Nice Dogs Don’t Growl

So often we hear that 'bad dogs’ or 'aggressive dogs’ growl.  'Nice dogs’ don't growl, surely? Well, that's a bit like saying that only 'bad' people shout in frustration when someone drives inconsiderately and nearly causes an accident or only 'aggressive' people have disagreements with their partners/ family.  For some reason, it’s considered normal and Read More

That’s Cheating!

'That's cheating!’  ‘That’s cheating!’.  I looked up to see a man shouting over to me.  He continued: ‘When your puppy came back to you then, you gave it a treat.  That’s just bribing: they should do things because they want to please you.’  He walked off saying: ‘A pat on the head should be enough’. Well, Read More

Episode 833 – Dogs and Wolves

Dogs share a common ancestor – the wolf – but how did wolves turn into dogs and what can we learn from wolves that might help us with the relationship we have with our dogs? Behavioral scientist Clive Wynne joins the podcast to talk about the similarities and differences between dogs and wolves.

Episode 832 – Dogs and Aggressive Behavior

Aggression is a serious behavior issue that is all too common in our domestic dogs. Aggression expert Michael Shikashio joins Victoria and Holly to talk about why dogs aggress and what dog lovers can do about it.

Episode 831 – How to Treat Separation Anxiety

Why do dogs become anxious when home alone and how can this be prevented? Dog trainer Lisa Waggoner joins Victoria and Holly for this podcast on a common behavior problem that is hard to treat.

Episode 830 – Rescue and Pitbull Type Dogs

Do people respond differently to Pitbull type dogs? Holly and Victoria are joined by Heather Paul to start off this new year of podcasts to explore how people react to their dogs when out in public.

2021 Dog Behavior Conference Announced

The DBC is an interactive online 3-day virtual conference experience which brings together experts and leaders in the field of animal training & behavior with dog lovers, dog trainers, groomers, pet sitters, dog walkers, veterinary professionals, animal shelter workers and other animal care specialists from all over the world.

Why I’m Not a Purely Positive Dog Trainer

First of all, I have certainly never referred to myself as a ‘purely positive’ dog trainer, but I have heard many others – usually pretty vocal opponents of humane modern dog training – label me and others with that description.

Becoming a Dog Trainer

Since It’s Me or the Dog first aired back in 2005, I have received thousands of emails, letters, social media messages and phone calls from dog lovers around the world who saw me working with dogs on TV and wanted to do the same (but usually not on TV).

Social Bullying

Have you ever received negative comments or been bullied on social media? If you have then you understand how bad it can make you feel and how damaging it can be. This week’s post is not about dogs, but this is a conversation we all need to be having right now, and that is why I am sharing what has happened to me since I became known in the media world.

Does Your Dog Respect You?

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” In the film ‘The Blues Brothers,’ Aretha Franklin sings about her need for some respect. The words of the song are as applicable today in human relationships as they were then, but what does the word actually mean?

Differences Between Male and Female Dogs

I’ve only ever had female dogs. This has never been a conscious choice on my part, I just fell in love and adopted dogs that happened to be female. I don’t know if things would be any different if I had a male dog in the house, but people often ask me what the behavioral differences between male and female dogs are and if gender either influences or suits one lifestyle over another.

The Reactive Dog

Do you have a dog that becomes restless in certain situations? Does she bark, whine, urinate, defecate, or vocalize inappropriately? Does she excessively lick herself, spin in circles or chase her tail? Does she jump up at you or other people, lunge towards other dogs or run up and down the perimeter of your fence?

Today I Was Called a Snowflake

A new study led by biologist Ana Catarina Viera de Castro of the Universidae do Porto in Portugal reveals that shouting at dogs and using punitive methods to train them does short and long term damage, while using reward based methods yields better results both for learning and emotional health.

The Dog Meat Farms of South Korea

I won’t ever forget the faces that stared at me as I approached them; faces of dogs that had been subjected to a life of neglect and abuse at the hands of a cruel, relentless industry.

The Allure of the Damaged Dog: Why We Rush Towards Danger

Aggressive dogs. What a trigger topic for so many! Humans, as a species, are so often attracted to danger. You see it in our hobbies and our choices of heroes. For many dog lovers there is so often nothing more attractive than an aggressive dog. This scenario not only appeals to our nurturing instinct, but Read More

The Power of Management

A trainer’s most important job is to help people live harmoniously with their dogs and sometimes the only thing that is needed to create harmony is effective management.

Labeling Dog Behavior

Every dog lover uses labels to describe their dog’s personality – my dog is ‘aggressive’, ‘stupid’ ‘highly driven,’ ‘lazy,’ ‘stubborn,’ ‘happy,’ or ‘dominant,’ but labels can be misleading and limit a dog’s potential.

Using Aversives

If you ask a group of dog trainers to define what an aversive means, you will get many different answers as well as some spirited discussion. Regarding behavior modification techniques, an aversive is ‘the avoidance of a thing, situation, or behavior that is achieved by using an unpleasant or punishing stimulus.’

Avoiding Bites In Shelters

Working or volunteering in a shelter is a rewarding but sometimes challenging job. No matter how lovely a shelter might be in terms of design, the animals housed within its walls will still experience the stress that comes from abandonment and transition.

Needs and Wants

The Human-Animal Bond is the connection between a human and a pet and includes the development of emotional attachment to that pet, with genuine feelings of affection and a sense of responsibility for their well-being.

Dogs and Exercise

The benefits of good exercise for dogs and people are well known. Exercise improves physical fitness and releases endorphins and opioids in the brain, promoting an overall feeling of wellbeing.

The Most Important Job

When I first started training dogs I was thrown into the deep end. I had run a successful dog walking business in Wimbledon, but didn’t handle many dogs who had a bite history.

Night Time Vocals

If you have ever raised a puppy you know what it’s like to have sleepless nights. It’s inevitable that to begin with, some puppies have a hard time adjusting to a new home and vocalize their discomfort and loneliness, particularly at night.

Why We Love Dogs

I have just returned from walking my dogs, which is always a social experience, judging by the amount of people I talk to while I’m out. I usually walk in the local park, which takes me past a playground.

Confusing Cues

“Sit! Sit! Sit!” Have you ever asked your dog to ‘sit’ and when she does not respond you repeat the cue again and again, getting louder and louder each time you say it?

Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t

There are many hot button issues in the dog world that cause spirited conversations and disagreements, including what training methods you should use and when you should or shouldn’t use words such as ‘dominance’ and ‘pack.’

How To Not Be a Rude Dog Owner

I’m a dog lover and I want everyone to be as passionate about these amazing animals as I am. I would also like to take my dogs with me to more places, and I believe if people were a little more responsible, dogs might be accepted in more public areas than are currently allowed.

Managing Your Overwhelmed Dog

As the modern dog’s role continues to evolve from that of working dog to companion animal, there is more pressure on all dogs to cope and behave well in an increasingly busy human world.

Obedience

I don’t participate in competitive dog sports or obedience trials, but I do love watching dogs and their handlers having fun, and appreciate how much time it takes on both sides to become proficient.

Coping With Fear

I’m flying to Portland, Oregon, from Los Angeles and the pilot has just told us that there will be turbulence the closer we get to Portland. It is 53 degrees at our destination with rain and gusty winds. He tells us that our descent is likely to be very bumpy.

The Emergency Drop It

I lived with a Labrador. She was a hungry hound who was on a constant mission to find food wherever and whenever she could get it. When she reached the grand old age of 16 I thought her food obsession might diminish a little, but it remained as strong as ever.

Episode 825 – Part One – How Sound Reduces Canine Anxiety

How does sound help reduce canine anxiety and can music really help prevent and reduce canine fear and noise phobias? Sound researcher and founder of Through A Dog’s Ear Joshua Leeds, joins Victoria along with Animal Scientist Aly Lecznar, to discuss the latest research on how sound can prevent and treat canine anxiety.