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How can I crate train my puppy?

By Inga MacKellar - MSc | 27 November 2018 |
A puppy in a crate

Many owners feel worried about persuading their new puppy to sleep in a dog crate as they think of it as a ‘cage’.  However, crates can actually help a young dog to feel more secure as they come to see it not only as a bed of their own, but as their den and their place of safety. As crates are moveable and transportable, your dog will feel secure in it wherever you go – whether you’re away on holiday, moving home, or in the car, it is your dog’s…

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How can I get my puppy used to going to the vet?

By Claire Hargrave - BSc(Hons), MSc, PGCE, C Sci, C Chem, MRSC, DAS(CABC), CCAB | 27 November 2018 |
A puppy being given a pill by a doctor

Your vet will be an important person in your puppy’s life, so it pays to start the relationship on a positive footing and keep it that way. Here are some top tips to make your puppy’s vet visits calm and stress-free, from the very first time Mock exams Try to get your puppy used to being physically handled before their first vet visit. This will help the vet by allowing him or her to do a thorough examination without the puppy becoming nervous or stressed. Get your puppy used to…

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How do I make walks safe and fun?

By Claire Hargrave - BSc(Hons), MSc, PGCE, C Sci, C Chem, MRSC, DAS(CABC), CCAB | 27 November 2018 |
A puppy looking up at its owner whilst out on a walk

Walks are one of the great pleasures of dog ownership, but keeping things enjoyable for both you and your pet is a learning curve. It’s not as simple as putting a lead on your companion and heading out, there are all manner of things to be considered to ensure that you return home happy. If your dog isn’t yet fully trained, or is nervous in certain outdoor environments or around other dogs, walks should be approached carefully, as there will be plenty for him or her to get used to. Back…

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How to stop your puppy biting

By Ross McCarthy - MA FCFBA MBIPDT MGoDT (MT) AMBPSCA | 27 November 2018 |
A puppy nipping at the ankles of its owner

Play-biting can be almost an unnoticed phase with some puppies, but for many owners, mouthing and play-biting can be a serious and painful problem that can escalate rapidly rather than improve of its own accord. You may be the owner of a puppy with a tendency to chew – on you. Biting happens; a tiny puppy may take a petting session as an invitation to gnaw on your knuckles. But when does playful biting cross the line into something more worrying? And how can you be sure that your good-natured…

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Is night crying normal and how can I prevent it?

By Inga MacKellar - MSc | 27 November 2018 |
A puppy barking

Night crying can be a completely normal puppy behaviour, but it may leave many owners upset, frustrated and possibly feeling as though they must be doing something wrong. Thankfully it usually doesn’t last long. Time, patience, and empathy for all the changes your puppy is experiencing are the best way to help them through the first few nights of crying in their new surroundings. Q. Why do puppies cry at night? A. Being separated from their mother, littermates and familiar surroundings can be traumatic for young puppies. Every sound and smell…

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Reading your puppy’s body language

By Claire Hargrave - BSc(Hons), MSc, PGCE, C Sci, C Chem, MRSC, DAS(CABC), CCAB | 27 November 2018 |

We know how important body language is in communication between humans, so as your puppy can’t speak to you, it is even more important to understand what your puppy’s body language is telling you. Understanding your puppy’s signals is not always easy, but here we look at four key stances to recognise and advise on how to react when you see them. Uncomfortable Ears flat, tail down, dog panting, blinking or raising paw These are signs your pet is uncomfortable and could escalate into growling or biting. Take your puppy…

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Why is play important for my puppy?

By Petplan | 27 November 2018 |
Two puppies playing with a piece of rope

Play has an important role in a puppy’s physical health and mental development. Young mammals play to prepare for adulthood, so it’s assumed that leaping fawns are learning to race away from danger, and that the kitten who pounces, bats and chases is getting ready to stalk and catch mice, whereas puppies are practicing the skills needed for a hunt as well as social interaction with a pack. Research shows that playful interaction with others helps the brain grow, so young animals learn faster. It also suggests that the experience…

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Do I need to be dominant with my puppy?

By Inga MacKellar - MSc | 23 November 2018 |
A puppy playing with a ball with its owner

Flawed research Until about 20 years ago, it was generally believed that the best way to train your dog was by using the theory of dominance. It was thought that you needed to show your dog who was ‘boss’ right from the start, and that you had to maintain that power balance throughout your dog’s life. However, most behaviourists and trainers now know that this concept is flawed and that positive reinforcement is the very best way to train and live happily with your dog. I believe that the concept…

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Common behavioural problems

By Petplan | 13 November 2018 |
A puppy walking on its lead

No matter how adorable and cuddly your puppy is there are times when his or her behaviour can be downright baffling. So what’s the solution? Helping your puppy to learn good habits that he or she can take into their adult years is key. Below are 6 common issues and practical solutions: — Q.  My 4-month-old Spaniel loves to play bite. It started as a bit of fun when he was younger and his teeth were tiny, but now he does it whenever I touch him. How can I get…

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Socialising your puppy

By Ross McCarthy - MA FCFBA MBIPDT MGoDT (MT) AMBPSCA | 13 November 2018 |
Four husky puppies with their owners

Each year, tens of thousands of puppies are not adequately socialised, causing many serious behaviour problems which are difficult to address later on. The most impressionable age for a puppy – and where the temperament is mainly formed – is between five and twelve weeks of age. Here are some top tips for getting your puppy prepared to socialise well with others and make plenty of friends. Before Vaccinations Even before your puppy is allowed to physically be around other dogs, there are things you can do to ease them…

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