Adult dog nutrition and choosing a food

Once your puppy has reached adulthood, around twelve to eighteen months depending on the breed, his nutritional needs change. The extra nutrients and calories he used for growth as a puppy are no longer necessary. In fact, the excess nutrients in puppy food could cause obesity in an adult dog. At this stage in his life your dog needs a…

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Why obedience training

Some people see dog obedience training as cruel, as if it will take away their dog’s spirit. However, true obedience training allows you to communicate with your dog to build a relationship of trust and respect. Good trainers use commands to bring out the best in their dogs. Far from being a barbaric tool, training bridges the gap between human…

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Why crate train your dog

Some people consider crate training a dog to be mean or barbaric. However, if you take the time to see the crate from your dog’s perspective, you’ll find that crate training fulfills his innate desire for a safe place to call his own. Dogs are den animals. They want a secure, sheltered area to rest. If you’ve ever found your…

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Where, when, and how to train your dog

If you structure obedience training sessions to be short, simple, and positive, you and your dog will both look forward to working on the next big trick. Here are some tips on where, when, and what to train during a session.

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What is puppy socialization?

A socialized puppy is one that has been introduced to as many different sights, sounds, people, and situations as possible during his first few months of life (from approximately 3-4 weeks to 14 weeks of age). If a puppy isn’t properly socialized, as an adult dog he may react with fear or aggression toward those things he’s never seen or…

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How to paper train a puppy or dog

Housebreaking a new puppy or dog can seem like a daunting task, particularly if you live in a high-rise apartment building or don’t have ready access to an outdoor area. In these situations, paper training can be a useful way to house train your dog until he can hold himself long enough to make trips outside less frequent.

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Dog training the positive way

There are generally two approaches to obedience training: positive dog training, also called lure/reward training, and force/punishment. In positive training, the emphasis is on rewarding the dog for correct behavior. Only later in the training process are reprimands used to ensure the dog understands a command. This is the opposite of the force/punishment school of thought where the focus is…

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Leash training a puppy

A leash and collar are invaluable training tools that allow you to communicate with your puppy, they keep him safe and under your control, and most states require them when you take him to public places. You can begin leash training puppy within the first few days after he arrives home starting with the gentle introduction of a collar and…

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Dog behavior and training

Your dog may like to watch TV with you, but he’s a wild animal at heart. He has many of the same instincts and drives that his ancestors did. With a little practice you can learn to use these behaviors to your advantage when you train your dog. Two of the most important dog behaviors for training are…

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How to housebreak a puppy

Many owners dread housebreaking their puppy, but with a little knowledge it can be relatively painless. You can anticipate your puppy’s needs and reduce the chance of accidents with a simple schedule and a watchful eye.

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How to housebreak a dog

The key to housebreaking your dog is to make it as easy as possible for him to succeed. If you schedule all of his activities and look for behavior that signals he needs to go out, you minimize the chance that an accident will occur and your dog will grow more confident as a result.

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Tips on rewarding your dog

The following dog training tips will help you understand when and how to reward your dog to make obedience exercises as effective as possible. Your dog will learn quicker if you reward him at the precise moment he performs the desired action. When teaching the sit command, for instance…

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Basic training commands

Dog owners often misunderstand the reason for, and necessity of, basic training commands. First-time owners frequently approach commands as “tricks” rather than as tools to communicate with their dogs. Others skip formal obedience training altogether because they believe it takes too much time or demeans their dog. Teaching your dog training commands should be an essential part of your interactions…

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How to make dog training corrections

Corrections are an integral part of dog training basics. Because dogs can’t communicate in our own language, we have to make interactions with them easy to understand. This is done through binomial feedback. We offer only two possible outcomes in response to a particular command: we reward a dog for the right response (one possible outcome) or we correct him…

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Giving obedience training commands

Obedience commands allow you to connect with your dog and are the focus of dog training basics. Your tone of voice, gestures, and body language all determine whether your dog can understand you and respond accordingly. A good command can send your dog flying into action. A bad command will only lead to frustration. Ultimately, it’s all in how you…

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Dog training basics

Most people think dog obedience training only amounts to teaching a dog the meaning of words. However, to truly train your dog you have to make him understand why he should respond to your obedience commands. Only then will you be able to effectively communicate with him. The process isn’t difficult if you take a two-step approach to training.

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Your dog’s language

It’s important to understand dog language and how your dog communicates. You’ll gain insight into what he’s feeling and be able to interact with him in a way that he understands. This can make training easier, keep your dog from developing behavior problems, and deepen your relationship with him.

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Tips on house training your dog

The following house training tips should help you and your dog survive the training process with as few accidents as possible. Remember, learning how to house train a dog isn’t difficult if you keep a watchful eye and establish a routine that sets your dog up to succeed.

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Dog communication and smell

One of the lesser understood aspects of how dog’s communicate is through their use of smells. A dog’s sense of smell is more than 100 times stronger than a human’s. While a dog has some 200 million olfactory cells to register different odors, humans have only 5 million. This is one reason why scent and dog marking behavior is an…

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Your dog’s body language

The ability to interpret dog body language is an invaluable tool in training your dog. The way your dog carries himself, his ear and tail positioning, and even subtle facial expressions all provide insight into what your dog is thinking. If you’re able to read these signals properly, you’ll understand your dog’s personality and your bond with him will deepen.…

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How to crate train a puppy

You should begin crate training puppy shortly after you bring him home. Introducing your puppy to a crate from the beginning makes house training easier, provides a safe place to keep him when he can’t be supervised, and serves as an ideal way to travel with him. The sooner the crate training process gets underway, the sooner your puppy will…

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How to crate train a dog

Crate training your dog is a great way to provide a safe, comfortable environment to keep him while you’re away or when you travel with him. And learning how to crate train a dog is a simple process if you take your time and allow your dog to get used to the idea at his own pace.

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Tips for successful clicker training

Once you have a good idea of how clicker training works, keep the following tips in mind to perfect your technique and take your dog’s training to the next level. Remember that every click is a treat so once you’ve charged the clicker…

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Clicker train your dog to stay

The stay command is usually combined with other obedience training commands like sit or down, as in sit-stays and down-stays. Once your dog can reliably respond to the different positional commands, clicker training him to stay in place just takes a little patience and practice.

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Clicker train your dog to sit

Using a clicker to teach your dog to sit on command is usually the easiest obedience training exercise to start with. You can either capture the behavior when he offers it or use a lure to guide your dog into the sit position. It all depends on how much he likes to sit on his own. Once he sits reliably…

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What is dog clicker training?

Based on the principles of operant conditioning, clicker training is a simple method of positive dog training. When your dog does something you want him to do you “mark” the behavior with a sound, usually the sound of a metal clicker. You then give him a reward such as a treat or favorite toy which reinforces the behavior and prompts…

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Clicker training a dog to heel

The heel command is not a substitute for teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash. Like other obedience training commands, it’s a cue to direct your dog and keep him under control in situations where he could get into trouble. These include walking down crowded streets or in areas with lots of enticing distractions. Training your dog to…

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Clicker train the down command

The method used to clicker train your dog to lay down on command is nearly the same as the non-clicker method. The main differences are: 1) you’ll use the clicker to mark the moment your dog is in the proper position, and 2) the verbal cue will be added after he understands the behavior.

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Clicker training your dog to come

Teaching your dog to come when you call him can be one of the most difficult parts of basic obedience training. You’re asking him to stop what he’s doing, ignore all the distractions around him, and return to you. That’s no easy feat. It can take a long time to develop a reliable recall, so be patient and practice often.

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How to get a behavior for clicker training

One of the harder parts of clicker training your dog will be getting him to do what you want so you can click and treat. There are two kinds of behaviors you can use. First, you can wait for your dog to do something you think is worth repeating, also known as “emitted” behavior. Second, you can help your dog…

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Train your dog to target an object

Targeting is a great clicker training exercise to teach your dog. The idea is to get your dog to touch an object with his nose. Once he learns to touch a particular target you can use that object as a lure instead of food. Targeting also makes it easy to train more complex behaviors like ringing the doorbell, turning out…

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Charging the clicker to start training

Activating or charging the clicker is the first and most important step when getting started with clicker training your dog. This is what makes the whole process work! The click! sound signals to your dog that he offered the behavior you want and will be rewarded for it.

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Choosing the right dog trainer

Joining a class taught by a professional dog trainer is an indispensable part of your dog’s obedience training. A professional can help you fine-tune the basics of obedience exercises and help you troubleshoot problems. A class setting also helps your dog learn to socialize and gives you an opportunity to meet other dog owners. Choosing a professional dog trainer isn’t…

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Teaching a dog to stay

One of the most difficult obedience training exercises for a dog to learn is usually the stay command. Rather than getting rewarded for a particular action, when teaching your dog to stay the reward comes when he does nothing. It can be a hard concept for him to understand at first, but with patience and consistent practice a sixty second…

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Teach your dog to sit on command

Training your dog to sit is one of the easiest and most useful exercises in obedience training. The sit command can solve a number of simple behavior problems and put your dog on the road to being well-mannered. It’s the equivalent of teaching him to say “please” before greeting guests, going outside, eating dinner, or doing any of the activities…

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How to make a dog heel

The purpose of teaching a dog to heel is to keep him by your side or slightly behind you so that he walks at your pace. Heeling can mean the difference between a leisurely walk around the block and being dragged down the sidewalk. As an obedience command, heeling is also useful on crowded streets and crosswalks where you want…

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Teaching your dog the down command

After your dog has learned to sit, you can build on his newfound knowledge to teach him to lay down on command. The down command is a great way to settle your dog if he gets too rambunctious. It can also keep him in place while you eat, clean the house, or do other things that don’t require the special…

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Teaching a dog to come on command

Of all the basic obedience training commands, the recall is usually the one dog owners have the most trouble with. It can be easy to teach a dog to come when called in the beginning. But as he gets older, his recall may get to be unreliable. The trick to make recall training stick is to keep from accidentally teaching…

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The cure to dog behavior problems

So, you’ve analyzed your dog’s behavior problem and you’ve come up with ways to manage him so it doesn’t grow out of control. Now you can get to work on a long-term solution. The cure is to teach your dog new ways to deal with a situation that would normally trigger his bad behavior. This is done through positive reinforcement…

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Understanding submissive urination

If he’s otherwise healthy, a dog that spontaneously urinates when he greets visitors or when you come home from work every day may have a problem with submissive urination. In the world of canines, a dog that wants to diffuse a potentially aggressive situation or show that he’s subordinate will urinate in the presence of another dog. This behavior is…

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How to stop dog jumping

Often starting during puppyhood, dog jumping can be a serious behavior problem. It seems innocent while your dog is young, but as he grows it can become extremely irritating. This is especially true if he’s from a larger breed, although toy dogs are no exception. If your dog jumps on you, he’ll definitely jump on other people. This can create…

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How to stop a dog from chewing

It would be difficult to stop dog chewing entirely because all dogs are born with the natural instinct to chew. Unlike humans, dogs use their mouths to explore their environment. The chewing behavior itself is often not the problem; it’s what your dog decides to chew on that can be annoying. Regardless of the motivation, destructive chewing can easily be…

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How to stop a dog from barking

The first step in any approach to stop dog barking is to understand why your dog barks. Because he can’t talk, barking allows your dog to express himself. Sometimes he may bark as a warning or because he’s afraid. Other times he may simply bark out of boredom, which can upset neighbors. Below are some common reasons why dogs bark…

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Shy dogs

A puppy that’s not encouraged to build self-confidence can become an overly shy dog. It’s during a puppy’s socialization period that his confidence is instilled. Some breeds tend to be more timid than others, however, shyness can become a serious behavior problem with any dog that’s not properly socialized. Shy dogs tend to be afraid of everything from people and…

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How to stop a puppy from biting

People often want to stop puppy biting without realizing it’s an essential part of their dog’s development. If your puppy doesn’t bite, he can never learn bite inhibition and may develop behavior problems as an adult. Biting shouldn’t be stopped, but it can be controlled with some simple techniques to teach your puppy how and when to bite.

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Managing your dog’s behavior problem

Managing or preventing dog behavior problems is an important step in solving them. Once you know what triggers the bad behavior and how it’s being reinforced, you can avoid those situations that drive your dog to the dark side. Then you can teach him alternative or incompatible behaviors as a more permanent solution.

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Managing dog separation anxiety

Some of the most common behavior problems in dogs are triggered by separation anxiety. Because dogs are pack animals, they can get anxious when left alone for too long. Some dogs will resort to excessive barking, whining, or destructive chewing to relieve their frustration. Focus on your dog’s feelings of isolation and you’ll likely cure him of other problems in…

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Dogs and food aggression

To understand food aggression you have to consider where the behavior comes from. Guarding food is a natural instinct that derives from a dog’s pack behavior. When other animals are a threat, a pack will guard its food in order to survive. This food aggression instinct exists in every dog and can be triggered if a dog feels threatened while…

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How to stop a dog from digging

There are numerous reasons for dog digging. Your dog may want to dig a hole to keep warm in the winter or cool on a sunny day. He may be genetically predisposed to dig for mice or small animals, which is particularly true of certain breeds like terriers. Your dog could also be digging out of boredom or just for…

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How to stop a dog from biting

Owning a dog that bites can be a serious issue. You need to be honest about how far your dog’s particular behavior problem has progressed before you can deal with it properly. There are lots of reasons why a dog will bite and there are several levels of biting, from a puppy that nips at your hands to an adult…

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Understanding coprophagia in dogs

One of the most discouraging and disgusting habits a dog can have is eating poop, a behavior known as coprophagia. This condition can develop for numerous reasons, including unclean living conditions during puppyhood or as a response to a medical condition. Rest assured that if the behavior is properly dealt with, most dogs can quickly overcome it.

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How to analyze a dog’s behavior problem

The first step in dealing with dog behavior problems is to understand why your dog acts the way he does. He probably didn.t turn bad overnight. (The exception would be irregular or aggressive behavior as a response to a medical condition.) Most behavior issues start small and grow out of control as the behavior is continually reinforced. If you look…

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How to choose a dog leash

Picking the right dog leash is a simple task if you keep in mind that, above all else, it’s a training tool. A fifty dollar leash with a leopard print won’t be of much use if it doesn’t allow you to keep your dog under control. The best leash is one that will help you communicate to your dog what…

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Wire crates

A crate is probably one of the first purchases you’ll make after adopting a new puppy. Not only does a crate expedite the house training process, it provides your dog someplace safe to call his own. Below you’ll find the pros and cons of a wire dog crate, one of the many types of crates available. Some of the advantages of wire crates include…

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Where to find a dog breeder

Once you’ve settled on a particular breed with the characteristics you’re looking for, you’ll need to find a dog breeder who’s both reputable and responsible. There’s no substitute for a knowledgeable breeder when you’re looking to adopt a healthy purebred puppy, but it can be difficult to separate the breeder’s with your best interests in mind from those that are…

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Why not buy a pet shop puppy?

You’re in the mall and walk by a pet store. All of the children have their faces pressed against the glass to get the attention of the puppies in their cages. Some are sleeping and some are romping. When the pet shop worker takes one from the cage and gives it to you, he’s irresistible. But before you whip out…

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Are you ready for a dog?

Whether you should get a dog depends on what your expectations are of owning one. We have a list of questions to ask before you adopt a dog that can help you decide if your lifestyle and environment are right for raising a pet. But before you look at these, it’s more important to think about whether you even like…

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Consider senior dog rescue

Sure, puppies are cute and cuddly, but adopting an older dog can be a great alternative to buying a puppy. Consider the following advantages in giving a senior dog a second chance. Raising a puppy involves a lot of work, including house training and obedience training. You can easily find an older dog that has been house trained and knows…

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Questions to ask a dog breeder

In order to adopt a healthy purebred puppy that’s right for you, you’ll need to find a reputable, responsible breeder. The following is a list of questions to ask a dog breeder to determine whether they have a responsible breeding program and if you should adopt one of their dogs.

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Mixed or purebred puppy

Once you’re sure you’re ready to adopt a puppy, one of the first things to consider is whether to buy a purebred or a mixed puppy. While every dog deserves a good home and purebred, cross breed, and mixed breed puppies can all make wonderful companions, one may be a better fit for you than another.

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Puppy proofing your home

Before a new puppy ever crosses the threshold of your home, you want to make sure your house and yard are puppy proof. In every area that’s accessible to your puppy, get close to the ground and take a look around. Put things that are unsafe or off-limits out of reach, and check for objects that could be invitingly chewable.…

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Puppy’s first trip to the vet

As soon as possible after bringing your new puppy home, you’ll want to visit your veterinarian. Most breeders and rescue groups require an immediate veterinary exam in order for any health guarantees to be valid. You also want to make sure your new puppy is happy and healthy, and it’s the perfect time to get some last-minute guidance from your…

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Choosing a dog collar

A quick visit to the pet supply store will reveal a vast array of choices in collars. With so many sizes, materials, and colors, how do you choose a dog collar that’s right for your pet? What follows is a list of the types of collars and their uses, how to properly size a standard or slip collar, and safety…

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What is the puppy aptitude test?

The puppy aptitude test was created by Joachim and Wendy Volhard as a way to test behavioral tendencies and predict what a puppy will be like as an adult. During the test, various exercises are done with the puppy to determine the following…

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Adopting a dog from the newspaper

In addition to responsible breeders and animal shelters, there are private owners looking to find good homes for their dogs. If you decide to adopt a dog from a classified ad, there are two things to consider. First, owners will sell their dog because it has health or behavioral problems. Second, the owner may not be upfront with you about…

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Plastic crates

If you’re in the market for a dog crate, you’ll have to decide which type of crate is best for your dog, plastic or wire. What follows are the pros and cons of a plastic dog crate. Depending on your dog’s size and type of coat and what conveniences you’d like in a crate, a plastic version may be just…

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List of supplies for a new puppy

Once you find the right dog, you can begin to collect the various puppy products you’ll need to care for him. You’ll want to go shopping before you bring your puppy home since most of the supplies you’ll be purchasing can be used right from the start. If you take the time to prepare beforehand, you can avoid harried trips…

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How to name a new puppy or dog

It can be difficult to name a puppy. Because people have a strong attachment to their own names, there’s a desire to come up with a name that means something special. For dogs, however, things are a little different. Puppies don’t identify themselves with their names like humans do. They only recognize it as us asking for their attention. When…

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How to introduce a puppy to your pets

Dogs are pack animals with a dominance hierarchy. One dog leads and the others fall in rank behind him. If you’re introducing a new puppy to your dog or other pets, he’ll need to find his place in the pack and you can help him out. It’s best to introduce a new puppy to your adult dog in a place that’s…

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Introducing a puppy to your home

Once you’ve survived the car ride from the breeder or shelter, it’s time to introduce your puppy to his new surroundings. Try to keep visitors or abrupt changes in the environment to a minimum until your puppy is settled in. You want to make your home as relaxed and stress-free as possible.

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Why a dog chew toy?

It’s no secret that dogs like to chew on things. It’s a natural behavior that exercises their jaws and keeps their teeth and gums healthy. It also relieves the pain of teething for puppies. If you don’t provide an outlet for the behavior with dog chew toys, you could end up with a very unhappy, and potentially destructive, dog.

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How to choose a puppy

After you’ve settled on a particular dog breed and have decided where you want to adopt your new pet, it’s time to find the perfect puppy for you. There are various theories on choosing a puppy, from grabbing the first one you see to spending hours administering the puppy aptitude test to every puppy in a litter. Whether you go…

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Choosing a reputable dog breeder

If you’re ready to adopt a dog and you know the particular breed you’re interested in, then most of the hard work is done. You should have the information you need to find a dog breeder that’s responsible and trustworthy and that has the right dog for you.
The following is a list of traits that a responsible breeder will possess.…

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Choosing a dog breed

The American Kennel Club, the oldest and largest registry in the United States for purebred dogs, recognizes over 150 different dog breeds. In addition, there are over 400 other breeds in existence, including rare and cross breeds. This can make picking a breed a daunting task!
In order to choose a dog breed that’s right for you, set aside any preference…

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First night home with puppy

The first night home with your new puppy can be a trying experience for both of you. It’s the first time your puppy has spent the night away from his mother and littermates. Because dogs are pack animals, your puppy knows instinctively that being separated from the pack is dangerous. Whining and crying at night is your puppy’s way of…

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How to find the right dog for you

In order to find a puppy or dog that’s right for you, think about your personality and what you feel owning a dog means. Your new dog should fit your lifestyle and be comfortable in your home. Answering a few simple questions will help you narrow the field and find your perfect companion. Knowing what to expect from an adult dog…

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Seven weeks to find the right puppy

Learning how to choose a puppy that’s healthy takes effort and patience. Once you’ve found the right one, how do you know he’s ready to come home with you?
Timing can be everything. Ideally, the age to bring home a puppy is when he’s between seven and twelve weeks old. This is considered the critical socialization period in a puppy’s life,…

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What is a dog rescue group?

If you’re ready to adopt a puppy or older dog, a purebred rescue group can be a wonderful place to begin your search. Nearly every popular dog breed has an organization dedicated to rescuing, caring for, and placing puppies and older dogs of the particular breed. The dogs may have been abandoned by their owners and left in shelters or…

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Dog papers and registration

If you want to adopt a purebred puppy, you should make sure your breeder has the proper dog papers including documentation concerning the background and health of all their puppies. Before bringing home a purebred puppy or dog, the following are some of the things you should look for…

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How to choose dog dishes

You may be tempted to feed your dog from any container that’s handy, but a quality dog dish for food and a second for water are worth the investment. If you buy well-made dishes with features that make your dog more comfortable during mealtimes, you’ll save money in the long run and have a happier pet.

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Dog crate manufacturers

If you’re in the market for a dog crate, this list of manufacturers should help you in your search. Each of the companies below offers a wide selection of crates in a variety of materials and sizes, as well as other pet related products.

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Dog bite prevention

Dog bites are the second leading cause of injuries in children and over 75% of bite cases involve dogs that belong to the victim’s family or a friend. If you bring home a puppy or dog, take the necessary steps to protect your kids with dog bite prevention: supervise them when they play with the dog, teach them dog etiquette…

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The cost of owning a dog

If you saved the money most dogs cost over their lifetimes, you could buy a new car or take a trip around the world. Before you decide to adopt a dog, consider the cost, both monetarily and emotionally, of raising a healthy, happy puppy through adulthood. The cost of a dog is usually more the first year than each year after because…

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How to choose a puppy or dog crate

Your dog’s crate is more than just a place to keep him while you’re away. It’s a sanctuary, his home within your home. And at a cost of $30 to $200, a crate can be the most expensive item you’ll buy for your puppy or dog. You want to choose a crate that’s tough enough to last a lifetime with…

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Setting rules for dogs and kids

A study by the American Animal Hospital Association found what most people already knew to be true: parents are the primary caretakers of their children’s pets. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. If you set a few rules for dogs and kids before bringing home a puppy, you can get your kids to do some of the work,…

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Bringing home a puppy

Your new puppy may not be excited about going home with you. You’re taking him away from his family and all he’s ever known, which can make for a stressful situation. But, with a little preparation, you can ease his mind and set the tone of your friendship from your first car ride together.

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Before adopting a puppy or dog

Eight to ten million animals are abandoned to shelters every year, a quarter of them purebred dogs according to Humane Society estimates. Before you adopt a puppy or dog only to find out he’s not what you bargained for, ask yourself three simple questions.

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Dog rescue shelters

You can find a loving companion and give a good pet a second chance by adopting from a dog rescue shelter. Most dogs in animal shelters are at least a year old and some may have been abandoned because of behavior or health problems. But, with the right questions and a keen eye, you can easily find that doggy diamond…

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