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Homemade Dog Treats – Blueberry Meringue Kisses


Has your dog been (kindly) demanding more treats like mine has? One look at those sweet puppy dog eyes and I can't help but want to reward her for just being cute. And since I'm working from home because of COVID-19, we have these moments multiple times per day.

My pup Mary Berry and I would stop at the local pet food store at least once per week on our walks before social distancing began. Now that the trips to the pet store are few and far between, Mary Berry is sad she’s not getting as many specialty treats.

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Dog, Dog Treats, Dog Nutrition

How to Teach Your Dog to Lie Down


Teaching your dog to lie down when asked is an important training skill — it's one of the six things you should teach your dog to keep them safe. Not only is it useful in preventing unwanted behaviors such as door dashing, but it's also a great way to increase calm, settled behavior from your dog. With a trained down cue, you can more easily enjoy sitting outside a coffee shop with your dog while they're settled next to you. Down is also helpful when teaching your dog other behaviors and tricks, such as go to bed or roll over.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs, Puppy Training, Puppy Behavior

How to Get Your Dog Interested in Toys and Fetch


If your dog seems uninterested in the brand new toy you bought them, there are a few things you can do to encourage them to play. In some cases, a dog might not like certain toys or play, and that's okay! Other dogs might never have had the opportunity to engage in positive and fun play with toys or with people (especially if they're adopted). No matter your dog's history, personality, or play preferences, you can help them have more fun by teaching them how to play, finding the types of toys they enjoy most, and encouraging lots of goofy fun.

Playing with a dog reduces stress for us humans, but it's also vital for your dog's mental health. Playing together strengthens your bond with your dog and can help with behavior and training issues. Don't despair if your dog doesn't seem interested in toys, fetch, or play! Below are some tips on how to introduce new toys and ways to get your dog interested in playing fetch.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs, Puppy Training, Playing Fetch, Dog toys, how to play with your dog, Fetch, Puppy Behavior

2 Easy Ways to Teach Your Dog How to Sit


Does your dog know sit? This classic dog behavior is often the first thing people want to teach their dogs. Not only is it the most common cue other people will ask your dog to do when greeting them on the street, but it's a great skill to build up your pup's impulse control and prevent unwanted behaviors like jumping on people or door dashing.

Read on for easy steps to teach your dog to sit when asked. We'll talk about two different ways you can train this behavior, and when it can be helpful in building other training skills. Beyond just the how-to's, learn why asking a dog to sit might not be the best idea depending on the circumstances, and what to do instead. 

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs, Puppy Training, Puppy Behavior

How to Potty Train a Puppy


When you bring home a new puppy, you'll want to get started on house training as soon as possible. Potty training a puppy might feel daunting at first, but the steps are actually quite simple. It's staying consistent that's the tough part, especially if you have multiple members of your family helping you raise a puppy.

We've got ideas to help you set up a potty training schedule and tips to help your puppy stay on track with house training. 

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs, Puppy Training, puppy tips, Puppy Behavior

Dog Trainer Tips: Puppy Nipping and Biting


For some people, one of the most frustrating things about raising a puppy is dealing with nipping and biting. The good news is that it’s entirely normal for your puppy to want to nip and chew on any and everything they see — the bad news is that their needle-sharp puppy teeth can really hurt! You don’t want your puppy’s nipping turning into a lifelong habit. But, with consistent training and redirection, you can nip your puppy’s biting in the bud!

Beyond just nipping at you or other people, puppy mouths can get them in a lot of trouble. Puppies live as if nothing is off limits and want to put everything in their mouths. Besides working on nipping behavior as outlined below, make sure you start off with puppy proofing your home to help keep them out of danger.

Read on for tips on curbing puppy nipping, how to keep it from developing into a habit, and how to teach your puppy proper bite inhibition and impulse control.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs, Puppy Training, puppy tips, Puppy Behavior

Crate Training Your Puppy at Night


Crate training a puppy takes time and patience. Add in trying to help your puppy sleep through the night in their crate, the whole experience can feel much more frustrating! Even if your puppy is doing well eating their meals or taking daytime naps in their crate, sometimes sleeping in their crate at nighttime seems like a whole new ballgame.

Read on for our tips to help make crate training at night easier for both you and your puppy. We'll cover how to set up a puppy's crate to encourage nighttime rest, what to do if your puppy starts barking or whining during the night, and helpful puppy products. We've also documented the newest Preventive Vet team member, Portuguese Water Dog puppy Finnegan, as he worked through learning to sleep through the night in his new home.

As your puppy gets used to their very own nighttime "suite," you'll soon be getting that much needed shuteye that you've been missing. Having a puppy is, in some ways, similar to having a human infant at home (but thankfully, puppies mature much faster than human babies). Young puppies need lots of naps, can get cranky if they're tired, and lots of potty breaks to succeed at house training. Your puppy is learning all the time. The following tips and video examples should help as you navigate raising a puppy. Be patient and good luck!

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs, Puppy Training, Crate training puppies at night, Crate training your puppy, Puppy crate training, Crate training puppies, Puppy crate training tips, Crate training schedule, Puppy crate training schedule, Crate training a puppy, Puppy Behavior

Working Out at Home With Your Dog


If you’ve ever seen one of the many videos on Instagram or Facebook where someone is working out with their dog, you’ve likely thought about doing the same. It can’t be that hard, right? 

It can be very difficult, as I’ve found out.

As COVID-19 has closed gyms and recreation centers throughout the world, and even made outdoor workouts a bit more difficult, people have had to transition to at-home workouts. While I typically head to the gym to get a good workout in, I’ve had to alter my workouts and try to do similar exercises at home. And since I have a dog at home, I had to try to figure out how to workout with my dog in the same room.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Safety, Behavior & Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Benefits of training

How (and Why) to Teach Your Dog the Touch Cue


Teaching a dog how to touch their nose to a target is one of the first things I train. Why? Targeting can be used as a foundation for so many behaviors that we want our dogs to learn, from walking nicely on leash to coming when called. It's also a favorite of mine to use when practicing handling and skills that your dog will need when they're at the veterinarian or getting professionally groomed.

Teaching a dog to "touch" is also a great beginning behavior for us humans to practice our training skills and timing. And because it's so easy, I love starting with it because both dogs and humans feel successful from the get-go! Learn how to teach your dog to touch your hand when asked by following the steps below.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs, Puppy Training, Puppy Behavior

Homemade High-Value Dog Treats


I’ve been spending more time at home lately, so I’ve been using that time to teach my dog, Mary Berry, some new tricks. When trying to teach new behaviors, the treats I’ve been training with haven’t been as effective. I asked Cathy Madson, Preventive Vet’s certified dog trainer why this was happening.

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Dog, Dog Treats, Dog Nutrition

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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