People used to think that dog training was only about teaching dogs obedience commands, usually through the use of heavy-handed punishment-based techniques. It was viewed as somewhat of a luxury for pet parents and was often wrongly considered to be something so straightforward and simple to achieve that anyone could do it on their own without 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?
Do you have a dog that becomes restless in certain situations? Does she bark, whine, urinate, defecate, or vocalize inappropriately? Does she excessively lick herself, spin in circles or chase her tail? Does she jump up at you or other people, lunge towards other dogs or run up and down the perimeter of your fence?
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
Just when I think that humans as a society who love dogs, are progressing into a more modern knowledge mindset, I get my placidity kicked right out from under me by witnessing so vile a hatred against a certain type of dog, that I struggle to breathe normally. So many cities who once enforced BSL Read More
The world that we live in, especially in the United States, is a scary world for many dogs but none so much as the exceptionally fearful dogs out there. The expectations placed on dogs here can be exhausting to their emotional state. The amount of fear/anxiety that dogs who are worried about people/things/animals in their Read More
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
It has been something of a thing recently in some corners of the dog training world to suggest that keeping an easily over-stimulated and/or reactive dog in his own home environment for a bit of time, along with enrichment toys, is a better idea than taking said dog out into the world to be walked. Read More
Knowledge in all forms seems to wax and wane according to the dynamics of the times that we live in. This is consistent on all subjects but in particular, with dog behavior knowledge. We have come so far with an understanding of dog behavior and how to modify it, yet old school techniques and thought Read More
There is no lack of division in the dog world; training methodologies, training tools, cropping and docking, spaying and neutering are but a few potentially explosive topics. Complementary therapies however, are way up on the list of hot buttons to discuss. One person mentions something that even *might* fall into that category and everyone else Read More
It’s understandable that people in the dog training world get so agitated when the word “dominance” is mentioned, even when used in the right context. The idea of dominance in dogs has been so misunderstood by some trainers in popular media for so long that it has now become a dirty word, such that even when trainers and behavior experts use the word correctly, they risk a backlash from people that are – let’s face it - exhausted from having to continually reeducate the public about what dominance really is and what it isn’t, particularly when so much damage has been done because of the way the word has been used by some people in the dog training world.
Every responsible dog parent who walks their dog(s) in their own neighborhood has a mental list of houses that they strive to avoid. Either because a dog is alone in a fenced in yard barking like a fiend or because a dog is often loose (and unsupervised) in an unfenced or Invisible “Fenced” yard. Either Read More
It’s nothing to sneeze at, an outbreak of dog flu affecting at least 11 states. After inundating Chicago with flu and bouncing around the country in 2015 into 2016, the H3N2 virus, which arrived from Southeast Asia, took a lower profile. Last month, the virus appeared on radar, and in a big way. The epicenter 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
You may ask, “Why is that fact in a dog training blog?” Good question. Even better answer coming.
As a dog trainer, what I can do is teach you how to set your dog up so that the right choice becomes more obvious and comfortable to him. What I need for this is your help.
Holly and Victoria invite Working with Dog founder Nichole Smith to the show to talk about her list of reasons why you should consider working as a "petrepreneur."
In the competition sport of agility, there are many variables to manage. When I created a behavior modification program for my own dog, here were some of the things I considered to help set him up for success.
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.
In the third and final part of this series, I will share some of the games I played that involved actual equipment, as well as the foundation equipment I used to build behaviors and understanding.
A "Naughty But Nice" (NBN) dog is exactly how it sounds - they are nice, beautiful, lovable dogs underneath but sometimes they make bad choices! In fact, many of the things that NBN dogs do are often motivated by high arousal!
If reactive dog owners come off as crazy, understand it's only because we've got a lot on our minds. Here's what we'd like you to know about reactive dog owners before you meet us.
What would it mean to you if you could give one call, and your dog zoomed in and arrived at your feet? Every time! Hard to imagine? Maybe. Possible? Most definitely! Fun? Very much so. (If it’s not fun, your dog won’t do it. So there’s lots of fun!) Little by little The problem is Read More
The mysteries of walking nicely on the leash unravelled! With no nasty gadgets or shouting.
If we love our animals, why do people find it acceptable to cause them pain or fear just for the sake of ‘training’?
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
As a society, humans revel in their ability to make choices. We make them every day, many times a day. Cream or sugar or both? Hot or iced? Shower or bath? Do you want fries with that? Walk this path or hike that trail? TV or book? Cable or Netflix? We decide what time we Read More
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!
Pet parents often don’t realize that effective dog training can be very hard work, and that behavior change in their dog will only come after behavior change in themselves. Doing anything well isn’t usually easy.
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?
As a committed champion for oldies, and passionate collector of good books, when I spotted the release of one that celebrates the lives of senior canines, of course it had to find its way into my collection.
First steps to changing your dog's over-reaction to other dogs when you're out and about. You can stop the barking and lungeing!
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.
The leash is one of the more neglected aspects of dog keeping, and, because of this, it is a source of problems.
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.
This series of blog posts recounts topics drawn from the Pet Professional Guild Radio Show, featuring Linda Michaels. Question: What are some of the benefits of using Positive Reinforcement (+R)? Answer: The benefits of using Positive Reinforcement training with our companion animals are pretty much the opposite of the drawbacks of using aversive punishment. Goodness, today, all progressive Read More
Ultimately, what I’ve realized is that living with and training a deaf dog isn’t harder, it’s just different. Here are a few tips to help new deaf dog pet parents get started. I hope these help ease your anxiety and fears during this transition.
I got to thinking just how simple it should be to have a cooperative dog, so why do our dogs so often ignore us?