Monday, August 31, 2009

Water Safety: Would you risk your dog’s life when playing in water?

The most pleasurable way of spending time with your dog, whether you own a Labrador Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel or a Portuguese water dog is to indulge in some kind of marine activities which is one of the best ways to bond together. Spending quality time with your canine friend by playing along the rolling waves of the ocean or letting him fetch a stick in the shallow creek is a fabulous way to enjoy the great outdoors.

The most important rule is to ensure that you and your dog are completely safe when paddling in water. Though there are many breeds of dogs that can easily plunge into the water similar to a duck, some canines are naturally apprehensive to take the lead at first and they need some time to get used to the new experience.

Mentioned below are a few safety precautions and guidelines which will ensure that both you and your dog have a great time together in water:

1. Ensuring that your dog is fit and in the best of health condition is a prerequisite before you allow him to jump into water. Do not hesitate to consult with the veterinarian if you have any doubts about his fitness levels.

2. When advancing towards the water with your dog for the first time it is beneficial to go at a slow pace rather than rushing to get there. This holds good and is extremely important if he is still a puppy. Never assume that, he will be able to naturally swim swiftly and tread the waters safely just because he belongs to the Labrador Retriever breed.

3. The best way to get your novice dog acquainted with water is to pick a warm, shallow body of water and allow him to maneuver through it at his pace. Place him at the edge of the water and allow him to explore at his own comfort levels. Unless and until you are sure that he is ready do not splash him or drag him to the water. Let him have a few moments to familiarize with this new experience. Compelling your dog to get into the water before he is accustomed to it will scare him off and he may never again attempt to try to do so.

4. Once he starts getting curious and a little comfortable, try taking him into the water by going in first and calling him at the same time. Lure him with his favorite treat or throw his possessive toy into the water by making sure it is thrown at a short distance and also within his depth. When he begins to realize that you are having fun with him he will be more confident about going further out.

5. Ensure that you gear up your dog with a canine life jacket before you take him to a large body of water, such as the ocean or a deep river. This is imperative and particularly needed if he is new to swimming or tends to get excited when playing in water. Before venturing to go deeper into the water, ensure that the canine life jacket fits your dog properly and that he is comfortable wearing it while swimming.

Content provided by Jerry Stewart of www.ohmydogsupplies.com, where you can find a fantastic assortment of clothes for dogs online.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

H3N8 Dog Flu

There is a new strain of the flu virus that's popping up across the United States. One not contagious to humans, but it could affect our lovable best friends.

It's called the H3N8 dog flu and according to animal health experts, the H3N8 dog flu originated in horses. It was first observed in Greyhounds at several Florida race tracks in January 2004.



Dr. Cynda Crawford, who is one of the discoverers of the virus and a clinical assistant professor in the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville, answers readers’ questions about the dog flu and the first vaccine approved for it. 10 Things to Know About the H3N8 Dog Flu



According to New York Times report by Donald G. McNeil Jr, a new flu vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the H3N8 dog flu virus. New Flu Vaccine Approved — for Dogs

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Free Dinovite Sample Pack

Dinovite products are used to stop all that itching, scratching and shedding in you Labrador Retriever.

Information from Dinovite:

Dogs SHOULD NOT Suffer Constantly

It doesn't have to be that way, constantly miserable. Dogs should shed their coat about twice a year and not scratch year round. If your dog is itching and shedding constantly, that could be a sign of a nutritional deficiency. Your dog needs Omega 3 Fatty Acids, zinc and other vital nutrients to maintain healthy skin and coat. These delicate nutrients are destroyed in the extreme heat during the cooking process of commercial dog food. The lack of these nutrients can lead to excessive year round shedding and itchy dry skin, what a mess!

Dinovite Supplies the Nutrients.

VITAL NUTRIENTS are what they need to stop all that crazy scratching and shedding. Along with Dinovite® feed SuprOmegaTM Fish Oil or Salmon Oil to supply additional Omega 3 fatty acids and natural source Vitamin E and watch his coat get lustrous and most importantly STAY IN, instead of flying all over your house!


Right now, they are offering a free Dinovite sample pack for those interested in trying their products.

Just fill out the form at the above link, include your Labrador Retriever's primary issue and submit the form to make your request. Offer valid to USA only.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Chocolate Labrador Retriever with sensitive stomach

Subject: Chocolate Labrador Retriever with sensitive stomach

From: Cynthia (USA)

Labrador Retriever Name: Reese and Hannah

Reader's E-mail - Cynthia Writes:

I have 2 female chocolate labs who seem to have issues with any kind of bagged dog food out there. My 4 year old literally will have rectal bleeding from just changing the bag of the same brand. I have now been making their food, which seems to be working....(I'm keeping my fingers crossed!)

I make boiled pasta with boiled beef and add a small amount of plain yogurt to the mix. As a treat, I give each of them raw carrots. I want to make sure their diet is balanced, but at the same time do not want to set off their digestive tracts to bloody diarrhea time and again.

Do you have any suggestions for balanced homemade diets for dogs with sensitive stomachs? I have searched far and wide to only find differing opinions. Any help would be gratefully appreciated by my two chocolate girls!

Cynthia

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hello Cynthia,

The information given here is to help you learn more about your Labrador Retriever and not to replace your veterinarian's advice. Disclaimer

Thank you for visiting All About Labradors and for your e-mail. I'm sorry to hear about the problems you are having with your two chocolate Labrador Retrievers.

For help in answering your questions, I have turn to a wonderful new friend. Her name is Teri and she runs a wonderful blog titled Doghealth1.com. I've come to know Teri through articles we both did in regards to dangers of pesticides in pet flea and tick products. She done an outstanding job with her information using a holistic, natural approach to dog health and nutrition.

I wrote Teri and asked is she could give me some help with a question in regards to balanced homemade diets for dogs who have sensitive stomachs. Teri quickly e-mailed me back with an answer before I let her read your e-mail and then after she read your e-mail, sent more information to further elaborate. Below you will find both e-mail answers from Teri:

A sensitive stomach may mean different problems mainly with food digestion. I am not sure if the dog in this case is vomiting or rejecting the food, or has gas or other problems with the bowels.

For a sensitive stomach I would give the dog Aloe Vera Gel which is available in most health food stores.The gel will heal ulcers, inflammation, heart burn and soothes the stomach acids.

I do not know what size the dog is and I assume we are talking about a Labrador so I would give the dog: about 4 tablespoons in the morning and 4 at night for 1 week. See if this helps and I am sure the dog will feel better. I would give it about 1 hour before a meal so that it has a chance to coat the stomach. I healed myself from an ulcer with plain old Aloe Vera Gel.

If the dog is having gas problems which means it is not digesting its food well and this goes for older dogs over 8 years of age onwards I would think that there are not enough enzymes produced to digest the dog food. I would therefore recommend digestive enzymes also available at the health food store. Now I know there are companies that sell these over the Internet and I have them in my Resource Section on my front page under Only Natural Pet Store on the right hand column about half the way down the page. These digestive enzymes go to work to help the dog digest it's food and ensure that they are getting the nutrition from the food through proper digestion.

Now the very first thing I would do is to examine the ingredients of the dog food. If you are using commercial grade pet food sold at the usual outlets they will make your dog sick if not now, eventually. I would switch to an organic food if entirely possible because it is better quality ingredients.

The commercial brands have so many chemicals that are causing cancer, diabetes and other illness in our pets that the veterinarians would be very happy to treat these sick dogs. Even vet recommended pet foods were recalled in 2007 for having melamine and rat poison in their products which shows you that there are no inspections or regulations on pet foods. Anything goes in them including sawdust, kerosene, dead animals and stuff you don't want to know about.

If you wish you could try making your own dog food and I do this myself:

Get 1 package of chicken gizzards/ with chicken livers or heart and sauté in olive oil with a little garlic powder. Add 1 cup of frozen green beans and one cup of cooked brown rice. Mix together and feed your dog.

You can mix and match meals like this and your dog will not only be happy and healthier, you will save thousands of dollars in vet bills.

As a treat give them raw, meaty bones from the farm if you can get them, or from the butcher, and let your dog knew on them for a while especially get the ones with bone marrow still in the bone, this is full of vitamins and minerals for your dog.

We have to get back to basics with dogs, because over 50 to 100 years ago, there were no dog food companies - dogs just ate table scraps and wild animals. We have not progressed in today's dog food, it is actually poisoning dogs everywhere and the cancer, diabetes and illness of our pets is always rising each year.

Well I can't stress enough how important good food is for your dog.

Hope this helps .

Take care
Teri
http://www.Doghealth1.com

Here is the second e-mail Teri sent:

I try to cover all the bases since I didn't know exactly what the problem is but after reading this question, I know it is the type of food your reader is using, and they are ALL very toxic and dangerous.

She is wise to make her own dog food at home, and really if the dog's bowels are bleeding there is a cause and effect. I wonder if she has taken the dog to a vet, that sounds like it could be worms. I am not a vet, but sounds very serious and I would stop that bagged food she is giving them.

Aloe will work to heal the insides - that is the stomach and bowel linings so it will help to heal the damage. I would ask her to get to a holistic vet in her area as soon as possible for testing. I know worms can cause bleeding also and there are natural worming products she can use.

There is a formula if you can find it in my archives that deals with making your own dog food but basically I use this one:

60 % protein ( raw meat, raw kidney, raw liver, chicken gizzards, chicken, and raw meaty bones)

20 % vegetable (green beans, carrots, peas, spinach, anything but corn)

20 % grains ( brown rice only, bulgar wheat, bran, quinoa, etc)

Mix this all together in a batch to make meals for the dogs.

These dogs should be given digestive enzymes until they get better, their stomachs are not digesting food.

For Breakfast I usually give my dog: (medium size) 3 tablespoons of low fat cottage cheese mixed with 2 tablespoons of Flax Seed Oil), this is an anti cancer recipe, and also heals dry skin, and builds the immune system. You could tell her to do this too.

take good care

Teri
http://doghealth1.com/

Great information from Teri which I think will be very helpful with your Labrador Retriever's problems. I have recently read an article on the benefits of oats for dogs that I also think may be helpful for you:

Benefits of Oats for dogs and cats - http://www.petstyle.com/cats/health/benefits-oats-dogs-and-cats

As far as the rectal bleeding goes , there could be a number a reasons why. Some problems include:

1. Constipation
2. Colitis - inflammation of the colon which can cause diarrhea and/or constipation
3. Worms
4. Proctitis - inflammation of the rectum
5. Problems with the sacs located around the anus
6. Rectal fissures
7. Rectal polyps

I would definitely recommend an appointment with your veterinarian. Make sure you bring a stool sample with you.

I hope this will be of help to you Cynthia. Please keep me informed and if you do visit the veterinarian, please let me know what they state about the bleeding.

One last thing, what is the name of your Labrador Retriever girls?

Take care of yourself and your Labrador Retrievers,

Fay

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Could Your Labrador's "Waste" Be The Fuel of the Future?

There's power in the poop. Real, usable, recyclable, non-fossil dependent, renewable fuel.

The city of San Francisco aims to stop using landfills by 2020 and as part of their research to figure out just how to manage that they're looking at using pet waste to produce methane gas for fuel. When you figure that a great deal of the pet waste in the heavily populated, pet friendly Bay Area ends up in landfills now, approximately 4% in San Francisco alone, using anaerobic digester technology to break it down and gain some energy production from it, even if only enough to help run the processing facilities, could make a significant dent in what's piling up at the dump.

The methane is produced in digesters, more correctly called anaerobic digesters. The process is inherently organic, using anaerobic (non-oxygen using) microorganisms to literally digest the waste materials, feeding off of the sludge, metabolizing it and producing their own waste -- the stuff we use for fuel.

The fuel produced by anaerobic digesters is “biogas,” composed of 50 - 75% methane, 25 - 50% carbon dioxide and, variably, trace amounts, singly or in combinations, of nitrogen, hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide or oxygen. The methane we burn, the carbon dioxide, theoretically, is not released directly into the atmosphere. If hydrogen sulfide (a consequence of sulfates in feed) is produced, though, being a toxic byproduct, it must either be “scrubbed” or inhibited at the beginning of the cycle.

There is some controversy, however, on how effective this idea is as far as reducing fossil fuel dependence, production of greenhouse gasses and reduction of solid wastes that we need to dispose of in some manner, as well as destroying pathogens carried in the waste. Some of the solids left do make excellent fertilizer, provided dangerous pathogens are destroyed. Not all digesters reach a temperature sufficient to destroy disease causing bacteria. Some methods of dealing with the solids left set up a composting step, breaking the solids down further so that they can be used as fertilizer. This is more applicable, though, to agricultural animal waste, as dog and cat feces carry some pathogens that are difficult to kill off, so that's a hurdle that must be leaped in order to make this plan to reduce landfill usage viable.

Composting has always been an accepted method to break waste materials down to useful, recyclable material. Thanks to those pathogens, though, it's more problematical when trying to deal with most pet waste. It should never be used near food producing ground, or where there is a high ground water table, so if producing biogas from pet poop is going to be a viable solution to the growing dilemma of how to get rid of the stuff sanely, an effective and non-prohibitively expensive method of rendering the nasties impotent before putting it to use is necessary.

Some individuals use composting at home to deal with their pets' waste, which, if they are unaware of the potential for disease causing microorganisms to survive the process, that rarely creates temperatures capable of killing these bacteria, can create a hazard not only for themselves and their own families, but for those who live nearby. If they use the stuff on their yards as fertilizer, and some of it gets washed away into the street, it then travels to the wastewater sewer system and finds its way out into the ecosystem, and even into water that winds up being used to water food crops. There was an outbreak a few years back of salmonella that contaminated green onion crops via irrigation water. People got sick. A few died. There are many ways for contaminants to find their way into places we don't want them to be; we need to be aware and careful of adding even more opportunities for these potential poisons.

Even using the last numbers of a “pet census” from 2005, pet waste is a problem that is growing exponentially: 90 million cats and 74 million dogs -- and those numbers are for pets; they don't include the animals in shelters and strays, but they have to do their business somewhere too. Whether or not this idea does all its proponents hope it will do, it is one more way to potentially dispose of pet waste rather than letting it pile up, and with the sheer numbers of pets in America alone, that could be a whole lot of manure to manage.

Provided by Betsy Miller of www.pet-super-store.com: Where you can find great deals on Dog Kennels and Pet Doors.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Labrador Retriever/English Bulldog puppy needs a new home.

I received an e-mail from a friend of mine informing me up a very adorable Labrador Retriever, English Bulldog puppy that needs a new home.

The owner is unable to provide adequate care for him as she works full time and he's alone all day.

The 1/2 Labrador Retriever, 1/2 English Bulldog who goes by the name of Iggy, has had his first round of shots, is very smart and did I mention, adorable.

Iggy (USA)

Iggy (USA)


If you or anyone you know is interested in providing a home for this sweet little boy, please let us know by sending us an e-mail. Thanks for your help!

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dog Arthritis and your Labrador Retriever

Arthritis in Labrador Retrievers is very much similar to arthritis in humans. It is a degenerative disease which causes stiffness in your Labrador Retriever's joints and muscles. Arthritis is one of the most common health problems a dog will face.

Dog Arthritis

Just like people, many dogs suffer from arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis. Unbelievably, up to thirty percent of family pets have arthritis. They experience pain, swelling and stiffness the same as humans do. Some people refer to it as degenerative joint disease and it has the ability to change your Labrador Retriever, from very playful and energetic, to pain ridden and listless.

Arthritis is the breakdown of protective cartilage, which covers and protects the bone joints. By nature, many dogs are extremely active and because of this, subject their joints to trauma. Unlike humans, when a dog injures itself, pet arthritic conditions often develop within weeks.

Older dogs are more prone to arthritis as their cartilage deteriorates, especially in the larger breeds. There is more stress put on the joints from their weight and this worsens over time. Some of the types of arthritis in dogs are osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, knee dysplasia, and Osteochondritis, hypertrophy and shoulder degeneration.

Because our pets cannot tell us they are in pain, here are some of the signs that may indicate that your dog is suffering from arthritis:

• Limping – Your dog limps or favors a leg, but has no injury to its paws.

• Slow moving – Your usually active pet moves at a much slower pace, has trouble running and jumping, has difficulty climbing stairs or shies away from playing.

• Walking – They lag behind you when taking them for a walk or are very listless and hesitant to go walking at all.

• Crying or yelping – If you touch then in a certain area, they yelp or do not want you touching them.

• Difficulty rising - When the dog goes to get up from sleeping or laying down, they have great difficulty or yelp, making it obvious that they are having problems, are all signs of arthritis.

As upsetting as it is, do not panic if the vet diagnosis your dog with arthritis. Unlike years ago, there are many very good remedies to help alleviate and control your dog’s pain. If your dog is overweight, the first thing your vet will recommend is a weight loss program. Just like humans, the more weight you carry, the harder it is on your joints and this is no different for dogs.

Have your vet recommend a healthy diet for your special companion that gradually helps them lose weight without being hungry all the time. As much as you hate having to cut down on their dog treats, this is for the health of your animal. There are several medications available to help control or end the pain.

Always follow the vets instructions on the amount and frequency of the medication prescribed for your dog. They know exactly how much to give your dog and if you decide to up the dose or cut down on it, you could do more harm than good. Once you remove the pain, and your dog moves about easily, you can resume taking them for walks and getting exercise. You may want to discuss arthritis supplements for your dog, with your vet.

Content provided by Lisa Carter of ohmydogsupplies.com, check out our cool collection of elevated dog dishes online.

This video discusses arthritis in dogs and the three treatment modalities used to treat dog arthritis.



The best arthritis treatments for dogs are prevention-based, such as weight-loss, a healthy diet and joint supplements, but treatment can include paint relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines. Treat a dog who has arthritis, common in many larger breeds, with helpful information from an experienced veterinarian in this free video on pet health.



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Monday, August 10, 2009

Seeing Eye Labrador

German Shepherds at one point were the go to dog when it came to Seeing Eye dogs, but due to heavy use of them as police dogs they have built quite a reputation of being intimidating. This has opened the job to different breeds, the Labrador has stepped up and is now one of the most commonly used breeds.

Everyone who has been even partially aware is familiar with Seeing Eye dogs and Guide Dogs. It is amazing to watch these dogs working, making sure their partners are safe, stopping where they need to stop, waiting for traffic signals, steering around hazards and seeing to their master's overall safety and well being.

Dogs and other animals -- even chimpanzees and miniature horses -- are being called to help human partners with disabling impairments to be able to move about freely and function in the world. The majority of service animals are still dogs, most notably German Shepherds, Labrador and Golden Retrievers, but other breeds and species are beginning to make their mark in careers as service providers.

German Shepherds are being seen less and less, mainly due to the perception of the public that they are “police dogs” and look threatening. The retrievers are stepping into harness, along with other breeds. Breeders in Australia are breeding Labrador Retriever and Standard Poodle crosses in attempts to produce a new breed that will breed true and result in intelligent, moderately sized dogs with coats that don't trigger allergic reactions. They have had modest success achieving this aim, far overshadowed by the unfortunate opportunism of unscrupulous breeders and puppy mills crossing untested, unproven dogs and charging exorbitant prices for these “designer” breeds.

Miniature horses are an unexpected but sensible alternative, especially when you take into account the lifespan. Where a dog would be looking at retirement from service at around eight years of age, a miniature horse is just getting started. They are also perceived as less threatening than many dogs.

Different species provide assistance for those who are hearing impaired. Many do have canine assistants, but this is an area of service where other animals can be just as helpful. The occasional devoted cat has proven its worth in the deaf community. An animal trained to work with someone who has a hearing impairment notifies the person of noises, things like doorbells, telephones, stove and oven timers, irregular sounds at doors and windows, just about any sound that is out of place, alerting the owner to possible break ins.

Service animals are performing more and more tasks, even sensing the onset of seizures, psychological episodes, anxiety attacks, very nearly any kind of trouble we humans find ourselves vulnerable to, even including some of the unfortunate side effects of medications taken to control certain conditions. There are parrots who have proven to be invaluable at alerting their owners and literally talking them down from a psychotic episode. Animals have proven themselves to be particularly valuable companions to those affected by autism, not only serving to warn their master of any impending episodes, but truly allowing them to learn how to interact with other human beings. Small monkeys, like the capuchin, can be trained to help quadriplegics care for themselves, even to eat. These animals give their partners the gift of freedom and independence.

The rights of owners of service animals to have their helpers accompany them wherever they go is assured by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. It is recommended that anyone using a service animal carry a card with a copy of relevant portions of the act printed on it.

Anyone who believes animals -- particularly dogs -- aren't capable of true thought, reasoning and problem solving hasn't been paying attention. But there's probably a service dog for that condition too.

Provided by Renee Mallerd of www.pet-super-store.com: Find Great Deals on GPS Tracking Collars like the Garmin Astro 220.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

The Pet Postcard Project

I came across this wonderful project while surfing the Internet this morning and had to share it with the All About Labradors blog readers.

It's called The Pet Postcard Project and aims at helping shelter animals one postcard at a time. The Pet Postcard Project is the brainchild of writer Nikki Moustaki, who has come up with a very clever idea!

Information from The Pet Postcard Project:

"Pet Postcards" for this project are homemade postcards featuring your own pets that you make and then snail mail into The Pet Postcard Project. Each card earns 1 pound of food for shelter dogs. So, if you send 10 cards for the cost of a stamp, you have given 10 lbs of food for shelter pets!

The postcards are roughly the size of an average postcard, and are decorated with photos of pets, drawings, markers, colored pens, stickers, glitter, pretty paper -- some are simple (made at your office while you're supposed to be working) and some are beautiful and complex (made by hardcore scrapbookers), and some are computer generated (for those tech savvy pet lovers). But the thing they ALL have in common is how the card makers feel about their pets.


The Pet Postcard Project is currently receiving help from Rachael Ray and her Nutrish "Food Raiser" Campaign. Rachael has pledged 1 pound of dog food for each homemade postcard received in the mail by the Pet Postcard Project! The goal is to give 3 TONS of food to both Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and Sabbath Memorial Dog Rescue

Now, searching around the Pet Postcard Project website, I found many beautiful, creative postcards, not to mention a whole section with our lovable Labrador Retrievers.

While your at their website, make sure you check out the wonderful monthly postcard contest they run and enter for your chance to win some outstanding prizes. Don't forget, each card you enter earns a pound of dog food for shelter dogs and cats!

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Labrador Retriever Training Secrets

Here is a free download of the ebook, Labrador Retriever Training Secrets by Charles R. Heflin that may be quite helpful to many of you.

The ebook provides some excellent information on the introduction to your Labrador Retriever, selecting a Labrador Retriever and Labrador Retriever training. Here are the chapters you will find listed in Labrador Retriever Training Secrets:

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - Why is training essential?

Chapter 3 - Selecting a dog trainer

Chapter 4 - Advantages of training

Chapter 5 - Positive Reinforcement

Chapter 6 - Preparing to train

Chapter 7 - How to train your Lab

Chapter 8 - Why Training Your Lab Can Fail

Chapter 9 - Training & Behavior

Chapter 10 - Excessive Barking & Howling

Chapter 11 - Basic Training

Chapter 12 - Types of Training

Chapter 13 - Training to correct bad behavior

Chapter 14 - Training you can use to your advantage

Chapter 15 - Fun Training

Chapter 16 - The Lab’s Sense of Scent & Associated Tricks

Chapter 17 - Training & Show Biz

I am providing two ways for you to download this free ebook through Scribd and Easy Share.



You can print or save the ebook by clicking on the download link (next to word Scribd above). You can also view the ebook full screen by clicking on the Fullscreen link.

You can also download and saved the ebook through Easy Share by clicking on Labrador Retriever Training Secrets

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