Dogtra ARC remote trainer

The Dogtra Arc Remote Trainer is stated to be “one of the most advanced dog training collars available on the market today”.   The collar is designed different than most dog training collars. Its ergonomic shape is meant to prevent the dog from even knowing it’s on.  The shape also improves the reliability of the contact points as well.   For those pet owners who are concerned about being discreet when using an e-collar, the Dogtra ARC’s curved receiver is smaller than most e-collars so neighbors or other dog owners won’t notice your dog has a collar on them.

The Dogtra transmitter is compact and fairly easy to use once you understand the button placement.   In addition, it is specifically designed to be expandable for up to 2 dogs so you don’t need to purchase an extra system for each dog.

A nice feature is that the remote control transmitter and the receiver/ collar are completely waterproof so you can feel comfortable training in all weather conditions.  And the LCD screen not only displays the amount of stimulation that you currently have your system set for, but also the remaining battery life so you are never caught off guard with a dead battery while training.

The Dogtra ARC offers up to ¾ mile of line of sight range making it ideal for pet owners who wish to allow their dog a little extra freedom.   Dogtra is quick to add, “ like all electric dog training devices, the amount of range that is accomplished can vary significantly depending upon the terrain, adverse weather conditions and interruption from trees and buildings.”

As perfect a tool as it seems we did find some room for improvement.

  • The collar’s shape limits its use with larger dogs. It is best suited for mild to moderate temperament dogs from 15 lbs. to 120 lbs.  We would like to see the same system available for smaller dogs and more stubborn dogs as well.
  • While the non-stimulating vibration function is obviously a nice feature to have, some dogs simply respond better to a warning tone, and that feature is not available with the Dogtra ARC. Several of our testers were turned off by the Dogtra Arc for this reason.
  • A couple of testers complained about the stims sensitivity and felt it could be better regulated. This by far is the WORST FLAW of the remote. The dial allows you to set a stim range from 0-127. However, the sensitivity will change very easily with the slightest touch or just brushing against your clothing.

Acme gives the Dogtra ARC 4 paws for design and discreetness, but an overall score of 3paws due to the sensitivity with the regulator.




The Charitable side of Acme Canine

Acme Canine is proud to be part of the community we serve. As a small, independent full service dog training facility our clients are our neighbors – the people we know by name.

Giving back to the community is part of Acme Canine Resource Center’s purpose, and there are many charitable activities in which Acme participates. Acme volunteers Reading Dogs to schools and libraries, sponsors an Olentangy Little League team, collects items for Faithful Forgotten Best Friends and gives demo dog presentations to local schools and organizations.

Recently we formed a partnership with Half Price Books in Lewis Center with our Acme Reading dog teams.  Each month a group of owner and dogs volunteer their Saturday afternoon to help children with reading comprehension.

In addition we now have a partnership with Babies R Us at Polaris.  Laura, owner and founder of Acme Canine is offering tips and advice to dog owner in a one hour class on Preparing your dog for a baby’s arrival.

Teach your dog to clean up their dog toys trick

Although this dog toy trick looks pretty fancy, in many ways it’s just an advanced form of fetch. Before you can begin this exercise, your dog must know the “take it” and “drop it” training cues.

Once your dog successfully takes the toy and drops it nine out of 10 times during practice, you can begin the next exercise.

Get a basket that you’ll want your dog to put his toys in and select a few of your dog’s favorite toys. For consistency, keep the basket in the same spot of the house—this will make it easier for your dog. Place the toys right next to the basket and sit beside the basket.

Step 1: Touch a toy and say “take it.” Then, hold a treat in your hand and lure the dog over to the basket.  After your dog has picked up the toy and when the toy is over the basket, give the “drop it” command encouraging and rewarding him for putting the toy in the toy box upon returning. After your dog succeeds with this at least nine out of 10 times, you can begin to only reward him with a treat after he has put two or three toys in the basket.

Once that behavior is consistent, do the same thing with other kinds of toys.

Step 2: Move a short distance away from the toy box, and start by saying “clean up” or “toys away” to sequence the behaviors. Eventually you will no longer have to give the verbal commands “take it” and “drop it”.

Step 3: Scatter toys around the room, not too far from the toy box. Encourage your dog to “clean up” each item and return it to the basket. This may mean running to each toy with your dog and racing him back to the toy box to add excitement.

Step 4: Scatter toys throughout the house, and ask your dog to “clean up”. Really advanced dogs who’ve played “Find it!” games, where they hunt around for scents, stashed treats, or favorite toys, can eventually learn to search the entire house for toys and return them to the toy basket.

Consistency is Key

This is an exercise that requires a lot of practice and patience, but is a lot of fun and an impressive trick to show off to your friends. If you’re having trouble with this exercise, please contact Acme Canine for help.

Dr. First gives tips on how to cope with the death of a pet

By Dr. Lewis First, Chief of Pediatrics at Vermont Children’s

BURLINGTON, Vt. —One of the saddest questions I get from parents is how to help a child cope with the death of a pet. Well let me see if I can provide some information on this all too common topic.

First, it is important to understand that how a child deals with a pet’s death depends largely depends on their age and personality. For example, until children are age 5 or 6, their view of the word is very concrete, so they don’t understand death, but might understand your telling them that a pet’s body was not working anymore and cannot be fixed.

They may not understand this is permanent at this age and you may have to repeat the fact that the pet cannot be fixed and will not come back. A key concept at this age and even as your child gets older is that he or she may feel they are to blame for this happening, and obviously you need to reassure your child often more than once in the weeks and months that follow that this is not the case at all.

Avoid phrases such as the pet “went away” or “went to sleep” since children may become fearful when you tell them a family member is going away or going to sleep.

Kids between 6 and 10 years of age do understand the finality of death but don’t quite understand that it will eventually happen to them one day. Providing accurate, simple, clear and honest answers to their questions is the best way to talk with children at this age.

Teens understand that eventually everyone dies. They may experience some guilt or anger about the pet’s death even at this age, and it is important to encourage them to express and share their grief, anger or sadness.

Parents, sharing your own grief and even tears in front of your child or teen may actually help your young one deal with their own emotional pain and loss. Make sure your child regardless of age, knows that despite the loss, that you can continue to love and talk about the happy memories of the pet forever, and maybe over time welcome a new pet into the family.

Your child’s doctor or your pet’s veterinarian can help and provide access to books, and if necessary counselors to help a child and family go through this difficult time.

Hopefully tips like this will bring peace of mind to you and your children when it comes to dealing with the particulars in helping them deal with the death of the family pet.

Potty training dogs in the rain

There’s a saying that goes something like, “April Showers bring potty training problems.” Well, maybe that isn’t exactly the saying but rain can cause owners frustration with their dogs.

Some dogs don’t appreciate rain hitting their bodies. This is especially true with anxious or sensitive dogs. The rain, especially with all our rain in Central Ohio, can be distracting and being pelted while trying to eliminate can exacerbate their fears.

Other dogs hesitate before going out in the rain because of the sound the rain creates. The best way to describe this is that the sound of rain distorts the sound waves similar to the way light is distorted to create a rainbow. This sound distortion tends to hurt the pups ears which are already sensitive.
With rainy and windy weather comes a change in barometric pressure which can also affect a dogs ears – like when you go up to high or low altitudes and your ears feel they need to pop – same thing.

For some dogs, it’s not the rain that bothers them, it’s the thunder and lightning. Dogs with a storm phobia are more often herding breeds and hounds, but any dog can be afraid of storms and it can be a serious issue for an owner to deal with.

By interacting with your dog and using commands you can make going out in the rain a more tolerable and maybe eventually enjoyable experience. Here are a couple of suggestions
Go out with them. You being with your dog (anywhere) boosts his confidence and makes him feel safe. Don’t just open the door and tell him to go out, join him.
Teach them an elimination command. Having a command which encourages an action that your dog understands will provide quicker and more positive results.
Wipe them down with a towel (or even a wad of paper towels) can help dry off a soaking wet dog, thus avoiding any more water on your floors and furniture. More importantly, it will help them feel more comfortable and not catch cold.

Once you’ve made a successful trip in the rain, give them lots of praise. Next time, they may not mind a few raindrops.

Rock ‘N Bowl Interactive Dog Toy and Feeder not so rocking

Toys fall into two categories: interactive and pacifier. Interactive toys are toys which are the most fun played with YOU. Pacifier toys are toys designed to keep a bored dog occupied.

Since dogs are naturally curious it is important to provide your dog with both types of toys. When left alone dogs tend to come up with their idea of fun. This is usually followed by frustrated dog owners calling dog trainers to help fix the problem. In addition, it is important for dogs to eat at a slower pace to prevent digestion problems from arising. So when we saw the ‘PAW5′ Rock ‘N Roll Dog Bowl we had to contact the company and ask if we could test it.

According to the company’s description, the Rock ‘N Bowl works like a toy-bowl hybrid by filling the bowl with up to four cups of food and having dogs sniff, nudge and shift it to receive the kibble. The bowl design builds off your dog’s natural hunt and forage instincts while it stimulates and challenges your dog’s mind. Perfect we thought.

Once we received the bowl from PAW5 we started testing. The bowl is made in the USA using FDA-Compliant BPA and phthalate-free plastic. It breaks down into 3 pieces: the grey lid with pawprint shape, the colored outer bowl with the holes, and a lower rubber-coated piece that removes for the dishwasher, making it easy to clean. The size of the bowl we received was 8-inches in diameter with ¾-inch holes in the pawprint indentation.
We had several clients and staff members try the bowl out on their pets. Kibble varied from 1/4 –inch to 1/2- inch in size. Dogs were wide-ranging in size, breed and food drive.

WHAT WE DISCOVERED: No matter what type of kibble, we were unable to keep 4 cups in the bowl. Larger kibble worked better than the smaller in staying on the top. Smaller kibble poured through the bowl and quickly on the floor.

The bowl did create longer mealtimes but also caused a large mess in doing so. Fast eaters hit the bowl once or twice and spread the food all over the floor and then ate from the floor. Slower eaters did much better. They would methodically rock the bowl to gather the kibble from the ground around the bowl. The cats who tried this feeder felt the bowl too much of a hassle to get the food and meowed their complaints to their owners.

Rock ‘N Bowl is a lot easier to clean than a wobbler type feeder. We were able to take the grey paw indented piece from the bowl. Unfortunately we never figured out how to get the bottom portion apart, but the dishwasher still cleaned it beautifully.

As far as a “puzzle” feeder the term might be being a little generous. Most of the dogs figured that out in about 2 seconds all they needed to do was pop it over and dump the food out. The food falls out very easily so it might be better for a smaller dog that needs less food, or for someone that feeds smaller portions multiple times a day.

Overall comments included the testers didn’t feel the bowl warranted the $30.00 of value since it didn’t provide much mental stimulation for their pets and the food came out and spread on the floor much too freely.

Acme Canine gives this product 2-paws up for a great concept that may need some tweaking to appeal to a larger audience of dogs.

Here’s some videos


Dogs and Toddlers

When you have dogs and kids it is important to teach BOTH of them and make it YOUR responsibility to keep them both safe.  It is not the dog’s responsibility to keep a child safe nor is it the child’s to make a dog behave.

By setting house rules and understanding the principles of behavior, clarity, timing, teaching, and consequences – happy and not so happy – you will be surprised at how well this works.  In addition, being consistent with the following rules for both child and dog will yield amazing results.

Your child is NOT to approach the dog to interact with her without one of you being *RIGHT* with him. No exceptions! Since one of you is always around when your child is around the dog, you can enforce this with one warning if your child forgets. Over time your dog will understand when your child approaches she will not be assaulted since you intervened in each and every situation.   Note: Your child is allowed to walk by the dog, but he is not to touch her unless you are *RIGHT* with him.

Your child is NOT to run by the dog.  This is important to prevent him from accidently slipping and falling on her and to avoid scaring her and making her feel defensive. You need to be very clear on this rule.  If your child seems like he MIGHT run in a room near your dog (because after all, he is only a toddler), remind him of the rules in a nice way and make sure one of you is available to stop the behavior.  This means you have to be aware of where your dog is and where your child is all the time. Yep, this is hard. But it’s much easier than an awful ER visit…

The dog is going to bump the child once in awhile, especially when she’s excited. This is going to happen between dogs and toddlers.  Try not to allow them both to be in narrow areas of the house at the same time.  Ask your child to stand still and let the dog go by or ask him to come to you while your dog does a stand/wait.  You can also re-direct her (or him) in a different direction.   Having a fully obedience trained w/commands and signals helps a great deal in this situation.

If your dog is eating, your child is to stay away from her. You need to be actively aware of where your child is while your dog eats.  It may be easier to take responsibility for keeping him away from her general area in case he forgets.  You will need to teach your dog not to have a food guarding issue in addition to the Drop and the Leave It commands if food falls on the floor.  Generally, it is easy to have the dog baby gated away from the child when he is eating.

Your child is *NEVER* to be left alone in a room with the dog. I don’t care how nice the dog is or isn’t, or how quickly you’re leaving the room. If you have to leave a room, either your child or the dog comes with you; OR you put up a baby gate to separate the two.  Make it a game where your child has to find you or encourage him to look at something together. He could forget what he’s doing and make an error, thus blowing the dog’s trust in you to keep her safe, and the child’s trust in you as a leader.

No dog toys are left on the floor while your child is out and about in the house. Dog toys appear when he goes to bed.  They are played with and then put away so nobody forgets and blows it. Dogs can be very possessive animals so why chance a bad encounter.  Mark all of the dog’s toys with a little vanilla and teach her she’s not to pick up anything that isn’t scented with vanilla.  Your dog will learn this quickly just by telling her to Leave It when she sniffed anything without vanilla on it. You need to be stringent about this and consistent in order not to have issues.

Teach your child how to touch the dog.  Make it part of family stuff by talking about how Big Men are kind to animals, touch animals gently, etc.   While you are doing this make sure you’re *RIGHT THERE* with him to guide him into doing the right thing. This makes the dog feel happy and safe, too.  You child will end up being *great* with friends’ dogs too.

NEVER tell your child to leave the dog alone without redirecting him to do something else! It’s the same with dogs. Don’t just say “no,” say “No,” to interrupt, and then guide them into something they *can* (and hopefully want to) do.  You can’t necessarily “tell” a 2-yr old something and expect that to last very long if you don’t set them up to win. You need to constantly keep watch over them to help them do well– just like with a puppy.  If you want to extinguish a behavior in any creature, you have to address the behavior in a way that matters and means something to that creature, every time it happens, which means you have to be there to see it happening and apply good or bad consequences right away. If you let a few bad things go, it gets harder and harder to undo, the child listens less and less, etc. If you don’t reward the desired behavior, it’s less likely to happen again.  This can be hard to do and is exhausting in many cases. But it is do-able.

Remember, the responsibility for safety is with YOU, not the toddler or the dog. So if you KNOW your child may be apt to bother the dog, fall on him, etc., it is your responsibility to keep the dog AND the child safe, through training and management. It’s a heavy responsibility and can get old sometimes, I know. But if you do what has been suggested  now, your dog will thank you now, your child will thank you when he’s grown, and you won’t have to spend some nasty evening in the ER where your child’s face is full of stitches and you needing to make the decision whether to put your dog down.

Acme Canine now has video surveillance

Your dog is an important part of your family. Whether you are leaving your dog for an extended period of time or just dropping them off to play for the day, you need to be comfortable that your dog is being cared for in the proper manner.

Acme Canine has always had someone check on the dogs when kennel staff went home.  Now in our continued effort to expand the confidence you deserve that your dog is being cared for in a loving and professional environment Acme Canine has installed security cameras in the facility.

With video surveillance we’ll have the ability to keep better watch on your dog and the facility at all hours of the day.  As we become more familiar with the cameras and their abilities we hope to extend our view of your dog at play to the convenience of your phone.

It’s our way to provide you with the best canine care possible.

Building A Better Bond through Dog Training

Article courtesy of Out of the DogHouse, LLC. (

Bonding with Your Dog

 A troubled, problematic dog lacks bonding.  This is a dog that doesn’t need or have any regard for people.  He may live in your house but he may not treat it as his home.  More often an un-bonded dog is independent, impulsive, and doesn’t recognize people in its pack.

You can absolutely “love” your dog, offer your home for him to live, and promise to take care of him forever.  But the dog may not respond back in the same loving way.  He may poop, pee, chew up items, run away, and totally disregard your presence.

Dogs are viewed as part of the family so the responsibility is upon you to take care, be in charge, and lead your dog.  Your dog should be dependent on you.  By providing for the needs of your dog you will deepen the feelings you have for your dog and your dog for you.

Bonding is a two way street.  To get your dog to recognize you as part of the pack you must be in control of the resources the dog values: food, shelter, and safety.

To booster bonding you must spend time with your dog.  It starts when you offer food, shelter, and safety for your dog.  This bond can be enhanced when you play, groom, and really touch your dog to the point of examination without difficulty.

The ultimate bonding occurs when you move with your dog.  Dogs are travelers.  They move in organized packs with a leader and followers.  You must be the leader for your dog and the dog, by no other choice, must be the follower.


Strengthening Your Relationship

Moving about with your dog will strengthen your relationship.  You must be in control of space and movement.  This will allow your dog to view you as the leader.  Whether you are walking your dog on a leash or having your dog loose in your house you can teach your dog to understand the meaning of “Stop & Go”.

This means you must teach your dog when it is time to move, move out of the way, or stay put.  The non-moving commands of SIT, DOWN, and PLACE along with moving obedience commands of LET’S GO, HEEL, and COME will help your dog understand you are in charge of space and time.

Many behavioral problems disappear when you take control and satisfy your dog’s needs.  Your dog will look to you for decision making and will respond appropriately when you redirect behavior by giving a command.  This allows the dog to earn praise rather than be punished.

Taking your dog out to a field and having a solid recall will bring immense joy to both you and your dog.  From your dog’s view he will get to explore with his leader and satisfy many natural behaviors and instincts.  By having a solid recall you will trust your dog’s compliance and be able to allow distance both great and small to be gained by your dog.

Obedience to listening can also save your dog’s life.  A quick response to a SIT or DOWN command can prevent your dog from chasing an errant ball into the road.

Through the practical use of these words you will build and strengthen your relationship with your dog.  You will be happier to take your dog out and about with your.  And your dog will view you as the leader and have better behavior, also enjoying the time spent together.  Now you can begin living together as companions, which was your intent when you brought your dog into your home.


Article courtesy of Out of the DogHouse, LLC. (


Does Your Dog Pull On Leash?

It’s not just your dog! It takes two to pull.

Dogs do not pull if there is no one dangling at the end of the leash! Both you and your dog need to break old habits.

A Leash is to the Dog-Human connection like a seat-belt is to the car-driver connection.   Both are safety devices and often mandated by law. Just as we never use a seat-belt to drive our car, we should not use ca leash to “drive” our dogs.   A leash allows us a safe and effective connection to our dogs in case of surprises, emergencies, or situations where attention is hard to get or keep

Your dog pulls because someone, somewhere at some time, took a step when he put tension on the leash.   He continues to pull because it continues to be a rewarding experience. He pulls, and he gets to the car. He pulls and he gets to greet that other dog in class. He pulls and the neighbor lady across the street tells him how lovely he is, even though he is now not JUST pulling but is also climbing up the front of her with his muddy dog paws, to which she replies, “it’s ok, I don’t mind!”

What gets rewarded gets repeated.

Here is the elusive answer to the ever present question of HOW DO I TEACH MY DOG NOT TO PULL?? (Shhhhh – it’s a secret!)    Don’t walk forward if there is tension on the leash.

Sounds way too simple doesn’t it?

Simply POP every single time you note that the dog is about to put the slightest tension on the leash and the pulling will go away.   If you are consistent and don’t give up, he will learn it.  He will have good days and bad, but if you are diligent, he will figure it out.

When the dog is about to apply ANY tension to the leash at all …. Immediately stop. Pop the leash and say NO

When the dog stops pulling, PRAISE!…and encourage the dog back into the walk position

As long as the dog is in the magic spot of not pulling on the leash, make it the best possible place in the world to be. If he loses concentration and is about to put any tension on the leash, repeat the above sequence.

For further training with your dog, contact us today at Acme Canine, where we serve the Greater Columbus market in both class and personalized dog training.