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

Introducing An Older Dog To A Puppy

Preparation is key. Start by picking up any toys or chew items from common areas. Then decide where the puppy will be during rest times or times in which you cannot supervise. Depending on the size of the puppy, this can be a repurposed playpen or an ex-pen with a crate inside, or even a small room.

A Puppy Under the Tree

A puppy for Christmas is a gift that, as a professional trainer for over 10 years, I strongly encourage to be planned so that the entire family understands the commitment that gift comes with. Have no doubt: the pup will not be for the kids. The pup will be the responsibility of the adults in the family, and she will depend on them for her care.

Don’t Do Me Wrong: Rescue Groups and Dog Behavior Knowledge

Cue the wistful music before starting the video rolling and many dog lovers just see what they want to see in a video making the internet rounds. When you accompany sweet music with an overlay of words meant to convey what you want people to see, as long as the opposite isn’t glaringly obvious to Read More

So You Want a Puppy? Are You Sure?

I recently became the proud owner of a 10 week old Border Collie. Having had two previous Border Collies that passed away at the age of 14 I surmised I was savvy enough to do it again. The reality of my decision bit me pretty hard!

The Post-Puppy Panic

Feeling overwhelmed after bringing home a new puppy? I'm going to call this phenomenon the "post-puppy panic."

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

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

Puppy Training Basics

A puppy needs a good learning foundation in order to be a confident adult. But learning is more than just teaching your puppy basic cues such as sit and stay. The most important aspect of the learning process is to introduce your puppy to the environments and situations she is likely to experience throughout her Read More

Dog Behavior

Jump to: Basic Cues Nuisance Behaviors Behavior Problems Aggression Puppy Knowledge Tricks & Sports New Dogs A dog’s behavior is deeply rooted in the way he is bred, socialized, and trained. You can have a social, confident dog that is able to cope in a human world if you take the time to teach basic Read More

The Importance of Remembering That You Are Only Human

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

Owner or enthusiast?

I have a car. I love my car and I look after it well. I drive it carefully, clean it, get it serviced regularly and always enjoy looking at it and driving it. The thing is…I really know very little about how it works. I can check the water and oil and top them up. 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

Reality Check: Nine Things That Your Dog Wants You to Understand

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

California VS AKC

California appears set to ban sales of dogs, cats and rabbits at pet stores, just as hundreds of communities and some counties have done around the country. The California bill is aimed at changing how cats, dogs and rabbits become family pets, and has cleared the California Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee with Read More

Building Tolerance To Frustration

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.

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

Can My Dog Be Stressed? [Part 3]

Here is the third excerpt from my forthcoming book - Building Confidence in your Growly but Brilliant Family Dog - which points out an area which will be affecting your dog much more than you may imagine. You may want to read Part One and Part Two of the series first.  While you’re doing your best to Read More

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.

Terrier Shmerrier!

I thought I knew how to train dogs. Then I adopted a Terrier/Chihuahua mix puppy and named her…..Tricky! People warned me when I named her Tricky, jokingly and affectionately telling me she would likely embody the name I gave her. They weren’t kidding.

My Husband is NOT a Dog Trainer

Living with him has been a great learning lesson for me. He is helping me to gain a better understanding of what a typical dog owning couple deals with.

Less Adoptable Pets and How You Can Help Them

Pets that are considered by society as “less adoptable” are just as loving, sweet, and kind as all of the other pets. However, they aren’t blessed with the natural poster child adoptability as the other pets in the shelter.

“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?

What To Do When a Dog Hates Being Contained

Some dogs may whine, cry, or bark in the crate, while others may go so far as causing real damage to a crate or a room. This type of behavior is often attributed to separation anxiety. But is that always the issue? Here are some training tips for dogs that don't do well being contained.

My Breed is “Special”

Breed traits are important. But these breed traits certainly don’t mean that only a very small segment of society should parent those particular breeds.

For Immediate Release

Official Press Release: State Farm® and Victoria Stilwell Educate Children about Being K9 Safe and Smart

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

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