Potty Accidents Inside? Don’t Kick the Dog! Clean Up and Smile!

Yellow Lab MixI promote no suggestions to interrupt a dog during elimination. Instead, focus on preventing accidents. Keep a log. Watch your pup closely. Observe your dog’s behavior when he eliminates outside so you will recognize signs of “hunting for a location” like sniffing, and circling.

When you notice any pre-elimination behaviors while you are inside, tell your pup, “let’s go potty”, pick up your puppy and carry him outside to the desired location.

I know some very reliable sources instruct owners to kindly interrupt their untrained puppy (if they catch him in the act) and then take him outside.

The suggestions include actions such as softly clapping your hands, saying “ehh ehh”, shaking a can with pennies, or even tossing a magazine or keys on the floor beside the pup. I don’t like any of these suggestions. Some pups are confident and others are shy and some are in-between. The same interrupter will be received differently by each pup.

If the interrupter you choose terrifies your pup, you might as well have kicked your dog.

If your pup is confident and playful, he might respond to interrupters as Bentley did –gleeful fleeing while peeing!  Yikes!

Another point to consider is this. If people are instructed to use some sort of mild interrupter to reduce behaviors, what will their next choice be when the interrupter fails to reduce the behavior?  I know what their choice will be because I am no different. My next choice would be stronger interrupters – which will certainly hamper the house training process.

I’m not sure why professionals who suggest interrupting don’t clarify their suggestions with this statement:

“Interrupters will not hasten the house training process. At best, interrupters will stop the dog in the act and you’ll have a smaller area to clean. At worst, interrupters will teach your dog to fear you and to hide from you when he eliminates”.

Clean Up

Expect accidents. No matter how careful you are, there will be occasions when your pup piddles and poops on your floor. It’s nobody’s fault. It happens. The damage is done.

Try not to fuss at your spouse or your kids, yourself or your pup. Just remember, if it happens frequently, you should review this guide and make changes that will reduce your pup’s opportunities to eliminate inside.

Clean the affected area with an enzyme-based, odor neutralizer.

Any commercial product that specifically states “For Pet Odors” is sufficient.

It takes several days for the enzymes to break down the odors. Your dog will smell the urine and be attracted to the area long after you apply cleaners.

Whenever liquids are spilled on carpet, the carpet pad acts as a sponge and soaks up the liquid.

The urine is spread over a larger area in the pad than is indicated by looking at the carpet.

Generously apply the cleanser to an area equal to twice the size of the observable stain.

If you have “pet proof” padding installed under your carpet, the affected area underneath the carpet will be even larger. Pet proof padding has a plastic coating on top to prevent liquids from seeping into the pad. This causes the urine to spread underneath the carpet until it is absorbed by the carpet backing, instead of the pad.  Treat a much larger area than is indicated by the wetness of the carpet fibers.

If you don’t have any cleanser, use a solution of 1 part distilled, white vinegar to 4 parts water. Do not use ammonia based cleaners. Ammonia breaks down into urea, which is a component of urine.

Do not use any cleaners that are not specifically marketed to neutralize odors. Non specific cleaners will set the stain and the smell.

Before you hire a carpet cleaning service, verify that they use an odor neutralizer with enzymes.

If the smell is set into the flooring, your dog will always be drawn to eliminate in that area. It’s impossible to remove urine odors from concrete and other non-sealed, porous flooring materials. If you have any permanently-soiled areas, you may need to deny your dog unsupervised access to that area forever.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley – Memphis

Companion Animal Behavior Counselor – Canine Specialization

Switching Dog Foods May Cause Temporary Digestive Problems

German Shepherd DogSome nutritionists suggest that pet owners periodically switch between 2 or 3 different foods. This is recommended as a safeguard against unknown imbalances of nutrients that may occur when feeding the same product long term.

When changing diets, replace a small portion of the old food with the new food on day 1.  Increase the percentage of new food by 10-20% each day to facilitate the change over a 5-10 day period. This will help to prevent digestive problems.

Happy Training!
How’s Bentley – Memphis TN

Using Italian Model Eliska Kovarova Maltese Name for Maltese Puppy Trainer Email Scam?

BentteethHi Fellow Trainers.

I suspect any of you APDT members  or any other trainers who replied to the original email from someone posing to be named Muneta Bianco (white money) Italian model Eliska Kocarova’s assistant, (as I did) received the next message (quoted below) in the series. I believe see where this email phishing scam is going. After I reply with the public information requested, I suspect the sender will ask for a bank account number or send me a bogus check, in hopes that I will deposit it and immediately send real money to them.

Perhaps the scammer is counting on our ignorance of such scams. Not me. I am using this opportunity to draw suitable traffic to my informational web site. That is, you the professional dog trainer who has clients that could use a reliable resource for free information about dog and puppy and behavior and training and help.

Say, take a moment to look over my site. You will find it has substantial, free and helpful information about dog friendly training via a clicker or marker.

If any trainers, who have the same philosophy as me, want to post some free instructions on dogand.com, email me and we’ll talk. Thanks.

ALan J Turner – How’s Bentley Memphis TN

Member – APDT

Hello Dear,

How are you doing today? hope you woke up well and strong? I am very sorry for the late reply, I was away in the UK  for a family reunion over the weekend and just returned  this morning I am sorry  i was not able to email you before my travel,  Am very pleased to read from you, Hope you having a nice time over there, Im doing great here,  you sound like a very nice person and am sure  Miss Eliska will love your work.

I sent a copy of the message you sent me to Miss Eliska  and she is very happy you will be train her puppy  when she is away on her photo shoot.

Miss Eliska  said she was able to confirm her tickets for the 17 of next month  and you can start work on monday the 19th, she said you should make a Schedule for the puppy  from the 19th of next month to  the 25th of November, I hr training session a day 2 days a per week for 5 weeks and she would like all the visit to be ( Monday – any time before 2pm ) and (friday any time after 5:30pm) because she will not be having her photo shoot on those dates so she can be with you when you train her Puppy.

She would be making reservations in the hotel below next week and will give you all the details you will need as soon as the reservation is done and also her flight details.

La Quinta Inn & Suites

1236 Primacy Pkwy

Memphis, TN 38119

Pls let me know if this hotel is close to you and  if all your charges includes transportation to the hotel and if the tranning will done in the hotel or your place. Once you confirm the dates and time are fine with you i will ask her to email you with more details about her travel

About payments,  She said her  Manager went on vacation to Australia with his family yesterday and left her  with an American Certified Cashiers Check in the sum of 4950usd,   being  payments for her  Photo shoot Equipments and the rest payments be given to you for your work,  Because she will be Renting some of the Equipments she will need for her  photo shoot from an Equipment rental company in Asia,   She said she spoke with the Equipments rental manager today and was told he will not be able to cash an American certified cashiers check in Asia as it is cashable only in the US.

So she asked me to ask you if  she can make the certified cashiers check in your name as it is an American Certified Cashiers Check so that  you can receive it and help her have it cashed before her arrival,   you deduct  the money for your work and you help her send the rest to the Equipments rental manager in Asia on her  behalf via western union money transfer so that her  equipment can be delivered to her  hotel before her arrival,  I will give you all the details and direction on how to handle the funds when you receive it so you need not worry about that.  She would be most grateful if u can help,  Please  do let me know if you will be able to assist her handle the situation before her arrival?

If you would be able to help her with the Money situation, I would need you to  email the  information she will use in making out the certified cashiers check to you for you to make necessary arrangements before her Arrival as she would be going to France on sunday on a runway show and will like to make sure all is well before her travel to france.

This are the informations she will need for the cashiers check, Pls do send the following to her email address:(  pwetyeliska@yahoo.it )

1) Name on check:………………………..

2) Address check will be sent to:…………………….

3) Phone Number to call on delivery: …………………..

4)Total amount for your Work………………..

You can reach  Miss Eliska on her office phone incase you have any questions:  +448704955902

Hope to read from you soon.

Thank you very much.

Muneta Bianco

Puppy or Dog Obedience Training First Steps – Condition a Marker, Capture Sit, Teach “Look”


Want to start an obedience program for your puppy or dog? You can start as soon as you bring your dog into your family. The first two commands all dogs should learn are “Look”, and “Sit”. Before you begin teaching, it’s helpful to learn a bit about rewards and reward systems. Please visit the START HERE category of posts before you begin.

Conditioning a Reward Marker

The method to establish a conditioned reward marker is to use classical or pavlovian conditioning to pair (or associate) a marker with the primary reinforcer of food.

Regardless of the marker you choose, the steps for conditioning the marker are identical. You only need to condition the marker this one time. Your animal is not asked to perform a behavior during the conditioning process.

Do this when the animal is attending to you and not distracted. Do not speak or touch the animal before, or after, you deliver the marker and the treat.

Remember, a marker can be any signal the animal can perceive. My favorite audible, conditioned reward markers are: the sound of a clicker; the word “good”, and  the letter “X”.

Here’s how to condition a reward marker.

You are not asking the animal to perform any behavior during this process.

In this example, I’ll use an audible marker, the letter X, spoken abruptly, like a sound.

Speak a crisp “X”; give a food treat. Wait until the animal has finished eating the treat. Say “X”; give the animal a food treat. Repeat 3-5 times. Next, capture sit for folded arms by following the instructions below this sentence.

Capture Sit

The first signal (cue for sit) you teach will be visual. The act of folding your arms across your chest will become your first cue for “sit”.  You can teach your puppy the word “sit” after he learns the folded arms cue.

I prefer starting with this visual signal for several reasons. The primary reason is because folded arms and hidden hands discourage jumping.

Dogs jump up because we touch them with our hands. Dangling and moving hands entice dogs to jump.

Folding your hands out of sight sends a signal to your puppy that you are not likely to touch.

In addition it makes it very difficult for clients to repeat the signal over and over, as they do when using a verbal command.

Another reason I use the “folded arms” visual command is because it helps clients control their behaviors. Most people automatically reach and touch a cute, jumping puppy, without thinking.

It seems we humans have an automatic urge to pet or touch puppies that jump up to greet us. This teaches puppies to jump up for greetings.

The folded arms cue is easy for anyone to perform and appears relatively the same to the dog, no matter who is giving the command. This is helpful when you start asking friends and neighbors to ask your dog to sit.

Ask 3 people to say “sit” to your dog. You will witness 3 very different techniques. Some will bark the command as if this will make it happen quicker; others will add meaningless words to the command, and some may tilt their heads forward or swing their arms.

All these additional actions may confuse the dog, because the dog is very likely to process voice tone, motions and body language as the cue.

The delivery of a visual, folded-arms cue is less likely to be clouded by voice tones and body language, since the voice is absent and the body language is the cue!

Here’s how I usually teach a dog to sit on cue via the capture method.

Do not say “sit” or speak any other words during this teaching session. The only sound you will make is the sound of your conditioned marker, the instant your dog’s bottom touches the floor.

Go to a quiet location where your dog will not be distracted.

Attach a leash and instead of holding the end, just drop it on the floor.

If the dog jumps or decides to walk away, you can step on the leash to prevent either of these behaviors.

Stand a couple of feet away from your dog.

Do not speak to your dog, just give your dog a small food treat. Do this three times. Now you have your dog’s attention!

Fold your arms across your chest and tuck your hands underneath your armpits.

Do not speak, just smile at your dog and wait until he sits.

Mark the instant his rump hits the floor by delivering your reward marker. Give him a treat by tossing in on the floor so that he must get out of the sit position to get the treat. Do not praise or talk to your dog.

As soon as your dog finishes the treat and looks at you, fold your arms across your chest, remain silent and wait. He will sit. Mark the instant his rump hits the floor. Give him a treat.

Repeat 3-5 times.

At the end of this quick session, you can talk and play with your dog. Now you can use the act of folding your arms across your chest as a silent signal for Sit!

To teach your dog the word “sit” means the same as the folded arms, visit this page.

Troubleshooting Sit for Folded Arms

Attention-on-Cue, While Standing

The goal is teach the dog to look towards you on command. Attention on Cue is helpful when you are not interacting with the dog but do wish to start interacting. It is helpful if the dog gets distracted and you want his attention.

Teach your dog to attend to you when you say “now”, “chickie”, “hey”, “look”, “hup”, “turn”, or whatever short word you choose.

I do not use the dog’s name for the attention-on-cue signal.

The signal (command or cue) for attention should be unique! The dog hears his or her name countless times and it doesn’t necessarily mean “Look towards me, I will pay you”.

In order to increase behaviors using rewards, first you must get the behavior.

The recipe is for teaching is:

  • set up the environment to get the behavior
  • mark and reinforce the behavior
  • practice in many areas while adding distractions

For this exercise, we’ll use nothing but the signal and food to initially get the behavior to occur.

Then we’ll use the marker to bring attention to (and reinforce) the behavior of looking towards us when we give the cue.

We’ll follow the marker with food treats the first few trials.

Once the dog learns what is expected of him or her, we’ll mark the instant of success and deliver FAT as a reward for looking when we give the signal.

Get the Behavior

Your dog can be on a leash or not. I like to do it off lead in a secure, small area, but if that’s not available to you, attach a 6 foot leash.

It’s okay if other people are nearby, but you don’t need distractions for this step.  If other people are present, just ask them to stand quietly.

With your dog nearby, speak your “attention signal” and immediately toss or hand your dog a treat (unless he or she is jumping up on you or performing some other rude or obnoxious behaviors). Say the signal, deliver a treat. No markers are used in this step. Repeat 2 times for a total of 3 trials. By now your dog should be focused on you. If not, discontinue the session and move to a quieter area, or choose a higher value food treat and try again.

Mark and Reinforce the Behavior

You might need a very small distraction for this step. Ask a family member to stand nearby, within sight of your dog. Instruct them to tap with their shoe, make a small noise, or whatever it takes, to momentarily attract the dog’s attention towards them.

Wait until your dog is close by, but not looking directly at you. Speak the cue and watch closely. Mark the instant he or she begins to turn his or her head towards you. Toss your dog a treat. Do this 2 more times for a total of 3 trials.

Behavior will be Repeated

Practice “attention-on-cue” at odd times throughout the day, inside the house, in any room that is relatively quiet.

Ask for the behavior 3-5 times during short time periods at different times of day, in different rooms.

Once your dog is obeying this command in rooms without distractions, add distractions by asking a family member to make some sort of noise or slight motion.

Once your dog is obeying, while inside the house with distractions, it’s time to practice outside. Choose quieter areas at first. Attach a leash and go to your patio, yard or any other familiar area.  After you can succeed in these areas, go to other places with more distractions.

Randomly ask for the behavior at odd times when you are not conducting a “training session”. Your goal is to practice this behavior in so many different areas, with so many different creative distractions, that your dog will always look when you give the command!

Happy Training!
Alan J Turner – Companion Animal Behavior Counselor and Trainer
Memphis, Collierville, Germantown Private and Group Dog Training
Fear, Aggression,Anxiety, et cetera

Add a Pup?


I know many suggest adding another dog to give your pup a playmate.

Adding another dog has exercise and social benefits, however; I never mention add-a-pup as a solution for families that are having difficulties meeting the training needs of one dog.

Owning two untrained dogs is at least three times the work as one.

You’ll need to separate them for teaching sessions. Dog A must be trained. Dog B must be trained. When you put them together, they are another dog, Dog AB. You’ll need to practice with Dog AB too!

Some people prefer to send their dogs to day care. If your pup is not stressed by the noisy and rowdy environment, send him off for a day to play with other puppies.

Sometimes it’s tough to determine if puppies are playing or fighting. If the puppies often reverse roles and neither is hiding from the other, then the rough play is normal.

Reversing roles is when Pup A chases Pup B, then Pup B chases Pup A.

If one puppy is on top, and then the other pup is on top, the play is normal. Relax and enjoy the show!

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Happy Training!
Alan J Turner – Companion Animal Behavior Counselor and Trainer, Canine Specialization
Puppy Help

Frozen Kong for Dogs and Puppies Provides Stimulation, Exercise, and can Aid in Crate Training

BentleyFanFrozen Kong®

Sometimes the weather or my schedule prohibit outside adventures. Sometimes I’m too lazy or tired to exercise. I’ve found ways to entertain Bentley without walking or playing fetch.

Here’s how you can exercise your dog when you are busy.

Get a Kong®. Amazon has excellent prices on these famous Kong toys. You an get a large kong for under $8. Order two or three and keep them loaded in your freezer. The frozen kong provides excellent foraging and entertainment value. If your dog is an aggressive chewer, order the ultimate black kong!

Place a bit of wide, silver duct tape over the small opening to seal it off. Place some dog food and a few treats inside. Pour some water and a bit of low sodium chicken broth inside the Kong®. Don’t fill it all the way to the top with broth, leave some space so you can add wet dog food or peanut butter after it’s frozen. Stand it upright in a cup or glass in the freezer and let it freeze.

Now you are prepared to exercise your dog without leaving your chair! Remove the frozen Kong® from the freezer, remove the duct tape, add a bit of peanut butter or wet dog food in the large opening and give it to your pup. He’ll spend 15-25 minutes stimulating his mind and his body while he is foraging.

You can use the frozen delight to teach your puppy to relax in the crate, laundry room, or in the back yard, alone.  To change your puppy’s perception of being isolated from people, give the frozen kong only when the puppy is alone. After several pairings. the  puppy will begin to enjoy the alone time!

If your dog won’t eat the kong when you leave, try this. Place the dog in the kennel with you sitting in front of the open door. Extend your hand holding the frozen kong into the kennel. Just hold it in your hand as he eats the wet food or peanut butter. If he gets into it, release the kong, stay seated, talk softly while he is eating it. Tell him, “lock up” or whatever phrase you like and close the door. Remain seated in front of the kennel. Talk softly as he eats the goodies inside the kong.

Wait 2- 3 minutes (assuming he’s still involved with the kong. If he stops eating., this won’t work. You’ll need a more detailed plan.) and then tell him, “Free” or whatever word you like. Open the door and immediately take the kong away. (this won’t work if he is aggressive with food items, you’ll need a more detailed plan.) Walk a few steps from the kennel, if he’s hungry and wants the kong, he will come out and follow you, Perfect! Walk back to the kennel and extend your hand with the kong inside. When he grabs the kong and starts eating again, tell him, “lock up” and close the door. Stand next to the kennel and talk to him softly as he eats the goodies in the kong.

Wait 2-3 minutes and then tell him “free”, open the door and take the kong away from him. Walk a few steps away and then return to the kennel. Tell him “kennel up” and toss the kong inside. Tell him “lock up” and close the door. Repeat the sequence but instead of standing nearby and talking softly, walk a few steps away.   Wait 2-3 minutes, repeat the steps of coming back, opening door, and taking the kong. Repeat but walk a bit farther away, until you are out of sight. Once he will still eat the kong when you are out of sight start increasing the time you stay away. Once this exercise is complete, always give him a frozen kong when you leave.

The idea is for him to think, “yay I get a great treat when you leave, and “boo” I lose the treat when you return. Over time he will gladly go in the kennel and will not bark when you leave. Happy training!!






Happy Training!

Pet Food Regulation? – March 2007 Pet Food Recall Brings Guilty Plea by Chem Nutra

AUstralian Terrier, Bentley

Many of us know that several pet foods were recalled by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March 2007. As the investigation unfolded, additional brands and/or products were added to the recall. Most of the major brands were affected. How could so many different brands contain the same source of contamination?

Throughout many short and incomplete news reports, I noticed conflicting stories about the regulation of pet foods and the source of the contamination. Here are some facts about the regulation of pet foods and the pet food recall of March 2007.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for ensuring that human and pet foods are safe and properly labeled. This leads us to believe the FDA is regulating ingredients, but this is not necessarily so. Many ingredients such as the meats, poultry, grains and by-products are considered “safe” and do not require routine inspection or approval by the FDA.

The FDA does not inspect or regulate the source or quality of ingredients that make up the protein and fat in pet foods.

The FDA does regulate the production and distribution of food additives, chemicals and drugs that are included in pet foods. In addition, the FDA regulates the proper labeling of pet foods. The order by which ingredients are listed on the label and any health claims on the label fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA. Health claims on labels relate to claims that a particular food is helpful in the treatment or prevention of diseases.

The FDA labeling requirements are in concert with AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). AAFCO is a self-regulating organization whose members primarily consist of representatives of the pet food manufacturers.

AAFCO is not a government organization and does not have any enforcement capabilities; however AAFCO is considered an authority on which ingredients and nutrients should go into pet foods.

The Pet Food Institute (PFI) is another organization involved in pet food manufacturing. PFI is the “voice of pet food manufacturers”. The primary function of the 50 year old organization is media relations. PFI represents 97% of all pet food manufacturers.

Pet Food Recalls

In March 2007, FDA learned that some pet foods manufactured by Menu Foods were causing illness and death among cats and dogs.

The USA company, Menu Foods, manufactures and packages pet foods for many of the major pet food companies. The companies give Menu Foods their recipes and Menu Foods manufactures and packages the finished products.

The source of the contaminant was an additive used in many pet foods, wheat gluten. The FDA does regulate the production and distribution of food additives. The contaminant in the wheat gluten was melamine.

“Wheat gluten is a natural protein derived from wheat or wheat flour, which is extracted to yield a powder with high protein content. Pet food manufacturers often use wheat gluten as a thickener or binding agent in the manufacture of certain types of pet food. Melamine can be used to create products such as plastics, cleaning products, glues, inks, and fertilizers. Melamine has no approved use as an ingredient in human or animal food in the United States.”

The FDA recall included numerous Menu Foods products manufactured for many popular brands of pet foods. Other food manufacturers were affected by the recall too. Several companies voluntarily recalled some of their manufactured products.

The wheat gluten originated in China and was purchased by Chem Nutra, Inc., located in Las Vegas Nevada. Chem Nutra imported the wheat gluten for resale to various pet food manufacturers. Menu Foods was one of the larger animal feed manufacturers that purchased contaminated wheat gluten from Chem Nutra.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was also involved in the investigation because some farm animal feed and fish feed contained the tainted pet foods. The animals and fish consumed the feed and were processed for human consumption. Scientists determined the risk to humans who consumed meat from the farm animals was very low.

On February 6, 2008, a federal grand jury returned indictments against several key individuals and companies. Two Chinese nationals and their businesses along with Chem Nutra, Inc and key officers were included in the indictments. Menu Foods was not named in the indictments.

Update: In June 2009, Chem Nutra pleaded guilty in the pet food recall case.

Happy Training
Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley – Memphis TN

Canis lupus familiaris, Food Related Aggression

BulldogMany people are aware that some pet dogs will guard food.

Food guarding is not uncommon when it occurs between dogs. If that is the only problem, it can usually be controlled by managing the environment. Feed the dogs in different areas; remove the empty bowls, avoid feeding rawhides, crate the dogs during dinner, during pizza parties, et cetera.  Some people accept food guarding between dogs as normal, and are not too upset about it.

When dogs snarl, growl, snap, or bite humans, it becomes a true problem. I usually discuss food and foraging habits with my clients, especially those with aggressive dogs.

Clients tell me, “I can safely reach my hand in the dog’s food bowl, while she’s eating”.

I ask the client if it’s dry food or canned, wet food. The usual answer is “dry kibble”.

I reply, “don’t feed your dog for 4 days, toss some sushi on the kitchen floor, and then try to take the fish away from your starving dog. If she does not snarl, growl, snap, or bite, then I’ll be impressed”.

Don’t sell your beloved companion, Canis lupus familiaris, short. If the dog is hungry and / or the food is high value, she may protest when you approach, or when you try to take the food away.

Just how hungry does your dog need to be, before she will guard food? What food items will trigger the behavior? How will she protest? That depends on the individual.

I’ve met some really naughty girls who will “rip you up” if you approach the territory where their bowls “used to be”. Yikes, these ladies need my help! Food related aggression is not limited to bitches. Dogs are just as likely to guard food. Heck, young puppies, male and female, jockey for food while nursing. The puppies that are better at pushing their way to the teat bar, get fatter, quicker!

Treating dogs who exhibit food related aggression can be simple or complex. Again, it depends on the individual case and the individual dog. If your dog is naughty around food, contact a trainer with experience in canine behavior modification. In the meantime, I can offer these tips.

Do not take your dog’s food in an attempt to “teach him or her who is alpha”. That’s just ignorant. Your dog is already worried that you may steal the food. Don’t confirm his or her misconception!

Instead, place your dog’s empty bowl on the floor. Walk up to the bowl and drop a very high value, small treat. Lunch meat ham or turkey will do. Repeat many times. Once you have done this on several occasions, do the same thing when your dog is eating. Approach the bowl as your dog is eating, drop a piece of yummy food into the bowl and walk away. Repeat.

The idea is to teach your dog that you are NOT going to steal food, you are going to ADD food.

This will change the dog’s perception, a much more suitable outcome than convincing your dog that you are strong and can steal his food!

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley – Memphis TN

Italian Model Eliska Kovarova Maltese Puppy Phishing?

IMG_0676I just received this phishing email. I replied because I wanted to see the “catch”.

Happy Training!

Hello Dear,

How are you today? Moneta Bianco,  i am 42 yrs old. I use to work in England as a pet sitter  7 yrs ago before i relocated with my family to Milano, Italy where i now work as a caregiver, I have lots of happy clients here in italy.

I have a client  Miss Eliska Kovarova a model here in italy. She will be coming to the U.S in 3 weeks time for a photo shoot  job and will be residing in  Tennessee  temporarily until the neccesary arrangement for her job has been made before she leaves,  She has one 11months old  teacup Maltese Puppy and would be needing a Dog trainner to train  the Puppy  while she is out on her photo shoot.

I have been looking for a dog trainner  for over two weeks now, till i met an old friend Ms. jennifer moore, She use to live in America before she relocated with her family to Milano where she works now. I met her at Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty Conference that was held over the weekend in Florence I spoke with her about my client and was referred to you. She gave me your referral, So i decided to contact you to know if you will be able to train her Puppy.

Miss Eliska  asked me to come with her to the US but i told her i would not be able to go with her to the US as i have a course i will be going for in a week time and i do not know much about  trainning a dog.  So i  promised to help her get a good dog trainner  in your Area.  Pls tell me a little more about your self,  how long have you been a dog trainner?  and would you be able to train her Puppy  from the 12th of next month to  the 20th of November,  1hr  individual training session twice a week for for 5 weeks?

Pls i need you to get back to me with the amount you charge per her and also let me know if she can pay you via US money orders?

Do send your reply to my personal email address ( monetcare@yahoo.it ) for a quick response as i do not check this email often.

Thank you very much and do have a nice day.

Moneta Bianco
21 Via  Merkato ,
Milano Italy

—————-  CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:  The information contained in this email is privileged and confidential, and is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above.  If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, electronic storage or use of this communication is prohibited.  If you receive this communication in error, please notify us immediately by email, attaching the original message, and delete the original message from your computer and any network to which your computer is connected —————————————————

Does Your White Lab Get Too Excited To Obey When People Visit? Practice With Distractions!

WhiteLabMany of my clients report that their dogs jump up on visitors and pretty much ignore them whenever the dogs are excited. The people often say their dog is stubborn. This is an indication that the people have not practiced basic obedience commands with distractions. Practicing with distractions is called proofing.

You should proof your dog with all commands in various locations, with various distractions. Otherwise, your dog will not obey when the environment is filled with exciting people or dogs or events. People with very well trained dogs have spent hours practicing.

Teaching your dog to sit or shake or lie down is the easy part. The real work is practicing in many locations with various distractions!

People and other dogs are a huge distraction to your puppy or dog. The outdoors is full of distractions. Before you can expect your dog to obey when guests visit, or outside at the dog park, you’ll need to practice with smaller distractions that are under your control. Each time you ask for the behavior (called a cycle), you’ll increase the level of distraction.

Suppose you want your dog to sit, no matter what is going on around her. Here is a sample of instructions for “proofing” the sit.

Introduce your dog to “sit” in a quiet location.

Practice in many locations inside and outside the house, until your dog will always sit when there are no distractions. Now, you are ready to proof the sit. At this point, you will create small distractions as you practice.

Before you begin, get a empty, shopping bag. With your dog nearby, wave the bag over your head and ask for a sit. I’m guessing your dog will not sit, but will be excited about the movement of the bag. That’s okay. Now we have a baseline of behavior.

Next, ask your dog to sit when you hold the bag in your hand, without any motion. Then you ask for the sit when you are gently moving the bag in your hands. Next you might slowly move the bag from one hand to the other. Each time you ask for another sit, you increase the movement of the bag in your hand. Be creative. Rattle the bag in your hands, wave it slowly from side to side, et cetera. Slowly raise it over your head and ask for the sit. After several cycles of increasing the movement / noise of the bag, you can wave the bag over your head and ask for the sit. Your dog will ignore the waving bag and sit!

There are many types of distractions that you can introduce and you can control. Try marching in place and asking your dog to sit. How about clapping your hands and asking for a sit?! Be creative. Your goal is to set up proofing sessions with distractions that are more exciting than real life!

If, during these proofing exercises, your dog fails to sit, do not repeat the sit command! Just walk away for a few seconds, come back to your dog and try again, this time with less distractions.

Once your dog will sit, no matter what type of distraction you provide, it’s time to go outside and work with real-life distractions! If your dog is too distracted by the truck passing by, or the bicyclist, that’s okay. Just move your dog away from the distraction and try again.

The key to having a puppy or dog that will listen to you, when the world around him or her is full of distractions, is to PRACTICE with distractions.

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Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley – White Lab Trainer

Forget About Stopping Your Dog’s Naughty Jumping Behaviors with a Knee in the Chest

Yorkshire Terrier, Cody
Yorkshire Terrier, Cody

Many of my clients become engrossed, almost obsessed, with the notion of stopping their puppies or dogs from performing some obnoxious or naughty behaviors. They believe that teaching a dog what “NO” means, is the method to train.

That, my friend, is a long and rocky path, which can spiral into trouble and frustration.

You will succeed much quicker if you focus on:

  1. preventing the rude behaviors (be proactive)
  2. increasing the good behaviors (teach your dog what he or she should do in a particular situation)

For instance, suppose the puppy is jumping up on guests. Some of my clients address this common problem by grabbing their dogs’ collars and pulling them off the guests, while saying “NO”.  Other clients instruct their guests to knee the dogs in the chest. How primitive! 🙂

I’m not saying you shouldn’t interrupt jumping behaviors, you should. But every time you grab your dog’s collar, she just scored a goal, and you are not even aware that the game has begun!

Using your knee to punish jumping is equally inefficient, and not a good choice for many situations. How does that work with a 5 pound Yorkshire terrier? a 85 year old client? Even if you have the motor skills to pull it off, and your dog is the perfect size, it will only teach your dog that jumping on you is a bad idea. It will not necessarily stop your dog from jumping on every one else. And it gives your dog no useful information about what he or she should be doing at that exact moment.

You know that your dog will jump and nip. Instead of waiting for your dog to misbehave and then reacting, be proactive.

Attach a leash or tether and prevent your puppy from practicing rude behaviors. You are not going to yell and jerk the leash, just calmly hold the leash and prevent the behavior. Teach your dog Basic Obedience Commands, so she will know exactly what to do when people approach.

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley – Memphis TN

Companion Animal Behavior Counselor & Trainer

Private and Group Dog Obedience Training in Memphis, Collierville, Germantown TN

How to Teach Teach your Collierville TN Golden Retriever Dog or Puppy to Stay


I use stay as a temporary command whenever I want Bentley to remain in one spot for a brief period.

This is useful if I drop or spill something and want to pick it up without being “mugged” or bothered by a curious dog.

When I ask Bentley to stay, I am saying, “Please remain in this location. I am going to leave or perform some task. I will come back to you and give you a reward for staying.”

When teaching stay, I never walk away and then call the dog to me. I always return to the dog and release him from the stay.

I teach stay in cycles. Each cycle I add a bit more movement or action. Once the dog learns the concept of stay, I add distractions. I might practice the same cycles with items in my hand, while waving my arms, clapping, dancing, etc.

Once the dog will stay for my distractions, I work with the dog and invite other people to play the role of distractions.

Before you begin training your dog, you’ll need to learn a bit about communication and motivation. Please visit the Dog Training Start Here Category. There you will learn about markers and rewards, two excellent topics for communicating and motivating! A prerequisite for “stay” is “Attention on Cue”. It doesn’t hurt if your dog already knows “Sit” too!

Cycle 1:

With the dog on a lead, I say “stay”, wait 1 second, and then push my open hand towards him – like a stop signal. Then I withdraw my hand.

I wait 2 seconds and then deliver the reward marker to release the dog, followed by  a food treat.

Cycle 2:

With the dog on a lead, I say “stay”, wait 1 second, and then push my open hand towards him – like a stop signal. Then I withdraw my hand.

I take a couple of steps with each foot, but do not move forward or backward. I march in place. I stop moving my feet.

I wait 2 seconds and then deliver the reward marker to release the dog, followed by  a food treat.

Cycle 3:

Same as cycle 2 except I might take a backward step and then return, or twist my upper body or shoulders just a bit.

I stop all body motions.

I wait 2 seconds and then deliver the reward marker to release the dog, followed by  a food treat.

Following Cycles:

Each cycle I get a bit more creative with my actions or movements. I always return to the dog, pause 2 seconds and then release him by delivering the marker.

Troubleshooting Stay

Many people tell their dogs to stay and immediately turn and walk away.  Naturally the dog follows. He has no clue what stay means. When this happens, people just repeat the sequence but say “Stay” a bit harsher, as if now the dog will understand.

The key to success is teaching in cycles. Add one small bit of motion during each cycle. If your dog does not stay, reduce the motion and try again.

It helps to have a particular goal in mind. For instance, teach your dog to stay when you drop a pencil and then pick it up. Each cycle will add a bit more of the motion involved in bending over and picking up an item.

Be patient, add small “pieces” of distractions and you will succeed!

If your dog follows you, herd him back to the beginning location, repeat the command and try again. This time use less motion. If your dog fails 2x in a row, make sure you succeed on the 3rd cycle. Perform an easy cycle with no distractions.

I never let my dog fail 3x in a row. THree failures in a row tell me that I am adding distractions above his current skill level.

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Happy Training!
Alan J Turner – How’s Bentley – Memphis TN
Private and Group Dog Obedience Training – Collierville TN