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Local invention included in First Family doggy swag bag - Metro US

Local invention included in First Family doggy swag bag

When the First Puppy takes a romp around the White House lawn he or she will likely sport
a Halifax invention.

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are planning to rescue a shelter Portugese water dog next month for their daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, seven. A Los Angeles public relation firm put together a First Puppy Gift Box for the new arrival and asked Clicker Leash, a Halifax company, to include one of their leashes

“At first I was like, ‘Is this a scam?’ How unrealistic is it to be in Halifax and get a call from someone saying they want your invention for the president’s dog,” said Adina MacRae, company president.

Her invention is a training tool based on rewarding good behaviour. A trainer clicks at the exact moment a pet does something right and rewards the animal with a treat or praise.

“Instead of correcting the animal for the bad stuff they do, you’re rewarding them for the good stuff they do which reinforces the probability they’re going to do it again,” she said.

“It falls in line with their personalities because they’re very much about positive change.”

Other items in the puppy gift box delivered more than a week ago were canine aromatherapy candles, crystal puppy necklaces and organic treats. Two hundred items were considered, but only 15 companies were selected to add items to the doggy swag bag.

Obama promised his daughters a puppy when he was on the campaign trail.

“Apparently the girls have been begging for (a puppy) for years so one of Obama’s election promises was that if he was elected then the girls would get a puppy,” MacRae said, laughing.

“The world knows it so there’s no way he can back out on it now.”

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