Author Archives: Linda Michaels, MA

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Positively Expert: Linda Michaels, MA

Linda Michaels is a VSPDT trainer, dog training columnist, and owner of Dog Psychologist On Call in Del Mar, CA. Linda holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology with research experience in Behavioral Neurobiology. She is a Behavioral Advisor for the Wolf Education Project (WEP) in Julian, CA and Art for Barks in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.


Barking, Barking, Barking, etc., etc., etc…

Posted on: June 4, 2011 - 23 Comments

Does your dog bark while running in circles, bay at the moon, bark at bugs, or scare your visitors out of their boots? Dogs bark to repel intruders, for attention, during play, as an outlet for energy, or in separation distress. Barking is as natural a vocalization for dogs as speaking is for humans. Basic Read More

Being Nice to Your Dog is Good Science!

Posted on: May 11, 2011 - 4 Comments

All living things thrive on positive feedback – people, dolphins and very importantly, your dog! Positive training for companion animals is fast becoming the preferred method of dog training. One of non-aversive dog training's most prominent advocates, The Journal of Veterinary Behavior (2006) in their article, "Good Trainers: How to Identify One",  recommends dog-friendly dog Read More

In Hollywood with Victoria at the Genesis Awards–Airs Saturday, 4.30.11 on Animal Planet

Posted on: April 26, 2011 - 1 Comment

Victoria and her show were honored by Hollywood at the recent Genesis Awards. The awards air on Animal Planet Saturday night with an encore on Sunday. It took place on March 19, 2011, in Beverly Hills on the Avenue of the Stars... and I was there with Victoria Stilwell, star of Animal Planet’s It’s Me Read More

“Let’s Go for a Ride!” Desensitization for the Fearful Dog

Posted on: April 10, 2011 - 3 Comments

Wildfire season is upon us, so we want to be sure that your Fifi or Bowser happily hops into the car if you need to evacuate. Although the desensitization techniques highlighted in this article are applied to overcoming the fear of riding in a car - the same principles can be applied to any fear, Read More

Top 10 Things to Teach Your Dog

Posted on: March 17, 2011 - 11 Comments

After falling in love with a dog that melted your heart at the local  shelter or carefully selecting  a puppy from the breed-specific rescue, you’re now faced with some very real challenges at home. What’s the quickest path to making your new bundle of joy a member of the family with whom it’s a joy Read More

Help for the Fearful Dog

Posted on: February 7, 2011 - 17 Comments

“Lilly” certainly was little. She measured just up to the high end of my ankle and it made me shiver to think of what it was like to live down there with all the giant humans and bigger dogs tramping all over the place. Nevertheless, I’ve seen many confident, even overly-confident toy breed pups that Read More

Top 10 Gifts That Last a Lifetime

Posted on: January 4, 2011 - 4 Comments

The lingering aroma of hot cider, eggnog, and evergreen, sparkling lights that brightened each night, and my great hope for a wonderful new year, stir me to share a list of “gifts” that can enhance the quality of every dog’s life. Your thoughtful choices make a big difference-- from adoption to the twilight days. 1. Read More

Top 10 Ways to Say “Thank You” to Your Dog During the Holiday Season…Part II

Posted on: December 12, 2010 - 1 Comment

Part II If your thoughts of gratitude this Holiday Season include your precious pup who faithfully brings so much joy and unconditional love all year long - show your appreciation by including your dog in the festivities of the season.  Please help us to find new ways to say "Thank You"! 6. Grooming A trip Read More

Adopt for the Holidays! Give a Forever Home

Posted on: November 28, 2010 - 2 Comments

Adopt for the Holidays!  Wherever I travel, I visit the dogs. I’ve toured numerous humane societies, shelter facilities, and wolf rescue sanctuaries. In Beverly Hills, Rancho Santa Fe, and online worldwide, dog adoption is becoming not only the humanitarian but also the fashionable thing to do. Celebrities often have “pet projects”. Why not start a Read More

Top Ten Ways to Say “Thank You” to Your Dog This Holiday Season… Part I

Posted on: November 18, 2010 - 7 Comments

How do you say "Thank You" to your dog? If your gratitude this Holiday Season includes your precious pup who faithfully brings so much joy and unconditional love all year long-- show your appreciation by including your dog in the festivities. Say "Thank You" to your kindred canine and make your dog smile. Here are Read More

When and Why to Train Your Puppy

Posted on: October 24, 2010 - 18 Comments

Q. What are some of the benefits of training my dog?           A. Training the dog you love is one of the best ways to develop a great relationship with your dog that will last a lifetime. Additionally, training makes home life more manageable and fun for you both! Some dogs grow up to be angels Read More

Celebrity Dog Row–Strut Your Mutt LA a Success!

Posted on: September 23, 2010 - No Comments

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

Positive method dog training – why to use it and how it works

Posted on: September 8, 2010 - 2 Comments

If you adopted a pound-puppy or an all-grown-up dog, brought a puppy home from the breeder, or have a family dog you'd like to get on the training bandwagon, be sure to consider positive method dog training. It's not only dog-friendly, but also the most effective method for training behaviors that last a lifetime, if Read More

Socialization and Fear

Posted on: September 1, 2010 - 4 Comments

Is your dog low on the “social butterfly” scale? If you’re wondering why your dog is not more playful with you, other people or dogs and what you can do, take heart. Most dogs can learn to be more playful and affectionate. Sometimes we have to train a water-shy Labrador to swim and socialize. Try Read More