They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but Ira Meisler doesn’t buy it. The real-life dog whisperer has used positive reinforcement—namely love, affection, and praise—to train pups for the past 30 years and invites dogs of all ages to enroll at American Pet Hotel & Dog Training. Puppies and mature dogs alike practice and absorb basic commands and—with or without their owners’ help—learn the art of potty training. For instance, customers can drop their pooches off for a few weeks of in-kennel training or have a trainer come to them for in-home sessions. Either way, Ira guarantees a lifetime of good behavior. If at any time a dog begins to regress on its training, he’ll offer a refresher course absolutely free of charge.
Beyond training services, American Pet Hotel & Dog Training also operates just what one would expect: a doggy hotel. While owners are away on vacation, guests can rest comfortably inside individual private indoor dog runs, each of which is cleaned and disinfected throughout the day. During their stays, they can lounge atop fleece bedding, frolic with staff during playtime, and enjoy at least six walks every day. Cats can rest their paws at the hotel as well. Private "kitty condos" ensconce felines in cozy spaces with relaxing music, and they also can enjoy designated play time with a scratching post or two. To ensure the safety of all pets, the hotel has a veterinarian on call 24/7 or 168/49 in dog time.
Zoom Room’s dog training facilities have one cardinal rule: owners must be present during class. This is because humans need just as much training as their canine companions when building confidence and communication, and it’s important that owners learn the best positive-reinforcement techniques from the knowledgeable staff. Group classes cover topics ranging from general obedience and agility training to more specific needs such as overcoming shyness. Other classes include Urban Herding, where dogs herd exercise balls into soccer goals indoors, Scent Work, where dogs learn to sniff out missing car keys or the TV remote, and Pup-lates, which is geared toward overweight or senior dogs, or those recovering from an injury.
In fact, improving canine social skills is one of Zoom Room’s missions, as evidenced by the regularly hosted fundraiser events and Doggy Disco parties, which give dogs a chance to meet other dogs and expand away from their inner circle of fire hydrants. This combination of training and fun, in addition to the facility’s selection of solution-oriented training gear, natural dog treats, and functional dog accessories, has garnered an array of local and national press.
Steve and Melissa grew up around animals. After entering the pet industry, Steve felt that he could build a better, stronger dog-walking company—with a little help from technology. That's why he and Melissa founded Puppy Pronto. Their dog-walking service comes with a free lock box, which allows them to care for your pets while you're away without causing an unfortunate security breach. Once inside, they deck out your fridge with a barcode magnet. Scanning this sends you an email, so you know precisely when they arrived to walk your pet. They also send humans a link to a Google map of their canine's route. Alternatively, they can equip pups with a special camera that documents their walks. A bit of editing creates a polished, downloadable film so you can see the world through your dog's eyes. Tail-waggers in need of a place to crash have the option of staying at Steve and Melissa's place—in the company of their two poodles—or at the dog's own pad where they keep their favorite smells.
Offering everything from basic schooling to in-home private lessons, “I Said Sit!” is a one-stop shop for puppy behavior, and a place where dog owners can feel safe taking their four-legged loved ones for training. Tucked away on Robertson Boulevard near the 10 freeway, “I Said Sit!” offers both four week comprehensive behavioral instruction programs (including lessons for the owner) and more limited six-lesson small group classes. They even offer training for puppies, where they learn to socialize and are housebroken. All the in-facility programs take place at the 1,600 -square foot “I Said Sit!” training room space, with rubber floors (for paw comfort). Award winning founder Jonathan Klein is considered one of the best trainers in the city.
Sitter4Paws reliably dispatches fully bonded, insured, and American Red Cross–certified dog walkers to homes for brisk, 30-minute jaunts around the neighborhood. After an initial consultation, during which the dog walker becomes familiar with the patron's pet, home, and routine, he or she arrives promptly at an appointed time for each walk, allowing a camaraderie to develop between man and pet and between man and the space-time continuum. Upon arrival, the caretaker retrieves house keys left in a lock box at the owner's home for safe entry and departure. Postpromenade, owners can arrange for the walker to continue their pet's daily routine, including filling its water bowl, brushing its hair, and painting its portrait. When tenants are away for an extended period, Sitter4Paws' staff can deter potential intruders by bringing in the newspaper and mail, turning lights on and off, and opening and closing the blinds. When the owner returns, he or she will receive an email from the sitter detailing their time spent with the dog.
The Los Angeles landscape has changed drastically since Sunset Ranch Hollywood first opened its stable doors in 1929. However, its equestrians still continue to lead riding tours through Griffith Park's 5,000 acres, where riders can view the Hollywood sign, Griffith Observatory, and downtown LA. The horseback outings also include rides to the top of Mount Hollywood, which provides panoramic views of the surrounding city. For visitors looking to improve upon their abilities, including actors who have been told they can't just gallop around on a stick horse, the ranch's staff offers private lessons in general horsemanship as well as Western and English riding styles.