"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong" Our understanding of how dogs think, feel and learn is constantly evolving. The more heavy-handed approaches that were so commonly used in dog training decades ago were borne out of an attempt to apply what people thought they Read More
K9 officer Shawn Humphreys talks with Victoria and Holly about the world of police dog training, its challenges, and the changes he’s noticing with his move towards more positive training. Also, new VSA course dates, how to find a licensed trainer as well as leash-walking and separation anxiety issues.
Why dogs and Halloween don’t mix, November’s pet awareness holidays, how to detect signs your dog is in pain. Also, consistency when paper training pups, mouthing puppies, constant barking, issues that come with adopting street dogs.
I spend much of my time as a trainer working with young puppies. They’re little sponges, absorbing every bit of information we send their way – both good and bad. You’ll hear the same puppy training advice over and over: make sure to socialize your puppy, start potty training immediately, and the like. But in Read More
Victoria and Holly reconnect after a few months away and discuss how to recognize signs of pain in your older dog, keys to curbing rambunctious dog play, managing noisy nighttime behavior, overcoming anxiousness when guests visit your dog, and how to get dogs used to water.
Essential oils are effective, natural substances which are ideal for pet grooming. What are essential oils? Essential oils have been used for more than 5,000 years around the world. There’s evidence that the ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Greeks, among others, used essential oils for cosmetic, medicinal and ritual purposes. With the rising popularity of natural Read More
First of all, I’ve certainly never referred to myself as a ‘purely positive’ dog trainer, but I’ve heard many others – usually pretty vocal opponents of humane modern dog training – label me and others with that description. It seems to be somewhat of a dog training unicorn, in that there are those who still Read More
Season 6 ends with a bang as Holly and Victoria reveal two brand new releases that listeners will be able to enjoy.
On this jam-packed episode of the Positively Podcast, Holly and Victoria first chat about Victoria's new book and some of the fascinating research that's being conducted on canine cognition. Here are a few of the questions they discuss: Do dogs dream? How can you tell if your dog is in pain? Why do small dogs Read More
“Should I send previous clients thank you cards?” “How often should I send them?” “What should I say in a thank you card?” I often hear these questions from new or even experience dog trainers. While they are well intentioned, we can and should strive to create better ways of showing our support than a thank you card every once in a while.
Victoria and Holly cover the latest news related to puppy mills in both the US and UK, and have a fascinating chat with Marc the Vet about the topic.
Save up to 25% on everything in the Positively online store. With the 'Buy More, Save More' sale (through Cyber Monday, November 28), the more you add to your cart, the more your savings grow!
The newly-redesigned Positively No-Pull Harness works by utilizing the dog’s natural center of gravity much the same way a harness on a horse does – effectively and painlessly allowing the handler to redirect the dog when she pulls during walks.
Planning in dog training is an important skill to master; this skill applies to basic life skills, to obedience, to behaviour modification and also fun tricks.
The other day I was taking my dogs to the park. One is a rescue that had been kept in a backyard and a crate for most of the first year of his life. He is high energy and came to me with no impulse control.
Bringing a new puppy home is a very exciting experience from your family, and it's very important that from day one, you're armed with the best possible positive training information.
When we train mindfully, we pay attention on purpose. We're aware of what’s happening during the session: mechanics, timing, location, the dog’s internal state.
Many dog trainers and behaviorists use counter-conditioning and desensitization as part of a behavior modification program. The average dog owner often has no idea what this means.
In part two of this series, I will share with you some of the activities I focused on to support playing the game of agility.
For about a year and a half, I was living in New York City. I went from living in a large house on 2 acres to a small one bedroom apartment near a park. In this three-part article series, I am going to share how I kept agility in my life while living in a Read More
Victoria and Holly discuss whether "dog adoption cafes" are a good idea or not. They also chat about an unconventional dog sanctuary in Costa Rica where the dogs are allowed to roam freely, and why Victoria thinks matching humans and dogs is so important.
The mysteries of walking nicely on the leash unravelled! With no nasty gadgets or shouting.
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.
When I lost my husband 4 years ago, I turned to my 2 yr Boxer Tia for comfort and to share my overwhelming sense of loss. We both grieved together.
Almost 17 years ago, I adopted a Pit bull. Her name was Claire. She came into my life like a cannon shot and left this world the same way. BOOM! Claire made such a significant impact on me that I created a whole career out of my experiences with her.
Victoria and Holly chat about what they would do for animals if they won the lottery, Holly's annual "Regiftmas" party, and Victoria's upcoming trip to Villalobos Rescue Center.
OK, let’s be honest here: Can positive training really work with an 11-year-old feral dog? Yes. Yes, it can.
Victoria and Holly talk about their experiences in Greece, where there is a massive stray dog problem. They interview Victoria Stilwell Dog Training Academy Director Tia Guest, and Victoria answers some tough Ask Victoria questions.
Working with a positive trainer is one of the best things that you will ever do for your dog. Below is a list of 5 things that may surprise you about your trainer followed by a list of 5 things you may want to remember when you hire a positive trainer.
At long last, I am thrilled to announce the official launch of the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior!
When I attempt to research about deaf animals, either for articles or for my own information, there are always numerous sources that only show the negative side of caring for a deaf dog. So let's look at the positive side.
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.
If you've got a good grasp on your dog's leash reactivity but feel you're still struggling sometimes, here are some tips for later stages of training that may help you really step things up.
We wrote previously about what you should start with when you're training a deaf dog, but now I want to touch on something I see many people doing wrong! It's something they don't even think about, but it's a critical mistake that's easy to fix.
When training your deaf dog, don't ever have the mentality that because she is deaf she can't do something. A deaf dog is capable of doing anything that a hearing dog can, except for hear!
You will see the returns of your effort by sticking with the program for the long haul. If we want to see a change in our dog’s behavior we have to do the work, simple as that.
This is Keller. Keller is a double merle Australian Shepherd. If you don't know what that means, it's okay, we'll teach you. Keller was born deaf and vision impaired as a result of her parents breeding. Keller came into our lives as a 7 week old puppy with a pretty sad beginning. At 5 weeks Read More
As a lifelong dog lover who lives in a flat and works every weekday, I can't own a dog – my lifestyle wouldn't allow it. Instead, I make do with a cat. But I love amateur animal training, and a little thing like species won't stop me!
Our clients were pleased, their dogs were happy, and our business was successful. Surprisingly, in the face of all this success, I was feeling unsatisfied, exhausted, and had what I learned to call “the burnout of compassion fatigue”.
There’s a lot of negative talk about using food in training. Even when people are prepared to use it in a class or at home, they often refuse to carry it when taking the training 'on the road'. Comments include; it’s bribery; I want the dog to work for me; the dog ‘knows’ what I Read More