Medical Before Behavioral

When veterinary behaviorists and well-schooled trainers are attempting to understand a behavioral issue, they will always be thinking "medical before behavioral". Why, you ask? Well, because our dogs are just like us. When we are uncomfortable or in pain, we tend to behave less appropriately then we might otherwise. Same for our pups.

Social Bullying

Have you ever received negative comments or been bullied on social media? If you have then you understand how bad it can make you feel and how damaging it can be. This week’s post is not about dogs, but this is a conversation we all need to be having right now, and that is why I am sharing what has happened to me since I became known in the media world.

Differences Between Male and Female Dogs

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.

Avoiding Bites In Shelters

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.

Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t

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.’

Episode 814 – Victoria Talks with Dr. Meghan Herron

Victoria talks with veterinary behaviorist Dr. Meghan Herron about training methods, modifying behavior in a shelter environment, as well as her work for Gigi’s, an Ohio based organization that helps homeless dogs get into homes sooner.

Consider the Source

Before I started my career as a dog trainer, I studied broadcast journalism in college. I remember one of my professors constantly repeating the phrase "consider the source." That phrase has stuck with me throughout the years, and I've found it to be quite relevant to my work as a trainer. 

Rescuers or Fanatics? The Dark Side of Animal Rescue

Say the phrase "animal rescue" in any given circle of people and watch for a variety of reactions. Some people’s eyes will light up with hope and delight and others will start backing away with narrowing eyes, faces drawn with suspicion. The latter is unfortunate, but the truth cannot be denied that some of the Read More

Sundowner Syndrome In Dogs

Sundowner Syndrome, a disorder that can affect older dogs with dementia, causes anxiety and other behavioral issues that get worse toward the end of the day.

Positively Dog Training Episode 409

Victoria and Holly chat about a controversial new documentary that Victoria participated in with the police K-9 unit she has been filming with. They also chat with pet radio host Steve Dale about the unique behavioral and medical issues that senior cats may face.

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.

Puppy Mills

People have an ethical responsibility to raise and treat animals with care and respect. The evidence is overwhelming – puppy mills (farms) are no better than factory farms for dogs. Apart from being cruel and abusive places there are many reasons why a consumer must stay away from purchasing a puppy from a pet store, flea Read More

Habituating Puppy To Human Touch

It is vital to habituate a puppy to human touch as soon as the puppy is born. A new pup relies on touch to find its mother, to stimulate milk flow for feeding, and as a source of comfort. Mothers in turn lick and nuzzle their puppies from birth, improving the puppies’ circulation and encouraging Read More

Poop Eating (Coprophagia)

Humans find the thought of dogs eating poop (called coprophagia) disgusting, but the unsavory fact is that some dogs find eating their own feces or the feces of another animal, pleasurable. A dog may eat her own stool or that of another animal simply because she likes the taste. For example, cat poop is high Read More

Puppy Knowledge

Bringing home a new puppy is a fun and exciting time, but in order to avoid problems down the line and to ensure a lifetime of happiness and enrichment, you must do your research first! A puppy is a major responsibility and it is important to arm yourself with as much puppy knowledge as possible Read More

How To Find A Good Dog Trainer

For the majority of modern dog owners, choosing the right dog trainer is one of the most important decisions they will have to make regarding their dog. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most difficult decisions to get right. Assuming you have already determined that you need the help of a trained professional Read More

Victoria’s Books

Jump to: The Ultimate Guide to Raising A Puppy The Secret Language of Dogs Train Your Dog Positively It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet Fat Dog Slim: How to Have a Healthy, Happy Pet The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Puppy: How to Train and Care for Your New Dog Read More

European Tour Recap – Part 2

This summer I had the great fortune to travel around Europe with my family while delivering a series of live shows, training seminars and other appearances. In part one of this blog, I described the incredibly enriching experiences and people I encountered during the first half of the trip while in Finland and Italy. After Read More

Puppy Socialization and Vaccinations/Titers Belong Together

Pet parents are now aware of the necessity of providing dog/dog socialization opportunities for their puppies. Nevertheless, when and how to do it is still misunderstood largely because many veterinarians, as well as breeders and pet-store owners, advise new pet parents to avoid socializing their new puppy with other dogs until the age of four 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

Nevermind the Bollocks

Since last week's episode of It’s Me or the Dog aired in the US featuring Eric and his Presa Canario Caspar, I have been inundated with people asking if Eric listened to my advice and finally had Caspar neutered.   For those of you in other parts of the world who haven’t seen the episode yet, here is Read More

Positively Podcasts

Join Victoria and her co-host (and It's Me or the Dog alum) Holly Firfer as they discuss everything from the hottest dog-related topics of the day to the inside scoop from the set of It's Me or the Dog and everything in between. A fun, and informative look into Victoria's life and work, the Positively Read More

Can Spaying Make Dog Behavior Worse?

On an episode of “It’s Me or the Dog,” Victoria Stilwell tackled the problem of a bull terrier that exhibited mounting behavior. The first solution was to send the dog for a time-out when he mounted. However, the mounting was so severe that the trainer finally recommended neutering, which solved the problem. This case raises Read More