Change is Powerful

I have always enjoyed a challenge.  Whether I’m working on a complex behavioral case or brokering a workable deal among quarreling families, it’s a challenge I welcome and work hard to resolve.  The most dedicated trainers are the ones that never stop learning, never sit back and think they know it all and always work to perfect their skills. Even after fifteen years of teaching, including eight years of It’s Me or the Dog, I am still growing and perfecting my skills with each new experience I encounter. Failing a case has never been an option and maybe it’s this trait that has kept me going for so long.

I’m not going to pretend the journey has been easy because however much I do, there is still so much that needs to be done to guide people towards a better way of teaching their dogs and improve the well being of animals around the world.  This is one of the reasons I formed Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training (VSPDT).  The VSPDT network is comprised of some of the best positive reinforcement trainers in the country dedicated to spreading awareness of humane methods to the dog loving public.  If you are a trainer and are interested in joining VSPDT go to www.vspdt.com or if you are looking for a qualified trainer to teach you and your dog, please go to: www.positively.com/trainers

I still find it hard to comprehend how anyone can justify teaching a dog through pain, force and fear, when decades of research and a mountain of scientific and observational evidence continues to prove how destructive these methods can be.  Teaching people to train their dogs in a humane way is not just a moral issue; it has become an issue of public health and safety.  Punitive training methods are having a profound affect on our canine companions, making them more insecure, unable to communicate and more aggressive as a result.  Mankind is destroying what was a beautiful relationship and putting their dogs, themselves and their children at risk as a result. There are approximately 10.5 million dogs in the UK and 78.2 million dogs in the US, and while education and humane training is not going to solve all canine problems, it will certainly go a long way to make things a lot better for our dogs and for ourselves.

While punitive trainers vehemently defend their use of forceful techniques, they are finding it harder to discredit the insurmountable evidence supporting the fact that hitting, poking, kicking, restraining, hanging, jerking and using electric shock to teach dogs causes pain, fear, anxiety, distrust, shyness, insecurity, increased likelihood of aggression, irritability, frustration, learned helplessness and in many cases, complete shutdown. And that’s just for starters.  I can’t see how any sane person can validate using techniques that have such a high potential to cause harm.

Following extensive discussions with a number of notable human behavior experts on why people use force or feel the need to dominate other beings, I learned the following:  The general feeling among these professionals is that some people use force and punishment because they need to be in charge and fear losing control.  This might be because they have been or are being dominated themselves by a family member or friend, or because the tendency to dominate others is inherent within them.  Other people simply don’t have the time or the desire to investigate what training methods are best and grab whatever is most available, even if they instinctively know the techniques they are using are inhumane.  Whatever works to fix a dog’s behavior as quickly and as easy as possible is preferred and validated.  Dog training is an unregulated profession, which means there are too many people advertising themselves as trainers that simply don’t have the qualifications and use force because they don’t know or don’t want to know any better.  Because there is an ever-increasing amount of bad press about punitive training techniques in the media, some trainers use the ‘positive reinforcement’ buzzwords to sell their services to prospective clients even though these trainers still employ punitive methods in practice.   Some trainers use positive reinforcement techniques to teach dogs what to do, but lack the knowledge and/or skills to use humane techniques to curb unwanted behavior.  It is relatively easy to use positive reinforcement methods to teach a dog to do something, but it takes advanced knowledge and skill to stop a dog from doing something negative WITHOUT using punitive techniques. Viewers might be impressed by what looks like a heroic battle to ‘rehabilitate’ a deranged, aggressive animal on some television shows and copy what they see, but in reality what they are viewing is just an act of violence from a human to a dog, designed to suppress negative behavior through dominant control.  The great tragedy in all of this is that when the dog finally submits to this force, his submission is labeled a ‘success’ even though he is not submitting calmly at all, but has been BULLIED and FORCED into submitting.  A submissive dog’s stillness is often mistaken for calm, when in reality the dog’s body and mind have reached such a state of distress that the dog shuts down, ceasing all movement in an effort to avoid further violence.  This state of stress, often mislabeled as a dog being ‘calm submissive,’ gives people a false impression of what the dog is actually feeling, including a belief that the methods employed to get him to that point, worked.  This is not only desperately sad for the dog but very upsetting for those of us who really know what is going on in the dog’s mind.

I must make something clear at this point.  I do agree that harsh punishment curbs negative behavior at the moment it is used, (unless the dog fights back, which is often the case and is why so many punitive trainers and their clients get bitten when they use domination), but here again is the reality:  When you use pain, punishment and intimidation to teach dogs to ‘behave’ you are likely to see a difference in behavior very quickly and this will positively reinforce that what you did to get that difference did indeed work.  This will make you feel good, even though you might feel slightly guilty that you used combative methods to get the desired result. But be aware, just because you might see an improvement in behavior, this does not mean that the behavior has been CHANGED.  You might think your dog is behaving better, but this is only because your dog has been intimidated or dominated by you or your trainer into submission, and he is now ‘behaving’ out of fear of repeated force.  He still feels the same inside, even though the outward expression of how he feels has been suppressed… for now! This improvement in behavior is labeled, by those who don’t know any better, as a success, a great rehabilitation; the dog is fixed or cured!  But again, shut down, suppression and learned helplessness is NOT CHANGED BEHAVIOR.  If anything, your dog is now even more insecure because of the treatment he experienced and worse still, by using punishment, you haven’t taught him anything useful.  You haven’t given him a new skill or shown him that he can ‘be’ and ‘feel’ another way, which will help him behave in a more positive way in the future. That’s the beauty of humane training. Instead of putting the emphasis on punishment, positive trainers put the emphasis on teaching dogs new behaviors and new ways to cope in different situations, and yes, it even works with the aggressive ‘red zone’ dogs or dogs with high drive.  It’s not about just stuffing a treat in a dog’s face, it’s about finding each dog’s individual drive and using that to help him learn and overcome any behavioral issues he might have.

If you use punitive techniques, be warned that your dog will associate you with negative experiences and distrust you as a result, even if it looks like he is still your best friend. Dogs are very forgiving!  Forcing submission on your dog won’t change the way he feels inside and increases the likelihood that he will revert back to his former behavior at some point, and when he does, it will be much worse than it was before.  This is especially true for aggressive dogs.  After punitive handling, their aggressive response might be suppressed for a time, but when the stress becomes too much, the aggression will resurface again with a lot more intensity.  If you fight fire with fire, you will get burned.

I can write numerous columns, books, produce videos, film TV shows, or do seminars all day on this subject, but that won’t help change things unless people are willing to learn, discover and change for themselves.  We are creatures of habit and it’s hard to change our behavioral patterns.  But I think it is time to ask the question:  am I truly doing everything possible to ensure my dog is happy, trusts me, and is pain free and secure?  Am I someone who my dog truly wants to be with or does he only follow me because he’s scared of what will happen to him if he doesn’t?

If what I write annoys or angers you and you think I’m wrong or are sick of being preached at by the British girl who trains dogs on TV, then I encourage you to read the numerous books and articles written by some of the brightest animal behavior minds in the business: Dr. Patricia McConnell, Suzanne Clothier, John Bradshaw, Karen Pryor, Dr. Sophia Yin, Jean Donaldson, James O’Heare, Alexandra Horowitz, Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Nicole Wilde, Turid Rugaas, Dr. Ian Dunbar, to name but a few.

My biggest challenge is to continue promoting positive change, even though this sometimes makes me the target of ridicule by those who are threatened by what I say.  I understand that it takes courage to change, but the more humane you are towards your dog, the better your lives will be. The right kind of knowledge is very powerful.  As more and more people make the switch to gentler teaching methods, the canine and human nation will be safer and more stable because of it.


tweet it post it Share It Plus It Print It
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
  • Anita Maki

    Victoria,

    I totally agree with your techniques and really miss your TV show. I send you best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • Cindi Stone

    ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFULLY written - thank you Victoria!!

  • ohioPattie

    I agree. I have always used positive reinforcement and clicker training, even when in training classes that used choke chains, I used my buckle collar and treats to teach my dogs what behavior I wanted them to learn. To that end I have dogs that are so willing to listen, and try SO HARD to figure out what I want them to do, they are eager to try new things, and offer behaviours willingly.
    Years ago I had my dog Maddie in a retrieve class. My instructor told me point blank I would NEVER teach this dog to retrieve a dumbell using my clicker, I HAD to use her 'ear pinch' method. I dropped out of the class, and practiced at home with my clicker, it was a slower process, but in the end I had a dog who would RUN to get the dumbell, pick it up happily, come trotting back to me, and sit in front of me with quite a jaunty flourish! She was PROUD of what she had done, and always retrieved the dumbell happily and with enthusiasm. I felt sorry for the dogs in the obedience ring who plodded to the dumbell and picked it up, and returned to owners, ears and tail down, just waiting for the possible punishment if they did something wrong. So sad. GIve me an enthusiastic dog anyday, even if she doesn't win ribbons! I am a clicker trainer, and PROUD OF IT.

  • http://victoriastilwellfans.webs.com DeLinda

    I love this. I try to educate people on positive reinforcement training, and some - though not all - of the response has been very negative, sometimes verbally abusive. Now I kind of understand why that is... there are some people that just don't like being told they're doing something wrong. They don't want to admit that they could be hurting their dogs. So instead of listening to how they can change up and make things better, they shut down and ignore or fight. They "shut down".

    It can be difficult, but that doesn't mean I will stop spreading the word. We should all celebrate the goodness that is our dogs, and train in a way that makes them happy, and confident.

    I'm sharing this blog post everywhere I can think of. Would like permission to feature it on the VS Fan Site if I may - please email me at delindamck@gmail.com to let me know if that is okay.

    Thank you for this.

  • Sidney Baritz

    I agree with everything you say. I have a difficult Sheltie, who will be six and he's far from perfect, but he is so much better and everything correction I make, i try to be positive. It's a process and a journey, but he continues to improve.

  • http://www.CanineHarmonyDogTraining.com Carol

    Amen to that!!! Thank you Victoria for setting an excellent example for all dog training professionals as well as for the public! By being an advocate for humane dog training, you make the world safer & happier for dogs & their families. In addition, when I encounter a client questioning whether or not positive training is the way to go, I ask them to give me a chance to show them and then I ask them to check out your website or TV show! It certainly lends credibility to positive methods and helps to bring those who doubt around quicker! Thank You!!!

  • Donna Fantasia

    I absolutely love Victoria!!! I would love to have her come train me and my dog! He used to play so wonderfully w/all dogs until he got attacked and bitten several times! Now the latest astonishing behavior out of him has been him jumping on people who are walking by and grabbing their arms in his mouth!!;-(((( this saddens me to no end! I'm so afraid that he'll be taken away from me and put down! Then they'll have to put me right down next to him!! I will not survive that! Nor do I want it to get to that extent! We have a trainer coming here next Friday Dec. 14th but how I wish it could be Victoria! I watched her for three years before I got my dog! I thought I'd be prepared for it all?! Well, nothing can prepare you for the worst, he doesn't even give you a sign that something is bothering him! I can go on and make excuses for him such as the people walked too close to him etc. but I'm really scared! I don't want anyone to be afraid of my angel ! And he is an angel when in the house and even when he's out running and playing frisbee, he's so gentle when taking his treats etc. please Victoria, if you're ever in the Boston area, please I beg of you, call me!!!;-(
    A devoted Victoria Stilwell admirer, Donna Fantasia xo God bless and Merry Christmas to you!
    P. S. ill have all the kitkats you can possibly eat waiting for you!! Xoxoxo

  • http://ww.delightfuldog.biz Crystal Saling

    Well said Victoria,

    I feel that unless someone does a national campaign of TV and internet adds during prime time about how to train simple behaviors and how to extinguish unwanted behaviors humanely, most people are not going to even know the difference. Until that time, all I can do is try to keep myself in top training shape for the clients who do want a positive solution- you can't change people who don't want to change.

    One idea I had was to take the TAG tickets idea from clicker expo and start to hand them out to people I see interacting with their dog in a humane way. I was breastfeeding my toddler in the mall one day and another mother approached me, thanked me for breastfeeding in public and gave me a little card (the size of a business card) with the words "Thank you for breast feeding in public. Your actions make it easier for other mothers to do the same." It was mounted onto a fancy peach colored background paper and had jewels bedazzling the corner of it. I was shocked and I was also really happy, I felt like I had won an award for doing something that at 15 months comes as second nature to me now! I am thinking of making something similar (though less girly) to give to dog people with a similar saying on it. Perhaps "thank you for treating your dog with respect and kindness. The use of humane training equipment, collars, and techniques not only strengthens the your bond with your dog, but also keeps your dog and the public safe." or something to that nature.

    Crystal Saling, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP

  • Gwen Watsom

    Hello
    We have a pair of Pembroke Welsh Corgis. One is nearly 10, the other is 17 months old. Both have dog aggression issues. Rose(the 17 month old) suddenly turned this on Reznor the older one. Although I admit he has given her subtle aggressive body language. In June the 2 played well together . Slept nose to nose together on our bed. Now the two can not be on same room together and be trusted not to get in horrid fight. We are currently taking them to K9behaviorist that is implementing NILF= nothing in life is free program. We really need help with our two. Our home is chaos. And we are concerned they ate going to seriously injure each other if our guard is down. Please if you can give us advice. I wish and pray you could see us..I have the highest respect for your training methods.

    Thank you so much for your reply.

    Regards
    Gwen Watson

  • http://deirdre.blogdrive.com Deirdre

    I love your training methods, Victoria. I always strive to be a better human for my dogs and your teachings have allowed me to see their perspective in ways I wouldn't have imagined. The work you do, along with Cesar Millan is extraordinary, appreciated and inspiring.

  • Amber

    Thank you so much Victoria, I've encountered this as truth many times in my own life. I've been responsible for walking 3 dogs that are not my own this year and while 2 don't suffer violent blows as the 3rd tragically does all 3 have suffered from a lack of positive-focused training. It is amazing how far a simple "YES! Good" goes with these and other dogs, they only want to know what they are doing right so they can do that more. I've just been coming face-face with the reality that if I choose to say nothing then nothing will change and that is something that I cannot tolerate these last 2 days, this article is such a confirmation to my heart and my journey towards being an advocate for dogs. I pray this finds you and your family well and happy, peace to your household today. Thanks again, -Amber-

  • Laura

    YOU GO GIRL ! YOU ARE EXACTLY CORRECT ! I MISS YOUR SHOW ! I've learned so so much from it. But I always need to learn more. And truely wish there were a way that I could from YOU!

    You just ignore all those who ridicule you, they don't know anything ! I need some help with my Pet Therapy Dog who has been working at our Local Veterans Hospital for 6 years this coming February 2013. She's a "HOOVER" She's always looking on the floor and even on their electric wheel chair floors for Dropped Food.
    But that's a Labrador for you... Food Food Food - On the Mind. I've been trying different methods but nothing seems to work.

    But like I said, THANK YOU for NEVER Giving Up trying to promote Positve Training. And I will promote it as well.

    Laura

  • Pat Knittel

    Thank you, Victoria for the change you are working toward. We are so fortunate to have you speak out for science, compassion, ethics and professionalism. Animals live better lives because of you.

  • http://n/a Christine B

    Thank you.

  • Irene Gillis

    Thank you for speaking out! It takes a lot of guts and I am glad you're doing it!
    Change IS powerful

  • Patricia

    Very true and very well written, thank you Victoria.

  • Michael Girvin

    Victoria,
    Well said....As a dog trainer, I use the explanation of suppression or learned helplessness all the time on clients that are using aversive techniques...Good Job!

  • http://www.hollysden.com Beverly Hebert

    The biggest organized group still using force based training is our military. Bob Bailey has commented that he has found them very resistant to change.

  • Doug H.

    I really like this article and it does seem to refer directly to a well known dog rehabilitator. I understand that positive reinforcement is a proven and preferable method to shape behavior. But I see 2 basic problems faced by most folks with an aggressive dog (versus one that is unruly and boisterous):

    1) A biting dog that hurts kids will soon be banished from most families and abandoned in a shelter or euthanized by a doctor. So the family directly or indirectly destroys the dog because very few people will pay for a behaviorist and practice to neutralize the agggression. I state the obvious from having worked as a dog rescue group volunteer and from meeting police and prison commanders over the drug/arson dogs. I conclude that very few people ever get their dog to the CGC certification level of obedience.

    2) The volunteers in rescue groups mostly are kind hearted women (few men), but seldom have clicker training skills. They do not advocate, show printed materials, etc. about positive reinforcement to the public at 'adoptions stands'. Public service messages from an SPCA generally promote shelter animal adoption, but do not show using a clicker or other positive reinforcement methods on television 30 second messages.

    So, the aggressive dog has no friends among humans in a practical sense. Who is going to risk injury to their own hands or their child's safety ? Very few, though it is clear that a dog is never 'to blame'. It is very difficult to love a biting dog, even if we understand what triggers it. And fear of being bitten is hard to overcome for even enlightened and smart people. For most dog owners, it is unbearable and the dog is 'abandoned' emotionally or literally. To me, this is one of the most heartbreaking aspects of dogs in shelters for snapping or biting: once it is happening, the dogs really have no chance to survive. They will be euthanized and passed over for adoption by all but a rare few people.

  • Heidi Sihvo

    A great article again! I so totally agree with you Victoria! Since I started training my first dog about 25 years ago, the methods have changed so much. I'm so greatful about that! I couldn't imagine using the same methods I was taught to use two decades ago...

    a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year from Finland!

  • http://www.cp-hipdogs.com Christy Paxton

    Sing it, sister!

  • B

    Thank you so much for this article... I try so hard to be the change I need to be in order for my dog family and I have the best life we can together and at times it is so hard when one of my dogs looses control through fear of other dogs we see (he's been attacked) - he is a large dog . We try and keep our distance if we can. This together with the influence of my ex shelter dog (who wants people to stay away) so we are now hot happy around people - this seems unpredictable - added to my previous experiences of my earlier dogs being attacked several times and me in one instance being bitten does not help. I am terrified of loose dogs - anywhere in public - this leads me to think I am so not the right person for him. Wish you were in Australia... I too would like to share this article if allowed...
    Once again thank you...

  • Erika

    Amen to what you wrote, Victoria! I wish that one of your Pawsitively trainers lived close to Pittsburgh PA. My son has 5 big hounds and they will lick him to death, but they don't know the first thing about walking on a leash or not climbing on people-65# to 90# each. They rearrange the livingroom furniture and sometimes use the couches (yes I said couches-they have gone through about 1 a month) as chew toys. I miss your show. I learned a lot from it and when I compare it to the other show that is now on, I know that hands down your way is the right way!

  • Joanne

    thank you Victoria. I live in Cleveland and have recently been able to get your current segments on "Animal Planet". I use to watch another trainer (leaving out the name) which used dominance training. I rescued a dog last December and started using his methods. My dog is fear based agression and his methods were making things worse. I remember seeing you once while changeing channels, so I looked on line to see if you had any programs showing on "Animal Planet". There was none, so I ordered your DVD'S from the library. I started watching your videos, and started using your methods. I saw changes in Coco. Then I started reading Patricia McConnell's books and watching Dr. Ian Dunbar's videos. All your methods started working on him. Coco came with so many issues (aggression towards kids, people,ane other dogs) to name a few that I thought I really needed some personel traing from a progessional. The first place I went to recommended a prong collar, spraying water in his face when he became reactive, and everyone walking in a circle which made him more fearful. I dropped out, especially after Coco got a sore on his neck. I am currently going to a trainer, who after reading your article above, I am seeing that one of her methods to stop him from reacting towards other dogs and people, am convinced her method for correcting this is not working for him, and making him worse. I use a Gentle Leader on him and when he reacts she grabs the leash, pulls it staight up so that the gentle leader tightens around his snout until he stops. The problem is, like you said it's not helping his aggression. It's only making it worse and I don't see any improvement. Financially it's feasable, but I'm not going to take him anymore after reading your article. HELP!

  • Lobo and April

    Victoria, this was wonderful!

    I have a friend who's taking psychology right now, and she has a theory about why some people seem to ignore the facts and continue using punitive methods.

    It's called a self-fulfilling prophecy. Punishing is reinforcing to the punisher.

    Personally, it's really hard to get people to understand that their dog still LOVES them, even if they have messed up a little. I know that Lobo still loved me. At the end of the day, *I* was still the one he came to, *I* was still the one he became depressed over when I left, *I* was the one he shared a bond with. I messed up with Lobo's early years, but that didn't mean he didn't love me. I'm making up for it with him now, and I don't think he loves me any MORE than he did, but I do think he enjoys my company a lot more. I know that he certainly loves training a lot more!

  • Nicola

    Victoria, you are a wonderful and inspirational educator. Thank you for being a beacon of light and hope for our dogs and owners who are truly committed to teaching our dogs positively and humanely.

    Change is difficult, but it is an inevitable part of existence. If we all keep spreading the word and most importantly practice what we preach then the change has to come eventually. It takes patience, courage and strength but I am committed to continue to do it.

    CM and his flawed, outdated and punitive methods are for the weak and uneducated in my opinion. And when I say weak, I do not wish to judge individuals. It is clear sometimes that they are at the end of their rope with their dogs and are therefore easily impressed by his bullying into 'calm submission'. But this teaches the dog nothing, only to fear and distrust. CM and his cruel methods were exposed here in the UK on Alan Titchmarsh's show recently but he will always have his admirers unfortunately. Usually, it's humans who are too easily impressed by celebrity and unwilling to put in the work, time and effort required to truly help a dog. They want a quick fix sadly.

    Education is the key - we have to make this compulsory for dog owners I believe. In fact, it should be much more difficult to breed, own dogs and call yourself a professional dog trainer too (never mind a dog psychologist!). But I fear that this will be a long, long way off. Our politicians don't seem to prioritise 'man's best friend' and his deterioarting relationship with us in modern society. Yet, the media are all too keen to jump on the back of some aggressive dog story, all the time failing to appreciate that one is more likely to get struck by lightning than killed by a dog...

    Keep up the great work and look forward to seeing you in Manchester!

    Love and best wishes,
    Nicola, N. Yorks

  • Ralphine L. Lamonica

    Thank you Victoria for your efforts. A friend of mine used your methods to train her Shih-Tzu puppy. He is now a lovable confident 2 year old. He is such a joy and the love he holds for his Mama is wonderful to see. We came to BoomTown in Canandaigua NY to see you. It was such a delight. Training is always ongoing and actually it's quite easy. I wish we could see you more on Animal Planet. I'm not really happy with their present programming.

  • Richard Bos

    As always, Victoria, you are spot on!

    Personally I dont care whether humane methods work better than inhuman/e methods or not. We humans should never be cruel, or cause pain to acheive our goals. THE END DOES NOT EVER JUSTIFY THE MEANS. As it happens humane methods of treating animals, and each other, always has better results. :-)

  • ARH

    My dog come command is still a work in progress. He will come to me with a huge grin on his face but then want to make it a game and stay a few inches from my hand. It's not ideal but I'm always working on it. But we go for walks, play with the neighborhood children and he is the perfect indoor dog, never destroying anything or peeing in the house/. My neighbor's smack, yank and pull at their dogs. If they run out, yes, they will turn around on a dime and go inside when called. But their ears are down and their tails are between their legs. They never get to go on walks. Are left outside for hours on end (they are short haired dogs--one is a chihauha) with no sweaters (we're in TX, but it still can get very cold) and they destroy the house when alone. Instead of using their enegy up with walks, they are now confined to crates in the GARAGE! It's so sad. It makes my heart break. So yes, dominant training you could say is effective for getting their call command, but I wouldn't call it a success.

  • Cydney

    Very well said, Mrs. Stilwell. :) I know a few people that use punitive training. And I know that those peticular dogs are scared of their owners!! I have even did it to my dog, and now, she is scared of me!! What can I do to rebond with her? She doesn't bite. Please, don't be angry with me. I did it BEFORE I watched your shows. Now I know it's wrong.

  • Tamara

    This is a patient and enlightening explanation of why people, both trainers and owners, may choose or continue to use harsh training techniques. I've always said "aggression begets aggression" and the studies are bearing this out, but what is said here is probably true why humans choose these techniques. It is the sense of power it must give them, but why in the world would they want to feel more powerful over a being that they can so easily browbeat?
    I don't have an answer for that, but as I read the book "Coercion and Its Fallout" by Murray Sidman (not a new book, not a dog training book) I may discover one. I just know that when I train a dog, when we succeed together at a goal, that feeling is a unified feeling that seems much better to me than that elusive thing called power. When that dog puts his head or his paw on my knee, that is the answer that tells me I'm right because it signifies what I'm seeking--a relationship.

  • Marie

    I have used many of Vctoria's methods when working with foster Cairns. I sometimes mess it up initially by not understanding the dog at first but I always use positive training and NEVER punitive methods. I always laugh because most times the dog tried to tell me how to help them and sometimes I miss the clues in the beginning.
    I still struggle with helping dogs with rage I get to one level and never get them totally past the spontaneous out burst of rage. We are being told it is brain seizures or tumors still doesn't make it easy to accept. I enjoy fostering - it is a challenge and wish I had the knowledge and experience Victoria has.

  • verena

    I totally agree with u Victoria. I watch ur show each and every time I get a chance. Even if I've seen it. I really miss ur "it's me or the dog" show. Y is it not shown any longer?:-( wish ur show was back on. Have a safe and happy new year. Thank u.

  • Pingback: Change is Powerful | Dog Training articles

  • Gabriela

    I agree 100% with you Victoria. Just wish it was before i watch the tvshow of this other dog rehabilitator everyone recognized by the comments by the way, and I apply some of his technniques on my dog not even 1 year old and even though his isn't red zone or not even agressive per say his is very insecure and after following some of his methods it only got worse...Here in my country it's hard to find a positively trainer, here in my city I know it doesn't have one ithere is few trainers none with positively methods, so I'm trying to educated myself I don't know how far I'll go and I'm trying to find around hre someone to guide me but it's mostly with your videos and some others on youtube and now I'm going to see those names you give in your text to get more info...Even though my dog it's traumatized beyond repair I can see the difference between him and my other dog that I got after all this non sense 'calm submissive' techniques of that other guy that everyone seems to recognized...
    Thank you Victoria for your work and your voice.Thank you for your free youtube videos. You're awesome and I hope to learn something with you.

read
  • Oliver is Looking for a Home
  • Blackfish
  • Introducing the New...
  • Not So Great Expectations!

Episode 323

Victoria and Holly reconnect for a special holiday-themed episode of the Positively Podcast to recap the year in dogs, share the...

Episode 322

Holly stumps Victoria with an Animal Academy after Victoria recaps her skiing trip. Dr. Duffy Jones of Peachtree Hills Animal...

Episode 321

Holly introduces Victoria to After the Rapture, Victoria talks ski vacations, & Dr. Marty Becker (America's Vet) calls in to...

find a vspdt trainer
Schedule a consultation via skype or phone