How Does Your Dog See and Understand the World?

Scenario: A pleasant neighborhood on a sunny day, we observe a human and her dog taking a walk together. All of a sudden, the dog strains on leash, barking and lunging. The human tries to calm the dog down to no avail. She keeps looking around and sees nothing that should make her dog react Read More

Hero Dog Nominee – JJ

JJ is a nominee for the 2014 American Hero Dog Award, presented by the American Humane Association. JJ is entered in the service dog category through Freedom Service Dogs. JJ was rescued from a shelter as a puppy, and now he's paying it forward as a life-saving service dog for a little girl named KK. Read More

Greatest American Dog Recap – Week 6

FUNNY VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Presley attacks dog bed Link http://youtu.be/53xPgA2lVPU Challenge This week’s challenge was an IQ test or the closest thing to it for a dog. There wasn’t much preparation for this challenge. Basically, our dogs where supposed to smell and find the their favorite food. Then, without our instructions, navigate their way Read More

New Arson Dogs Series Launches

Victoria's new multi-episode web series, Arson Dogs, launches today exclusively on her YouTube channel and the Positively Media Center. In the first episode, Victoria arrives in Alfred, Maine to begin her exploration of State Farm's arson dog training program. The 8 handlers in the new class arrive from all over the US and describe their Read More

Arson Dogs

Victoria Stilwell discovers the power of Arson Dogs - amazing detection dogs trained to sniff out accelerants like gasoline and propane, and to alert their handler to the presence of the accelerant.

Top 5 Summertime Pet Safety Tips

As temperatures increase, pet owners must prepare for the numerous hazards and stressors associated with the temperature changes, sun exposure, holiday food consumption, and festive gatherings that summer brings. To ensure your pet has a safe and fun summer, take proactive steps to prevent potentially life-threatening illness and injury. Here are my Top 5 Summertime Read More

Canine Noise Phobia Series

The Canine Noise Phobia Series (CNP) is a 4-CD compilation of specialized audio recordings and innovative training protocols specifically designed to reduce and prevent noise phobias and anxiety in dogs. “In my work as a dog trainer both on TV and in private practice over the past 15 years, I have seen countless dogs suffer Read More

Taste

Taste and smell are closely linked, and although a dog’s sense of smell is superior to ours, their tasting abilities are probably not as sensitive. A dog has only 1,700 taste buds – far fewer than a human’s impressive 9,000. Dogs can detect sweet, salty, sour, and bitter tastes, but it is doubtful they can Read More

Myth vs Fact

There is a fierce debate raging in the dog training world between traditional dominance and punishment-based trainers and the positive training movement. Common Dog Training Myths: There is more than one way to train a dog. Positive training methods don’t work on 'red zone' dogs. Dogs only 'respect' leaders who assert their 'dominance.' Positive trainers Read More

Adventures in Veterinary House Calls — Fire Escape!

I’ve been working as a house-call veterinarian in the greater Los Angeles area since 2008. Having done general and emergency practice in a variety of hospital settings, and in multiple states (D.C, VA, MD, WA, and now CA), I've happily discovered that providing veterinary medicine on a house-call basis best suits my holistic perspective to Read More

Using Food in Training

Successful positive training relies in large part on determining exactly what motivates your dog the most. While each dog is different and some may be turned on by praise, play, toys, or life rewards like going for walk, very often food is that primary motivating force and can be a powerful tool for shaping new Read More

Easter Bunny Hazards and More….

SPRING has sprung, well, at least for most of us!  The warmer weather has melted most of the snow and for us down south, we are already cutting our lawns.  The new season is loved by humans and dogs alike!  The sweet smell of the tree blossoms, the buzz of bees and the return of the Read More

Dog Detects Owner’s Cancer Before Doctors

The intense connection between man and dog may reach even further than we could have ever imagined possible. Maureen Burns sensed that something was wrong with her 9-year-old Collie mix, Max. He was acting listless and sick, and Maureen was concerned that he could be dying. The strangest of Max's behaviors was that he would Read More

One Girl’s Remembrance of Her Kitty

Before there was a fiesty little mixbreed rescue named Jasmine, before there was the doting lovebucket that is Sadie the Chocolate Lab, our family only had one pet: Angelica. Our beloved Maine Coon, Angelica, came to us via our work as foster parents for various rescue groups in New York City. She stayed with us thanks to our status as foster failures.

Eye Care

Although dogs mainly use their keen sense of hearing and excellent sense of smell to guide them, it is still important to maintain healthy vision. Most dogs go through life without eye problems, but it’s helpful to know the signs of unhealthy eyes. Some breeds are more susceptible to eye problems because of the shape Read More

Introducing Dog To New Cat

Bringing home a new cat when you already have a dog can be stressful for both animals, especially when your dog has not been around cats before. Contrary to popular belief, dogs and cats can get along. With a little preparation, management, and consistency, you can have a peaceful household of both dogs and cats. 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

High Five

Teaching your dog to  'high five ' is a fun trick to teach your dog, and one that is sure to impress fellow dog lovers.   How to Teach the 'High Five' Hold a treat in front of your sitting dog.  Wait for her to smell, lick and push at your hand with her muzzle Read More

Dog Sports

Dog sports are a great way to bond with your dog and give your canine companion exercise and mental stimulation. From the unbridled fun of dock diving to the quirkier but thrilling sport of skijoring, dog sports offer a fantastic opportunity to build and enhance the unique relationship we share with man's best friend in Read More

Marking

Scent marking is a very normal and common behavior (particularly in male dogs), but it becomes a big problem when marking occurs in the home. Both sexes scent mark, but unneutered males are the worst offenders because the presence of testosterone stimulates signaling of sexual availability and claiming of territory. Resources such as toys, food Read More

Poop Eating (Coprophagia)

Humans find the thought of dogs eating poop (called coprophagia) disgusting, but the unsavory fact is that some dogs find eating their own feces or the feces of another animal, pleasurable. A dog may eat her own stool or that of another animal simply because she likes the taste. For example, cat poop is high Read More

Nipping

Nipping or mouthing is normal puppy behavior, but it can develop into a serious problem if allowed to continue into adulthood. An adult dog’s mouth can be very strong, so even when its nipping is just part of normal play, it can still cause significant damage to human skin. If a puppy is not taught Read More

Leave It

The 'leave it' cue teaches your dog an invaluable lesson in impulse control that can be useful in many situations. The 'it' in question might be food that has fallen on the floor, something your dog picks up on a walk, another dog, or even a child. Like the recall this is an important safety Read More

Canine Cognition

Canine cognition is how a dog’s mind processes the world around it. Knowing your dog’s cognitive style will help you understand what drives him, how he learns and what he needs from you to make learning easier. Cognitive science is the study of the mind and intelligence, embracing philosophy, psychology, linguistics and anthropology. Cognitive scientific Read More

Canine Emotion

There is much debate on whether a dog’s experience of emotion is similar to that of a human’s or if a dog’s behavior is simply influenced by an inner drive to survive. While we cannot claim to have all the answers yet, science is helping increase our understanding of how the dog’s brain works, producing Read More

Canine Senses

From the almost other-worldly capabilities of the dog's amazing sense of smell to their ears' powerful ability to hear as well as their laser-like sense of sight;  to truly understand how dogs perceive the world it's crucial to first understand the overall canine sensory experience. Senses are closely linked to emotions, and emotions are the Read More

Exercise

Exercise is a huge part of a dog’s life, especially if you have a high-energy or high-drive dog. Regardless of your dog’s breed or age, all dogs need physical exercise in order to stay healthy, happy, and well-balanced. Physical activity encourages the heart and lungs to work harder and requires the use of muscles that Read More

What is Animal Communication?

If you’ve not ever worked with an animal communicator you may be asking, what exactly is animal communication? The broad definition of animal communication is the ability to communicate telepathically with animals of all types. It is sometimes referred to as interspecies communication. Telepathy is the acquiring of information from another living thing (animals, people, Read More

Can Wolves Learn From People?

Is a dog's incredible ability to watch and learn from our verbal and visual cues unique to its species? One group of researchers has found evidence suggesting otherwise. Friederike Range and Zsófia Virányi of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna conducted a study to find out whether wolves are able to learn from humans the Read More

Making Manners Fun: Counter-Surfing (Holiday) Edition

With the holidays rapidly approaching, many dog owners are going to be faced with GREAT opportunities to work on counter-surfing with their dogs. As we have family over to celebrate the holiday season, there will inevitably be mouthwatering treats and other great smells out on the countertops. It’s so important to remember that our dogs Read More

Making Manners Fun Series: Loose-Leash Edition

As a dog trainer, one of the most common problems I get asked for help with is getting a dog to walk without pulling on the leash. Loose-leash walking is just like any other trick we may teach our dogs. It’s about finding a way to make it fun for the dog. Walking with a Read More

How to Safely Introduce Your Dog to Your New Baby

Preparing your dog for your incoming bundle of joy begins long before you give birth. Introducing your new baby to the existing pets in your home is much less stressful if you start to prepare early, and if done properly you can ensure the safety and well-being of your baby. The sooner you begin to prepare your dog, the better chance you will have a successful and easy transition once baby arrives.

Snake Avoidance-Making Wise Choices

How can you keep your dog from being bitten by a venomous snake? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer and there are no guarantees. Seal Your Yard Neither your family nor your dog is safe from venomous snakes. Many snake bites to dogs occur on their own property. Remove food sources, such as: rodents, mice, Read More

Behavior enrichment for rodents: how to have a happier, healthier pet

Enrichment is a big buzz word in the field of animal behavior. According to the Encarta Dictionary,” enrichment” is defined as “to enhance or improve the quality of something usually by adding something else to it.” Whether this term is applied to the behavior of a dog, cat, bird, fish, or other animal, the notion Read More

Kitties!!!

For the past couple of days, we've been fostering 3 adorable little spring kittens until they get adopted. We've been feeding them, doing some light socialization and generally loving on them, and my daughter is nearly beside herself with joy.

In The Moment

Thank the good Lord for my pups. I'm over-the-hill, rough around the edges, not politically correct, pretty cynical about people, have a tendency towards sarcasm, more of a who the (beep) drank the water from my glass (none of that half empty/half full garbage) type of guy. My wife should be elevated to sainthood and Mr. Satan won't want me any more than Mr. God will. So what's my point?

Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

Although the name bed bugs produces an image of bugs in a bed, they often reside in other places, according to WestChesterGov.com. That's when expert sniffers, like Cruiser, Liberty and Gracie come to the rescue. With the growing resurgence of bed bugs in majors cities, dogs like Cruiser, Liberty and Gracie are becoming trained professionals, Read More

Positively Dog Training Episode 312

Dr. Paula Bloom joins the podcast to discuss dangerous foods for dogs, holiday cards, holiday puppies and more, plus new Ask Victoria questions.

Tips for Dealing With the Summer Heatwave

You can have hot fun in the summertime with your pets, but if the heat is on, your pets may potentially be in danger. In general, dogs aren’t able to deal with the heat as well as people, that’s mostly because for all intents and purposes they don’t perspire – they pant, Darker colored dogs Read More

The Adventure Continues

Dog training is sometimes a Mystery.  I work daily with the Devil Dog on Sit Down Stay and COME. The DD will be one year old on Friday 13 April. I still don’t have these command done.  At times I just want to cuss; then there are times when I think maybe she is getting Read More