Shock Collars

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 Blasts Shock Collars in the Chicago Tribune

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.

Shocking Answers to Shocking Questions

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.

Victoria Featured on Dogster

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.

Positively Dog Training Episode 311

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.

“Director’s Cut” It’s Me or the Dog Episodes!

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.

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

Letter From The Dog

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?

Why I Train Without Force

If we love our animals, why do people find it acceptable to cause them pain or fear just for the sake of ‘training’?

Leash Control: It’s Not About Control at All

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.

Love is An Action Word

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.

Progressive Zoos Don’t Use Punishment. Why Should You?

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

Truth Wins

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.

Balanced Dog Training: There’s Nothing “Balanced” About It

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.

The Dog Aggression Epidemic

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.

The State of Positive Gun Dog Training: Who Will Take Up the Gauntlet?

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.

On Dieting and Dog Training

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.

Positively Success Story: Paisley

First off, thank you so very much for being a ray of light in such a dark world of training methods. I'm 20 , and I've had dogs my whole life, Boxers. So when I decided to get a dog of my own, it had to be a Boxer. To me, it's just not home Read More

When Good Rescue Groups Make Bad Dog Training Decisions

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

5 Things Responsible Dog Owners Do

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.

How I Stopped My Dog’s Leash Aggression

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.

Trust

I am lucky to have 35 acres to share with my dogs. But it is wild land. There are chipmunks, deer, elk, and turkeys. There are bears. There are mountain lions. It is a thick wood of shrub oak, aspen, fir and spruce with an under brush of various shrubs and flowers. My 35 acres Read More

Police K-9 Saves Autistic Child

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

Myth vs Fact

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

Pets and Furniture: Everything You Need to Know

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

New Study Suggests Re-Thinking How You Train Your Dog

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

Predatory Behavior

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

Electric Fences

An electric fence is a wireless, in-ground or ‘invisible’ fence that is installed around the perimeter of a property, creating an invisible boundary. A dog contained within the boundary of the fence wears a ‘shock’, ‘remote’ or ‘e-collar’ around his neck (and sometimes around his groin or at the base of the tail) which consists Read More

Choosing the Right Collar or Harness

Keeping a regular collar (also known as a flat collar) on your dog is must for any dog owner. In addition to a microchip, your dog should be wearing a collar and ID tags at all times. Even the most responsible pet owners might have to face the devastating situation of a lost dog, and Read More

Training Equipment

Punitive training techniques hurt dogs psychologically and physically and so do some pieces of equipment. Prong, choke and shock collars are very popular, but the damage they do to your dog’s neck, spine and internal organs is profound. Electric fences are another frequently used tool, and while the salespeople behind them tell owners that  when Read More

Canine Vocal Language

Dogs communicate with the world around them in all kinds of ways. An especially important aspect of canine communication to understand is how they vocalize, which can include barking, growling, and whining. While a dog’s reason for vocalizing in these ways may vary, it's crucial to understand how and why dogs are communicating. Barking Dogs Read More

Humane Discipline

Positive does not mean permissive. Discipline is an important part of the learning process, but the form of discipline used in positive training differs greatly from the types of discipline used in dominance training. Traditional trainers often argue that positive trainers do not believe in or effectively use appropriate discipline in training, but that is Read More