Lure Reward Training

Lure-reward training is a highly effective way to teach your dog new behaviors. It is easy and fun for both dog and human, and dogs can learn new behaviors quite quickly with this training. This type of training simply involves using a food reward to guide the dog into the desired position or behavior.  If Read More

Creating & Sticking to a Dog Training Plan

I spent the first two articles of this three-part series talking about Tricky’s drive, what I did that caused her to lose it, and the things I did to build it back. Now I will talk about what I’ve done to keep it and suggestions to help others to do the same.

Balanced Dog Training: There’s Nothing “Balanced” About It

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.

Five Good Reasons to Call a Trainer (None of Which Are Failure)

If you're like me, you grew up thinking that to call a dog trainer was to admit defeat—you were capable of training your dog or you didn't deserve to have one. If you're like me, you're also wrong, because there are lots of good reasons to work with a certified dog trainer (none of which are Read More

Training Methods

There are many different methods when it comes to training dogs and everyone has a different idea for the best techniques to use, but what is now becoming clear to much of the dog loving public is that even though there is more than one way to train a dog, there is a right way Read More

Click and Cluck: Lessons on Animal Training from Chickens

By Sophia Yin, DVM, MS  April 21, 2010 I went through the picture in my head. Chicken number one climbs up the ladder onto a one-foot-wide platform, makes a 180-degree turn and tightropes across a narrow bridge to a second platform, where it pecks a tethered ping-pong ball, sending the ball in an arc around Read More

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.

Food Issues

Follow a positive trainer around for a few days and you will quickly come to realize that we humans have food issues. Of course he is doing what you ask. You have food in your hand! (As in, I am paying you for this?) You’re sure giving a lot of treats. (Usually said in a Read More

What Are You Teaching Your Dog?

That 'training sessions must be huge, long and totally organised' way of thinking is what STOPS a lot of us training at times, so what can we do to clarify and simplify the whole training thing?

Finding the opportunities.

The great R+ trainers see the fine details, so they see training opportunities in every problem. They are CREATIVE! The rest of us need to learn to do this too.

Puppy High School

Thankfully, many people know and understand that puppies need lots of training, socialization, and focus on creating good impulse control when they are younger. But many stop at a few puppy classes, and don’t continue through adolescence. This could have dire consequences later on, when the puppy becomes a teenager and starts developing bad habits Read More

Study Shows Lower Stress Levels in Dogs Trained Positively

A new study released in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior reveals what many of us in the dog behavior field have long known to be true: that positive reinforcement training is beneficial for a dog's overall well-being and the canine-human bond, and that aversive training has detrimental effects on both. For the first time, trained Read More

Rally Obedience

Rally Obedience (sometimes called 'Rally-O') is a new take on traditional obedience competitions. In both sports, dogs must perform heeling, sit, stay and recall. In traditional obedience competitions, these tasks are performed one at a time in a fairly predictable manner, and interaction between the handler and their dog other than quick succinct cues is Read More

Agility

Agility is a sport in which dogs manipulate obstacles and features while directed through a set course by their person. It teaches a dog to be athletic, confident and improves communication between dog and owner. Agility can be enjoyed as a back yard past time with your dog or as a competition event. Agility Training Read More

Door Issues

The door is the epicenter of some common nuisance behaviors in dogs, particularly door dashing and unwanted barking. With positive training and a little patience, these are both behaviors that can be improved and potentially eliminated. Door Dashing Door dashing is a very common behavior that can have obvious dangerous consequences. The first step in Read More

Go Settle

'Go Settle', 'Go to Your Bed' and 'Go To Your Spot (or Place)' are all cues that ask your dog to go to a desired area such as a mat or a bed when needed. This is a great cue to use when you do not want your dog begging at the table, when you Read More

Heeling

Another great cue to teach your dog is the 'heel' or 'close' cue. Walking well on a leash and walking right next to you are separate leash manner skills. A dog’s walking pace is naturally faster than a person’s, so be aware of how difficult it is for some dogs to modify their pace to Read More

Stay

The secret to teaching your dog to 'stay' is to not move through the stages too fast. Build the cue up gradually, lengthening the time and distance of the stay. This cue teaches your dog impulse control skills and can be used in a variety of situations, such as the front door, before crossing a Read More

Positive vs Punitive

If you treat fire with fire, you will get burned. This concept is not rocket science, but it is still science. A study published in the Journal of Applied Animal Behavior concluded that confrontational training methods such as hitting dogs, intimidating them with punitive force and using techniques of restraint like the 'alpha roll' actually 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

Making Manners Fun Series: Loose-Leash Edition

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

Exercise with Your Dog: Burn Calories While Your Dog Plays Fetch!

It's early in the New Year, and no doubt many have vowed to exercise and get into shape. But do you look at your dog and feel guilty that you're working out instead of playing with him? How about incorporating your dog into a cardio, calorie-burning workout? Sure, you could just go running or biking Read More

Lennox Update – Statement from Sarah Fisher

In a few days Lennox is scheduled to be destroyed.  More and more people are calling for his release and we can only hope that somehow this might happen.  There have been numerous legitimate offers from sanctuaries in Southern Ireland and the United States willing to take Lennox, with the knowledge and funding to do Read More

“Let’s Go for a Ride!” Desensitization for the Fearful Dog

Wildfire season is upon us, so we want to be sure that your Fifi or Bowser happily hops into the car if you need to evacuate. Although the desensitization techniques highlighted in this article are applied to overcoming the fear of riding in a car - the same principles can be applied to any fear, 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