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How Not Leaving Your Dog Alone Can Help with Separation Anxiety


Starting the journey of treating your dog's separation anxiety can feel overwhelming. Treating separation anxiety involves a commitment of time and effort, and often requires investment in expensive management tools and resources.

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Topics: Behavior & Training, Training, Dog, Anxiety in Dogs, Dog Behavior, Separation Anxiety

My Dog's Separation Anxiety Journey: How Calmer Canine Helped Mary Berry


Our dog Mary Berry has been on the anxious side since we  brought her home as a puppy. The smallest noises or movements can still send her skidding across the room. She’s fairly timid and shy around new dogs and experiences. You’ll find her socializing with the humans and snubbing her doggy friends at the dog park.

While her general anxiety wasn't overly troublesome, her separation anxiety made us worry about leaving her alone. We thought that maybe Mary Berry would grow out of her separation anxiety, but when her symptoms stuck around for more than a year, we knew we needed to address it.

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

The Top 3 Reasons Your Dog Doesn't Do What You Want


It can be really frustrating when our dogs don’t respond when we need them to, not to mention scary if their lack of response puts them in danger. But your dog's non-response isn't because they are ignoring you, being stubborn, or they've decided to do something else even though they "know better." Dogs simply don’t think that way.

So why does your dog not do what you want? Let’s look at the top reasons your dog isn’t doing what you ask.

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Training, Dog

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:

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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)."

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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.

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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. It's also an important behavior to train because it can prevent resource guarding from developing, as well as help treat resource guarding behavior. (If your dog guards certain items from you, please contact a certified dog trainer or canine behavior consultant go begin a training program.)

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.

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

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.