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

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.

Choice Training

Choice training involves catching actions and behaviors that you like in your dog and marking them with rewards your dog finds motivating. These actions and behaviors can then become your dog’s ‘default’ behaviors that he or she can choose to use in certain situations. A default behavior gives your dog an alternative to unwanted behavior 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

The Truth Behind Positive Training

On Sunday 23rd March 2014 there was a great article about dog training in the Sunday Telegraph as well as in the Telegraph online.  The article highlighted a study that found pets trained using aversive methods were 15 times more likely to exhibit symptoms of stress than those trained using "positive" techniques and that training Read More

Puppy Training Basics

A puppy needs a good learning foundation in order to be a confident adult. But learning is more than just teaching your puppy basic cues such as sit and stay. The most important aspect of the learning process is to introduce your puppy to the environments and situations she is likely to experience throughout her Read More

Training Methods

There are many different methods when it comes to training dogs and everyone has a different idea for the best techniques to use, but what is now becoming clear to much of the dog loving public is that even though there is more than one way to train a dog, there is a right way Read More

Methods & Equipment

With so many training methods and types of equipment to choose from these days, how do you know which methods are the right ones to use and which training products are safe for your dog? To successfully navigate this confusing arena, there is one primary decision every dog owner needs to make when deciding which Read More

Positively Dog Training Episode 314

Recaps of new year's eve, re-giftmas, an interview with expert trainer Pia Silvani, the concept of 'dog psychology' in training, housebreaking Great Dane puppies, grieving dogs and more.

If Your Dog Could Talk: Reward vs Punishment Dog Training

There's a raging controversy in the field of dog training centered around dog training collars and methods--Reinforcement vs Correction and Treats vs No Treats. What's a pet parent to do? If your dog could talk, your dog would surely ask you to listen to the experts in animal behavior. As it turns out, it’s scientifically Read More

Dog Training

Jump to: Find a Dog Trainer Positive Training Myths & Truths Understanding Dogs Methods & Equipment Become a Dog Trainer It's a whole new world for dog training. The days of people thinking about training their dog as simply teaching them to sit, stay or down are thankfully fading. Instead, we're using the power of Read More

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

Head Collars & No-Pull Harnesses

Head collars and harnesses are two effective and humane options for teaching your dog to walk well on a leash, and can be a valuable part of your training toolbox when working with a leash reactive dog. Harnesses There are three main types of harnesses-those that clip on the dog’s back: those that connect to Read More

“We Ride to Provide” Honors a Special Type of Hero

They're the silent heroes, keeping us safe day in and day out without complaint, protest, or even a paycheck. They often die just as quietly, with no one but their handler to remember their service and their sacrifice. These special heroes are Police K-9s, and one Georgia-based organization is determined to give them the recognition Read More

Social Bullying

Have you ever received negative comments or been bullied on social media? If you have then you understand how bad it can make you feel and how damaging it can be. This week’s post is not about dogs, but this is a conversation we all need to be having right now, and that is why I am sharing what has happened to me since I became known in the media world.

Today I Was Called a Snowflake

A new study led by biologist Ana Catarina Viera de Castro of the Universidae do Porto in Portugal reveals that shouting at dogs and using punitive methods to train them does short and long term damage, while using reward based methods yields better results both for learning and emotional health.

The Power of Management

A trainer’s most important job is to help people live harmoniously with their dogs and sometimes the only thing that is needed to create harmony is effective management.

Using Aversives

If you ask a group of dog trainers to define what an aversive means, you will get many different answers as well as some spirited discussion. Regarding behavior modification techniques, an aversive is ‘the avoidance of a thing, situation, or behavior that is achieved by using an unpleasant or punishing stimulus.’

Three Secrets to Safe & Effective Exercise for Your Dog

It’s no secret that exercising your dog can lead to a happier and healthier pup – not to mention a quieter house and a happier you. The complication is that exercising your dog takes time and sometimes we struggle to find time to exercise ourselves. However, without safe and effective exercise, your dog can gain weight, risk costly injury, and tear apart the house in response to pent up energy.

Victoria’s New Puppy Book Now Available!

Victoria Stilwell’s 5th book entitled “The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Puppy: How to Train and Care for Your New Dog” will be released on October 1, 2019 in the US. The book is available to preorder now.

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

Where You Lead, I Will Follow

Be a leader. Not a phrase that you would expect to be uttered by a positive dog trainer, right? We spend so much time preaching about how to listen to your dog, give your dog choices, respect who your dog is, that it’s unexpected that I should be talking about leadership. It’s the elephant in Read More

Creating a Kinder Future for Elephants

Is it possible that that today’s elephant species – long persecuted by man – will one day go the way of the mastodon? Sadly, the answer is yes.

How Tricky Got Her Groove Back

This is Part 1 of Bobbie Bhambree's agility series. Check out Part 2 here and Part 3 here.  One of the main reasons I am an effective dog trainer and have strong mechanical skills when teaching and handling dogs is because of my many years as an student of agility. This dog performance sport takes the Read More

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.

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.

A Dog Died Today. Because of a Trainer.

Or trainers. I can't clearly put this in any one person's lap. Let's back up and see where we are. First off, I am not going to identify the trainer(s), the dog, or the family. My purpose is not to belittle or attack anyone. Instead I want this to be a learning experience for other trainers and a warning to owners.

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.

When and How to Train Your Puppy or New Rescue

Q. What are some of the benefits of training my dog? A. Training makes home life more manageable and fun for you and your dog. Next to basic health care, it’s the most important thing you can do for your pup. Best of all, training the dog you love is one of the best ways Read More

Shaping

Shaping is the process by which you can gradually teach your dog a new action or behavior by rewarding him during each step of the process while learning that behavior. In this way, you can break up a potentially complicated action into smaller parts that your dog will learn and understand more quickly. While catching 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

Cycling With Your Dog

Cycling with your dog is a great way to exercise, especially if you have a high energy breed. Care should be taken, however, to ensure your dog does not get over-tired or over-heated as keeping up with a bicycle requires going at a faster pace than most dogs are comfortable with. Before you cycle check Read More