Jon Bourque Dog Trainer Bio

Jon BourqueMy interest in dogs had started at a young age, when I was 7 my parents decided to get a family dog. Naturally, I wanted to help with the process and started looking at all different types of breeds. My parents decided on a German Shepherd Dog and later found a good breeder. Like most first time dog owners, we had no idea what we were getting into. Soon, we had a giant ball of energy terrorizing our house. This was when I learned the importance of training a dog…

For the rest of her life, we focused on becoming better dog owners. This lead up to our (my) second dog, Cole, a border collie/lab/greyhound mix . I found that going from an adult dog back to a puppy is quite a change. After a year of having to “start over” with raising a puppy again. I found an Animal Care & Science program at the college I was attending. This was the turning point for me, I had professors with many years of experience to help with my high energy 1 year old mutt.

After a full year of training Cole (every day) I realized how much fun working with dogs could be. I was fortunate that one of my professors got me a job at a new dog daycare in 2008. Here I learned about pack behavior and body language with dogs. I also found how being limited to one training method was preventing me from handling every dog. I ended up getting an internship with a trainer that had 35 years experience working with protection & sport dogs. This lead to the purchase of Serra, my Beauceron. I used all my knowledge to raise a “perfect puppy” as I liked to call it. I started fun obedience with her at 8 weeks old and extensively socialized her. The first two years of her life involved huge amounts of work but resulted in the best dog I’ve ever owned.

Having both new and old school training experience, I began training dogs on my own. I found that most dogs needed a mix of training technique to learn best. After a few years of working at kennels and dog day cares, I was invited to be a manager & set up the training program for them.

I later ended up breeding Serra so I could experience how to be a dog breeder. I found that all the testing and certifications were very expensive but important to producing quality puppies. Needless to say, this is how I acquired both Pants & Patch.

I moved away from Massachusetts in the beginning of 2014, looking forward to working with Sit Means Sit in San Antonio, I’ve been nothing but impressed with their technique of training and skill with all kinds of dogs. I’m very happy to be part of this “trainer family.”

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Healthy Food for a Healthy Dog

How Fres Is Your Dog FoodMany dogs seem willing to eat just about anything — and that can be a problem. Of course, I know a lot of people like this too. A diet that doesn’t meet your canine pal’s nutritional requirements and activity level can contribute to serious health issues. A combination of obedience training and a careful dietary transition can ensure his well being for many years to come.

Your veterinarian, trainer and or nutritionist can recommend products formulated to provide the proper mix of calories and nutrients for your dog’s age and lifestyle. An adult dog, for instance, shouldn’t be eating puppy chow, and a senior dog may need a product specially tailored to his needs. We recommend using high quality dog foods with holistic ingredients made is smaller batches. Another option is to try a raw food diet. We sell and feed our dogs Taste of the Wild and Life’s Abundance. We also recommend checking out DogFoodAdvisor to find a good food. You should feed your dog a four or five star food. If you dog itches, we strongly recommend a grain free five star food to see if that helps!

Change Food

Food or ChemicalThe transition from one type of dog food to another must occur gradually, however, or you risk giving your dog digestive problems. You should mix the old food with the new food, increasing the ratio of new food by 10 percent every other day over a couple week’s time, until the transition to the new product is complete. This not only gives the digestive system time to adapt, but it also helps your pet get used to his new dinner menu.

Human Food

Speaking of menus — does your dog view your kitchen and dinner table as his private restaurant booth? If your dog whines, hovers next to you, or uses other methods of begging for treats, you need to nip this behavior in the bud. Much of human food is generally terrible for pets (especially processed foods). Some foods are even dangerious. Every time you give in to those puppy-dog eyes by surrendering a treat, you’re rewarding and reinforcing the behavior. Obedience training is probably the quickest and easiest solution. Teach your pet the commands to go to his “special place” (a doggie bed, mat, et cetera) and stay there until after mealtime. Afterward, you can reward with a treat — a healthy treat made for dogs, that is!

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Whose the Boss? Krystal or Boss the Rottweiler!

Krystal with Sit Means Sit San Antonio had a big guy on her hands with Boss, the awesome Rottweiler. When Krystal got him at the beginning of the board and train, she could barely get him to go where she wanted. She had her work cut out for her, but she did an amazing job teaching him to listen and walk well on and off leash!

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Taz, The Very Strong German Shepherd, Learns To Walk Well!

Danielle with Sit Means Sit Austin had her hands full with a very strong German Shepherd that had no clue how to walk on a leash, or how to get his nose up from the ground and pay attention. He was so strong he dragged Danielle around and she could barely get him to go where she wanted him to go. A two week board and train immersion with Danielle changed all that! Now he walks very well on the leash and doesn’t have his nose on the ground all the time so he can pay attention

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Rosie The Beautiful Golden Retriever Learns Great Behavior!

Jacob with Sit Means Sit San Austin [] had a rambunctious one on his hands with Rosie, the young Golden Retriever! During her board and train, Jacob taught her how to listen to him and her owners, how to walk well on a leash and how to not go crazy when she sees other dogs!

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Spring Cleaning for Dog Owners

Cleaning DogI have been waiting all winter to post this article! Ready for some spring cleaning? Here are some tasks for dog owners who want to enjoy a cleaner pet as well as a cleaner home:

  • Carrier cleaning – Would you want to spend any time in a pet carrier that never got cleaned? Well, neither does your dog. Take a few minutes to wipe down his crate or carrier thoroughly. Good old soap and water is safer for your pet than bleach or disinfectants. Once you’ve got it clean, try to keep it that way.
  • Grooming – Springtime means going out and enjoying the temperate weather, but is your dog ready to meet his adoring public? This might be an ideal time to schedule a grooming session. Grooming not only makes your pet look and smell nicer, but it can also reveal possible skin diseases, infestations or other health issues that need attention. And rimming your dog’s nails can help spare that new floor or rug you bought to impress holiday guests. It is also very uncomfortable for your dog to walk on long nails! While this is a good time to remind you, proper oral hygiene is always important for your dog.
  • Carpets and bedding – If your dog has enjoyed an active winter in the great outdoors, he probably tracked fair amount of the great outdoors into the house, including possible parasites. Fleas and flea eggs love to lie low in these fabrics until they get a chance to spring onto any of your pets or family members. Regular cleaning and vacuuming can help keep these parts of your home flea-free. (Remember to throw out the used vacuum bag after each cleaning.)

One final spring cleaning tip: Don’t leave any cleaning chemicals in paw’s reach while you’re tidying up your home, or you could have a veterinary emergency on your hands. If you do use commercial cleaning products, make absolutely sure they’re completely dry, and the space completely aired out, before letting your dog enter.

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Gypsy the Hyper 7 Month Old Vizsla! She Learns to Have Focus and Attention

Danielle with Sit Means Sit San Austin [] did a fantastic job training Gypsy, the 7 month old Vizsla. Just like the breed, she is very hyper and wants to go and do everything. Danielle taught her how to focus and pay attention when she was asked to. She taught her to walk well on a leash and to not go over the top crazy when she saw people and other dogs!

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Austin Dog Training: Labrador Feels Happiest With His Family and His Family is Happiest With Him!

Client’s Name: Diego

Dog’s Name: “Bo”

City: Austin

Breed: Labrador

Likes:He loves to take a ride in our car and visit Zilker park where he can play with other dogs.

Pet-Peeves:Stay by himself outside

Favorite Toy:SHe loves the frisbees and some balls that we throw far away and he looks for them.

Favorite Treat: He loves some organic cookies and real marrow bones.

Favorite Walk: Love to visit the trail at Zilker park and drop the kids to the schools.

Best Trick: He sits, stays and jump all the way to our trampoline.

Arrival Story: We bought Bo from different options, all my kids decided that he was the one to become part of our family

Why Training / Sit Means Sit:We think Sit Means Sit has a good program with the quality we requested to train our dog

Motto:Caring, loving and faithful. He is always happy to see us and he loves to be around us. He feels happy with us and we feel happy with him.

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Dental Hygiene and Canine Health

Dog With ToothbrushDogs seem to do just about everything with their mouths, from fetching disgusting old tennis balls, to carrying their pups around by the scruff of the neck. But if you think that canine teeth and gums were made of some special indestructible material, think again. Your dog is subject to many of the same dental problems you and I are — and that’s why dental hygiene plays such an important role in veterinary wellness.
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Don’t Forget to Exercise Your Dog’s Mind!

Puppy On Head Playing With Kong ToyMost dog owners know that their furry pals need some sort of exercise each day, even those canine “couch potatoes” who would happily sleep most of their lives away. Your dog might seem content with a daily walk — but while that’s certainly beneficial, it isn’t enough. To have a truly healthy, happy and responsive dog, you need to present him with entertaining challenges that exercise his mind as well as his body.
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