Tag Archives: responsible dog ownership

Dog Training: Canine Good Citizen

Canine Good CitizenDog Training taken to the next level is what the Canine Good Citizen is all about.  This title is obtained by a dog that demonstrates adaptability and resilience across various situations and environments as deemed by the American Kennel Club.

Starting on Wednesday, June 12th at 6pm, open-enrollment CGC classes will be offered.  No worries if you can’t start on that day.  The classes are open enrollment, so you can start whenever is good for you.



[tabs slidertype=”left tabs” fx=”slide” auto=”yes”] [tabcontainer] [tabtext]What:[/tabtext] [tabtext]When:[/tabtext] [tabtext]Where:[/tabtext] [tabtext]What to bring:[/tabtext] [/tabcontainer] [tabcontent] [tab]Open enrollment CGC Class.  Take your dog to the next level and put his behavior to the test. [/tab] [tab]Starting Wednesday, June 12th at 6pm.

Please arrive 15 minutes before the start of class.[/tab] [tab]Haulover Park

10800 Collins Avenue

Miami, FL 33154[/tab] [tab] Your dog (otherwise, we’ll have to teach you how to be a human good citizen)

A regular buckle collar or harness (no prong, choke or shock collars)

A 4-6 feet non-retractable leash

Lots of small, chewy treats or portion of the dog’s breakfast or dinner

A dog bed, mat or towel[/tab] [/tabcontent] [/tabs]


[button link=”http://roccospack.com/about-roccos-pack-pet-services/our-philosophy/group-training-events/group-training-at-haulover-park/” type=”big” color=”orange”] More Info about the Class and Evaluation[/button]


To sign up for classes:

1) Complete the enrollment form below

2) Make payment (cash, check or credit/debit card) the first day of class

Please arrive approximately 15 minutes before the start time, so you and your pooch can acclimate to the environment.

Low Cost Spay/Neuter Surgeries

Low Cost Spay/Neuter Mobile Unit

The funds raised as part of the Coconut Grove Bed Race will go toward funding 3 days of low cost spaying and neutering services.  Two days will be held at Felix Varela Senior High School and the third day will be held at the Homestead YMCA.

Surgeries will be offered to dogs for $40.00.  Additionally, rabies vaccines will be offered for $10, Parvo/Distemper vaccines for $5 and micro-chips for $10.  All dogs who already have their rabies vaccine will need to bring proof.  Otherwise, vaccine will be given.

If you are interested in registering for this service, please complete the forms on the pages corresponding to the locations for which you are interested.  We are limiting registrations to the first 30 dogs and we’ll have a waiting list of 20.  A day prior to the day of surgery, we will confirm all registrations.  It is important that we verbally confirm your appointment with you.  So if we leave you a message, please call us back.

Dogs that are confirmed to receive the surgery must be fed their last meal no later than 12:00 am the previous night.  They’ll also need to be dropped off at 8:00 am and be picked up at 4:00 pm.

Spay/Neuter: Don’t Litter

We’re participating in this year’s Coconut Grove Bed Race, a community fundraising event where teams of five race down the streets of Coconut Grove while pushing a bed!  Yes, a bed!  We thought this would be a great opportunity to connect with our community with fun and laughter and raise awareness on the importance of spaying/neutering.  So our theme is Spay/Neuter: Don’t Litter.

Don't Litter

If you didn’t know, there is a pet overpopulation problem in Miami Dade County (and lots of other places, for that matter).  The stats indicate that we like to breed our dogs and cats.  Let’s face it, puppies and kittens are cute.  It can be quite extra-ordinary to see a mother caring for her litter.  Grooming them and feeding them and often times disciplining them.  But did you know that as many as 37,000 cats and dogs are abandoned at our local animal shelter each year?  On average 50-75 pets are surrendered on a daily basis.  Over half of these pets will not make it and will be euthanized because not enough homes for them exist.

While puppies and kittens are cute, we, the people must take responsibility.  We can’t breed then discard like this.  We’ve got to start educating and advocating.  Spaying and neutering is the only way to get this problem under control.  This is the reason we’ve selected the Spay/Neuter: Don’t Litter theme for this year’s bed race.

Our fundraising goal is $1000 to fund a mobile spay/neuter clinic so that we can offer low cost spay/neuter services to members of our community.

I need your help to make this happen.  Here’s what you can do:

  1. click here to make your donation.  Every bit helps!
  2. Share this post on your Facebook wall, tweet about it using #whyspayneuter, send the url in an email to all your friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors and urge them to make a donation.
  3. Come out to the event on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 1pm and cheer our team on as we race while spreading awareness and educating the community on the importance of spaying/neutering.
Help me make it happen!
Help us make a difference

It’s a “Responsibility” Thing

So I meet quite a bit of dog owners.  I like to ask them lots of questions about their dogs.  Most of them like to share.  One of my favorite questions to ask is, where they got their dog.  There’s always a bit of trepidation on my end for that split second right before they answer the question.  The truth is there are people out there that shop at places like this

Puppies at Pet Shop

and like this

Super Kennels

I always want to preach but I refrain.  This post is for all the times that I should have said something and didn’t.  For all the potential puppy owners that don’t know the reality of puppy mills and for all the dog parents that have purchased dogs that came from puppy mills.  Most of the dogs that you find in pet shops come from puppy mills.  Puppy mills are terrible places.  They breed dogs irresponsibly.  They keep the dogs in terrible inhumane conditions.  They only care about profits and quantity not quality and have little concern for the dog or even the breed.  This is terrible, but let’s be clear.  The pendulum swings both ways.  There’s this concept called supply and demand.  Pet stores sell irresponsibly, but people also buy irresponsibly.  People buy impulsively.  People buy without taking into account the breed that they are buying and little to no regard is given to temperament.

Poor breeding practices, constant confinement, lack of adequate veterinary care and socialization often times results in unhealthy and poor companion dogs who end up being surrendered to shelters who then contribute to the pet overpopulation problem.  Because dogs are bred for quantity not quality, genetic defects get passed on from generation to generation.  It’s a terrible vicious cycle and for this reason, I want to tell you, my wonderful reader, about two alternatives to buying from pet stores: 1) adopt from a shelter or if you must 2) buy from reputable breeders.

Our county shelter receives approximately 37,000 dogs per year.  Adoption efforts are in full effect.  Rescue organizations try their best, but the number of dogs that is surrendered or brought into the shelter due to a different reason outweighs all the other efforts and the dogs end up being euthanized.  Lots of them don’t make it.  Many of them don’t make it.  I”ll scare you with the stats in a different post.

Right now I want to tell you about Betty and her dogs.

This is Toby

She is Jubett Labradors.  I talked with Betty not too long ago and when I learned about what she does, I thought I’d share so that you could make a contrast between what puppy mills and other backyard breeders do and what Betty does.  The first thing she said to me was, “I love the breed and everything I do is for the betterment of the breed”.  She only keeps girls and she thoroughly researches studs often times employing only artificial insemination to make sure to complement the girl and improve the breed.  Betty also ensures to obtain clearances for eyes, hips and elbows, another common practice that all responsible breeders should be doing.  This is key because as Betty explained, dogs have to be at least two years before some of these clearances can be obtained.  Puppy mills don’t have time to wait two years.  They want fast money at the expense of the dogs.

She breeds for the love of the breed and her number one priority is producing sound, healthy pups with good temperament and placing them in loving forever families.  She’s also involved in conformation and many of her dogs have received high accolades.  Noelle, pictured here is one of her Champions.

Noelle the Champ

Perhaps one of my favorite things that I learned about Betty is the screening process that she goes through with every puppy parent.  She asks questions about the person and the family, their lifestyles and the reason they want a puppy.  And she emphasizes that the dog has to be part of the family.  She gives them the good, bad and ugly and only if she determines that they are well suited for the breed, will she continue the process.  Then I asked about one thing that was on my mind, “what about spaying and neutering”?  She said she always emphasizes from day one that dogs should spayed and neutered as soon as the family’s veterinarian says it’s ok to do so.  Whew!  Thanks, Betty.

This was a relief because I’ve met some people whose breeder make them sign a contract indicating that they’re not allowed to sterilize their dog.  A contract?  What kind of crazy thing is that?  Has anyone heard of this?  I even met a lady with an extremely aggressive dalmatian who after pleading with the breeder, the breeder insisted that the dog not be sterilized.  Crazy!  Why would you want to breed a dog like that?  Hello!  The other thing that I really loved about Betty is that she keeps close contact with her puppy parents throughout the years and she always makes it clear that if they cannot keep the dog for whatever reason, she wants to be the first to know.  She’s actually had to placed dogs whose owners pass away, or become ill or have other unforeseen circumstances.  She says, “things come up in people’s lives, and I’m happy to take my pups back if I need to”.

I write this post for you.  My reader who is new to dog parenting.  My reader who doesn’t know where puppy mill dogs come from or what they do there.  My reader that is thinking of finding his pup a girlfriend or boyfriend.  My reader that knows somebody who knows somebody whose dog just had a litter of pups and is thinking about getting one.  My reader that may not know about our local shelter or what a responsible breeder looks like.  But most importantly I write this post for the voiceless dogs and kittens who get bred irresponsibly and end up being euthanized.  I am only one person, but if I educate and you educate one other person and we all do our part, we might be on to something!  Pass it on.

Rocco’s Pack Out ‘n’ About: West Kendall Dog Park

So we ventured out looking for some new places to hang out and we found this fun spot in the heart of West Kendall.  It’s called West Kendall District Dog Park at 11255 SW 157TH Ave, Miami, FL 33196.

Our new hangout
Our new hangout

The goods: Plenty of space, lots of doggy exercise equipment.

The bads: No poop bags…Please people, don’t steal the poop bags.  The county is already being super generous by letting us have this big space for our dogs!!