Hiding in Plain Sight: The Exceptionally Fearful Dog

The world that we live in, especially in the United States, is a scary world for many dogs but none so much as the exceptionally fearful dogs out there. The expectations placed on dogs here can be exhausting to their emotional state. The amount of fear/anxiety that dogs who are worried about people/things/animals in their Read More

Sight

Dogs are less reliant on their visual system than humans are. However, certain breeds (including retrievers, sighthounds, and sheepdogs) were bred to detect moving prey and retrieve game, so they are more visually adept than most other breeds. It is important to remember that dogs see the world from an entirely different perspective than people. Read More

End in Sight for Missouri Puppy Mills

In the battle against puppy mills, Missouri is ground zero. With approximately 3,000 puppy mills in the state, Missouri is the number one puppy producing state in the country. Approximately 40% of all pet store puppies are bred in Missouri, where almost 200,000 breeding dogs produce up to a million puppies a year. There appeared Read More

Dogs Want Us To Know: The Reality of Choosing to Live With Dogs

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

The “Easy” Dog

A tribute to a very special 10 year old dog who should have never been given up, but boy are we glad she was! I don’t deserve to have an “easy” dog because I can handle a difficult one. I love the scaredy dogs, the ones who don’t love to be touched at first, the ones Read More

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.

Food Issues

Follow a positive trainer around for a few days and you will quickly come to realize that we humans have food issues. Of course he is doing what you ask. You have food in your hand! (As in, I am paying you for this?) You’re sure giving a lot of treats. (Usually said in a Read More

The Importance of Remembering That You Are Only Human

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

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

Baby It Is Cold Outside

To some dogs, the weather outside may be frightful. Other dogs my delight to romp and play in snow and ice, and how can you blame them? After all, Malamutes and Siberian Huskies live for the snow and cold. On the other paw, Toy Poodles would hop on a plane to Hawaii if they could, Read More

California VS AKC

California appears set to ban sales of dogs, cats and rabbits at pet stores, just as hundreds of communities and some counties have done around the country. The California bill is aimed at changing how cats, dogs and rabbits become family pets, and has cleared the California Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee with Read More

Building Tolerance To Frustration

As a behavior specialist, I am always thinking ahead: how does what is happening today influence how the dog may behave in the future? An always-important aspect of dog training is to teach tolerance to frustration and to build impulse control.

Raymond Parke Coppinger 2/7/1937 to 8/14/2017

Raymond Coppinger, 80, professor emeritus of biology and author of various books on dogs and about 50 published scientific papers passed away Monday, August 14, His Ph. D. thesis in biology at the University of Massachusetts is on the effect of experience and novelty on avian feeding behavior. He joined the founding faculty at Hampshire Read More

4 Dog Park Alternatives for You & Your Dog

Does your dog really love going to the dog park? In some cases, the answer is yes! For highly social pups, the dog park can be a mostly fun and stress-free experience. But if you've noticed that your dog spends most of his time at the dog park glued to your side or pawing at the exit door, it's worth considering some other alternatives.

8 Reasons Why Birds Are Incredible

Birds are amazing for many different reasons, and National Bird Day is one day each year that we can acknowledge some of the reasons these creatures are so amazing. What makes birds so incredible?

Tips For Decreasing Reactivity in a Competition Dog

In the competition sport of agility, there are many variables to manage. When I created a behavior modification program for my own dog, here were some of the things I considered to help set him up for success.

Rescuers or Fanatics? The Dark Side of Animal Rescue

Say the phrase "animal rescue" in any given circle of people and watch for a variety of reactions. Some people’s eyes will light up with hope and delight and others will start backing away with narrowing eyes, faces drawn with suspicion. The latter is unfortunate, but the truth cannot be denied that some of the Read More

See the Victoria Stilwell Academy In Action!

Our first class of students are past the halfway point in their Dog Trainer Course, registration is underway for VSA’s next US-based class this fall, and spaces are quickly filling up in our first UK-based class this September. And we’re just getting started!

Terrier Shmerrier!

I thought I knew how to train dogs. Then I adopted a Terrier/Chihuahua mix puppy and named her…..Tricky! People warned me when I named her Tricky, jokingly and affectionately telling me she would likely embody the name I gave her. They weren’t kidding.

A Different Kind of “Boundary”

In the last few blogs, I introduced you to the idea of a “Naughty But Nice” dog and some tips to survive (and also transform) them! I this blog, I want to share with you the next two tips - relationship & boundary games!

Positively Dog Training Episode 508

Victoria and Holly get together on Christmas Eve for a special holiday edition of the Positively Podcast. They chat about a 100-year-old animal rescue volunteer, their holiday pet peeves, and the cringe-worthy Miss USA pageant night.

The Trails Are Calling You and Your Dog

Hiking is not only good physical exercise for your dog, it’s a great mental stimulation experience as well. It’s also a really fabulous bonding experience.

We Are Not Who You Think We Are

We ARE just like you. Our dogs are not monsters. They are just dogs, just like any other dogs. Just like people are all individuals, so are dogs.