Feral cats aren’t a new issue; they existed for thousands of years – likely since the domestication of cats somewhere between 5,300 to 9,000 years ago.
Thunderstorm phobia is a relatively common problem for dogs, particularly for those that live in areas where stormy weather is commonplace. Whether fear of thunderstorms is elicited by a singular traumatic experience or prolonged exposure, the result is often highly distressing for dogs and owners. Without extensive behavioral therapy and management strategies, phobias become deeply ingrained and even harder to overcome.
The problem with speaking English instead of using made-up words is that we assume our pets know what we mean. We say, “Sit” and expect Fido to drop his derrier, but the command Fido’s learned is “sit, sit, sit, SIT!” Then once he’s done the deed, we praise with “Goodsit,” when just “Good” would do, Read More
If reliability means the dog does what you say, when you say it, every time you say it, then the "do as I say attitude" seems to make sense on the surface. However, as a positive gun dog trainer, I have become convinced that the "do as I say" attitude misses the mark.
FUNNY VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Presley attacks dog bed Link http://youtu.be/53xPgA2lVPU Challenge This week’s challenge was an IQ test or the closest thing to it for a dog. There wasn’t much preparation for this challenge. Basically, our dogs where supposed to smell and find the their favorite food. Then, without our instructions, navigate their way Read More
Trick training is a lot of fun and is a great way to enhance communication between you and your dog. From teaching your dog to 'wave' at you or give you a 'high five' to having the dog roll over on cue, the possibilities for dog tricks are almost endless. As with all training, though, Read More
Call it the human condition. We often take the ones we love most for granted. Until she was gone, perhaps I never quite appreciated how wonderful our little dog Lucy was. However, there are many who do – and likely will never forget the joy Lucy brought to their lives. “Wha hoo” says Lucy, our Read More
I am always on the hunt for good life similarities to dog training. This week I stumbled upon more as my son is wrapping up his first week at kindergarten. At his orientation last week prior to the first day of school, we were walked through some simple ways to help our children develop a Read More
Have you ever received negative comments or been bullied on social media? If you have then you understand how bad it can make you feel and how damaging it can be. This week’s post is not about dogs, but this is a conversation we all need to be having right now, and that is why I am sharing what has happened to me since I became known in the media world.
Aggressive dogs. What a trigger topic for so many! Humans, as a species, are so often attracted to danger. You see it in our hobbies and our choices of heroes. For many dog lovers there is so often nothing more attractive than an aggressive dog. This scenario not only appeals to our nurturing instinct, but Read More
If you live with a dog that displays aggressive behavior (lunging, growling, or even biting), using management to keep everyone safe is the first priority, along with a good behavior modification plan. What Is Management? One of my favorite descriptions of management is from the book “Behavior Adjustment Training 2.0: New Practical Techniques for Fear, Read More
With well over half of all US households having one or more pets, it is more important than ever to be a good pet neighbor. We've collaborated with State Farm® in creating a free 35-minute online course that educates both new and experienced pet owners in how to read dog body language and safely interact Read More
Puppies are fun but also require lots of care. Living with a puppy can be time consuming and stressful at times. Puppies require supervision, plenty of exercise, and attention. One common question I receive is "How do I stop my puppy from chewing things around the house?". I have created a puppy-proofing checklist to help Read More
Developing optimism involves many positive experiences, but also fair challenges (so the dog can practice successfully stretching its comfort zone, working through manageable difficulties and recovering from failure to try again).
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.
The world that we live in, especially in the United States, is a scary world for many dogs but none so much as the exceptionally fearful dogs out there. The expectations placed on dogs here can be exhausting to their emotional state. The amount of fear/anxiety that dogs who are worried about people/things/animals in their Read More
Victoria Stilwell’s 5th book entitled “The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Puppy: How to Train and Care for Your New Dog” will be released on October 1, 2019 in the US. The book is available to preorder now.
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.
Following years of development, renowned dog behavior expert Victoria Stilwell and her Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior educational arm announce the launch of the Online Dog Trainer Course – a game-changing new online-only course designed to teach those aspiring to become professional dog trainers.
It’s scary. And you’re not alone - over 4.2 million dog-owning households and nearly two million cat-caretakers will be treating their furry companions to ghoulish goodies and ghoulish toys this Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Also, according to the NRF, pet “moms” and “dads” will spend over $440 million on Halloween. That’s Read More
Improper elimination in the home stirs up lots of emotion in humans. Bafflement, anger, frustration, are a few that come to mind. But for some, the explanation that comes to mind is revenge on the part of the dog. Once this explanation enters our thoughts, it becomes our nature to defend our view. We create stories around other events that seem to confirm our perspective and it can be very difficult to unlearn what we think we know.
Registration is now open for the sixth annual UK Dog Behaviour Conference which will be held in Sheffield, England on May 18-19, 2019.
As the urbanization sprawls reach into places with wildlife, confrontations are more numerous, from skunk to coyotes to moose. Sometimes these confrontations may be potentially dangerous to us, but more often potentially dangerous to companion animals – unless we make a few easy adjustments. Arguably the most successful of all non-bird species is the coyote. Read More
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
Close your eyes and think for one moment what is the one thing that you absolutely love to do? No-one has to pay you for it, no-one needs to ask you to do it….it lights you up, makes you feel alive, excites you…. and if you could do it right now you would do it Read More
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
“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
Since when does “just a minute” only apply to humans? We dogs say it too, except when we do, you humans get angry. You let us off the rope thing to go run around and play and then you ask us to come back at the most inconvenient of times, just when we are having the best fun – playing with other dogs or chasing small fluffies. When we don’t respond, you get mad and tell us how bad we are, but apparently you don’t understand that when we hear our name, look back at you and then continue with our game, we’re also saying “just a minute”. By the way…..how long is a minute?
If now seems like the right time, let us help you on your journey. If you’ve been thinking of a career working with dogs, trust us – it’s worth it. Whether you’re just starting your working career or are stuck doing something you don’t love, join us this summer and allow yourself to chase your dreams. Enroll in the Victoria Stilwell Academy.
In addition to daily over-the-counter antihistamines, which I’m not a big fan of, here are a few tips to controlling allergies to animals that have worked for us...
Does your reactive dog seem to be getting more fearful, anxious, or aggressive? Here are key strategies for change that you can put in place very easily.
The whip-it game involves building real desire and harnessing your dog’s desire to chase, using a horse lunge whip with a toy attachment! We then apply real-life impulse control to it! We show you how to play it in our latest training video.
Naughty but nice dogs are often termed aggressive, reactive, angry, overconfident, EVIL - but - you know your dog isn’t any of those things really, they just need to be taught to make better choices and be happier about the things in their life! In fact, many of the things that NBN dogs do are often motivated by FEAR!
Is it possible that that today’s elephant species – long persecuted by man – will one day go the way of the mastodon? Sadly, the answer is yes.
Victoria was joined by her husband and Victoria Stilwell Academy CEO for a Facebook Live chat to discuss what VSA is, why they started it, and how prospective students can enroll. Check it out below or on her Facebook page:
Just last week, we concluded another successful in-person intensive with the Victoria Stilwell Academy’s Dog Trainer Course students. As I sat there in the back of the room, I watched our awesome faculty member, Nichole Smith from Working With Dog, absolutely rocking this super-important lesson and content. Just about every day during our six-month course, Read More
In the competition sport of agility, there are many variables to manage. When I created a behavior modification program for my own dog, here were some of the things I considered to help set him up for success.
Adopting a dog can be a wonderful and challenging experience. The dog will be confused, excited, anxious, worried, fearful and/or elated. Here are a 9 tips to help you through the first month.