Tips & Tricks

What should I do if my dog is fearful at the vet?

Visits to the vet are stressful for most dog owners and their dogs. Whether it’s the annual check-up or our pet is sick, we automatically suffer along with them. When our dog is not only in pain but also scared, it is hard for most dog owners to bear to see their own animal suffer so much. Most of the time we talk calmingly to our dog, try to pet him, and stand by him. Unfortunately, there is a certain point when fear turns into panic and our dog hardly notices our presence. Our dog’s whole body is busy trying to escape or fight the unpleasant situation. Most veterinarians then react with safety measures e.g. muzzle, collar, fixation by an assistant, or in the worst case, because the treatment does not allow it otherwise, light sedation.

All this does not have to be!

We at Pupy would like to allow you to prepare your dog as well as possible for his visit to the vet, to avoid anxiety, fear, stress, and its consequences. The following 3 tips are especially right for dogs who have already had a bad experience at the vet.

Train with “Medical Training” different treatment situations.

Write yourself a list of treatment situations your dog has already had to go through. Sort the items on your list by the increase in your dog’s stress level. Once you have all the items sorted, begin training a treatment situation in which your dog has shown minor signs of stress. As time goes on, continue with more difficult treatment situations until you have worked through the entire list


If your dog reacts with aggressive behavior in stressful situations, or if you notice your dog threatening you during training, start with muzzle training first before training the other items on your list. This way your dog can wear the muzzle during the rest of the training and you and your dog can train together in a relaxed way.

Find a suitable veterinarian

Choosing a good veterinarian is very important, especially for fearful dogs. Vets should be able to recognize stress, anxiety, and fear and take countermeasures if necessary. Veterinarians with the “Fear Free” qualification are specially trained in helping any pet have a relaxed vet visit. Discuss with your veterinarian before treatment, preferably on the phone, what situations your dog is afraid of, so the practice team can adjust to your dog. Some veterinarians also offer a visit without a reason for treatment. Such appointments serve to give your dog positive experiences in the practice and he gets to know the practice team relaxed.

Train a relaxation signal

Relaxation signals can calm your dog in stressful situations and trigger a feeling of security. It is important to condition the signal beforehand in a relaxed situation. The relaxation signal can either be just a calming pat, or it can be associated with a word, melody, or scent. You can learn about conditioned relaxation in our app under the “Relaxation” category.

If you have any questions or comments about this topic, feel free to contact us. Have fun training with the Pupy App!


Avoid these 3 dog training mistakes

Many problems in dog training arise from small mistakes and inconsistencies. Often it is not because there is not enough training, but more because these mistakes are not communicated in the dog training. We at Pupy would like to introduce you to the top 3 mistakes in dog training and explain how you can avoid them in the future.

Mistake #1: Mistakes in communication.

Dogs are not humans, so we have to learn to understand and use their language. Unlike the talkative human, dogs communicate non-verbally, that is, through body language. The mistake many dog owners make is that while they give the correct verbal signal to their dog, their body language is the opposite. For example, we tell our dog to follow us, but we turn our body not in the direction we want to go, but in the direction our dog is pulling. Or we tell our dog not to jump on us when we greet him, but we reinforce it with body language by leaning down and petting him.

Tip: Learn your dog’s language before teaching him your own.

Mistake #2: Missing consistency

Changing the rules over and over again is something neither dog nor human understands. But especially in families or among couples it comes more often to so-called “exceptions” e.g. “Oh, it is Christmas. Today he is allowed to eat something from the table!”, “Today is Sunday, he is allowed to pull me to his favorite place” and so on. Unfortunately, dogs do not understand that these are “only” exceptions. Because if a certain behavior becomes a success in a certain situation, it will be shown again and sometimes even stronger in the same or similar situation. This means that even the day after Christmas, for example, your dog will stand begging next to the table and drooling on your new jeans or even during the week, pulling you to his favorite place. The difference is that you now want to correct or punish your dog for this behavior. However, this is unfair because your dog cannot understand “exceptions”. Such situations can unsettle your dog and he will constantly question your rules and test them. On the other hand, if you remain consistent and ALWAYS enforce your rules, your dog will see you as a reliable partner he can trust.

Mistake #3: Missing generalization.

“Yesterday the recall worked, why isn’t it working today?” – sound familiar to you? Maybe you have heard of the term “place learners”. These are dogs that listen to every word in the dog school, walk on the leash in an exemplary manner, can be recalled from any situation in the dog school and as soon as they leave the gate of the dog school, they don’t even react to their name. What is the reason for this? Dogs learn for the most part locally and situationally. This means that a newly learned behavior, such as recall, must be trained in many different environments and with many different distractions to be reliable. Your dog forms certain links in his brain as he learns, which you can think of as a road network. For your dog to respond to your signal in any situation, it is important to create as many connections as possible so that your dog can respond quickly and reliably. Only after this generalization has taken place is a behavior fully learned. However, it is important that even after generalization, this new behavior is trained at irregular intervals and also rewarded from time to time.

With the Pupy app, you can easily learn to avoid these 3 mistakes in the future. Download the app now for free and start training today!

Tips & Tricks Training

4 Tips for Dog Encounters

Meeting another dog on a walk is nothing unusual as a dog owner and should actually not be a problem if both human-dog teams abide by certain rules. Nevertheless, there are always situations that worry us, dog owners, when another human-dog team appears on the horizon. It doesn’t matter if it’s the fear that the other dog will attack our own or the uncertainty whether our own dog will behave. A negative feeling here can also be transferred to your dog. To prevent this, we have 4 tips for you that will help you to react more confidently and calmly in dog encounters in the future.

1. Respect leashed dogs.

The most important rule for all dog owners: If you meet a leashed dog or a dog you do not know, then you also leash your dog and keep a sufficient distance during the encounter. If the other dog is not on a leash but your dog is, ask the other dog owner to leash their dog. Always try to remain friendly and objective in such a situation, even if not every dog owner will understand why they should now leash their dog.

What you can do if the other dog owner does not want to put his dog on a leash

Take three deep breaths and remain calm and friendly. Ask the other dog owner again to leash their dog and give them a valid reason why it is safer for their dog to be leashed. For example, say that your dog has a contagious disease, they bite other dogs that get too close, they have a flea infestation or is currently in the standing heat and you want to save them from unplanned offspring. Really remember to stay friendly and always turn the situation around so that you are not protecting your own dog but the other person’s dog. This will save you a heated discussion and keep everyone focused on their own dog.

2. Keep your distance on the leash.

Who hasn’t heard the phrase: “He just wants to say hello”? Just a quick “hello” can lead to chaos, injuries, and biting, especially on the leash, and by the way, you put your dog in the expectation that as soon as another dog comes towards you, they may rush to the other dog. It is therefore advisable to keep a distance from the leash. This way your dog learns that they do not have to expect to be allowed to play with another dog on the leash and at the same time you are spared the unpopular knot in the leash with another dog.

What you can do if your dog tends to bark on the leash:

In dog encounters, take your dog to the side away from the other human-dog team. In this way, you create the necessary distance between you and the other human-dog team and at the same time give your own dog more space to avoid. In such a situation, you mustn’t pull your leash tight, but let it hang loosely. This way your dog will not feel constricted and will not associate a tight leash with meeting other dogs.

3. They do NOT settle this between themselves!

If both dogs get along with each other or if the dogs meet without a leash, you must always keep an eye on the dogs and their “game”. The sentence “They’ll settle it between themselves!” already fails because a 2 kg Chihuahua could hardly defend itself against the weight and mass of a Newfoundland. Apart from the size, a game can escalate quickly. At the latest when the game becomes too one-sided, one dog is always on the ground or is chased and moped by the other, it is time to end the “game”.

4. Give your dog protection when he needs it.

Whether your dog is running free or on a leash, if your dog is looking for protection near you or between your legs, you should give it to them. The easiest way to give your dog protection is to shield them from other dogs, but at the same time allow your dog to avoid them. Small dogs, in particular, like to be picked up, but it is better to shield them between the legs in a crouching position, so your dog still has the opportunity to move forwards or backward to escape the situation. The same applies to larger dogs: enable protection, but do not force protection. Your dog should be allowed to decide for themself how long they need the protection of their owner and when your dog dares to leave the “hiding place” again. By the way, it should go without saying that if the situation does not calm down, you should leave the situation with your dog and either change direction or go home immediately.

We hope these tips will help you and your dog on your next walk. If you want to know how to guide your dog safely and calmly through a dog encounter, download the Pupy app for free now and start training today.