What are the First Things You Should Teach a New Puppy?

Springer Spaniel Puppy Sitting in Grass
“Start training right away.”

That’s what you’ll hear if you add a new puppy to your family.

Good advice, but also overwhelming.

Puppies need to learn their names and basic commands but also how to walk on a leash, where to go potty and how to interact with other pets.

Where to even begin?

I turned to four experienced dog trainers and asked for their tips. You can’t go wrong teaching your puppy the following concepts right away, along with some of the basics, like potty training.

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How to Stop a Dog From Counter Surfing – 4 Tips

portrait of dog begging for food indoors

You set a bag of rolls on the counter and then head out to your car to carry in another grocery bag. You’re gone a whole 30 seconds and … the rolls are gone!

Raise your hand if your dog is guilty of this!

Do any of you have dogs that like to steal food off the counters? Not only is this frustrating, but it can even be dangerous if the dog takes something that could be harmful, like chocolate.

The following are a couple tips you can try to stop your dog from “counter surfing.” Unfortunately, it’s a fairly common problem. [Read more…]

6 Tips to Stop Your Dog From Marking in the House

Stop dog from marking in the houseIf you have a dog that marks in the house, I don’t have to tell you how frustrating it can be!

When a dog marks, he (or she) is leaving small amounts of urine around, usually to let others know that he was there. It makes sense in the animal world, but obviously it’s not something most of us want to allow in our homes or even in certain parts of the yard.

So, if you have a dog who marks or pees on things in the home, here are some tips on how to end this annoying behavior.

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I Love My Mutt: Five Perks to Owning a Mixed-Breed Dog

Ace the mutt

My mutt Ace is a big, drooly black Lab mix with long legs and a blocky head.

Most people think he’s some sort of great dane or hound mix, but all his mixed-breed DNA test could tell me was “50 percent Labrador.”

When I adopted my dog, I wasn’t set on any particular breed or mixed breed, but I did know I wanted to adopt a dog in need.

This allowed me to choose a dog based on personality, temperament and energy vs. the dog’s appearance, which is the best advice I can give anyone when choosing a dog.

I have to admit, I will have a much harder time ignoring a dog’s appearance the next time I head out to adopt. Like most of us, I’m now drawn to all the dogs that look like my current dog – the big, shorthaired, black dogs.

And while I love purebred dogs, mutts will always be special because of my first dog Ace.

In my opinion, here are some of the perks to owning a mutt:

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5 Tips for Bringing Your Dog to an Outdoor Restaurant

Tips for bringing your dog to outdoor restaurants

Do you ever bring your dog along to outdoor coffee shops or restaurants? Or do you wish you could?

It’s one of my favorite things to do with my dog Ace, but he’s had lots of training and practice. I know it’s not so easy for some dogs to remain calm when out and about.

If you like to bring your dog along out in public, please share your tips in the comments. The following are some suggestions from two dog trainers on how to make outings with your dog more successful.

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