Those of us who get paid to help dog parents with their dog’s behavior issues need to be able to accurately and understandably convey to those dog parents that how they respond to each situation helps determine the outcome.
Through my work as a trainer and behaviour consultant I work with a lot of dogs. I also work with lots of humans, more humans than dogs, as most dogs have several humans in their lives. I have spent time sharpening my people skills and feel that I do a good job of making people Read More
The future of dog videos online has arrived! Positively TV – Victoria Stilwell’s exciting new premium subscription video-on-demand service – has officially launched and is available worldwide. Positively TV is a new subscriber-based platform which contains the entire library of Victoria’s Positively video content plus exclusive new videos that will be released only to subscribers Read More
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
Be a leader. Not a phrase that you would expect to be uttered by a positive dog trainer, right? We spend so much time preaching about how to listen to your dog, give your dog choices, respect who your dog is, that it’s unexpected that I should be talking about leadership. It’s the elephant in Read More
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.
Knowledge in all forms seems to wax and wane according to the dynamics of the times that we live in. This is consistent on all subjects but in particular, with dog behavior knowledge. We have come so far with an understanding of dog behavior and how to modify it, yet old school techniques and thought Read More
Here’s why… Your puppy is a product of its parents’ genes. These provide the blueprint for appearance, temperament and behavior. This is why a Jack Russell looks and acts like a Jack Russell, and a Labrador looks and acts like a Labrador. If you want a dog that will look and act like a Labrador, you 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.
There is no lack of division in the dog world; training methodologies, training tools, cropping and docking, spaying and neutering are but a few potentially explosive topics. Complementary therapies however, are way up on the list of hot buttons to discuss. One person mentions something that even *might* fall into that category and everyone else Read More
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
Family dog shows can be wonderful events to attend. They are great places to meet up with friends, spend time around lots of other dogs, show your own dog off and hopefully win some rosettes. Some dogs really enjoy these events and walk round the show ring with a relaxed body, bright eyes and a Read More
Essential oils are effective, natural substances which are ideal for pet grooming. What are essential oils? Essential oils have been used for more than 5,000 years around the world. There’s evidence that the ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Greeks, among others, used essential oils for cosmetic, medicinal and ritual purposes. With the rising popularity of natural Read More
Does your dog value you = Does your dog hate you? Big question, right? It’s at the root of so many of the struggles with dogs and relationships that we’ve come across. It’s the question we have to think about when there may be a recall problem, struggles with chase, lack of focus or even lack of self-control.
As a dog trainer, what I can do is teach you how to set your dog up so that the right choice becomes more obvious and comfortable to him. What I need for this is your help.
“The winner is always that dog sitting on the couch with you while you’re watching the dog show. Your dog is always Best in Show.”
Planning in dog training is an important skill to master; this skill applies to basic life skills, to obedience, to behaviour modification and also fun tricks.
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
Have you ever seen a parent in the supermarket with two children - one perfectly behaved, and one throwing a tantrum? Which one is typically getting the attention while the other stands quietly by?
Without official regulations as well as professional oversight & a sad lack of requirements for well documented modern dog behavior knowledge, there is a risk.
When someone finds out I work with dogs they always seem to say “you are so lucky!” ... and indeed I am. I wouldn’t choose to do anything other than what I am doing. But it’s not all cupcakes and butterflies.
The other day I was taking my dogs to the park. One is a rescue that had been kept in a backyard and a crate for most of the first year of his life. He is high energy and came to me with no 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.
A dog that is coming off as "stubborn" is actually a dog that is either unmotivated or has no idea what is being asked. There are a couple ways to motivate your dog.
"She's a rescue." I found myself wanting to say the words out loud as I walked my Labradoodle past a girl who looked at us disapprovingly and then shot me a judgmental glare. Why did I feel the need to justify anything to this complete stranger? Why have "purebred" dogs become so vilified?
Today is National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day! Some cat parents out there might be wondering why they need to be reminded to take their cat to the vet. Doesn’t everyone take their cat to the vet regularly?
I have a few tricks up my sleeve for maintaining sanity in a multi-dog household. The one I use most often is solid name recognition which I use to let individual dogs know it is their turn for reinforcement.
Now that we're into the hotter temperatures of the summer months, think about how hot sidewalks and roads can get when you take your dog for a walk.
Those of us who work professionally with dog behavior cannot turn off our skills. Sometimes the things that we see make us twitch and want to intervene.
Many dog trainers and behaviorists use counter-conditioning and desensitization as part of a behavior modification program. The average dog owner often has no idea what this means.
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
In the third and final part of this series, I will share some of the games I played that involved actual equipment, as well as the foundation equipment I used to build behaviors and understanding.
Our first class of students are past the halfway point in their Dog Trainer Course, registration is underway for VSA’s next US-based class this fall, and spaces are quickly filling up in our first UK-based class this September. And we’re just getting started!
Each of my lost animal cases is unique as far as the type of animal, location, breed and the reason they went missing. I’m a big proponent of supplying your dogs with as much identification as possible just in case they go missing. However, many of my clients don’t provide any form of identification for their dogs.
"I set out to create a school with the hope of designing the most well-rounded, exciting dog training curriculum out there," says founder Victoria Stilwell of the Academy, "and based on the feedback we're getting from students, we've achieved exactly that."
We humans don’t often allow dogs to have a say in how much they interact with other sentient beings. We force interactions onto them on a daily basis.
To help people fully grasp the mechanics of desensitization, I often use the analogy of learning how to swim. In other words, "Start in the shallow end!"
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.
This is Part 1 of Bobbie Bhambree's agility series. Check out Part 2 here and Part 3 here. One of the main reasons I am an effective dog trainer and have strong mechanical skills when teaching and handling dogs is because of my many years as an student of agility. This dog performance sport takes the Read More
I have been an instructor for several years and I never really got the value of tug until I no longer had it with Tricky. Isn’t that always the case—you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone