<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1289632567801214&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
New Call-to-action

What You Should Ask a Dog Trainer (and What Their Answers Should Be)


Before you hire a dog trainer, you want to do your homework to make sure that you and your dog will be in the right hands. Training is an important part of dog ownership as it can keep your dog safe in certain situations, help them cope with stressful experiences, and builds the trust needed for a strong human-canine bond.

The dog training industry is unregulated, meaning anyone can call themselves a professional dog trainer, behaviorist, dog whisperer, behavior consultant, or pet expert. Unfortunately this has led to a regression in the types of dog training methods used to teach our furry friends, as uneducated and uncertified "trainers" are not up-to-date with the latest behavior science, humane methods, and are not held to any standard of business practice. These "trainers" tend to rely on the outdated alpha, pack theory, or dominance-based philosophies even though these have been shown to actually increase fear and aggression in dogs

Before signing up for a puppy class, group obedience class, board-and-train, or hiring a dog trainer for a private in-home lesson, you'll want to interview them to make sure they are qualified, use humane and science-based methods, and are the right match for your learning style. Below are questions that you should ask when interviewing a dog trainer:

Read More

Topics: Puppy, Training, Dog, Behavior

Alphabet Soup: What Does That Dog Training Certification Mean?


As you're interviewing a dog trainer to work with you and your dog, one of the questions you should be asking is if they hold a certification in professional dog training or canine behavior consulting. For more questions, you should be asking, read "What You Should Ask a Dog Trainer (and What Their Answers Should Be)."

Read More

Topics: Puppy, Training, Dog, Behavior

Alert Barking: The Dog Equivalent to "Get Off My Lawn!"


Does your dog have to let you know about any and every person or animal that passes by your home? There are many reasons a dog barks, and we call this kind of barking "alert" barking or territorial barking – something that we humans originally preferred dogs to do, and we bred for it in the domestication process.

I personally prefer that my dog bark once or twice to let me know that someone is approaching my door. However, alert barking becomes a nuisance when your dog is constantly reacting to everyone they see or hear walking by your home. Many apartment dwellers deal with alert barking (and frustrated neighbors) when their dog barks any time someone passes by their door, gets out of the elevator, or closes their own apartment door. The proximity of all the noises can be tough in an apartment setting for a dog. In this article we’ll talk about what you can do to teach your dog not to bark at people or things they hear passing by or see through the window.

There are a few different reasons dogs will bark besides alerting to someone or something outside. It could be due to boredom, anxiety, fearful reactivity, or they’ve learned that barking gets them attention (even if this is just you yelling at them to stop), which is called "demand" barking. First you have to figure out what is causing your dog to bark, which then determines how to approach this problem behavior. A certified dog trainer can help you determine the trigger for your dog's barking if it isn't immediately obvious, and a wifi-enabled pet cam can also help. The most useful one for barking dogs is the Furbo Dog Camera. It will send alerts to your smartphone when it detects barking, has two-way audio so you can get your dog's attention, and has a fun treat-tossing option that can be pre-programmed or done directly from the app.

Alert and territorial barking is a normal dog behavior. Plus, it's very reinforcing for your dog.

Just imagine what they're thinking: "I barked to tell that person to go away, and it worked! I've got to do that again next time!" Your dog doesn't understand that the person was going to pass on by whether they barked or not. Does this sound like your dog? Read on for tips on how to teach them to be quiet instead. 

Read More

Topics: Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Dog Behavior, Alert Barking, Barking

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?

Read More

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!

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Teach Your Dog Drop It


Dogs seem to love putting anything and everything in their mouths, and often they grab items that could be quite dangerous to their health. One training client of mine had a pup that loved to swipe kitchen knives off the counter and run around the yard with them. Yikes! Drop It is one of the top 6 most important dog training commands that keep your dog safe, since you don't want your dog swallowing inappropriate items that could be toxic or cause an obstruction or internal tissue damage.

I love training Drop It using play as the main reward, such as a game of tug, fetch, or chasing a flirt pole. This sets you and your dog up to not rely on food treats for such an important, and possibly life-saving, behavior. Using the game of tug to teach Drop It also helps your dog learn proper play manners and builds their impulse control. Plus, playing with your dog is an excellent way to build a stronger bond. 

Drop It is used only when a dog already has something in their mouth that you need them to let go. If they haven't picked up an item yet, and you don't want them to, use the Leave It cue instead.

Want to learn more about your dog's behavior and get some training tips? We've  got 101 more for you here!

Read on to see how easy it is to teach your dog to drop things on cue.

Read More

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

Home Alone: Why It's Important to Teach Your Dog to be Alone


At some point in their life, your dog will need to be left alone. Unfortunately for us, we just can’t take them with us everywhere we go. (Nor should we ... don't forget about the dangers of dogs, and especially puppies, in hot cars!) An important part of raising your puppy or welcoming a new dog into your life is to help them get used to being alone.

If your dog never learns how to stay calm when home alone for varying amounts of time, they can develop separation anxiety — which is a tough condition to treat. It’s much easier to prevent separation anxiety than it is to fix after the fact, and teaching your puppy or dog how to be alone is the number one thing you can do for anxiety prevention.

Dogs are social creatures and it's important they share in daily life and get to spend time with their family. But taking the time to make sure they will feel A-OK if you need to leave them at home for a bit is essential for their mental well-being.

Follow these tips to help your pup learn that being alone is just fine:

Read More

Topics: Behavior & Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Anxiety in Dogs, Dog Behavior, Separation Anxiety, new puppy, puppy tips

How to Teach Your Dog the Emergency Recall


The Emergency Recall is an incredibly useful tool to keep in your training toolbox. It's meant to be used in potentially dangerous situations where you need your dog to come back to you as quickly as possible. Imagine if your dog bolts through your front door at the sight of a squirrel and is running full tilt towards a busy road (check out this article about what to do if you have a dog who likes to door dash). The Emergency Recall can be used to stop your dog from running into the road and being hit by a car. It can also be used in environments like the dog park, where your dog might be off leash and running towards another person or dog and you need them to leave those distractions alone. You can teach your dog this cue in just 4 easy steps!

Read More

Topics: Dog Training, Emergency, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Dog Behavior, Come When Called

How to Stop Your Dog From Door Dashing


Does your dog see an open door as an invitation to take off on an adventure of a lifetime? Having a door darting dog can be a scary and stressful thing, especially if they ignore you when you try to call them back. It’s terrifying to imagine what could happen if they run into a busy road, or get lost in the great outdoors.

Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to prevent door dashing behavior and great training cues you can teach your dog instead!

Read More

Topics: Dog Training, Dog Safety, Behavior & Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog, Door Dashing

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.