Basic Dog Commands – Training a Puppy

All things in life need to grow and develop. This applies to our relationships as well. This also applies to our relationships with our dogs. Whether you just got your furry best friend and want to plant the seeds of a harmonious long-term friendship, or you have been living together for a while, and want to take your relationship to the next level, we all need guidance sometimes. And just like you would go to a specialist if you wanted more out of your relationship with your partner, you would go to a… dog training school if you needed to work on your relationship with your dog.

The question is, how do you find a good specialist? Now, if you were just feeling under the weather, you would probably go to a general practitioner. But what if you had a toothache? I bet you would go to a dentist instead! Same with dog training. First, you need to decide whether you want to work on general obedience, aggression, separation anxiety, or maybe you want to take on therapy dog training or a protection dog training course. And then you got to read on because we created a list of local hidden gems in San Diego area that specialize in exactly the kind of dog training classes you want!

Now, what types of dog training schools are we going to look at exactly?

Dog Obedience Training

Aggressive Dog Training

Protection Dog Training or Guard Dog Training

Behavior Modification Dog Training – Dog Separation Anxiety Training

Therapy Dog Training

Service Dog Training

We will also take a look at such training types as a dog training camp, group classes, in home dog training and online dog training.

All of these gems have 5-star ratings on Yelp, tons of happy clients and they are local, oftentimes family-owned businesses, so you can make great friends among your neighbors while doing some training as well!

First things first, there are plenty of options out there in regards to dog training. How do you know which one is good for you? Here are 6 tips.

6 Tips For Picking the Right Dog Training School

1. Know That the Dog Training Industry is Unregulated

That means that virtually anyone could call him or herself a trainer, sadly. However, there are certifications and organizations that can help you identify those who actually have the right designations and experience. Always check to see if the trainer has some of the following certifications: The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), The Academy for Dog Trainers (ADT), the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT KA), the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPAATB), or the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Being the primary educational organization for trainers, APDT has a very useful resource called Trainer Search that allows you to find trainers in your area based on your city or zip code. Great tool! Note that if a trainer is certified by the APDT it does not necessarily imply that he or she uses a specific training method, which brings us to the next tip.

2. Know the Training Methods Used

Now, all trainers have different training methods, but here are a few basic things that would help you swim confidently in the sea of trainer jargon. There are currently 4 basic methods of training that stem from behavioral psychology: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment and negative punishment. Now, the words positive and negative aren’t representing the concept of “good and evil” here, they function more like they would in math, with positive meaning addition and negative meaning subtraction of something. It will become clearer in a second.

Positive Reinforcement

This is the most popular method today, and, sure enough, you are all familiar with it. Positive reinforcement has, at its core, rewarding a dog for desired behavior usually with a treat, a toy or play time, depending on what motivates your dog the most. The trick is to pick the right timing: just as your dog does the desired behavior, reward him or her right away, and supplement the treat with a high-pitched “good dog”, to make sure your pet realizes how pleased you are with this behavior. See how a treat is added here? This is the positive part, the addition.

Negative Reinforcement

This technique involves taking something unpleasant away to reinforce the desired behavior. That is how electric fences work, for example. When a dog gets too close to the perimeter, it gets a shock, but the shock disappears the moment the dog moves away from the boundary. This way, the dog learns to stay away from the perimeter. See the subtraction here – the unpleasant sensations are taken away to reinforce a behavior, this is negative reinforcement.

Positive Punishment

With punishment techniques, the trainer is trying to make a particular behavior happen less often. With positive punishment, the trainer adds some unpleasant stimuli to discourage a behavior. With excessive barking, for example, a trainer can add a spray bark collar to the training, so that every time a dog barks, it gets sprayed. The dog will associate nuisance barking with being sprayed, and this will discourage him or her from barking all night long again. Did you see how with this technique a trainer would add (=positive) something to discourage a behavior (=punishment).

Negative Punishment

This technique implies taking something away (=negative) in order to discourage a behavior (=punishment). A good example would be if a trainer turns away from a dog that is jumping on him or other people to get attention. He takes the attention away from the dog to discourage undesired behavior. This method is often used together with positive reinforcement to reduce the unwanted behavior and reinforce the desired behavior.

Ah, that was quite a bit of information, right? Did it become somewhat clearer what the different training methods do? Great. There is still much debate around the best training methods in the trainers’ world, but what you choose remains up to you.

Now that you’ve learnt more about the behavioral psychology, do you start seeing some similarities between how we train dogs and how the government trains us? On to the next tip.

3. Choose the Training Type

Group Classes, Boot Camps, In House Training or even Skype chats – there is every type of dog training you might need under the sun. Consider the benefits and drawbacks. With in house dog training the obvious advantage is that you will get more personal attention. If your dog has some socialization issues, in home training won’t be as effective as group dog training classes, where both you and your fido can learn to be around other dogs and work around so many tempting distractions. If you want your dog to get the experience of a full immersion, then a dog training camp will be the best option. Whereas, if your budget is tight, online dog training might be the solution you are looking for. Deciding on the type of training you need will make the task of finding a good dog training school way easier.

4. Watch a Class Before You Sign Up

Once you picked a class or a training school, take some time to come to one of the training sessions and just observe. Pay attention to the following:

How big is the class size and whether you will be getting enough attention,

If puppies and adult dogs are trained separately,

How many levels do the classes have (basic, intermediate, advanced),

How the trainer interacts with the dogs,

How dogs react to the training,

Whether everyone seems to be having fun and enjoying the process.

If you ticked all the checkboxes here, and are comfortable with the environment, you have found a good candidate.

5. Don’t Forget About Vaccinations

Safety first! Make sure your dog is properly vaccinated before you start any dog training and get the green light from your vet. Next, ensure that the training school requires every dog to be vaccinated and is asking for a proof. This way you can rest assured that the safety aspect of your training is covered.

6. Ask About the Follow Up

Now, what happens after you have completed the course? Do you get a lifetime membership and can come any time for future “tune ups”, or are follow up visits limited? Maybe there are no follow up visits in case a problem does arise. Make sure to ask the school or the trainer about what happens once you are done with their program.

Great, you are all set for the dog training school of your dreams. Now, we are introducing you to the 10 hidden gem schools with 5-star Yelp ratings that specialize in the type of dog training you are looking for. Go ahead and find the one for you!

Top 10 Dog Training School Hidden Gems in San Diego Area

Let’s start with puppy training. The best time to start training is when your pooch is between 3 and 14 weeks old, it doesn’t mean that your pup doesn’t learn well afterwards, but it is just the juiciest time when he or she absorbs new tricks like a sponge, so take advantage of that if you can! The next stage at which pet owners often need assistance is the 6 months mark, when pups transition into adolescence, and this time is much like the teenage years we’ve all been through – rough. Puppy training to the rescue!

1. Woofingham Palace – Puppy Training San Diego

Woofingham Palace is our 5-star hidden gem for specialized puppy socialization and puppy training in San Diego. It is a family-owned business run by Samantha & Jon Mears, who both immigrated from London 11 years ago. Hence, the name of their dog training school. Samantha Mears is a certified professional dog trainer, who passed her CPDT KA (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainlines) exam with distinction. Samantha has worked with dogs every day for over 10 years. She is also a Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and is a qualified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG).

Woofingham Palace offers plenty of different puppy training options for you and your pooch all held within a fenced training area in the shade of large sails. The classes are small, so you will get that individual attention. This dog training school puts lots of emphasis on puppy socialization, and notes that pups who have been socialized young tend to show less behavior problems in the future than those pups who haven’t. The prices for group puppy training classes vary from over $100 to over $300, so you have plenty of options.

559 Union Street

Encinitas. CA 92024

P: 760-929-1996

2. Total K9 Training – K9 Dog Training/ Dog Obedience Training San Diego

Now, an all 5-star hidden gem for dog obedience training in San Diego is Total K9 Dog Training. Its trainer, Shannon, is a Member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP), member of APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), and is CPDT Certified. She also holds a BA in Psychology and started training animals in 1991 at Sea World. Total K9 Dog Training offers a range of classes, but specializes in dog obedience training, both beginner and advanced.

Total K9 Dog Training teaches the owners how to become good leaders for their dogs without using any intimidation or domination techniques. They focus on building the trust and communication that would allow the dog to follow the owner… even when he or she doesn’t have that tasty food handy. Shannon puts a lot of emphasis of training the whole family on how to work with their dog, as this strengthens the bond between all the family members and ensures that everything a dog learns at school will be further reinforced at home. The prices of classes vary, but the general range is between $100 and $165 for group classes.

Total K9 Dog Training serves the areas of San Diego: Escondido, 4S Ranch, Del Sur, Santa Luz, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, Sabre Springs, Rancho Penasquitos, Scripps Ranch.

3. Think Pawsitive Dog Training – Service Dog Training and Therapy Dog Training

Interested in Therapy Dog Training/Service Dog Training? A service or therapy dog certification requires you to take a number of steps along the way. Think Pawsitive dog training school can help you throughout the process. Its founder, Vanessa Melrose, is a member of APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), certified by ABCDT (ABC Dog Trainer) and KPA CTP (Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner). She has been working with dogs since 2003.

What Think Pawsitive offers in terms of service dog training and therapy dog training: it offers to help you with the entire process, from basic training to preparing and passing the CGC Certification and Therapy Pet Certification, which you must get in order for your dog to become an official service/therapy dog. To start the program, your dog doesn’t need to be a specific size or breed, it needs to have a calm, friendly temperament. You know, a therapy dog – boy, that patience! Therapy Dog Evaluations are $30, and Think Pawsitive offers extended discounts for referrals or recently adopted pets, so you can email Vanessa directly to learn more about the program and the pricing.

1273 Crest Dr.

Encinitas, CA 92024

949.533.4756Service area: San Diego + Orange County

4. Behave! – Aggressive Dog Training San Diego

Behave! – another hidden gem that specializes in aggressive dog training in San Diego. Its founder, Alexandra Gant, graduated from ACBDT animal behavior college, and since 2012 has been working with “unworkable” or “last chance” dogs who are on the verge of being euthanized or re-homed due to aggression issues. Alex focuses on teaching owners in need of dog aggression training how to train the dog by themselves, without relying on professional help. Behave! trainers are knowledgeable about the different forms of aggression and believe that aggression is a symptom of a much deeper problem, so they focus on fixing the problem, rather than just the symptoms.

Behave! realizes that dog aggression training is a big commitment, so it encourages all owners who work with them to consider packages instead of sessions. The classes are $80-$125 Per Session, and they currently offer a 10% package discount.

(303) 746-3487

5. American Canine Training – Dog Protection Training San Diego

So you were looking for guard dog training in San Diego? We found a hidden gem for that too, all 5 stars – American Canine Training. Chris Moredock is the head trainer, certified by APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) and the Pro-train institute of California.

American Canine Training has a number of different options when it comes to dog protection training. You can choose Security Alert Training, which will teach your dog to watch out for strangers and warn you should they be up to something spooky. It will also teach your dog to stop aggressive responses on your command. Or you could go for a Personal Protection Training (on and off leash), which will teach the dog to protect his or her humans and property, learn “attack” and “release” commands, etc. There you go, you are on your way to getting that cool police-style dog you’ve always wanted.

(858) 274-0268

Serving area: the entire San Diego County

6. Legends Dog Training – Behavior Modification Dog Training/Dog Separation Anxiety Training

If your pooch needs some professional behavior modification training, this is your local 5-star professional dog behaviorist – Legends Dog Training School. They specialize in dog separation anxiety training, training for dogs with impulsivity issues, fearful response to other dogs and many other behavioral problems.

Alyssa Rose (Lapinel), the founder of Legends, is a CPDT-KA certified Canine Training and Behavior Specialist with 15 years of experience in the area of behavioral studies. She is also certified by the Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and by Triple Crown Dog Training Academy. Alyssa is an AKC Citizen Evaluator, and a Professional Member of The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). She applied her degree in Phycology to work with children and adults diagnosed with serious disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and bipolar disorder, and later used this experience to start working with animals. Alyssa designs behavior modification dog training programs that address the root cause of a behavioral problem and provide a systematic framework for improving communication and strengthening the bond between the dog and his/her owner.

One consultation costs $150, but it is included if you decide to pursue a training package with 5 classes for $575. Mind you, different options are available, so check Legends website and see their contact info below to learn more.

619.431.1233

Serving the City of San Diego and San Diego County: Golden Hill, South Park, North Park, Talmadge, Kensington, Mission Hills, Mission Valley, Little Italy, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Escondido, La Jolla, Mission Bay, Mission Beach, La Mesa, Ramona, Poway, El Cajon

7. Pawtopia – Dog Agility Training San Diego

You have sure enough heard about this dog training school – Pawtopia. But did you know that they had a specialized dog agility training class? Yep, this one also made it to our hidden gems list. Its founder, Colleen Demling, is an accredited trainer with 16 years of experience. She is an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, is accredited by the CBCC-KA and CPDT-KA, as well as IABBC. Colleen also designed the Temperament Test for the Naval Medical Center’s Therapy Dog Program here at San Diego. Colleen is actively involved in many professional organizations, including the International Association of Canine Professionals, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and the Animal Behavior Management Alliance.

“Fun with Agility!” is the class Pawtopia offers for dogs of all levels of training, so don’t look away if you are not interested in competing – this is dog agility training class for all those who just want to have fun, run through tunnels and jump through hoops, no pressure! The price is $170, and you can learn more on the Pawtopia website.

858-414-7797

Service areas: South Park, Hillcrest, Mission Hills, North Park, Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Sunset Cliffs, Mission Valley, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay, Bay Park, Morena, Kearney Mesa, Linda Vista, Clairemont Mesa, Normal Heights,University Heights, Clairemont, Coronado, San Diego, Lemon Grove,, Linda Vista, Serra Mesa, Tierrasanta, Sports Arena, La Jolla, Bird Rock, UTC, Sorrento Valley, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Santa Fe, Crosby, Del Sur, Carmel Valley, Torrey Hills, Del Mar, Del Mar Heights, Solana Beach, Fairbanks Ranch, Cardiff By the Sea, Encinitas, Encinitas Ranch, Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Penasquitos

8. Devotion to Dogs – In Home Dog Training

For those of you looking for in home dog training, Ben of Devotion to Dogs offers just that, and takes a place in our list of hidden San Diego gems. Ben is a graduate of Northridge Animal Behavior College, is AKC certified, and is a member of IACP. Ben has been a dog trainer for 15 years, and trained dogs with a variety of behavioral issues. He also works with local rescues and believes that every dog can be trained and successfully rehabilitated. His specialty is in home dog training: a personal, one on one type of training that allows him to assess the environment and find the right solution. And allows you to save time on commute of course.

Devotion to Dogs offers a variety of packages. The starting package includes a 2-4 hour in home session as well as a 1 hour follow up session, which goes for $500. Call Devotion to Dogs for more information.

Garfield Ave, El Cajon, CA 92020

619-500-4787

9. Tully’s Training – Online Dog Training

If you need some flexibility or are on a budget, Tully’s Training offers not only private in home training and group classes, but also basic obedience positive-reinforcement online dog training – via Skype.

Tully’s Training team is comprised of trainers with experience in exotic, domestic, and marine mammal training, which allows it to look at animal behavior from different angles. One of their most titled trainers is Meghan McLeod, who reportedly trained with a number of well-recognized behaviorists such as Karen Pryer and Dr. Ian Dunbar. Meghan is also a certified CGC evaluator. Check out Tully’s team of trainers with a whole spectrum of different backgrounds here.

According to Tully’s, online dog training has been working great for them and their clients, as they are able to get that same individual, one on one session that you would get in person for a fraction of the cost. So, if online dog training suits your needs, this is the school for you. Training packages are highly customizable, so get in touch with Tully’s for more information.

925.603.3647

Service area: San Diego and Los Angeles

10. Specialty Dog Training – Dog Training Camp San Diego

Were you looking for a dog training camp in San Diego? Then this is the place for you – Specialty Dog Training. It is a family-owned dog training school founded by Graham Bloem, a professional dog trainer with 17+ years of experience and a recipient of numerous awards, including American Red Cross Real Heroes Award and the Honeywell Life Safety Award presented by Larry King himself. Graham’s team consists of a number of seasoned professionals that together have accumulated numerous accreditations, including certificates by IACP, APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), NADOI, ABSCDT and others. Graham and his wife, Kyrie, also actively support nonprofits, shelters and rescue organizations.

Specialty Dog Training focuses on using positive reinforcement and discipline in their training. Their dog training camp, i.e. in-kennel training, dog board and train or a boot camp is a structured environment where your dog will be taught all the obedience basics he or she needs to be a great companion. Being away from the usual environment is a good opportunity for your dog to “reset”, while the trainers can work on his/her behavioral issues in a controlled environment.

Specialty Dog Training offers plenty of packages, they also have a Boot Camp Special for the month of March, with 25% off all dog training camps. The price varies between $1575 (with the discount) for a 2-week program with 2 private sessions, to $5400 for an 8-week program with 2 private lessons.

Pacific Pet Resort, 2909 San Luis Rey Rd Oceanside CA 92058

855-287-8659

We hope this helped you find the best dog training school for your needs. And if, after all, you are still looking, you can check tools like Thrumbtack for other options in San Diego area https://www.thumbtack.com

Bets of luck with school hunting!

Online Counseling & Mindfulness Therapy For Anxiety & Depression

Online Psychotherapy, e-counseling and internet-therapy are becoming very popular. It is convenient, affordable and proven effective. The focus is on giving you the tools to better manage your depression, anxiety, stress and other difficult emotions.

Mindfulness Therapy is one of the most promising approaches for helping you learn how to work on making changes at the core level; quite different that just talking about your problems, which is not very efficient for resolving persistent emotional reactions. If you feel stuck, Mindfulness Therapy helps you get unstuck; if you feel overly worried and anxious, Mindfulness Therapy helps you find inner balance; if you feel over-stressed, Mindfulness Therapy helps you neutralize your habitual stress reactions; if you suffer from depression, Mindfulness Therapy helps you neutralize the negative self-talk and thinking. Above all, Mindfulness Therapy produces an inner healing space, the space of mindful awareness that allows emotions to unfold, unwind and become malleable again. Mindfulness allows emotional suffering to change, transform and resolve.

Mindfulness Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses mindful awareness directly on the problematic emotions and effectively creates a therapeutic space around the emotion that has an immensely transformative effect. In effect, you make the emotion the primary object of a session of meditation. This is why it is also called Mindfulness Meditation Therapy (MMT).

We all know how reactivity simply makes things worse and only serves to reinforce our suffering, along with those around us. Well mindfulness is the antidote: It stops the proliferation of reactivity and then creates this inner healing space in which the emotional energy that has become stuck can become fluid again, leading to beneficial change and healing. Some clients have described this healing process as being like shining rays of sunlight onto a block of ice. The ice (frozen emotional energy) simply melts and the water becomes fluid again and becomes available to nourish the earth (your psyche). It is a lovely image, and describes the healing effect of creating inner freedom through mindfulness.

The skill of learning how to work with depression, anxiety, stress and difficult emotions requires that you learn how to establish a mindfulness based relationship with your inner emotions. Avoidance and resistance only makes things worse. For painful emotions like anxiety and trauma to heal we must bring them into the light of mindful awareness. When we do this skillfully, with openness of mind and heart, emotions begin to become malleable again and undergo change, often by themselves. The direct healing effects of mindfulness are well known and are applied to great effect in Mindfulness Therapy.

Managing Anxiety: The Externalizing Technique

When anxiety takes over, it can feel like you’re possessed. You may become paralyzed and unable to make decisions. You may question your every move. You may find yourself playing that tired old song, “What-if…” over and over till you get a headache.

If you suffer from anxiety, there are lots of tools you can use to feel better. Meditation, relaxation techniques, and positive self-talk are some examples. But it can also be helpful to externalize your anxiety – to see it as something separate form your essential self.

Externalization is a process developed by Narrative therapists. The idea is that we often confuse people with problems. For example, we may say, “I’m anxious,” instead of “I’m feeling some anxiety.” Changing your language can make a subtle but powerful difference. Notice how the two statements above can make a difference in how you feel about yourself. You are not anxiety. Anxiety is a feeling that can come and go.

You can take this process a step further by giving your anxiety a separate identity – it’s own personality, if you will. Imagine your anxiety is an actual person. Is it male or female? How tall? What kind of voice does it have? How does it dress? How old is he or she?

When you have a full picture of your anxiety, it may feel good to name it. This removes your anxiety even further from your true self. What would be a good name for your anxiety? One person I know named hers Eunice. She liked this name because to her it was a little bit silly. The name Eunice helped her take her anxiety less seriously. When she felt anxious, she could say to herself, “Oh, that’s just Eunice. She’s a worrier.” This freed her to do many of the things that would have been difficult in the past – from helping her kids choose a college to advocating for herself at work.

Sometimes, when Eunice would get very loud and big, she would imagine Eunice shrinking, becoming tiny as a mouse. Other times, when Eunice got scared, she would imagine soothing her – like one of her own kids. By dis-identifying with her anxiety, she was much better able to take care of it – and ultimately herself.

Five Great Benefits to Using a Limousine Service for Transportation

It may seem like using a limousine service is extravagant, but there are surprising benefits when you choose not to drive, allowing a driver to chauffeur you in luxury.

Reliable Transportation

Relying on your mode of transportation is no small matter. This can be especially true if you have a deadline to make, such as a flight time. When you hire a limousine service to take you to or from the airport or to transport you to another type of event, you won’t need to worry about arriving late. It’s typical for drivers to pick you up early when the airport is your destination, ensuring that you avoid last-minute anxiety from running late. In fact, many companies will even track your flights to determine whether any pick-up or drop-off times need adjustment due to flight changes.

Efficient Travel

Professional drivers are experts in efficient travel. You can expect your driver to know the best routes to take to get you to a destination, allowing you to avoid traffic congestion and construction. A limousine service can be precisely where you want it at the time you need it – no waiting necessary. You can also schedule a pick up at the precise time you need it instead of waiting for a cab to arrive. If you have work to complete, you can even be productive in the back of the car while the chauffeur drives.

Stylish Accommodations

There’s nothing like traveling in style with a limousine service. A car and driver can make a dramatic statement when you need to make an entrance. Chauffeured arrival can also be the extra touch to make a special night even more memorable. Getting to festivities such as weddings or proms in a luxury vehicle can help you celebrate in special style. The luxury of a limousine – with its entertainment systems, leather upholstery, stocked bar, hot tub, and expanded seating – can be a memorable way to travel for a special spree.

Economical Driving

A car and driver can be surprisingly economical. When you have a chauffeur taking care of all these details, you won’t have to worry about filling the tank with gas, paying for parking, or getting lost and wasting gas. If you split a car with a group of friends or associates, your individual cost will be even lower for the overall rental expense. A limousine can even be an economical alternative for renting a car, especially because you can then avoid driving in an unfamiliar city.

Safe Cruising

A limousine service also provides you with several different safety measures. The chauffeur’s expert driving will help you arrive at your destination safely. You won’t have any worries about a designated driver when you have a vehicle waiting to take you home at the end of the night. You can even continue the revelry in the car without worries while the driver gets you home in one piece.

Chauffeured driving isn’t just for the wealthy. Consider trying it out whenever you know you don’t want to drive yourself.

Essential Qualities of a Complete Pool Service Provider

The essential qualities of a complete pool service provider should be enough to give you the feeling of a sure winner even before his job is completely done.

Nothing is more relaxing than a nice dip in the cool waters of a well-maintained pool. It has the ability to diminish or take away most burdens from your life, including the stress and anxiety brought on by the many demands of work, business and family. Swimming pools also provides quality time with the family, and can function as an exercise source to keep your body lean and healthy.

Indeed, swimming pools have proved to be a great resource for enjoyment and health. However, if your pool is not properly maintained and cared for, your pool could end up rendering useless. Here are some important characteristics that you pool service provider needs to posses.

1. Knowledge of Swimming Pool Water Chemistry

Good service providers should have sufficient knowledge of the required set and amount of chemicals that are needed to make the water safe and sanitary for use. A well-maintained pool should always contain the right levels of chlorine, pH, alkaline, conditioners, and other chemicals.

2. Pool Maintenance Skills

Competent services should also maintain a staff that is highly skilled in pool systems, including the thorough cleaning of the pool, its accessories and crevices. One of the most important skills of any pool professional is the ability to ensure pool devices and parts are in good working condition. They should keep the pool clean by keeping it free from floating leaves and debris. They should be able to brush the entire pool, vacuum it, and clean its filter, skimmer and pump baskets.

3. Complete Set of Cleaning Equipment

Pool maintenance and repair is a complex job in its own right. It requires specialized equipment like brushes, vacuums, scrubs and solutions. A reliable pool service should be equipped with a complete set of pool cleaning and repair equipment to match the skills of its staff members.

4. Reliable Repair Team

A professional pool service is backed by an equally skilled repair team that is ready to perform troubleshooting and repair. Team members should be able to detect cracks, leaks, malfunctioning pumps and other parts without causing damage to the system during the troubleshooting process.

5. Other Services

Pool service is not limited to maintenance and repair. A pool service provider with good business sense is also able to provide other services such as pond and spa services. This is to ensure that they are able to service pond and spa owners as these are related to the pool service business, and use similar materials, equipments, accessories and involve like maintenance, testing and repair procedures.

These are the top five qualities that you should lookout for in a complete pool service provider. Finding these attributes in your pool contractor will make you feel confident and at ease with the maintenance and repair needs of your swimming pool, pond or spa.

The Difference Between Routine and Emergency Plumbing Services

There is a certain amount of dread and anxiety associated with discovering a leak in the basement at four in the morning. On a holiday. Or watching as the toilet water spins and spins but never seems to go down. Turning on a faucet or a shower and the lurching of pipes but yet no water springing forth. These are the inevitable and unenviable fears of any homeowner.

With statistics not on your side, it is only prudent to learn the role of emergency plumbing services and how they will shape your wallet and your house.

Emergency plumbing services literally covers any and all reasons why one would call a plumber at short notice and demand his expertise at one’s own residence. The second a plumber is making an emergency plumbing visit, he or she knows that there is potentially a great deal of money to be made. Plumbers never come at odd hours of the day or night, on holidays and weekends, to service a person’s house economically.

With that economic qualifier mentioned, it is also good to know that while emergency plumbing services are not cheap – they are sometimes absolutely necessary.

In the event of a catastrophic water or sewage leak, in which one risks the structure of one’s own home, emergency plumbing services are ideal. In these events, it’s best to simply call a 24 hour plumber or emergency plumbing service. Water and sewage leaks can not only damage the very wood structure and support of one’s own home, but potentially lead to mold and bacterial infiltration that puts the other occupants at health risks. Additionally, depending on which state or country in which the residence is located, there may be restrictions on whether or not the occupants may be allowed back into the house until the proper repairs and inspections are made.

There is also the dreaded septic system and leeching field issues. This class of plumbing problems is almost assuredly both an emergency and going to require industrial strength plumbing tools. Depending on where the residence is located, it may also require a HAZMAT certification or licensed professional to remove the sewage and waste. While this most assuredly CAN qualify for emergency plumbing, it may be possible, depending on the scope of the problem, to wait until normal contracted hours.

For a routine leaky faucet, running toilet, and a variety of ailments, it behooves the homeowner to wait until normal business hours and attempt to contract the plumber at a normal rate. This can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in but a series of visits.

But just because it is during normal business hours DOES not mean that the plumber isn’t billing for an emergency visit. This is where it takes prudent and careful discussion BEFORE work begins, whereby the plumber clearly outlines the entirety of the work he or she intends to do, the cost of materials and labor, and the classification for the plumbing – routine repair, extensive repair, intensive repair, construction, and/or emergency plumbing.

Emergency plumbing can sometimes be the difference between losing a property to water and waste damage and recovering it. It can also be the difference between relatives complaining about not being able to use the bathroom and simply complaining about your pot roast. In the end, it truly is a homeowner’s decision whether or not to classify a plumbing project as emergency or otherwise.

Unfortunately, if a problem is underestimated in scope, it may turn into an emergency plumbing problem and may become a hindrance to all whom reside within. That is why it is a best practice to have both one’s regularly scheduled plumber and a back-up emergency plumbing service – in case routine turns into emergency.

Overcoming the Powerlizing Power of Worry Anxiety From a Christian Approach

The way to overcome the paralyzing power of human anxiety is to replace it with the powerful promises of God’s peace. When we experience anxiety and worry, we feel unconfident and insecure about our inabilities. In contrast, when we experience peace, we feel confident and secure in God’s abilities. Truly, when we feel anxious and worried, peace cannot be found. When we feel at peace, worry and anxiety disappear. Furthermore, a Christian definition of anxiety is the loss of confident security in God, resulting in fearful feelings of uneasiness that something hurtful or bad will happen to us. When we feel anxious and worried, we fear not having the resources to cope with perceived threats to our sense of wellbeing.

We must remember anxiety and worry are thieves, robbing us of peace, serenity, sense of security, and confidence in God’s promises as revealed in the Bible. Worry and anxiety are symptoms of unbelief. They discount the promises God makes to us about sustaining us daily with His endless grace. Jesus believes so strongly about living our lives without anxiety and worry that He commands us not to do so. Jesus commands, do not be anxious for your life (Matthew 6:25 (NASB) or don’t worry about everyday life (Matthew 6:25 NLT). The reason Jesus commands this is because God is aware of our daily needs and issues. God promises to sustain us each day as He guarantees, saying Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him (Lamentations 3:22-24 HCSB). No doubt, I confess to be the poster child at times for worry and anxiety. But God, in His sustaining grace, provides for our unbelief. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to present God’s tailor-made, powerful promises for overcoming the problem of eight common worry anxieties.

The first problem is worry anxiety about uselessness. Sometimes we feel what we do for God does not matter. We feel like our work and service to Him is useless. God provides a powerful promise for overcoming the anxiety of uselessness where He guarantees, So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless (1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT). Confidently, God promises our toil for Him is useful.

The second problem is worry anxiety about feeling weak. We all have weaknesses. They may manifest as physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. God provides a powerful promise for overcoming this anxiety where Jesus promises the apostle Paul, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” [Paul responds] So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Assuringly, Jesus promises to supply His power in our weakness.

The third problem is worry anxiety about difficult decisions. Life is full of daily decisions resulting in healthy or unhealthy consequences. As sinners, we make unhealthy decisions and may fear making a wrong decision. God provides power to assist us in the decision-making process. One promise is in Psalm 32:8 (NASB) where God promises, I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Another promise is in Psalm 25:8-9 (NLT) saying, The LORD is good and does what is right, teaching them his way. He leads the humble in what is right, teaching them his way. Comfortingly, when we are teachable, God instructs us in making healthy decisions.

The fourth problem is worry anxiety about facing opponents. As Christians, we face opposition from the world. These opponents may be worldly people, worldly principles, or worldly powers. But God provides a powerful promise to overcome this anxiety in Romans 8:31-32 (NASB) guaranteeing, If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Convincingly, God provides power for facing opponents to His plan and purpose for our lives.

The fifth problem is worry anxiety about afflictions. We face afflictions and problems daily. But God provides powerful promises for overcoming afflictions. One promise is in Psalm 34:19 (NASB) where God assures that Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But the LORD delivers him out of them all. Read also the promises in Romans 5:3-5.

The sixth problem is worry anxiety about aging. We may worry about God’s care for us as we age. But God promises to overcome anxiety about aging in Isaiah 46:3-4 (NLT) saying, I created you and have cared for you since before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime-until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. Confidently, God carries us all the way home.

The seventh problem is anxiety about not persevering to the end in faith or questioning at times whether or not we are Christians. God reassures us in Hebrews 7:25 (NASB) saying, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. What a prescription for peace! God’s faithfulness causes us to persevere to the end! Read also Philippians 1:6 and Jeremiah 32:40.

The eighth problem is anxiety about death. God provides a powerful promise for overcoming this anxiety in Romans 14:7-9 (NASB) guaranteeing, for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. With the confidence of being eternally secure in God’s hands, we need not fear death’s doorway.

In conclusion, God provides powerful promises for overcoming anxiety and worry. We need to practice preaching these tailor-made promises to ourselves. Doing so will not only eliminate current worry anxiety for today but will prevent worrying about God providing for our lives tomorrow. Amen and amen.

Listening – The Foundation of Communication

Listening is the #1 communication skill for leadership, selling, customer service, and even romance! The problem is, most of us don’t listen very well. We’re not trained to listen and we don’t even realize that listening is a skill. People have lost jobs, customers, employees, and relationships because of an inability to listen. In this issue we’ll examine ways to become a better listener.

Listening Means Peace
Sheng jen is the Chinese word for wise person. It literally means “one who listens.”
Joanna Rogers Macy, a peace activist, said listening is “the most powerful tool in peacemaking and any other kind of social change work.” I wonder what would have happened if students, teachers, and parents were really listening in Columbine? Someone, somewhere missed the distress signals that the two young killers were sending out.

Just Be
When I was a volunteer on a suicide crisis intervention line, we were taught to take all threats of suicide seriously. How often have we told young people, “You’re too young to be depressed.” Or “You they’re just going through a phase.” Suicide is anger turned in against the self. How did we miss their anger? Why wasn’t it taken seriously? The mistake we make is to talk, advise, and debate instead of listening. We don’t have to have words of wisdom. We just have to lend an ear. Most times people can solve their own problems. They just want to be heard. Take the case of my friend. She had a problem she wanted to discuss. I listened as she thought through alternatives and discussed how she felt. She came to a decision. She thanked me for helping her to decide. I never did anything. She did it all. I just listened. Sometimes all you have to do is be. Be there. Be present for another.

Soothing the Savage Beast
Did you know that talking actually reduces stress and anxiety? That’s right. Talking, confessing, getting it off your chest, will feel like a weight has been lifted. But if people are jumping in with their own opinions, the person never gets the opportunity to vent and the anxiety continues to build.
Let’s consider customers. Customers may be external people who pay us, or they may be people we serve internally– co-workers and other departments.

When a customer is irate, why doesn’t the person immediately calm down when you present a solution? Because the customer is in an emotional state. Solutions or problem-solving are intellectual exercises. The person isn’t there yet. To calm the emotions, you must have a meeting of the minds. Acknowledge the feeling. “I can understand why you’re upset.” “Waiting on line for an hour must have been so frustrating.” Until you acknowledge the feeling, the conversation will go nowhere. People need to be heard. It’s a form of validation. Respecting the feeling doesn’t mean you agree with their opinion. It means you understand.

BodyTalk
Communication breaks down when people ignore what they see in favor of what they hear. The body doesn’t lie. Visual communication is more than half the message. When you hear a mixed message it’s because you are giving too much power to the spoken word. Watch the body language for the real message and tune into the tone of voice. People use words to conceal. What words conceal the body will reveal. If a customer or co-worker says, “Sure, no problem” and doesn’t make eye contact, seems distracted and curt, don’t trust the message.

Listening is Spiritual
What are your fondest memories as a child? Is it the person who bought you expensive gifts or the person who told you stories? In our materialistic society, we think that providing for physical needs is the measure of success. We work two and three jobs to give children things “we never had.” In the frenzy, we may rob them of the riches we did have–time and attention. I’ve never heard anyone be accused of listening too much. When I was an adolescent, I could sound off on all sorts of topics to my Aunt Gloria and she would listen. We were never judged. So all the nieces and nephews confided in her.
Listening is a spiritual act. You must suspend you own ego in order to really listen to another. Listening is one of the greatest gifts we can give another. It lasts a lifetime in our hearts.

Listening to Ourselves
While we’re busy trying to listen to others, how well do we listen to ourselves? How do we really feel about that customer, accepting that new job, going out with that friend? We don’t take enough time to listen to ourselves. What is your body telling you? According to Louise Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life, the body gives off messages. Different parts of the body signify different issues that are going on in your life.

Are you getting a lot of colds? You have too much going on. Slow down and smell the roses. Lower back pain? You may feel a lack of financial support. Money problems need to be addressed. To be a better listener of others, we need to listen to ourselves, our intuition. Meditation is a form of self-listening. Is your head cluttered with mind chatter? Is the TV going all the time? You can’t hear inner messages unless you have quiet time.

Tips for Better Listening

o Take all threats seriously. Listen when people speak about harming themselves or others.
o Be present. Let people talk. Talking relieves anxiety.
o Respect feelings. You may not agree but you can acknowledge their right to their feelings. Empathizing will calm an irate customer.
o Believe the visual message over the words. The great lie detector is the body. Tune into the nonverbals and you will hear the real message.
o Trust your intuition. Take time to meditate. One day a week, sit under a tree during lunch, or go into a room by yourself and tune into your thoughts, and body. Quiet your mind. When you get a “gut feeling” don’t dismiss it.
o Listen to children. Spend time hearing their ideas, dreams, troubles, and success. They are our future.

Practice shen jen. Be a wise person. Listen.

Copyright Diane DiResta 2001. All rights reserved.

Anxiety-Prone Home Inspections

Staying in anticipation of Home Inspections stimulates anxieties. That is normal and a part of life. But what have you to worry about if you have taken the measures to make your home absolutely spick and span and get everything working well? In this article, I cite examples from real life where I had to go through great home inspections.

First of all, I remember when I was overseas, right before I had been conferred upon the degree in the graduation ceremony, I was working hard every day to clean my dorm room and the attached bathroom part by part. A few days before leaving my dorm, I was talking with the caretaker, and he said, “Come in inside your room. I will show you what to clean.” I was baffled but the consequences were lovely. He looked at the window and then the walls, shelves, table and the floor but he didn’t find dirt anywhere. It made me smile because I had been cleaning my room part by part all along. “OK”, he said, “Everything seems alright. Just make sure the bathroom is clean as well.” Then he stalked out. I was supposed to get caution money for my room and the day before I was leaving, the caretaker was supposed to hand it over to me after the cleaning inspection of my room. But instead he called me downstairs to his office, asking me to sign a form and then handing me over the caution money. And then I was free! I said to myself, Wow, my room doesn’t have to go through the inspection after all because he had already seen the status of my room a few days back! Lucky break!

I had to confront another cleaning inspection overseas in another country. Apartments on the campus were subjected to inspection every six months. Apart from the pressure of studies, I cleaned and cleaned bit by bit until the big day arrived. The inspector arrived on time. Now this was an apartment, covering a bigger area than the dorm room with the attached bathroom in the other country, where the cleaning up was easier. So here was the inspector. He examined the carpets, the bathroom, closets, bedroom, living room and finally the tiny kitchen. In the kitchen, he looked inside the refrigerator, drawers and shelves and then the cooking stove. There, I didn’t know the cooking stove’s lid could be lifted up and as he did so, there were tiny grains of cooked meals. Here is what he said, “Of course, the entire apartment is clean and tidy. You cannot fail the test simply because of this. Just clean it up!” It was something I learnt and made sure to have it absolutely immaculate before I left the apartment for good.

Now in my country, people still have to learn about proper cleanliness and management of homes. When owners of an estate rent it out to tenants, the tenants are careless enough to go about damaging everything and not to talk of tidiness during their stay. When the tenants leave, it is the responsibility of the owners to take care of furnishing and decorating and above all, make it all spotless and luminous for new tenants. It is funny but that is the way with our part of the world! Yet, estate owners could make it a part of their agreement policies that tenants keep everything inside their homes working well and clean up to the brim otherwise they would be fined. In fact, owners should make it a point that their tenants leave their homes in the same standard as that when they had first put their foot in.

3 Ways to Calm Networking Anxiety

One of the best ways to be a great networker is to have confidence. Confidence takes on many forms including professionalism, a strong brand, consistency and a genuine desire to build relationships. But in order to be more confident, it is important to get rid of the anxiety that is sometime accompanied with networking.

Listed below are three helpful tips for reducing anxiety and being more confident at your next event.

Be Prepared

Do not leave your networking to chance. Take the necessary time to prepare for your events. Preparation can involve practicing your elevator pitch, drafting a few conversation questions or staying updated on current or industry events. Anticipate the individuals you hope to meet and plan accordingly.

Be Network Minded

If you feel too intimidated to attend events alone, reach out to people in your networks. Invite your friends, co-workers or colleagues as your guest. Ask to attend events that they are attending. Reach out to the organizer or host of the association through social media and make pre-networking connections. Use this as an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and be more social and engaging. Taking the first step and initiating a connection is definitely a sign of confidence.

Be Focused

Before the event, write down a few goals that you hope to achieve by going to the event. How many people do you plan to meet and build relationships? How can you give back or pay it forward? How do you want to promote your brand, product, service or initiative? How can you learn from others and share resources or information?

Use these tips and practical methods to reduce anxiety and focus on productive networking. Being able to be prepared, build your networks and focus on your goal leads to professional and career success.