I spend a lot of time on Facebook, all of course in the name of research and education. A story in The Standard Newspaper was posted in a link by a pet journalist that I follow. Read story here It was a report quoting the Lost Dogs Home in Victoria talking about lost dogs on New Years Eve. Nothing strange about this, all rescue services hate New Years Eve as many dogs get out and have to be housed temporarily. What caught my eye however was the following comment;
General Manager Sue Conroy said the North Melbourne Home had received just under 50 dogs since New Year’s Eve, with one dog arriving dead after being hit by a car. The Cranbourne Shelter had 36.
“It’s about a third of what we’d normally get by this time,” said Ms Conroy. “We are thrilled.
I commented on the status and was got a reply from Brian Pickering, from Boomerang ID -(pet ID tags that ensure no dog stays lost) who also confirmed that they had seen a significantly reduced number of calls this year as well.
Wow that is great I thought and then I started to think why would that be the case.
I work extensively with pet shops, groomers, trainers and boarding establishments and as part of this work I follow their business Facebook pages. I had noted without really thinking about it the number of pet care professionals who in the week leading up to New Years Eve had posted great hints on how to keep a pet safe on New Years Eve. I skim read most of them as they did not contain any new information for me. But there were many of them, here in Australia and overseas. Then out comes the article and I think it is no surprise the Lost Dogs Home has reported fewer lost pets this year. Love or hate Facebook it is a valuable tool when it comes to keeping your clients and customers informed in a timely manner.
To all those pet care professionals using Facebook to educate and inform their clients and customers – Keep up the good work.
To those who aren’t ask me how I can help you get onto Facebook with minimal pain.
Meanwhile I have some status updates to check and make.
The Pet Care Magician
Louise Kerr (aka The Pet Care Magician) is the owner of Elite Pet Care & Education based in the Nambucca Valley NSW Australia. She consults and writes widely on a range of pet care issues including feeding, training and grooming dogs and cats. Her online pet care magic subscription program deals with common pet behavior training, feeding and grooming issues such as barking, escaping, scratching, aggression and fleas. Pet care professionals are trained to handle customer issues by the provision of up to date programs to differentiate their pet care business from other competitors.
At 10 am on New Year’s Day 2011 I was lying in bed, unable to get up due to severe pain, when I saw a Facebook post appear from Pat Miller. Pat is a Certified Professional positive dog trainer, Certified Behaviour Consultant, author and owner of peaceable paws dog training 15,383 kms away in Fairplay, Maryland. She travels widely throughout the world educating pet owners and dog trainers. Her dream for 2011 was that
“I think we should make 2011 National Train Your Dog *Year*!!!
My instinctive reaction was sure “that’s never going to happen”. Like many positive reward based animal trainers I often feel that we are fighting a losing battle, unable to shift public awareness from the fact that the only way to interact with our companion animals is in a never ending cycle of yelling at them when they do something wrong and wondering why they constantly hide from us and never seem to behave as we want them to. I like many other animal lovers despair as the millions of dogs and cats euthanized each year in shelters all around the world.
It is so easy to sit back and believe that you can never change these facts. But……… maybe we can. With Facebook reported at having 600 million users worldwide and the growth of other social network sites such as twitter it should be possible for one of the upcoming years to be named National Positively train your dog year. With your help maybe not 2011 but why not 2012 or 2013?
The world media would sit up and listen if a group called
Promoting Positive Reward Based Dog Training went viral and gained 1 million members in only 6 months. (Click on the name to take you to the site)
Is that possible? Sure it is, if every person who trainers or believes in positive reward based pet training goes to the group and hits LIKE and then tells all their friends to do the same we can have an immediate and remarkable impact on dog training worldwide right now. The saying from small things big things grow has never been truer than in this day and age with the impact social media can have and the speed at which the internet can promote good causes. Do you want to bring positive benefits to the lives of pets and their owners? If so then it is as easy as going to the group right now and hitting LIKE then sharing this group with your friends and asking them to do the same. The pets of the world will love you forever and their owners hopefully will find training a dog using a positive reward based method is just so much fun – like many that I have taught have.
Happy New Year to all pets and pet owners.