Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Any time new episodes of It’s Me or the Dog are airing on Animal Planet in the US, Victoria will answer questions about that episode later that week. Post your questions to Victoria about the most recent episode here anytime.

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Victoria
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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by Victoria » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:04 pm

PrincessBRose wrote:Hello Victoria,
It is Melissa, Tony, and Princess. We wanted to once again thank you for all your help. Princess is doing so much better and we have been keeping up with the training.Unfortunately, Tony didn't keep to the feeding schedule, but he has put more of an effort.Tony did teach Princess to give her paw and he loves to make her do "Hands Up". Our walks have been so pleasant. She no longer goes after people or other dogs. Even when the other dogs are barking, she just trots along. It's great.As for the bath,she has improved a bit but without Tony pitching in it can be challenge. Rocky had to be put down the day before my birthday on Sept. 2. He was unable to walk and his balance was not so good. I am looking forward to your chat this evening.
Thank you again,
Melissa,Tony, and Princess
P.S. I did rescue a dog from the pound named Pacino.He is a 3 year old pekingese. I could not resist.
Hi Melissa!
Thanks so much for joining us, and I'm so glad that Princess is continuing to improve. As you know, it's a long process, but one that is incredibly rewarding when you see the effect positive reinforcement can have. I'm sorry to hear Tony isn't that involved with the feeding, but am happy that he's taken more of an interest in other areas.
Rocky had to be put down the day before my birthday on Sept. 2. He was unable to walk and his balance was not so good.
So sorry to hear about Rocky - he was a lovely old dog, and I hope his last months were peaceful. Best of luck with Pacino - if you ever need any more help with him/Princess, you know where to find me.

Thanks again for joining the discussion - I'm sure the members here will get a lot out of your input as well.

Best wishes,
Victoria

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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by Victoria » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:07 pm

maximoo wrote: The calming CD you used for the great danes I think would've helped in this case as well. I've also heard that Rescue Remedy and the scent of lavender can help take the edge off a dog like Princess yet I've never seen you suggest/use these in any episodes.
Princess' aggression was way beyond what Rescue Remedy might have achieved. Or lavender. I have used such tools quite a bit in the past.
I'm real curious about who pays for the equipment or things you use such as baby gates, new collars, samples & lab results, and in one episode you had a carpet steam cleaned & had new bedding for a girl. Do the owners pay or is it provided by the show?
Animal Planet pays for the tools and equipment I use on the show.

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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by Victoria » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:11 pm

doggy style wrote:Victoria, Ive noticed you say and especially in this episode is when your working with an aggressive or reactive dog you want to stay calm otherwise that dog picks up on your nervousness or you being tense.But if you are being calm and show no signs of tension yet your dog still reacts in a negative way then what?

In this case when this dog has already been deemed as being vicious,biting several of people,even attacking its owners and latching on to a girls face,knowing this were you confident you can try and turn this situation around or were you leaning more towards the this dog needs to be put down side?
I was confident that I could turn her around, but I also took the family environment into consideration: there were no children in the family, and I decided that Melissa (and Tony to a lesser degree) were willing to put in the work necessary to help Princess learn to manage her issues.

Regarding your first question, no matter the dog's state of being, you must remain calm at all times, even when he is showing aggression.

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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by Victoria » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:13 pm

mustlovdoggs wrote:Hello Victoria,I read above where Melissa got another dog. Do you think that Princess will do ok with that? Do you think that it will help or hurt her.
My initial reaction would be that Princess might have a tough time with a new dog, but considering the progress they've made, it sounds as if it might work.

Melissa, can you let us know how the relationship is now between Pacino and Princess?

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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by butterflyqueen1234 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:17 pm

Hello Victoria!

I'm so excited about getting to talk with you, and I'm also very glad that it is about the particular episode that was on last night. I am a newer fan, but I am hooked. I am very anxious to learn training skills that will help my own dogs. I am curious as to the answer another poster asked, about how you decide if a dog showing various forms of aggression can be "saved." One of my dogs has a similar situation, as a matter of fact, I have posted a brief description of his problems in the dog training area. I like the things you tried with Princess to work on some of the problems she was having, and I am going to try to do some of those things as well. How long do you work with the families and the dogs who have issues? Thanks!!

thevelvetvampire
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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by thevelvetvampire » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:19 pm

I know it can be touch to deal with an aggressive dogs. Is it possible for a puppy to have aggressive behavior? my 4 mnth old doxie snaps alot.

doggy style
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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by doggy style » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:20 pm

I have a similar question like maximoo.When your wacthing tv on the familys progress after you leave is that a set up or someones actuall house?

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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by Victoria » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:20 pm

ToniaCallahan wrote:Hi Victoria. I've been watching and learning from you since your show started. I LOVE the way you train,and have trained my own dogs,as well as rescues and fosters according to the postivie reward method I've learned from your show. I have seen the wonderful results and have decided I want to be a certified trainer,but only in a positive way. My main goal is to work with rescues,and to keep dogs in their loving homes by providing necessary help. I was wondering if you could give some names of schools where I can learn this,or is it better to educate myself? I welcome any help you can give me. I think t's wonderful what you do to help dogs and their owners, I can only HOPE I'll be as knowledgable as you someday.

Thank you,Tonia
Thanks so much, Tonia! What nice words. I'm glad you've decided to become a positive trainer - I can assure you that it's a very rewarding profession. There are a lot of different roads you can go down to gain experience and become a good trainer. Ultimately, you only become a great trainer by training dogs, so I'd say your passion for working in shelters will serve you well. There are certainly no shortage of dogs with behavior issues in shelters, and most shelters are in dire need of positive trainers to help them out.

I have posted some information on one potential solution to your question about how to become a trainer here: http://positively.com/dog-training/become-a-trainer/. Be sure not to rely too much just on books, though. You must be sure to follow that up with practical experience. Let us know once you're up and running, as we'd love to have trainers like you join our Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training network.

Best of luck, and keep training!!

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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by PrincessBRose » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:22 pm

Princess mostly stays in her safe zone. We do train and walk Princess and Pacino together. I was hesitant to bring another dog in the home, but I have a soft spot for animals and could not resist. With Victoria's techniques, I felt confident we could handle it. So far so good :D
Melissa Rosenson

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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by Victoria » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:23 pm

debitot wrote:Hi Victoria,
Loved the tiny tyrant show. My husband is like Tony.although Tony does more.I have three cats and 1 puppy. no help feeding or anything else.I wrote last week about my puppy not being able to put a collar or harness on him. Well I got a collar on him ,ten minutes later he got it caught in his mouth. Talk about scared! I don't know who was more scared. him or me! He bit me so hard. but I know it was because he was so stressed. I calmed him down got the clasp out of his mouth and then took it off. I just don't know now what to do. I am so protective over him , My other yorkie died of heart problems in june of last year. just about killed me. I would truly and deeply appriciate your help. I am so desparate.Thank you,
Debbie
You need to get a qualified positive reinforcement trainer to help you. This sounds like a significant issue that would be tough to solve on your own. At the very least, you need to get someone to help you when putting the collar/harness on - treating while you do it.

Find a good local trainer!

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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by dontpugme » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:23 pm

I'm curious like maximoo and doggy style. On the 10 most difficult and 15 strangest episodes, where were you?

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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by dontpugme » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:27 pm

Do you come up with the clever episode titles?

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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by wvvdiup1 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:28 pm

Hello Victoria!

I watch you show a lot and love how you train the dog owners and their dogs. I have the same problem with my dog charging at other dogs. Unfortunately, I missed the part of how you got Princess to stop charging other dogs. Please, could you tell me how you did it?
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"Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius." -author unknown

thevelvetvampire
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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by thevelvetvampire » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:28 pm

I always love watching the show it amazes me how smart dogs are and how quick some of them pick up on the training.
Victoria ,Any advice for someone with a stubborn doxie ?

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Re: Episode 204 - Tiny Tyrant - Jan 23

Post by Victoria » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:30 pm

BCMom wrote:Hi Victoria -
I was just wondering how you decide, when you are assessing a case, whether or not a dog can be "saved" or not. In Princess' case, even though she had a bite history, I could see that with positive training she would thrive. I tend to believe that most dogs deserve a chance to learn and change, I was just curious as to your criteria for whether the dog needs a new home, new training program or...*gulp* to be put down. Thanks!

Louise
I believe in giving dogs a chance, especially if they haven't received any positive reinforcement training. Melissa and Tony had previously been advised to use dominance techniques on Princess, which they had done, and you could see the results.

You must identify a lot of factors before determining the best way to proceed: Will the owners work at it? Is the dog's aggressive response in the house, out of the house, or both? Are there any children in the family? What is the dog's history? Each case is obviously quite different, but I use all of the above information to figure out the best way forward.

If after awhile there's very little progress, I have to determine if it's because the people aren't working at it, or if it's environmental, or situational stimuli that is too much for the dog.

As for medical reasons, we make sure that all dogs who are on the show have already been cleared medically, so that is ruled out by making sure that all aggressive dogs have an additional thyroid test, among other things.

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