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Teach Your Dog the Automatic Sit


Imagine walking with your dog around town and coming up to a crosswalk at a busy intersection. Your dog sits automatically with no verbal cue or prompting from you when you stop at the curb — not only do you and your pup look like obedience rockstars, but your dog is safe since they aren’t walking straight out into traffic.

Now imagine you encounter a friend while on your walk around town. Instead of rushing up to them and jumping, your dog sits politely at your side and waits while you two humans stop and chat. This can be your reality with some easy and consistent training!

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Safety, Loose-leash Walking, Behavior & Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Walking on a Leash, Dog, Benefits of training, Sit & Stay

Dog Harnesses: Helpful Tools for Loose Leash Walking


Teaching your dog how to walk politely on their leash is a lot easier and safer if you use a body harness.

Not only is a dog who pulls against their collar while on leash hard to control, but they're also in danger of some major health risks! Dogs who pull on leash can suffer a collapsed trachea, nerve damage, and other neck and throat injuries. For brachycephalic breeds (short-skulled and flat-faced dogs like Pugs, Boxers, French Bulldogs, etc.) harnesses are best to prevent any pressure on the neck and throat and exacerbating their already delicate face and short nasal airway. Using a harness helps to prevent these injuries from occurring and can also help you in training your dog to walk politely on leash.

A harness is a great alternative to aversive collars, giving you better control with a large, strong dog without relying on pain and discomfort. Harnesses provide another option for dogs that tend to slip or back out of their collars, as it's harder to wiggle out of a body harness than a regular flat collar. 

There are many kinds of harnesses and it’s important that you find the right kind for you and your dog. Keep reading to find out more about all the options.

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Topics: Dog Training, Leashes, Dog Collars, Dog Harnesses, Loose-leash Walking, Dogs

4 Easy Steps to Teach Your Dog to Go Potty On Cue


We’ve all been there – tapping our foot waiting in the dark or the rain for our dog to do their business. Don’t they know we’ve got things to do and people to see?

Teaching your dog to go to the bathroom on cue can be helpful in saving you time, as well as helping you potty train your pup. It’s easy as a puppy to get distracted by the sights and sounds outside and forget the purpose of the outing in the first place; sometimes they need a little reminder. Let's put it on cue!

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Pee-Pad Training, Potty Training, new puppy, puppy tips

Short and Sweet Training Sessions


When I first started training my mini Goldendoodle puppy Mary Berry, I was so excited to work on new tricks. I made sure to set aside lots of time to train her to “leave it,” had my training treats ready to go, a nice treat pouch clipped to my pocket, and I was ready to be the best puppy parent I could be. But then reality hit, and after just a few minutes of training Mary Berry’s attention was on everything but me. If you have a puppy, you can probably relate. You’ve got everything ready but they just won’t get with the program! You’re now frustrated and ready to give up. You try again later and get the same results. What went wrong? 

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

Be A Slot Machine: How to Fade Out Treats in Training


One of the ultimate goals in training your dog is being able to trust that they will do as asked without needing a food treat reward every time.

What dog owner wants to walk around with a pocketful of turkey everywhere they go, every day, for the rest of their dog's life? That's certainly not very realistic! (Thankfully, it's also not necessary.)

Dog treats are important and useful when first introducing a new behavior when you’re training your dog, and are an integral part of positive reinforcement training. We wouldn’t show up to work every day if we didn’t get a paycheck, and treats are a high-value currency to our dogs.

They deserve to get paid for their work. Unfortunately, one of the main reasons dog owners opt for more punishment-based or ‘balanced’ dog training is the myth that if they start with treats to train their puppy, then they’ll always have to have food treats to make a behavior happen.

Good news is, this simply isn’t true! It’s easy to fade out the use of food rewards while training your dog — and it’s one of the most important steps in teaching a behavior.

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Dog Treats, new puppy, puppy tips, Puppy treats, Dog treats for training, Schedule of reinforcement

How Human Body Language Can Affect Dog Behavior


There are a few things that we humans do that can be intimidating to many dogs. We approach dogs the same way we approach other humans: making eye contact, offering an outstretched hand, bending over to get closer. We also tend to move rather erratically, especially children, which can startle a dog or make them nervous because they don’t know what to expect. People aren’t doing these things on purpose — they’re being polite by our human standards!

Some dogs are naturally more shy and cautious than others, and need time to warm up to meeting new people. These dogs need all the help they can get in associating human interaction as being good and safe. It’s important to learn how to advocate for your dog and encourage polite and safe connections with new people. By being aware of how we greet and act around dogs, we can help them feel more at ease and prevent any unfortunate miscommunications between dogs and humans (including dog bites!) 

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Dog Body Language, new puppy, puppy tips, adjustment period, Dog communication

Dog Training Aversives: What Are They and Why Should You Avoid Them?



In the dog training world there is a constant debate about whether the use of aversive methods and tools has a place in training our dogs.

Not so long ago, it was widely accepted that training dogs to behave needed a firm hand and a dominant state of mind. Dog training and behavior books touted alpha rolls and leash corrections as the only way to make your dog stop jumping on people or pulling on leash.

Dog owners never really questioned these methods because they seemed to work – for the most part. But these techniques worked for the wrong reasons, and more often than not, the bad behavior was never “fixed” — it was simply suppressed. 

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

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

How to Prevent Foxtail Injuries and Remove Foxtails From Your Dog


Until you have a dog, you’ll probably marvel at rolling fields of grass at sunset. But once you have a dog, that bucolic scene can look more like a hotbed of potential pain and injury from foxtails (also called “grass seed awns”).

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Topics: Dog Training, Dog Walking, Children walking dogs, Dog Leash, Retractable Leash, Grass Seeds, Grass Seed Awn, Dog Booties, What's a foxtail look like, Foxtail, Hunting Dogs, Dog face protection

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

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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