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Motivational, Family Friendly Dog Training
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Our Mission
PET Progress of Northwest Ohio is committed to promoting progress for pets
and creating safer communities for the public through prevention, education, and training.

Educating children, parents, breeders, professionals,
and the public on how to stay safe around dogs to decrease dog bite numbers.


Educating the community on responsible dog ownership,
responsible breeding, humane animal practices,
and animal behavior to increase public safety and prevent breed stereotyping.

Training for dogs and their owners to promote
behaviorally sound and safe dogs in the community.
To read the book: The Pit Bull Placebo:  The Myths, Media, and Politics of Canine Aggresion, download a PDF copy below:

To see the full Fulton County Dog Bite Statistics Report, download the PDF below.


To see a full report on the breed population living in Fulton County, view the PDF below:

To see my full written statement on BSL, dog aggression, and dog bite prevention, view the PDF below:

FREE Canine Good Citizen Tests
to Fulton County "Pit Bulls"
(call to ask if your dog qualifies)

To encourage the community to look past the long-held stereotype on this misunderstood type of dog, PET Progress wants to encourage all "pit bull" owners to get their dogs CGC Tested. It's a great way to make your dog an ambassador for the breed, proving to your community your dog is safe and friendly, and a "good citizen"! Lets prove to our communities that pit bulls don't deserve their bad rap!
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FCNK on Facebook

To keep the most up to date on the dog issues in Fulton County, please join:
Fulton County No Kill on Facebook at:
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Dogs that are chained are 2.8 times more likely to bite.

Dogs are social animals with a need for companionship. A life on the chain is a very lonely and inhumane life for your dog.

Need help training your dog to live indoors so he escape the dog house and be a part of the family? Contact us for low-cost in home dog training.

Know of a dog that is chained to a dog house? Please, let us know and we will offer assistance and education to the dog owners. 
Responsible Dog Ownership Education

*Following leash laws
*Spaying and neutering your pets
*Purchasing puppies from responsible breeders
*Picking up after your dog
*Training and socializing your dog
*Providing a humane environment for your dog

Available to any children's or adult group or club, such as 4-H clubs or Girl and Boy Scouts!

Tasha Grieser of Better Friends Dog Training gave a lengthy presentation advocating a fairer Wauseon vicious dog ordinance.
Tasha Grieser of Better Friends Dog Training
gave a lengthy presentation advocating a
fairer Wauseon vicious dog ordinance.

The process to remove the term “pitbull” from Wauseon’s vicious dog ordinance moved forward Monday,
but not without a long discussion and a lot of divisiveness.

At a regularly scheduled meeting devoted almost entirely to the issue, City Council members voted 3-2 with
one abstention to approve the second reading of a proposed ordinance amending the law. Councilors Rick Frey
and Heather Kost cast the negative votes. Councilor Jeff Stiriz abstained.

The lopsided victory came only after Mayor Kathy Huner was recruited to break a 3-3 tie during an attempt
by Councilors Frey, Stiriz, and Kost to table the legislation until language changes to the ordinance are fully
considered. “I’ve heard both sides. Now I’d like to check things out,” Stiriz said.

Huner said she decided to vote in favor of the second reading and push the legislation forward so the process

wouldn’t lose traction due to the surrounding controversy. She said a third and final vote on the amended
ordinance is scheduled in two weeks, allowing time to finalize proposed language revisions.

The council’s action took place before a room nearly filled with citizens concerned about the city’s present
vicious dog law. The majority opposed its present language, which specifically cites pitbull-type breeds as
dangerous and requires their registration.

Monday’s session extended well past its typical length as several people implored council members to follow
the State of Ohio’s 2012 decision to remove the term “pitbull” from its vicious dog law. The most vocal advocate
was Tasha Grieser, who operates Better Friends Dog Training.

Reading from a lengthy and detailed statement defending pitbull-type breeds from what she said is misinformation
and stereotyping, Grieser quoted statistics showing that dog breeds other than pitbull types are more often
responsible for attacks against humans.

She also roundly criticized Fulton County Dog Warden Brian Banister, who she said is not trained to identify pitbull-type
breeds, but does so professionally anyway, according to his personal views.

“He is skewing the facts by changing the definition of pitbulls,” Grieser said.

About a week ago, Banister spent an hour at a City Council committee-of-the-whole meeting answering questions
regarding pitbulls. He was not available for comment.

Grieser summarized her presentation by saying that 84 percent of dogs which bite are maintained by reckless owners.

“Ultimately, a dog is only as dangerous as its owners allow it to be,” she read from her statement. “It is not fair to
punish and discriminate against an entire breed and their responsible owners because some people that choose to
own these dogs do so irresponsibly. It also ignores the irresponsible owners of all other breeds or types of dogs.”

Grieser reiterated her statistic that 163 people in Fulton County have been bitten by non-pitbull type dogs since 2012.
“The issue of fatal dog attacks is not a breed problem. It’s a human problem. The answer is not breed-specific laws,” she said.

The council also heard from April Petz, a Fulton County resident who complained her pitbull-type pet has repeatedly
been discriminated against by local law enforcement. She said when complaints about her dogs running loose have
been filed, law enforcement has targeted only her pitbull-type, ignoring its companion non-pitbull type dog which is
actually more aggressive.

Petz said she has dutifully registered her pitbull-type dog with the city each year since moving to Wauseon in 2007.
She told the council that she soon discovered few if any other pitbull-type owners follow that rule.

“The moment we came we had problems with the neighbors calling the police,” she said. “I feel personally like we’re
being discriminated against. Consistently, we’ve been the only ones that have registered, and have held to it. Don’t
punish me, and continue to punish me, for being the only one to register.”

Although not scheduled to speak, Swanton resident Tim Bork also took the dais. Earlier this year, Bork fought the
village’s vicious dog ordinance, which also specifies pitbull-type dogs in its language. He challenged both Banister’s
claim that Bork’s dog Bailey is a pitbull-type breed and a village citation he received for failing to register the dog.
Bork took his case to Eastern District Court where, after an expensive battle, the charge was dropped due to a legal
inability to define what constitutes a pitbull dog.

“It took $6,000 out of my own pocket just to say my dog is not dangerous. Then they’re keeping the law the prosecutor
said they cannot enforce,” an emotional Bork told council members. “I’ve had to fight every single day. My neighbors
are still harassing me.”

Councilor Martin Estrada, who spearheaded the movement to amend the city’s vicious dog ordinance, said County
Prosecutor Scott Haselman told him no pitbull cases filed locally have gone to trial. Estrada said by removing the term
“pitbull” from the city ordinance “it can give more strength to the law” by focusing rather on all dog breeds.

Encouraged by Councilor Shane Chamberlin, Police Chief Keith Torbet repeated his prior assertion that removing
“pitbull” from the language won’t impede his enforcement of the city’s vicious dog ordinance, just as the state’s
2012 change in language didn’t.

“Wauseon has never waited for the state to do anything, and we’re not going to now,” he said.

The third reading of the amended ordinance is scheduled to be held at a council meeting Jan. 5.


Fulton Co. kills ‘pit bulls’ without formal testing

Toledo Blade - Published: Wednesday, 9/10/2014

Tasha Grieser, an organizer of Fulton County No Kill, is challenging county policy. Tasha Grieser, an organizer of Fulton County No Kill, is challenging county policy.

Dog advocates in Fulton County are challenging a county policy that essentially
mandates that all “pit bull”-type dogs at the county pound be killed if they are
not claimed by an owner.

A grassroots group called Fulton County No Kill and the Ohio Coalition of Dog
Advocates, which was very involved in the effort to change state law and
Lucas County policies with regard to “pit bulls,” are seeking to rescind a
May, 2012, resolution enacted by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners.

“We will not drop this issue until we see change,” said Tasha Grieser, an
Archbold resident and one of the leaders of the Fulton County No Kill group.

RELATED: How the resolution currently reads

Resolution 2012-477 states, “no ‘pit bull’ or ‘pit bull’ mix as identified by the dog warden or assistant dog warden will be sold to the general public or rescue group” from the Fulton County Dog Pound. The resolution was unanimouslyapproved May 24, 2012, just after the state of Ohio removed breed-specific language that had declared all “pit bull”-type dogs as inherently vicious.

The initial efforts in Fulton County are mirroring those steps first taken in LucasCounty several years ago. Public pressure eventually resulted in former dog wardenTom Skeldon, who was well known for his hostility toward "pit bull"-type dogs,
being forced out of office in 2009.

Fulton County Dog Warden Brian Banister said that if a dog identified as a “pit bull”-type dog is not claimed, it will be killed. So far in 2014, the county has taken in 12 dogs identified as “pit bulls” or “pit-bull” mixes. Four were unclaimed and subsequently killed. Two were dead when officials picked them up, three werereclaimed by their owners, and three were killed at the request of their owners.

“I think the situation with ‘pit bulls’ is that when a ‘pit bull’ does attack, it is a much more serious and severe attack than a different type of dog,” Mr. Banister said. “That’s why the county’s taken the stance to be very careful where these dogs end up.
The commissioners made this resolution because our No 1. priority is to keep the publicsafe from these dogs. The commissioners understand what these dogs are capable of.”

But advocates say dogs should be judged by their behavior and not their breed becausecanine behavior, much like human behavior, is affected by a wide variety of factors such as socialization, physical health, and general surroundings.

“We want ‘pit bulls’ to have equal opportunity for rescue and adoption, just the same as any other breed of dog,” Mrs. Grieser said.

Vond Hall, county administrator, said the commissioners have declined to discuss the matter as recently as about two weeks ago. Mrs. Grieserand another representative from Fulton County No Kill relayed the group’s concerns to Mr. Hall, who then approached the commissioners.

“I asked the board if they were interested in entertaining discussions about this and if they would reconsider, and it was a unanimous no,” Mr. Hall said. “They said they were not interested in rescinding the resolution.”

As a result of that refusal, Mrs. Grieser said the group is taking the matter to the public stage. Advocates will hold a candlelight vigil at
7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27., outside the Fulton County Dog Pound at 9200 County Road 14 in Wauseon.

“We would like to bring more awareness about this issue to Fulton County residents, and we want the commissioners to take us
seriously and let us be heard,” Mrs. Grieser said.

The current Fulton County commissioners are Perry Rupp, Paul Barnaby, and Bill Rufenacht.

Dawn Stretar, vice president of the Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates, said the coalition also has attempted to discuss the matter
with the commissioners, but “received no response.”

“Fulton County residents are asking for change and their elected officials are shutting them out,” Ms. Stretar said.
“Fulton County can and should do better.”

One of the advocates’ concerns is how a dog’s breed is determined. The groups say visual identification of dogs, particularly of mixed-breed dogs, is unreliable, often incorrect, and subsequently misleading.

“Appearance is not connected with behavior,” she said. “It does not indicate any kind of temperament, how the
dog interacts with its environment, or if it’s ultimately going to be a safe or dangerous dog. ”

Mr. Banister said he looks at the physical characteristics of dogs to determine their breeds. When it comes to “pit bulls,” he said, “You know one when you see one.”

“Every breed has different characteristics,” he said. “ ‘Pits’ have a look to them and it’s an educated assessment of an animal.”

He refused to describe what physical traits he uses to classify a canine as “pit bull”-type, but admitted, “The only sure way to do that is to do a DNA test on that animal, which, of course, we don’t do here. I don’t think there’s any dog pound in the state that does that.”

Ms. Stretar said the definition of a “pit bull”-type dog varies widely even among animal-welfare organizations, which makes breed-specific laws and policies difficult to enforce.

“So if you don’t know what a ‘pit bull’ is, then what are you legislating against?” she said.

Fulton County Prosecutor Scott Haselman, who is the attorney for the commissioners, declined to comment on any aspect of the debate about the county’s “pit bull” policy, though the minutes from the commissionersmeeting during which the resolution was passed say he “advised against being breed specific as it will be tried in court.”

Ms. Stretar said all dog owners in Fulton County should be concerned about the policy and the way it is administered.

“One day, Dog A could be labeled as a boxer mix and the next day Dog A could be labeled as a ‘pit bull’ and in peril of losing its life,” she said. “People need to be concerned because it could be their dog.”

Contact Alexandra Mester:, 419-724-6066, or on Twitter @AlexMesterBlade.



We want to reward responsible breeders in our local area and encourage responsible puppy buying by local citizens. If you are a local breeder and meet certain qualifications, you can be listed at no cost under our referral program. We will meet for a consultation, and you will receive valuable information about puppy development, socialization, and environmental enrichment
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Shelter - Partner Program

Also available is FREE Shelter Training program. This program includes a viewing of the Open Paw Training video and Hands-on Training to shelter staff.

Can you imagine your shelter quiet? Dogs peacefully lounging on beds, happily chewing, or sitting calmly at the front of their kennels wagging “hello” as anyone approaches? The Open Paw program for shelters is a four level training program for people and dogs to help your shelter become one where animals thrive and adoptions increase.

The Open Paw program covers environmental enrichment, kennel safety, animal handling, and obedience training suitable for both staff and volunteers. This program gives your shelter the tools to utilize to train your staff and volunteers how to help increase the animals' adoptability, decreasing time animals spend in your shelter, increasing the save rate, and turning the shelter into a pleasant place for members of the community to come to adopt their next pet.

Call to schedule your shelter's free  video viewing and training today!

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If you aren't quite sure what type of dog you should adopt or buy, PET Progress offers free in person or over the phone consultations to help you decide.

  • Pros and Cons of various places you can purchase your new dog or puppy from.
  • Characteristics to look for in a potential puppy or dog.
  • Breed or dog type comparison and research
  • The right questions to ask to know if you have found a reputable breeder.

  • Know how to look for a responsible breeder
  • Research the breed of dog to know if its temperament, grooming needs, and exercise needs are compatible with your family
  • Find a trainer to help you and your puppy get off on the best paw


  • Find a trainer, veterinarian, and groomer
  • Socialize, socialize, socialize
  • Begin housetraining and behavioral training right away
  • Obedience skills can be taught as soon as your puppy arrives home

Be a Tree: Grieser brings dog safety to area classrooms

Crescent News By TARYN LAWSON Published:

Archbold resident and certified dog trainer Tasha Grieser is bringing dog safety into area classrooms.

Be a Tree: Grieser brings dog safety to area classrooms

By TARYN LAWSON lawson@crescent-news.comPublished:

ARCHBOLD -- When Tasha Grieser was a little girl, a friendly-looking black Lab bit her.

The harrowing incident didn't put her off man's best friend though -- not by a long shot.

Today, Archbold resident Grieser is a certified professional dog trainer, working at Pampered Pet Bed and Biscuit in Napoleon
and now, giving her time to teach area students about dog safety and dog bite prevention.

It's called the Be a Tree program, named for the still, upright position -- eyes focused on the "roots" growing from their feet
-- that children are taught to assume in the presence of an aggressive or stressed dog.

The Be a Tree program, created by non-profit organization Doggone Safe, is an interactive classroom presentation that uses
a teaching kit containing games and large color photographs to teach students how to act safely around dogs.

Grieser, who learned of Be a Tree while independently researching dog bite prevention, is availing herself to teach the program
for free in Archbold classrooms, and has begun preparing letters offering the service to teachers throughout Defiance, Williams,
Henry and Fulton counties.

"I was bitten by a dog, so I know how it can make a child feel," Grieser said. "This program is going to teach kids not only how
to be calm in a dangerous situation, but also to avoid dangerous situations in the first place by teaching dog body language."

Grieser, flipping through the photographs, pointed out that the position of a dog's tail, ears, mouth and brow can be a useful
indicator as to whether the animal is comfortable with being approached.

"The pictures are going to show different things, like yawning or lip licking -- signals that many adults aren't even aware of
-- that indicate that the animal does not want to be touched," Grieser said. "The photos show the same dog in both relaxed,
as well as stressed, states, which I like because it highlights the fact that one dog is probably not going to be all good or all bad.
There are times when it is all right to approach a certain dog, and times when it isn't."

Another photo shows a happy-looking child hugging her pet, but as Grieser pointed out, the dog in the photo displays a number of
visual cues -- a furrowed brow, widened eyes -- that indicate the child may be at risk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dogs bite more than 4.7 million people each year. Every year,
800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites -- half of these are children -- and the rate of dog bite-related injuries is
highest for children ages 5 to 9.

The numbers are likely to be higher still, Grieser said, as many dog bite incidents are never reported.

To date, the Be a Tree program has reached 500,000 students nationwide via presentations by veterinarians, dog trainers,
animal control officers and teachers.

Experts believe that public education, like Be a Tree, is instrumental in preventing dog bite injuries.

Grieser, a hobby dog trainer for 12 years and a professional for two, said the primary problem is the way well-intended children,
much like her 8-year-old self, approach the animals.

In fact, Grieser added that Be a Tree focuses less on dog bites -- a lesson that could cause children to fear dogs -- and more on
taking a positive, safe approach to connecting with canines.

"The program teaches how to properly approach and greet a dog: one tip is to make a fist and allow the dog to sniff first," Grieser said.
"It teaches kids to avoid petting dogs on the top of the head, which is actually offensive to most dogs; it can frighten them."

In addition to Be a Tree, Grieser is wrapping up the training necessary to become part of the Dog & Storks, and Dogs & Baby Connection,
a program that helps prepare families with dogs for life with a new baby. She will begin offering those services next year.

"The most important tip I give to people is to make sure that children are educated on how to respect animals," Grieser said.
"Always supervise children when they are around dogs, even if you are just going over to an Aunt's house. Most children who
are bitten are bitten by the family pet, or a dog the child knows."

Area people or groups interested in bringing Be a Tree to their classroom or event can call Grieser at 419-906-0098.


Fulton County Dog Bite Prevention:
Statistics and Information

*According to information collected from public record
from the Fulton County Health Department and
Fulton County Auditor's office

1. 39 Total Breeds biting in Fulton County from 2012-14

2. 126 total registered dog breeds in FC in 2014

3. Pit bulls were 23rd most popular breed, more popular than Rottweilers, Labradoodles, and Goldendoodles, and just slightly behind in popularity from the Cocker Spaniel, Maltese and Pug.

4. Pit bulls only make up 6.7% of all biting dogs in Fulton County

5. Children make up 41% percent of victims; 40% of children under age of 18 are bit on the head and face. Children are primarily bitten in their own home by a known dog.  

6. Children are primarily bitten by the family pet when playing or interacting improperly with dog that scares or upsets dog. Examples include: Sitting, laying, jumping on dog; Blowing in dogs face; Wrestling/ pinning dog; Hugging/kissing dog; Waking dog from sleep

7. Adults are primarily bitten for territorial reasons. Examples include: walking, riding bike or jogging past dog's home and dog isn't secured properly to the property; meter readers, delivery persons, and mail carriers bit when on duty and entering property; or person trespassing on dog's property.

8. Pit bulls are represented in mild, moderate, and severe dog bite categories.

9. Labrador Retrievers bit more severely than any other breed, but also represented in each dog bite severity category.

10. Severity of dog bites depended on individual dog's bite inhibition and circumstances surrounding dog bite, not breed.

Dogs as small as Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and Pomeranians, and dogs commonly known for their great temperament for being a “family dog” such as the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever, as well as many other breeds of dogs, have been responsible for fatal dog attacks across the United States. To address fatal attacks as a “pit bull” problem invalidates the hundreds of deaths caused by other dogs. During the 20th century there have been over 450 documented cases of fatal dog attacks in the US by non-Pit bull breeds (Pit Bull Placebo). The most complete listing I have found of all dog breeds involved in fatal dog attacks includes: Pit bulls, Rottweilers, Bullmastiffs, Boxers, Bull Terriers, Great Danes, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinchers, St. Bernards, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Chesapeke Bay Retriever, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Bulldog, Newfoundland, Chows, Coonhounds, Husky, Malamutes, “sheepdogs”, Collies, Basenji, Fox Terrier, Airedale Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Daschund, Chihuahua, and Pomeranian. Why some dog attacks are more fatal than others has been studied. The researchers identified a striking co-occurrence of multiple, controllable factors (JAVMA 2013) These are:

  • no able-bodied person being present to intervene (87.1%)

  • the victim having no familiar relationship with the dog(s) (85.2%)

  • the dog(s) owner failing to neuter/spay the dog(s)(84.4%)

  • a victim’s compromised ability, whether based on age or physical condition, to manage their interactions with the dog(s) (77.4%)

  • the owner keeping dog(s) as resident dog(s), rather than as family pet(s) (76.2%)

  • the owner’s prior mismanagement of the dog(s) (37.5%)

  • and the owner’s abuse or neglect of dog(s) (21.1%)

  • Four or more of these factors were present in 80.5% of cases


Professional Groups and Organizations Opposing

Breed Specific or Discriminatory Legislation

  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) – “Any dog can bite, regardless of its breed, and more often people are bitten by dogs they know. It’s not the dog’s breed that determines risk -- it’s the dog’s behavior, general size, number of dogs involved and the vulnerability of the person bitten that determines whether or not a dog or dogs will cause a serious bite injury.

  • U.S.Center for Disease Control – ““[The study] does not identify specific breeds that are most likely to bite or kill, and thus is not appropriate for policy-making decisions related to the topic...There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs of a particular breed, and consequently no measure to determine which breeds are more likely to bite or kill.”

  • National Animal Control Association (N.A.C.A.) – “Dangerous and/or vicious animals should be labeled as such as a result of their actions or behavior and not because of their breed. Any animal may exhibit aggressive behavior regardless of breed. Accurately identifying a specific animal’s lineage for prosecution purposes may be extremely difficult. Additionally, breed specific legislation may create an undue burden to owners who otherwise have demonstrated proper pet management and responsibility.””

  • American Bar Association – “Resolved, That the American Bar Association urges all state, territorial, and local legislative bodies and governmental agencies to adopt comprehensive breed-neutral dangerous dog/reckless owner laws that ensure due process protections for owners, encourage responsible pet ownership, and focus on the behavior of both dog owner and dogs, and to repeal any breed discriminatory or breed specific provisions.

  • American Temperament Test Society
    International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
    Association of Professional Dog Trainers,
    National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors
    National Canine Research Council
    Best Friends Animal Society
    The White House Administration
    United States Department of Justice
    American Humane Association
    American Animal Hospital Association
    American Medical Association
    Professional Liability Insurance Trust
    American College of Emergency Physicians