Dog Ownership: A Learning Experience

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

Shelter Dog Spotlight: Marley

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

Dog Bite Prevention

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

Introducing Cat To New Dog

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

Introducing Dog To New Baby

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

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/Dog Aggression

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/Human Aggression

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

Dog Boredom vs Anxiety

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

Become a Dog Trainer

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

Why Should I Train My Dog?

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

Jasmine’s Favorite! Victoria Announces New Line of Dog Training Treats

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

Victoria’s Top 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adopting a Dog

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.

Teaching A Leash Reactive Dog To Make The Right Choices

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.

Do You Have Time For Your Dogs?

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.

Dog Bite Prevention – Part I

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

Top 10 Things to Teach Your Dog

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

Find a Victoria Stilwell-Licensed Dog Trainer

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

Should Dog Trainers Offer Guarantees?

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?

A Wiser Concept of Animals; On Training Dogs, Dolphins and Humans

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

Dog Training

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

Is It Mouthing Or Biting?

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

Shocking Answers to Shocking Questions

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.

Food Issues

Follow a positive trainer around for a few days and you will quickly come to realize that we humans have food issues. Of course he is doing what you ask. You have food in your hand! (As in, I am paying you for this?) You’re sure giving a lot of treats. (Usually said in a Read More

Consider the Source

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. 

Your puppy is not a blank slate

Here’s why… Your puppy is a product of its parents’ genes. These provide the blueprint for appearance, temperament and behavior.  This is why a Jack Russell looks and acts like a Jack Russell, and a Labrador looks and acts like a Labrador.  If you want a dog that will look and act like a Labrador, you Read More

Terrie Hayward-Puerto Rico

“Are the conditions in Puerto Rico as bad as we’ve heard and seen? Terrie Hayward, certified dog behavior consultant and dog trainer in Rincon doesn’t hesitate for a half a second. “Yes, it is – desperate.” Prior to Hurricanes Maria and Irma impacted pummeling the island, life wasn’t easy, as residents were dealing with serious Read More

5 Little-Known Puppy Training Tips You’ll Be Glad You Found

I spend much of my time as a trainer working with young puppies. They’re little sponges, absorbing every bit of information we send their way – both good and bad. You’ll hear the same puppy training advice over and over: make sure to socialize your puppy, start potty training immediately, and the like. But in Read More

Your new puppy – 9 steps to get it right from the start

“I wonder if I’ve done the wrong thing … Perhaps I’m not capable of looking after a dog.” I don’t know exactly what had caused such a devastating loss of confidence in what 30was clearly a capable individual. But Gwen voiced a sentiment I come across from time to time. Her family had left home Read More

A Puppy Under the Tree

A puppy for Christmas is a gift that, as a professional trainer for over 10 years, I strongly encourage to be planned so that the entire family understands the commitment that gift comes with. Have no doubt: the pup will not be for the kids. The pup will be the responsibility of the adults in the family, and she will depend on them for her care.

Rescuers or Fanatics? The Dark Side of Animal Rescue

Say the phrase "animal rescue" in any given circle of people and watch for a variety of reactions. Some people’s eyes will light up with hope and delight and others will start backing away with narrowing eyes, faces drawn with suspicion. The latter is unfortunate, but the truth cannot be denied that some of the Read More

How Tricky Got Her Groove Back

This is Part 1 of Bobbie Bhambree's agility series. Check out Part 2 here and Part 3 here.  One of the main reasons I am an effective dog trainer and have strong mechanical skills when teaching and handling dogs is because of my many years as an student of agility. This dog performance sport takes the Read More