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

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

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

Creating & Sticking to a Dog Training Plan

I spent the first two articles of this three-part series talking about Tricky’s drive, what I did that caused her to lose it, and the things I did to build it back. Now I will talk about what I’ve done to keep it and suggestions to help others to do the same.

Don’t Do Me Wrong: Rescue Groups and Dog Behavior Knowledge

Cue the wistful music before starting the video rolling and many dog lovers just see what they want to see in a video making the internet rounds. When you accompany sweet music with an overlay of words meant to convey what you want people to see, as long as the opposite isn’t glaringly obvious to Read More

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!

5 Ways to Celebrate the New Year with Your Dog

Parties and other celebrations can be overwhelming and ultimately fail to meet expectations. However, our dogs never disappoint us when we chose to spend time with them. So today I would like to share with you 5 ways you can ring in the New Year with your dog!

5 Things I Want Anyone With A Fearful Dog To Know

I see dogs that truly enjoy meeting new people and other dogs, and find myself wishing the same for my not-so-social dog. It's easy to get discouraged, but know that many people are experiencing the same things with their dogs as you are.

Positively’s Pet Blogs to Watch

At Positively, we're lucky to have some really incredible contributors who share their amazing stories and insight with us. Many of them have their own blogs dedicated to training, nutrition, or just how to enjoy life with pets.

Fido’s Home Away From Home for the Holidays

The holidays are here, and with the holidays come vacations and the need to board your four-legged friend. There is no reason why your dog can’t have as wonderful a vacation as you with the right preparation.

5 Cold Weather Activities for Dogs

Winter in Minnesota can mean week upon week of not too many long walks or trips to the park with the dogs. Especially when you have two short-haired mutts who shiver when the temps hit below freezing!

Canine Noise Phobia Series

The Canine Noise Phobia Series (CNP) is a 4-CD compilation of specialized audio recordings and innovative training protocols specifically designed to reduce and prevent noise phobias and anxiety in dogs. “In my work as a dog trainer both on TV and in private practice over the past 15 years, I have seen countless dogs suffer Read More

Resource Guarding

  Resource guarding is when a dog controls access to food, objects, people and locations that are important to him through defensive body language or overt aggressive display. This is a relatively common canine behavior and is influenced by a number of environmental and situational stimuli, including a dog’s natural instinct to survive. The dog Read More

Music for Dogs

It has become somewhat common for dog owners to leave music or TV's on when they leave the house in the hopes that the constant sound will help soothe their lonely pets. While the intention behind this technique is noble, behavioral science has now uncovered enough about the way our dogs process sounds to know Read More

What Is Positive Training?

Positive training is not a scientific term. You will not find it in any scientific journals, and you will regularly hear it being mischaracterized by those who do not fully understand it. When we at Positively refer to the power of positive training or you hear Victoria describe herself as a positive trainer, we are Read More

Vaccinations

Vaccines, inoculations, immunizations, SHOTS! No matter what term is used, they serve a purpose, and almost always a good one. Though there is growing skepticism among many dog owners regarding vaccine recommendations for their four-legged children, it is important to fully understand the purpose and reason behind vaccinating your pets. Distemper-Adenovirus-Parvovirus-Parainfluenza More commonly termed the Read More

Animal Care

Taking care of a pet for her entire lifespan is a huge responsibility, but there are a few ways to ensure her well-being.   10 Tips for General Animal Care: Physical examination.  A veterinarian should examine your dog at least once every 12 months. Do not miss yearly checkups, and keep your dog up-to-date on Read More

Fleas & Ticks / Heartworms

There are all sorts of nasty parasites that would love nothing more than to use the inside and the outside of your dog as a host. Parasites are not only a danger to your pet, but are also a danger to your family and your home. Five Tips to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Your Read More

Spay/Neuter

Whether or not to have a dog spayed (removing the ovaries and uterus) or neutered (removing the testicles) is an important decision you must make with the help of your veterinarian and the collective advice of other animal care professionals. There are many different opinions when it comes to spaying and neutering, and some people Read More

Cancer

Cancer is a frightening word in any scenario, and unfortunately it can also occur in our pets. Dogs are susceptible to many forms of cancer, and it is the leading disease-related cause of death in dogs. What are warning signs my dog might have cancer? Routinely check your dog for unusual lumps and bumps, and Read More

Dog Games

Playing games with your dog is beneficial to his physical and mental stimulation, and it's also a great way to connect with your dog and enrich a meaningful relationship even further. It is important, however, to ensure that you don't inadvertently exacerbate potentially hidden kernels of behavior issues, so be sure to follow the tips Read More

Dognition

Dognition is a user-friendly, scientifically-based online tool designed to identify the cognitive abilities and key personality traits in individual pet dogs while providing users ongoing support specifically tailored to their dog’s unique strong suits. It is the brainchild of Dr. Brian Hare, assistant professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University and the driving force behind Read More

Dog Bite Prevention

In Her Own Words: Victoria on Dog Bite Prevention: As a mother and a dog trainer, I am dedicated to raising awareness about responsible pet ownership and preventing dog bites. My public platform helps put a spotlight on the issue and my Dog Bite Prevention Task Force, comprised of veterinarians, lawyers, canine bite investigators and Read More

Shelter vs Breeder

One of the biggest decisions you will make is whether to adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue group or buy a puppy from a breeder. Please choose not to support pet stores by purchasing a puppy from them – learn more about pet stores and puppy mills. If you have already decided you Read More

Puppy Socialization

Puppies are likely to experience emotional changes as they grow, so providing them with a good learning foundation makes it easier to deal with any challenges they might encounter. Investing time at the beginning of a puppy’s life allows that puppy to become a confident and well-adjusted adult and while most dogs cope well living Read More

Dog/Human Aggression

Dog-to-human aggression can be unpredictable and dangerous, especially when there is an extensive history of aggressive behavior. Dog bites account for a large number of hospital admissions each year and cost insurance companies millions in claims. While most dogs live in harmony with their families, dogs of all breeds and breed mixes have the capacity 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

Marking

Scent marking is a very normal and common behavior (particularly in male dogs), but it becomes a big problem when marking occurs in the home. Both sexes scent mark, but unneutered males are the worst offenders because the presence of testosterone stimulates signaling of sexual availability and claiming of territory. Resources such as toys, food Read More

Poop Eating (Coprophagia)

Humans find the thought of dogs eating poop (called coprophagia) disgusting, but the unsavory fact is that some dogs find eating their own feces or the feces of another animal, pleasurable. A dog may eat her own stool or that of another animal simply because she likes the taste. For example, cat poop is high Read More

Recall (Come)

Most puppies will 'come' to you whenever you decide to walk away because they instinctively follow you. Making this a reliable response, however, usually takes months of consistency and positive training. The easiest way to associate your new puppy or dog with the 'come' cue is to begin using it as soon as you bring Read More