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Training Your Dog to Stop Using Potty Pads


Has your puppy decided that their potty pads are best used as a bed? Or consider their indoor grass patch their new favorite chew toy to shred? It might be time for your pup to transition away from using pee pads altogether. Or perhaps you've relocated from an apartment to a home with a yard, and want to take advantage of using the outside as your dog's only potty spot.

If you're ready to get your puppy or dog to stop using pee pads, you'll want to go about it the right way! When done too quickly, it can confuse your dog and result in potty accidents. Avoid just removing the pee pad or indoor grass patch altogether — that's asking for your dog to find an alternative "pad" somewhere else in your home (like your bathroom mat or hallway rug).

Read on for tips and tricks for teaching a dog who uses pee pads to only go potty outside.

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Topics: Dog Training, Dogs, Pee-Pad Training, Potty Training

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Jumping on You


While puppies jumping up for attention might seem cute, it's much less adorable when they're a full-grown 100 lb. dog leaping at your face. Not only can their nails scratch you up, but large dogs can knock you over in their excitement. And it's not just large dogs — small and medium dogs can just as easily knock over children or elderly adults. Toy breeds that jump on people might not be big enough to knock you over, but they can easily become a tripping hazard!

Beyond being a possibly dangerous behavior, it can be quite an intimidating experience to have a dog jumping on you. While the dog might be super excited and just want to say hi, a flying ball of fur, claws, and teeth can be quite scary for people not familiar with or comfortable around dogs.

Fortunately, stopping a dog from jumping on you or other people is easier than you might think — it just takes consistency on our part and setting your dog up for success! While it's always easier to start teaching a young puppy not to jump in the first place, it's never too late to teach a dog not to jump. Let's look at how you can teach your dog to stop jumping on you or other people and the reasons why dogs jump on people.

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

Resource Guarding in Dogs: What to Do (and What NOT to Do)


Resource guarding in dogs, also called "possessive aggression," can be quite alarming and scary for a dog owner to experience. You go to grab a chew that your dog has whittled down to a tiny piece, so they don't swallow it — but are confronted with teeth-baring, growling, or even lunging and biting. Or perhaps you go to sit down next to your dog on the couch and get a hard stare and a low growl. This can — and should — send a chill down your spine.

Resource guarding can happen between pets as well. A dog might act very possessive over their food bowl if another dog walks by. Or they might even guard you from the other dog, especially if there are food items or toys involved. If you've recently brought home a new puppy or adopted dog, your other dog might be showing some new possessive behaviors around their toys and food.

What should you do if your dog is guarding their food bowl, chew toy, or space? Your reaction to the behavior can either help resolve your dog's resource guarding or make it worse. Let's look at why resource guarding in dogs happens, what you should do to prevent it, and what to do if your dog exhibits resource guarding.

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

Reliable Recall: Teach Your Dog to Come When Called


A reliable recall, or come when called, is the most important thing you should train your dog to do. This behavior will help keep your dog safe and, at the same time, allow you to give your dog more freedom throughout their daily life. While your dog's recall is not a substitution for keeping them on a leash or in a fenced yard, it is a training skill that could save your dog’s life.

You must teach your dog that it's worth it to come when called whenever you ask, on leash or off (outdoors or indoors). Even more important, this should be done without the use of force or pain to make it happen. You simply don't need a shock collar to train a reliable recall.  A recently published study shows that dogs trained with positive reinforcement methods outperformed dogs taught using shock collars for the come when called behavior. They learned faster and responded faster than dogs trained using aversive training methods. There are many reasons you should avoid using shock collars altogether for training come when called (and every other dog behavior) — learn more in "Dog Training Aversives: What Are They and Why You Should Avoid Them."

Let's look at how you can teach your dog a rock-solid recall using fun, positive, and humane training techniques.

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

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, Dog toys, 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

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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