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Teach your dog his name

What’s in a name? Few things are more irritating than shouting your dog’s name over and over to no effect. Don’t assume your dog is ignoring you on purpose, though—especially if you have a puppy or recently adopted dog. Unlike people, dogs don’t automatically learn their names after hearing it just once or twice. Four…

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Fetch

Why teach fetch? Fetch is terrific exercise—and a tired dog is a better behaved and happier dog. It’s also an easy way to exercise your dog if your time or personal mobility is limited. Think of it as lawn-chair exercise: It can be done sitting down. How to train it. Start at your dog’s starting…

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How to Play Tug of War

First, forget the myth. For decades, dog owners have been told never to play tug-of-war with their dogs because it increases aggression in the dog. This isn’t true—every study done refutes the notion. Playing tug-of-war doesn’t turn your dog into a predator; he already is one. The game simply provides a safe and enjoyable outlet…

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Kitchen and Mealtime

Why bother with kitchen & mealtime training? Because you want to teach your dog not to be underfoot while you are busy in the kitchen, and not to beg for food or steal food off the counter or table. Train for good mealtime manners when you have time for it. Thanksgiving Dinner, for example, is…

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Training Walks

Why bother with training walks? Because every walk is a training walk: Your dog will learn something. Why not determine what that will be? Besides, you and your dog will both enjoy your walks far more this way. How to prepare. Step 1. Decide the following: What will you do when another dog crosses your…

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Out and About

Why bother training for public spaces? So you can confidently and safely take your dog with you anywhere, and make the experience an enjoyable one for you both. How to prepare. Step 1. Think about the types of challenges you are likely to encounter: In a pet store: Bins full of goodies, other dogs, people…

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Getting Puppy Ready for the Groomer

Grooming can be a stressful experience. Think about it from your puppy’s perspective: She will be left with a stranger for a good part of the day. That stranger will handle her a lot—holding her still, touching her all over. There will be new objects like scissors and nail clippers. Also a bath. And loud,…

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Qualities of a Good Therapy Dog

Size matters. Although many large breed owners might disagree, generally nursing homes prefer dogs that fit into laps or whose size won’t disturb the steady traffic of family, aides, physical therapists, nurses, etc., at the facility. Think 50 pounds maximum. However, small dogs are not always great therapy dogs. They need good impulse control and…

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The Lost Art of Leash Walking

AKC has just announced a new fitness incentive program for people and dogs called FIT DOG. Its goals coincide with the recommendation by the American Heart Association that people walk at least 150 minutes per week. People who walk their dogs 30 minutes three times per week receive a car magnet. (Personally, I’d throw in…

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