The power of positive training is undeniable both in terms of scientific proof and when considering the countless dog owners who have contacted Victoria and many other positive trainers over the years to express their relief that they discovered positive training. Both for their own and for their dogs' well being, many people may have Read More
Jump to: Forum Positively Podcasts Positively Pledge Positively Success Stories Positively Contributors Social Media Poop & Tell The Positively Community is a unique and inspiring mix of people from all over the world who have one thing in common: they want the best for their dogs. Whether they are from our distinguished roster of Positively Read More
The Dog Bite Prevention Conferences are igniting a conversation about that need for education. We don't want to preach to the choir - we need teachers, doctors, lawyers, animal control officers, parents, and dog owners all to come together to begin to understand what does (and what does not) constitute a dangerous dog in order to stop these heartwrenching tragedies from occurring.
Today people all over the world will be lighting candles in honor of Lennox, who, if the courts have their way, will be put to death in less than a week by Belfast City Council. I have become personally involved in this case, both as an expert and as an advocate for decency and humanity. Read More
On the 19th May 2010, Lennox, a five year old American Bull dog Labrador cross was wrongfully seized by Belfast City Council Dog Wardens from his loving family home where he lives with his owners and his kennel mates. Lennox committed no crime nor did any member of the public complain about him. Lennox’s family Read More
Victoria Stilwell Positively is honored to have the following distinguished guest bloggers contributing regularly to this site. World-class behaviorists, trainers and veterinarians are among those blogging, as well as some amazing individuals representing organizations and movements helping to make the world a better place for both dogs and people. Here you will get a unique Read More
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
It’s understandable that people in the dog training world get so agitated when the word “dominance” is mentioned, even when used in the right context. The idea of dominance in dogs has been so misunderstood by some trainers in popular media for so long that it has now become a dirty word, such that even when trainers and behavior experts use the word correctly, they risk a backlash from people that are – let’s face it - exhausted from having to continually reeducate the public about what dominance really is and what it isn’t, particularly when so much damage has been done because of the way the word has been used by some people in the dog training world.
Consent is a right of every living being. We expect to be asked prior to being touched. But we give consent to strangers to touch our dogs without asking the dog.
Breed bans do nothing to enhance public safety; they ignore the real reasons why dogs of any breed attack. So where there are breed restrictions and bans – bites happen anyway.
For about a year and a half, I was living in New York City. I went from living in a large house on 2 acres to a small one bedroom apartment near a park. In this three-part article series, I am going to share how I kept agility in my life while living in a Read More
We humans don’t often allow dogs to have a say in how much they interact with other sentient beings. We force interactions onto them on a daily basis.
Victoria and Holly get together on Christmas Eve for a special holiday edition of the Positively Podcast. They chat about a 100-year-old animal rescue volunteer, their holiday pet peeves, and the cringe-worthy Miss USA pageant night.
There are many wonderful resources for you to read about whether bringing home a puppy over the holidays is a responsible choice for your family. This article is meant to help you make good choices once you have already decided to bring a new dog home for the holidays.
I find that new puppy-owners tend to fall into two camps - those who expect too much too soon, and those who expect too little for too long.
We ARE just like you. Our dogs are not monsters. They are just dogs, just like any other dogs. Just like people are all individuals, so are dogs.
You know that life for your newly adopted dog has just taken a turn for the better, but your dog needs you to demonstrate it for her. Here are a few tips for helping to make the transition from shelter dog to a adored member of your family.
Ultimately, what I’ve realized is that living with and training a deaf dog isn’t harder, it’s just different. Here are a few tips to help new deaf dog pet parents get started. I hope these help ease your anxiety and fears during this transition.
"We don't live in a bubble, and our pets don't, either," notes Dr. Jerry Klein, supervising veterinarian at Chicago Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center in Chicago. "I'm not surprised about what's happening," he adds.
When it comes down to it, the most common explanations for dog bites are either related to fear (perhaps as a result of a lack of socialization) or resource guarding, such as dogs guarding their toys, food or property.
Many perfectly wonderful dogs with lovely temperaments are being euthanized regularly for space while extremists spend time battling online about why one dog that mauled a child should get another chance.
One rescue dog is having the special chance to "pay it forward" and become a rescuer himself.
Clients frequently ask me what to do when their dog is humping. First, look at the situation. Why is your dog humping? The whys becomes important, because it will determine how we will work with the behavior.
Why is it that our pet dogs are struggling more than ever to cope in our domestic world? Resource guarding, leash aggression, aggression towards other animals, and aggression towards people are some of the most common aggression examples that dog trainers see on a daily basis.
I had just lost another Chihuahua, Tink, due to the blatant irresponsibility of a roommate (won't go into that tragedy), and I wasn't ready to take in another dog. However, a friend – who works in rescue – knew about my dilemma, and called me about a week later to tell me about a dog Read More
Dr. Sophia Yin, an applied animal behaviorist, was one of the first to join my public outcry of a popular dog trainer's emphasis on forceful, aversive dog training as well as conveying misleading messages regarding dog behavior. Yin was never afraid to speak her him, particularly if animals benefited.
When we hug our dogs we are sending out our affection and sharing our love. What we are giving out isn’t necessarily what the dog is receiving. To a dog, a hug is very bad canine etiquette, pushy behavior associated with establishing social status, an invasion of space, threatening.
Kai is a nominee for the 2014 American Hero Dog Award. She was rescued from a shelter and was a perfect fit for the State Farm Arson Dog Program. She is now an arson dog with the San Antonio Fire Department, and also educates children about fire safety and prevention. CAST YOUR VOTE FOR THE 2014 AMERICAN HUMANE ASSOCIATION Read More
Q. What are some of the benefits of training my dog? A. Training makes home life more manageable and fun for you and your dog. Next to basic health care, it’s the most important thing you can do for your pup. Best of all, training the dog you love is one of the best ways Read More
Victoria Stilwell was among the first to arrive at the scene of a massive puppy mill bust, helping liberate over 500 dogs and puppies from a lifetime of suffering and neglect.
With the amount of fear mongering that exists currently regarding pit bull-type dogs, I feel it's important to publish the truth about these dogs. Although most dogs labeled as pit bulls are actually a mix of different breeds with similar physical characteristics, anything that has the appearance of an American Pitbull Terrier is incorrectly labeled as Read More
While past studies have shown that a dog is able to follow a pointed finger or a person's gaze in order to find food, new research is showing that their abilities don't stop there. The research shows that dogs, particularly puppies, are adept in following the direction of a person's voice in order to find Read More
Every dog has their own set of personality traits that make them unique, so you cannot predict a dog’s behavior solely on its breed type. There are many myths surrounding bully breed dogs or 'bullies,' that instill fear in the general public and can cause devastating misunderstandings. Bully breed dogs, such as pit bull type Read More
Breed-specific legislation is being proposed and enacted all over the world, and targets so-called 'aggressive breeds.' German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and pit bull type dogs are common victims of this discriminatory and ineffective legislation. Why Doesn’t BSL Work? Banning specific breeds fails to get to the root of the dog bite problem—irresponsible ownership. Any dog can Read More
Study after study has shown that a dog’s breed is not a major factor that contributes to aggression, and yet breed-specific legislation still targets specific dog breeds all over the world. How a dog is socialized, raised, trained, the mental and physical stimulation he receives, owner responsibility and individual behavioral history are all much more Read More
Getting your puppy vaccinated is a vital part of responsible pet ownership. A young puppy’s infant immune system is especially prone to illness and disease, so getting your puppy on a vaccination regimen is crucial to having a healthy, happy pet. What vaccines does your puppy need? A good veterinarian will be able to tell 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
Pet dogs are impressively adaptive. Coping with new environments and situations is a product of domestication, and most dogs do extremely well adapting to the pressures of domestic life. There are some dogs, however, that find it hard to adjust, and consequently live in a constant state of stress, making life difficult for them and Read More