Monday, October 29, 2012

Such Good Dogs Car

As part of building a business that caters to dogs, we have re-done our car to be more dog friendly.  Below are some pictures of the process of making our Kia Soul more dog friendly.  We took out the back seats and had a platform put in.  We actually had two levels of platform put in so that I could have a large storage space under the back platform for all the many dog accessories and items needed for dog training.

The final step of our fabulous new Such Good Dogs car was advertising on the side of the car.  I used pictures of my own dogs on the car, with the business name, contact information, and what services we offer.  This way no matter where we travel, people can see our car and think of us for their future dog training needs.

A special thank you to the following for all your hard work on my Such Good Dogs Car...

Stephen Proffer--Carpenter
P.O. Box 1801
Makawao HI 96768

Joe's Auto--Upholstery
Custom Upholstery & Auto Detailing
261 Dairy Road
Kahului, Maui, HI 96732

Sign Solutions--Advertising
Andy Bridge
300 Ohukai, Suite 312
Kihei Commercial Center

These are the back seats to be removed.

Trying to find the bolts to remove the seat was difficult!

Yeah!  Back seat is out!

Added a wood plank to level it out for the platform.

Drill it in!

First platform.

Edge between the two platforms.

Adding the second platform with hinges for storage.

Sanding it up all nice.

The sun was fighting with me for pictures.

Super nice water-proof carpet added for dog comfort and durability.

SGDs drinking water in our fabulous new car back.

Nekita is such a cutie pie!

Nekita is so cute she got 2 pictures on the car.

A really large dog left paw prints on the car :)

Handsome Caravaggio.

Keep an eye out on the streets of Maui for our new Such Good Dogs car.
Honk if you love dogs!

Trainer Tips--Begging

Have a dog that begs?  Begging can become an annoying and sometimes gross dog behavior.  One of my dog's actually got to the point where she would have a large puddle of drool wherever she was sitting, watching us eat.  Pretty gross! do you avoid this problem?

To avoid begging, never feed your dog from the dinner table, or wherever you eat.  This is not to say that your dog cannot have human food scraps.  To avoid begging, put any food scraps you wish to give your dog in their bowl, even better, mix the scraps in with their daily meals.  If a dog knows he will not get a random flying piece of food from you while you're eating, he will leave you alone.  To take it one step further, do not allow your dog to lay in an area near where you are eating.  If you have a dog that stares at you during meal time, have your dog lay on their bed or in their kennel in another room.  Dogs who beg have been previously rewarded for this behavior.  If you do not allow the behavior by following the simple things listed above, you will not have a dog that begs.

Remember that all members of the household should always have the same rules.  If you do not want your dog to beg, make sure that everyone is following the rules.  Sneaking your dog that one little snack here or there will set back your progress in training.

Notice how they stare at the food.

Mmm, that looks tasty.

Staring and drooling.

This is begging!
Remember...remove the dogs to their spot in another room, 
where they can NOT see you and watch you eat.

Instead, mix any leftovers in the dog's bowl with their regular dog food.
Depending on how much extra you mix in, 
subtract that much regular dog food from their normal size meal.

Add leftovers to the regular dog food.

Mix all contents of the bowl together.

We like to throw a little extra tiny bit of regular dog food on top.

Dogs must perform a "Watch Me," and wait to be released in order to eat.

That's a good dinner!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012


I am very happy to say that it was not too difficult to start building a new client base in our new home of Napili, (Maui) Hawaii.  Although it has been a slow process, I am gaining new clients all the time and very happy about it.

This is Toby.  Toby was recently adopted from the Maui Humane Society by our neighbors.  Toby has a little bit of a problem being left by himself.  Such Good Dog's has been working with Toby on kennel training (where his family would like him to stay while they are gone for the day).  Toby has made amazing progress over the past two weeks.  Toby is now much more comfortable with everyday situations and much less anxious.  He is now going into his kennel on command and has slept in his kennel with very little whining before quieting down for the night.

Toby is a very cute little guy and Such Good Dog's is very happy to have helped him and his family grow together.

Gaining Toby's trust with some treats.

Good boy!
I love when a dog offers the belly for petting!

I'm SO cute!

Nekita & Toby

Toby has the cutest ears!

Toby with Athena at Kapalua Costal Trail.

Toby with SGDs at Windmills Beach.

Toby with SGDs at the trails off Honolua Bay.

Toby napping on my foot in the car after our hike.

Look how good Toby is staying in his kennel.
He made a lot of progress in his kennel training in his last 2 days with us.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Flying dogs to Maui, Hawaii

As I have mentioned in previous posts, flying your dogs to Hawaii from the mainland can be a major test of your patience.  It is very difficult, very time consuming, very expensive, and can be amazingly confusing.  Now that everything is all said and done for us, I would like to share with you some of the steps (and pictures) along the way.  We were very fortunate to get all of our paperwork in order and our two dogs were released directly from the airport with NO quarantine.

Starting your dog on this process actually begins about 6 months before your intended flying time.  The state of Hawaii is very strict on its rules.  Because Hawaii does not have rabies, their rules must be followed to the exact time requirements.  If you are off the time limit, even by a few hours, your dogs will automatically be quarantined for 120 days.

The first step to flying your dogs to Hawaii is visiting the Hawaii Department of Agriculture website and printing off their requirements.  Take this paperwork to the vet with you so that your vet can assist you with the many questions you will have.  Next, schedule your vet appointment to receive a rabies vaccine for your dog.  This is necessary even if you are up to date on all your dog's shots (as we were).  About a week after the rabies vaccine, you must return to the vet to draw a blood sample.  This sample must be sent to Kansas State University.  Your vet will send the sample to the appropriate address (this will be in the paperwork).

This first step is the most important step to really get you going.  Your dogs may NOT arrive in Hawaii until 120 DAYS AFTER the university receives the blood test.

You will also need to have your pet microchipped (if not already done so).  If your pet is already chipped, be sure to have the vet check the chip to make sure it is working.  If you fly your pet to Hawaii and their chip cannot be scanned properly, your dog will receive the automatic 120-day quarantine.

WARNING:  The amount of paperwork involved with flying dogs to Hawaii is amazingly time consuming.  Make sure you print ALL of this paperwork.  Although it will take you time to go through and figure it out, make sure you have everything, including your check list of the requirements for the 5 Day or Less Program for your pet.  We found this page very helpful to make sure we really had everything we needed.

Finding an airline to fly your pet is another expensive and time consuming adventure.  Because one of our dogs is very large, about 90 pounds, we ended up having an unforeseen complication.  Although I did my homework and actually physically went to the airport and asked questions, I was given incorrect information.  I was told that both dogs were to fly out of the main airport at the counter behind their baggage claim.  Be sure that if you are flying a large dog, you mention that to them.  If I had asked this place, "My one dog is 85 pounds and will be in a kennel that weighs 30 pounds, is this still the right place?" they would have told me no.  Most airlines have a rule that cargo must be UNDER 100 POUNDS.  Had I simply asked this question at the time I was there, it would have saved me a very large headache over two days.  If your dog and kennel will weigh over 100 pounds, your dog MUST be flown through the airline's Freight Office.

This kennel was the largest airline kennel they had.  We had to add a 5-inch wood spacer to meet the airline requirements for Caravaggio's size.

Because Caravaggio is such a large dog, and a TALL dog, we had to order and build a special kennel for him.  Check out the Sky Kennel website for available kennels and use the sizing chart to measure your dog.  Properly measuring your dog for a kennel is VERY important.  If you have questions, contact your airline after measuring your dog.  If you have a large dog that will not fit into the largest regular kennel, you will need to add a spacer or build your own kennel.  We used Atwood's Pet Transport to order our kennel spacer.

Also, airlines will NOT FLY YOUR DOG IF your dog has been SEDATED.  Be sure to NOT give your dog drugs of any kind prior to flight.

Airlines also have a temperature requirement to fly pets.  If the temperature outside exceeds 84F (29C) or drops below 45F (7C), the airline will not accept your pets for flight.  Keep this is mind when scheduling your pet's flight.  It is also a good idea to plan your flight around this possible complication. My husband and I planned this out very well.  My husband flew out first and was able to handle the dogs coming into Hawaii.  Our flights were scheduled a week apart, with the dogs flying a few days after he left.  It was a very good thing we did it this way because we did indeed have a complication with flying Caravaggio.  Had a been scheduled to fly the same day as the dogs, I would have had to change my flight and pay extra for doing so.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the information on the Dept. of Agriculture website is for flying your dog to the big island of Hawaii.  Trying to figure out how to get the dogs from the big island to another island became just too much of a headache for us.  That is when we decided to hire some help from Akona Pet Travel.  I very highly recommend Akona Pet Travel to assist you in the paperwork headache with flying pets to Hawaii.  Using Akona Pet Travel made it so much easier for us to get the dogs approved for direct island release.  This company put us in touch with a certified verterinarian that met my husband at the airport when the dogs arrived.  The vet checked them over real quick, scanned their microchip, and released them to my husband.  Because of our complication with the airport in Minnesota, our dogs ended up flying separately, and both flights were delayed getting into Maui.  The vet that Akona Pet put us in touch with was extremely nice and very understanding of delays.  She was happy and willing to come any time, no matter when the flight came in.  This was also very important because the department of agriculture will only allow pets to arrive at their open business hours.  You could very easily run into a problem with this, as flights are often delayed, especially those going to Hawaii.

I have since heard of another company that can assist in flying pets to Hawaii as well, Island Pet Movers.  Although Akona Pet was immensely helpful overall for us, I was slightly disappointed in them.  Akona Pet is the reason we ended up having to fly our dogs separately.  They mistakenly booked Caravaggio out of an office that was closed the day of his flight.  I was extremely NOT happy about that and had to endure a large day of headaches because of it.  Since being on Maui, I have heard nothing but good reviews of this other company, Island Pet Movers.  Considering my very large headache caused by Akona Pet's mistake, I would recommend Island Pet Movers instead!

The Department of Agriculture Hawaii requires you to mail your paperwork ahead of time.  They must receive copies of the paperwork required (with original veterinarian signature) 30 DAYS BEFORE YOUR PET ARRIVES.  The Department of Agriculture website has the Dog & Cat Import Form that lists all the paperwork needed to mail...including two rabies certificates, microchip information, and the health certificate.  Keep in mind the Pet Health Certificate you will not get until 10 days before you fly, and are therefore unable to mail 30 days ahead of time.  We were concerned about this, but it was not a problem.

This was the very expensive, most important, piece of paperwork for direct airport release.
This piece of paperwork (along with copies of both rabies vaccines with original veterinarian signature)
 travels in the documents pouch that will be attached to the kennel.
(This was something Akona Pet Travel hooked us up with).

The last thing you will need to fly your pet to Hawaii is a veterinarian certificate of health.  This must be done WITHIN 10 DAYS OF ARRIVAL.  Please note, some areas of the paperwork say this must be done within 14 days of arrival.  Yet another part of the paperwork that is confusing.  Just know that it is NOT within 14 days, it is within 10 days.  The Health certificate is a fairly easy and quick vet visit.  The vet is basically checking your pet over to make sure they are healthy.  At this time it is also required that the vet apply a flea and tick remedy (such as Frontline).

Treats for a good visit :)

I'm going to tell you right now, the day you fly your pet you should expect something to go wrong.  There is always a complication.  You may get lucky and get through everything smoothly, but be prepared for drama.  Remember to exercise your pet as much as possible before bringing them to the airport.  It is important to remain calm.  The more calm you can remain, the more likely your pet will remain calm.  Make sure you have been doing Kennel Training with your pet over the past several months so that your pet is familiar with and comfortable in the kennel.

Nekita climbed right up on the scale and laid down.

Caravaggio walking with my mom before getting into his kennel.

Because we put in the time and effort to kennel train our dogs, and I made a point to stay calm when taking them to the airport, we were able to keep their travel day as stress-free as possible for them.


Here we all are in our lovely new home of Maui, Hawaii.

Such Good Dogs exploring our new home.
(with new client, Toby (little dog).