Victoria is joined by dog behaviour expert and a driving force behind the UK Dog Behaviour & Training Charter Andrew Hale to discuss the interesting results to come out of the latest dog shock collar studies.
Shock or electric collars are devices placed around a dog's neck which connect to a handheld transmitter which remotely delivers varying levels of electric shocks to the dog's neck. Having already been deemed illegal as abusive tools by many countries such as Finland, parts of Canada and parts of the United Kingdom, shock collars theoretically Read More
Victoria was featured in the Chicago Tribune, where she was interviewed by Pet World's Steve Dale. In the article, she discusses how to choose a good dog trainer and the details of her new book, but especially delves into the dangers of electronic collars.
After an article about the use of shock collars in dog training appears, the same questions inevitably come up. Usually, the person asking the question is not really seeking an answer. Instead, they are posing the question as a rebuttal to our position, which is that shock has no place in dog training. Here are a few of the actual questions we receive, edited for clarity, with answers.
The science behind why training an emergency recall with P+ (punishment such as a shock collar) is never preferable to using R+ (reinforcement, such as a treat or affection).
A new study has found that the use of shock collars (also known as electronic collars or e-collars) can cause symptoms of distress in dogs, even if used according to industry guidelines.
Electronic Collars vs Traditional Leashes for Exercising Dogs on Town Streets—a Cause of Debate in One Small Town in Missouri
By Sophia Yin, DVM, MS A reader, Donnie Rion of Carl Junction Missouri, recently emailed with the following dilemma, which will be debated in a town council meeting later this week. The town I live in is looking to revise their leash law to allow dog owners to us electronic leashes to walk their Read More
Victoria was featured in a wide-ranging interview on Dogster.com where she discussed positive training versus dominance and punishment, breed standards, no-kill rescue shelters, her Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training (VSPDT) network of positive trainers, shock collars, her Ehow Pets YouTube channel and much more.
Reindog recap, shock collars, Noah's Ark animal sanctuary, Peter Emily's veterinary dentistry, BAT creator Grisha Stewart, and Ask Victoria questions about redirection, growling and more.
We all have dreams. For a long time, my two dreams were to be a good actor and to have the opportunity to make a living as a dog trainer.
If you ask a group of dog trainers to define what an aversive means, you will get many different answers as well as some spirited discussion. Regarding behavior modification techniques, an aversive is ‘the avoidance of a thing, situation, or behavior that is achieved by using an unpleasant or punishing stimulus.’
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
Victoria discusses misconceptions about what positive training is (and isn't) in the great debate about dog training methods. Also Dog Behaviour Conference, VSA, courses and Kindness is Powerful
New versions of early 'It's Me or the Dog' episodes are being released with a “director’s cut”-style commentary by Victoria Stilwell. The world renowned dog trainer is narrating some behind-the-scenes info about those early episodes while also getting the chance to set the record straight about which training methods have evolved since the episodes were filmed – and why.
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
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 we love our animals, why do people find it acceptable to cause them pain or fear just for the sake of ‘training’?
People go to great lengths to try to achieve what they see as a "gold star level" of leash control using all kinds of questionable methods. But here's the thing: true leash control isn't about control at all.
Make a pledge this year to not only tweak you dog’s diet and exercise activities but to use dog-friendly leash-walking equipment and training methods.
Some subjects are such hot buttons that it’s such a guaranteed argument to mention them. Religion, politics and the ever popular on/off leash are way up there.
Marketing is there to make you buy something- in this case, the training services of any given trainer. When trainers that use punitive methods advertise their services, they are going to be really good at selling them to you. They have to. Think about it: “We shock your dog into compliance!” is not exactly the best tag line.
This series of blog posts recounts topics drawn from the Pet Professional Guild Radio Show, featuring Linda Michaels. Question: What are some of the benefits of using Positive Reinforcement (+R)? Answer: The benefits of using Positive Reinforcement training with our companion animals are pretty much the opposite of the drawbacks of using aversive punishment. Goodness, today, all progressive Read More
At a meeting about breed-specific legislation, I was struck by one very obvious conclusion. Not only does my opinion on Breed Specific Legislation not matter, neither does the opinion of anyone else.
People know they get great information from my Facebook page and my site and I will never abuse that trust. Thanks to everyone who stood up for the freedom to speak the truth and not be squashed by powerful commercial entities or individuals that want to cover up the truth and silence those of us who speak out.
If I had to think of an example of a dog that was truly "balanced," it would be a dog that - regardless of age, breed or drive - was confident, had been guided into making the right choices, and was allowed to think and learn without constantly being corrected.
Why is it that our pet dogs are struggling more than ever to cope in our domestic world? Resource guarding, leash aggression, aggression towards other animals, and aggression towards people are some of the most common aggression examples that dog trainers see on a daily basis.
I truly believe the only way for positive gun dog training to gain any kind of ground in this country is by developing good hunting dogs, strong hunt test results and some field trial wins. There are indeed positive trainers already making strides, but the numbers comparatively are very small. This must change, and it is fair for those who advocate traditional gun dog training to demand proof.
I have a lot of habits to break and a lot of new behaviors to learn. This got me thinking about my work in animal behavior and how amazingly similar it is to what I am trying to accomplish with my diet.
Dog is abused, abandoned, neglected. Dog is rescued. Dog has behavioral issues stemming from a difficult past. Rescue group calls in a trainer, who puts a shock collar on the dog to "fix" him and make him adoptable. While the above scenario may be oversimplified, it happens all too often in the rescue world. I worked on Read More
September is Responsible Dog Ownership Month. Do you fit the bill of a responsible dog owner? Check out Victoria Stilwell's article highlighting five ways you can spot a responsible dog owner.
If you’ve ever had a leash reactive dog, you know the feeling of dread that I had before going on a walk. Learn how I stopped my dog's leash aggression--positively.
A dog's nose doesn't lie! Especially the nose of a trained police dog. K-9 Maverick, a police K-9 with the Washington County Sheriff's Department in Oregon, who saved the life of an autistic boy who had gotten stuck in a cold, fast-moving creek. The heavily wooded area adjacent to the creek where the 8-year-old boy Read More
There is a fierce debate raging in the dog training world between traditional dominance and punishment-based trainers and the positive training movement. Common Dog Training Myths: There is more than one way to train a dog. Positive training methods don’t work on 'red zone' dogs. Dogs only 'respect' leaders who assert their 'dominance.' Positive trainers Read More
We love our pets and want them to be close to us, but there are just some places that need to be off-limits. In order to understand how to teach your pets to stay off furniture you must first understand why they climb onto it. You may have heard that dogs like to be up Read More
Those of us who know and love dogs don't need scientific proof that dogs love us. But the results of a recent study may provide hard evidence that dogs are capable of feeling complex emotions, particularly love and attachment. Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Burns and his colleagues analyzed the results of brain scans on dozens Read More
Unlike other manifestations of aggressive type behavior, predatory behavior is not emotionally driven and is largely influenced by genetics. While aggression serves to increase distance, predatory behavior serves to decrease distance as quickly as possible. Many domestic dogs are skilled hunters and have been bred to exhibit certain parts of the 'predatory sequence.' Sighthounds such Read More