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Dogs and Kids: Introducing a New Dog into your Home

This is the 2nd post in a series by Deborah Rosen of Good Citizen Dog Training.

Last week’s post, Dogs and Kids: What you Need to Know, addressed items to consider when thinking about getting a dog for your family.

Get off on the right paw!

As promised in the last blog entry, I will now address some of the proper steps to take when introducing a new rescue dog or puppy to his or her new family. By taking these few easy steps, you will give your new fur baby a much better chance of succeeding with each new member of your household, especially with the children.

On the very first day the dog is due to arrive at your home, arrange for each person in your household to be present, even if they have all met the dog before. Ask each one to step outside the house where the dog will feel less confined and be more apt to feel less threatened.

Tuesday awaiting treatTake Things Slowly

Have each family member stand at least 5 feet from the dog. One at a time, have each adult and child call the dog’s name without looking directly at the dog. If the name has not yet been selected, a noise or a whistle will work just as well to simply get the dog’s attention. The second the dog looks at the individual, pop a very tasty treat in his or her mouth and say “good job” or “good dog.” Do this with each person, one by one. By doing this, we are telling the dog (in a way he can really understand) that the person he just encountered is a “very good thing”. And, by doing this with each person, you are helping the dog understand he has nothing to fear.

Assuming the dog had no difficulty with step one, move to the next step by having each person come up to the dog, one at a time. As they do, tell them to approach the dog sideways without giving the dog eye contact. It’s important, especially with small children to be very clear and concise. “Don’t look at the doggy yet.” Have them present the dog with an open palm and let the dog sniff. Quickly drop a treat in the child’s hand and let the dog take the treat. Do this over and over several times, and if the dog is comfortable, proceed to the next person.


Do this process over and over until the entire household is introduced without giving eye contact. If this process goes well without incident, start again with everyone now facing the dog squarely and looking directly at him. Once this process is complete, it’s time to go inside the house.


Check back next week for next steps to when introducing a new dog to your home.



Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see

Happy Dogust First!

With logo For all pet parents out there who don’t know their adopted dog’s birthday, August 1 is the perfect time to celebrate! DOGust 1st is the official birthday for any shelter pets whose date of birth is unknown. August 1 is now a globally-accepted holiday that gives these amazing animals their much-needed support and recognition!

While many parents celebrate their dog’s birthday on the day he orshe was adopted, now parents and their dogs can join everyone in this festive occasion! One day a year, dog lovers nationwide are able to wish their family, friends, and neighbors, a ‘Happy Dogust 1st’ and spoil their dogs with delicious treats or chews. Let’s celebrate the fact that shelter animals around the world have found (and will find) loving forever homes!

North Shore Animal League America’s spokesperson, Beth Ostrosky, said, “A birthday celebration is an opportunity to express our sentiments for one another. These wonderful animals, many still waiting patiently in shelters for their adopters, are so full of life and love, and live to please us. Now we have a day set aside to honor them and return the unconditional love and adoration they give us, day after day. These sweet animals crave our affection and company, so we can imagine the warm feelings they will experience from all the extra attention on their special day, DOGust the First.” It is truly a wonderful time of year, and it’s a great excuse for spoiling the amazing dog in your life!

Best Bully Sticks dog-rescue-support-contributions
Best Bully Sticks Contest: Marvelous Mutts Photo Contest
If you don’t have a rescued dog yourself, you can still give back to local dogs waiting for their forever homes by donating some delicious chews and treats.
read more…

Dogs Do the Funniest Things Essay Contest Winner: Jordan

In May, Best Sticks held an Essay Contest asking our fans to submit stories of their funny dogs. Dogs are, after all, are a great source of fun and laughter in our lives!

The winning entry from Brittany C. about their Pitbull named Jordan is below. He’s quite the character, as you will see!


Jordan in the back seat Funniest Things essay contest Best Bully Sticks


“We knew right away Jordan was meant to be ours. Named after Michael Jordan for his superb jumping skills, our rescued pitbull came bursting into our lives full of energy and love. He was our foster pup for a whole 5 minutes before we wanted to make it official, mainly because of his hilarious personality. God certainly has a sense of humor, and he brought us Jordan as a reminder to lighten up a bit!
read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #192: How To Have a Happier Dog

When your dog wags his tail, you know that he is excited, but is he content? knows that you try to provide your dog with the absolute best, but your dog’s happiness is more than just two meals a day and a belly rub. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a way to look at human motivation by piecing out essential physical, emotional and mental needs. With dogs being highly social creatures, many of these principles can be applied to develop a more complete four-legged best friend. Read on to find out how you really can have a happier dog.

Physiological (Pyhsical Needs)
Fresh Clean Water – Your dog’s water should be refreshed daily and free of debris. If a water bowl is kept outside, make sure it’s not stagnant (this can breed disease), frozen in winter or overheated in summer.

Good Nutrition – Every dog owner will have a different recipe for success with their dog’s food. There is no one right answer, but feeding your dog healthy and nutritious meals is important. Talk to your vet about good feeding options for your dog. Make sure your dog is in a healthy weight range as well; overweight dogs are very unhappy. Treating your dog is something that shouldn’t be hard either. A good bully stick or all-natural chew from BBS will guarantee your dog is getting a healthy, nutritious treat.

Exercise – Is your dog getting enough exercise? For the best health, your dog needs to expend their energy (which they always have plenty of). Exercise will make your dog’s life longer and fuller and prevent compulsive disorders or unwanted behavior. Breeds are different in their exercise needs, but all dogs do need it.

Hygiene – As much as possible, your dog needs to stay clean so they are comfortable in their own body and skin. Little things like dirty ears, long nails or tartar on teeth can lead to very serious and painful problems. Keeping a clean, brushed coat, trimmed nails, clean ears and teeth are one less potential discomfort your dog has to feel.

Chewing – Unlike humans, dogs have a need to chew. Providing the proper toys and chews will help them meet this desire without taking it out on your belongings.

A Place to “Go” – It’s very important for dogs to have a consistent place to use the bathroom away from their “den.” A highly normal dog will eliminate away from where they eat and sleep. Doing otherwise means they feel as if they aren’t given proper time or a place to do so. read more…

BBS Celebrates: Adopt A Senior Dog Month!

Adopting a dog can be one of the most rewarding decisions you ever make. However, you want to head into this decision with a lot of wisdom and research. Adopting puppies is great, but wants to let you in on another choice that might be even better for your family: adopting an adult or senior dog.

November is Adopt-A-Senior Dog Month, so here are some reasons why adopting an oldie but a goodie might be a wonderful option.

Less Work: Puppies are a lot of work: they need lots of just about everything including exercise, training, socialization and more. For most old dogs, this is old hat.

Mature in Every Way: An older dog already has a well-defined personality, emotional and physical characteristics. Whereas a puppy goes though many changes, a mature dog doesn’t hide much.

Good for First-Time Adopters: If you’re a first time adopter, or even dog owner, an older dog is probably the best match for you! This way a future puppy parent can ease in to dog ownership and responsibility, whereas adopting a puppy requires much more time for training, exercise and socialization. Instead of potential chaos, you’re more likely to get plenty of calm and ease from a senior dog.

Will Love You Just As Much: No matter a senior dog’s former life, dogs have very large hearts and when they’re truly cared for, will love their companions wholly.

Be A Rebel: At a shelter, many people overlook older dogs, but you can be a rebel! Do something others don’t: love on an older dog. knows it will be a rewarding experience.

To find out more about adopting a senior dog, read the ASPCA’s Top Ten Reasons to Adopt an Older Dog

Have you adopted an adult or senior dog? Tell us your success stories! 

Dog Care 101: Tip # 163: Rescuing A Stray Dog


Best Bully Sticks loves supporting animal shelters and rescues. (In fact, every Tuesday the Healthy Dog Blog highlights a rescue or shelter.) It’s pretty easy to figure out that our readers and customers genuinely care and hurt for rescue animals. But what happens when rescuing a dog falls into your own hands? Best Bully Sticks knows at some point you’ll see a dog in need, whether you’re driving or just happen upon a loose, unattended dog. Today BBS will go over the correct way to handle the rescue of a stray dog.

Your Initial Reaction:
Remember that your initial reaction is key. If you’re in your car, do not slam on your breaks. There’s no reason to get in a wreck. If you’re walking by your self, do not startle the dog.  Any dog, no matter how friendly, can act out when scared.

If You Don’t Feel Comfortable:
If there is any reason you don’t feel comfortable rescuing the dog, don’t proceed! Whether it’s because you’re alone, you’re nervous or scared, or just don’t feel confident, by all means, don’t try to rescue the dog. Dogs can sense fear and you don’t want to provoke the dog in any way. Call your local SPCA, or 411 number to find out who to contact. Provide your nearest animal rescue organization with as much information as you can: coloring, markings, breed, color of collar, gender and where you last saw the dog and which direction it was heading.




If you decided to help the dog, here are some absolute no-no’s.

-Do not chase the dog. If you run, the dog will run and that could mean out into traffic, or just away where you can’t follow.

-Do not move suddenly or speak loudly. Again, you don’t want to frighten or provoke the dog.

-Do not proceed if the dog becomes aggressive. We shouldn’t have to say it, but it won’t be worth it or help either one of you if you are hurt. 

Securing the Dog:
This part of the process is a very delicate one. First, try calling the dog to you and maybe even offer a treat and incentive. If you’re on the road, try slowly opening the door and see if the dog jumps in.  Dogs who are used to riding in cars will be familiar with this. If you don’t feel comfortable riding in the car with the dog, call your local SPCA or Animal Rescue to meet you where you are. If you happened upon the dog in your neighborhood, trying coaxing the dog into a fenced in yard or any closed off area. read more…

6 Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Pet

Pet-AdoptionAnimal shelters and humane societies are overrun with abandoned pets looking for loving homes. The real tragedy is that thousands of these animals end up being euthanized rather than adopted. Sadly, shelter animals are often thought of as “sloppy seconds” or “someone else’s problem.” On the contrary, a rescued dog or cat can be a great alternative to purchasing a pet from a breeder. Lets be the solution to the problem of overcrowded rescue, shelters and pet homelessness. Adopting a pet from a shelter can be one of the most rewarding things you can do. The benefits are numerous.

1. Save 2 Lives & Enrich Your Own. According to The Humane Society of the United States sadly about 4 million dogs and cats are put to sleep each year because of overcrowded animal shelters. Pets who don’t get adopted within a set time frame from a shelter are often euthanized due to shelter overcrowding & lack of supplies. Adopting a shelter pet means you are saving two lives. You are not only helping a deserving pet in need gain a home, but now there is shelter room for another animal in need to lay his or her head.

2. Clean Bill of Health. Pets up for adoption at reputable animal shelters will be healthy. Most have trained specialists on hand to examine the animals when they arrive and make sure they are vetted and fit for adoption. Those that are sickly get treated and cared for quickly. Shelters also normally give the animals proper shots and spay and neuter them. Fact or Fiction? Shelter pets have behavioral problems,  are damaged,  and sickly…Fiction. According to the Humane Society, most pets are handed over to shelters for “people reasons,” such as financial constraints, a move or a divorce.
3. Save Money. The cost of adopting a pet varies widely depending on the shelter always less expensive than buying an animal at a pet store or from a breeder. Shots, vaccines, and spay or neuter fees for your shelter pet are typically rolled into the shelter’s adoption fee and are much less expensive than if you went to a private vet. Some shelters may even spay and neuter the pets for for free. Some humane societies and shelters offer training classes and behavioral counseling for pets in their care. Also, keep in mind some pets were previously owned and cared for and therefore may have already been trained by their previous owners. Adopting a pre-trained pet from a humane society or animal shelter saves a lot of time and money when you consider the price for obedience school and pet-training services.
4. Don’t Support Puppy Mills. A puppy mill is a breeder who breeds dogs for maximum profit with little regard for the animal, they are looking to make money off helpless animals. Many of these breeders do not properly care for the puppies or their parents and house them in bad conditions. The dogs may have poor medical care. If you want a certain dog breed, check first with local animal shelters. According to, about 30 percent of shelter dogs are purebred. Putting your heart and your money toward adopting a shelter animal can reduce a cruel industry’s supply and demand.
5. Feel Good Feeling is Priceless. Get that heartwarming feeling of knowing you saved not just one but two lives. The pet you adopt will leave an open space for the shelter to take in another needy animal. Your rescued pet will also provide you with undying love and your life will be greatly enriched with companionship. Everybody wins. Pets can improve a person’s well-being in many ways, from providing a sense of purpose to even lowering blood pressure.
6. Large Selection of Animals to Choose From. The Humane Society recommends adopting from rescue groups and animal shelters because they offer new owners a great selection. The selection changes daily with new animals coming in, so families can take their time and wait for the perfect pet that meets everyone’s expectations. If you’ve decided against adoption because you’ve got your heart set on a purebred pet, think again. While 70 to 75 percent of pets in animal shelters are mixed breeds, 25 to 30 percent of pets at a shelter are pure bred. You can also contact a breed rescue organizations that specialize in specific breeds of cats and dogs. These organizations allow people to adopt pets that they have rescued. Animal shelters usually screen the temperaments of the pets so that families have some idea of the animal’s personality and background before buying it, which helps in deciding which pet would be best fit for their family.
Want a dog or cat? Check out our friends at

This is Arrisa, adopted in January. She's five years old and happily retired from her racing career. She's also a bully stick addict.

A picture is worth a thousand barks! Help us bark awareness about animal adoption & save lives. Share pic of your fuzzy face rescue on our Best Bully Sticks Facebook page!

Give the gift of  a good chew by shopping .  Delicious & all natural, the way nature intended! Please make sure to check out our growing selection of dog treats, dog chews, and of course our  bully sticks . Try our NEW All Natural Free Range Odor free bully sticks!

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8 Ways to Raise Money for Animal Rescues

animalrescueMany well deserving & caring non-profit animal shelters and rescues rely upon the generosity of volunteers and donations to continue their rescue efforts. Animal shelters depend heavily on fundraisers so they can continue to operate their facilities and tend to the needs of homeless, abused and stray animals in need of extra love and care. So you can imagine that they need your help! Our friends at ehow have thought of some creative & simple things we all can do to help our local animal rescue & shelter raise money and supplies for their efforts.

1. Set a Monetary goal. How much do you want to raise, and in what time frame?

2. Organize a Spare Change Jar. Make a public announcement or send out email  at your work or school that you are trying to raise money for your local rescue & shelter. Set the jar and sign out for people to donate spare change. Every week you can collect the money and drop off proceeds to local rescue or shelter.

3. Host a dog wash event. Have volunteers sign up to commit some time to helping set up and participate in the dog wash event. Contact local pet stores to see if they can donate shampoo & brushes for the event and have people donate clean old towels to the cause.  You will also need a hose and access to water. You might want to consider hosting the dog wash in the rescue parking lot to draw awareness about the organization and spur on adoptions. Advertise that people can bring up their dogs for a bath and charge a fee. Local newspapers may advertise this event for free, and flyers can be distributed among the community.

4. Host a dog walk-athon. Choose a day and host a dog walk, either through town or at a local park. Charge a “walk fee” of maybe $5, and everyone walking their dog will receive a certificate, knowing that their money is going to help an animal shelter. See if you can get buttons or t-shirts donated. You can even set up a stand and sell items for a little extra money, such as bottled water or dog dishes.

5. Organize an auction. Collect donations from local businesses and people. Try to get a couple of large prizes, such as tickets to a major league baseball game or a mountain bike. Sell tickets for the prizes, and at the same time, you can sell 50/50 tickets to raise even more money. Refreshments are another option to make more money if you have enough volunteers.

6. Throw a garage sale and donate all money raised. Collect donations of items to sell, and advertise all over town. Make sure to be clear to everyone that all money raised goes towards the animal shelter.

7. Challenge the local community to give & get involved. Create an excitement that is infectious, and others will want to join in and do the same thing. Encourage others to do what they can to raise money for animal shelters and your efforts will go a long way.

You can also help Best Bully Sticks champion the rescue shelter fund-raising cause by doing the following:

8. Click to Give a $1 at Checkout! Participate in our Best Bully Sticks $1 Donation Program by shopping on and clicking to donate a $1 at checkout. For every $1 you donate at checkout we will donate a $1 with a 100% of the proceeds going to rescues and shelters in need across the country. The money raised will help with out reach, basic animal necessities and rescue programs. Donations raised monthly by you will be given to 3 lucky rescues during our ongoing monthly Best Bully Sticks Rescue Shelter Giveaway

Give the gift of  a good chew by shopping .  Delicious & all natural, the way nature intended! Please make sure to check out our growing selection of dog treats, dog chews, and of course our  bully sticks . Try our NEW All Natural Free Range Odor free bully sticks!

Also, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for Best Bully Stick News, New Products & Discounts!! For daily updates follow us on twitter @bestbullysticks

Become a fan of our facebook page for exclusive coupons and giveaways.

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