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Alert Barking: The Dog Equivalent to "Get Off My Lawn!"


Does your dog have to let you know about any and every person or animal that passes by your home? There are many reasons a dog barks, and we call this kind of barking "alert" barking or territorial barking – something that we humans originally preferred dogs to do, and we bred for it in the domestication process.

I personally prefer that my dog bark once or twice to let me know that someone is approaching my door. However, alert barking becomes a nuisance when your dog is constantly reacting to everyone they see or hear walking by your home. Many apartment dwellers deal with alert barking (and frustrated neighbors) when their dog barks any time someone passes by their door, gets out of the elevator, or closes their own apartment door. The proximity of all the noises can be tough in an apartment setting for a dog. In this article we’ll talk about what you can do to teach your dog not to bark at people or things they hear passing by or see through the window.

There are a few different reasons dogs will bark besides alerting to someone or something outside. It could be due to boredom, anxiety, fearful reactivity, or they’ve learned that barking gets them attention (even if this is just you yelling at them to stop), which is called "demand" barking. First you have to figure out what is causing your dog to bark, which then determines how to approach this problem behavior. A certified dog trainer can help you determine the trigger for your dog's barking if it isn't immediately obvious, and a wifi-enabled pet cam can also help. The most useful one for barking dogs is the Furbo Dog Camera. It will send alerts to your smartphone when it detects barking, has two-way audio so you can get your dog's attention, and has a fun treat-tossing option that can be pre-programmed or done directly from the app.

Alert and territorial barking is a normal dog behavior. Plus, it's very reinforcing for your dog.

Just imagine what they're thinking: "I barked to tell that person to go away, and it worked! I've got to do that again next time!" Your dog doesn't understand that the person was going to pass on by whether they barked or not. Does this sound like your dog? Read on for tips on how to teach them to be quiet instead. 

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Topics: Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Dog Behavior, Alert Barking, Barking

Camping With Your Dog

 

What’s better than camping with a dog? The correct answer is: nothing!

In addition to the awaiting adventure, relaxation, and more smells than could ever be smelled in one lifetime, camping with your dog also comes with a fair share of challenges. What should you pack for your dog? How do you get there without a stressful car ride, and how to be safe when you set up camp?

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Dog Behavior, Pet Travel Safety, Come When Called, Hiking, camping

Hiking with Your Dog — Preparation and Trail Tips


Hitting the trails with your dog is a wonderful way to explore the great outdoors and reap the benefits of being outside and physically active. Hiking not only provides your dog with much needed exercise, but also gives their noses and brains a work out too. Plus, studies have shown that spending time outside surrounded by green space reduces human stress levels and has other medical benefits.

Going on an adventure together as a team builds the bond you share with your dog and makes your relationship stronger. Before you take your dog on a hike or on a longer backpacking or camping trip, take these steps to ensure your pup’s safety while on the trail and you can reap the benefits of a fun trip together.

Want to learn more about your dog's behavior and get some training tips? We've  got 101 more for you here!

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Dog Behavior, Pet Travel Safety, Come When Called, Hiking

Home Alone: Why It's Important to Teach Your Dog to be Alone


At some point in their life, your dog will need to be left alone. Unfortunately for us, we just can’t take them with us everywhere we go. (Nor should we ... don't forget about the dangers of dogs, and especially puppies, in hot cars!) An important part of raising your puppy or welcoming a new dog into your life is to help them get used to being alone.

If your dog never learns how to stay calm when home alone for varying amounts of time, they can develop separation anxiety — which is a tough condition to treat. It’s much easier to prevent separation anxiety than it is to fix after the fact, and teaching your puppy or dog how to be alone is the number one thing you can do for anxiety prevention.

Dogs are social creatures and it's important they share in daily life and get to spend time with their family. But taking the time to make sure they will feel A-OK if you need to leave them at home for a bit is essential for their mental well-being.

Follow these tips to help your pup learn that being alone is just fine:

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Topics: Behavior & Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Anxiety in Dogs, Dog Behavior, Separation Anxiety, new puppy, puppy tips

How to Teach Your Dog the Emergency Recall


The Emergency Recall is an incredibly useful tool to keep in your training toolbox. It's meant to be used in potentially dangerous situations where you need your dog to come back to you as quickly as possible. Imagine if your dog bolts through your front door at the sight of a squirrel and is running full tilt towards a busy road (check out this article about what to do if you have a dog who likes to door dash). The Emergency Recall can be used to stop your dog from running into the road and being hit by a car. It can also be used in environments like the dog park, where your dog might be off leash and running towards another person or dog and you need them to leave those distractions alone. You can teach your dog this cue in just 4 easy steps!

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Topics: Dog Training, Emergency, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Dog Behavior, Come When Called

Do Dogs Need a Daily Routine?


You might have heard that keeping your dog on a daily routine helps with behavior and training — which is true in some cases. But sometimes a strict adherence to a routine creates anxiety issues in your pup when all of a sudden they have a day where the routine gets thrown out the window. Lots of unplanned events can pop up and you don't want your dog to become stressed if they don't get their walk at the normal time, or you won't arrive home until later than usual.

For dogs that suffer from separation anxiety or isolation distress, they are extremely aware of routine events that predict your leaving, which triggers their anxiety. When working on separation anxiety with your certified dog trainer or board-certified veterinary behaviorist, modifying your pre-departure routines might be one of the first steps of treatment.

So when is a routine helpful versus a hindrance? Let's look at different reasons a routine might be a good choice for you and your dog, versus when you might want to mix it up.

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Topics: Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Anxiety in Dogs, Dog Behavior, Potty Training, Separation Anxiety, new puppy, puppy tips

Preventing Separation Anxiety When You Work From Home


As a dog owner, working from home is the best! You don’t have to worry about finding someone to walk your dog, you have excuses to take breaks throughout the day, and (bonus!) you get to work with the best coworker! But, are you giving your dog enough time alone?


Dog owners who work from home or are retired and home most of the time are faced with dogs who can become used to constant companionship. These dogs can have a tough time being left alone for any time at all, and if the owner’s schedule or lifestyle changes and they are no longer present all of the time, these dogs can have a very tough time adjusting.

If your dog never gets used to spending time alone or learning how to entertain themselves, they can start to develop separation anxiety.

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Topics: Behavior & Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Anxiety in Dogs, Dog Behavior, Separation Anxiety, new puppy, puppy tips

How to Help A Dog That’s Missed Early Socialization


Missed the early socialization window? – There's still hope!

Considering or just adopted a timid older puppy or adult dog that clearly didn't have the best early life socialization? Or recently got a new puppy but were told to keep them locked away and not introduce them to any other dogs or bring them out and about until all of their puppy shots were done and you've now missed their early (3–4month old) socialization window? Sadly, these are scenarios that are (still) far too common. But all hope is not lost!

Yes, there’s no doubt or debate about it … proper early life socialization (i.e., before 16 weeks old) is very important for a dog’s wellbeing and development and, if you’ve missed their critical early “socialization window,” you’re definitely starting behind the proverbial "8-ball." But people have made some pretty impressive shots from behind 8-balls actually, and you can too!

Here’s some information, tips, and resources to help you help your previously under- or unsocialized dog get more comfortable with the world. (And be sure to check out the encouraging and heartwarming video and story at the end to see just how far some of these dogs can come, even when getting some of the worst starts in life possible!)

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Topics: Dog Health, Socialization, Training, Dog Behavior

How to Clicker Train Name Recognition


Attention is an important part of your relationship with your dog, and you can create a simple way to get your dog’s attention by teaching them their name.

This can be useful in a variety of situations; it’s a wonderful way to prevent unwanted behaviors, such as barking at a passing bicycle or grabbing a piece of trash off the sidewalk. If your pup is too busy looking towards you, they can’t be barking at things or chewing on inappropriate items.

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Topics: Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Dog Behavior, new puppy, puppy tips, Dog communication

Pee Pad Training: Is it a good idea?


Puppy Pee Pad Training — Pros & Cons

Congratulations on your new puppy! Puppyhood is a fun stage of your dog’s life, where you’ll get lots of licks and laughs, but there’s also lots of work to do to set your puppy up for success. You want to make sure you show your pup how to be a well-behaved member of the family, and, if you value your floors and your sanity, it starts with potty training.

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Topics: Dogs, Dog Behavior, Potty Training, Adopted Dogs

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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