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
“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?
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.
Should you be concerned about toxoplasmosis in your cat? Steve Dale debunks common myths about the disease and where the real concerns lie.
We’re told as dog guardians that we need to be the "leader of the pack" and let our dogs know who runs the show. But, being a true “Leader” when it comes to our dogs may be very different than what you’ve been led to believe.
When presented with something new or slightly unusual, does your dog respond positively, presuming it to be good (optimism), or negatively, presuming it to be a bad thing (pessimism)?
Those of us who help modify dog behavior for a living have to try and not see things during the course of our daily life.
The mysteries of walking nicely on the leash unravelled! With no nasty gadgets or shouting.
In part one of this blog series, I introduced you to what a “Naughty But Nice” dog is and shared with you the first tip to training and living harmoniously with them! Now, the next tip - calmness!
A Naughty But Nice (NBN) dog is exactly how it sounds - they are nice, beautiful, loveable dogs underneath but sometimes they make bad choices! Over the following blog posts, i’ll share with you 5 tips to focus on in training, living with and enjoying your NBN dog.
I work in "the dog world." I eat, live, and breathe dog body language, behavior and training. So why was it that when I was faced with a large loose dog charging at me and my leashed dogs, I felt completely and utterly helpless?
The "pack leader" label just won’t seem to die a natural death. Instead of analyzing why people are so attached to being pack leaders, I decided it would be easier for me to uncover why I dislike it so much. Here is my interview with myself.
At a meeting about breed-specific legislation, I was struck by one very obvious conclusion. Not only does my opinion on Breed Specific Legislation not matter, neither does the opinion of anyone else.
Keeping a dog from playing, running, and jumping for a few weeks is no easy task. Here are some simple tips to keep your dog calm after surgery.
A cat that urinates outside the litter box can be a nightmare. But often times, this inappropriate behavior is caused by an underlying medical condition.
Dogs are animals. Without proper training, (teaching) a dog will act, for lack of a better way to describe it, like a dog. This means that they will jump on counters, run away from home, eliminate where they please, bark, chew things, and the list goes on. When we bring dogs into our homes, we Read More
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.
Some trainers (or television personalities) will tell you that you can teach your dog that your 6 year old is a “Pack Leader”. For the love of kibbles and bits! It’s good to help your child learn to give cues to the dog. Teaching a simple hand signal for sit is a great way for Read More
Whew - that was close. After a fraught couple of days, it became clear just how close we came to losing our precious little newest addition – our rescued Chihuahua mix Jasmine. What happened to us could happen to anyone, so I wanted to be sure to pass along our experience in the hopes that Read More
If your plan in the New Year is to get fit with your dog, here’s an example of one of Dr. Sophia Yin’s rigorous workout routines.
Celebrity Row--Strut Your Mutt LA, Best Friends Animal Society's (BFAS) first Coast to Coast dog walk-a-thon was a big success, raising more than $200,00 for homeless pets. I decided to attend just for the fun of it, to network, and to let Hollywood know that Victoria Stilwell dog trainers are "in the (dog) house" and Read More
'That's cheating!’ ‘That’s cheating!’. I looked up to see a man shouting over to me. He continued: ‘When your puppy came back to you then, you gave it a treat. That’s just bribing: they should do things because they want to please you.’ He walked off saying: ‘A pat on the head should be enough’. Well, Read More
Since It’s Me or the Dog first aired back in 2005, I have received thousands of emails, letters, social media messages and phone calls from dog lovers around the world who saw me working with dogs on TV and wanted to do the same (but usually not on TV).
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
After an article about the use of shock collars in dog training appears, the same questions inevitably come up. Usually, the person asking the question is not really seeking an answer. Instead, they are posing the question as a rebuttal to our position, which is that shock has no place in dog training. Here are a few of the actual questions we receive, edited for clarity, with answers.
Delta Airlines is banning service or comfort dogs identified as pit bulls. According to Delta’s own website: Delta, which led the industry in March by updating its service and support animal policy, says it will further enhance its restrictions, effective July 10. The enhancements include introducing a limit of one emotional support animal per customer per Read More
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
Saving cats claws may also save their lives. There’s increasing data to demonstrate that once declawed, cats wind up at animal shelters due to behavioral problems. Or they may wind up in animal shelters because they do have their claws and are scratching in all the wrong places. To declaw remains an emotional issue, and Read More
The Magic Hand game involves placing food in the palm of your hand and gently pushing individual treats through your fingers for your dog to catch. Focus and concentration win the day! The more your dog develops the ability to focus and concentrate, the more likely she will succeed in learning tasks involving moving Read More
“Could he not SEE that my dog was upset?” “My dog was on leash and under control - it was his dog that was out of control!” “Why, oh why, do people let their ‘friendly’ dogs invade the space of my fearful, reactive dog, and then blame me for being a useless dog-owner with Read More
Since when does “just a minute” only apply to humans? We dogs say it too, except when we do, you humans get angry. You let us off the rope thing to go run around and play and then you ask us to come back at the most inconvenient of times, just when we are having the best fun – playing with other dogs or chasing small fluffies. When we don’t respond, you get mad and tell us how bad we are, but apparently you don’t understand that when we hear our name, look back at you and then continue with our game, we’re also saying “just a minute”. By the way…..how long is a minute?
May 3, 2016: Our home, the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta, an approximate 90,000 people, are under a mandatory evacuation. We all had to leave, with the exception to those who were fighting this raging beast and leading us all to safety. This day will be forever burned into my memory.
Steve Dale gives his thoughts on the AAHA certification for veterinary practices, and what the certification means for patients.
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.