Paper Training

Paper training is a highly effective and popular way to housetrain puppies. When done correctly, paper training teaches the puppy to eliminate on progressively smaller areas of paper (or training pads) until you are able to direct the puppy to specific areas where you want him to toilet. For some rural or suburban households, this Read More

Positively Dog Training Episode 704

Why dogs and Halloween don’t mix, November’s pet awareness holidays, how to detect signs your dog is in pain. Also, consistency when paper training pups, mouthing puppies, constant barking, issues that come with adopting street dogs.

Crate Training

Crate training is a popular way of encouraging puppies to hold themselves for longer periods of time and of keeping them safe when unsupervised. Used correctly, a crate becomes a favorite place for sleeping and/or quiet time but keeping a puppy or a dog in a crate for too long can also inadvertently encourage them Read More

Puppy Housetraining

Successful housetraining is one of the first things parents of a new puppy need to accomplish, and even though the process can be time-consuming, it does not have to be daunting. With a combination of consistency, common sense, and positive reinforcement protocols, you can quickly train any puppy to toilet appropriately. There are a number Read More

Positively Dog Training Episode 322

Holly stumps Victoria with an Animal Academy after Victoria recaps her skiing trip. Dr. Duffy Jones of Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital calls the Positively Hotline to discuss allergies in pets, including Victoria's Chocolate Lab, Sadie, who suffers from extreme itching and licking on her foot during allergy season.

Victoria and Scientific Community Debunk Force-Based Training

Victoria and her friend and mentor Dr. Nicholas Dodman were both quoted extensively in a recent article in the Baltimore Sun newspaper recapping the 2011 International Association of Animal Behavior Counselors (IAABC) conference, which was held in Rhode Island April 1-3.  Victoria was quoted as saying, ""Dogs are sensitive, emotional, vulnerable beings that need us to 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

Potty Problems

One of the most difficult challenges a dog owner may have to deal with is a problem with their dog’s potty training. From potty training an adult dog to dealing with marking or submissive urination, there are all kinds of potty problems that you might be facing with your dog. The first thing to do 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, informative and lighthearted look into Victoria's life and work, the Read More

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

No Need to Declaw

Saving cats claws may also save their lives. There’s increasing data to demonstrate that once declawed, cats wind up at animal shelters due to behavioral problems. Or they may wind up in animal shelters because they do have their claws and are scratching in all the wrong places. To declaw remains an emotional issue, and Read More

Raymond Parke Coppinger 2/7/1937 to 8/14/2017

Raymond Coppinger, 80, professor emeritus of biology and author of various books on dogs and about 50 published scientific papers passed away Monday, August 14, His Ph. D. thesis in biology at the University of Massachusetts is on the effect of experience and novelty on avian feeding behavior. He joined the founding faculty at Hampshire 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

Christmas Puppies: the Good, the Bad, and the Oh So Cute!

There are many wonderful resources for you to read about whether bringing home a puppy over the holidays is a responsible choice for your family. This article is meant to help you make good choices once you have already decided to bring a new dog home for the holidays.

The Trails Are Calling You and Your Dog

Hiking is not only good physical exercise for your dog, it’s a great mental stimulation experience as well. It’s also a really fabulous bonding experience.

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.”

“Information Seeking” in Dogs

Information seeking behavior in dogs has many forms. Every dog can help us to become better trainers if we adapt what we do to help them learn. So... what is your dog asking?

Holistic Summer Guide To Safe and Happy Cats

With a little commonsense and mindfulness, our cats can enjoy summer as much as we do. There’s nothing like a cat on a lap to help us slow down to smell the roses. Have a safe, happy and healthy summer!

Adopting a Rescue Rabbit

I have had the joy and pleasure of adopting many rabbits over the years, including one that was released at a local school yard because someone didn’t want to care for her anymore. They are wonderful furry companions, but they are a full-time commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Bunny benefits: 10 reasons to rescue a rabbit

Want an interactive pet that’s not as demanding as a dog? How about a bunny? Rabbits make terrific pets in the right circumstances. February is adopt-a-rescued rabbit month, so if you’re considering a new pet, here are some reasons a bunny might be best...

Positively Success Story: Chief

This is Chief, a German Shepherd I rescued March 30, 2012 when he was about 3. I got him from an abusive home. How I knew of the person that had him is somewhat complicated, but the woman offered him to me because she said she hated him. Someone else that lived in the home Read More

Positively Success Story: Paisley

First off, thank you so very much for being a ray of light in such a dark world of training methods. I'm 20 , and I've had dogs my whole life, Boxers. So when I decided to get a dog of my own, it had to be a Boxer. To me, it's just not home Read More

Developing a Common Language to Set Our Dogs Up to Succeed

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” ― Mark Twain As a writer, I strive to find the perfect word to communicate exactly what I want to say. Someone can trip, tumble, or slip, and even though those words mean that the Read More

Positively Success Story: Jambo

Jambo is the first Staffordshire Bull Terrier to be a Trick Dog Champion. Trained with Positive Reinforcement and helping break the Bully Breed stereotype!
He has his own Facebook page, Jambo – Staffy Bull Terrier Trick Dog. He likes to promote doing Dog Tricks and Positive Reinforcement Training. He also likes to do his bit for Read More

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

Humane Discipline

Positive does not mean permissive. Discipline is an important part of the learning process, but the form of discipline used in positive training differs greatly from the types of discipline used in dominance training. Traditional trainers often argue that positive trainers do not believe in or effectively use appropriate discipline in training, but that is Read More

Snake Avoidance-Making Wise Choices

How can you keep your dog from being bitten by a venomous snake? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer and there are no guarantees. Seal Your Yard Neither your family nor your dog is safe from venomous snakes. Many snake bites to dogs occur on their own property. Remove food sources, such as: rodents, mice, Read More

The Grazing Game

The Grazing Game Can Change Behavior and Emotions.The easiest, scientifically endorsed methods to train and socialize your dog involve food. If we couldn’t go to the grocery store and bring home bags of groceries, we would be asking, “Who’s got the food? What can I do for the people who have the food!” Use your Read More

In The Moment

Thank the good Lord for my pups. I'm over-the-hill, rough around the edges, not politically correct, pretty cynical about people, have a tendency towards sarcasm, more of a who the (beep) drank the water from my glass (none of that half empty/half full garbage) type of guy. My wife should be elevated to sainthood and Mr. Satan won't want me any more than Mr. God will. So what's my point?

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

Victoria Talks With Steve Dale

Victoria Stilwell:  Hey Steve! We last met up at American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards in L.A. – What have you been up to since then? Steve Dale:  I emceed an American Humane Association animal assisted therapy dinner, celebrating the work of many dogs and their volunteer handlers in Denver. I’ve contributed to a couple Read More

An Interview With Nicole Wilde

I love Nicole Wilde.  She is such a lovely woman and a true powerhouse in our collective quest to promote positive training at the expense of dominance and fear-based methods.  I first met her several years ago when she stopped by our house in Atlanta for some dinner while she was in town for one Read More