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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: Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Dog Behavior, new puppy, puppy tips, 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: Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, preparing for a puppy, new puppy, puppy tips, 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: Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Multi-dog household, new puppy, puppy tips

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

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 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 when you need to get things done without bringing your puppy along, and means you don't need to feel stressed about crating them for too long.

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

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

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.

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

What to Put (and Not Put) in Your Dog's Crate


Outfitting Your Dog’s Crate Safely

What is and isn’t safe or OK to put in your dog’s crate is a pretty common question we get asked here at Preventive Vet. People often want to know … Is it ok to leave food or water in my dog’s crate? Should I leave one of my t-shirts in my puppy’s crate? What about towels and other bedding? Chews and other toys? 

Of course, every dog and every situation is different. Young puppies are different than adult dogs (in many ways!). Similarly, a dog just beginning their crate training is a different situation than a dog that’s already acclimated to and in love with their crate. All that said, there are some general insights and recommendations we can provide to help you as you ponder the safest and most comfortable “interior design” of your dog’s crate.

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Topics: Dog Safety, poisonous plants for dogs, Crate Training, Crate training puppies, Crate training tips, Potty Training, puppy tips

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!) 

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, Puppy, Dog, Dog Body Language, new puppy, puppy tips, adjustment period, 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.

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