Basic Cues

Regardless of whether you have a new puppy or an older dog, it is never too late to start teaching your dog basic cues. From beginner cues like 'sit' and 'touch' to more advanced cues like 'stay' and 'heel' which require more impulse control, your dog should be taught using fun, force-free methods and every Read More

Puppy Training Basics

A puppy needs a good learning foundation in order to be a confident adult. But learning is more than just teaching your puppy basic cues such as sit and stay. The most important aspect of the learning process is to introduce your puppy to the environments and situations she is likely to experience throughout her Read More

Environmental Cues

In the late 1970s, I was living in Brooklyn, New York. Most weekends I could be found at a rock club called L’Amours, which featured local bands. Between sets, customers would mingle and have a few drinks. Each time a band was about to play, the management would broadcast a song that began, “Welcome back Read More

Positively Dog Training Episode 701

Victoria and Holly reconnect after a few months away and discuss how to recognize signs of pain in your older dog, keys to curbing rambunctious dog play, managing noisy nighttime behavior, overcoming anxiousness when guests visit your dog, and how to get dogs used to water.

Positively Dog Training Episode 406

This podcast is all about Dog Bite Prevention Week! Victoria and Holly chat with State Farm's Heather Paul to discuss why being a responsible pet parent is much more important than a dog's breed.

Balanced Dog Training: There’s Nothing “Balanced” About It

If I had to think of an example of a dog that was truly "balanced," it would be a dog that - regardless of age, breed or drive - was confident, had been guided into making the right choices, and was allowed to think and learn without constantly being corrected.

5 Things I Want Anyone With A Fearful Dog To Know

I see dogs that truly enjoy meeting new people and other dogs, and find myself wishing the same for my not-so-social dog. It's easy to get discouraged, but know that many people are experiencing the same things with their dogs as you are.

Program Benefits At-Risk Youth and Shelter Dogs

There are few bonds stronger than the one between a child and a dog. EPIC Pals (standing for Early Prevention Impacts Community) is a program that's taking advantage of that special relationship and helping both at-risk youth and shelter dogs. The program helps the kids improve their communication skills and better manage their emotions, preparing them Read More

When Pet Therapy Goes Wrong: Why Temperament Trumps Training

I have been doing pet therapy with my labradoodle, Daisy, for going on two years now. It was always a dream of mine to do pet therapy, and I looked for months for the right dog. I adopted Daisy from a family who could no longer care for her, and I knew almost instantly she Read More

Using Food in Training

Successful positive training relies in large part on determining exactly what motivates your dog the most. While each dog is different and some may be turned on by praise, play, toys, or life rewards like going for walk, very often food is that primary motivating force and can be a powerful tool for shaping new Read More

Shelter Dog Spotlight: Maya

Last week, I highlighted a shelter dog named Marley who I met at the SPCA of Central Florida. This week, I want to tell you about another adoptable dog I met at the same shelter. Maya is a beautiful pit bull mix who has waited for her forever home for quite some time. Being a Read More

Shelter Dog Spotlight: Marley

When I visited the SPCA of Central Florida in Orlando last weekend, I had the opportunity to spend several hours there looking for adoptable dogs to join me during my presentation at their yearly fund raising event, Paws in the Park. The criteria I was looking for was simple, but not always easy to find Read More

Fostering A Rescue Dog

If you are looking for a way to help homeless dogs in your community, fostering is a wonderful way to get involved. Fostering involves taking an animal into your home and caring for the animal until it finds an adoptive home. Fosters may be with you anywhere from a few days to a few months, Read More

Preventing Behavior Problems

The wonderful thing about positive training is that when used correctly and at the beginning of a dog’s life, it can prevent all kinds of common behavioral problems from ever developing. If you are about to bring home a new puppy, you have the opportunity to get started on the right track by utilizing positive Read More

Fears and Phobias

Fears and phobias are relatively common and can affect dogs of all ages and all breeds. But there is a difference between fear and phobia. Fear is a normal response to an actual or perceived threat or situation, while a phobia is an exaggerated fear response that can completely overwhelm a dog. Some dogs are Read More

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is one of the most difficult behavior problems to deal with in dogs because successful modification relies on people being present at all times during what can be a long training process. It is a hugely important problem to solve, both for dog and owner, as separation anxiety is one of the main Read More

Catching Behavior

When training your dog, there are a number of easy ways you can get her to perform the desired behavior. One of the easiest force-free ways to teach your dog a behavior is by 'catching' her in the act of the behavior. The concept of catching a behavior is that you identify and reward behaviors Read More

Dog Behavior

A dog’s behavior is deeply rooted in the way he is bred, socialized, and trained. You can have a social, confident dog that is able to cope in a human world if you take the time to teach basic cues and recognize the difference between minor nuisance behaviors and more serious behavior problems as they Read More

The Hand That Feeds: There Are Better Options Than Hand Feeding

It used to be standard operating procedure for some dog professionals to advise new rescue dog parents to hand feed said dog in order to effectively create a bond. In some cases, it still is standard. It depends on who you ask. The same protocol is also suggested by some trainers for dogs who resource Read More

Your puppy is not a blank slate

Here’s why… Your puppy is a product of its parents’ genes. These provide the blueprint for appearance, temperament and behavior.  This is why a Jack Russell looks and acts like a Jack Russell, and a Labrador looks and acts like a Labrador.  If you want a dog that will look and act like a Labrador, you Read More

Beyond the Fairy Tale

And they all lived happily ever after… I’m a sucker for those stories too. I love to see the heroes and heroines overcome adversity and wander off into the sunset for their fabulous forever. Sadly we all know that happy ever after is just a fairy tale ending to a fairy tale. Neither are real, Read More

What It Means To Be Your Dog’s Leader

We’re told as dog guardians that we need to be the "leader of the pack" and let our dogs know who runs the show. But, being a true “Leader” when it comes to our dogs may be very different than what you’ve been led to believe.

How and Why to Adopt a Senior Pet

The ageism that causes seniors to be passed over is a prejudice without merit, as oftentimes it’s the older dog that is best suited for a happy household and a lasting marriage of dog and family. Here’s why...

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

“I Can’t. You’re Making Me Nervous”

Have you noticed that there are times when your dog can't respond to a cue that is normally easy? It may be the environment is different or too distracting. Or, it may be you.

What is Arousal in Dogs and Why Should I Care?

A "Naughty But Nice" (NBN) dog is exactly how it sounds - they are nice, beautiful, lovable dogs underneath but sometimes they make bad choices! In fact, many of the things that NBN dogs do are often motivated by high arousal!

Don’t Do Me Wrong: Rescue Groups and Dog Behavior Knowledge

Cue the wistful music before starting the video rolling and many dog lovers just see what they want to see in a video making the internet rounds. When you accompany sweet music with an overlay of words meant to convey what you want people to see, as long as the opposite isn’t glaringly obvious to Read More

Leash Control: It’s Not About Control at All

People go to great lengths to try to achieve what they see as a "gold star level" of leash control using all kinds of questionable methods. But here's the thing: true leash control isn't about control at all.

Play With Your Dog More in 2016

Playing is an important part of your dog’s life. Beyond the daily walk, playing with your dog has a number of positive benefits. Here's why you should play more with your dog in 2016.

Christmas Puppies: the Good, the Bad, and the Oh So Cute!

There are many wonderful resources for you to read about whether bringing home a puppy over the holidays is a responsible choice for your family. This article is meant to help you make good choices once you have already decided to bring a new dog home for the holidays.

The Trails Are Calling You and Your Dog

Hiking is not only good physical exercise for your dog, it’s a great mental stimulation experience as well. It’s also a really fabulous bonding experience.

No Cue November

We have a new game at my facility called “cue fasting” and we now require a “cue fast” for all of our clients when they begin training with us. We’ve decided to take the game up a notch in what we are calling “No Cue November.”