Let's start with why dogs dig. Dogs belong to the family Canidae, which includes domestic dogs, fox, coyotes, wolves and a few others. What do they all have in common? Well, plenty, including digging as an innate behavior.
A client of mine rescued a dog from a local county shelter. The dog was cute and scruffy tan terrier mix. Sort of similar to the famous movie star dog Benji. My client had gone to the county shelter hoping to find the perfect furry companion for her and her family. She didn’t have any Read More
Our dogs have a big fenced back yard with plenty of grass, plants, bushes and fun places to enjoy their time outside. They even have some bird feeders, where they promptly chase the birds away when running out of the house to their big back yard. It’s a wonderful sanctuary for them to play, lounge, Read More
I’ve been keeping an eye on and educating myself on the changes and improvements in the pet food industry. I’m seeing more premium brands being introduced, raw foods, grain free, limited ingredients, organic and many more options I believe this is a good for our animals but, can be a bit overwhelming. There seems to Read More
Imagine being hung half way out a window by your suspenders 30 stories up, or being held up at gunpoint. That’s actually how I believe many of our pets feel at the vet office, or even before they arrive, as they realize that’s where they’re headed and fear begins to ramp up.
As a society, humans revel in their ability to make choices. We make them every day, many times a day. Cream or sugar or both? Hot or iced? Shower or bath? Do you want fries with that? Walk this path or hike that trail? TV or book? Cable or Netflix? We decide what time we Read More
It's no use trying to suppress your dog's instinctive drives! Here's how you can accommodate digging, chewing, chasing, and barking, while enjoying your dog all the more.
The holidays bring a lot of guests into homes where dogs are inevitably being fed table scraps, and perhaps even helping themselves to Thanksgiving dinner. As a result of eating a high fat meal, some dogs suffer from pancreatitis the day after Thanksgiving, and any other holiday during this time of year.
Common household alkaline batteries can pose a real danger to pets if they are accidentally chewed or swallowed. Here’s what to do if your pet ever ingests a battery.
From frozen treats to baby pools, we have some great ways to beat the summer heat with your dog.
I recently became the proud owner of a 10 week old Border Collie. Having had two previous Border Collies that passed away at the age of 14 I surmised I was savvy enough to do it again. The reality of my decision bit me pretty hard!
Thinking about getting a puppy for Christmas? First, make sure you are ready for a 10-20 year commitment and can afford the money that it takes to raise a happy and secure dog. If all that is worked out, then you want to do your research to make sure you pick out the right breed for Read More
Despite the fact that walking into such an institution is enough to make many dog lovers' stomachs turn, there are actually a few things that can be learned from high-kill shelters.
The Big Dig Our first challenge paired us with Bill & Star. One of our dogs would have to ring a bell and the other one would need to dig through some mulch in order to pull a rope to release their owner in the box below. To prepare for this challenge, we had to Read More
The Canine Noise Phobia Series (CNP) is a 4-CD compilation of specialized audio recordings and innovative training protocols specifically designed to reduce and prevent noise phobias and anxiety in dogs. “In my work as a dog trainer both on TV and in private practice over the past 15 years, I have seen countless dogs suffer Read More
In late 2013, an ultrasound revealed that Cardiff had a small intestinal mass. Surgery was performed to remove the growth and the biopsy revealed the diagnosis of T-cell lymphoma. Although the tumor was completely removed and no other evidence of cancer was found in Cardiff’s body, the potential exists that other cancer cells could still Read More
It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Christmas decorations are already lighting up homes and businesses, and I even ran into Santa Claus at the mall! The holidays are a wonderful time to spend time with family and friends, but they can also be a challenging time when you have pets. Anxious or reactive dogs are especially prone to stress during the holidays. Here are eight tips for keeping your dog safe and stress-free this holiday season.
We all want the best for our canine and feline companions, but sometimes we owners may unknowingly be sickening our pets. One of the most glaringly obvious circumstances where pets were sickened or died as a result of the recommendations of animal-health professionals is the 2007 melamine pet food crisis. Dogs and cats that consumed dry Read More
Cancer is a disease that we veterinarians are diagnosing more frequently in pets. According to the Morris Animal Foundation, “1 in 2 dogs will develop cancer and 1 in 4 dogs will die of the disease.” As there is no guarantee for a cure, we should strive to prevent our pets from developing cancer in the first place.
Victoria Stilwell has been tapped to lead the content development and creation of eHow Pets - a brand-new YouTube channel to be launched on April 1, 2012. In an exclusive partnership with premier online digital media company Demand Media, Stilwell will be featured in the majority of the new channel's web video series, providing viewers with a wide-ranging array of training videos, pet-related featurettes, how-to segments, and fascinating reports from the world of dogs, cats and more.
Earl looked at me with is big brown eyes and his black droopy lips asking, what’s going on? Where are we? Howie has been following me from room to room for the last week. No matter how easy you try and make it your pet feels the confusion and stress of a move as much Read More
Whew - that was close. After a fraught couple of days, it became clear just how close we came to losing our precious little newest addition – our rescued Chihuahua mix Jasmine. What happened to us could happen to anyone, so I wanted to be sure to pass along our experience in the hopes that Read More
Weight is not always the best indicator of how healthy your pet actually is. As we all know, muscle weighs more than fat and therefore seemingly fit dogs can weigh more then a similar non athletic dog. A better way to see if your pet is at its ideal weight is through a body condition Read More
Part II If your thoughts of gratitude this Holiday Season include your precious pup who faithfully brings so much joy and unconditional love all year long - show your appreciation by including your dog in the festivities of the season. Please help us to find new ways to say "Thank You"! 6. Grooming A trip Read More
We as humans have made such progress with how we view dogs, but it seems with so many steps forward, we take a few more steps back At one time, dogs were given far more freedom than they have now, many having at least the daytime run of their neighborhoods. But that freedom also came Read More
Following years of development, renowned dog behavior expert Victoria Stilwell and her Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior educational arm announce the launch of the Online Dog Trainer Course – a game-changing new online-only course designed to teach those aspiring to become professional dog trainers.
As the urbanization sprawls reach into places with wildlife, confrontations are more numerous, from skunk to coyotes to moose. Sometimes these confrontations may be potentially dangerous to us, but more often potentially dangerous to companion animals – unless we make a few easy adjustments. Arguably the most successful of all non-bird species is the coyote. Read More
Limiting animals allowed on airplanes. This was bound to happen and has begun with Delta Airlines because so many people are taking advantage of the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regarding service animals. The law is a bit ambiguous because when the ADA was created the terms comfort animal or emotional support animal (ESA) Read More
Before I started my career as a dog trainer, I studied broadcast journalism in college. I remember one of my professors constantly repeating the phrase "consider the source." That phrase has stuck with me throughout the years, and I've found it to be quite relevant to my work as a trainer.
Saving cats claws may also save their lives. There’s increasing data to demonstrate that once declawed, cats wind up at animal shelters due to behavioral problems. Or they may wind up in animal shelters because they do have their claws and are scratching in all the wrong places. To declaw remains an emotional issue, and Read More
California appears set to ban sales of dogs, cats and rabbits at pet stores, just as hundreds of communities and some counties have done around the country. The California bill is aimed at changing how cats, dogs and rabbits become family pets, and has cleared the California Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee with Read More
I am sick of seeing commercials, print ads and even suggestions made on pet food packaging itself, about caring for the wolf in your dog. There isn’t as much of the wolf in your dog, at least advertised. In fact, there is very little grey wolf in any domestic dog! Several studies, including one from PLOS Read More
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
I firmly believe that any decent trainer is always learning – we should never feel we know ‘enough’, and I thoroughly enjoy being inspired, educated and challenged by our amazing roster of presenters at this conference year after year. It has developed into one of the most sought-after dog behaviour experiences available in the UK, and I’m incredibly honoured to be able to bring such a diverse, passionate, educated, engaged, and dog-literate group of people together in the name of better understanding our canine companions each June.
We’ve all seen it. Person and dog are walking along the street. Dog spots another person or dog and goes ballistic. Barking, lunging, ducking and diving, in a flurry of teeth and claws, looking for all the world as if she wants to eat everyone in her path. Then we see the poor owner trying Read More
Does your reactive dog seem to be getting more fearful, anxious, or aggressive? Here are key strategies for change that you can put in place very easily.
Birds are amazing for many different reasons, and National Bird Day is one day each year that we can acknowledge some of the reasons these creatures are so amazing. What makes birds so incredible?
Our first class of students are past the halfway point in their Dog Trainer Course, registration is underway for VSA’s next US-based class this fall, and spaces are quickly filling up in our first UK-based class this September. And we’re just getting started!
I’m writing this to clarify the events that led up to the bite I experienced from a police dog and to hopefully re-inject a bit of sanity into the online discussions surrounding the event.
Like a child, your pup’s early experiences are the foundation of their future. You are literally BUILDING your puppy’s brain. Do it thoughtfully, but also patiently and lightheartedly.