Six Facts You Need to Know to Raise a Perfect Puppy

BentPup

Fact #1: Forget about alpha and pack.

A nine year old child, or a 85 year old grandparent in a wheelchair, can teach and control any dog by following a few, simple, kind rules. There is an excellent, simple way to teach your puppy, and it has nothing to do with alpha or dominance. As neat as it sounds, your family is not in some sort of mythical pack with your dog. You do not compete with your puppy for food, territory or reproduction rights. You do not have to intimidate your puppy into submission. That little guy wants to be your friend!

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Fact #2: : Mother Nature will potty train your puppy.

97.3% of the millions of dogs who ask to go outside, were never taught to go to the door and ask.  Mother Nature did it! The dogs just naturally ask, without any training from humans. Puppies get house trained as a result of a natural, built -in process known as classical conditioning. It has little to do with consequences, scolding or tasty treats. Yes, your actions can enhance potty training, or your actions can unknowingly teach your puppy to pee and poop inside the house. But, the truth is, nature is responsible.  Follow two simple rules, and let nature take its course. Your puppy will “become” house trained.

Fact #3: You have 12 -16 weeks to create a friendly adult dog.

Events during the first few months of your puppy’s life will determine if your adult dog will be a social butterfly or a frightened, shy, neurotic, anxious dog.

***********Every certified applied animal behaviorist is familiar with the mid, 20th century, classic 20-year study of genetics and the social behavior of dogs at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor Maine.

John Paul Scott and John L. Fuller proved that events and exposures (or lack of events and exposures) during a critical period of socialization affect a dog for life. The critical period of socialization for domestic puppies begins when the ear canals open (about 21 days) and ends at 12 -16 weeks. ********

Here are four simple things you can do right now to introduce your young pup to the good life with a capital “L”.

 

  • Have your puppy meet 10 new people each day
  • Pop open an umbrella – – – just so he won’t be startled when he sees one spring open later
  • Tune into the Cartoon Channel and turn up the cartoons: What an excellent way to get your turbo puppy used to loud, unpredictable noises!
  • Race around your living room on crutches

The idea is to let your young puppy see, hear, feel, and experience everyday events, along with life’s surprises, at a very early age.

There are many easy things you can artfully do to raise an easy-going dog who will experience the ups and downs of life as a natural unfolding of events.

Take advantage of this 16 week

critical window of opportunity.

You will be glad you did!

Fact #4: Your puppy already knows how to come, sit, and lie down

Your puppy already knows how to do every basic obedience command. You just haven’t found the best way to ask your puppy, and you’re not quite sure how to kindly motivate your puppy to want to perform for you. . . (keep reading and you will know). . .  Anyone can learn how to kindly tell their dog WHEN, WHERE, HOW LONG, and WHY to perform basic commands.  It’s easy and it’s not a secret. You will succeed when you start off right with your puppy.  Nurture a relationship based on trust, consistency, clear communication, and rewards for cooperation.

Fact #5: Puppies and dogs do not hang their heads in shame

When your puppy hangs her head and lowers her body, she is not saying, I’m sorry. She is saying, “Please do not attack me, I mean you no harm”. Some of you may be thinking, “but she lowers her head before I even talk to her.” Puppies are observant and smart. They quickly learn to read situations and human body language. Dogs know more about human body language than most humans. But this does not mean they feel guilty or know right from wrong? If you do not believe me, walk up to your puppy when she has done nothing wrong. Use the same body language and tone as you do when there is a mess on the floor. She will lower her head. Does that mean she knows she’s done something wrong?

Fact #6: There are no dog training secrets in this world; you too can be an expert.

Dog training gurus want you to think only they have the secret. Hogwash. There are hundreds of books about dog training. Unfortunately, many of the books are written by people who gained their information from reading other books. Outdated, 20th century information is being sold as new and improved! One reason I studied companion animal behavior and learning, (and canine abnormal behavior modification), was to be able to sort trendy, well marketed information, from realistic everyday solutions with accurate information that applies to all dogs and all owners.

Your search is over. I can help.

The problem you new owners are facing is you don’t have time to sift through volumes of information. It’s tough to find dog-friendly, 21st century information from an expert . . . especially one who has the experience to back up his words.  I work with all kinds of animals: happy, exuberant, fearful, shy, aggressive, and compulsive.

As of December 10, 2009, I have helped 1621 pet owners. 25% of my clients have naughty dogs with aggressive, anxious and fearful behaviors. Veterinarians refer the new puppy and the crazy dog behavior cases to me, because I get good results. I get these results using kind, consistent, easily taught techniques. That number continues to rise, because this is my full time job.

I will give you the benefit of all my experience and education. When it comes to enjoyable, healthy relationships with our animal friends, there should be no secrets.

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Alan J Turner

How’s Bentley’s Gateway to Free Articles and Serives

Memphis TN


House Breaking or House Training? Let’s Call it Potty Area Conditioning

Potty pupContrary to popular beliefs, the process of house training is largely governed by a naturally occurring, classical conditioning process. I propose we assign a more accurate, 21st century, label for house training. Let’s name it “potty area conditioning”!

All of your actions will alter the natural process of “potty area conditioning”.

You may hasten the process, delay the process, or unknowingly teach (condition) your dog to eliminate inside.

TWO SIMPLE RULES:

Provide access to desirable area.

Prevent potty accidents inside.

If one always provides their dog the opportunity to eliminate in desired locations and never ever gives the pup access to eliminate in undesirable locations, potty area conditioning will occur without any other input from people.

The dog will associate the desirable areas with the internal relief gained by elimination. The dog will naturally seek out the desired location

.

The type of flooring or ground cover is an important dynamic for potty-area- conditioning.

Many people report their dogs often choose to eliminate on a specific types of ground coverings.  This is because a “conditioned” dog automatically seeks out the same type of area that he used most often in the past.

For example, if your pup is always led to a gravel parking lot, he will seek out gravel-like surfaces whenever he feels the pressures associated with the need to eliminate. If he is always led to grassy areas, he will develop a natural preference for grassy areas.

An unsupervised dog that eliminates inside your house will naturally form associations with that type of flooring. In addition, the dog will be attracted to use the same area because of the odors of the soiled areas. The dog will return there to eliminate next time he or she has a need to potty. Yikes!

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Happy Training!

Alan J Turner

21st Century Dogs

Changing Bad Crate Habits – Puppy Barking, Urinating in Crate

Mini DauschundBarking in the Crate

When accompanied by eliminating in the crate, drooling, or self-injury, barking in the crate can be a sign of separation anxiety.

Dogs with separation anxiety have been compared to people that have anxiety attacks.

Separation anxiety is an emotional condition fraught with panic and fear.

Crating a dog with true separation anxiety is never a good idea.

Even if your dog exhibits only two of these symptoms, he could be truly distressed. If this describes your dog or you are not sure if your dog has true separation anxiety, ask your vet for the name of a canine behavior counselor.

Barking and whining can be normal signs of protest or a true alarm. I’ve met pups who bark to tell their people there’s been (or about to be) an accident.

In some respects, a crated puppy can be compared to a baby, alone in a crib. If your pup is not wet, hungry, thirsty, or ill, let him cry.

Slowly introducing your pup by pairing the crate with meals and special treats usually removes most objections to being crated.

Even after you have properly introduced your dog to the concept of the crate, your pup may bark for short periods.

This is normal. Ignore the barking; don’t make eye contact; say nothing.

For if you do, your dog will think he is on the path to freedom and will continue barking.

It’s important to stick to your plan when teaching pups about crying in the crate.

If, after 30 minutes, you give in and release your crying puppy, he or she will learn that crying for 30 minutes is a good strategy for freedom.

Wait until your pup is quiet and relaxed before you praise and/or release him. This will teach him that being quiet and relaxed has good dividends!

If your pup barks for long periods of time, it is always possible that you are not meeting your pup’s exercise requirements, crate-time is too long, or he is genuinely anxious. Review your exercise regime and review your introduction sequences.

Most normal, well-exercised dogs and pups that are gradually introduced will discontinue their barking strategy after a few episodes of being crated.

If this does not describe your pup or dog, start the introduction routine from the beginning or consult with a professional.

Eliminating in the Crate

When accompanied by drooling, self-injury, and barking, eliminating in the crate can be a sign of separation anxiety.

Other common causes are urinary tract infections, medical conditions, and medications.

If your pup or dog eliminates in the crate, first rule out medical and behavioral issues that might contribute to inside elimination.  Visit your vet first!

Most people limit crate time to include only the periods when they are gone, asleep, or unable to supervise their dog. If these periods are too long for the individual dog, then it’s best to arrange for someone to exercise the pup.

An alternate plan is to set up the crate or confinement area with a bathroom as discussed previously.

Sometimes a puppy or dog has already formed poor elimination habits. These guys eliminate inside their crates and are not offended by the presence of their own waste. Here’s how I address these situations.

Purchase a different style of crate.

Here are two different styles of crates you can buy at Amazon with free shipping.

Get an exercise pen. Move the crate to another location and place it inside the exercise pen. Cover the floor of the entire area with newspaper or house training pads.

Here’s a great, black epoxi exercise pen,
for sale at at Amazon. Select the Super Saver Free Shipping!

Here’s a suggestion I read in one of Ian Dunbar’s books.

Place plastic on the entire floor of the confinement area and cover the plastic with grass sod.

Buy extra sod so that you can rotate the soiled sod outside for cleaning and replace it with clean piece of sod from the outside.

Place a crate inside the confinement area with the door removed. Follow the same instructions as newspaper training and slowly remove the grass sod from the area.

For even tougher cases, set up the confinement area with sod and discard the crate.

Happy Training!

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

How’s Bentley – Memphis, Collierville, Germantown TN

21st Century Canine Relationship Solutions

Group Dog Obedience Classes

Private Dog Training in Memphis TN

Reactive Dog Specialist

What Size and Type of Crate Should I Choose for My Puppy?

White lab puppy

Crate Selection

There are several styles of crates on the market. Some are large metal cages and others are tents or plastic carriers.

Tents and crates made of fabric can easily be destroyed by an active puppy.

Some dogs have a difficult time relaxing in the metal cages because they are constantly monitoring the environment outside the cage.

Since they can see in all directions, every movement or noise places them on alert. I’ve met several dogs that learn to constantly spin in these large wire crates.

I prefer the plastic, airline type carriers. These are more like a cave than a cage. They are portable, can be easily moved, and can be used in vehicles and on trips. In addition, the protection of closed sides offers a more secure environment for a resting dog. The dog only has one direction to monitor.

Amazon sells crates of all sizes at great prices. Here’s my favorite. Select the size that fits your puppy!

If you already have a cage, place a blanket over the top and sides or place it in a corner so your dog isn’t shouldered with the task of monitoring all directions.

People often buy the largest crate that will fit into their space. This is not necessarily the best choice, unless you will be leaving your dog for extended periods or you install a divider.

Pups with large crates may use the crate for a bathroom, when in fact they would not eliminate if restricted to a smaller area.


Crate Size and Setup

People often buy the largest crate that will fit into their space. This is not necessarily the best choice, unless you will be leaving your dog for extended periods or you install a divider.

Pups with large crates may use the crate for a bathroom, when in fact they would not eliminate if restricted to a smaller area.

Large crates with a divider are an economical choice for large breed pups.

The adjustable divider allows you to modify the size of the crate as your pup grows!

Home with Pup

If you are home during the day and can provide your pup with regular access to the outside, choose a crate that is just large enough for the dog to stand up without restriction, to turn around, and to lay with legs extended.

If you never leave your pup in the crate too long and you have already chosen a larger crate, place a barrier inside to reduce the area.

Natural tendencies for cleanliness developed as a very young pup should prevent your puppy from soiling the small area unless you wait too long between trips outside.

For extra protection, line the entire crate with newspaper.

Pup Home Alone

It would be nice if we could stay home and play with our puppies every day, but that’s not realistic, is it?

If you are like me, you may not be able to arrange for a neighbor or pet sitter to come over and exercise your puppy.

Install a Bathroom and Newspaper Training

If your pup will be left in the crate for longer periods, select a larger crate. Set up a bathroom in the crate.

Place your dog’s water and bedding in the front of the crate and cover the floor of the entire crate with newspaper or training pads.

An alternate setup for people that will be gone for extended periods is to use an exercise pen and a ‘just large enough’ crate with the door removed.

Place the crate with bedding inside the exercise pen. Place pads or newspapers inside the crate. Place pads or newspapers on the floor around the crate, making sure to cover the entire room or area.

Something should be covering the surface or your dog will associate the floor with an appropriate area to eliminate.

Expect your pup to shred the newspaper. It is not necessarily a problem unless he ingests it. If your puppy shreds the newspaper as soon as he is confined, examine his exercise schedule. See if you can squeeze in a bit more exercise. Tired pups don’t usually spend hours shredding newspaper.

After three weeks have passed and your pup has not eliminated inside his crate, remove the newspaper/pads from the inside of the crate.

Wait another week and then move the newspaper/pads one or two inches away from the crate each day.

Position the paper towards the door or closer to the permanent destination. If your pup eliminates off the paper, you moved it too far, too soon. If this happens more than once, start over and cover the entire floor.

Place some of the used newspaper outside where you take your dog to eliminate. The odors will prompt your dog to use it again.

Anytime you notice pre-elimination behaviors such as sniffing, circling or squatting, say “let’s go potty” and take the pup outside to the desired location.

Happy Training!

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

How’s Bentley – Memphis, Collierville, Germantown TN

21st Century Canine Relationship Solutions

Group Dog Obedience Classes

Private Dog Training in Memphis TN

Reactive Dog Specialist

Doggie Poop, Pee on Command!

Duchess_IskiswitzWhen it’s cold outside, when traveling, or anytime you are about to leave the house, it’s wonderful when your dog will eliminate or potty on command.

It’s easy to teach your dog two different commands or cues, one for urination and one for defecation.

It helps if you are already familiar with your pup’s potty signature. Observe your pup closely so you’ll recognize when he is about to eliminate and you will recognize if he is going to urinate or defecate.

Choose three words or phrases– one for the act of moving to the bathroom area, another for urination, and a third command  for defecation.

I use “let’s go potty”, “pee“, and ”poop”. Choose phrases or words that suit you and your family.

Label Each Behavior

First, teach your dog the phrase for moving towards the bathroom area.  Before you go out the door with your pup, say “Let’s go potty”. When you are leading your dog to your preferred area, again say, “Let’s go potty”. This works best if you refrain from adding other comments. Just speak the three words, “let’s go potty”.

Many people repeat phrases over and over as they are walking around with their pup. It’s not helpful to repeat your commands over and over, two times is enough.

Watch your pup closely for signs of pre-elimination. When he is committed to the act, tell him what he’s doing.

For example, suppose your pup is sniffing, circling and is about to squat and urinate. Softly say “Piddle”. After he urinates, say “that’s piddle”, and immediately deliver the after-elimination rewards (treat and praise).  Play a quick game of ball or act silly and let your pup chase you.

Repeat the sequence for defecation; just replace “piddle” with your word for defecation.

Label the behaviors for the next day or so.

I’ve found that 4-6 instances of labeling are enough to teach most dog the names of the acts.

Teach your pup that good things happen immediately after he eliminates outside. Praise him; give him a special treat and initiate a game of fetch or chase – immediately after he eliminates. For now, deliver all food treats outside, at the elimination area, right after you praise your pup for eliminating outside.

After potty area conditioning occurs, delivering treats (as well as the timing of the delivery) won’t be important. You can give your dog a treat outside, after he comes inside – or not.

Cue the Behaviors

After a day or so of labeling each of the behaviors, you can transform the labels into commands or cues.

Perform these steps when you know your dog needs to eliminate. The first trip of the day is usually a good time.

Before you open the door, say “Let’s go potty”.  Lead your dog out to the area. Say “Piddle” and wait. Do not repeat the command. After your dog urinates, throw a party! Play a game. Toss your dog a treat. The idea is to teach your dog that fun stuff happens after elimination!

If your dog doesn’t urinate when you give the cue, don’t repeat the command. His hearing is better than yours!  He heard it; he just hasn’t caught on yet. Repeating the cue is not helpful. Just back up in this program and repeat the labeling sequences.

Once your dog learns the labels, he will eliminate on cue.

Most dogs always have a bit of urine in their bladders, so urinating on cue usually happens right away. Teaching your dog the cue for defecation requires a bit more planning. You’ll want to deliver that cue only when it’s time for your dog to have a bowel movement! Refer to your log and only deliver the cue for defecation when your dog is due a bowel movement.

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

Teach Your Dog to Ring a Bell – for Potty Signal

RingBellMost people state they want their dogs to bark to signal the nedd to go outside to potty. I suggest teaching the dog to ring a bell instead of teaching the dog to bark. The dog will inevitably signal when she doesn’t need to use the bathroom but she does want you to interact. If you teach her to bark at you, she will learn to bark at you for attention.

If you teach her to ring a bell, you can always take the bell off the doorknob. In addition, you can take the bell to a hotel room, a friend’s house, the basement, or anywhere you want.

I suggest placing a bell on a string and hanging the string on the doorknob, but you can always hang the bell on your easy chair, kitchen island, bed post, or anywhere you like. Hobby and craft supply stores carry the ball-like bells in several sizes. String two or three on a leather string for a full sound!

Some people use a wireless doorbell and teach the dog to push the button with her paw or nose. This allows them to place the ringer near to them, when the door and the dog may be rooms away. This requires a bit more training to teach the dog to bump the button hard enough to ring the wireless bell.

Method two is best if you want to use a wireless doorbell.

It doesn’t matter where you place the bell or if you use a wireless doorbell. The concepts for teaching are the same. Just adapt these instructions for your situation. There are several ways to teach your dog to bump a bell to signal a desire to go out. I’ll list two of them here.

Method One is simple to follow but may take some dogs longer to learn.

Method Two takes more time and thought and effort, but works with all dogs and is best if you want to use a wireless doorbell. You decide which Method is best for you!

Method One

Hang a bell on the door that Caroline exits to go potty. Leave the bell on the door from this point forward. Before you ever touch the doorknob, reach down and bump the bell with your hand.

Always bump the bell with your hand, and then open the door. Do this for several days.

If she sniffs or noses the bell, make a fuss as you praise her and then open the door. If you want, you can speed up the process by placing a teeny tiny bit of peanut butter on the bell. When she sniffs or licks it, praise her, open the door and walk her to the elimination area. Give the command to potty. After she eliminates, give her a treat, play with her, toss a ball, take a walk, et cetera.

Once she learns that interacting with the

bell makes you open the door, you can teach her to bump it with her nose. Just ignore her when she sniffs or licks and she will “sniff harder”. Wait until she bumps the bell just a bit harder.

There are many variations for Method One.

Some people gently take the dog’s paw and strike the bell before they go out.

If your dog knows how to shake, you can cup the bell in your hand to get your dog accustomed to pawing the bell. Experiment with variations and see which works best for your pup!

Method Two

This is the method you can use to teach your dog to bump a doorbell button or a bell hanging from the door. Just adapt the instructions to your situation.

Some dogs and some trainers might skip a step or perform additional steps. Use this outline as a guide to develop your own program.

After step 1, perform each step in very short sessions over the next few days.

Do not move on to the next step until you are sure that Caroline knows the current step.

If Caroline seems confused, go back to the last step that she understands and work from that point forward.

Teach Caroline:

1. a signal that will communicate success and motivate her

2. to bump the bell

3. to bump the bell when it is

hanging on the door

4. to bump the bell and then step

outside

5. to bump the bell, step outside

and walk to the elimination area

6. to bump the bell, step outside,

walk to the elimination area and

eliminate

Before you can teach any animal, you must be able to communicate what you want and you must be able to motivate the animal to want the same thing.

At the very least, you should be able to tell the animal the instant he or she has succeeded. Some people use a clicker to communicate the instant of success, but you don’t need a clicker to communicate.

You can pair any unique word or sound with treats and create your own unique signal. It is best if the word is not a common word; it should stand out as a unique signal. Initially, you’ll pair the signal or marker with food treats so the dog will be motivated to perform behaviors that cause you to deliver the signal. I use the word “kick” for the signal.

Step 1

Teach Caroline a signal that will communicate success and motivate her.

Say “kick”, and say it quick, like a sound instead of the actual word. Immediately toss Caroline a soft and tasty, bite-sized treat. Repeat ‘kick and treat’, 3-8 times. By now the sound should be conditioned and you should have her attention.

To test the signal, wait until Caroline is not looking at you but is close by. Say “kick” one time. She should turn her head towards you really fast. If not, just stop the exercise and start from the beginning at another time.

Say nothing else during this exercise.

The “kick sound” must precede the treat, so be sure and wait a second before you toss the treat. Once you have conditioned “kick”, you have a great tool to tell Caroline the instant she creates wanted behaviors.

You’ll mark the instant of success with the word “kick” and follow the ‘kick’ with good stuff, like a treat, toss of a ball, verbal praise or a quick pat.

Once kick is conditioned, you don’t need to repeat this step and you don’t need to deliver the treat immediately after the kick (marker). You can deliver the treat or good stuff several seconds after the marker.

Step 2

Teach Caroline to touch a bell hanging on a string in your hand.

Hold the string so the bell is at Caroline’s nose height, an inch away from her nose. Say nothing. Wait until Caroline sniffs the bell with her nose.

The instant her nose touches the bell, say kick and then immediately deliver a food

treat.

Perform this step several times, but hold the bell just a bit farther and farther away from her nose each time. Say kick the instant she touches it and then give her a food treat. Practice 5-8 times and then place the bell in a drawer or out of sight.

Hold a few sessions just like the first one until Caroline becomes excited when she sees you get the bell out of the drawer. Go to step 3 after Caroline will readily bump the bell whenever she has the opportunity.

Step 3

Teach Caroline to touch the bell when it’s hanging on the doorknob.

Hang the string on the doorknob so that the bell is at Caroline’s nose height. Sit or stand next to the bell. When she touches the bell on a string attached to your doorknob, say kick and then immediately deliver a tasty treat. Repeat 5-8 times per session. After each session, place the bell in a drawer or out of sight.

Step 4

Teach Caroline that the treat after the “kick” is delivered right outside the door.

When she touches the bell on a string attached to your doorknob, say kick, open the door; walk outside and then deliver the treat right outside the door. Repeat 5-8 times per session.

After each session, place the bell in a drawer or out of sight.

Step 5

Teach Caroline that the treat after the “kick” is delivered after she walks to the elimination area.

Same as step 4 but walk to the elimination area (she will probably follow you) and deliver the treat there. Repeat 5-8 times per session. After each session, place the bell in a drawer or out of sight.

Step 6

Teach Caroline that the treat after the “kick” is delivered outside at the elimination area after she eliminates.

Introduce this step when you know she needs to eliminate, such as her first outing in the morning.

Same as Step 6 but once you arrive at the elimination area, give her your command for potty and then give her a treat after she eliminates. Practice this step the next few mornings – and any other times throughout the day that you know Caroline needs to eliminate.

After a few days of practicing step 6, you can drop the word “kick” and the food treat from the sequence. Instead of a food treat, praise her, play fetch, or take her on a walk. Now, you can leave the bell on the doorknob.

When she rings the bell, say something like, “Ok, you need to potty?” and walk her outside to the elimination area. Give her the cue to eliminate.

After she eliminates, deliver something good. Toss a ball or take her for a walk in the neighborhood.

At his point, it’s important to always open the door and go out to the elimination area every time she bumps the bell. If she eliminates, then give her a treat. If she doesn’t eliminate after you’ve given the command, just go back inside. You can leave her out of not, depending on how you feel about your dog being in the yard alone.

After a few days, you can stop walking

all the way to the elimination area and

stop giving her the command to eliminate.

Just open the door and walk halfway to the area. If she eliminates, perfect, give her a reward!

Over the next few days, reduce the amount of steps you take towards the elimination area.

In about a week, you should be able to wait at the door while Caroline goes out to eliminate.

It’s okay to give her a treat after she returns, for now she knows the treat is for eliminating, not for returning.

Some dogs learn to ring the bell to get you to interact, but they don’t need to eliminate. Keep a log of feeding and elimination. This will help you recognize the times she needs to go outside. If Caroline bumps the bell when she does not have to eliminate, she is telling you that she wants more mental and physical stimulation. Consider taking her for a walk or holding a short training session to stimulate her!

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Happy Training!

Alan J Turner

Companion Animal Behavior Counselor – Canine Specialization

How’s Bentley Memphis TN

Private and Group Puppy Obedience Courses