Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is one of the most difficult behavior problems to deal with in dogs because successful modification relies on people being present at all times during what can be a long training process. It is a hugely important problem to solve, both for dog and owner, as separation anxiety is one of the main Read More

Separation Anxiety? What You Can Do

Separation Anxiety? What You Can Do. Dogs are social creatures and can over-attach to a pet parent or canine housemate and become habituated to continual contact. When left alone these dogs may experience what is akin to a panic attack in humans. A well-structured change in routine may break the cycle of anxiety if practiced Read More

Separation Anxiety article from The Bark

In my recent article for The Bark magazine (available on newstands now), separation anxiety was the question of the day: Reader's Question:  Charley, a rescued three year-old Lab who’d spent his entire life in an outdoor kennel, was scared of everything when we first got him. He’s been with us for eight months and now, Read More

The Challenge of Separation Anxiety

Canine behavior specialists deal with fear issues, aggression issues, and everything in between. Most would agree, however, that separation anxiety can be one of the most difficult behavior problems to solve. Not only do separation issues present in challenging ways and sometimes to a severe degree, but the success of any rehabilitation program depends largely Read More

Dog Boredom vs Anxiety

Many people return home after a day at work to a household of destruction and mayhem, and their first assumption is that their dog suffers from acute separation anxiety. Sometimes this can be the case, but in many cases, the dog has destroyed the house as a cure for another very common problem in the Read More

Positively Dog Training Episode 707

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.

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.

iCalmDog Now Available in Positively Store!

The iCalmDog music player for dogs is now available in the Positively online store. This paw-sized portable music player comes with 4 hours of Through A Dog's Ear's clinically-tested music and is designed to reduce anxiety. Also available is a library of music and training protocols designed by Victoria Stilwell to combat separation anxiety, aggression and noise phobias.

Victoria on 20/20

Expert dog trainer Victoria Stilwell will be featured on a special pet-related episode of ABC's 20/20 program on Friday, March 2nd at 10pm ET, where she will demonstrates how to use positive reinforcement training techniques to help a dog and his owner overcome issues with separation anxiety.

Fourth of July and Fireworks

It’s not that dogs aren’t patriotic, but many dogs, and also some cats are terrified of the loud and sudden bangs we call fireworks. It’s actually adaptive to be hard-wired to be afraid of sudden loud sounds. We jump at such surprising sounds, and we might also run the other way or hide if we Read More

From Fearful to Fear Free

Does it surprise you to know that too much fear, anxiety or stress can cause health problems in dogs? Some dogs are terrorized frequently, such as attending inappropriate aversive dog training classes, or even a sick dog who needs to see the veterinarian frequently. Some caretakers have no clue their dog is even fearful. “From Read More

Growth Mindsets in Dog Training

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

Get a whiff of nature’s science

Essential oils are effective, natural substances which are ideal for pet grooming. What are essential oils? Essential oils have been used for more than 5,000 years around the world. There’s evidence that the ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Greeks, among others, used essential oils for cosmetic, medicinal and ritual purposes. With the rising popularity of natural Read More

Helping Your Dog Feel Safe During the Holidays

The holidays can be an exciting and festive time for humans, but for many dogs, they can be a cause of anxiety. It’s important not to forget your dog’s behavioral health during this time.

Can My Dog Be Stressed? [Part 2]

Here is the second of three excerpts from my forthcoming book - Building Confidence in your Growly but Brilliant Family Dog - which points out an area which will be affecting your dog mightily. Read the first excerpt here.  While you’re doing your best to improve the situation and you take a look at what may Read More

Positively Dog Training Episode 603

Victoria and Holly discuss whether "dog adoption cafes" are a good idea or not. They also chat about an unconventional dog sanctuary in Costa Rica where the dogs are allowed to roam freely, and why Victoria thinks matching humans and dogs is so important.

10 Things to Consider When You Hire a Positive Dog Trainer

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.

The Ultimate Dog Adoption Survival Guide

Adopting a dog? Work in animal rescue? This is the ultimate guide for adopting a dog and successfully and safely acclimating that dog to your family and home.

Positively Success Story: Chevy

Until Wednesday, walking Chev was like walking a plow horse. There's no indication she's had much, if any loose-leash training. We decided to take the time to do it right.

Positively Success Story: Sammy

I rescued my dog Sammity Sam in 2010 from a shelter. After having been born there, he was adopted once & surrendered back into the same shelter again. He was a 2 yr old German Shepard cross that had some very difficult issues. One of which was complete panic & destruction every time I left Read More

DogTV Lands Celebrity Composer

Andrew Dost is a multi-instrumentalist for the band 'fun.', a rock trio that has topped the charts with songs like 'We are Young' and 'Some Nights'. The Grammy winner is now performing and composing music specially created for DogTV.

Canine Noise Phobia Series

The Canine Noise Phobia Series (CNP) is a 4-CD compilation of specialized audio recordings and innovative training protocols specifically designed to reduce and prevent noise phobias and anxiety in dogs. “In my work as a dog trainer both on TV and in private practice over the past 15 years, I have seen countless dogs suffer Read More

How Reiki Energy Can Help Dogs in Many Different Ways

Reiki (pronounced ray-key) energy healing is a gentle, painless, yet powerful modality that works on animals and humans alike. I use Reiki on many of my canine clients and have always seen wonderful results. Reiki can be used in conjunction with all other holistic medical or therapeutic techniques as well as with traditional medical treatments Read More

Stress

Pet dogs are impressively adaptive. Coping with new environments and situations is a product of domestication, and most dogs do extremely well adapting to the pressures of domestic life. There are some dogs, however, that find it hard to adjust, and consequently live in a constant state of stress, making life difficult for them and Read More

Chewing

  Most dogs love to chew but destructive chewing directed towards objects other than chew toys Is often a sign of a deeper problem such as separation anxiety. Chewing is a potent stress reliever and releases pleasurable endorphins into the body, while destructive chewing on doors or window frames can be a sign that a Read More

Canine Cognition

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

Behavior Problems

While nuisance behaviors like barking, jumping, and nipping can be troublesome, they generally do not carry the same damaging potential of some more serious behavior problems like aggression and separation anxiety. If you have a dog that suffers from a more severe behavioral issue, the best thing you can do is to avoid the use Read More

How To Find A Good Dog Trainer

For the majority of modern dog owners, choosing the right dog trainer is one of the most important decisions they will have to make regarding their dog. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most difficult decisions to get right. Assuming you have already determined that you need the help of a trained professional Read More

“Unemployed Dogs” Are a Growing Trend

I often use the term "unemployed dogs" to describe four-legged friends who live their lives with little exercise or mental stimulation. While most dogs don't need to be actual "working" dogs, it's a real tragedy when dogs are left alone most of their lives and are rarely given the chance to exercise--mentally or physically. A Read More

Holiday Smells: The Nose Knows

Holiday Smells: The Nose Knows!    The aromatic heralds of the holiday season are coming to your dog's home soon; roasted chestnuts, eggnog lattes, cranberry sauce, hot pumpkin-spice pie, gingerbread cookies and turkey, scented candles and pine tress. Yum! Pet parents often believe dogs can learn to see things from the human point of view. However, Read More

Overcoming Thunderstorm Phobia

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 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

Victoria’s Books

Jump to: The Ultimate Guide to Raising A Puppy The Secret Language of Dogs Train Your Dog Positively It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet Fat Dog Slim: How to Have a Healthy, Happy Pet The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Puppy: How to Train and Care for Your New Dog Read More