dog that reacts to specific things in their environment by becoming highly aroused and in most cases, barking and lunging. These dogs can appear to be aggressive, dangerous and “out of control.”

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Vet Visit Etiquette and Training

By Laura Sharkey
Originally Published on ARLNow.com

A few weeks ago, Clarendon Animal Care wrote a great article with tips for a great vet visit. You can read it here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Meet the Daycare Team: March 2016

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Tiffany.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Meet the Daycare Team: February 2016

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Kyla.

Canine Scent Work

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published on ARLNow.com

How much do you rely on your sense of smell?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy Train Your Dog Month!

By Laura Sharkey
Originally published by ArlNow.com

January is National Train Your Dog Month. So if you have any room left on your resolutions list, perhaps you can add one more: train your dog for five minutes a day. Believe it or not, give minutes a day can actually make a difference.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Meet the Daycare Team: January 2016

By Cynthia Robertson

WOOFS! has an awesome staff. So who are these people who choose to spend their days with the dogs? This month we are featuring Monica.