How to keep your dog happy and stress free whilst at a dog show

Family dog shows can be wonderful events to attend. They are great places to meet up with friends, spend time around lots of other dogs, show your own dog off and hopefully win some rosettes. Some dogs really enjoy these events and walk round the show ring with a relaxed body, bright eyes and a Read More

Can My Dog Be Stressed? [Part 3]

Here is the third excerpt from my forthcoming book - Building Confidence in your Growly but Brilliant Family Dog - which points out an area which will be affecting your dog much more than you may imagine. You may want to read Part One and Part Two of the series first.  While you’re doing your best to Read More

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

Can My Dog Be Stressed? [Part 1]

Those of us who have a reactive, anxious, or fearful dog, work very hard to make life easier for them (and us!). We try this idea and that technique, perhaps with distressingly little success. Some days our dog just seems worse! Here is the first of three excerpts from my next book - Building Confidence Read More

Stress-Free Travel with Pets (Video)

Should you take your pets on vacation with you? In what cases is it a good idea to leave them at home? Victoria and four-legged friend Daisy were featured on HLN's The Daily Share, where Victoria gave tips for safely traveling with pets, both by car and by plane. She also discusses some special precautions that pet Read More

Therapy Dogs Ease Soldiers’ Stress After War

Soldiers often sacrifice their physical and emotional well-being in order to protect their country. Trying to cope with stress and trauma after returning from war can make even the bravest solider feel isolated and alone, but there are four-legged heroes working to change that. Meet Lexy, Fort Bragg's only certified therapy dog. Lexy went through Read More

Study Shows Lower Stress Levels in Dogs Trained Positively

A new study released in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior reveals what many of us in the dog behavior field have long known to be true: that positive reinforcement training is beneficial for a dog's overall well-being and the canine-human bond, and that aversive training has detrimental effects on both. For the first time, trained 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

Therapy Dogs Help Ease College Stress

When you think of a therapy dog, you may picture a dog that visits hospitals or nursing homes. But these incredible dogs are taking on a whole new job--relieving the stress of college students during their final exams. Exam week at any university is a tense and stressful time. Students can be found in just Read More

Victoria’s Tips for Keeping Your Dog Stress-Free Over the Holidays

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Christmas decorations are already lighting up homes and businesses, and I even ran into Santa Claus at the mall! The holidays are a wonderful time to spend time with family and friends, but they can also be a challenging time when you have pets. Anxious or reactive dogs are especially prone to stress during the holidays. Here are eight tips for keeping your dog safe and stress-free this holiday season.

Stress-Free Moving with Your Dog

Earl looked at me with is big brown eyes and his black droopy lips asking, what’s going on?  Where are we?  Howie has been following me from room to room for the last week. No matter how easy you try and make it your pet feels the confusion and stress of a move as much Read More

Low Stress Handling Lab in Chicago at Narnia Pets

This weekend featured another successful workshop and low stress handling lab in Chicago at Narnia Pet, a fantastic positive-reinforcement based dog-training facility. While I have held most of these labs for veterinarians and their staff, most of the attendees at this lab were dog trainers, groomers, doggie daycare providers, as well as some veterinary hospital staff.

Avoiding Bites In Shelters

Working or volunteering in a shelter is a rewarding but sometimes challenging job. No matter how lovely a shelter might be in terms of design, the animals housed within its walls will still experience the stress that comes from abandonment and transition.

Dogs and Exercise

The benefits of good exercise for dogs and people are well known. Exercise improves physical fitness and releases endorphins and opioids in the brain, promoting an overall feeling of wellbeing.

The Most Important Job

When I first started training dogs I was thrown into the deep end. I had run a successful dog walking business in Wimbledon, but didn’t handle many dogs who had a bite history.

Night Time Vocals

If you have ever raised a puppy you know what it’s like to have sleepless nights. It’s inevitable that to begin with, some puppies have a hard time adjusting to a new home and vocalize their discomfort and loneliness, particularly at night.

Why We Love Dogs

I have just returned from walking my dogs, which is always a social experience, judging by the amount of people I talk to while I’m out. I usually walk in the local park, which takes me past a playground.

Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t

There are many hot button issues in the dog world that cause spirited conversations and disagreements, including what training methods you should use and when you should or shouldn’t use words such as ‘dominance’ and ‘pack.’

How To Not Be a Rude Dog Owner

I’m a dog lover and I want everyone to be as passionate about these amazing animals as I am. I would also like to take my dogs with me to more places, and I believe if people were a little more responsible, dogs might be accepted in more public areas than are currently allowed.

Managing Your Overwhelmed Dog

As the modern dog’s role continues to evolve from that of working dog to companion animal, there is more pressure on all dogs to cope and behave well in an increasingly busy human world.

Coping With Fear

I’m flying to Portland, Oregon, from Los Angeles and the pilot has just told us that there will be turbulence the closer we get to Portland. It is 53 degrees at our destination with rain and gusty winds. He tells us that our descent is likely to be very bumpy.

Why I Marched

I marched today in peaceful support of the change needed regarding the lack of true justice and equality for people of color and minorities. Here's my message to the haters.

How To Manage Aggressive Behavior

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

Most Dogs Already Wanted Social Distancing: Now They Get it!

But I bet that most of you know that already. The dogs who live in fear or anxiety of people/things/animals that they see in the environment are reveling in the fact that far fewer people are trying to be up close and personal with them now. Their owners probably feel the same relief. But the Read More

Puppy-Proofing

Puppies are fun but also require lots of care. Living with a puppy can be time consuming and stressful at times. Puppies require supervision, plenty of exercise, and attention. One common question I receive is "How do I stop my puppy from chewing things around the house?". I have created a puppy-proofing checklist to help Read More

Training Tips: Hand Targeting

Hand targeting is an easy and useful behavior to teach for so many reasons. It's also a great foundation exercise for dogs of all ages.  Hand targeting can be used for: Helping a puppy or a nervous dog become more comfortable with hands reaching towards him Building a pup's confidence around people  Redirecting behavior Helping Read More

How To Read Your Senior Dog’s Body Language During Walks

You may think that as you’ve had your dog for most, if not all their life, you would know them inside out and be able to predict their behaviour in any situation. That may be perfectly true. However, there are certain things to consider as your dog ages and how this can affect how he 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

Halloween Anxiety

No one wants their pets to feel afraid – even on Halloween. The good news is that you can do something about it, which is what the international Fear Free initiative is all about.

The Hand That Feeds: There Are Better Options Than Hand Feeding

It used to be standard operating procedure for some dog professionals to advise new rescue dog parents to hand feed said dog in order to effectively create a bond. In some cases, it still is standard. It depends on who you ask. The same protocol is also suggested by some trainers for dogs who resource Read More

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

Indoor Cats Vs Outdoor Cats

If cats are likely to live longer and healthier lives indoors – why are we still allowing them outdoors? Surprise, living indoors – though – has shortcomings too. Sixty years ago, indoors vs. outdoors wasn’t an issue. Most cats could come and go as they pleased. It wasn’t welfare issues that changed their world, encouraging Read More

Starting out with your new puppy

You’ve been planning for months, and at last your new puppy is here! Your expectations are enormous: this is going to be the perfect dog you’ve always wanted. And maybe that’s right, and your little puppy will become your Brilliant Family Dog. But for many of us - and for many of our puppies - 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