The 'leave it' cue teaches your dog an invaluable lesson in impulse control that can be useful in many situations. The 'it' in question might be food that has fallen on the floor, something your dog picks up on a walk, another dog, or even a child. Like the recall this is an important safety Read More
Is your dog an accomplished thief? Find out how to be able to leave food anywhere in your home and not have it nicked!
Imagine being a young child and being physically and emotionally scarred by a dog attack. The damage to one's self-esteem and confidence can be crippling. Now imagine that you were asked to leave a restaurant because your scars "scared" the other customers. That's exactly what happened to three-year-old Victoria Wilcher, and now the country is Read More
When Christina Summitt served a customer at the bar at the Holiday Inn in Clinton, New Jersey, she had no idea she would be the recipient of a life-altering gesture. It all started with the pawprint tattoos on Summitt's wrist. Summitt is an avid dog rescue volunteer and a huge animal lover. A couple she Read More
I hope that you and your dogs will also be enjoying getting out in the country as spring arrives. Please do remember to respect the leash laws, take the time to teach your dog a reliable recall, stop, stay and leave it even with distractions and supervise your dog at all times. Remember, we are guests. The wildlife was there first.
Since It’s Me or the Dog first aired back in 2005, I have received thousands of emails, letters, social media messages and phone calls from dog lovers around the world who saw me working with dogs on TV and wanted to do the same (but usually not on TV).
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
As a behavior specialist, I am always thinking ahead: how does what is happening today influence how the dog may behave in the future? An always-important aspect of dog training is to teach tolerance to frustration and to build impulse control.
Bringing a new puppy home is a very exciting experience from your family, and it's very important that from day one, you're armed with the best possible positive training information.
Something that I see happen frequently is the dog happily grabbing the leash and trying to turn the leisurely walk into a game of tug. This can lead to frustration and a sore arm. So how do we solve this problem?
Does your dog pull you over in his eagerness to greet another dog? Here are 5 ways to change your hooligan to a well-mannered dog.
We have a new game at my facility called “cue fasting” and we now require a “cue fast” for all of our clients when they begin training with us. We’ve decided to take the game up a notch in what we are calling “No Cue November.”
Looking for simple and fun indoor games for your dog? Check out this list of 10 easy games you can play inside to keep your dog entertained, exercised and busy.
Keeping a dog from playing, running, and jumping for a few weeks is no easy task. Here are some simple tips to keep your dog calm after surgery.
If your dog does something, and then gets something he enjoys directly after doing that thing, he is very likely to do it again. This is what is referred to as Positive Reinforcement. Using this system appropriately can come in very handy for teaching your dog what you’d like him to do. Unfortunately the same Read More
Fifteen years ago when I trained my first puppy of my own the training classes were all about choke collars and rough training. Now I have a new puppy and while puppy classes are gentler and more positive there still have been some questionable techniques we opted out of. The leave it command for example Read More
Bringing home a new cat when you already have a dog can be stressful for both animals, especially when your dog has not been around cats before. Contrary to popular belief, dogs and cats can get along. With a little preparation, management, and consistency, you can have a peaceful household of both dogs and cats. Read More
Skijoring is a sport in which your dog pulls you while you are skiing along on cross-country skis. It is different from dog sledding in that, while your dog is pulling you, you are also adding to the momentum by skiing along. In a unique twist, you bring not only your skiing skills to the Read More
Put yourself in the dog’s paws and place your favorite food on the counter when you are hungry. Now walk past and see if you can resist taking a bite. The most realistic solution to counter surfing is to use a combination of management and training techniques to make it easy for your dog Read More
Nipping or mouthing is normal puppy behavior, but it can develop into a serious problem if allowed to continue into adulthood. An adult dog’s mouth can be very strong, so even when its nipping is just part of normal play, it can still cause significant damage to human skin. If a puppy is not taught Read More
You can prevent resource guarding from ever developing by teaching your puppy or dog to trade and give up objects, making the whole experience a game. The 'Take It and Drop It' cue teaches your dog to do this in low-stress situations so that you'll be able to more easily gain the attention of your Read More
Regardless of whether you have a new puppy or an older dog, it is never too late to start teaching your dog basic cues. From beginner cues like 'sit' and 'touch' to more advanced cues like 'stay' and 'heel' which require more impulse control, your dog should be taught using fun, force-free methods and every Read More
Dear Victoria: I love your show! I have two mini Australian shepherds. My female Alice was rescued from a puppy mill. She is very territorial when it comes to men. The second a man comes near her she begins barking non-stop. I’ve tried my command leave it, ignoring her, giving men treats to entice her, Read More
Was your first baby a fur-baby? Many dogs accept a new baby without any problems. However, some don’t and some will need a lot of help adjusting to the presence of an infant. Here’re some Tiny Tot ABC’s to help you prevent common problems. 1. Prepare your beloved dog months in advance. Assess, ultra-socialize, train Read More
Hi Victoria! I love your show! I have two mini Australian shepherds. My female Alice was rescued from a puppy mill. She is very territorial when it comes to men. The second a man comes near her she begins barking non-stop. I’ve tried my command leave it, ignoring her, giving men treats to entice her, Read More
Victoria describes her experience training a piglet named Mud for a recent episode of It's Me or the Dog, and also her time training chickens and recording rap songs with dog owners from the show. Also discussed: Victoria's exciting new global network of positive reinforcement dog trainers - Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training. Victoria answers Read More
Sierra and I had a pleasant play date at the park this morning with a friend and her adorable Corgi. We arrived early and had the place to ourselves, as is our habit, but after thirty minutes, other dogs began to arrive. Sierra loves to play. She was soon happily racing around with an Australian Read More
Need Victoria’s help? Click here to ask or upload your question now. Here’s where you can ask Victoria anything you’ve ever wanted to know about her, the TV shows, or how to handle your problem pooch. While she can’t get to every question, she’ll do her best to post answers to the most common questions Read More
I’m very happy to announce that we have a new addition to our family. She is overweight, snores at night and has some pungent gas problems but we love her and she’s here to stay. Sadie the chocolate Labrador came into our lives at the beginning of February. She is five years old with the Read More
I’ve only ever had female dogs. This has never been a conscious choice on my part, I just fell in love and adopted dogs that happened to be female. I don’t know if things would be any different if I had a male dog in the house, but people often ask me what the behavioral differences between male and female dogs are and if gender either influences or suits one lifestyle over another.
I won’t ever forget the faces that stared at me as I approached them; faces of dogs that had been subjected to a life of neglect and abuse at the hands of a cruel, relentless industry.
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.
When I first started training dogs I was thrown into the deep end. I had run a successful dog walking business in Wimbledon, but didn’t handle many dogs who had a bite history.
I have just returned from walking my dogs, which is always a social experience, judging by the amount of people I talk to while I’m out. I usually walk in the local park, which takes me past a playground.
There are many hot button issues in the dog world that cause spirited conversations and disagreements, including what training methods you should use and when you should or shouldn’t use words such as ‘dominance’ and ‘pack.’
As the modern dog’s role continues to evolve from that of working dog to companion animal, there is more pressure on all dogs to cope and behave well in an increasingly busy human world.
We as humans have made such progress with how we view dogs, but it seems with so many steps forward, we take a few more steps back At one time, dogs were given far more freedom than they have now, many having at least the daytime run of their neighborhoods. But that freedom also came Read More
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.
It has been something of a thing recently in some corners of the dog training world to suggest that keeping an easily over-stimulated and/or reactive dog in his own home environment for a bit of time, along with enrichment toys, is a better idea than taking said dog out into the world to be walked. Read More