Hello, Iâm Val S. Elliott, Certified Pet Dog Trainer, Behavior Coach and Founder of Send Rover on Over Doggie Daycares and Training Centers Inc.
My husband and I have been reading and enjoying the Record-Bee since we moved up here from Ventura County in October 2017. We love it.
As busy as I am, I couldnât find time to keep up with the big city news but, who doesnât have time for a two-page paper? This informative, small-town newspaper is just the right amount of news I can squeeze into my day and stay informed.
As I continued to read the paper regularly, I kept looking for a pet advice column. Two things left on my business bucket list are to write a pet column for a local newspaper, and pair seniors with senior dogs (One down, one to go). After months of settling into our new place, I thought I would ask the Record-Bee if they would be interested in entertaining the idea of a pet advice column. They responded quickly and seemed delighted at my offer to provide a fun, informative, and educational canine column.
Here is a little about me.
I am a retired emergency room nurse of 27 years. I retired early due to the fact that my 10-year-old dog business was booming and I was receiving Dog related calls in the emergency room from my dog daycare staff. I had to decide between the two. I valued both jobs, but I had put in a good 25 years as a nurse, and my dog business was off the chart and dogs are my passion as well as my number one hobby. Dogs rule. I retired. Great party.
Letâs digress a bit.
After experiencing some so-called behaviorally challenging or âruff around the edgesâ dogs of my own throughout my life, sent me on a quest to understand dogs better. After consulting with several behavioral consultants and trainers, with no solid answers about dog behavior, I woke up at 3 am one morning and said to myself âIâm going to open a Doggie Daycare!!!â This was May of 2003 and after researching 92 doggie daycares across the US, and seven months later, I had bought my lot, built a facility, and hung the sign.
I opened Ventura Counties First Doggie Daycare and Training Center in 2003. I joined forces with a local positive reinforcement dog trainer when positive reinforcement was not yet cool. We were trendsetters and pioneers in the County.I felt it was important to become as informed as I could about social dog behavior as well as dogs in social playgroups and I became a member of the American Pet Dog Trainer Association. I traveled and went to every weeklong seminar there was to be conquered, and I soaked it all up. This was my new nitch. I loved learning about dog training and behavior and wanted to share my newfound interests with everyone. My training classes were very popular, and fun and light and people and their dogs could not get enough.
After the basics were conquered, we promoted sporting activities for those well mannered, highly educated, fun loving fidos, and their people. I was teaching classes almost every day of the week from basics to the good canine citizen, to agility, flyball, scent tracking, and I went out and bought a giant 22-foot long super duper extra thick lined swimming pool for dogs with a ramp for dock jumping. Just when I thought I was maxed out on all the extracurricular sporty classes I could offer, I was approached by people with rescue rovers and their desire to participate in programs with their isolated feisty fidos. As the bleeding heart, I was, I promoted agility and scent tracking to nonsocial dogs on a very managed basis and made a lot of people happy to be able to get out and play with their dogs. These grumpy dogs promoted a new fire within me to understand these dogs on a greater level. In 2010, I signed up for one of the first Animal Science degree programs that focused on Companion Canine behavior versus multispecies, and I obtained an undergraduate degree in this subject. This leads me to where I am today.
My building and business plans are currently in the planning department here in Lakeport to open my 3rd Doggie Daycare, Training, and Boarding Facility. I have had the opportunity to spend many of my days with up to 50 dogs in a group play environment. My sleepover facilities promote better stress less sleepover situation for dogs and their people. I have had the pleasure of interning numbers of loving dog staff to work with and train dogs and people in a positive reinforcement environment. Doggie daycare is more than just play and socializing and enrichment, itâs also a retention program. Dogs can remain in their respective homes because when their people come to pick their dogs up at the end of a long day, they have a nice, relaxed, easy to be with a companion dog.
On a training note, educating clients to the canine behavior, and helping them to understand how their dog thinks and why they do the things they do is what I do.
Enhancing the canine and human bond by promoting humane education to reduce undesirable behaviors that stem from human misunderstanding is what I do. As well as promote modification in behaviors through nonaversive methods and reward based theories and promote lifelong relationships.
Well-mannered dogs enhance the community canine system through promoting programs for well-mannered pets. When people see what other dogs get to participate in, they want the well-mannered dog as well. People want to get on board. Its contagious in a good way.
Keep in mind I also offer a compassionate, fun and safe program for feisty fidos so that they too can have an outlet.
I have written a book called âP is for Puppyâ which can be purchased on Amazon. I have been providing canine advice to friends, family, and professionally for over 15 years, and I am giddy and super excited to have this opportunity to be âSpeaking for the Dogsâ in the Record-Bee.
SPEAKING FOR THE DOGS will offer current, educational-based, light-hearted, easy-to-read answers and advice about training and behavior coming straight from a dog-loving advocate and passionate pup professional. Please, email me your canine questions at HappyLabLady77@yahoo.com.
This section of the column will offer some community participation. Send us a photo of your furry and a brief story about your Daily Dog at the same email address. It can be silly, heartwarming, entertaining or just a really cute photo with a description and your dogâs name.
You will be humored and inspired by some concluding words and wags of wisdom
âWhen Loved ones come home, always RUN to greet them.â
Ending on a Pawsitive note, Remember to hug your hound today, â Val Stallings Elliott CPDT-KA, Behavior Coach BS, RN