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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

How to Speak Your Dog's Language


How to Better Communicate With Your Dog

Communication is key to living in harmony with our dogs, and this can be tough, since dogs and humans don’t speak each other’s language. Humans are quite verbal creatures — we rely primarily on our words to communicate how we’re feeling, tell each other about our day, ask for help, or give instructions.

Dogs, however, are not quite as verbal like we are. They ‘speak’ to each other (and to us) using changes in their body language; something as small as licking their lips or yawning can communicate something meaningful.

Fortunately, dogs love to learn! And they can do so quickly when we're communicating well with them and they have the right motivation. Who else finds themselves spelling out W-A-L-K when your pup is around so you don’t start the excited happy dance at the door before you’re actually ready to take them outside for a stroll? 

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

Take Advantage of Daily Dog Training Opportunities


Take Advantage of Dog Training Opportunities

When starting to train your puppy or new dog, there are many small moments in your daily routine where you can practice their basic manners.

The reinforcement you use does not always have to be food treats – food often works, but think about switching it up every so often. 

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

Playing Tug of War Without Encouraging Aggression in Dogs


Does tug of war make dogs aggressive?

You might have heard that playing tug of war with your dog, especially a puppy, puts them on the path toward aggression. If you’ve heard this, you’ve heard wrong. 

Playing tug of war with a dog will not necessarily cause them to become aggressive. How you play tug of war might lead to aggressive behaviors, but it’s remarkably easy to stay on the right path. Why would you want to? Well, playing tug of war with your dog can be extremely beneficial for both of you.

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Topics: Play & Environment, Dogs, Dog Behavior, Dog toys, aggression in dogs, how to play with your dog

Lights for Dogs at Night and How to Safely Walk Your Dog in the Dark


Nighttime safety for dogs is important any time of year, but even more so as the days get shorter and the dark settles in during autumn and winter. When waning daylight forces more people to take their dogs on walks in low-light conditions, it’s important to raise awareness that the pre-dawn and post-dusk hours are more dangerous for dogs. Sadly, it’s not uncommon for dogs to get hit by cars or sustain other injuries resulting from decreased visibility.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Walking, Benefits of training, Dog Behavior, Blog, Accidents with retractable leashes, Children walking dogs, Dog Leash, Retractable Leash, Self-illuminating dog collars, Walking your dog at night, Nighttime dog collars, Reflective leg bands for your dog, reflective gear for dogs, LED dog collar

Teaching Your Puppy to Stop Jumping


What could possibly be more adorable than a happy, bouncing puppy, amirite?

But most would agree that a bouncing 20, 30, or 50-pound adult dog is decidedly less cute.

Lots of puppies greet people by jumping. This is because dogs greet other dogs by sniffing each other’s faces… and other regions. When your puppy is bouncing like a fluffy little wind-up toy, they want to get up high enough to greet you properly. It’s no surprise that most people are happy to oblige their little ball of energy, scoop them up, and enjoy a few puppy kisses. But this becomes less cute with an adult dog. It might even stop being cute when they're still a puppy, like on those days when you only want to get through the front door without being accosted.

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

The Right Way to Stop Your Puppy From Nipping and Biting


The dreaded puppy teeth. Those unnervingly sharp little daggers hidden behind that adorable little face. Ouch!
 

Much like human babies, puppies explore their new surroundings by taking anything and everything they find and putting it in their mouth. Unlike human babies, a puppy’s mouth is not filled with soft gums, but needle-like teeth. It can be surprising just how much it hurts the first time a puppy chomps down on your arm or finger. But the real problem is when you realize that those cute little puppy bites might turn into a permanent habit, which is definitely not as cute or harmless in an adult dog.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Puppy, Dog, Dog Behavior, new puppy, puppy tips, aggression in dogs

Finding the Best Collar for Your Puppy


You’re preparing for a new puppy, and though it may not be one of the more exciting things on your new puppy checklist, you’re likely wondering what type and size of collar to get for your new fur bundle.
Maybe you’ve already stood in wonderment (and confusion?) in the dog collar aisle of your local pet supply store?

With so many different types of dog collars on the market, it can be difficult to know which kind is best for your new puppy. A standard neck collar works well to display your puppy’s identification and contact information should they become lost, but is it the best option when taking your puppy for a walk? From collars to harnesses, we’ll review the various options so that your puppy is best equipped for leash walking.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Dog Collars, Dog Harnesses, Dog Walking, Dog Behavior, Dog Tips, Dog Leash, Retractable Leash, Collapsing trachea, Laryngeal Paralysis, Larpar, Slipped disc, Horner's Syndrome, Dog Neckwear, Kennel Cough, Wobbler Syndrome, Neck Collar

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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