When Clients Get Comfortable

What I have learned over the years is that it often takes a really long time for a new behavior to become a habit. And sometimes it’s difficult for a dog training client to change their own habits to support their dog's new behaviors.

Does Your Dog Respect You?

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” In the film ‘The Blues Brothers,’ Aretha Franklin sings about her need for some respect. The words of the song are as applicable today in human relationships as they were then, but what does the word actually mean?

The Allure of the Damaged Dog: Why We Rush Towards Danger

Aggressive dogs. What a trigger topic for so many! Humans, as a species, are so often attracted to danger. You see it in our hobbies and our choices of heroes. For many dog lovers there is so often nothing more attractive than an aggressive dog. This scenario not only appeals to our nurturing instinct, but Read More

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.’

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.

Talking Thresholds

Talking Thresholds When working with clients, dog trainers often refer to “thresholds”. This is a common term in behavior modification work when addressing anxiety, fear, aggression, and stress levels. It is also relevant in learning situations, such as a dog park, a group class or an agility seminar. What does it mean? “Threshold” refers to Read More

Christmas Puppies: the Good, the Bad, and the Oh So Cute!

There are many wonderful resources for you to read about whether bringing home a puppy over the holidays is a responsible choice for your family. This article is meant to help you make good choices once you have already decided to bring a new dog home for the holidays.

The Bloodstained Terrible Towel

This was not the kind of behavior that our beloved Steeler organization would support. This is not the value system that we expect from the Rooney family.

Let Them Stop and Smell the Roses

The language still used today when referring to dogs and training is still quite archaic and often times indicates an almost slave-master relationship. But what if we encouraged choices?

Why Does My Dog Hump Everything?

Clients frequently ask me what to do when their dog is humping. First, look at the situation. Why is your dog humping? The whys becomes important, because it will determine how we will work with the behavior.

How Not To Groom a Biting Dog

Every now and then a video crosses my desk from people either amazed, dismayed or generally seeking my opinion on something. Such was the case when I was shared this video, and I felt it was a great learning opportunity to highlight some of the misconceptions and ‘teaching moments’ of what should not be done when teaching a dog with a history of biting while being groomed.

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.

Should You Think Twice About That Christmas Puppy?

Thinking about getting a puppy for Christmas? First, make sure you are ready for a 10-20 year commitment and can afford the money that it takes to raise a happy and secure dog. If all that is worked out, then you want to do your research to make sure you pick out the right breed for Read More

What NOT To Do When Your Dog Is Lost

In a previous article on this site, I listed things to do when your dog is lost. Implementing each of the steps on the list will increase your chances in being reunited with your lost dog. However, there are also things that you shouldn’t do when searching for your lost dog.

Doggy Daycare – A How-To Guide

A guide to Doggy Daycare. How to choose a safe, fun, behaviorally sound, doggy daycare so your dog will have a Positively good time!

How Reiki Energy Can Help Dogs in Many Different Ways

Reiki (pronounced ray-key) energy healing is a gentle, painless, yet powerful modality that works on animals and humans alike. I use Reiki on many of my canine clients and have always seen wonderful results. Reiki can be used in conjunction with all other holistic medical or therapeutic techniques as well as with traditional medical treatments Read More

VSPDTs Offer Loose Leash Walking Course

Do you have a dog that pulls on the leash? It's a common problem facing dog owners today. Two Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainers (VSPDTs)--Dale Ward and Daniela Cardillo--have teamed up to offer a loose-leash walking course for both dog trainers and dog owners. Register Now. *Use promo code EARLY10 to receive a 10% discount Read More

Adventures in Veterinary House Calls — Fire Escape!

I’ve been working as a house-call veterinarian in the greater Los Angeles area since 2008. Having done general and emergency practice in a variety of hospital settings, and in multiple states (D.C, VA, MD, WA, and now CA), I've happily discovered that providing veterinary medicine on a house-call basis best suits my holistic perspective to Read More

VSPDTs Offer Loose Leash Walking Course

Do you have a dog that pulls on the leash? It's a common problem facing dog owners today. Two Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainers (VSPDTs)--Dale Ward and Daniela Cardillo--have teamed up to offer a loose-leash walking course for both dog trainers and dog owners. Register Now. *Use promo code EARLY10 to receive a 10% discount Read More

Puppy Mills

People have an ethical responsibility to raise and treat animals with care and respect. The evidence is overwhelming – puppy mills (farms) are no better than factory farms for dogs. Apart from being cruel and abusive places there are many reasons why a consumer must stay away from purchasing a puppy from a pet store, flea Read More

Fear of Going to the Vet

For your dog, the veterinarian can be a scary person to visit, and for good reason. A puppy’s first veterinary experience is often for vaccinations, which can create a life time of fear. If your dog puts the brakes on in front of the veterinary hospital or trembles as he waits for the vet to Read More

Loose Leash Walking

Contrary to popular belief, dogs that pull on the leash while being walked do not want to be pack leader, top dog, alpha, or dominant over their human. There is a much simpler explanation: dogs love to be outside, and the walk is a stimulating and exciting part of their day, so the desire to Read More

Top 5 Acupuncture Success Stories

In striving to keep things merry and bright and this holiday season, I've decided to feature the top five photos of my veterinary acupuncture patients from 2013. Not many people get the chance to see what it's like for pets to have acupuncture, so I frequently photograph my patients during their treatment process. Actually, quite Read More

Do You Have Time For Your Dogs?

I know I don’t always hit the mark for my dogs, but where enrichment is concerned, I do my best to make sure they have as many outlets as they need. That is why I waited so long before I had dogs of my own, because I wanted to give them the best life possible. Sure, my dogs complete me and make my life better, but I work as hard as I can to do the same for them.

A Chat With Dr. Marty Becker

As much as we love our dogs, there’s no doubt we can always use more safe and effective tips to make caring for them easier and less expensive. There are hundreds of ideas that people can use to do this - everything from cutting shedding by 90% to keeping dogs calm during thunderstorms. These and 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.

Puppy Mills Posing as Rescue Groups

Animal welfare advocates across the country are taking advantage of the great fall weather to hold events to raise public awareness about the cruelty of puppy mills. Most people have no clue that, according to estimates from The Humane Society of the United States, there are at least 10,000 puppy mills in the United States. Read More

To Compete or Not Compete….Is that the only question?

I was driving home from the store the other morning on a back country road and was following this little suburban with a beautiful yellow lab head sticking out the hatchback window.  I could not help but wonder what he was thinking.  Occasionally he would crane his head and neck upwards, scenting the cool morning Read More

Give Em’ Some Space

With the holiday season in full throttle at the moment, it is natural to start thinking about how our dogs feel about the impact of the season and effect it has on them.