Episode 206 - Eight Is Enough - Feb 13

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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Episode 206 - Eight Is Enough - Feb 13

Post by BoardHost » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:34 pm

Victoria comes to the rescue of a couple whose home has been over-run by their eight rescue dogs.

Post questions about the episode in this thread, and Victoria will answer them next week. Please note: Victoria will NOT be chatting live on Sunday, Feb 14th, but will answer questions about the episode posted here later in the week.

doggy style
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Re: Episode 206 - Eight Is Enough - Feb 13

Post by doggy style » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:06 pm

Great episode Victoria! Ive noticed in current and past episodes while observing couples in their bedrooms you ask if they have a love life or are they intimate? In most cases where "the magic ISNT happening", is that a sign or red flag that tells you the dogs are going too far, or the owners let the behavior spiral out of control and having a strain on their personal lives to the point where you think that if you dont intervene with the training things will get to the point of no return or perhaps a relationship is on the verge of those famous five words, "Its Me Or The Dog"?

And i also noticed you using peanut butter on a spoon.Mentioning food is not compatible with fear, is that a better plan using that method with a more difficult,disturbed,or problem ridden dog persay?
thanks! doggy

Joined:Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:15 pm

Re: Episode 206 - Eight Is Enough - Feb 13

Post by EADGBE » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:02 pm

Hi Victoria. Great show last night.

That was a lot of dogs! It was kind of amazing that they all got along with each other as well as they did. Is it much harder to train dogs when there are so many in one household?

Joined:Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:04 pm

Re: Episode 206 - Eight Is Enough - Feb 13

Post by Pol » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:12 pm

Congrats Victoria on being named 2009 Trainer of the Year!! :D

Totally deserved! You do such a wonderful job for dogs and their owners. It's so good to see a trainer who doesn't use choke collars or electric fences or "mentally/emotionally/physically abusing" behavior to a dog to 'get it to do what you want'.
So admire your work and positive treatment and ethics! Keep up the great work!! :D

Joined:Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:47 pm
Location:Monroe, WA

Re: Episode 206 - Eight Is Enough - Feb 13

Post by k9partnership » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:15 pm

Another great job. Noticed at the end that they were walking the "once walk avoidance " dog and that they were both in a pull - walk. Did you talk to them about equipment that might help them with walking better on leash - like the Easy Walk or Sensation harness? The show only showed the "penalty yards" method of stopping the pulling - did you mention 'location training' with food rewards to them as well?

Daphne Robert-Hamilton, CPDT-KA, CAP2
K-9 Partnership
Licensed by Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training, LLC

Joined:Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:55 pm

Re: Episode 206 - Eight Is Enough - Feb 13

Post by debitot » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:35 pm

Hi Victoria,
I took your advice and we are taking Tristan to a trainer, I can now get a leash on him , and starting to brush him a little better. Clicker training him. All I have to do now is figure out how to potty train him, he eat's the puppy pad if I leave it down. I bought the potty patch, he want's to eat the turf? what can I do about that?
Thank you for all your help , you are amazing. I too watched eight is enough, that lady , for one had way too many dog's. But I know kinda how she feel's.Happy Valentine's Day.

Joined:Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:01 pm

Re: Episode 206 - Eight Is Enough - Feb 13

Post by Thepupstopshere » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:48 pm

Hi Victoria~
I understand the purpose for having the gate was to prevent the dogs from entering the kitchen, yet one section was open. Was the gate used simply to minimize the opening to the kitchen so that all of the dogs couldn't barge in at the same time...and...because it's easier to teach one dog at a time to stay away?
Thanks, Victoria.

Joined:Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:38 pm

Re: Episode 206 - Eight Is Enough - Feb 13

Post by kimb123 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:50 pm

Hi, Victoria! That was a great episode!

I have two questions:

1. Did Salvester had a trauma about being leashed before he was rescued? ( Sorry if I didn't spell the name correctly ).

2. After the show, did they get another dog or they finally decided to stick with eight dogs?


Joined:Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:01 pm

Re: Episode 206 - Eight Is Enough - Feb 13

Post by Thepupstopshere » Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:00 pm

Oh, Victoria....How wonderful to be named Top Dog Trainer of the Year! Your "voice" is clearly being heard and your skills and passion are being honored. I can not think of anyone more deserving. Congratulations!!

Joined:Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:24 pm

Re: Episode 206 - Eight Is Enough - Feb 13

Post by mustlovdoggs » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:59 pm

Hello Victoria, I watched the show and the part I want to know about is the peanut butter on a spoon with the leash. I want to make sure I understand how you did it. Did you give him the peanut butter then, show him the leash? Because I know you want him calm, Right? I need to use this with one of my dogs and I'm helping someone eles, I want to make sure I get it right. Thanks .... Good Show... Congratulations to you too :P :P
I wished I was the person my dogs thinks I am.

Joined:Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:06 am

Re: Episode 206 - Eight Is Enough - Feb 13

Post by Eren » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:15 am

First of all Congrats on you accomplishments!!!

I wanted to let you know that we save most of your episodes. We have 10 dogs currently and 4 kids. We have a dog that is very scared around strangers but men especially. He is a mastiff/Newfoundland mix. We have been trying to use food to distract him but he is not interested in anything when he gets manic about the strange person. We are not sure what to do. I would love for you to come to our home to help. We have lots of difficult personalities to deal with and would benefit greatly from your expertise!! I would also like to know how to exercise our dogs when there is so much snow on the ground. You are always exercising dogs by walking them outside but I have never seen you walking anyone's dog when there is snow and ice. We live in the country and the plows don't get to us frequently. What do you suggest?

Thank you for all you are doing to help guide owners to properly own their pets.


Joined:Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:43 pm
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Re: Episode 206 - Eight Is Enough - Feb 13

Post by GoofyDog2 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:09 pm

Sounds like you have the perfect setting for another episode which might be entitled "Is Ten Two Too Many?" But if you live in a rural area and you have the space and financial resources to take care of such a large pack, then "more power to you".

Exercise is certainly important, and it is probably a lot more difficult with heavy snow. I would think, though, that most of the dogs can get enough exercise by romping in the snow and plowing through snowdrifts, although there is a limit to how deep the snow might be before it becomes too difficult or even dangerous for especially smaller dogs to be allowed to run freely. If they dig a tunnel and it collapses on them they could get disoriented or be physically unable to free themselves. It is also important for the humans to be involved during their walks and other exercise, for socialization and bonding.

If you can clear enough of a path, perhaps you can rig up a sled for the larger dogs to pull, and this could be a combination dog cart for use in better weather conditions.

Indoors, I see nothing wrong with using a treadmill, although you may have to be careful that someone does not turn you in for having paraphernalia related to dog fighting. It seems ridiculous, but I have heard credible stories of someone being investigated and perhaps even charged and convicted just based on such circumstantial "evidence". If you are with your dogs while they are using a treadmill, it also strengthens the bond while it provides the physical exercise benefits.

I have had some experience with a fairly large possible GSD/Mastiff cross who is rather protective of his property and barks and acts aggressively toward anyone walking nearby. But if they are invited to come closer, he becomes afraid when they approach him. But then once he feels a little more secure, he pretty much ignores their presence and in fact seems happier if he is left alone.

Of course, each dog has a unique personality based on breed, early upbringing, and the sum total of experiences, but IMHO what is most important is the handler's attitude and expectations. Dogs react to subtle cues and if you are anxious about his behavior and have an expectation that he will act in a certain way, he will pick up on that and the situation can escalate. It is important to have the dog be in a low state of arousal and pay attention to you, as long as you can remain calm and confident. Giving treats may be appropriate once he is focused on you and is relaxed enough to sit or lie down, but I think it is counterproductive once he has fixated on a distraction or perceived threat such as a stranger. Positive training does not work if you unintentionally reward an undesired behavior.

In the case of the dog I had experience with, he could be trusted with people once his initial fear subsided, and as long as they remained calm and allowed him his space. He was fine in public venues where he mostly ignored other people and dogs, but sometimes he seemed to pick up on some negative energy from certain dogs and there might be a bit of a fight. But he was not fully involved and could be separated quickly before any serious damage and he would calm down quickly. But that is just my experience with one dog, and every situation is different. In your case, with 10 dogs, there are a lot of non-verbal "conversations" going on among them and with you, so it is complicated.

Good luck!

Joined:Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:38 pm

Re: Episode 206 - Eight Is Enough - Feb 13

Post by sj96skittles » Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:55 pm

Hi Victoria!!!!!!!! I'm so glad you got dog trainer of the year and top 100 best & brightest in the dog world!!!!! :D you totally deserved It!!!! You really inspire me with your work with dogs and I love how you train positively :) congragulations!!!!! One question I have is did you give salvester a harness to keep him from pulling after you came back?

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