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Training Your Dog Without Treats


There are lots of different things that you can use instead of treats to train your dog! While dog treats are an incredibly powerful reward that motivate most dogs most of the time, you shouldn't have to rely on a piece of turkey in your pocket for your dog to listen to you. 

Real-life rewards are non-food items or activities that your dog finds enjoyable and rewarding. What your dog finds rewarding might change depending on what's going on in that moment. Dog trainers are always asking "what does the dog want in this moment?"  Then they can use that as a reward for the dog! While a lot of dogs will always take a treat, in many cases what the dog actually wants is a real-life reward.

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Dog

Homemade Dog Treats – Fluffernutter Kisses


I was excited to get to try out this new recipe for dog treats since I’ve traditionally bought my dog’s treats or stuffed a KONG for my dog. I was able to put my baking skills to use without forcing my husband to eat yet another cookie that I stress baked while social distancing at home. And my dog was excited to finally be the taste tester of a baking session.

Finding low calorie treats that are nutritious, delicious, and have recognizable ingredients can be tough and expensive. Making your own dog treats can be an inexpensive, fun way to make sure your dog is getting healthy, nutritious, and delicious treats that are also good for their weight. 

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

How to Use Toys as Rewards in Dog Training


Does your puppy love to play? Is your dog not very motivated by food treats during training sessions? Are you trying to train without food treats in your training program?

You can use toys and play as an effective and easy way to train your dog. Not only will you have an option besides food treats, but playing with your dog builds a strong relationship — and it's fun for everyone!

If you're not quite sure how to use toys the right way when training your dog, we've got you covered. Read on to learn the basics, along with dog trainer tips and top toy reward picks. 

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Dog, Dog toys

The Top 3 Reasons Your Dog Doesn't Do What You Want


It can be really frustrating when our dogs don’t respond when we need them to, not to mention scary if their lack of response puts them in danger. But your dog's non-response isn't because they are ignoring you, being stubborn, or they've decided to do something else even though they "know better." Dogs simply don’t think that way.

So why does your dog not do what you want? Let’s look at the top reasons your dog isn’t doing what you ask.

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog

How to Teach Your Dog To Do Anything in 4 Easy Steps


Do you want to teach your dog a neat new trick? Are you just getting started with puppy training and want to teach your dog the basics? I’m going to let you in on a dog trainer secret — when teaching dogs a new skill, no matter how simple or complex the behavior we want to train, we follow the same process every time. And once you learn this process, you can teach your dog anything! 

One of my goals as a dog trainer is to equip my human students with the tools to understand how dogs learn and the training mechanics for them to easily and effectively put into practice on their own. This means they'll have the means to train their dog for life, not only building a robust human-canine relationship but also helping to prevent problem behaviors. This empowers them to pursue lots of different activities with their dogs, from competition obedience to other dog sports like Canicross, Flyball, or Agility.

Let’s look at the process of how to teach your dog to do anything. Once you know these 4 steps, all you need is some creative thinking, problem-solving skills, and practice!

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs, Puppy Training

What to Do When Moving with Your Dog


Moving is one of my least favorite things. Yes, there’s the excitement of setting up a new home and exploring the neighborhood, but it’s the little things that I wish would just take care of themselves — the packing, the heavy boxes, the boxes that were never unpacked from the last move (should I just throw it away already?), the unpacking, the utility transfers and account cancellations … it can be really stressful!

I recently moved into a new home and thought a lot about how to make the move as stress-free as possible for my dog Sookie. Moving when you have a dog adds another layer of preparation and management, but with some planning and extra care, your dog can acclimate quickly to their new home.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Safety, pet safety tips, Dogs, Puppy Training

How to Teach Your Dog to Stay


Teaching your dog how to stay is essential for their safety and your peace of mind — it's one of our Top 6 Important Behavior Skills to Train to Keep Your Dog Safe. Stay is quite useful in lots of different situations, from being able to look both ways before crossing a street while out on a walk, to preventing door dashing when you have guests over. It's also a wonderful cue to practice your dog's impulse control and encourages calm and relaxation. Let's first look at what stay means from a dog training perspective before jumping into the how-to of training your dog to stay.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Safety, pet safety tips, Dogs, Puppy Training

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

Teach Your Dog Leave It


Leave It is one of the top 6 most important dog training commands that keep your dog safe, and it's easy to start training! Leave It training is a great impulse control exercise for your pup and teaches them that not everything in the world is theirs for the taking.

It's extremely useful for when food or medication falls on the floor, which can be toxic for dogs. Some dogs think of themselves as vacuum impersonators and will try to eat everything they encounter on the ground, whether at home or out on a walk. Being able to tell them to leave something alone prevents ingestion of harmful items or possible intestinal obstruction. Leave It is also an important skill to have in your training toolkit if you live in an area where your dog might come in contact with snakes. See this article about teaching your dog snake avoidance to learn how to apply Leave It in those potentially dangerous situations.

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

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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