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
It's time we start talking seriously about puppy mills.
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.
In some of my other worlds, parenting and school teaching, the idea of Growth vs Fixed Mindsets has taken off. You can read more here, but in a nutshell, you avoid labeling children as smart or not smart. You look for and acknowledge behaviours like effort, persistence, thoughtful choices, small steps taken and achieved; and Read More
You’ve been planning for months, and at last your new puppy is here! Your expectations are enormous: this is going to be the perfect dog you’ve always wanted. And maybe that’s right, and your little puppy will become your Brilliant Family Dog. But for many of us - and for many of our puppies - Read More
Victoria shares the gifts she’s celebrating this holiday season, including the success of the #LucysLaw campaign, California’s ban on pet store sales, and Australia’s first state to ban puppy mills. Also: dogs unhappy going into kennels, over-bonded pets, and how to create safe boundaries without fences.
K9 officer Shawn Humphreys talks with Victoria and Holly about the world of police dog training, its challenges, and the changes he’s noticing with his move towards more positive training. Also, new VSA course dates, how to find a licensed trainer as well as leash-walking and separation anxiety issues.
The widespread outbreak of campylobacter infections due to poor practices on the part of Petland pet stores. A chat with Finding Shelter’s Grace Kelly Herbert in her fight against Amish puppy mills, the state of anti-puppy mill legislation, and how people can get involved locally to fight the puppy mill trade.
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.
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
“I wonder if I’ve done the wrong thing … Perhaps I’m not capable of looking after a dog.” I don’t know exactly what had caused such a devastating loss of confidence in what 30was clearly a capable individual. But Gwen voiced a sentiment I come across from time to time. Her family had left home Read More
On this jam-packed episode of the Positively Podcast, Holly and Victoria first chat about Victoria's new book and some of the fascinating research that's being conducted on canine cognition. Here are a few of the questions they discuss: Do dogs dream? How can you tell if your dog is in pain? Why do small dogs Read More
“Should I send previous clients thank you cards?” “How often should I send them?” “What should I say in a thank you card?” I often hear these questions from new or even experience dog trainers. While they are well intentioned, we can and should strive to create better ways of showing our support than a thank you card every once in a while.
Victoria and Holly cover the latest news related to puppy mills in both the US and UK, and have a fascinating chat with Marc the Vet about the topic.
Victoria and Holly are gearing up for the holiday season, and chat about how the stress of the holidays affects both people and their pets. Victoria gives some tips for keeping your dogs happy and healthy over the holidays, and the pair chats about their thoughts on when one person tells them they prefer one of their Read More
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.
Victoria and Holly chat about the Thanksgiving holiday and what they're thankful for. They also talk about why the month of November is the month with the most amount of car collisions with deer, and how you can stay safe.
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.
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.
When we train mindfully, we pay attention on purpose. We're aware of what’s happening during the session: mechanics, timing, location, the dog’s internal state.
In part two of this series, I will share with you some of the activities I focused on to support playing the game of agility.
For about a year and a half, I was living in New York City. I went from living in a large house on 2 acres to a small one bedroom apartment near a park. In this three-part article series, I am going to share how I kept agility in my life while living in a Read More
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.
I find that new puppy-owners tend to fall into two camps - those who expect too much too soon, and those who expect too little for too long.
Is surprising a friend or family member with a puppy or dog really a good idea? Here are some alternative suggestions to ensure that you don't end up sticking them with a commitment they aren't ready for.
Radical it may be to grasp, if we accept the fact that people want to bring a dog into their lives, and the holiday season might be a good time for them to do so, we can educate them on finding their perfect one in rescue.
OK, let’s be honest here: Can positive training really work with an 11-year-old feral dog? Yes. Yes, it can.
In this special Thanksgiving edition of the podcast, Victoria and Holly welcome back Dr. Paula Bloom, who peppers Victoria with questions about her new puppy, Suki. Victoria catches up with the Positively mailbag in Ask Victoria, and Alex makes a guest appearance to stump the grownups with some tough questions in the (not so) Animal Academy.
Like a child, your pup’s early experiences are the foundation of their future. You are literally BUILDING your puppy’s brain. Do it thoughtfully, but also patiently and lightheartedly.
Victoria and Holly start Season 5 of the Positively Podcast off with a bang, including some great Ask Victoria questions and an interview with 'Of Dogs and Men' filmmaker Patrick Reasonover.
Victoria and Holly talk about their experiences in Greece, where there is a massive stray dog problem. They interview Victoria Stilwell Dog Training Academy Director Tia Guest, and Victoria answers some tough Ask Victoria questions.
At long last, I am thrilled to announce the official launch of the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior!
If you've got a good grasp on your dog's leash reactivity but feel you're still struggling sometimes, here are some tips for later stages of training that may help you really step things up.
We wrote previously about what you should start with when you're training a deaf dog, but now I want to touch on something I see many people doing wrong! It's something they don't even think about, but it's a critical mistake that's easy to fix.
Ultimately, what I’ve realized is that living with and training a deaf dog isn’t harder, it’s just different. Here are a few tips to help new deaf dog pet parents get started. I hope these help ease your anxiety and fears during this transition.
When training your deaf dog, don't ever have the mentality that because she is deaf she can't do something. A deaf dog is capable of doing anything that a hearing dog can, except for hear!
You will see the returns of your effort by sticking with the program for the long haul. If we want to see a change in our dog’s behavior we have to do the work, simple as that.
Our clients were pleased, their dogs were happy, and our business was successful. Surprisingly, in the face of all this success, I was feeling unsatisfied, exhausted, and had what I learned to call “the burnout of compassion fatigue”.
There’s a lot of negative talk about using food in training. Even when people are prepared to use it in a class or at home, they often refuse to carry it when taking the training 'on the road'. Comments include; it’s bribery; I want the dog to work for me; the dog ‘knows’ what I Read More
"I don't understand how in a country of animal lovers, puppy mills can be tolerated," says Chicago veterinarian Dr. Scott Rovner. "Now, we've finally begun to speak up and do something about it; we need to."