Shaping

Shaping is the process by which you can gradually teach your dog a new action or behavior by rewarding him during each step of the process while learning that behavior. In this way, you can break up a potentially complicated action into smaller parts that your dog will learn and understand more quickly. While catching Read More

Obedience

I don’t participate in competitive dog sports or obedience trials, but I do love watching dogs and their handlers having fun, and appreciate how much time it takes on both sides to become proficient.

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

To Walk or Not To Walk

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

Is Your Dog Optimistic or Pessimistic?

When presented with something new or slightly unusual, does your dog respond positively, presuming it to be good (optimism), or negatively, presuming it to be a bad thing (pessimism)?

What Should I Do When My Dog REACTS?

When we come across a situation our dog doesn’t like, there is a huge temptation to encourage interaction with that thing. It’s human nature to feel the need to FIX the problem. This is the worst thing to do!! Here are four tips to turn worry into confidence!

Choices: Do You Offer Them to Your Dog?

As a society, humans revel in their ability to make choices. We make them every day, many times a day. Cream or sugar or both? Hot or iced? Shower or bath? Do you want fries with that? Walk this path or hike that trail? TV or book? Cable or Netflix? We decide what time we Read More

How Raising a Puppy is Like Parenting

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.

No Cue November

We have a new game at my facility called “cue fasting” and we now require a “cue fast” for all of our clients when they begin training with us. We’ve decided to take the game up a notch in what we are calling “No Cue November.”

A Positive Take On Deaf Dogs

When I attempt to research about deaf animals, either for articles or for my own information, there are always numerous sources that only show the negative side of caring for a deaf dog. So let's look at the positive side.

Voices Carry But Are They Heard?

When someone hires me to give them advice for the benefit of improving their dog’s behavior, I have to assume that they want their money’s worth.

Why Does My Dog Hump Everything?

Clients frequently ask me what to do when their dog is humping. First, look at the situation. Why is your dog humping? The whys becomes important, because it will determine how we will work with the behavior.

How to Clicker Train Your Dog

Have you ever thought about using clicker training with your dog, but didn't know how it worked? Here are some great tips and videos from a dog trainer about how to start clicker training.

Using Food in Training

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

Positively Success Story: Jambo

Jambo is the first Staffordshire Bull Terrier to be a Trick Dog Champion. Trained with Positive Reinforcement and helping break the Bully Breed stereotype!
He has his own Facebook page, Jambo – Staffy Bull Terrier Trick Dog. He likes to promote doing Dog Tricks and Positive Reinforcement Training. He also likes to do his bit for Read More

Training Methods

There are many different methods when it comes to training dogs and everyone has a different idea for the best techniques to use, but what is now becoming clear to much of the dog loving public is that even though there is more than one way to train a dog, there is a right way Read More

Community

Jump to: Forum Positively Podcasts Positively Pledge Positively Success Stories Positively Contributors Social Media Poop & Tell The Positively Community is a unique and inspiring mix of people from all over the world who have one thing in common: they want the best for their dogs. Whether they are from our distinguished roster of Positively Read More

Do You Have Time For Your Dogs?

I know I don’t always hit the mark for my dogs, but where enrichment is concerned, I do my best to make sure they have as many outlets as they need. That is why I waited so long before I had dogs of my own, because I wanted to give them the best life possible. Sure, my dogs complete me and make my life better, but I work as hard as I can to do the same for them.

Click and Cluck: Lessons on Animal Training from Chickens

By Sophia Yin, DVM, MS  April 21, 2010 I went through the picture in my head. Chicken number one climbs up the ladder onto a one-foot-wide platform, makes a 180-degree turn and tightropes across a narrow bridge to a second platform, where it pecks a tethered ping-pong ball, sending the ball in an arc around Read More

The Charge of the Right Brigade

Fortunately there’s lots of good news around these days about positive dog training methods.  Note: positive does not equate with permissive; it involves setting limits, having reasonable expectations, paying attention to and helping a dog achieve desired behaviors, rewarding such behaviors and ignoring (or tsk-tsking) unwanted or objectionable behaviors. Yes, the yin-yang approach of reward Read More

Positively Contributors

Victoria Stilwell Positively is honored to have the following distinguished guest bloggers contributing regularly to this site.  World-class behaviorists, trainers and veterinarians are among those blogging, as well as some amazing individuals representing organizations and movements helping to make the world a better place for both dogs and people. Here you will get a unique Read More