Cue the wistful music before starting the video rolling and many dog lovers just see what they want to see in a video making the internet rounds. When you accompany sweet music with an overlay of words meant to convey what you want people to see, as long as the opposite isn’t glaringly obvious to Read More
A dog’s behavior is deeply rooted in the way he is bred, socialized, and trained. You can have a social, confident dog that is able to cope in a human world if you take the time to teach basic cues and recognize the difference between minor nuisance behaviors and more serious behavior problems as they Read More
Victoria Stilwell joined Dr. Ian Dunbar and Hollywood animal trainer Tony Suffredini in USA Weekend to discuss the importance of employing positive training methods while describing the 'Stay', 'Sit' and 'Potty' cues for dog owners.
On an episode of “It’s Me or the Dog,” Victoria Stilwell tackled the problem of a bull terrier that exhibited mounting behavior. The first solution was to send the dog for a time-out when he mounted. However, the mounting was so severe that the trainer finally recommended neutering, which solved the problem. This case raises Read More
As a trainer I have helped many clients prepare for their coming baby, but in going through this myself, I have adjusted my expectations, and also what I will be teaching from now on.
While crates and pet seatbelts are important safety products that can help your dog in a car accident, most pet-related emergencies are caused by unruly behaviors displayed by untrained, uneducated dogs. Road trips with your dog can be a ton of fun if they know some important life-saving behaviors like these.
At long last, I am thrilled to announce the official launch of the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior!
There are two ways to get a dog to do what you want. Both ways create motivation for the dog, but according to science, one works better than the other. Can you guess which way works better?
Imagine sitting in study hall, cramming for your math final the next period. You’re focused. Determined. Then, the boy behind you starts smacking his gum. You need to learn these equations! You try to shut out the noise, but then he starts tapping your shoulder with his pen. You whirl around – it was an Read More
Do you ever feel like you have one of those Catch 22 situations, where you want to allow your dog to have more freedom but as soon as your dog gets any kind of freedom you worry that soon enough he or she will likely disappear to… Run in the woods Scent in the grass 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.
The widespread outbreak of campylobacter infections due to poor practices on the part of Petland pet stores. A chat with Finding Shelter’s Grace Kelly Herbert in her fight against Amish puppy mills, the state of anti-puppy mill legislation, and how people can get involved locally to fight the puppy mill trade.
Knowledge in all forms seems to wax and wane according to the dynamics of the times that we live in. This is consistent on all subjects but in particular, with dog behavior knowledge. We have come so far with an understanding of dog behavior and how to modify it, yet old school techniques and thought Read More
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.
What’s the real reason so many people won’t adopt rescue dogs, and what happens when fosters or adoptions don’t go well? Also, a discussion about ‘foster failures’, bullied dogs, dogs that don’t like kids, dogs that lean on guests, and dogs that won’t potty outside.
How to be prepared for natural disasters with your pet, what happens to dogs rescued from dogfighting rings, how to help your dog want to go out for walks, how to get your dog back inside after potty breaks, stopping barking in shelter dogs, and whether to adopt littermates into a single household.
Victoria and Holly reconnect after a few months away and discuss how to recognize signs of pain in your older dog, keys to curbing rambunctious dog play, managing noisy nighttime behavior, overcoming anxiousness when guests visit your dog, and how to get dogs used to water.
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 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
Every responsible dog parent who walks their dog(s) in their own neighborhood has a mental list of houses that they strive to avoid. Either because a dog is alone in a fenced in yard barking like a fiend or because a dog is often loose (and unsupervised) in an unfenced or Invisible “Fenced” yard. Either Read More
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
“Could he not SEE that my dog was upset?” “My dog was on leash and under control - it was his dog that was out of control!” “Why, oh why, do people let their ‘friendly’ dogs invade the space of my fearful, reactive dog, and then blame me for being a useless dog-owner with Read More
Family dog shows can be wonderful events to attend. They are great places to meet up with friends, spend time around lots of other dogs, show your own dog off and hopefully win some rosettes. Some dogs really enjoy these events and walk round the show ring with a relaxed body, bright eyes and a Read More
Since when does “just a minute” only apply to humans? We dogs say it too, except when we do, you humans get angry. You let us off the rope thing to go run around and play and then you ask us to come back at the most inconvenient of times, just when we are having the best fun – playing with other dogs or chasing small fluffies. When we don’t respond, you get mad and tell us how bad we are, but apparently you don’t understand that when we hear our name, look back at you and then continue with our game, we’re also saying “just a minute”. By the way…..how long is a minute?
Victoria Stilwell has launched her first publicly-available online course entitled "Inside Your Dog's Mind." Available worldwide on Udemy, this 3-hour course follows Victoria as she delves deep into the way our dogs think, feel and learn.
Today is Cinco de Mayo! This holiday is in recognition of the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. While not a holiday commonly associated with pets, if you are anything like me, you are always looking for an excuse to celebrate any holiday with your dog.
Dear Dog Trainer, I see you. I see you caring for everyone around you, sometimes forgetting to care for yourself. You're a caretaker, a teacher, a guiding light - sometimes a therapist - to your clients. You then go home and provide the same nurturing care to your own family and friends.
Does your dog really love going to the dog park? In some cases, the answer is yes! For highly social pups, the dog park can be a mostly fun and stress-free experience. But if you've noticed that your dog spends most of his time at the dog park glued to your side or pawing at the exit door, it's worth considering some other alternatives.
Your dog will feel the Luck of the Irish if you make one of these 17 DIY St. Patrick's Day dog treats. Choose from frozen, baked, and even doggy drink treats!
We’re told as dog guardians that we need to be the "leader of the pack" and let our dogs know who runs the show. But, being a true “Leader” when it comes to our dogs may be very different than what you’ve been led to believe.
Here are some pointers for dog owners about finding a home that doesn’t create problems and some ideas to prevent barking if you already live in a house with an “un-dog-friendly” yard.
First of all, I’ve certainly never referred to myself as a ‘purely positive’ dog trainer, but I’ve heard many others – usually pretty vocal opponents of humane modern dog training – label me and others with that description. It seems to be somewhat of a dog training unicorn, in that there are those who still 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.
When presented with something new or slightly unusual, does your dog respond positively, presuming it to be good (optimism), or negatively, presuming it to be a bad thing (pessimism)?
Got a reactive dog? A fearful, anxious, or aggressive dog? A dog who barks and lunges at everything she sees? This is just for you!
We can actually make our dog’s feel both calm and confident about their surroundings AND teach them a better way to cope when they do experience those emotions of overexcitement and overarousal.
The whip-it game involves building real desire and harnessing your dog’s desire to chase, using a horse lunge whip with a toy attachment! We then apply real-life impulse control to it! We show you how to play it in our latest training video.
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