LOSING HEART Why do so many clients with fearful or reactive dogs, who often have started off so well, lose heart? The reason is because they just don’t fully accept the time and work that changing fear-based or guarding behaviors in particular can take. Teaching people is the easy bit. A large part of my Read More
In episode 3 of 'Arson Dogs,' we learn more about Roman Ray, Arson Investigator with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office. Roman was paired with black labrador 'Billy,' and the pair had an instant connection that was captured on camera. Find out what Roman and Billy are up to today, and find out how Roman Read More
Drug-sniffing dogs are no longer limited to law enforcement. The industry is being privatized by individual trainers and their dogs, who search the homes of people who feel they have a family member that may be using illegal drugs. These businesses utilize the same techniques used by law enforcement, but are not legally obligated to report what they find. Tom Read More
We’ve all been there, the day you bring home your new dog or puppy and they pee all over your floor, chew up something they weren’t supposed to and your find yourself suddenly questioning, “What did I get myself into!?”. I’ve done it, twice. But I can say that our two dogs are more than Read More
When I visited the SPCA of Central Florida in Orlando last weekend, I had the opportunity to spend several hours there looking for adoptable dogs to join me during my presentation at their yearly fund raising event, Paws in the Park. The criteria I was looking for was simple, but not always easy to find Read More
In Her Own Words: Victoria on Dog Bite Prevention: As a mother and a dog trainer, I am dedicated to raising awareness about responsible pet ownership and preventing dog bites. My public platform helps put a spotlight on the issue and my Dog Bite Prevention Task Force, comprised of veterinarians, lawyers, canine bite investigators and Read More
When introducing your cat to your new dog, it is important to prepare beforehand. If you are adopting, many rescue groups will be able to tell you if a dog has lived with or been around cats. The younger your cat and your new dog are, the easier it will be for them to form Read More
Bringing home a new baby to a household with an existing dog (or dogs) should be done with great care and a good amount of foresight. Too often, new parents are so consumed with the needs and exhilaration of the new baby that they overlook the impact that this new tiny, loud, smelly creature may Read More
Introducing a new dog can be an exciting, but potentially stressful situation. You may have children or other dogs in the home, and might not be sure how your new addition will fit in with current family members. When it comes to introductions, advance preparation and patience will be key. Make sure your current dogs Read More
Dog-to-dog aggression is a common occurrence and one that causes extreme stress for dogs and owners. Multi-dog households frequently experience some kind of 'sibling' rivalry with short squabbles and disagreements, but these are usually mild and happen infrequently enough to maintain a comfort level that allows for everyone to live safely and peacefully. If violence Read More
Dog-to-human aggression can be unpredictable and dangerous, especially when there is an extensive history of aggressive behavior. Dog bites account for a large number of hospital admissions each year and cost insurance companies millions in claims. While most dogs live in harmony with their families, dogs of all breeds and breed mixes have the capacity Read More
Many people return home after a day at work to a household of destruction and mayhem, and their first assumption is that their dog suffers from acute separation anxiety. Sometimes this can be the case, but in many cases, the dog has destroyed the house as a cure for another very common problem in the Read More
Being a professional positive dog trainer can be one of the most rewarding occupations in the world. Many great dog trainers (including Victoria herself) have found their life's calling as a second career. In the vast majority of cases, this is motivated at its core purely by a passion for helping dogs and their owners Read More
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
Finally! As a world-renowned dog trainer famous for being the torchbearer of positive training methods on TV, Victoria Stilwell is regularly bombarded with questions, but one question in particular has a most familiar ring to her. "Yes, I'd say without a doubt one of the most frequently asked questions by people on my website, Facebook Read More
October is "Adopt a Shelter Dog" month, and you're likely hearing all the reasons why you should bring home a new addition to the family. But are you ready for the commitment and responsibility of a new dog? Have you done your research yet? Check out Victoria's top ten questions to ask yourself before you add a new dog to your home.
When Sadie first came into my life four years ago, she was what I would call a reactive dog, lunging towards and barking viciously at any dog that walked past or came close to her. Fortunately I was able to temper her reaction and teach her a new way to cope and behave in similar situations. The techniques I used meant I could change her behavior without physically punishing or imposing my will upon her in any way. I just gave her choices.
Victoria Stilwell Positively has made its global network of world-class dog trainers available to every person in the world who is looking for science-based, professional help with their dogs via the new VSPDT Phone Consultation Program.
I know I don’t always hit the mark for my dogs, but where enrichment is concerned, I do my best to make sure they have as many outlets as they need. That is why I waited so long before I had dogs of my own, because I wanted to give them the best life possible. Sure, my dogs complete me and make my life better, but I work as hard as I can to do the same for them.
Renowned pet trainer Victoria Stilwell, forensic dog bite and aggression expert Jim Crosby and attorney Claudine Wilkins are just a few of the presenters that are coming to Denver on Nov. 2, 2012 to take part in the National Dog Bite Awareness and Prevention Conference presented by Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training (VSPDT). This marks Read More
This week, I'm joining forces with State Farm, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the US Postal Service and other organizations to promote National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Now more than ever, awareness needs to be raised about how to prevent dog bites from occurring. If you're like me and are concerned about this issue, then the latest statistics will Read More
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
Working with the right dog trainer can mean the difference between a happy, harmonious household and an ever-escalating struggle to achieve a healthy, balanced relationship with your dog. Harness the power of Victoria Stilwell's positive training by contacting one of her premium, hand-picked Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainers. Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training (VSPDT) is Read More
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
Serious behavioral problems can't be boxed into a specific time frame. So why should dog trainers offer guarantees that they can fix a behavior within a certain number of sessions?
It’s a new year. Time for good resolutions, right? Let’s resolve to stop punishing our dogs by accident.
"But I'm a positive trainer, I don't punish!" you say. Well, I think we sometimes do, and don't realize it. I'm not talking about reprimand. That's a social act. A puppy gets too rough and Mama dog growls. A canine nose gets a bit too near the cheese and crackers on the coffee table, and Read More
I first met Victoria last year while we were both working on a network reality show that featured dog-owners competing with their respective dog-children for the honor of being top dog. Working on a reality show was a new challenge for me. The pace and objectives are entirely different from clinical medicine. Once I figured Read More
Jump to: Find a Dog Trainer Positive Training Myths & Truths Understanding Dogs Methods & Equipment Become a Dog Trainer It's a whole new world for dog training. The days of people thinking about training their dog as simply teaching them to sit, stay or down are thankfully fading. Instead, we're using the power of Read More
Have you ever received negative comments or been bullied on social media? If you have then you understand how bad it can make you feel and how damaging it can be. This week’s post is not about dogs, but this is a conversation we all need to be having right now, and that is why I am sharing what has happened to me since I became known in the media world.
A new study led by biologist Ana Catarina Viera de Castro of the Universidae do Porto in Portugal reveals that shouting at dogs and using punitive methods to train them does short and long term damage, while using reward based methods yields better results both for learning and emotional health.
If you ask a group of dog trainers to define what an aversive means, you will get many different answers as well as some spirited discussion. Regarding behavior modification techniques, an aversive is ‘the avoidance of a thing, situation, or behavior that is achieved by using an unpleasant or punishing stimulus.’
“Sit! Sit! Sit!” Have you ever asked your dog to ‘sit’ and when she does not respond you repeat the cue again and again, getting louder and louder each time you say it?
If you live with a dog that displays aggressive behavior (lunging, growling, or even biting), using management to keep everyone safe is the first priority, along with a good behavior modification plan. What Is Management? One of my favorite descriptions of management is from the book “Behavior Adjustment Training 2.0: New Practical Techniques for Fear, 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 difference between mouthing and biting It is not at all uncommon for puppies to use their mouths in nearly everything they do. This behavior is called 'mouthing' and is a completely normal part of development. Though this is very similar to biting, the intention is different. Distinguishing between the two is very important. Why Read More
After an article about the use of shock collars in dog training appears, the same questions inevitably come up. Usually, the person asking the question is not really seeking an answer. Instead, they are posing the question as a rebuttal to our position, which is that shock has no place in dog training. Here are a few of the actual questions we receive, edited for clarity, with answers.
Before I started my career as a dog trainer, I studied broadcast journalism in college. I remember one of my professors constantly repeating the phrase "consider the source." That phrase has stuck with me throughout the years, and I've found it to be quite relevant to my work as a trainer.