Positively Success Stories

The power of positive training is undeniable both in terms of scientific proof and when considering the countless dog owners who have contacted Victoria and many other positive trainers over the years to express their relief that they discovered positive training. Both for their own and for their dogs' well being, many people may have changed their ways after starting down the all-too-common path towards pack leadership, misunderstood dominance and heavy-handed emotional and/or physical punishment.

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Photo by J. Nichole Smith | www.mylittleandlarge.com

Their lives are back on track, effective balance based on mutual respect and love has been restored in their households, and arguably most importantly, their dogs are healthier and much happier.

But along with the courage it requires to change and the thirst for finding what's right both morally and scientifically, those who have discovered the humane effectiveness of force-free leadership through positive training also bear a responsibility to increase the ever-growing reach of the Positively mission. We must all continue to work together to illuminate the pitfalls of traditional dominance and punishment-based dog training for those dog owners who have not yet had the opportunity to witness firsthand the power of positive training.

Check out some of the amazing user-submitted Positively Success Stories below.

Only by sharing our collective stories and comparing notes with others who are equally determined to provide what's best for our canine companions can we truly evolve as progressive dog owners. We've domesticated these amazing animals, so now it's our responsibility to provide them every opportunity to thrive and flourish by building relationships and communication tools with them based on mutual trust respect and love rather than pain, fear and intimidation.

Has your life or your dog's life been changed using Victoria's positive dog training methods? Submit your Positively Success Story using the form below you to be featured on the Positively platforms such as this website, Victoria's podcast, newsletters, social media and more.

Join the Positively movement, and your voice can help encourage others to take the leap and commit to using only force-free methods with their own dogs!

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Success Stories

Positively Success Story: Kerry

Thank you for enabling me to have the dog of my dreams, and helping me form a strong bond with my boy (he is my baby, but he's definitely my dog not humanised!) It was hard work, but worth it.

Positively Success Story: Tia

When I lost my husband 4 years ago, I turned to my 2 yr Boxer Tia for comfort and to share my overwhelming sense of loss. We both grieved together.

Positively Success Story: Clawsewitz

As a lifelong dog lover who lives in a flat and works every weekday, I can't own a dog – my lifestyle wouldn't allow it. Instead, I make do with a cat. But I love amateur animal training, and a little thing like species won't stop me!

Positively Success Story: Marley

We rescued Marley, a double merle deaf Australian Shepherd, when she was just under a year old. She was one of several available puppies at a rescue, and we were the only ones that considered her.

Positively Success Story: Life in a Muttshell

My wife and I are proponents of positive reinforcement training, and our situation gives us a unique opportunity to practice and observe the results on a daily basis. One of the first questions people ask is "do you have to break up a lot of fights?" The answer is no. We've kept dogs of all shapes, sizes, and dispositions, and there's seldom more than a brief snark and deferral.

Positively Success Story: Aaro

I hope Aaro's story gives hope and inspiration to all who struggle with a more demanding dog. Positive methods DO work.

Positively Success Story: Duke

We adopted Duke, our Staffordshire Bull Terrier crossbreed, when he was 10 weeks old. His mother had been adopted and the family shortly after adopting her found out she was heavily pregnant! Along came Duke! I'd like to tell you taking on a beautiful puppy was easy, but the truth is it was not! Duke Read More

Positively Success Story: Mushu

I adopted Mushu (a patterdale terrier cross) when he was just 8 months old. He had been abused by the first family and given to another family who didn't have the patience for him and abused him also. He was given to a third family who could not take his aggressive behavior around their children. Read More

Positively Success Story: Loki

This is my baby, Loki the Gentle Mischievous Pittie. As an Animal Control Officer in 2009, I was patrolling the local State Park in the area with the Park Rangers when we came across a cardboard box left on a picnic table in a camp ground. As we approached the box we could hear small Read More

Positively Success Story: Maggie

Maggie came into my life almost six years ago, when I was hired by her owners, of that time, to teach her basic obedience. Maggie was an untrained dog, who had already been adopted by several other families and she eventually proved to be “too much” to handle for her then adopted family. I was Read More

Positively Success Story: Chevy

Until Wednesday, walking Chev was like walking a plow horse. There's no indication she's had much, if any loose-leash training. We decided to take the time to do it right.

Positively Success Story: Chief

This is Chief, a German Shepherd I rescued March 30, 2012 when he was about 3. I got him from an abusive home. How I knew of the person that had him is somewhat complicated, but the woman offered him to me because she said she hated him. Someone else that lived in the home Read More

Positively Success Story: Sammy

I rescued my dog Sammity Sam in 2010 from a shelter. After having been born there, he was adopted once & surrendered back into the same shelter again. He was a 2 yr old German Shepard cross that had some very difficult issues. One of which was complete panic & destruction every time I left Read More

Positively Success Story: Seeley

In August this year, I adopted Seeley, a 1-1/2 year old Great Pyrenees. He was purchased as a puppy by a young couple who beat him with a steel flashlight. Once, they knocked him unconscious and the woman's father stepped in and took Seeley away. Seeley grew too big to stay in his apartment, so he Read More

Positively Success Story: George

Fifteen years ago when I trained my first puppy of my own the training classes were all about choke collars and rough training. Now I have a new puppy and while puppy classes are gentler and more positive there still have been some questionable techniques we opted out of. The leave it command for example Read More

Positively Success Story: Libby

I adopted Libby in May of this year from our local animal shelter. She initially showed up last December at approximately a year old as a stay that no one claimed. She was adopted once but was returned because she continued to scale a six-foot fence and roam the neighborhood. My husband and I are Read More

Positively Success Story: Paisley

First off, thank you so very much for being a ray of light in such a dark world of training methods. I'm 20 , and I've had dogs my whole life, Boxers. So when I decided to get a dog of my own, it had to be a Boxer. To me, it's just not home Read More

Positively Success Story: Jasper

This is the story of Jasper. Jasper is 5 year old Hound/Retriever Mix that we adopted from a local rescue group when he was 3 months old. Jasper completed Puppy, Intermediate, Advance training and his CGCC with a great positive trainer. Jasper also is a K-9 Blood Donor. When Jasper was about 2 years old, we Read More

Positively Success Story: Inky

One evening in December 2011, my wife, Karen, was picking up our lab Lily from day care and noticed a scruffy little black mutt in the corner of a pen. His name was Inky and he needed a home. Karen was told that Inky had been a stray puppy, that he and his brother had Read More

Positively Success Story: Gypsy

I had just lost another Chihuahua, Tink, due to the blatant irresponsibility of a roommate (won't go into that tragedy), and I wasn't ready to take in another dog. However, a friend – who works in rescue – knew about my dilemma, and called me about a week later to tell me about a dog Read More

Positively Success Story: Humphrey

Humphrey was rescued from a puppy mill 1 year ago after spending approx 5 years in a cage. His health issues were the easiest thing to overcome. For the first 3 months he cowered in a hole he dug in the backyard. He would not look at you and would not stand when you were near Read More

Positively Success Story: Aulie

We brought my dog home as a 3 month old pup. He hated cars. They made him so nervous, he puked and drooled all over himself to the point of needing a bath every time. As he got bigger, it got harder to get him in the car when we needed to go somewhere. Finally, Read More

Positively Success Story: Scarlett

After losing my longtime canine companions, I decided to bring a new dog into our home when the time was right. I was looking for an older pup who was already trained and a breed that did not have many well-known health issues. I like to say that I found Scarlett but I really think Read More

Positively Success Story: Stella

Stella, my big girl lab mix, was rescued from a high kill shelter a day before her time was up! We planned on fostering her and instantly fell in love with her. She was super sweet and smart and loving with people, but was scary when she saw other dogs. This was a problem cause I Read More

Positively Success Story: Ferdinand & Diva

I am the proud mum to two enormous newfoundland dogs, aged 8 and 6. My eight year old I have had since he was three months old and he has always been treated almost as an equal. I learned very early on that with a dog that size, and a working breed as well, if I Read More

Positively Success Story: Kimba

I adopted a 3 year old German Shepherd named Kimba from the local shelter. I had never trained a dog before, so I enrolled in classes and read several books on positive training techniques.

Positively Success Story: Sam

I adopted my first dog Sam from my local Humane Society in 2010. I was looking for a younger and active dog, so when the shelter introduced me to this 10 month old heeler mix, I was sold. He was attentive and calm at the shelter, however; when I brought him home it was a very different story.

Positively Success Story: Piper

Piper is an incredible APBT whose work as a therapy dog has had a profound effect on the special needs children that she works with. Piper's owner credits positive training methods for her calm, kind demeanor.

Positively Success Story: Liz H.

We brought my dog home as a 3 month old pup. He hated cars. They made him so nervous, he puked and drooled all over himself to the point of needing a bath every time. As he got bigger, it got harder to get him in the car when we needed to go somewhere. Finally, Read More

Positively Success Story: Magic

I adopted an 11- month old Yorkshire terrier from a rescue group in March 2009. The rescue group warned me that she was very shy and had not had the best of starts for a puppy. I had trained several dogs and was confident that with a little patience, she would be fine. After only Read More

Positively Success Story: Poodle

I used to live with friends that had a overly energetic, too smart for his own good, poodle mix. The dog had almost no training and was incredibly annoying, and he didn’t respond to any of the ”training” I or they tried to give him (using force based training). Then I stumbled over ”It’s Me Read More

Positively Success Story: Casey

My Miniature Schnauzer, Casey, has always been a bit aggressive toward other dogs. I had been taking him to the dog park to try to get him better socialized but initially he’d lunge and growl at the others. In class I asked about the problem and was told to pull Casey away when he lunged Read More

Positively Success Story: Jambo

Jambo is the first Staffordshire Bull Terrier to be a Trick Dog Champion. Trained with Positive Reinforcement and helping break the Bully Breed stereotype!
He has his own Facebook page, Jambo – Staffy Bull Terrier Trick Dog. He likes to promote doing Dog Tricks and Positive Reinforcement Training. He also likes to do his bit for Read More

Positively Success Story: Dr. Phillips

I love to hear success stories about how positive training has impacted the lives of people and their dogs. Check out this wonderful story I received about how positive training methods truly saved a life.

Positively Success Story Winner

During my younger years I worked as a pizza delivery driver, during the course of which “career” I was bitten several times and developed a fear of dogs. But I have always had a dog; as long as I raised them from a puppy, there was never a problem. Four years ago, we adopted Cobie as a nine-week-old puppy, a husky-boxer Heinz mix, pick of a large accidental litter out of my daughter’s dog. Mama was a good dog. Cobie was horrible. He bit and bit and bit. He was my worst nightmare, and growing larger by the day. My arms were black and blue. My clothing was in tatters. He once ran along the back of the sofa, bit my ponytail, and leapt over my head, injuring my neck, and all this while he was still small.