On Leash Trails Can Be Awesome

On leash trails can be awesome! Only if everyone respects the by-laws though.

We had a run-in with the same woman who I wrote about before. Click here for a recap.

Only this time really rubbed us the wrong way.

As we were visiting the creek bed I hear scampering just a few metres away from the bushes. I assumed correctly that it was going to be some off-leash dogs. This wouldn’t

Dog Leash walking

Nik manages to handle these four dogs on leash at our favourite trail.

really bug me except for the fact that the woman who owns these two German Shepherds has literally no voice control over them. The younger of the two shepherds approach my dog very assertively and went nose to nose with him. Joanne had Vegas on leash and I had my son Miles on my back in a baby backpack and I had one of our boarding guests “Charlie” on leash with me. I shouted up to the woman who was probably 20 metres away, “Please call your dogs off they are making my dogs uncomfortable”.

She tried…. but failed.She was still out of sight from the dogs and therefore had virtually no shot of being able to actually help.

The younger of the two dogs tried to mount Vegas, who as I mentioned earlier was on leash and unable to run from this situation, thus creating a very dangerous circumstance. A fight occurred and Joanne and I  both had to break it up. Still, there was no physical sign of the owner as she was too far away to get there in time.

What occurred next surprised and upset me.

Joanne mentioned to the woman “Please keep your dogs on-leash, this is a leash only trail.”

The woman shouted back bitterly “I will NOT! ”

I assume that this upset Joanne, and I let her address the woman. I simply observed the interaction.

Joanne replied, “We take our dogs here with our son because it’s a leash only trail. That’s why we come here.”

The woman, again very angry and bitter yelled this time “EVERYBODY let’s their dog off-leash. EVERYBODY does! I have lived in this area for 20 years and you JUST moved in a year ago. You can’t change the rules! I will not stop taking my dogs here off-leash!”

Now, here are a few important facts:

#1 She owns two dogs, both of which are under the age of 7 years old.

#2 The park is less than 8 years old.

#3 We take the trail a few times a week and she is the only person who we’ve witnessed letting their dogs run-free.

#4 Although the woman lives a mere 10 minute walk from the trail she chooses to drive them to the park because she cannot handle being pulled or tugged on leash. She cannot walk them off-leash either in public because as I have mentioned, she has literally no control over the two dogs.

The back and forth did last for some time and I couldn’t quote it all because it was repetitive. Joanne soon realised that it was like speaking with a brick wall and not even worth her time.

The woman began to curse under her breath  and tell us off as she left.

 

So here are my questions that I pose to you all out in Dharma Land:

Does it matter if she’s lived in the neighbourhood longer than us? Should that allow her to treat us and the rules differently?

Do you respect leash only signs? If not, do you understand why they’re important to follow?

How do we go about dealing with this situation? Do we call a by-law officer? After all my dog was bitten while he was on leash and her dogs were not.

I was going to use today’s blog as a resource for you all to really understand the importance of respecting on-leash or off-leash parks. However, I already wrote that joanne and Mileblog over a year ago it seems. The fact this is the same woman and it’s been a year shows a complete lack of respect for others and a selfishness that I do not admire. Are we so entitled as dog owners that we don’t actually care anymore that our behaviour or our dog’s behaviour might be affecting others?

I was very proud of Joanne for letting the woman know that her behaviour was affecting us negatively and we would no longer take the harassment.

So please understand that a rule that may inconvenience you ever so slightly may be helping many others.

Thanks for reading,

 

Nik

 

 

 

A Complaint is Music to my Ears

Many times I hear about service complaints at this place or that. I’ve read reviews on-line, through social media, or heard them through word of mouth.

As a business owner I LOVE hearing a complaint from my customers. Why? Because I learn from them!

As a young dude growing up I would often get into trouble. A lot of trouble. I pushed boundaries, broke rules, probably broke the law on occasion. But I learned from those mistakes. I make an effort to avoid repeating the mistakes as often as possible.

It was easy to learn from my mistakes growing up because I would face the consequences directly. They weren’t hidden from me. I would often see the end result of some of my boneheaded ideas.

As a business owner, it is slightly different. I know our shop makes mistakes, and when I catch those mistakes we adjust our protocols and fix them. We make adjustments accordingly and make a very strong effort to avoid repeating them. It helps us leave work knowing that we’ve given the day our very best effort.

When I find out about a customer being unhappy or dissatisfied with the service I make the same effort to listen to the reason and make adjustments to prevent the issue. If a customer is dissatisfied however, and doesn’t let us know, we wont adjust. The end result is not so good for my little Mom and Pop shop.

Dharma Dog Services

Dharma Dog Services loves happy customers!

We probably won’t see the customer again, and they will likely make an effort to prevent others from trying our shop out! 🙁

Here are some tips to ensure satisfaction no matter which business you go to:

1. Ask to speak to the manager. Don’t be afraid, or embarrassed, let them know you were dissatisfied with the service, or product. Chances are they will be empathetic, and understanding as most businesses strive to achieve a certain standard.

2. Choose your language carefully. I heard a saying before that will help you immensely! “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”  Although you may be extremely upset, try not to be mean. If you’re feeling too angry or overwhelmed try to cool down before addressing the issue with the Manager. They’re a conduit to a solution for you. Try to work with them as a team. Don’t be a pushover but definitely make an effort to communicating your problem or needs versus simply being upset.

3.Give them a chance to fix it. Most problems are fairly small, and if they are a complaint about quality, then it’s definitely in your best interest to let the shop know. Chances are you will be heard, and worked with.

4. If your complaint isn’t being respected, or heard, escalate! If you don’t feel that the owner has given your situation the ol’ college try perhaps it’s time to report the business. or, simply never attend again.

 

Well, here’s hoping that I hear your complaint 😉

 

Nik

 

 

Never Give Up-Dharma Dog Motivation

Here is a truth for all of you out there in Dharma Land… Life can be hard.

Yup, there it is, the truth and a little hard motivation.

We all have good days, and we sometimes have bad ones. Never do we ALWAYS have good or bad. It’s a big pet peeve of mine and for some reason, I feel like many of us might forget that life is supposed to be challenging. If you tear you dress, or spill wine on your shirt, or your girlfriend dumps you, do not say “Why does this always happens to me?” It doesn’t. It might seem to happen often and perhaps it happens to you more than others, however, I can guarantee that it isn’t constantly happening to you. Right this second, are you being dumped? Are you tearing your shirt? Probably not, and if so, why are you reading my blog while you’re being dumped?

Being in business is tough. It really is. It’s like an emotional roller coaster that you’re just trying to hang on to. The other day my uncle said to me “it seems like you have huge emotional peaks and a positive outlook on the business some days, and on others seem low and pessimistic.” This might ring true, but I never ever pity myself, or ask “why me?”  I answered back, “welcome to entrepreneurship.”

I am generally a very positive person, and believe that you can realistically achieve any goal you set out for yourself. I believe that there  is always a means to achieve most goals, as long as you follow a path.

I have peer in business who is a perfect example of how a negative state of mind can just crumble any momentum that you’ve built. Many times I have seen him on the verge of tears, or angry, or yelling, or complaining… Whining! “This always happens to me!” -he’ll whine to whoever listens..and not many people do. It get’s tiring. If I happen to be in his presence when he’s complaining about how things never work out for him I have three standard responses that I guarantee he probably hates hearing as much as I dislike hearing the self-pity he spews.

1. “It gets better. It always does.” – this is my go to very often, especially when I know his machinery will work, or computer’s will be repaired. The fact is, it ALWAYS GETS BETTER.

2. “What are you doing to change the problem?” – This is my response if I’ve heard him make the same complaint before. Why has he not learned to prevent the issue? Learn from your mistakes!

3. “That sucks.Now move on.” – Maybe I’m a little cold about at times, but there is literally always someone in a worse situation than yourself. Are you eating? Do you have a roof over your head? Are you alive? Do you have friends? Family? A job? Try not to focus on the hard times, rather, try to look at what’s going right.

This wasn’t much of a “dog blog” today, and I apologize for that.

Maybe this can help someone out there who just feels like life continually deals them lemons. The fact is life is dealing EVERYONE lemons. Some of us just know that you can use those lemons to your advantage.

Lemonade anyone?

Nik

lemondae

When life give you lemons…

 

Patience Is The Key To Good Dog Training

Dharma Dog Services

Just think of our logo when you are teaching your dog

 

Dogs in a lie down position

group meditation ;)

Patience.

Wait for it.

I’ll get to my point in a second.

“Okay!” “Break” “Yes!”

Sorry about that. Just wanted to test your patience 😉

I’m going to change the name of “dog training” to “teaching humans to teach their dogs” … It’s less misleading and far more accurate.

When I’m teaching people to teach their dogs I’ll often gauge temperament first. First of the dog, and then of the owner. I was doing a lesson with a local celebrity a couple of years ago and knew that they were very succesful in business. In fact, while their business was geared towards a yoga clothing line. Yoga, is meant to help relieve stress, exercise your body, and relax you with slow methodical breathing.

During our lesson I found that although they may have had a great grasp on tranquility in their day-to-day life and business, they seemed to have lost touch with just how much patience is necessary with your dog! They had a puppy and young twin boys at home so that’s asking a lot! However, it was also necessary to the process of teaching their dog.

I found myself giving this active-wear mogul breathing instructions. Telling them to “Stand still, and take deep breaths…just slow down and take your time” We all had a laugh at the end of the lesson at how “zen” you really had to be when communicating with your dog.

So there you have it, even proponents of yoga need a gentle reminder to slow down and let the dog work through the process.

We have a dog that I currently work with at our facility who is a sweet but sensitive dog. Over his tenure with me I have developed a really good bond with him.About a week or two ago I accidentally dropped an air-purifier to the ground with a loud crash and the sickening sound of cracking plastic on our matted rubber floor. This would spook anyone in the moment, however the little puppy I described happened to be in the immediate area. Startled he jump and quickly looked over his shoulder to see none other than me! Uh oh. Through an association of events, it wasn’t the air-purifier that he was scared of now, it was me 🙁

I’m currently in the process of rebuilding my trust with him. It will take time to train this dog to understand that I’m one of the good guys. I cannot rush this process, and if I do I can really scar my relationship with him. It is an exercise in complete patience and empathy.

So here I am taking a break from working with him, because all of the deep breathing and staying still had me dizzy. 🙂

When you think you are taking things slow enough with your dog, go slower!

 

Namaste,

 

Nik

Dharma Dog Boarding

serenity now!

Dog Eat Dog

I am feeling a tremendous amount of pressure these days.

We are developing our dog walking program and really want it to be a smooth transition. We have a new website in the works www.dharmadogservices.com and it looks great! I can’t wait to release it.

We have our Coconut oil on the shelves and I couldn’t be happier about offering such a fantastic product.

We are launching our treats in the next few weeks too!

We will be carrying a selection of raw food for all of you purists out there’s as well.

We have two of the best groomers in Vancouver.

I have loads of experience and I continue to learn as much as possible about dogs and their world.

Our dog training program starts in July.

So why am I feeling so much pressure? It would seem that it’s self imposed and I suppose that’s normal.

Todays blog is cathartic and will allow me to vent a bit.

All of this pressure that I feel is because I truly want to offer a top-notch service.  I guess when it comes down to it, all of the planning and dreams mean nothing unless you can execute. Argh…. Well, stick with us to see if we can pull it off 🙂

dogs waiting for treats

Waiting in line for treats

Sorry for the short narcissitic post today.

Nik

 

How To Train Your Dog

How to train your dog? Well, the answer is not going to be what you’d like to hear. Or maybe you’ve already come to expect it.

Training your dog is all relative. It depends on so many factors and it would take a while to even begin to explain. I’m here to be informative in an abbreviated form today. I am often asked a variety of dog training questions by nearly every dog owner when they first meet me. “How do I get my dog to stop barking at everything?” is a very common question. Sometimes I’m asked “How do I get my dog to come back when I call him?” My answer is often very similar and almost always greeted with frustration or dissapointment. Some people will understand and dive right in learning as much about their fuzzy friends communication as they can. My answer is this “Each dog is different. I’ll have to ask you few questions to establish your dogs temperament, and really get to the route of the problem.”

That’s right, I answer thir questions with more questions! Those that care to listen will succeed, those that want the easy answer are not as close to allevaiting their dogs behaviour problems as they hoped.

My goal as a behaviourist is simple; Help humans learn to communicate clearly with their dog. Not the other way around. If you spoke English your entire life and I tried to teach you a listen but spoke only in Spanish, how successful do you think our lesson would be? Maybe you would learn eventually, but chances are you’d have to learn to understand Spanish first and that would likely take some time. My approach with dogs is similar. As humans we speak countless languages and have variety of dialects. Yet, we expext dogs to be able to learn them all. While dogs are able to demonstrate an ability to form word associations. a great example is this border collie who has roughly the same ability to understand human language as your average 3 year old human. But, that’s just it, your average 3 year old has a limited vocabulary! So do dogs.

Dogs speak an entirely different language that is much easier for us humans to learn. It’s made up of mainly body language and tiny cues that when trained to see can make a ton of sense.

So, when you ask me “How do I train my dog?”

Expect me to train you!

 

Warm regards,

Dog trainer vancouver

Dog Trainer Nik Fabisiak and his trusty sidekick Vegas

 

Nik

Our first year of Dharma Dog Services

Gold Vinyl Logo

In honour of our first year of business, I had a golden Dharma Dog logo placed on our desk

vancouver dog grooming

Kaori taking a break while working on Mila the golden doodle

 

Lots of daycare,, Boarding and walking clients

Lots of daycare,, Boarding and walking clients

 

We opened our business while Joanne was 6 months pregant.

We opened our business while Joanne was 6 months pregant.

Dharma Dog Boarding

We bought a house!

 

Nik and Joannes sonny boy

Nik and Joannes sonny boy

Married!!!

Why Dharma Dog?

Why did we choose the name Dharma Dog Services? I have been asked this question many times since our inception and the answer is always the same.

I really wanted the name of our business to completely reflect our beliefs about dogs and their capability to live a well exercised and stress free life.

The word “Dharma” has a variety of meanings in a variety of languages. However, we tend to relate to one of the Buddhist meanings . As described by Wikipedia “The cultivation and attainment of wisdom is part of the goal and practice of Buddhism. In order to attain wisdom one must understand the nature of things (the dharma), and part of the practice of Buddhism is the investigation of Nature – dhamma-vicaya. This means to adopt an objective, systematic approach to understanding the causal relationships between various phenomena. In particular, it refers to the dispassionate self-observation discussed in teachings such as the Satipatthana Sutta. The principal teaching from this analysis is the doctrine of dependent origination.”

To simplify this, we chose this name because we believe that there is a certain truth when

Dog Grooming

Dharma Dog Services

understanding the nature of dogs. They speak dog so we try our best to understand their communications and provide an environment, whether it be for grooming, daycare, boarding, walking, or training based on their natural instincts. By operating on this basis we are able to provide a relatively stress free environment.

Dogs are often misunderstood by humans and we tend to place human emotion and description on our pets. The fact is they are not human. While they are able to co-exist with us and make loyal partners and friends, they still have their own set of rules and abilities to communicate.

We here at Dharma Dog Services make every effort to speak to dogs in their own language. This eliminates a lot of confusion and is a major reason why you’ll rarely hear the sounds of stress barks from any dogs staying with us.

I felt that our logo reflects our goal perfectly.

Well,  I hope that clarifies a few things. Please feel free to send us any questions that you may have so that we can answer them here.

 

Nik

Weeeeeeeeee’re baaaaaaack! Dharma Dog Services!

Weeeeeeeeee’re baaaaaaack!

I hope that everyone has had a marvelous holiday season! I feel energized and refreshed! Wow, I’ve already used three exclamation marks…! Make that four.

2014 is going to be a very telling year for the folks here at Dharma Dog Services, and I can’t wait to let you in on a few of the changes.

After running our business for nearly a year I’ve seen where we excel, and I’m very proud of those areas. I’ve also seen where we need to improve. Without divulging my master plan I hope that you all notice the changes as well.

We will be offering more services this year, and along with that particular expansion will come some new faces! I can’t wait to properly introduce you all to our new staff 🙂

Dog Walking:  We will now offer a full dog walking program for those of you that live in Vancouver! Our dog walkers will all be trained by our resident canine behaviourist… Me! Please note the exclamation point. I’m just fired up to be back.

Pet Sitting:  We are also expanding our dog boarding/sitting services and will be happy to help you all if you’re ever going away and in need of a safe and professional place for your dog to stay.

Retail:  We will Be carrying more Dharma Dog products, such as our Dharma Dog Delectable line of organix homemade treats. We will also be expanding our inventory to ouffer all dog accessories that you may need. We will also be carrying our Dharma Dog brand of Organic Coconut oil supplement for your furry friend 🙂 and if you have any requests for a particular product that you wish for us to carry I am more than happy to oblige if it will make your life easier and more convenient.

Training:  Starting in July, I will be offering in-home consultations as well as on-site puppy classes. Stay tuned for more information!

These changes will all be introduced slowly because we want to do it right. So keep an eye out.

Normally I try to have a little humour in my blog, but todays edition seems a little dry. I’ll leave you with a joke :

Q: what's brown and sticky? a: a stick!

Q: what’s brown and sticky?
a: a stick!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excuse me, please don’t let your dog pee on my lavender

“Hello” I said as I passed by an older gentlemen with an aging black lab with signs of grey around its muzzle. “Good day” He replied. I walked by the pair and headed into my shop. I didn’t think much of the exchange as it appeared to be quite normal. That is until I noticed that the older man and his dog were making their way towards our shop.Dog and man on walk “Oh yes! Another customer!” I thought to myself. Wait, what are they doing? The old man glanced suspiciously over his shoulder at me as I watched the pair through our front display window and I realized that he was letting his dog relieve itself on our flower boxes which contain lavender! He quickly started leaving the scene of the crime as I exited the store to ask him about his choice of location, but he vanished around the corner of our building like some sort of free-peeing super heroes

Dog in a mask

Super peeing dog

leaving before any bystanders could reveal their true identities after witnessing him save the day…. or in this case peeing on private property!

“Please don’t let your dog pee on our lavender!” I shouted at them as they disappeared out of my sight.

Now, originally I thought I would give him the benefit of the doubt and perhaps it was simply an accident. I cleaned the area thoroughly to prevent any odour from developing and I disinfected it as well. Sometimes it’s difficult to control your dog when it has to use the washroom, and it isn’t exactly going to ask you politely to use your facilities. So I let bygones be bygones and went on with running the groom shop.

I happen to be in the shop fairly early this morning when to my astonishment I saw the same pair of free-peeing bandits. I watched curiously to see what actions they would take today. Sure enough the old boys crossed the street and took a direct route to my lavender flowers!!! Why!? oh why? The man  looked around nervously  and after not noticing anyone watching decided to do the same thing. Twice in two days. This is no coincidence! I guess it’s time for me to confront the two old pee machines and see what it is that motivates their need to turn my store front into a fire hydrant of sorts for all dogs to send and receive their urine soaked messages.

Now, to the untrained eye this would seem to be an act of petty malice, however seeing as it’s the Holiday season I’ve decided to myself and any of you who happen to be reading that he is just doing his kind act for the holidays. You see, the lavender appears dried out so perhaps he is simply encouraging his trusty old dog to help our shop water the plants!

Happy Holidays,

Nik

*This is a true story and I will post a photo of the culprits if they try to do it once again and will write a follow-up to how that conversation goes.