Shih Tzus

My Shih Tzus fur is really different than it used to be?

Friday, October 7th, 2011

My Shih Tzu, Heidi, had really healthy long hair when we got her as a puppy. shes around 2 years old now and her beautiful black fur has gone to a greyish black color. Her fur never grows out like it used too. is this normal? Shes only 2 years old so shes not grey because of age.

this may be out of stress, do you groom her often? Shih Tzus usually should be groomed a few mins a day at least :)

Hip Dysplasia In Shih Tzus

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Shih Tzus are known as energetic, playful and has lively personality. Once you notice something strange with your Shih Tzu’s behavior, you can be sure that he is feeling something different. Is he not as active as he is used to be?

Check out because he might be suffering from hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a joint disease in animals, commonly found in dogs than in cats. Some says dysplasia is a genetic disease; some describes it as a developmental disease. Whether a genetic or a developmental disease, the fact remains that it is a disease thus something must be done to treat it.

But before taking steps in treating this disease, it is important to fully understand what hip dysplasia is. Hip dysplasia is a condition wherein there is abnormality in the hip joint of a dog. It could affect left, right or both legs. In a dysplastic hip, the ball and the socket do not fit together resulting to damaging and painful friction. Most dogs with dysplasia are born with normal hips but because of genetics and other factors, the soft tissues that surround the joint start to grow along with the puppy.

So how will you know that a dog has dysplasia? Some puppies, as young as five months old will may experience symptoms such as difficulty in rising, lameness in the back legs soreness after lying down and after heavy exercise and reluctance to jump or stand on hind limbs. The usual active and energetic Shih Tzu may now have less energy and movement. They oftentimes avoid activities that involve much movement and energy. This disease if left untreated can lead to arthritis. And as time goes by, the dog may even need assistance in getting up or worst, may cripple the dog for life.

It has been said that dysplasia is an inherited disease. Yes, dysplasia is passed on through genes and develops over time. It may not be evident at once but it can be triggered by obesity, improper nutrition and other factors as well. Not all dogs with hip dysplasia show no signs of disease. The risk is that, these dogs may be included in a breeding program thus prevention of the disease can be impossible.

This disease, as much as it can be prevented can also be treated in many ways. These treatments include pain medications, weight loss programs especially for obese dogs, controlled exercise, good nutrition and physical therapy. But if the prior mentioned treatments are found ineffective especially in worst cases, another option is surgical treatment.

Dysplasia is a disease of large breed of dogs however, medium and small sized dogs such as Shih Tzus, is not exempted from being affected with this disease of the joint. It can be passed on through genes so it is important take extra care in breeding programs.

Richard Cussons is not just a writer but also a great lover of dogs. Learn more about Shih Tzu training at this site dedicated to Shih Tzus.

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Is the Shih Tzu the Right Dog For You? Seven Factors to Consider!

Monday, September 26th, 2011

This is a question you need to ask yourself before you buy a Shih Tzu, as you will be spending a lot of time in each other’s company. Making the wrong choice can lead to years of unhappiness so make sure you get this right.

A few things to consider include the following.

1. Companionship

Shih Tzu were bred for no other reason than companionship. Most have very social personalities and there are few things a Tzu would enjoy more than to sit on your lap while you watch the television.

However, if you and your family work and must leave the dog at home the whole day, a Shih Tzu may not be the dog for you. They require more attention than most other dogs and your presence is an important part of their well being.

2. Grooming

This breed has a double coat and long hair. The hair requires frequent brushing to avoid matting. The nails also require frequent clipping as a Shih Tzu does not spend a lot of time outside.  This result in nails that are not filed away naturally by gravel and similar surfaces. 

3. Other animals

Most Shih Tzu get along well with other animals. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said off some other dog breeds. If you own an aggressive dog like a Pit-bull, it is best to think twice before you bring a Tzu home, especially if the other dog is an alpha male. Big dogs like Great Danes may also unknowingly hurt a small dog while playing. 

Most dogs don’t like cats and you must be particularly careful with a Shih Tzu, as the cat’s long nails can easily do some serious damage to their protruding eyes.

4. Exercise

If you are looking for a buddy to join you on your five mile run in the morning, please do not consider this breed as an option. Shih Tzu have flat, short noses with the result that they have difficulty breathing properly. A short walk around the block is all they require - nothing more.

5. Space and Indoor living

If you stay in an apartment with limited space this breed is a good option. A Shih Tzu is your typical indoor dog and nothing will make him happier than to hear your voice the whole day and to spend some time with you on the couch.

They do not tolerate heat very well and that is another reason why they should stay inside. This is especially true if you stay in a warm area.

6. Children

Shih Tzu are very popular with children. Their adorable expressions make them one of the most popular family pets. They are small and fragile so think about getting one if you have very young children who may not differentiate between a living animal and a stuffed toy!

7. Snuffle and snoreThe up turned nose and small mouth, close together on a short face, cause some Shih Tzu to have problems drinking and they should only be given water in shallow small bowls or through a drinking bottle similar to those used by hamsters and guinea pigs. Their squashed nasal passages make them more likely to snuffle and snore. 

If you decide that the Shih Tzu is the dog for you, the next step is to make sure you know how to buy Shih Tzu puppies of quality. You can discover how and get a lot of other information free of charge by visiting

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The Royal Shih Tzu It’s Origins and Characteristics

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

The Shih Tzu (pronounced “Sheet-sue”) has a lot of spunk and is a very alert and resilient dog. Like all dogs in the Toy dog group, Shih Tzus have a lot of character and are courageous for their size. Throughout history they were raised as pampered pooches in the Imperial Chinese Court. Bred in the forbidden city of Peking, the Shih Tzu didn’t leave China until the early 20th century when they first appeared in Britain. Today they are a popular breed worldwide.

Shih Tzus are good watchdogs and eagerly alert their owners to the approach of strangers. He does enjoy barking, but rarely does so without reason. He is very clever and responds well to persistent training. Without training the Shih Tzu will become extremely overprotective of their owner and aggressive towards other people.

Children and Shih Tzus get along famously as long as the child understands how to play with the dog. A Shih Tzu will not tolerate teasing young children and will snap at them. The Shih doesn’t mind the presence of other family pets, but his true joy is when he is in the company of his human family.

One of the aspects about Shih Tzus that surprise many owners is the fact that this breed is very active despite his small size. At his tallest, the Shih Tzu only stands 11 inches, and weighs no more than 16 pounds. Nevertheless, although this breed can be really active when it wants to be, they can also be quite lazy and will lie in their favorite spots whenever they have the chance. Therefore, it is important that the Shih Tzu receives the exercise he needs to make sure he doesn’t become overweight.

Due to the fact that Shih Tzus are small dogs and they are relatively inactive indoors, they make fantastic apartment dogs and wonderful dogs for seniors. Furthermore, the Shih Tzu is an ideal dog for anyone who has allergies as his coat does not shed. Of course, the down side to most non shedding dog is the required daily grooming of their coat - the Shih Tzu is no exception.

The Shihs coat is available in almost every color and bi-color combination. If kept long, the coat will need to be brushed a few times a day to keep it free from mats. His eyes will need to be cleaned to discourage the build up of discharge that can lead to eye infections. The owner will also need to make sure the hair on top of the Shih Tzus head is kept tied up and out of the dog’s eyes to avoid aggravating them. The Shih Tzu should have a bath every month, and should be trimmed every few months to keep the desired look.

As with any pet, owning a dog is a huge commitment that must be met for the entire life of a dog. The average lifespan of a Shih Tzu is 15 years or more. Considering he has a decent life expectancy for a canine, it should come as no surprise that this breed does not suffer any major hereditary health defects. Nevertheless, no dog is perfect. The Shih Tzu is still susceptible to illnesses. The health issues that appear to be the most common in the breed include ear, eye, respiratory, back and teeth problems.

The Shih Tzu will bring plenty of joy and happiness to anyone willing to share their life and affection with this regal and loving dog.

Richard Cussons cares about all breeds of dog and the Shih Tzu in particular. You will find out more about Shih Tzus at the Shih Tzu Savvy website.

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Shih Tzu Training - Introducing Crate To Your Dog

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Shih Tzu training is not different from training other dogs. It usually applies the same methods and techniques. In order to come up with a successful Shih Tzu training, it is important to have consistency in your training approach and at the same time avoiding being harsh and rough.

Some people think that crate training is one way of being cruel or inhumane to a dog. But dogs don’t see it as humans do. What we fail to realize is that dogs have the natural tendency to find a den or area to sleep. And that is what the crate is for. Its purpose is to provide security, safety and aid in housebreaking and travel. By providing a crate, you give them something they can call their own.

When you first place your puppy inside the crate, he will probably whine and seems to beg you to let him go out. But that is not the case actually because their whining simply means that they don’t want anywhere but near you. They want to be cuddled in your lap or sit with you in the couch. Well, it’s not of a problem only if your pet is just a cute puppy. But think of the time when he’s already a grown dog. Think of the time when you are taking him in your travel. Isn’t it safe for him to be inside the crate while traveling?

Probably you now realize the benefits of using a crate. Introducing him to a crate is not that hard after all although it will take time in some cases. Drop some small pieces of kibble or dog biscuits in the crate. By doing this, the puppy will soon discover that good things can be found inside the crate thus creating positive association.

Praise your dog when he enters the crate at his own will. Do not try to force him or push him to get inside. You can also command him to get inside but make sure to use encouraging voice when giving the command. Experts suggest to crate your puppy for short periods of time when you are at home and he should be free to leave it at first.

During sleeping hours, when you need to lock the crate’s door, placing the crate next to your bed is advisable. Doing this will assure him that you are just there beside him and you can hear him if he needs to go out. When crate training, pay important details to your puppy’s bathroom time. Dogs consider their crates as their dens, their homes so they won’t naturally soil their sleeping area as long as you see to it that they are taken out during their potty time.

Once your dog is crate trained, you can somehow feel safe especially when you are leaving him alone. You will never think of soiled carpets, your highly priced shoes are safe and you can be sure that he is safe and sound when you come home.

Using a crate is not cruelty to dogs isn’t it? Just remember to never use a crate to punish a dog. This will just cause him to fear and develop negative association of what is supposed to be his haven.

Richard Cussons is not just a writer but also a great lover of dogs. Learn more about Shih Tzu training at this site dedicated to Shih Tzus.

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Major Health Concerns For a Shih Tzu

Friday, September 16th, 2011

All dogs are vulnerable to numerous diseases and health concerns but some breeds are more likely to be affected by one than another. Shih Tzu are no exception to this. This article will list and briefly describe those problems.


Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. It can be inherited, the result of an injury, or part of the aging process.


Von Willebrand disease refers to a bleeding disorder that results in a decreased amount of a glycoprotein. This glycoprotein is needed for proper clotting of the blood.


Unfortunately cancer can strike our pets. The most common type is that of mammary or testicular cancer. It can occur at any age.


Cleft palate in dogs refers to a failure of the two sides of the palate to fuse correctly. This defect usually occurs during embryonic development but it can also result from over-dosages of steroids, Vitamin A, and some antibiotics.


Congestive heart failure is a serious condition that often affects older dogs of small breeds, including Shih Tzu. This condition refers to an inability of the heart to function normally. The result is an increased retention of water and salt which leads to a fluid buildup in the lungs.


Just as humans, dogs need a certain amount of dental care to maintain their dental health. This includes having their teeth cleaned at least annually by the veterinarian. Other preventive steps include brushing the Shih Tzu teeth with specially formulated dog toothpaste. Providing hard dog biscuits and bones, and chew toys can also help.


Ear infections are common in dog breeds with floppy ears. The ears fill up with a dark, smelly wax. If the condition is left untreated the infection can become chronic.


Fleas often are a part of dog ownership, but certain steps should be taken to avoid excessive fleas that result in flea bites to your dog. Lawns can be treated as well as homes to eliminate live fleas. And your Shih Tzu can receive preventative medications from the veterinarian.


In harderian gland prolapse the gland of the third eyelid has prolapsed as a pink fleshy mass protruding over the edge of the third eyelid, between the third eyelid and the cornea. This condition usually develops during the first year of life.


Heart murmurs are not necessarily indicative of a heart disease but instead, they can be a hint that the dog may have something wrong. Heart murmurs are abnormal sounds heard when the veterinarian listens to the heartbeat of your Shih Tzu with a stethoscope.


Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworm disease is cyclic. Adult worms average about six inches in length (but they can be much longer) and they mostly live in the heart. Microscopic baby worms live in the blood vessels throughout the body.


Hip dysplasia is a degenerative disease of the hip joints. This condition is often inherited and it can affect one or both hips. It usually cannot be diagnosed until after the age of 2 years.


Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland stops working. The thyroid gland is responsible for producing a hormone that is responsible for proper metabolism.


Invertebral disk disease is a somewhat common back problem. The discs in the spine slip causing nerve damage. It results in acute pain, a loss of movement and or coordination, and even paralysis. The condition usually occurs following a fall or jump.


Smaller dogs can more easily become obese and obesity can result in many diseases and disorders. This can include heart disease, kidney disease, and increased pain from other ailments such as arthritis. Obesity can cause changes in temperature, pulse and heartbeat.

PATELLAR LUXATION (Slipped Stifles or Kneecaps)

Patellar Luxation is usually a congenital condition that appears at birth, but it can also happen due to trauma. This condition affects females 1.5 times more often than it does males. The kneecap slips out of the tendon and then slips back in.


Renal Cortical Hypoplasia refers to a condition in which the kidneys have developed incorrectly and are smaller than normal. This condition often results in infections and stone formation.


Renal Dysplasia can be found in almost any dog breed but it is most commonly found in Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apsos. This is a genetic defect or a developmental defect of the kidneys. It is thought that the defect is caused by an embryonic arrest in kidney development sometime around the birth.


Stenotic Nares refers to a narrow or restricted nostril. The opening to the nostril(s) are too small making it difficult for the Shih Tzu to breathe through the nose. This condition can put a strain on various body systems of the dog and even result in an enlargement of the heart.


Tracheal collapse is most commonly found in small breeds including the beloved Shih Tzu. This condition is characterized by a weakening of the cartilage rings of the trachea. The condition can be either congenital or acquired. Obesity is often a contributing factor.


The term, Umbilical Cord Hernia, describes a small prolapsed in the stomach wall of the dog in the spot that the umbilical cord was attached. It is possible for intestines to end up inside the hernia and to be twisted, particularly if the hernia is large. In such case the puppy may die.


Learning about the signs and symptoms of these health concerns will enable you to detect a problem before it escalates. If you want to know more about how you can provide better care for your Shih Tzu then check out Just Shih Tzu
You will learn the symptoms as well as the common treatments and prognosis for those health concerns and much more!

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What Is A Shih Tzu Standard?

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

The Shih Tzu is a toy dog of small stature and enormous heart. This lovable little dog is often a spoilt member of the family; if you own a Shih Tzu you will understand the love their owners feel for their!

If you want to show off your beautiful, purebred Shih Tzu at competitions on any level then you will need to familiarize yourself with the standards and requirements.

The American Kennel Club has clearly defined guidelines when it comes to what kinds of physical attributes your Shih Tzu will need to exhibit.

If you want to show, breed or are just interested in learning about the Shih Tzu Breed then here are some things you can do. Ask your breeder, your Vet, use the Internet and learn everything you can about Shih Tzu’s.

The breed specifications are long and detailed for the Shih Tzu to account for many of the variations.

Summary of general breed specifications:

Overall Appearance:

The Shih Tzu is sturdy and lively with a long flowing double coat. A proud bearing and a distinctively arrogant manner with the head generally carried well up and a curved tail which rests on the back.

There is a great variation on the size of the Shih Tzu but the dog must carry a good weight and give an overall impression of a compact, solid and well built dog.

Size, Proportion, Substance

The ideal weight for adult dogs is anywhere within the range of 9 to 16 pounds. The highest point of the back (known as the withers) should be not less than 8 inches. The ideal Shih Tzu should be well proportioned. The length between the withers and the root of the tail is slightly longer than the height at the withers. The dog may not appear to be ‘leggy’ or conversely may not appear dumpy or squatty. Substance - Regardless of size, the Shih Tzu is compact solid


The head should be round, broad, with a wide space between eyes. The head must appear to be in balance with the overall size of the dog. The Shih Tzu should have a warm, sweet, wide-eyed, friendly and trusting. AN overall well-balanced, pleasant _expression is the most important aspect of the features of the head.

The judges carefully examine beyond the hair to determine if what is seen is the actually head and shape or if careful grooming has been used to cover faults.


- Narrow Head

- Close-set eyes

- Small, close-set or light eyes

- Excessive eye white

- Snippiness

- Lack of definite stop

- Pink on nose, lips or eye rims

- Overshot bite

Competing with your Shih Tzu

Of course if you want to show your Shih Tzu you will need to read as much as possible on the subject. Read everything you can and discuss

The breed standards can differ from country to country and also even within various breed organizations. Generally you can be sure that even between different judges there are limits as to what is consider a variant and what is considered to be a fault. Interpretation varies as do judges tastes.

The Shih Tzu standard is made up with fanciers, breeder’s nation wide. If you do not plan to show your Shih Tzu then just about any puppy will do. These are some good guidelines in what to look for but being exact is not necessary. If you have found the cutest, healthiest little puppy then that is all your family will need.

Steve Allison is a third generation of professional dog breeders along with his brother Gary. It all started with his grandparents in 1970 with the Boston Terriers and has expanded to Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, Pugs, Shih Tzu’s and Pomeranians. He is also actively involved with dog rescue and has a website that showcases the puppies they occasionally has for sale at All My Puppies Online Steve is also the co-author of two consumer guides, Carpet Secrets and Moving Secrets Guide [].

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Shih Tzu Pros and Cons

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

When it comes to buying a Shih Tzu, or any dog that you are interested in, you need to consider the pros and cons. This is important because you want to take home the puppy that is right for you, your family and your property. If you don’t take your time when considering the good and bad you may end up with a dog that does not suit your needs. And as you can imagine, that can make for one tough circumstance.

What you see as benefits of the Shih Tzu breed may not be the same as everybody else. For instance, a common benefit is this breed’s lovely coat. If you like a long coat you are sure to agree with this. But on the other hand, if you want a dog that does not need cut regularly you may consider this a downfall.

Moving on, the Shih Tzu is small in size. A lot of people like small dogs, and the Shih Tzu definitely fits the mold. Most specimens are no taller than 11 inches and usually don’t weigh more than 16 pounds. And of course, this is on the high end.

What about the downside of owning a Shih Tzu? Well, some of them can be difficult to house train. This may not be the case, but you should go into ownership thinking that this will happen. If you are prepared to deal with this it is usually not that big of a deal. As long as you stay on top of things your Shih Tzu will catch on soon enough, and will begin to do all its business outside.

The Shih Tzu breed is very popular. This has always been the case, and there is a good chance that this will continue to hold true for years to come. These dogs can live in upwards of 15 years, and every day will be one that you enjoy. Now that you are aware of the Shih Tzu pros and cons, you can make a final decision on whether or not this is the breed for you. What do you think?

Learn more about the Shih Tzu [] breed and what information you need before you move forward.

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Is a Shih Tzu Puppy the Right Dog For You?

Monday, July 25th, 2011

If you’re planning on getting a new Shih Tzu, the dog’s gender and color will most likely play a role in what you decide to get. You will also have to make the decision on what age you’d like the dog to be. The age of the dog is an important decision because taking care of a puppy and an adolescent or a senior dog is very different.

However, most people that are looking for a new Shih Tzu or any other dog for that matter will most likely want a puppy. Hopefully, you’re prepared for the work, responsibility and the expense of taking care of a puppy. Here are some things that you’ll have to think about before getting a puppy:

1) A New puppy will have to go through housetraining and obedience training

No matter how cute a puppy is, they do not know the first thing about living in a human home. They don’t know that your expensive carpet is not the bathroom and your shoes aren’t chew toys. You will have to have a lot of patience with a puppy; they need a lot of training. Are you patient enough to put in the quality time needed to get your puppy to the point where he or knows the difference between your carpet and the bathroom?

2) Stature

Shih Tzu puppies are small dogs; however, they are a lot tougher than other smaller breeds, but they can still be injured rather easily by a rough child, other dogs, or a mistake. You need to keep them out of harm’s way on a regular basis.

3) Socialization

Puppies are not aware of the big bad world that they’re in; they don’t know much about people, other dogs, and places. Therefore, be careful about how you expose them to these situations, because the wrong exposure could lead to behavioral problems such as anxiety, fear, or aggression. It is important for you to properly socialize your Shih Tzu puppy so that he or she grows well-adjusted to their lives with humans.

4) Energy

Although the Shih Tzu is not a hyper active breed, a puppy is a different story. As you know, all puppies have an abundance of energy that is unrivaled. Therefore, if you get tired just thinking about keeping up with a puppy, maybe an older dog will be right for you.

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Shih Tzu Training Tips

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Affectionate, Energetic, and loyal are just a few of the best ways to describe a Shih Tzu. However some common misconceptions about them are that they are arrogant, yuppie, and demanding. But in reality they are just like any other four-legged fury friend, there temperament will greatly depend mostly upon how you raise them.

A Shih Tzu, also known as a Chinese lion dog or a chrysanthemum, is a small bread measuring from 8 to 11inches and weighing anywhere from 9 to 16 pounds. Originally from China, they are famous for their long silky hair with a soft double-coat. With there short muzzles and large dark eyes its no wonder they are popular all over the world. Traditionally there coat of fur reaches the ground requiring daily brushing to prevent tangles.

A very intelligent and capable student your Shih Tzu will be quick on his way to being a well behaved family friend with these easy to follow Shih Tzu training tips.

When it comes to potty training this breed, It can prove to be both time consuming and difficult. Some good news is that if you stick to a solid and consistent potty training plan/schedule you will achieve quick results.

Some key things for your potty training plan are:
-Only allow him 15-20 minutes to eat his food then take it away. Do this at consistently scheduled intervals a few times a day.
-Take your dog out to do his business 15-20 minutes after eating or drinking
-Take him out immediately upon waking up and before bedtime
-Take him out consistently every 2 hours through the day

When potty training your Shih Tzu it is always best to take them to the same spot to do there business. This associates them with where they should do there business because they can smell their scent there.

Remember if your dog accidentally uses the living room, DO NOT attempt to scold him or rub his nose in his own mess. Physical punishment will only make things more difficult. Training your pet is based on reward for accomplishment not discipline for misunderstood commands.

When it comes to obedience training, train your dog the basic commands, such as sit, stay, and come, which are the building blocks to more complicated training and will also develop a nice relationship between you and your pet.

Always use positive reinforcement. This will increase the chance for your dog to behave in a similar manor again. It consists of loving praises, pats, and even treats. But Remember, when giving your pets treats to only show and give your pet a treat upon completion of a command. If you show your pet the treat before it is like bribing him to do what you want, and your goal is not to have him do a command for a reward but to have him do it because he loves you.

Here are some not only Shih Tzu training tips, but some general dog training tips that all dog owners should know and follow.

-There is nothing wrong with telling your dog “No”, except its just sometimes not enough information for them. Telling them a basic command like “Sit”, is much less confusing letting them know exactly what you want.(for example if he’s jumping on you)

-Begin your commands with your dogs name to get his attention.

-Stick to single word commands

-Always praise your dog for proper completion; never scold him for misunderstood commands.

-Be consistent with your commands. Nothing makes things harder than being inconsistent.

-Your dogs Health and diet directly relates to his energy levels, mood, happiness, and willingness to happily participate in training sections.

-Training sessions should be short but regular no less than 15minutes and no more than 30minutes at a time, a few times a day.

All in all if you implement these tips into a healthy happy training environment you should notice your dog being the happy loving pet that everyone knows and loves.

If you are Interested in more dog training tips or just interested in becoming the best possible master in training and health for your dog. Check Out Top Secrets For Pet Owners Now!

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