Because dogs don't speak our language, the only way to truly comprehend and communicate with them is for us to understand and appreciate what they are telling us through their body and vocal language. Often, gestures or actions that we assume mean one thing are actually the dog telling us the exact opposite, and determining Read More
So you think your dog can dance? Then check out Canine Freestyle, a fascinating dog sport in which dog and handler perform a choreographed routine to music. If you are looking for a dog sport that also allows creativity on the part of the handler, Canine Freestyle could be a great fit. Known as 'Heel Read More
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 was featured recently in an article by renowned concert pianist John Bell Young for the Life With Dogs website. During the in-depth interview, Victoria discusses It's Me or the Dog, positive training, working with families vs individuals, canine body language, the dangers of 'quick fixes' and 'pack leader' mentality, bereavement and adoption issues.
What is Resource Guarding Resource guarding (also known as 'possession aggression') is behavior a dog may display in order to control access to a valued item or space. A valued resource includes anything of value to that particular dog. Just as people value different items, so do dogs. A dog may feel the need to Read More
Possession behaviors, also known as “resource guarding”, is a natural survival behavior that all animals display, including humans. These behaviors can be normal and mild, but they can escalate and become quite dangerous if not addressed appropriately.
After an article about the use of shock collars in dog training appears, the same questions inevitably come up. Usually, the person asking the question is not really seeking an answer. Instead, they are posing the question as a rebuttal to our position, which is that shock has no place in dog training. Here are a few of the actual questions we receive, edited for clarity, with answers.
This is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. The purpose of this week is twofold: to bring awareness to the problem AND to provide information on how to prevent dog bites from happening to you and those you love.
Adoption events save lives. They're usually the driving force behind rescue groups and animal shelters reaching the community and finding adopters. But while they are great for finding new homes, adoption events can be very difficult for dogs.
With the amount of fear mongering that exists currently regarding pit bull-type dogs, I feel it's important to publish the truth about these dogs. Although most dogs labeled as pit bulls are actually a mix of different breeds with similar physical characteristics, anything that has the appearance of an American Pitbull Terrier is incorrectly labeled as Read More
For the last eight months I have been filming with the officers and dogs of an incredible Georgia based police k9 unit for my new upcoming web series Guardians of the Night, and this has given me first-hand experience of what these brave men and their dogs do on a daily basis to keep the Read More
Renowned TV dog trainer, Victoria Stilwell has enlisted the help of the world’s top canine behaviour experts, lawyers, and educators to create the National Dog Bite Prevention & Behaviour Conference – a national event dedicated to finding practical and workable solutions to this universal problem through education and heightened awareness.
In Her Own Words: Victoria on Dog Bite Prevention: As a mother and a dog trainer, I am dedicated to raising awareness about responsible pet ownership and preventing dog bites. My public platform helps put a spotlight on the issue and my Dog Bite Prevention Task Force, comprised of veterinarians, lawyers, canine bite investigators and Read More
Every dog has their own set of personality traits that make them unique, so you cannot predict a dog’s behavior solely on its breed type. There are many myths surrounding bully breed dogs or 'bullies,' that instill fear in the general public and can cause devastating misunderstandings. Bully breed dogs, such as pit bull type Read More
The first and most important step to building a strong, healthy relationship with our dogs is to truly understand how they think, feel and learn. Thanks to the ongoing advances in the scientific community, our understanding of our canine companions is constantly evolving, providing us the opportunity to look deep inside the dog’s mind and Read More
The Dog Bite Prevention and Awareness Conference presented by VSPDT (DBC) is a one or two-day multi-speaker seminar designed for and open to all animal industry professionals, child educators, shelter workers, medical professionals, first responders, police and animal control officers, lawyers, lawmakers, public safety professionals, delivery personnel, trainers and dog lovers. The DBC is a Read More
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.
Renowned pet trainer Victoria Stilwell, forensic dog bite and aggression expert Jim Crosby and attorney Claudine Wilkins are just a few of the presenters that are coming to Denver on Nov. 2, 2012 to take part in the National Dog Bite Awareness and Prevention Conference presented by Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training (VSPDT). This marks 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
Those of us who get paid to help dog parents with their dog’s behavior issues need to be able to accurately and understandably convey to those dog parents that how they respond to each situation helps determine the outcome.
Heart dog. Say those two words to any dog lover and their eyes will go soft. They will look wistful. They will be fondly thinking of a dog they currently share their life with if they are lucky. If they are less than lucky, there will tears in their eyes. They will be thinking of Read More
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.
Those of us who help modify dog behavior for a living have to try and not see things during the course of our daily life.
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
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
How much do dogs really comprehend us? Lots of work at dog cognition centers around the world are attempting to grasp how much dogs really know.
So, how much do dogs know? Humans have lived side-by-side with dogs for thousands of years, yet even today this big question continues to baffle science – even as dogs have become family members.
I've been asked many times, "Why deaf dogs?" and it's a good question. In searching for the right words, I’ve been thinking a lot about my deaf dog Edison and the deep connection I feel with him.
Ultimately, what I’ve realized is that living with and training a deaf dog isn’t harder, it’s just different. Here are a few tips to help new deaf dog pet parents get started. I hope these help ease your anxiety and fears during this transition.
There is perhaps no greater experience than participating in an activity with your dog that satisfies you both. The bonding experience created is unparalleled.
When it comes down to it, the most common explanations for dog bites are either related to fear (perhaps as a result of a lack of socialization) or resource guarding, such as dogs guarding their toys, food or property.
Some highly active dogs need a helping hand to settle down before going to sleep at night. I have a highly active sport dog, and we often do training, tricks, and play in the evening to engage his mind and body to keep him out of trouble. This helps to keep his active mind and Read More
VSPDT Laura Brody discusses the topic of dog socialization and why modern domesticated dogs are showing more signs of dog-dog aggression than ever before.
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.
A guide to Doggy Daycare. How to choose a safe, fun, behaviorally sound, doggy daycare so your dog will have a Positively good time!
If you’ve ever had a leash reactive dog, you know the feeling of dread that I had before going on a walk. Learn how I stopped my dog's leash aggression--positively.
Resource guarding is when a dog controls access to food, objects, people and locations that are important to him through defensive body language or overt aggressive display. This is a relatively common canine behavior and is influenced by a number of environmental and situational stimuli, including a dog’s natural instinct to survive. The dog Read More
A series of videos is now available to help law enforcement officers better understand dog behavior and body language, in the hopes of preventing unnecessary shootings. When officers arrive at a scene, they often have to make split-second decisions. Many of these officers have not had the opportunity to receive critical training about encounters with Read More
Positive reinforcement in dog training can go by many names, most of which are valid and worthy: reward-based training, science-based training, force-free or pain-free training, etc. Regardless of the terminology, the general theory behind this line of thinking remains the same. So what exactly is positive reinforcement? If you give your dog a reward (praise, Read More
Positive training is not a scientific term. You will not find it in any scientific journals, and you will regularly hear it being mischaracterized by those who do not fully understand it. When we at Positively refer to the power of positive training or you hear Victoria describe herself as a positive trainer, we are Read More