Chewing

  Most dogs love to chew but destructive chewing directed towards objects other than chew toys Is often a sign of a deeper problem such as separation anxiety. Chewing is a potent stress reliever and releases pleasurable endorphins into the body, while destructive chewing on doors or window frames can be a sign that a Read More

Does Your Dog Respect You?

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” In the film ‘The Blues Brothers,’ Aretha Franklin sings about her need for some respect. The words of the song are as applicable today in human relationships as they were then, but what does the word actually mean?

The Power of Management

A trainer’s most important job is to help people live harmoniously with their dogs and sometimes the only thing that is needed to create harmony is effective management.

Needs and Wants

The Human-Animal Bond is the connection between a human and a pet and includes the development of emotional attachment to that pet, with genuine feelings of affection and a sense of responsibility for their well-being.

Dogs and Exercise

The benefits of good exercise for dogs and people are well known. Exercise improves physical fitness and releases endorphins and opioids in the brain, promoting an overall feeling of wellbeing.

The Most Important Job

When I first started training dogs I was thrown into the deep end. I had run a successful dog walking business in Wimbledon, but didn’t handle many dogs who had a bite history.

Managing Your Overwhelmed Dog

As the modern dog’s role continues to evolve from that of working dog to companion animal, there is more pressure on all dogs to cope and behave well in an increasingly busy human world.

Puppy-Proofing

Puppies are fun but also require lots of care. Living with a puppy can be time consuming and stressful at times. Puppies require supervision, plenty of exercise, and attention. One common question I receive is "How do I stop my puppy from chewing things around the house?". I have created a puppy-proofing checklist to help Read More

Optimism

Developing optimism involves many positive experiences, but also fair challenges (so the dog can practice successfully stretching its comfort zone, working through manageable difficulties and recovering from failure to try again).

Victoria’s New Puppy Book Now Available!

Victoria Stilwell’s 5th book entitled “The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Puppy: How to Train and Care for Your New Dog” will be released on October 1, 2019 in the US. The book is available to preorder now.

Is It Mouthing Or Biting?

The difference between mouthing and biting It is not at all uncommon for puppies to use their mouths in nearly everything they do. This behavior is called 'mouthing' and is a completely normal part of development. Though this is very similar to biting, the intention is different. Distinguishing between the two is very important.  Why Read More

Possession Prevention in Puppies

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.

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

A Puppy Under the Tree

A puppy for Christmas is a gift that, as a professional trainer for over 10 years, I strongly encourage to be planned so that the entire family understands the commitment that gift comes with. Have no doubt: the pup will not be for the kids. The pup will be the responsibility of the adults in the family, and she will depend on them for her care.

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...

My dog can’t keep still – he’s wild all the time!

“He’s always leaping about like a mad thing,” Jan said, as her large young labrador Jimmy thudded her in the stomach with his paws and jumped to try and nip her nose. Jan dodged her face just out of his reach, so he resigned himself to scraping her arm and chewing her cuff. She squawked, waved her hands about, pushed and pulled, shouted …

Teaching Your Dog Calmness & Focus

In part one of this blog series, I introduced you to what a “Naughty But Nice” dog is and shared with you the first tip to training and living harmoniously with them! Now, the next tip - calmness!

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.

How Raising a Puppy is Like Parenting

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.

Positively Dog Training Episode 501

Victoria and Holly start Season 5 of the Positively Podcast off with a bang, including some great Ask Victoria questions and an interview with 'Of Dogs and Men' filmmaker Patrick Reasonover.

Nag Nag Nag (It’s a Dog’s Life!)

We humans do like nagging our dogs! Whether or not the dog has been trained to 'obey commands' or 'respond to cues' depends upon the method of training, but some people can't drop it once the word has been learnt. They seem unable to resist constantly directing their dog.

Positively Dog Training Episode 405

Victoria and Holly celebrate 10 years of It’s Me or the Dog by recapping some of their favorite moments from the show. Just in time for warmer weather, they also discuss the dangers of keeping a dog in a hot car. And you won’t want to miss this episode’s guest caller – Ceva’s veterinary behaviorist, Valarie Tynes.

Caring for a Senior Dog

The primary form of communication for dogs is body language. It is important that you learn more about this language, especially if you are caring for senior dogs, in order to understand their changing needs.

What’s safer: a tennis ball, or a ball made specifically for dogs?

If you have an active, ball-obsessed dog, you may have concerns about how safe those tennis balls are. Are tennis balls safe for dogs, or are dog toys safer? You might have heard stories about how tennis balls aren’t safe for dogs. These stories may include concerns about enamel abrasion, or perhaps something about what Read More

So You Want a Puppy? Are You Sure?

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!

Positively Success Story: Maggie

Maggie came into my life almost six years ago, when I was hired by her owners, of that time, to teach her basic obedience. Maggie was an untrained dog, who had already been adopted by several other families and she eventually proved to be “too much” to handle for her then adopted family. I was Read More

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.

Fido’s Home Away From Home for the Holidays

The holidays are here, and with the holidays come vacations and the need to board your four-legged friend. There is no reason why your dog can’t have as wonderful a vacation as you with the right preparation.

Positively Success Story: Sammy

I rescued my dog Sammity Sam in 2010 from a shelter. After having been born there, he was adopted once & surrendered back into the same shelter again. He was a 2 yr old German Shepard cross that had some very difficult issues. One of which was complete panic & destruction every time I left Read More

Positively Success Story: Paisley

First off, thank you so very much for being a ray of light in such a dark world of training methods. I'm 20 , and I've had dogs my whole life, Boxers. So when I decided to get a dog of my own, it had to be a Boxer. To me, it's just not home Read More

Puppy High School

Thankfully, many people know and understand that puppies need lots of training, socialization, and focus on creating good impulse control when they are younger. But many stop at a few puppy classes, and don’t continue through adolescence. This could have dire consequences later on, when the puppy becomes a teenager and starts developing bad habits Read More

Taste

Taste and smell are closely linked, and although a dog’s sense of smell is superior to ours, their tasting abilities are probably not as sensitive. A dog has only 1,700 taste buds – far fewer than a human’s impressive 9,000. Dogs can detect sweet, salty, sour, and bitter tastes, but it is doubtful they can Read More

Does Your Dog Feel Guilt?

  If you're a dog owner or a dog lover, you know "the guilty look." Your dog has done something wrong, and the look on his face makes it clear that he knows he's in trouble. Right? Maybe not. Behaviorists have long questioned the belief that dogs feel guilt or shame for their actions. In Read More

Allergies

Allergies are a common condition that can affect dogs of all ages and breeds. Depending on your dog’s specific allergy, problems can occur when the allergen is inhaled, ingested, or makes contact with skin. While most allergy cases are treatable and not dangerous for your dog, they can cause some severe symptoms. What are common Read More

Interactive Toys

Interactive toys should be central part of your canine enrichment plan. Not only are they fun for both dog and owner, they provide much-needed mental and physical stimulation, even when you have to leave home. Interactive Chew Toys Chew toys are an excellent way to help puppies cope with teething as long at the rubber Read More

Puppy Mills

People have an ethical responsibility to raise and treat animals with care and respect. The evidence is overwhelming – puppy mills (farms) are no better than factory farms for dogs. Apart from being cruel and abusive places there are many reasons why a consumer must stay away from purchasing a puppy from a pet store, flea Read More

Choosing The Right Breed/Breed Mix

Whether you are buying from a breeder or adopting from a shelter/rescue group, you need to do a good bit of research on what breed or breed mix of dog you are looking for. The wrong pet in a family situation can be stressful on everyone. Pre-Selection To-Do List Do research online about dog breeds Read More