In some of my other worlds, parenting and school teaching, the idea of Growth vs Fixed Mindsets has taken off. You can read more here, but in a nutshell, you avoid labeling children as smart or not smart. You look for and acknowledge behaviours like effort, persistence, thoughtful choices, small steps taken and achieved; and Read More
K9 officer Shawn Humphreys talks with Victoria and Holly about the world of police dog training, its challenges, and the changes he’s noticing with his move towards more positive training. Also, new VSA course dates, how to find a licensed trainer as well as leash-walking and separation anxiety issues.
Why dogs and Halloween don’t mix, November’s pet awareness holidays, how to detect signs your dog is in pain. Also, consistency when paper training pups, mouthing puppies, constant barking, issues that come with adopting street dogs.
On this jam-packed episode of the Positively Podcast, Holly and Victoria first chat about Victoria's new book and some of the fascinating research that's being conducted on canine cognition. Here are a few of the questions they discuss: Do dogs dream? How can you tell if your dog is in pain? Why do small dogs Read More
“Should I send previous clients thank you cards?” “How often should I send them?” “What should I say in a thank you card?” I often hear these questions from new or even experience dog trainers. While they are well intentioned, we can and should strive to create better ways of showing our support than a thank you card every once in a while.
Planning in dog training is an important skill to master; this skill applies to basic life skills, to obedience, to behaviour modification and also fun tricks.
Bringing a new puppy home is a very exciting experience from your family, and it's very important that from day one, you're armed with the best possible positive training information.
When we train mindfully, we pay attention on purpose. We're aware of what’s happening during the session: mechanics, timing, location, the dog’s internal state.
In part two of this series, I will share with you some of the activities I focused on to support playing the game of agility.
For about a year and a half, I was living in New York City. I went from living in a large house on 2 acres to a small one bedroom apartment near a park. In this three-part article series, I am going to share how I kept agility in my life while living in a Read More
I spent the first two articles of this three-part series talking about Tricky’s drive, what I did that caused her to lose it, and the things I did to build it back. Now I will talk about what I’ve done to keep it and suggestions to help others to do the same.
OK, let’s be honest here: Can positive training really work with an 11-year-old feral dog? Yes. Yes, it can.
Victoria and Holly talk about their experiences in Greece, where there is a massive stray dog problem. They interview Victoria Stilwell Dog Training Academy Director Tia Guest, and Victoria answers some tough Ask Victoria questions.
At long last, I am thrilled to announce the official launch of the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior!
If you've got a good grasp on your dog's leash reactivity but feel you're still struggling sometimes, here are some tips for later stages of training that may help you really step things up.
We wrote previously about what you should start with when you're training a deaf dog, but now I want to touch on something I see many people doing wrong! It's something they don't even think about, but it's a critical mistake that's easy to fix.
When training your deaf dog, don't ever have the mentality that because she is deaf she can't do something. A deaf dog is capable of doing anything that a hearing dog can, except for hear!
You will see the returns of your effort by sticking with the program for the long haul. If we want to see a change in our dog’s behavior we have to do the work, simple as that.
Our clients were pleased, their dogs were happy, and our business was successful. Surprisingly, in the face of all this success, I was feeling unsatisfied, exhausted, and had what I learned to call “the burnout of compassion fatigue”.
There’s a lot of negative talk about using food in training. Even when people are prepared to use it in a class or at home, they often refuse to carry it when taking the training 'on the road'. Comments include; it’s bribery; I want the dog to work for me; the dog ‘knows’ what I Read More
As Victoria wraps up her #poopandtell campaign, she and Holly read some of their favorite submissions. Radio host and pet journalist Steve Dale calls in to the Positively Hotline to chat about cat socialization and stress-free veterinary care for cats.
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.
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.
Have you ever thought about using clicker training with your dog, but didn't know how it worked? Here are some great tips and videos from a dog trainer about how to start clicker training.
A recent dolphin training video has the public outraged. While it seems to be an accepted fact that dolphins are highly intelligent and worthy of humane training, I think the general public is still in the process of accepting the same about their dogs.
I truly believe the only way for positive gun dog training to gain any kind of ground in this country is by developing good hunting dogs, strong hunt test results and some field trial wins. There are indeed positive trainers already making strides, but the numbers comparatively are very small. This must change, and it is fair for those who advocate traditional gun dog training to demand proof.
I have a lot of habits to break and a lot of new behaviors to learn. This got me thinking about my work in animal behavior and how amazingly similar it is to what I am trying to accomplish with my diet.
Dog is abused, abandoned, neglected. Dog is rescued. Dog has behavioral issues stemming from a difficult past. Rescue group calls in a trainer, who puts a shock collar on the dog to "fix" him and make him adoptable. While the above scenario may be oversimplified, it happens all too often in the rescue world. I worked on Read More
Paper training is a highly effective and popular way to housetrain puppies. When done correctly, paper training teaches the puppy to eliminate on progressively smaller areas of paper (or training pads) until you are able to direct the puppy to specific areas where you want him to toilet. For some rural or suburban households, this Read More
Victoria was featured on the Weather Channel's morning show, America's Morning Headquarters (AMHQ), where she had the chance to spend time with adoptable puppies from the Atlanta Humane Society. Many families choose to bring home a new puppy over the summer since the kids are home from school and everyone has more time to integrate 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
On Sunday 23rd March 2014 there was a great article about dog training in the Sunday Telegraph as well as in the Telegraph online. The article highlighted a study that found pets trained using aversive methods were 15 times more likely to exhibit symptoms of stress than those trained using "positive" techniques and that training Read More
A new study out of the UK sought to find the key factors that contribute to dog aggression. While breed-specific legislation and other discriminatory practices focus on the belief that a dog's breed is the primary factor that causes a dog to be aggressive, the results of this study point otherwise. Check out the top Read More
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Crate training is a popular way of encouraging puppies to hold themselves for longer periods of time and of keeping them safe when unsupervised. Used correctly, a crate becomes a favorite place for sleeping and/or quiet time but keeping a puppy or a dog in a crate for too long can also inadvertently encourage them Read More
Successful housetraining is one of the first things parents of a new puppy need to accomplish, and even though the process can be time-consuming, it does not have to be daunting. With a combination of consistency, common sense, and positive reinforcement protocols, you can quickly train any puppy to toilet appropriately. There are a number Read More
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
Teaching older dogs that have not been taught to toilet appropriately can be a challenge. Most dogs raised in a normal domestic environment respond well to a good housetraining schedule, but those that have lived in compromised backgrounds, such as puppy mills, may be more difficult to teach. Before you begin the housetraining process make sure Read More
The 'Touch' cue teaches dogs that an approaching hand is not a threat and therefore does not require a negative response. Many advanced behavioral issues can often be traced back to seemingly innocuous beginnings like a puppy reacting nervously to an outstretched hand or general human touch. The key to avoiding the escalation of such Read More