Help for the Fearful Dog

“Lilly” certainly was little. She measured just up to the high end of my ankle and it made me shiver to think of what it was like to live down there with all the giant humans and bigger dogs tramping all over the place. Nevertheless, I’ve seen many confident, even overly-confident toy breed pups that Read More

The First Step To Take To Help A Fearful Dog

If a dog is constantly or repeatedly afraid of what is going on around them it’s going to be difficult for them to feel safe. We can no more force a dog to feel safe then we can force a fresh water fish to survive in salt water.

From Fearful to Fear Free

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

Boundary Battlefields: Dogs, Yards and Walks

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

Tips For Decreasing Reactivity in a Competition Dog

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.

What to Expect When Adopting a New Dog

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.

Can My Dog Be Stressed? [Part 2]

Here is the second of three excerpts from my forthcoming book - Building Confidence in your Growly but Brilliant Family Dog - which points out an area which will be affecting your dog mightily. Read the first excerpt here.  While you’re doing your best to improve the situation and you take a look at what may Read More

Can My Dog Be Stressed? [Part 1]

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

Striving for Fear-Free Interactions in All Dog Care Fields

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

Teaching a Dog Not to Be Scared of a Leash or Collar

Desensitisation and counter conditioning are valuable skills to use with fearful dogs and great care must be taken when using these tools in order to make sure that we don’t push dogs beyond their limits, making their fears worse

Positively Dog Training Episode 508

Victoria and Holly get together on Christmas Eve for a special holiday edition of the Positively Podcast. They chat about a 100-year-old animal rescue volunteer, their holiday pet peeves, and the cringe-worthy Miss USA pageant night.

Positively Dog Training Episode 501

Victoria and Holly start Season 5 of the Positively Podcast off with a bang, including some great Ask Victoria questions and an interview with 'Of Dogs and Men' filmmaker Patrick Reasonover.

Give Your Dog an Instant Safe Haven On Walks

We’ve all seen a small child clinging to Mom’s neck while he safely views the world from under her hair. A little puppy has the same need for a safe haven. You may have seen your own puppy hurtle in from the garden when there’s an alarming noise, and dive into her bed. Plunging into the Read More

How to Keep Your Dog Calm During Fireworks

Dogs have no way to understand what the those unpredictable explosions are all about. If the fireworks happen to be nearby, dogs may be able to smell them and even feel their vibrations, adding to their fear factor.

How To Change How A Dog Feels About Scary Stuff: Step Two

Many dogs are constantly scared and startled by objects or events in their environment. Sometimes we have control over those things, often we don’t, but we can still help the dog learn to feel better, safer and more comfortable, around them.

The Ultimate Dog Adoption Survival Guide

Adopting a dog? Work in animal rescue? This is the ultimate guide for adopting a dog and successfully and safely acclimating that dog to your family and home.

5 Things I Want Anyone With A Fearful Dog To Know

I see dogs that truly enjoy meeting new people and other dogs, and find myself wishing the same for my not-so-social dog. It's easy to get discouraged, but know that many people are experiencing the same things with their dogs as you are.

The Dog Aggression Epidemic

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.

How Not To Groom a Biting Dog

Every now and then a video crosses my desk from people either amazed, dismayed or generally seeking my opinion on something. Such was the case when I was shared this video, and I felt it was a great learning opportunity to highlight some of the misconceptions and ‘teaching moments’ of what should not be done when teaching a dog with a history of biting while being groomed.

Why is My Dog Growling?

Understandably we don’t like our dogs to growl and it can be embarrassing, but growling is GOOD. Growling tells us what our dog is feeling. Growling gives us the key to open the door to the dog’s emotions. When we know what he is feeling, we then know what to do about it. Colin is Read More

Forcing Hugs on Dogs Can Amount to Punishment

When we hug our dogs we are sending out our affection and sharing our love. What we are giving out isn’t necessarily what the dog is receiving. To a dog, a hug is very bad canine etiquette, pushy behavior associated with establishing social status, an invasion of space, threatening.

How Does Your Dog See and Understand the World?

Scenario: A pleasant neighborhood on a sunny day, we observe a human and her dog taking a walk together. All of a sudden, the dog strains on leash, barking and lunging. The human tries to calm the dog down to no avail. She keeps looking around and sees nothing that should make her dog react Read More

Reality Check for Carers/Owners of Dogs with ‘Issues’

LOSING HEART Why do so many clients with fearful or reactive dogs, who often have started off so well, lose heart? The reason is because they just don’t fully accept the time and work that changing fear-based or guarding behaviors in particular can take. Teaching people is the easy bit. A large part of my Read More

Videos Released to Help Police Prevent Unnecessary Dog Shootings

A series of videos is now available to help law enforcement officers better understand dog behavior and body language, in the hopes of preventing unnecessary shootings. When officers arrive at a scene, they often have to make split-second decisions. Many of these officers have not had the opportunity to receive critical training about encounters with Read More

Dog Bite Prevention

In Her Own Words: Victoria on Dog Bite Prevention: As a mother and a dog trainer, I am dedicated to raising awareness about responsible pet ownership and preventing dog bites. My public platform helps put a spotlight on the issue and my Dog Bite Prevention Task Force, comprised of veterinarians, lawyers, canine bite investigators and Read More

Dog Boredom vs Anxiety

Many people return home after a day at work to a household of destruction and mayhem, and their first assumption is that their dog suffers from acute separation anxiety. Sometimes this can be the case, but in many cases, the dog has destroyed the house as a cure for another very common problem in the Read More

Why Should I Train My Dog?

People used to think that dog training was only about teaching dogs obedience commands, usually through the use of heavy-handed punishment-based techniques. It was viewed as somewhat of a luxury for pet parents and was often wrongly considered to be something so straightforward and simple to achieve that anyone could do it on their own without Read More

Victoria’s Tips for Keeping Your Dog Stress-Free Over the Holidays

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Christmas decorations are already lighting up homes and businesses, and I even ran into Santa Claus at the mall! The holidays are a wonderful time to spend time with family and friends, but they can also be a challenging time when you have pets. Anxious or reactive dogs are especially prone to stress during the holidays. Here are eight tips for keeping your dog safe and stress-free this holiday season.

Why Are Dogs Aggressive

Defining what aggression means is not easy, because there are so many variables associated with what is a highly complex behavior. But by investigating the function served by an aggressive act as well as why it occurs and what result it achieves from the dog’s point of view, we can begin to gain a better understanding.