Last week I was interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air by Dave Davies (introduced by Terri Gross). The subject was Tufts new book, good Old Dog, which I contributed to and edited. Right after the show the book took off. It was in the top 100 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites, which means, by Read More
With well over half of all US households having one or more pets, it is more important than ever to be a good pet neighbor. We've collaborated with State Farm® in creating a free 35-minute online course that educates both new and experienced pet owners in how to read dog body language and safely interact Read More
New versions of early 'It's Me or the Dog' episodes are being released with a “director’s cut”-style commentary by Victoria Stilwell. The world renowned dog trainer is narrating some behind-the-scenes info about those early episodes while also getting the chance to set the record straight about which training methods have evolved since the episodes were filmed – and why.
I have learned so much over the months I’ve been enrolled in VSA's Online Dog Trainer Course. My dog and I have both grown in confidence and I’ve been able to live my dream of helping adopted dogs stay at home by working with shelters and training dogs and their families in my community. I marvel often about how my dog has blessed my life with love, challenges and a new career. I could never have imagined that day I walked into the shelter that I’d be writing this today.
The world that we live in, especially in the United States, is a scary world for many dogs but none so much as the exceptionally fearful dogs out there. The expectations placed on dogs here can be exhausting to their emotional state. The amount of fear/anxiety that dogs who are worried about people/things/animals in their Read More
You may think that as you’ve had your dog for most, if not all their life, you would know them inside out and be able to predict their behaviour in any situation. That may be perfectly true. However, there are certain things to consider as your dog ages and how this can affect how he Read More
We're very excited to share the news that full episodes of It's Me or the Dog are now available on YouTube via the @ItsMeOrTheDog channel. It's been quite a while since we broke ground on that series back in the early 2000's, and I never would've guessed that we'd end up shooting over 100 episodes and have the show airing in over 200 countries.
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.
Improper elimination in the home stirs up lots of emotion in humans. Bafflement, anger, frustration, are a few that come to mind. But for some, the explanation that comes to mind is revenge on the part of the dog. Once this explanation enters our thoughts, it becomes our nature to defend our view. We create stories around other events that seem to confirm our perspective and it can be very difficult to unlearn what we think we know.
To some dogs, the weather outside may be frightful. Other dogs my delight to romp and play in snow and ice, and how can you blame them? After all, Malamutes and Siberian Huskies live for the snow and cold. On the other paw, Toy Poodles would hop on a plane to Hawaii if they could, Read More
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.
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
It’s nothing to sneeze at, an outbreak of dog flu affecting at least 11 states. After inundating Chicago with flu and bouncing around the country in 2015 into 2016, the H3N2 virus, which arrived from Southeast Asia, took a lower profile. Last month, the virus appeared on radar, and in a big way. The epicenter 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?
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!
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
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!
Victoria and Holly are gearing up for the holiday season, and chat about how the stress of the holidays affects both people and their pets. Victoria gives some tips for keeping your dogs happy and healthy over the holidays, and the pair chats about their thoughts on when one person tells them they prefer one of their Read More
In the competition sport of agility, there are many variables to manage. When I created a behavior modification program for my own dog, here were some of the things I considered to help set him up for success.
“The winner is always that dog sitting on the couch with you while you’re watching the dog show. Your dog is always Best in Show.”
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.
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
"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?
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.
Those of us who have a reactive, anxious, or fearful dog, work very hard to make life easier for them (and us!). We try this idea and that technique, perhaps with distressingly little success. Some days our dog just seems worse! Here is the first of three excerpts from my next book - Building Confidence Read More
Sundowner Syndrome, a disorder that can affect older dogs with dementia, causes anxiety and other behavioral issues that get worse toward the end of the day.
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.
I have a few tricks up my sleeve for maintaining sanity in a multi-dog household. The one I use most often is solid name recognition which I use to let individual dogs know it is their turn for reinforcement.
Question: Venus, our almost 2-year old German Shepherd dog enjoys eating her poop, or eats from the cat box. That doesn’t seem right. What can we do to stop this desire?
Hopefully these tips will be helpful to prevent leash frustration, and will give you a blueprint on how to approach on-leash greetings.
Why do dogs seem to want to eat everything in sight, whether they’re hungry or not? Science has the answer.
If reactive dog owners come off as crazy, understand it's only because we've got a lot on our minds. Here's what we'd like you to know about reactive dog owners before you meet us.
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
The mysteries of walking nicely on the leash unravelled! With no nasty gadgets or shouting.
Is your dog an accomplished thief? Find out how to be able to leave food anywhere in your home and not have it nicked!