Are You A Good Pet Neighbor?

With well over half of all US households having one or more pets, it is more important than ever to be a good pet neighbor. We've collaborated with State Farm®  in creating a  free 35-minute online course that educates both new and experienced pet owners in how to read dog body language and safely interact Read More

Halloween Pet Costumes

It’s scary. And you’re not alone - over 4.2 million dog-owning households and nearly two million cat-caretakers will be treating their furry companions to ghoulish goodies and ghoulish toys this Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Also, according to the NRF, pet “moms” and “dads” will spend over $440 million on Halloween. That’s Read More

Your new puppy – 9 steps to get it right from the start

“I wonder if I’ve done the wrong thing … Perhaps I’m not capable of looking after a dog.” I don’t know exactly what had caused such a devastating loss of confidence in what 30was clearly a capable individual. But Gwen voiced a sentiment I come across from time to time. Her family had left home Read More

How to keep your dog happy and stress free whilst at a dog show

Family dog shows can be wonderful events to attend. They are great places to meet up with friends, spend time around lots of other dogs, show your own dog off and hopefully win some rosettes. Some dogs really enjoy these events and walk round the show ring with a relaxed body, bright eyes and a Read More

Tips For Decreasing Reactivity in a Competition Dog

In the competition sport of agility, there are many variables to manage. When I created a behavior modification program for my own dog, here were some of the things I considered to help set him up for success.

Is Adopting a Greyhound Right for You?

The Greyhound will always hold a special place in my heart. They are a regal, gentle, loving breed. While built for speed, their true gift is their ability to segue from athlete into loving companion and perfect pet!

7 Things Reactive Dog Owners Want You to Know

If reactive dog owners come off as crazy, understand it's only because we've got a lot on our minds. Here's what we'd like you to know about reactive dog owners before you meet us.

Welcoming Your Shelter Dog Into Their New Home

You know that life for your newly adopted dog has just taken a turn for the better, but your dog needs you to demonstrate it for her. Here are a few tips for helping to make the transition from shelter dog to a adored member of your family.

Finding Your Match

Finding the right dog is not as simple as falling in love with the cute face in the adoption photo. As responsible pet guardians, it is our job to ensure the new addition fits our lifestyle so we are able to attend to the dog’s needs. What are some factors to consider when finding your Read More

How Does Your Dog See and Understand the World?

Scenario: A pleasant neighborhood on a sunny day, we observe a human and her dog taking a walk together. All of a sudden, the dog strains on leash, barking and lunging. The human tries to calm the dog down to no avail. She keeps looking around and sees nothing that should make her dog react Read More

The Yellow Ribbon – Good Idea or Not?!

The Yellow Dog Project is a movement created for dogs that need space. By tying a yellow ribbon or something similar to the dog's leash you are indicating that this dog needs space, for whatever reason (or perhaps the human walking the dog... either way). However, there has been much debate with this whole 'yellow ribbon please ignore us' movement. What do Read More

How To Find A Good Dog Trainer

For the majority of modern dog owners, choosing the right dog trainer is one of the most important decisions they will have to make regarding their dog. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most difficult decisions to get right. Assuming you have already determined that you need the help of a trained professional Read More

Victoria Stilwell’s Top Ten Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween is an awesome holiday, but most of our pets don’t necessarily enjoy fright night quite as much as we do, and there can be extra dangers lurking for them that we should help them avoid. Here are my top ten tips for keeping your pets happy and healthy on Halloween.

May I Pet Your Dog?

Just because someone starts the process correctly by asking the question, 'May I pet your dog' doesn't mean that they will follow through with good results or even listen to the answer. I think it's vital that we not only teach our kids to ask first before petting, but also that we encourage them to listen to and respect the answer that the dog's owner provides.

Smooch Your Pooch: A Cute Children’s Book with Unsafe Suggestions

If I were judging this book just on it’s overall cuteness and character, this book would get a top score. The cartoons are engaging, the rhymes catchy, and the overall message of “dogs are fun” is great. It’s clear that the intentions of the books are good. The authors are encouraging children to make the Read More

Teaching Rover to Race to You on Cue

The problem with speaking English instead of using made-up words is that we assume our pets know what we mean. We say, “Sit” and expect Fido to drop his derrier, but the command Fido’s learned is “sit, sit, sit, SIT!” Then once he’s done the deed, we praise with “Goodsit,” when just “Good” would do, Read More

Extinction: Bad for Dinosaurs, Good for Canine Behavior

The dictionary offers a few definitions for the word “extinction.” The first is, “the death or ceasing to exist of all members of a species or family of organisms.” That describes what happened to our hapless prehistoric friends. The one that applies to canine behavior is, “the decreasing or dying out of a behavioral response Read More

CIV At Dog Shows

It’s nothing to sneeze at, an outbreak of dog flu affecting at least 11 states. After inundating Chicago with flu and bouncing around the country in 2015 into 2016, the H3N2 virus, which arrived from Southeast Asia, took a lower profile. Last month, the virus appeared on radar, and in a big way. The epicenter Read More

Consent: It’s Not Just for People!

Consent is a right of every living being. We expect to be asked prior to being touched. But we give consent to strangers to touch our dogs without asking the dog.

Rescuers or Fanatics? The Dark Side of Animal Rescue

Say the phrase "animal rescue" in any given circle of people and watch for a variety of reactions. Some people’s eyes will light up with hope and delight and others will start backing away with narrowing eyes, faces drawn with suspicion. The latter is unfortunate, but the truth cannot be denied that some of the Read More

5 Healthy Habits for Reactive Dogs and Their Owners

Sometimes owning a reactive dog is just plain hard. The idea of getting up and taking a walk in the mornings, when I know I might end up with a whirling dervish instead of a dog at the end of my leash, makes me want to stay home under the covers, safe in bed. However, Read More

Creating & Sticking to a Dog Training Plan

I spent the first two articles of this three-part series talking about Tricky’s drive, what I did that caused her to lose it, and the things I did to build it back. Now I will talk about what I’ve done to keep it and suggestions to help others to do the same.

5 Myths About Deaf Dogs

If you're thinking about adding a deaf dog to the family, or you already have, you will find that there is very limited information on the internet for you. A lot of it is conflicting and confusing. One site will tell you something, and another will say the complete opposite. So what is true and what is false?

Holistic Summer Guide To Safe and Happy Cats

With a little commonsense and mindfulness, our cats can enjoy summer as much as we do. There’s nothing like a cat on a lap to help us slow down to smell the roses. Have a safe, happy and healthy summer!

The Ultimate Dog Adoption Survival Guide

Adopting a dog? Work in animal rescue? This is the ultimate guide for adopting a dog and successfully and safely acclimating that dog to your family and home.

Bunny benefits: 10 reasons to rescue a rabbit

Want an interactive pet that’s not as demanding as a dog? How about a bunny? Rabbits make terrific pets in the right circumstances. February is adopt-a-rescued rabbit month, so if you’re considering a new pet, here are some reasons a bunny might be best...

Yes!

People with challenging dogs that seem to be constantly up to mischief don’t need any in-depth training course. It is really quite simple to make a huge difference. Just constantly look for, and reward, every little bit of behaviour that you like. That’s it.

So Much Work To Do…

I was forwarded an article which basically claimed that while positive reinforcement was a nice tool for training nice pups, it was not a strong enough or effective enough tool to deal with aggression or so-called 'red zone' dogs. It is time once and for all to put an end to this myth, especially when the arguments being used to support it are so painfully inaccurate and the supposed claims are so completely at odds with what behavioral science has already proven to us time and time again.