Memphis Tornado or Turbo Australian Terrier?

Bentley Australian TerrierBentley is much like summer in Memphis TN. He’s hot and produces funnels of energy. He is a turbo Australian Terrier. If your dog is a tornado, contact me. I have first hand experience with turbo tornado puppies!

Thanks for visiting  Dog and Puppy and Behavior and Training and Help

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer, Canine Specialization

How’s Bentley – Private and Group Dog Obedience

Memphis, Collierville, Bartlett, Cordova, Germantown TN

Does Your Dog Get too Excited to Attach a Leash? Teach Leash Time!


The goal of this exercise is to teach a dog to sit patiently while you attach a leash. This is for dogs that like to have the leash attached, but are so excited that it’s difficult to snap on a leash. If your dog is shy or afraid of the leash, visit this page.

Most dogs become very excited at the sight of a leash. Dogs bark, jump and wiggle which makes it very difficult for us to attach our leashes. Some young dogs bite and mouth while we try and attach the leash. With theses guys, I usually place a chew toy in their mouth before I attach the leash.

There are several different approaches we can use to solve this problem. Here’s one that’s easy to follow and effective!

It helps to understand why your dog gets excited. The reason dogs become excited when they see the leash is because the leash predicts an outing. Therefore, if the leash does not predict an outing, the dogs will not become excited at the sight of the leash.

Step 1)

Get your leash. Do not speak to your dog. Hold the leash land walk around the house for a few minutes. Put the leash away. Repeat this sequence several times within a few hours. Repeat (several days if necessary) until your dog is not excited by the sight of you carrying the leash and then perform S tep 2.

Step 2)

Get your leash. Do not speak to your dog. Hold the leash for a few minutes. Tell your dog “leash time” and then attach it to your dog’s collar. Hand you dog a food treat. Drop the leash and let your dog drag it around the house.

After several minutes, tell your dog “leash time” and remove the leash. Hand your dog a food treat. Repeat many times within a few hours.

Step 3)

If your dog fails to sit during this step, just walk away with the leash in hand and try again later. If your dog fails again, go back to Step 1 and start over.

Get your leash. Tell your dog “leash time” and then immediately tell your dog “sit”.  Praise your dog for the sit; attach the leash, and then give your dog a food treat. Let your dog drag the leash around the house for several minutes.

Tell your dog “leash time”; “sit”. Praise your dog for the sit and remove the leash. Give your dog a food treat. Repeat many times within a few hours.

After several of these sequences, your dog will know exactly what to do when you say “leash time, sit”! You can discontinue the food treat once your dog is reliable. Of course, if you have a treat handy, why not reward your dog for sitting politely?

When you are going to take your dog on an outing, tell him or her before you get the leash. Say something like “Let’s go out” and then say “leash time, sit”.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner
Companion Animal Behavior Counselor and Trainer
Private Sessions for Aggressive, Fearful Dogs
How’s Bentley- Memphis, Collierville, Germantown, TN

Separation Anxiety in Dogs is Often Misdiagnosed and Misunderstood

Memphis PyramidSeparation anxiety is one of the most misdiagnosed behavioral conditions. The hallmarks of separation anxiety are: 

Excessive vocalization
Inside Elimination (for a house trained dog)
Destructive behaviors directed at entry and exit points

For separation anxiety to be considered, some or a combination of these symptoms must occur ONLY in the absence of people. The behaviors most commonly occur within 45 minutes of departure. 

If your dog destroys your furniture when you leave, it is less likely due to separation anxiety and more likely due to too much freedom and not enough exercise. Dogs with separation anxiety destroy items that are in the path of their escape, not couch cushions in the middle of the room! 

If your dog barks and whines in the crate this may or may not be separation anxiety. Does your dog bark and whine in the crate if crated at the same times of day when you are home? 

Elimination in the crate or in the house is not necessarily a sign of separation anxiety. Is the dog house trained? Will the dog eliminate in his or her crate when you are home? 

Treating dogs with true separation anxiety is challenging. It will take several days or even weeks. It depends on how much time you have to dedicate to the treatment. The main obstacle is that every instance of separation perpetuates the condition and offsets progress. For example, suppose you make great progress over the weekend, but you go back to work on Monday and leave your dog alone. Your progress will be lost. 

Treating separation anxiety is a process not an event. First you’ll teach the dog to relax before you leave the house. Then you’ll leave for very short increments while your dog relaxes. As the exercises progress, you’ll leave for longer and longer periods. If you decide to treat your dog for separation anxiety, you’ll need to make arrangement to never leave the dog alone during the treatment period. Day care, friends’ homes and other babysitters can be helpful during this period.

Click here for detailed instructions for treating separation anxiety in dogs , compliments of the ASPCA virtual behaviorist.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer, Canine Specialization

How’s Bentley – Private and Group Dog Obedience

Memphis, Collierville, Bartlett, Cordova, Germantown TN

Dog Training is a Process, Not an Event

bentleypupRaising a puppy and training a dog is a process, not an event. It’s not much different than raising a child (except in 3 years your puppy will be an adult dog). Suppose you hire me to come to your house and teach your child to be polite. I can tell the kid which words to use ,what they mean, and when to use them. That teaching session is an event. But later, I will not be with your child to praise her for polite gestures, or to remind her to be polite. That is a continual process.

I have potential clients who would pay me whatever to come to their homes and train their dogs. I would gladly accept these lucrative offers if I believed the dogs would be responsive to them afterwards. Some dogs will obey without a lot of practice. But these are rarely the dogs that prompt people to seek out a trainer.

Don’t get me wrong, I can teach your chocolate labrador retriever commands for sit, down,come, stay, go-to-place, leave-it, et cetera much quicker than their owners. Initially teaching dogs to obey without distractions is the easy part. Those initial lessons are events.

Your dog is always learning, even when you are not holding practice sessions. Every interaction throughout the day teaches your puppy or dog something. If you are unaware of how your responses throughout the day shape your dog’s behavior, no amount of event training by me will override your daily mistakes.

Dogs learn by repetition. Practicing while adding distractions, in very controlled training sessions, and working with the dogs, every day, in real life situations, is a time consuming process.

If you want to begin a training program for your dog, please visit the START HERE category.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer, Canine Specialization

How’s Bentley – Private and Group Dog Obedience

Memphis, Collierville, Bartlett, Cordova, Germantown TN

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Puppy Play Biting 7 Year Old Child – Training Forum

LabpupMy 6 month-old Labrador retriever puppy, Katie, plays rough with my 7 year-old son and won’t stop play-biting. When she was younger, my son and Katie spent hours tumbling and playing, but now he’s afraid of her. He’s tried holding her muzzle shut, but she only gets more aggressive. The situation is getting worse. Now she nips at his clothes, jumps up and knocks him down.

How can I teach my pup to play nicely with my 7 year-old child? Katie is my son’s dog and I really want them to bond, but, I’m afraid she might have aggressive tendencies.

Answer: Thanks for submitting your question. It’s not likely that your puppy is aggressive. Katie is treating your son as a puppy playmate. Have you ever watched puppies playing together? They are a riot! They jump, mount, growl, bite, mouth, tumble, roll, nip, bark and chase. That’s the only way they know how to interact. Play-biting occurs when some of these normal, play behaviors are directed at human body parts and clothing. Yikes, those needle teeth are . . .  READ COMPLETE ANSWER . . .

Post your Dog and Puppy and Behavior and Training and Help questions in the new Dogand Forum!

OR START OFF RIGHT! Puppies for Thinkers, a puppy owner’s manual, only $7.95 US  dollars

Alan J Turner

How’s Bentley– Animal Friendly Training, Problem Behavior Solutions

Memphis, Collierville, Germantown, Cordova, Bartlett, Arlington, TN

Pet Dogs for Protection Dogs?

OdenGSDOn How’s Bentley Private Services Enrollment Form, the box labeled “For Protection” is often selected as one of the reasons my clients acquire their pet dogs. I understand why people select a pet dog for a protection role.

I have worked with more German Shepherd Dogs in the past year than the previous 3 years. I believe the current political and social cultures are responsible for people choosing dogs like German Shepherd Dogs, Doberman Pinchers, and other guarding dogs with “vicious” labeling. We are more fearful as a country than we were 15 years ago. That is reflected by the breeds of dogs that we choose. OOPs, this is off topic. I’ll talk about dog breed selection trends in the suburbs of Tennessee at another time.

Many people expect their dogs to be natural protectors and body guards. Too bad it’s not that simple.

It’s not that dogs won’t protect. Some dogs will naturally growl, snarl, bark, snap and bite when anyone approaches.

That’s the problem. Some dogs protect us from everyone. Dogs growl, snarl, snap and bite family members, house mates, friends, children, neighbors, cable guys, even pizza delivery couriers. That’s just rude. I need my pizza. Please Killer, spare the Domino Pizza guy.

Our pet dogs are not any better at determining who is a threat than the average Joe. We have these opposable thumbs and large brains, yet very few of us can determine which people in a busy suburban mall parking lot are about to attack us. Our untrained dogs have a solution. Bite them all and let the alpha dog sort them out!?

YIKES! The point is, you must take time to obedience train your dog before you can have a dependable protection dog. The last thing you want is a dog that decides every stranger is a threat and acts without your input!

True personal protection dogs are very well trained in all aspects of basic and advanced obedience and many participate in Schutzhund, a dog sport that originated in Germany. True protection dogs will stop attacking when their handlers command them to disengage.

Before you select a breed of dog genetically bred for natural, protective tendencies, talk with a trainer who can help you teach the dog basic obedience. For if you have a pet dog that is aggressive towards everyone, and will not stop when you call, you do not have a protection dog. You have a liability.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner
Companion Animal Behavior Counselor and Trainer
Private Sessions to Help Aggressive and Fearful Dogs
How’s Bentley- Memphis, Collierville, Germantown, TN

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Do Dogs Perspire? How do Dogs Stay Cool?

JavaCotSmallCIn the picture, Java is one cool Papillon! So, you may wonder, how do dogs stay cool? Dogs do not cool off by sweating, they regulate their body temperature by panting.

Panting is your dog’s cooling system. Dogs breathe around 35 times per minute. A panting dog may breathe in and out 400 times a minute! When dogs become overheated, their personal air conditioner kicks in and they start to pant. In order for panting to be effective, the dog must be hydrated (have sufficient water in his or her system).

While panting, the dog only uses the upper portion of the respiratory tract, causing air to move very quickly over the moist mouth. This air flowing over moist cells is what provides the cooling effect. Just like wind moving over sweaty skin lowers your body temperature, air moving over moist mouth and respiratory cells, cools your dog!

Many believe that dogs sweat through their paws. This is correct. Heat will cause a dog to release fluids through the eccrine glands in their paws. However, the eccrine glands do not release enough perspiration to facilitate cooling or thermoregulation.

In comparision to cows sheep and horses, the amount of cooling via sweat glands in dogs is negligible.

Dogs also sweat through their paws when stressed or anxious. This is why your dog may leave behind damp paw prints when he or she is not overheated.

The normal temperature for a dog’s body is around 101.5 -102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If the body temperature rises, dogs start to pant. If the dog’s temperature rises to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a true emergency.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner
Companion Animal Behavior Counselor and Trainer
Private Sessions for Aggression, Fearful Dogs
How’s Bentley- Memphis, Collierville, Germantown, TN

New WordPress Plugins – Search Hilite and Search Everything Features Added


I just added two new feature to this dog and puppy and behavior and training and help  informational web site. I added two free WordPress plugins to enhance the built in “search this site” feature. Search Hilite and Search Everything are available at the WordPress Plugin page.

The “Search This Site . . . ” input box is located on the upper right of your screen. Type a few words and then press “go”.

When you get your search results, now the search words are highlighted in the search results. And every single word on the site will be included in your search. If you use enclose your phrase in quotes, you’ll get results with that specific phrase. For example, search house training and then search “house training”.

Try it!

Type one of these specific phrases with the quotes:  “dog bump target”, “barking at cars”, “shake cans”, “house training”, or “newspaper swats” .

Alan J Turner – Private and Group Dog Obedience and Behavior Training

How’s Bentley – Memphis, Collierville, Arlington, Cordova, Bartlett, Germantown, TN