Acme Canine’s 2015 top ten dog products

At Acme Canine we make it a point to try new dog products. Some work out so well, we stock them in our Woofie Shop in Lewis Center.  These have been highlighted in red.

Here’s our list of our top ten favorites for 2015:

Number 10
Nylabones – although it takes dogs a little time to get to like these, nylabones are great for moderate to heavy chewers.  They don’t splinter and unlike natural bone, you can clean them in the dishwasher.  They come in a variety of flavors from meaty pizza, filet mignon, Philly cheesesteak, and even but we prefer the unflavored since we don’t want to encourage begging.

Number 9
Kong – no list would be complete without this classic rubber dog toy.  Not for every dog but definitely a versatile toy.  You can throw it, bounce it and pack it full of treats.

Number 8
Green Interactive Feeder- we really like problem solving feeders over putting kibble in a bowl.  This one in particular is easy to use and easy to clean as well as durable.  Which is why we put it on our list.

Number 7
Puddle and Pile – this phone app was created to help with housetraining and it really does a good job of letting the owner know when to take your dog out.  You still need to set boundaries and supervise your dog but it takes a lot of the guess work out of how often to take them out.

Number 6
Washn’Zip Pet Beds – we have tested this bed for over 3 years and washed it several times.  The unique design of folded material zipped into a dog bed which makes its own cushion is very versatile.  From car seat cover, pet bed, furniture throw…this product allows you to wash it easily no matter how you use it.

Number 5
Gordon MacIntyre Lathering Cleanser – we like how this shampoo created by two Ohio veterinary dermatologists cleans and holds a scent on the dog.  In fact, it is the only product we use for bathing dogs at Acme.

Number 4
Zoom Groom -We like this rubber grooming tool for brushing short haired dogs since the rubber acts like a magnet to the loose har.  In addition, we use it when bathing dogs no matter what hair length since it stimulates the skin better than our fingers and gets down in the undercoat so the dog comes out cleaner.

Number 3
Uncle Pawlies all natural dog treats - with no artificial colors or preservatives and quality products, it’s a no brainer that we choose this Ohio product company for our list.  Dogs love the flavors and owners can feel good about giving these treats.  Our favorite is the one with blueberry in it.

Number 2
Dog-Tricks-Eighty-Eight-Challenging-World-Class – If you are interested in teaching your dog tricks this tried and true classic from Captain Haggherty himself should be in your library.  From the simple give me your paw to the more challenging jumping rope to the more useful telephone-answering-machine trick, you’ll learn the steps to  engaged your dog while having fun doing it.

Number 1
Orbee-Tuff® Interactive toys
- engaging, rewarding, and fun! They offer hours of long-lasting, brain-stimulating entertainment for dogs of any size. In addition to being extremely durable, buoyant, and bouncey, these dog toys made by Planet Dog have one of the BEST guarantees. Every product is 100% guaranteed.  This means If it is chewed, return it. If it is destroyed, return it. If you are not 100% satisfied for any reason, simply contact their Customer Service team and they will replace your product, find a better product for your dog or refund/credit you. Any time. Every time.

For more information, contact your favorite Columbus dog training facility at 740-548-1717 or

Keeping Your Dog Safe on Thanksgiving

guest contributor: Lisa Hann,

Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays of the year, because what could be better than eating an exceptionally delicious meal with all your loved ones? In order to prepare for the feast, there’s so much to do and a lot on your mind. It’s easy to forget about little things, but your dog’s safety can’t be one of them. There are a few things in particular to consider during the holidays, such as using a DIY dog fence to keep your dog safe from kitchen accidents, or making sure your dog doesn’t eat anything from the big meal that could hurt them. As an important reminder, here are the top tips for keeping your dog safe during Thanksgiving

Don’t Allow Your Dog in the Kitchen

The kitchen is probably one of your dog’s favorite rooms in the house, especially when there’s a lot cooking. However, kitchen accidents involving dogs are too common, and they’re often caused when people accidentally trip over their four-legged friends. The safest thing to do is to keep your dog away from your kitchen during Thanksgiving prep and cooking. You can place your dog in a closed room with plenty of water and toys, or you can create a barrier in the kitchen doorway, such as with a baby gate. If you don’t want to have to step over a gate, or if you have a large opening to your kitchen, you might find that an indoor electronic dog fence is more convenient. Just make sure your guests know that you’re using a wireless dog fence as a kitchen barrier, so they don’t try to bring your dog into the kitchen.

Avoid Feeding Table Scraps to Your Dog

Even though your dog would love to partake in Thanksgiving dinner, it’s best they don’t. Too much fatty foods, especially turkey skin, can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Turkey bones are also dangerous, because they can pierce your dog’s throat, stomach, or intestines. Desserts containing the sugar substitute xylitol or chocolate will be toxic to your dog. Too many onions can also make your dog very sick, and small foods like nuts are choking hazards. Instead of giving your dog scraps, buy some special treats for them at the pet store ahead of time. When cleaning up after dinner, make sure the trash, especially the turkey carcass, is taken outside to the bin.

Ask Your Loved Ones to Be Cautious

Just as your guests should be aware if your dog is wearing an e-collar for an invisible dog fence, they should also be asked to observe a few safety precautions around your dog. For example, make sure they know not to feed your dog from their plates and that they don’t leave their food or drinks unattended. If they’re staying in your house, ask that they ensure anything hazardous, such as medications, is out-of-reach. If there are young children present, it’s a good time to give them a quick lesson on how to safely approach and interact with dogs, including that dogs don’t like to be hugged or kissed.

Take Proper Precautions When Traveling

Did you know that your dog should also be wearing a seatbelt while traveling in the car? If you’re taking any long drives this Thanksgiving and bringing your dog, make sure you purchase them a dog seatbelt, or at the very least, keep them inside their cage or crate. This keeps them safer in the event of a crash, and it also prevents them from distracting the driver by unexpectedly moving to the front seat. Be sure to add items for your dog to your car emergency kit, such as an extra collar and leash; extra bowls, food, and water; and a copy of their vaccination records. If your dog is trained on a wireless electric dog fence, consider bringing it with you so they can safely roam during rest stops and at your destination, if it doesn’t have a fenced-in yard.

Look Out for Potential Hazards in the House

While decorating your home, be sure to place lit candles high up where your dog can’t knock them over. Edible decor, such as pumpkins and corn stalks, should be kept out of your dog’s reach whenever possible, because ingesting large pieces can lead to stomach issues like intestinal blockages. Also make sure that all remnants of cooking and food are properly cleaned up, preferably in the garbage can outside. Kitchen items like aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and twine can all be hazardous to your dog if they accidentally ingest them.

Know How to Recognize Stress in Your Dog

The holidays can be stressful, and people often forget that their pets may be experiencing just as much stress as they are, if not more. Dogs in particular are stressed by lots of noise, people, and activity, so if your dog is not used to the hustle and bustle, be extra observant of their behavior. If they start acting unusual or showing signs of stress, it’s time to move them to a dark, quiet room where they can rest and calm down. Signs of stress in dogs include things like panting, growling, staring, shaking, hiding, jumping, pacing, and raised fur.

Most of these tips are common sense and things dog owners already watch out for, but it’s never a bad idea to go over them again. Accidents can happen, but with a little precaution, most of them will be avoided, and you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays without any unexpected incidents. While your dog may not enjoy the festivities as much as you do, they’ll at least be safe. If you have any other ideas for dog safety during the holidays, please share them, and have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

These Turkey Day safety tips come to us thanks to the ongoing educational efforts of; Dog Fence DIY has the most comprehensive and unbiased reviews for electric and wireless dog fences of all brands and prices.

Dog training isn’t just treats

We see a lot of dogs at Acme, many of them pretty ornery.  While they are here, we teach them using distractions in order to give them the tools to handle various situations (other dogs, people, being handled, new environments, etc).  They learn to look to us for guidance through the use of commands.  A command gives them something to think about rather than their previously typical knee jerk reaction of barking and growling.  They learn that sit means sit quietly and place mat means to remain on their blanket quietly and heel means to be attentive to the handler.  We use commands as tools to help them focus in situations which were previously tough for them.

Lack of confidence and self-control in dogs tends to develop into many of the unwanted behaviors.  Through distraction training the dogs learn self-control and confidence.  “Self-control” meaning they can control their actions on their own.  Confidence is the result which leads to less of a need to bark or set off on someone or something.

We instill good patterns of behavior in these dogs.  With practice and consistency at home, the owners should be able to help their dogs become a much better members of society.

Distraction training is very important but so is structure, guidance, and leadership.  That’s how you gain respect from a dog.  Once you establish yourself as a leader the dog will follow in step.

It’s not being mean to enforce commands rather it’s helping the dog learn what his boundaries are so he has the self-control when he faces situations where he feels he should growl.


Acme Canine 2013

In 2013, dog ownership rose to 56.7 million households with over ¼ of all household in the United States owning one or more dogs.  A 2013 study found that mixed breeds live on average 1.2 years longer than pure breeds, and that increasing body-weight was negatively correlated with longevity (i.e. the heavier the dog the shorter its lifespan).

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center handled nearly 180,000 cases about pets exposed to possibly poisonous substances. Topping the list for the sixth year in a row were prescription human medications. Nearly 20% of all calls were from owners whose pets got into medicines intended for human use.

Acme Canine redecorated in 2013; adding 5 more dog kennels, a  Plexidor dog door and Dog Door Chimes.  We also laid a sanitary durable epoxy floor and updated our website.

As part of Acme Canine’s 10th anniversary celebration we are sharing special moments over the years.  Each issue of the Bark will feature a different Acme Canine year. 

November 2015 Dog of the Month

Max is a 19 lb 4-year-old Beagle owned by the Spradlin family who wanted a well mannered dog that didn’t run away.  They were concerned about his behavior issues which included chewing on everything, digging, stealing things and chasing bunnies and birds.
The Spradlins wanted to be very involved with Max’s training so we worked at their home on an individual basis to improve his obedience and behavior issues, as well as to gain better communication with Max.
Max did great.  He learned to focus on his owners and perform all his commands reliably.  But that wasn’t the end of our relationship.  Over the years Max has stayed with us while the Spradlins are away.  Always a pleasure and a gentleman among the other dogs, Max has become one of Acme’s favorites.

The staff at Acme Canine is proud of the accomplishments made by the Spradlins and honored to have Max as our November Dog of the Month.

Acme Canine Resource Center is looking for dogs with responsible owners who have trained with Acme to be our featured Dog-of-the-Month. 

Interested? To enter, send a digital picture of your dog, a list of the training and services in which your dog has participated, and a brief paragraph describing you and your dog’s Acme experience. (Read more)

Winter is fast approaching, is your dog prepared?

Depending on where you live, winter can mean freezing cold, mild humid conditions or anything in between. Wherever you are, you need to be aware of how weather conditions affect a dog.

There is no hard and fast number which constitutes weather that is dangerous. A harsh winter wind with a freezing wind chill can be just as dangerous as a cold, drenching rain. To make matters more confusing, healthy dogs not accustom to frigid winter weather or warm sunny climates may be uncomfortable until they adapt.   It’s important to know your own dog’s ability to tolerate weather changes rather than take chances.

As a general rule puppies, elderly, dogs with health conditions, short haired or short legged dogs are particularly sensitive to cold temperatures. Being outside too long can lead to an increased risk from hypothermia and even frostbite for them.

It is important to be aware of the signs that could indicate he is cold: whining, shivering, looking anxious, slower movements and intensely looking for somewhere to hide away from the weather. Also use common sense, if you’re not comfortable and have to bundle up, your dog could be at risk.

A veterinary visit might be in order if a dog hasn’t had a yearly checkup or if he’s not doing as well in the cold as he has in the past. Heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes can interfere with a dog’s ability to maintain his body temperature.

As with any danger, being aware and taking precautions are your best bets. Here are a few tips:

Train your dog. Basic obedience training allows dog owners to enjoy winter weather conditions safely.

Loose leash walking will make slippery walks safer for both pet and owner.

“Leave it” commands can save a dog’s life when confronted with a pool of antifreeze or an unknown object in the snow.

Recall (coming when called) can keep a dog from running onto a partially frozen body of water or away from another winter hazard.

The stand command can help with wiping down a dog’s feet. Use this command while wiping off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the rain, sleet or ice.

Protect your dog’s pads. There are several products on the market designed to protect dog paw pads during the winter from “pet safe” de-icing products to protective waxes and dog booties. In addition, dry winter air can contribute to drying and cracking pads. Consider using a humidifier in your house in addition to applying a product like Bag Balm to your dog’s pads.

Keep your dog’s nails trimmed and cut the long hair growing from between the pads of each foot. On dogs with long feathering on the back of their front legs, trim any excessive long hair so it doesn’t drag along the ground.

Don’t leave your dog in a car during cold weather. Extreme cold is just as dangerous for dogs in cars as extreme heat. The car can act as a refrigerator in the winter.

Consider using coolant and antifreeze products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.

Watch what your dog eats outside. Snow may cause stomach upset or there may be hidden objects in the snow. Dogs can ingest salt, antifreeze or other chemicals while licking their paws. Pads may bleed from encrusted snow or ice.

Supervise your dog and keep their ID tags on them when outside in the cold. Playing in the snow can be fun but with snow and ice on the ground dogs can lose their scent and become lost. Not surprising is that fact that more companion canines are lost during the winter than during any other season.

Familiarity with cold weather health hazards can keep your dog safe while allowing both of you to enjoy the outdoors. So bundle up, both of you, and prepare for a safe winter season.

Laura Pakis is an experienced certified professional trainer and owner/founder of Acme Canine. A veteran dog trainer, Laura feels responsible ownership is an important part of having a dog and guides her business toward providing dog owners with not only training knowledge but also care and understanding of dogs. Laura is a certified in Pet First Aid by the American Red Cross and PetSaver, is AKC Canine Good Citizen and Community Canine Evaluator, and AKC PuppySTAR evaluator. She is certified in breed selection, puppy development, assistance dog training, basic and advanced obedience, Police K-9 and protection training, tracking, E-touch training, and Pack to Basics.

Laura is well known throughout the canine community for quality training, high standards, and professionalism. Published author in several national and local magazines, invited speaker by the media and pet equipment companies for canine expertise, Laura assist dog trainers worldwide with improving their training techniques, people skills, and business knowledge. She has been nominated for the Woman of the Year in the Pet Industry Award, Better Business Bureau’s Integrity Award and Worthington Chamber’s Small Business Person of the Year Award. Recently her business was singled out from among several thousand businesses to be nominated as second finalists for the 2014 Pet Age boarding facility of the year; reflecting the skills, talents and professional reputation Laura has and continues to build in her growing business.
Laura Pakis, CPT, believes in giving back to the community. She has volunteered as a Service Dog trainer, taught puppy development through Franklin County’s prison program and Tricks for Treats at Bark Til Dark Dog Park, child/dog safety at Powell’s safety town, dog care workshops at her Lewis Center facility, local libraries and schools. In addition Laura and her dog, Woofie, have worked with children to improve their reading comprehension.

An animal lover at heart, Laura lives with Moneypenny (a Bluetick Coonhound), Spike (a rescued Dachshund/French Bulldog mix), and Autumn (a rescued Boxer/Labrador mix). Laura also has several laying hens who provide Laura and her clients with fresh eggs daily.





Dogs and Holiday Stress

The holidays are a busy time of year for all of us. Holiday parties, school activities and shopping all take us away from our homes.

Dogs can get stressed for the same reasons humans get stressed. They can get stressed when we are angry with them or punish them. They get stresses in situations of threat, of pain or discomfort, and even stressed by excitement. Dogs get stressed in situations where they feel unable to cope.

When stressed they get more hormones running around and the adrenaline starts pumping. The stress levels together with the activated defense mechanisms are necessary for your dog to survive. It helps them react fast enough and be strong enough to survive danger. Dogs can show stress in many ways. When stressed they usually start using “calming signals” to ease the stress.

 What can make a dog stressed?

  • Direct threats by us or other dogs
  • Rough handling, pulling him along, jerking at the lead, pushing him down
  • Unknown places, noises, odors
  • Violence, aggression in his environment
  • Pain and illness
  • Inadequate diet
  • Being alone
  • Too little exercise or too much overexcited playing with balls or other dogs
  • Hunger , thirst
  • Sudden changes
  • Freezing or being too hot
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Never being able to relax, always being disturbed
  • Too high demands in training and daily life


Identifying Stress;

  • Licking or biting himself excessively
  • Panting
  • Scratching excessively
  • Barking, howling, whining
  • Shaking as if shaking off water
  • Unhealthy looking fur that seems to be hard, breakable, standing on end
  • Tense muscles
  • Sudden “attack” of dandruff, for instance
  • Diarrhea
  • Looking nervous, hiding behind handler
  • Running after his tail
  • Losing his appetite
  • Using calming signals
  • Unable to calm down, restless
  • Smells bad, both mouth and body
  • Having to eliminate more often than normal
  • Allergies, many are really stress scratching
  • Behaving aggressively
  • Losing concentration – can’t concentrate for more than a very short time
  • Refusing to interact with family; previously playful dog not wanting to play


What can you do to help reduce stress?

Change the environment and routines

  • Have the dog do down time in a safe and quiet place
  • Stop using harsh methods in training and handling
  • Find your dog’s balance of exercise he needs
  • Avoid putting him in a situation of hunger thirst, heat, cold
  • Make sure he has access to relieve himself when he needs to
  • Letting the dog be a part of the pack as much as possible so he is with you or someone in the family more
  • Learning to identify and use calming signals
  • Stop using all force, punishment, aggression, and anger


Calming Signals

  • Not turning the head, but having the eyes only to the side looking away to avert the direct stare is a signal similar to head turning
  • Lowering the eye lids and not staring in a threatening way
  •  Turning of the head: this can be a swift movement to the side and back, or the head may be held to the side for some time. It may be the whole head or just a tiny movement to the side.
  • Turning to the side or turning your back to someone is very calming
  • Freeze, stand, sit or lie still, without moving a muscle
  • Play position; going down with front legs in a bowing position. You can do this by resting on your knees and then stretching your arms, straight out in front of you on floor.
  • Walking slowly and using slow movements
  • Turning his back to you and then sitting down or just sitting down when approached can be a signal
  • Yawning
  • Lying down with belly on the ground can be a calming signal
  • Sniffing the ground in a swift movement and up again. Or just holding the nose to the ground. This signal is really not something we can do
  • Going physically between dogs or people is a signal
  • Wagging tails; if a dog is crawling towards you, whining and peeing, the wagging tail is a “white flag,” trying to calm you down. Another one we can’t use.
  • Smacking their lips
  • Licking faces
  • Blinking their eyes
  • Lifting their paws
  • Making themselves small

 Acme Canine offers daycare 5 days a week, from 7am to 8pm Monday through Friday, to help reduce some of that holiday stress. With flexible drop off and pick up times, you can let us take care of your pet, allowing you to concentrate on other things – without the guilt of leaving your pet alone or the stress of stopping home to take your dog out or feed him or her. It’s also a great way to give your dog – or cat – a safe and fun environment if you are entertaining people with allergies or those who may not appreciate your 4-legged friend as much as you do.

Caring for your Senior Dog

You can help your older dog cope by considering her needs when it comes to your home, its surroundings, and the environment it creates for your dog. By incorporating a little care and a modified, veterinarian-recommended lifestyle, you may be able to increase your dog’s brain activity. In fact, the latest studies have found that regular, moderate physical activity, mental stimulation with interactive toys, and a diet rich in antioxidants may help maintain your aging dog’s mental health. Again, your veterinarian should be consulted before changing any of your dog’s exercise or feeding regimens; but also try to keep your senior dog’s environment familiar and friendly, and:

*  Try not to change, rearrange, or even refurbish furniture

*   Eliminate clutter to create wide pathways through your house

*   Consider purchasing or building a ramp for any stairways

*   Know your dog’s limits when introducing new toys, food, people, or other animals

*   Develop a routine feeding, watering, and walking schedule

*   Keep commands short, simple, and compassionate

*   Encourage gentle and involved, short play sessions

Old dogs become more ‘human’ as they get older, requiring special attention and care. Research in human dementia is yielding data which is very applicable to aging dogs. You can read into a dog’s behavior problems whatever you want to or are afraid of most. Please consult professional or otherwise proficient animal health care providers if in any doubt about how to make your dog feel as young as possible in her older year.

Most importantly, keep your patience and compassion. Your dog’s world has changed, but every effort should be made to show her that your love, respect, and pride of her past and present abilities has not changed and never will.

Turkey legs for Dogs

You probably already know that turkey legs or really any animal bone are not the best things to give to your dog.  We have a possible alternative.

Nylabone Big Chews Turkey Leg is made of extra tough nylon that’s long lasting, and designed to stand up to the most powerful chewer. Perfect for the dog that needs a safe and healthy outlet for their natural desire to chew.

We’ve tried quite a few of the heavy-duty chew toys out there, with disappointing results.

This Nylabone Big Chew is virtually indestructible having been tested in clinics and kennels, satisfying even the most aggressive chewers. So strong that some owners have reported their dogs have broken teeth chewing on the leg and Nylabone has included a warning that the bone should not be used with dogs that have permanent teeth.

As with any toy, especially those your dog chews, supervision is important. When your dog chews through the ENDS of the bones, it is time to replace it. The Turkey leg has a huge end so it should last a VERY long time.

We also like the Nylabone Turkey Leg since unlike animal bones it doesn’t splinter and can be put in the dishwasher to keep it clean between chewing sessions.

So if you’re looking for an out of the box way to share Thanksgiving with your dog, consider this product. It is now available in the Woofie Shop.

Acme Canine 2012: a renaissance year

As we near the end of highlighting special moments of Acme Canine over the years, we noticed 2012 was a renaissance year for the business.

Thanks to very special clients like you, Acme Canine received the Angie’s List award in 2012, achieving four consecutive years of service excellence. We know you had several choices from which to obtain your training from and are still flattered and grateful that you chose to go with us.

Acme Canine’s owner and founder, Laura Pakis, delved into a new type of training in 2012: chickens.  It may seem like a cockeyed leap from canine to poultry, but it’s all part of a larger approach and philosophy. Chickens have the advantage of being very quick in their movements and therefore give you a lot of opportunities for reinforcement in a short period of time. They also require your timing to be really precise and your observation skills to be very sharp—all meeting the goal of providing improved training skills for Acme Clients.

In February the Acme staff bowled in Pins for Pups to help raise money for Shelter dogs.  Throughout the months of May and June, Acme Canine held Woofie’s FunWALK Challenge during which clients and staff participated in a virtual walkathon that consisted of earning points per steps with your dog. This event’s efforts help improve the health of several clients and their dogs.

Once again in July, Acme Canine’s staff and clients were part of the Independence Day festivities in Orange Township and walked their dogs in the annual 4th of July parade.

On September 23, Acme Canine trainers and staff participated in the New Albany Classic demonstrating the array of skills a highly trained dog truly has.

We try not to toot our own horn here at Acme, but we do have a couple toots that may sound interesting to you.  After eight years in business, Acme Canine was pretty well known throughout the canine community for quality training, high standards, and professionalism.

In addition to our commitment to helping all of our clients as best we can, some of our staff spent their down time becoming published authors in several national and local magazines and getting contacted by the media and pet equipment companies for canine expertise.

The year ended with owner Laura Pakis as a guest speaker at Scott Mueller’s Advanced Dog Trainers’ Workshop and presented to dog trainers worldwide on improving their training techniques, people skills, and business knowledge.