Mission & Inspiration

The Mission The Victoria Stilwell Foundation provides financial support and canine behavior expertise to assistance dog organizations and small animal rescue shelters while promoting the concept of reward-based, positive reinforcement dog training philosophies in organizations and households throughout the United States. The Inspiration Over the past 20 years, Victoria’s extensive charitable efforts on behalf of Read More

How My Dog Inspired Me to Learn to Become a Dog Trainer

I have learned so much over the months I’ve been enrolled in VSA's Online Dog Trainer Course. My dog and I have both grown in confidence and I’ve been able to live my dream of helping adopted dogs stay at home by working with shelters and training dogs and their families in my community. I marvel often about how my dog has blessed my life with love, challenges and a new career. I could never have imagined that day I walked into the shelter that I’d be writing this today.

Should We Even Talk To ‘The Other Side’?

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the pros and cons of engaging (publicly or privately) with people in the dog world who hold views different from your own. This can be an especially thorny topic when the opposing (or at least not compatible) viewpoints relate to a core belief of yours – beliefs that we often safeguard and protect more dearly than anything else. This got me thinking about the best ways to handle such situations, and I figured I’d share my thoughts with you here.

It’s Me or the Dog Free on YouTube!

We're very excited to share the news that full episodes of It's Me or the Dog are now available on YouTube via the @ItsMeOrTheDog channel. It's been quite a while since we broke ground on that series back in the early 2000's, and I never would've guessed that we'd end up shooting over 100 episodes and have the show airing in over 200 countries.

Shocking Answers to Shocking Questions

After an article about the use of shock collars in dog training appears, the same questions inevitably come up. Usually, the person asking the question is not really seeking an answer. Instead, they are posing the question as a rebuttal to our position, which is that shock has no place in dog training. Here are a few of the actual questions we receive, edited for clarity, with answers.

Keep A Close Eye On Your Animals At All Times

For over a decade, I’ve been blessed to work with all types of animals. People and institutions contact me to assist them with their domestic animals, farm animals and sanctuary animals. I work with them in numerous ways but, what I’m probably best known for is my work with missing animals. I have worked with Read More

Indoor Cats Vs Outdoor Cats

If cats are likely to live longer and healthier lives indoors – why are we still allowing them outdoors? Surprise, living indoors – though – has shortcomings too. Sixty years ago, indoors vs. outdoors wasn’t an issue. Most cats could come and go as they pleased. It wasn’t welfare issues that changed their world, encouraging Read More

To Walk or Not To Walk

To Walk, or Not To Walk – It’s Not Even A Question Is It? All responsible dog owners walk their dogs once/twice/for two hours/three hours/45 minutes… per day. Everyone knows this, it’s what responsible owners do. But have we sometimes lost track of what purpose a walk actually fulfills – I think we frequently have. Read More

Why ‘Dominance’ Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Word

It’s understandable that people in the dog training world get so agitated when the word “dominance” is mentioned, even when used in the right context. The idea of dominance in dogs has been so misunderstood by some trainers in popular media for so long that it has now become a dirty word, such that even when trainers and behavior experts use the word correctly, they risk a backlash from people that are – let’s face it - exhausted from having to continually reeducate the public about what dominance really is and what it isn’t, particularly when so much damage has been done because of the way the word has been used by some people in the dog training world.

Isn’t It Amazing?

I firmly believe that any decent trainer is always learning – we should never feel we know ‘enough’, and I thoroughly enjoy being inspired, educated and challenged by our amazing roster of presenters at this conference year after year. It has developed into one of the most sought-after dog behaviour experiences available in the UK, and I’m incredibly honoured to be able to bring such a diverse, passionate, educated, engaged, and dog-literate group of people together in the name of better understanding our canine companions each June.

Lyme is Spreading in America

Lyme disease is spreading in America. In fact, veterinary parasitologists refer to Lyme and other tick diseases as an epidemic. FACT: In most places where Lyme has been, it’s more abundant. FACT: In geographic regions with minimal Lyme; they are now seeing the illness far more often as it continues to spread. And it gets Read More

CIV At Dog Shows

It’s nothing to sneeze at, an outbreak of dog flu affecting at least 11 states. After inundating Chicago with flu and bouncing around the country in 2015 into 2016, the H3N2 virus, which arrived from Southeast Asia, took a lower profile. Last month, the virus appeared on radar, and in a big way. The epicenter Read More

Kindness Is Powerful Award Winners Announced!

After a months-long nomination period, we are honored to announce that the five winners of the inaugural Kindness Is Powerful Awards have been named. The Kindness Is Powerful Awards are granted to individuals doing heroes' work on a daily basis without regular recognition or praise on behalf of animals in the rescue world. Nominees were Read More

Announcing the Victoria Stilwell Positively Cruise

Victoria is hosting dog lovers from around the world on an exclusive 7-day Caribbean cruise this December where she will meet, mingle and share her experiences and expertise with fellow cruise guests.

Consent: It’s Not Just for People!

Consent is a right of every living being. We expect to be asked prior to being touched. But we give consent to strangers to touch our dogs without asking the dog.

Understanding Diabetes in Pets

The bad news is that diabetes is way up in dogs and cats. The good news is that diabetes is considered treatable (as mentioned, cats may even go into remission). However, in order to treat, appropriate diagnosis is necessary.

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

Raising Awareness for Lyme Disease in People & Pets

Increasingly, human and veterinary medicine are working in tandem. This year, I began a one health campaign called Stop Lyme in conjunction with the American Veterinary Medical Association and the non-profit Global Lyme Alliance.

Setting Kids & Dogs Up for Success

A wonderful relationship between kids and dogs can be facilitated by knowing what your dog is saying when interacting with kids, while teaching kids how to respectfully and safely interact with your dog.

My dog can’t keep still – he’s wild all the time!

“He’s always leaping about like a mad thing,” Jan said, as her large young labrador Jimmy thudded her in the stomach with his paws and jumped to try and nip her nose. Jan dodged her face just out of his reach, so he resigned himself to scraping her arm and chewing her cuff. She squawked, waved her hands about, pushed and pulled, shouted …

Honoring Our 4-Legged Soldiers on K-9 Veterans’ Day

K-9 Veterans represent an elite class of dogs who work and train hard to assist our troops in protecting our home and freedom. Today, I would like to share with you a history and background of Military Working Dogs in honor of their handwork and dedication to our country.  History Brave animal mascots and pets Read More

“Why Can’t My Dog Be Normal?”

It may seem sometimes like everyone else has a “normal” dog while you struggle to make minute changes towards the better with your own. How can we cope?

3 Behaviors Your Dog Should Know Before His First Road Trip

While crates and pet seatbelts are important safety products that can help your dog in a car accident, most pet-related emergencies are caused by unruly behaviors displayed by untrained, uneducated dogs. Road trips with your dog can be a ton of fun if they know some important life-saving behaviors like these.

Positively Dog Training Episode 507

Victoria and Holly talk about the viral story of a military working dog and his handler that were injured during a building search and chat with founder of Mission K-9 Rescue, an organization helping similar dogs and handlers.

Farewell to A Hero, A Friend, A Fire Dog

I first met Ember on an elevator at the Arson Dog Recertification I was filming in Baton Rouge, LA. She greeted me with a typical Labrador smile and a wagging tail. I chatted with her handler, Captain Ross Holt, about her battle with cancer and how brave she was through her chemotherapy treatments...

Give Your Dog an Instant Safe Haven On Walks

We’ve all seen a small child clinging to Mom’s neck while he safely views the world from under her hair. A little puppy has the same need for a safe haven. You may have seen your own puppy hurtle in from the garden when there’s an alarming noise, and dive into her bed. Plunging into the Read More

This New Veterinary Test Could Save Your Pet’s Life

“We’re now discovering loss of kidney function in lots of middle aged cats before the cat becomes sick. This is extremely important to potentially slow the disease progression and help us to monitor kidney loss.”

The Bloodstained Terrible Towel

This was not the kind of behavior that our beloved Steeler organization would support. This is not the value system that we expect from the Rooney family.