Residents fleeing abuse overwhelmingly said that URIPALS not only allowed a way out, the program provided families a way to stay together, as pets are considered members of the family. Having their pets with them serve as a kind of therapy.
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.
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.
This episode brought to you by Zukes. Victoria and Holly talk about overweight pets, including Victoria’s ‘Fat Dogs’ specials on It’s Me or the Dog, as well as the struggle to keep weight off of pets. On the Positively Hotline, Victoria and Holly welcome the star of the recent Animal Planet show, ‘My Big Fat Read More
I spend much of my time as a trainer working with young puppies. They’re little sponges, absorbing every bit of information we send their way – both good and bad. You’ll hear the same puppy training advice over and over: make sure to socialize your puppy, start potty training immediately, and the like. But in Read More
Deaf dog awareness week began on Sunday, September 24th. The idea behind this week is to highlight deaf dogs and show that they can make wonderful pets! 5 years ago, I had no idea this week even existed. Now, every day of my life is dedicated to deaf dog awareness, thanks to the amazing little Read More
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.
Veterinarians have known about the increasing instances of many tick diseases, including Lyme, for years. In fact, many veterinary parasitologists call the situation at epidemic or near epidemic proportions.
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.
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.
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.
Victoria and Holly chat about the Victoria Stilwell Academy and the latest news from the program. They also answer your most pressing dog training questions!
Victoria and Holly chat about the Thanksgiving holiday and what they're thankful for. They also talk about why the month of November is the month with the most amount of car collisions with deer, and how you can stay safe.
Say the phrase "animal rescue" in any given circle of people and watch for a variety of reactions. Some people’s eyes will light up with hope and delight and others will start backing away with narrowing eyes, faces drawn with suspicion. The latter is unfortunate, but the truth cannot be denied that some of the Read More
Have you ever seen a parent in the supermarket with two children - one perfectly behaved, and one throwing a tantrum? Which one is typically getting the attention while the other stands quietly by?
Adopting a dog can be a wonderful and challenging experience. The dog will be confused, excited, anxious, worried, fearful and/or elated. Here are a 9 tips to help you through the first month.
Without official regulations as well as professional oversight & a sad lack of requirements for well documented modern dog behavior knowledge, there is a risk.
Here is the third excerpt from my forthcoming book - Building Confidence in your Growly but Brilliant Family Dog - which points out an area which will be affecting your dog much more than you may imagine. You may want to read Part One and Part Two of the series first. While you’re doing your best to Read More
When someone finds out I work with dogs they always seem to say “you are so lucky!” ... and indeed I am. I wouldn’t choose to do anything other than what I am doing. But it’s not all cupcakes and butterflies.
The other day I was taking my dogs to the park. One is a rescue that had been kept in a backyard and a crate for most of the first year of his life. He is high energy and came to me with no impulse control.
"She's a rescue." I found myself wanting to say the words out loud as I walked my Labradoodle past a girl who looked at us disapprovingly and then shot me a judgmental glare. Why did I feel the need to justify anything to this complete stranger? Why have "purebred" dogs become so vilified?
The loss of K-9 Eiko left our entire "Guardians of the Night" family in pieces, but seeing the positive impact he continues to have even after his death gives us all just a bit more peace.
It’s not often you see a police officer buying a person ice cream from an ice cream truck, let alone an entire neighborhood, but that is exactly what Officer Shawn Humphreys, from the City of Lawrenceville Police Department, did when out on patrol last week.
Police K-9 officer Sgt. Paul Corso of the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department happened to be in the right place at the right time as a dramatic medical emergency unfolded on an Atlanta-bound flight.
Every dog and every breed or mix of breeds come with their fair share of stereotypes. When you take on a dog, you take on their stereotypes. It's up to you whether or not you dispel them.
Now that we're into the hotter temperatures of the summer months, think about how hot sidewalks and roads can get when you take your dog for a walk.
May 3, 2016: Our home, the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta, an approximate 90,000 people, are under a mandatory evacuation. We all had to leave, with the exception to those who were fighting this raging beast and leading us all to safety. This day will be forever burned into my memory.
Those of us who work professionally with dog behavior cannot turn off our skills. Sometimes the things that we see make us twitch and want to intervene.
Many dog trainers and behaviorists use counter-conditioning and desensitization as part of a behavior modification program. The average dog owner often has no idea what this means.
When it comes to training a deaf and blind dog, there is very little information available. This video is a simple how-to for training a deaf and blind dog to sit.
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
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!
Exclusively in this podcast, you'll hear the firsthand account of Victoria's police dog bite accident: what happened, why it happened, and what she's doing to prevent another accident from happening in the future.
A wonderful relationship between kids and dogs can be facilitated by knowing what your dog is saying when interacting with kids, while teaching kids how to respectfully and safely interact with your dog.
While the flames of controversy are fanned regarding the potential danger of e-cigarettes to people, it’s clear e-cigarettes may be lethal to dogs.
To help people fully grasp the mechanics of desensitization, I often use the analogy of learning how to swim. In other words, "Start in the shallow end!"
What would it mean to you if you could give one call, and your dog zoomed in and arrived at your feet? Every time! Hard to imagine? Maybe. Possible? Most definitely! Fun? Very much so. (If it’s not fun, your dog won’t do it. So there’s lots of fun!) Little by little The problem is Read More
In 2013, a NYC shelter began an innovative co-sheltering program called URIPALS, which allows victims to shelter with their pets. New York resident Jasmine Rivera says URIPALS saved her life, literally.
People go to great lengths to try to achieve what they see as a "gold star level" of leash control using all kinds of questionable methods. But here's the thing: true leash control isn't about control at all.
Victoria and Holly chat about what they would do for animals if they won the lottery, Holly's annual "Regiftmas" party, and Victoria's upcoming trip to Villalobos Rescue Center.