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

Dogs Swimming: Safety in Rivers, Lakes, and Oceans


Swimming is a great form of exercise and entertainment for your dog. And if you live near a body of water such as a river, lake, or ocean (or are visiting one), the water can provide hours of fun for you and your dog.

Does your dog know how to swim?

It’s a good idea to get your dog used to the water at an early age, since not every dog naturally knows how to swim. You can help your pup get comfortable with the water by introducing them to it early and safely — whether it be in the local lake, at the beach, or even a pool in your own backyard. Learn more about teaching your dog to swim.

Water can also carry its own share of significant hazards for dogs that you should be aware of and keep an eye out for to prevent problems. Below is a list of the most common and serious water and swimming-related hazards for pups swimming in rivers, lakes, and oceans. After all … knowing is half the battle!

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Topics: Dog, Puppy, new puppy, puppy tips, Puppy Training, Water, Swimming, Water hazards

How to Use Dog Training Treats the Right Way


When you begin training your dog, it’s all about finding a reward that your dog is willing to work for. When we go to work, we expect a paycheck, and it’s only fair that we pay our dogs in their preferred currency for a job well done.

I don’t know about you, but I’d probably accept bacon as my preferred currency. Maybe that’s where the saying bringing home the bacon came from … but I don’t think bacon would pay the bills. (And please don't ever give your dog bacon... it's a sure recipe for painful and expensive pancreatitis!) 

Thankfully, almost every dog I’ve met is willing to do things for a piece of kibble, and even more excited to work for a little piece of chicken or cheese. You can take full advantage of your dog's desire for food, if you go about it the right way. Treats are just one tool in our dog training toolkit, and a very powerful one.

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Topics: Dog, Puppy, new puppy, puppy tips, Puppy Training, Dog treats for training, Puppy treats, Dog Treats, What are Good Training Treats for Dogs

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

Prepare For Puppy Class Like a Pro

Getting Ready For Your First Puppy Training Class

Now that you've found a great puppy training class, it's time to get the supplies you'll need to be ready for the fun! The more prepared you are, the more you'll be able to focus on learning with your puppy.

Below is a list of what you'll need and some of our favorite product recommendations. Be sure to check with your dog trainer about what else you might need to bring along, or their preferences for what types of leashes, harnesses, etc.

Let's first look at some easy tips on how to set your puppy up for success in a class environment with things you can do before and after class:

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Topics: Dog, Puppy, new puppy, puppy tips, Puppy Training, preparing for a puppy, Dog treats for training

Alone, But Together: Leaving Multiple Dogs Alone


Dogs who live in the same home can benefit from the company of their housemate while the humans are away, but it can be nerve-racking to leave two dogs (or more) alone together for the first time. Unless you plan on keeping them separate whenever you aren’t around to supervise, it’s important to get them used to spending time together alone!

Consider how you can set them up for success by providing the appropriate room set-up, addressing any individual problem behaviors, and slowly introducing periods of alone time together.

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Topics: Dog, Puppy, new puppy, puppy tips, Puppy Training, Multi-dog household

How to Set Up a Safe Space for Your Dog


Sometimes your dog just needs a break! Your dog might be naturally shy or nervous around different kinds of people, be fearful of loud noises or events, or dealing with anxiety. Creating a place your dog can escape to for some alone time reduces that anxiety and helps your dog cope with stressful situations. Even if your dog doesn’t suffer from fear or anxiety, it’s reassuring to have their own safe haven where they can go when they just want to relax for a bit.

By giving your dog the choice to leave a situation, you increase their confidence in dealing with uncertain or stressful situations. Your dog’s safe space is also a wonderful tool to teach your children boundaries when it comes to interacting with your dog — if the dog is in their safe space, the dog is wanting to be alone and not pet or played with. This can help prevent unfortunate bite incidents between the family dog and children.

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Topics: Dog, Puppy, new puppy, puppy tips, Puppy Training, Pet safety and houseguests, Dog Safety, Crate training your dog, Crate training dogs, Noise Phobias

Puppy Zone: How to Set Up a Long–Term Confinement Area


Will Your Puppy Be in Their Crate For a Long Time?

When you start crate training your puppy, it’s important to plan ahead for when you’ll be away longer than your puppy should be crated. This could be anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours, depending on age. Check out this article on how to crate train your puppy for guidelines and more on how long your puppy should be in their crate. Puppies need regular potty breaks and can't handle being crated for a long time. This is where setting up a long-term containment area comes in. Think of this area as the designated "puppy zone."

Having a puppy zone gives you peace of mind while you need to get things done without bringing your puppy along or stressing about them being confined for too long.

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Topics: Dog, Puppy, new puppy, puppy tips, Puppy Training, puppy proofing, preparing for a puppy, new puppy checklist puppy proofing, Potty Training, Separation Anxiety

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

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

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.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.