Be Careful What You Reward

It’s no secret that dogs do what works. If a dog receives a treat or other valuable reward each time he lies quietly on his bed, he’s likely to lie there more often. Most dog owners would agree, “that which is rewarded is likely to occur more frequently.” And yet, as a trainer, I often Read More

Starting out with your new puppy

You’ve been planning for months, and at last your new puppy is here! Your expectations are enormous: this is going to be the perfect dog you’ve always wanted. And maybe that’s right, and your little puppy will become your Brilliant Family Dog. But for many of us - and for many of our puppies - Read More

5 Little-Known Puppy Training Tips You’ll Be Glad You Found

I spend much of my time as a trainer working with young puppies. They’re little sponges, absorbing every bit of information we send their way – both good and bad. You’ll hear the same puppy training advice over and over: make sure to socialize your puppy, start potty training immediately, and the like. But in Read More

When and How to Train Your Puppy or New Rescue

Q. What are some of the benefits of training my dog? A. Training makes home life more manageable and fun for you and your dog. Next to basic health care, it’s the most important thing you can do for your pup. Best of all, training the dog you love is one of the best ways Read More

The Value of Rewards

Identifying and providing high-value rewards for good behavior is a crucial element to positive reinforcement – one of the four pillars of positive training. Often referred to as 'reward-based' training, the appropriate and timely delivery of a reward during training makes a dog more confident and able to manage successfully in a domestic environment. Importantly, Read More

Top 10 Things to Teach Your Dog

After falling in love with a dog that melted your heart at the local  shelter or carefully selecting  a puppy from the breed-specific rescue, you’re now faced with some very real challenges at home. What’s the quickest path to making your new bundle of joy a member of the family with whom it’s a joy Read More

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...

Striving for Fear-Free Interactions in All Dog Care Fields

Every dog behavior professional keeps a mental list of other dog care professionals such as dog walkers, pet sitters, boarding facilities, groomers, etc. that meet their own personal care standards. Those standards will likely mirror their own philosophy of how dogs should be treated. Those who practice behavior modification with modern scientific-based methods in their Read More

How Tricky Got Her Groove Back

This is Part 1 of Bobbie Bhambree's agility series. Check out Part 2 here and Part 3 here.  One of the main reasons I am an effective dog trainer and have strong mechanical skills when teaching and handling dogs is because of my many years as an student of agility. This dog performance sport takes the Read More

Forcing Hugs on Dogs Can Amount to Punishment

When we hug our dogs we are sending out our affection and sharing our love. What we are giving out isn’t necessarily what the dog is receiving. To a dog, a hug is very bad canine etiquette, pushy behavior associated with establishing social status, an invasion of space, threatening.

Introducing New Dog To Existing Dogs

Tension between dogs that live together is very common, especially when a new dog is introduced into the mix.  Existing dogs are not able to choose their new ‘brothers and sisters’, so it is up to you to ensure introductions go as smoothly as possible by following some general guidelines. Tips for Safe Dog-to-Dog Introductions: 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

Dog Sports

Dog sports are a great way to bond with your dog and give your canine companion exercise and mental stimulation. From the unbridled fun of dock diving to the quirkier but thrilling sport of skijoring, dog sports offer a fantastic opportunity to build and enhance the unique relationship we share with man's best friend in Read More

Sit

Teaching the 'sit' cue is the first cue many dog owners want to teach their new dog or puppy. This cue can be used when you need your puppy or dog to focus her attention at certain times; for example, at the curb before crossing the road, in front of a food bowl before eating, Read More

Canine Emotion

There is much debate on whether a dog’s experience of emotion is similar to that of a human’s or if a dog’s behavior is simply influenced by an inner drive to survive. While we cannot claim to have all the answers yet, science is helping increase our understanding of how the dog’s brain works, producing Read More

Victoria Develops New Training Products

Victoria Stilwell constantly promotes the power of positive training methods through the many platforms she has developed during her career as a well-known dog trainer. Now she is taking her commitment to helping people and their dogs to a whole new level with the announcement of a new line of dog training products specifically designed by Victoria herself to help dog owners around the world. With her Positively Training Treats, Positively No-Pull Harness, and Positively Double-Connection Leash, Victoria aims to help dog owners tackle some of the most commonly-encountered dog behavior problems.

The Value of Redirection

My eight-year old daughter loves school so much that when the last day of school arrived a couple of weeks ago, she and her friends were borderline devastated to face the fact that there would be no regular contact with each other and their beloved teachers for a few months. We knew from previous years Read More

Top 10 Gifts That Last a Lifetime

The lingering aroma of hot cider, eggnog, and evergreen, sparkling lights that brightened each night, and my great hope for a wonderful new year, stir me to share a list of “gifts” that can enhance the quality of every dog’s life. Your thoughtful choices make a big difference-- from adoption to the twilight days. 1. Read More

The Games Animals Play

I've always been interested in play, and now that the weather is getting warmer it’s on my mind more and more. Science doesn't explain it very well, or it's explained as something young animals do to practice future skills. But that definition doesn't cover every kind of play, and it doesn't explain why it's so Read More

The Importance of Not Being Wrong…

Recently I took part in a research project, and one of the 'tests' we had to do prompted me to think about the feelings, emotions and reactions surrounding finding out that you are wrong, especially when you were convinced you were right. To explain a little further, the test was the Wisconsin Card Sorting test Read More