Scent work is a dog sport that is becoming increasingly popular to the average pet parent. Inspired by the work of scent detection dogs, scent work is an easy-to-learn dog sport that is fun for the dog and the handler. How It Works A scent work class should start by building your dog’s confidence and Read More
Shelter stays are extremely difficult on an animal, so adolescent dogs come to us with abundant energy and stress. This begs the question, how exactly do you handle fostering one of these goofy teenagers without ripping your hair out?
Fireworks can be fun for humans, but dogs don't have the same reaction.
Working with a positive trainer is one of the best things that you will ever do for your dog. Below is a list of 5 things that may surprise you about your trainer followed by a list of 5 things you may want to remember when you hire a positive trainer.
Although a dog’s brain is just one-tenth the size of a human brain, the part of the dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is forty times greater than that of a human's. A dog’s sense of smell is therefore estimated to be a hundred thousand times better than ours. Dogs use their nose Read More
Successful positive training relies in large part on determining exactly what motivates your dog the most. While each dog is different and some may be turned on by praise, play, toys, or life rewards like going for walk, very often food is that primary motivating force and can be a powerful tool for shaping new Read More
Dog sports are a great way to bond with your dog and give your canine companion exercise and mental stimulation. From the unbridled fun of dock diving to the quirkier but thrilling sport of skijoring, dog sports offer a fantastic opportunity to build and enhance the unique relationship we share with man's best friend in Read More
Fears and phobias are relatively common and can affect dogs of all ages and all breeds. But there is a difference between fear and phobia. Fear is a normal response to an actual or perceived threat or situation, while a phobia is an exaggerated fear response that can completely overwhelm a dog. Some dogs are Read More
Canine cognition is how a dog’s mind processes the world around it. Knowing your dog’s cognitive style will help you understand what drives him, how he learns and what he needs from you to make learning easier. Cognitive science is the study of the mind and intelligence, embracing philosophy, psychology, linguistics and anthropology. Cognitive scientific Read More
There is much debate on whether a dog’s experience of emotion is similar to that of a human’s or if a dog’s behavior is simply influenced by an inner drive to survive. While we cannot claim to have all the answers yet, science is helping increase our understanding of how the dog’s brain works, producing Read More
Teaching your dog tricks or getting involved in dog sports are two great ways to bond with your dog and to ensure that he is getting the physical and mental stimulation he needs. Tricks are fun and easy to teach using positive training methods, and they are sure to impress when you have guests over. Read More
To truly comprehend why food is so powerful, you must first understand the influence it has on the dog’s brain. Food has the power to not only enhance a dog’s ability to learn but also helps a dog overcome fear or anxiety by raising the levels of dopamine in the brain and stimulating the desire to seek or move towards the food reward.
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 as humans have made such progress with how we view dogs, but it seems with so many steps forward, we take a few more steps back At one time, dogs were given far more freedom than they have now, many having at least the daytime run of their neighborhoods. But that freedom also came Read More
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.
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
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
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
Our dogs have a big fenced back yard with plenty of grass, plants, bushes and fun places to enjoy their time outside. They even have some bird feeders, where they promptly chase the birds away when running out of the house to their big back yard. It’s a wonderful sanctuary for them to play, lounge, Read More
I am sick of seeing commercials, print ads and even suggestions made on pet food packaging itself, about caring for the wolf in your dog. There isn’t as much of the wolf in your dog, at least advertised. In fact, there is very little grey wolf in any domestic dog! Several studies, including one from PLOS Read More
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.
This is Part 1 of Bobbie Bhambree's agility series. Check out Part 2 here and Part 3 here. One of the main reasons I am an effective dog trainer and have strong mechanical skills when teaching and handling dogs is because of my many years as an student of agility. This dog performance sport takes the Read More
The best twist that came out of this whole situation was a young man who photographed his Rottweiler being offered a peanut butter stuffed bone, with the caption that “this is what happens when you won’t shut up”. Win/win for both sides of the equation.
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?
Call it irony, or just odd – for the second consecutive year, the most popular cat breed in America is a breed most cat owners have never heard of.
There is perhaps no greater experience than participating in an activity with your dog that satisfies you both. The bonding experience created is unparalleled.
Keeping a dog from playing, running, and jumping for a few weeks is no easy task. Here are some simple tips to keep your dog calm after surgery.
Baskets and egg hunts are two popular activities for Easter Sunday. Typically, the tiny humans have all the fun while our dogs sit back and watch. How fair is that?! I say it’s time we make a change. This year, let’s throw an Easter egg hunt for our dogs. When planning your egg hunt, remember Read More
The Labrador Retriever continues to hold the title of America’s top dog, since 1991, according to just released 2014 American Kennel Club (AKC) registration numbers. The AKC began tabulating and comparing breed registration numbers back in 1936, when the crown for the most popular breed went to the American Cocker Spaniel. In 1953 the Beagle Read More
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
People with challenging dogs that seem to be constantly up to mischief don’t need any in-depth training course. It is really quite simple to make a huge difference. Just constantly look for, and reward, every little bit of behaviour that you like. That’s it.
From snowflake treats to pounce-able cat toys, Steve Dale has the scoop on this year's hottest pet gifts.
VSPDT Laura Brody discusses the topic of dog socialization and why modern domesticated dogs are showing more signs of dog-dog aggression than ever before.
After losing my longtime canine companions, I decided to bring a new dog into our home when the time was right. I was looking for an older pup who was already trained and a breed that did not have many well-known health issues. I like to say that I found Scarlett but I really think Read More
Scenario: A pleasant neighborhood on a sunny day, we observe a human and her dog taking a walk together. All of a sudden, the dog strains on leash, barking and lunging. The human tries to calm the dog down to no avail. She keeps looking around and sees nothing that should make her dog react Read More
As part of my animal consulting business, I have worked with people around the world who have missing animals. For over a decade, I have had a great deal of success in reuniting animals with their families. While no one can guarantee that a lost dog will be reunited with their family, implementing these steps Read More
LOSING HEART Why do so many clients with fearful or reactive dogs, who often have started off so well, lose heart? The reason is because they just don’t fully accept the time and work that changing fear-based or guarding behaviors in particular can take. Teaching people is the easy bit. A large part of my Read More
Chaney is a nominee for the 2014 American Hero Dog Award. As is a former IED detection dog, Chaney saved the lives of countless soldiers in war. Now in his retirement years, he was adopted by one of his handlers and educates people about PTSD and how dogs can benefit veterans. CAST YOUR VOTE FOR THE 2014 Read More