Head collars and harnesses are two effective and humane options for teaching your dog to walk well on a leash, and can be a valuable part of your training toolbox when working with a leash reactive dog. Harnesses There are three main types of harnesses-those that clip on the dog’s back: those that connect to Read More
Gaining some insight into how their dog might be feeling can be a big motivator for people who use heavy-handed methods with their dog-reactive dogs, and can potentially make all the difference. They may commonly label their dog ‘aggressive’ and resort to using force, which makes matters even worse. Without realizing it they are giving Read More
Choke and prong collars are still extremely popular with many dog owners. They are generally made of metal chain material which tightens around a dog’s neck when the handler pulls or jerks back on the leash. Aversive trainers will often use choke and prong collars to perform 'corrections', essentially causing the dog pain any time Read More
Electronic Collars vs Traditional Leashes for Exercising Dogs on Town Streets—a Cause of Debate in One Small Town in Missouri
By Sophia Yin, DVM, MS A reader, Donnie Rion of Carl Junction Missouri, recently emailed with the following dilemma, which will be debated in a town council meeting later this week. The town I live in is looking to revise their leash law to allow dog owners to us electronic leashes to walk their Read More
Contrary to popular belief, dogs that pull on the leash while being walked do not want to be pack leader, top dog, alpha, or dominant over their human. There is a much simpler explanation: dogs love to be outside, and the walk is a stimulating and exciting part of their day, so the desire to Read More
Keeping a regular collar (also known as a flat collar) on your dog is must for any dog owner. In addition to a microchip, your dog should be wearing a collar and ID tags at all times. Even the most responsible pet owners might have to face the devastating situation of a lost dog, and Read More
A new study led by biologist Ana Catarina Viera de Castro of the Universidae do Porto in Portugal reveals that shouting at dogs and using punitive methods to train them does short and long term damage, while using reward based methods yields better results both for learning and emotional health.
If you ask a group of dog trainers to define what an aversive means, you will get many different answers as well as some spirited discussion. Regarding behavior modification techniques, an aversive is ‘the avoidance of a thing, situation, or behavior that is achieved by using an unpleasant or punishing stimulus.’
Working or volunteering in a shelter is a rewarding but sometimes challenging job. No matter how lovely a shelter might be in terms of design, the animals housed within its walls will still experience the stress that comes from abandonment and transition.
If you live with a dog that displays aggressive behavior (lunging, growling, or even biting), using management to keep everyone safe is the first priority, along with a good behavior modification plan. What Is Management? One of my favorite descriptions of management is from the book “Behavior Adjustment Training 2.0: New Practical Techniques for Fear, Read More
After an article about the use of shock collars in dog training appears, the same questions inevitably come up. Usually, the person asking the question is not really seeking an answer. Instead, they are posing the question as a rebuttal to our position, which is that shock has no place in dog training. Here are a few of the actual questions we receive, edited for clarity, with answers.
Does it surprise you to know that too much fear, anxiety or stress can cause health problems in dogs? Some dogs are terrorized frequently, such as attending inappropriate aversive dog training classes, or even a sick dog who needs to see the veterinarian frequently. Some caretakers have no clue their dog is even fearful. “From 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
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?
Although walking with your dog seems like a routine activity, a good walk always starts with preparation and the right equipment. So here are some tips for having the best walk with your dog!
Some subjects are such hot buttons that it’s such a guaranteed argument to mention them. Religion, politics and the ever popular on/off leash are way up there.
As a committed champion for oldies, and passionate collector of good books, when I spotted the release of one that celebrates the lives of senior canines, of course it had to find its way into my collection.
Marketing is there to make you buy something- in this case, the training services of any given trainer. When trainers that use punitive methods advertise their services, they are going to be really good at selling them to you. They have to. Think about it: “We shock your dog into compliance!” is not exactly the best tag line.
This is Topher's story. I tell it now, even two years after it happened, to stress that while training takes time and patience, it’s worth it to help your dog have a better life.
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.
Why is it that our pet dogs are struggling more than ever to cope in our domestic world? Resource guarding, leash aggression, aggression towards other animals, and aggression towards people are some of the most common aggression examples that dog trainers see on a daily basis.
Until Wednesday, walking Chev was like walking a plow horse. There's no indication she's had much, if any loose-leash training. We decided to take the time to do it right.
From snowflake treats to pounce-able cat toys, Steve Dale has the scoop on this year's hottest pet gifts.
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
If you’ve ever had a leash reactive dog, you know the feeling of dread that I had before going on a walk. Learn how I stopped my dog's leash aggression--positively.
Cycling with your dog is a great way to exercise, especially if you have a high energy breed. Care should be taken, however, to ensure your dog does not get over-tired or over-heated as keeping up with a bicycle requires going at a faster pace than most dogs are comfortable with. Before you cycle check Read More
Leash issues are a huge problem for the dog-owning public and a leading culprit for why so many otherwise healthy dogs are doomed to life (or usually more accurately, an early death) in animal shelters. Whether it's simple leash-pulling or more significant leash reactivity and leash aggression, the primary thing to keep in mind is Read More
What’s in a leash? These days, there are all kinds of leashes on the market. How do you choose the right leash for you? Standard Leashes Nylon leashes are relatively popular these days, and they are an easy and inexpensive option for most dog owners. If you have a strong puller or a leash reactive Read More
As dog owners, we are constantly bombarded with product after product recommended for walking our dogs. I cringe when I see dogs choking, coughing, and essentially strangling themselves on walks as a result of their collars. While prong and choke collars are the most obvious offenders, even a flat collar can be damaging to a Read More
As a dog trainer, one of the most common problems I get asked for help with is getting a dog to walk without pulling on the leash. Loose-leash walking is just like any other trick we may teach our dogs. It’s about finding a way to make it fun for the dog. Walking with a Read More
Holiday Smells: The Nose Knows! The aromatic heralds of the holiday season are coming to your dog's home soon; roasted chestnuts, eggnog lattes, cranberry sauce, hot pumpkin-spice pie, gingerbread cookies and turkey, scented candles and pine tress. Yum! Pet parents often believe dogs can learn to see things from the human point of view. However, Read More
How can you keep your dog from being bitten by a venomous snake? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer and there are no guarantees. Seal Your Yard Neither your family nor your dog is safe from venomous snakes. Many snake bites to dogs occur on their own property. Remove food sources, such as: rodents, mice, Read More
FINDING A GOOD TRAINER One of the most important decisions you will make in paving a path to happiness with your pet is choosing a competent and kind dog trainer. The absence of standard credentials required by law, or established professional ethics, makes it problematic for pet parents to find a great trainer in an unregulated field. However, Read More
Here comes the big one! I get tons of emails from people asking how to deal with dogs (and cats) that are terrified of fireworks, especially near the 4th of July. Like early November in the UK (Guy Fawkes Night) and New Year’s Eve everywhere, Independence Day can be a fantastic time for us humans, Read More
Celebrity Row--Strut Your Mutt LA, Best Friends Animal Society's (BFAS) first Coast to Coast dog walk-a-thon was a big success, raising more than $200,00 for homeless pets. I decided to attend just for the fun of it, to network, and to let Hollywood know that Victoria Stilwell dog trainers are "in the (dog) house" and Read More
If you adopted a pound-puppy or an all-grown-up dog, brought a puppy home from the breeder, or have a family dog you'd like to get on the training bandwagon, be sure to consider positive method dog training. It's not only dog-friendly, but also the most effective method for training behaviors that last a lifetime, if Read More