Leave It

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

3-Year-Old Dog Attack Victim Asked to Leave KFC

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

Patron Leaves $1,000 Tip for Dog’s Surgery

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

How to Enjoy the Wilderness with Your Dog

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.

5 Little-Known Puppy Training Tips You’ll Be Glad You Found

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

Building Tolerance To Frustration

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.

How to Stop Your Dog From Biting the Leash On Walks

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?

No Cue November

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.”

Why Rewarding Behaviors Works

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

Positively Success Story: George

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

Introducing Dog To New Cat

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

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

Counter Surfing

  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

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

Take It / Drop It

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

Basic Cues

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

Ask Victoria – Lauren (Dominance)

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

Top 10 Tips for Dogs and Babies

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

Ask Victoria – Lauren

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

Positively Dog Training Episode 107

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

Practice Makes Perfect–Aggression, That Is

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

Ask Victoria

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

A New Arrival

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

Positively Dog Training Episode 802

In this podcast, Victoria and Aly share great ideas on how to provide enrichment for your dog when it’s cold outside. Aly shares some great canine fitness ideas, how to play hide and seek with your dog and making meal times more enriching.

The “Easy” Dog

A tribute to a very special 10 year old dog who should have never been given up, but boy are we glad she was! I don’t deserve to have an “easy” dog because I can handle a difficult one. I love the scaredy dogs, the ones who don’t love to be touched at first, the ones Read More

Change Happens

Once upon a time, I was contemptuous of positive trainers. Not because I knew anything about positive training, mind you. At the time, I had two Siberian huskies, both ma...

New Industry-Changing Online Professional Dog Trainer Course Launched

Following years of development, renowned dog behavior expert Victoria Stilwell and her Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior educational arm announce the launch of the Online Dog Trainer Course – a game-changing new online-only course designed to teach those aspiring to become professional dog trainers.

Halloween Pet Costumes

It’s scary. And you’re not alone - over 4.2 million dog-owning households and nearly two million cat-caretakers will be treating their furry companions to ghoulish goodies and ghoulish toys this Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Also, according to the NRF, pet “moms” and “dads” will spend over $440 million on Halloween. That’s Read More

Halloween Anxiety

No one wants their pets to feel afraid – even on Halloween. The good news is that you can do something about it, which is what the international Fear Free initiative is all about.

The Hand That Feeds: There Are Better Options Than Hand Feeding

It used to be standard operating procedure for some dog professionals to advise new rescue dog parents to hand feed said dog in order to effectively create a bond. In some cases, it still is standard. It depends on who you ask. The same protocol is also suggested by some trainers for dogs who resource Read More

Why Is My Dog Peeing On My Pillow? (Or Revenge Of The Turds)

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.

Introducing An Older Dog To A Puppy

Preparation is key. Start by picking up any toys or chew items from common areas. Then decide where the puppy will be during rest times or times in which you cannot supervise. Depending on the size of the puppy, this can be a repurposed playpen or an ex-pen with a crate inside, or even a small room.

Can You Dig It?

Let's start with why dogs dig. Dogs belong to the family Canidae, which includes domestic dogs, fox, coyotes, wolves and a few others. What do they all have in common? Well, plenty, including digging as an innate behavior.