Terrier Tested: Interactive Foraging Dog Toys, Free Range Bullie, Gentle Leader, Sure Fit Harness & Supplies (Not Balls)

IMG_1587I have these dog goodies linked on this site so my clients can find the best items at the best prices! I mention many of these items during group and private dog training sessions.

You can get these toys at many stores. I SHOP at AMAZON and SIT STAY for the best deals from reliable sources. My 10 year old Australian terrier,Bentley, loves each of these items (well, except for the head collar). Each item has been “terrier tested” for durability!

Here, you can find foraging /food dispensing toys, gentle leader head collars, squirrel dude, fire hose dog toy, and other How’s Bentley approved dog supplies and equipment. Just click the image to shop at Amazon. I get a small percentage of whatever you buy, but I’m not making a living at .40 cents per $10. 🙂

Here’s the Fire Hose toy for the Fire Hose Game. The Fire Hose Game is a simple solution for friendly dogs that get excited and jump on visitors. The toy floats and is great for games of water fetch. Fire hose is tough! But, this is not a chew toy, your dog can dismantle it by attacking the seams. The unique texture of the fire hose makes this a hit with all puppies and dogs.

You can use this free range bullie stick to condition your dog to “love” his dog bed. The free range bullies do not stink like the Merrick bullies stocked at local pet supply stores. CAUTION, This chew has the potential to turn Fluffy into Cujo! Read about Food related aggression by clicking anywhere in this sentence.
Click here for free instructions for teaching your dog to want to GO-TO-PLACE. .

The tug a jug is a commercial version of water bottle toy. This thing is tough! Bentley will carry it in his mouth, jump up into a patio chair and drop the jug on the rock patio. I keep waiting for it to break, but no cracks yet! This is better for medium or large dogs. Bentley is about 20 lbs., and the toy is on the large size for him.

The Gentle Leader Head Collar offers the most control among head collars. It does take a bit of learning to use, and is not for all dogs or people. It will not fit dogs with flat faces. I refer to the Gentle Leader head collar as a nylon valium. It has a natural calming effect on some dogs. If you are fitting and using without a trainer’s help, CLICK the image to order from Sit Stay which includes a dvd video. Gentle Leader, Medium w/ DVD

Not all harnesses are created equal. The Premier Sure Fit Harness is the best harness out there! You do not have to slide your dog’s leg through a loop or buckle it on the belly. Other brands are a nightmare to fit and the dog can slide out of the harness. In addition, many of the harnesses do not distribute the force of the leash to the dog’s body, as a good harness should. If you have a small dog, I recommend a small, Premier Sure Fit Harness. Sit Stay has a great price. CLICK the image to visit Sit Stay and shop for Premier Sure Fit Harness.
Sure-Fit Harness, X-Small, 1/2

Say, regardless of the equipment you like, you’ll need a 6 foot, leather training leash to teach Basic Obedience COMMANDS.

Here’s a link to Amazon, who has the best price for a braided, 6 foot, 1/2″ leather leash.

The Busy Buddy Squirrel is one of my favorite hollow rubber foraging toys. I like this design; the opening has rubber fingers that keep the dog kibble from falling out. Your puppy will have to work for the food! The squirrel design is cute, but Bentley keeps running to my patio door when I ask him to find the squirrel. It’s one of our favorites!

Kong- Hmm. . . what can I say? Everyone should have 2 or 3 of these! The kong is an all time favorite and tough foraging toy for any dog or puppy. Amazon has excellent prices on these famous Kong toys. You an get a large kong for under $8. Order two or three and follow my frozen chicken broth recipe for crate training help. The kong provides excellent foraging and entertainment value. If your dog is an aggressive chewer, order the ultimate black kong!

Canine Behavior Modification for Reactive, Unwanted, Behaviors, including Fear and Aggression


LilyOkay, so your dog is fearful, barking, lunging and otherwise distressed when he or she sees people, trucks, cars, or dogs. Depending on who you are talking to, those behaviors may be classified as territory or protective aggression, possession aggression, inter-dog aggression, fear aggression, or leash aggression.

I’ll refer to the other people, other dogs, trucks, cars, as “triggers”, because they trigger the fear or aggression in your dog.

There are volumes of articles and books on how to modify fearful and aggressive behaviors in dogs. Some of the information may be helpful and other information is outdated and less helpful.

A canine modification plan is fluid. It changes as you progress. Because of all the variables, and the constant adjustments when treating fear and aggression in dogs, it’s not feasible for me to post all the methods and solutions I would use in a private consultation.

But I can give you this overview and some instructions that might work with your dog.

This article is about visual triggers. If your dog reacts to noises, the same concepts apply.

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First you need to change your dog’s perception of the triggers. Then you will use rewards to pay your dog for desirable, non reactive behaviors, when the trigger is in sight.

Before you actually do exercises with your dog in the field, please review this checklist.

Meet your dog’s physical, social and emotional needs.

Kindly prevent your dog from practicing unwanted reactive behaviors.

Establish a method to communicate precisely. Condition a reward marker.

Enact the Rewards Awareness Program.

Establish a Reward System.

Teach your dog “attention on cue” or “look”.

Practice “look” in various places with increasing levels of distractions (distractions should not be people or dogs or whatever triggers the unwanted, reactive, behaviors).

Teach your dog to sit on command.

Practice “sit” in various places with increasing levels of distractions (distractions should not be people or dogs or whatever triggers the unwanted, reactive, behaviors).

Teach your dog to bump your two-finger target to the cue, “here”.

Practice “here” in various places with increasing levels of distractions (distractions should not be people or dogs or whatever triggers the unwanted, reactive behaviors).

Teach your dog to walk nicely on a loose lead or to heel.

Practice walking nicely in various places with increasing levels of distractions (distractions should not include the triggers).

Optional: Obtain a Gentle Leader head collar or a Canny Collar. Introduce your dog to the head collar and practice with the head collar, so that your dog is not distracted by wearing the head collar. Head collars make it possible to safely move or control your dog’s pulling behaviors.

Optional: If your dog is “crazy excited” for squeaky toys or balls, get a couple of new ones and save them for these exercises. You can use the toys as rewards, or as distractions to get your dog’s attention when the triggers are too close.

Now you can begin the real work!

Identify the Threshold

Find the distance where your dog can see the trigger but not react with “out of control” barking, lunging, et cetera. I’ll refer to this distance as the threshold for reactivity. It may be 400 yards or 20 feet. It will change depending on the environment, your dog’s current emotional or physical state, or any number of factors.

The threshold is fluid, not static. You’ll need to find the threshold every time you start a practice session. Whatever it is right now, this distance or threshold will become shorter and shorter as you practice. You’ll always start each session outside the threshold.

Set up the Practice Session

For this step you’ll need the help of others. Their jobs will be to present the trigger outside the threshold, move a few steps closer and then move back outside the threshold.

If you don’t have any helpers, you can still set up the session. Go to a place where you are likely to see the triggers, such as a walking path at the park or a parking lot of a pet supply store. Get several feet off the path or away from the traffic, outside the threshold.

It helps if your dog is hungry. Do this before feeding time or withhold dinner and feed during these sessions.

Change your Dog’s Perception

Before you start with the triggers, ask your dog to perform a few simple commands such as “here’ or “sit”. This will engage your dog to pay attention to you!

Stand outside the threshold of a trigger. The instant you see the dog or person or car approaching, announce the trigger. Tell your dog something like “that’s a friend or that’s a truck” and immediately feed your dog several treats. Keep feeding until the trigger has retreated and is no longer nearby.

(If your starts barking or lunging, you are too close the the trigger, move away. If your dog starts to stare or looks like he or she might be ready to bark and lunge, command “here” and present your two finger target, or ask your dog to “look”. Either one of these commands gets the dog to look away from the trigger and focus on you.)

This sequence is called a cycle. You will hold many cycles during a session.

Between each cycle, give your dog a tension rest to absorb the recent events. The tension rest should be as as long as it took to perform the cycle. So, if the trigger is in sight for 10 seconds before it moves outside the threshold, the duration of the tension rest immediately after the cycle will be at least 10 seconds.

Repeat this process for at least 30 minutes per session. Perform another cycle followed by a tension rest. The idea is to change your dog’s immediate, involuntary responses to the trigger.

Instead of “oh no, there’s another dog, which is immediately followed by involuntary barking, fleeing, freezing or lunging (fight, flight, freeze behaviors), you want your dog’s initial involuntary response to the sight of the triggers to be anticipation of food. You are using classical conditioning to associate the trigger with the delivery of food. Your dog cannot be aggressive or fearful and salivate in anticipation of food at the same instant!

As you progress through the session, you will notice your dog will begin to ignore the trigger and focus on you and the food as soon as you announce the trigger. Perfect. Now you can move a bit closer to the trigger and continue. The threshold is getting shorter!

Repeat these sessions until your dog automatically looks towards you whenever a trigger is in sight. Continue to announce the triggers on routine walks, and anytime you are interacting with your dog, be it during a practice session, or not.

Real LIfe Ambush

If you get “ambushed” by a trigger during an outing, and you are not ready with several treats, kindly ask your dog to sit facing you, or to bump your two finger target. If she is too excited, move her away from the trigger and ask again. Repeat this sequence until your dog is far enough away that she will listen to your commands.

This basic method will work with most dogs, and most reactive behaviors, however it is not as efficient as perception modification via Syn Alia Training System.


Keep in mind, there are many factors about your relationship and your daily interactions with your dog that influence behaviors. In addition, your dog may be influenced by other dogs in the household, medical conditions, diet, nutrition, genetic and or neurological factors. If your dog constantly barks at triggers from inside the house, or fence fights with the dogs next door, the prognosis is poor.

You’ll need to prevent your dog from practicing fear and aggression if you want to succeed!

Happy Training!

Alan J Turner

How’s Bentley

Canine Behavior Modification for Fear, Aggression in Dogs – Memphis TN

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