Tag Archives: dog training

Beyond the Fairy Tale

Posted on: July 8, 2017 - No Comments

And they all lived happily ever after… I’m a sucker for those stories too. I love to see the heroes and heroines overcome adversity and wander off into the sunset for their fabulous forever. Sadly we all know that happy ever after is just a fairy tale ending to a fairy tale. Neither are real, Read More

Are you teaching or testing?

Posted on: June 21, 2017 - No Comments

They aren't the same thing. Testing MEASURES what the learner knows/ can do. Test: measure; check the quality, performance, or reliability of something; reveal ... capabilities by putting them under strain; evaluate the abilities, aptitudes, skills, or performance of an individual or group.  A test asks your dog the question; what can/ will you do right now in this situation? Read More

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

Posted on: May 29, 2017 - No Comments

“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

Letter From The Dog

Posted on: May 21, 2017 - 1 Comment

Since when does “just a minute” only apply to humans? We dogs say it too, except when we do, you humans get angry. You let us off the rope thing to go run around and play and then you ask us to come back at the most inconvenient of times, just when we are having the best fun – playing with other dogs or chasing small fluffies. When we don’t respond, you get mad and tell us how bad we are, but apparently you don’t understand that when we hear our name, look back at you and then continue with our game, we’re also saying “just a minute”. By the way…..how long is a minute?

Positively Dog Training Episode 609

Posted on: February 13, 2017 - No Comments

On this jam-packed episode of the Positively Podcast, Holly and Victoria first  chat about Victoria's new book and some of the fascinating research that's being conducted on canine cognition. Here are a few of the questions they discuss: Do dogs dream? How can you tell if your dog is in pain? Why do small dogs Read More

What Are You Teaching Your Dog?

Posted on: January 30, 2017 - No Comments

That 'training sessions must be huge, long and totally organised' way of thinking is what STOPS a lot of us training at times, so what can we do to clarify and simplify the whole training thing?

Why I’m a Good Dog Trainer and Made It to 39 Years of Marriage

Posted on: January 12, 2017 - No Comments

You may ask, “Why is that fact in a dog training blog?” Good question. Even better answer coming.

No Plan Survives Contact With Reality

Posted on: January 21, 2016 - 2 Comments

Raising my puppy has been hard work. It has also been well worth the effort.

The Many Gifts of Sharing Your Home with a Dog

Posted on: November 30, 2015 - No Comments

Pet parents often don’t realize that effective dog training can be very hard work, and that behavior change in their dog will only come after behavior change in themselves. Doing anything well isn’t usually easy.

Dog Training is Like Your Retirement Account, an Investment

Posted on: August 5, 2015 - No Comments

You will see the returns of your effort by sticking with the program for the long haul. If we want to see a change in our dog’s behavior we have to do the work, simple as that.

How To Change How A Dog Feels About Scary Stuff: Step Two

Posted on: May 26, 2015 - No Comments

Many dogs are constantly scared and startled by objects or events in their environment. Sometimes we have control over those things, often we don’t, but we can still help the dog learn to feel better, safer and more comfortable, around them.

The First Step To Take To Help A Fearful Dog

Posted on: April 20, 2015 - 21 Comments

If a dog is constantly or repeatedly afraid of what is going on around them it’s going to be difficult for them to feel safe. We can no more force a dog to feel safe then we can force a fresh water fish to survive in salt water.

Five Good Reasons to Call a Trainer (None of Which Are Failure)

Posted on: January 12, 2015 - 2 Comments

If you're like me, you grew up thinking that to call a dog trainer was to admit defeat—you were capable of training your dog or you didn't deserve to have one. If you're like me, you're also wrong, because there are lots of good reasons to work with a certified dog trainer (none of which are Read More

So Much Work To Do…

Posted on: October 19, 2014 - No Comments

I was forwarded an article which basically claimed that while positive reinforcement was a nice tool for training nice pups, it was not a strong enough or effective enough tool to deal with aggression or so-called 'red zone' dogs. It is time once and for all to put an end to this myth, especially when the arguments being used to support it are so painfully inaccurate and the supposed claims are so completely at odds with what behavioral science has already proven to us time and time again.

Crack, Not Crackers: Choosing the right reinforcer

Posted on: October 14, 2014 - 5 Comments

Recently, I was chatting with a friend whose dog Grace is a goofy, floppy lab mix. She’s well-behaved but goes bonkers when she sees other dogs in the park. It’s friendly but intense: She leaps and lunges and yips until she pulls her way to the other dog. “It’s the craziest thing,” Grace’s person told Read More

When and How to Train Your Puppy or New Rescue

Posted on: August 25, 2014 - No Comments

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

Why Should I Train My Dog?

Posted on: January 15, 2014 - 3 Comments

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

Jingle Dogs — Top 10 Gifts

Posted on: December 9, 2013 - 4 Comments

Top 10 “Thank You” Gifts for your Jingle Dog. Our precious pups bring such joy to our lives and deliver unconditional love all year long. Consider saying “Thank You” with gifts that keep on giving throughout the year. Some of these may make you smile-- all of them will make your dog smile.   Adopt Read More

Making Manners Fun: Counter-Surfing (Holiday) Edition

Posted on: November 25, 2013 - 3 Comments

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

Posted on: November 19, 2013 - 17 Comments

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

Chew This, Not That!

Posted on: September 15, 2012 - 4 Comments

Chew This, Not That! Dogs need “occupational therapy.” So says Dr. Ian Dunbar, DVM, animal behaviorist and puppy guru. If you don’t give your dog something to do, your dog will find something to do. Although dogs are genetically hard-wired to chew, some dogs like to chew more than others. You can help encourage your Read More

If Your Dog Could Talk: Reward vs Punishment Dog Training

Posted on: February 21, 2012 - 7 Comments

There's a raging controversy in the field of dog training centered around dog training collars and methods--Reinforcement vs Correction and Treats vs No Treats. What's a pet parent to do? If your dog could talk, your dog would surely ask you to listen to the experts in animal behavior. As it turns out, it’s scientifically Read More

New Year’s Dog Diet Resolution: “I resolve that my dog will eat better in the new year!”

Posted on: January 2, 2012 - 4 Comments

New Year's Dog Diet Resolution: "I resolve that my dog will eat better in the new year!" Why not get on the “green dog bandwagon” and give your dog the new year’s gift that will last a lifetime? Your dog will be ecstatic about this resolution! If you're having trouble sifting through all of the Read More

A Conversation with Victoria Stilwell

Posted on: October 28, 2011 - 1 Comment

In my recently published interview, Victoria Stilwell discusses the major differences in dog training methods... and explains why "methods matter" to all pet parents and to every dog. Victoria goes directly to the heart of a "hot" issue in dog training that is too often misrepresented to people searching for help with their beloved pup. Read More

Win a free copy of the new Marley and Me movie on DVD

Posted on: August 19, 2011 - 58 Comments

I loved Marley and Me.  The book and the movie.  Made me laugh, cry, commiserate and celebrate.  How about you? Well guess what:  there's a new prequel out in stores now:  Marley & Me: The Puppy Years went on sale this week, and I have a few copies to give away to fans who share Read More

Victoria on WGN Petcast Radio

Posted on: August 18, 2011 - 3 Comments

Victoria joined host and Positively Blogger Steve Dale on the WGN Radio's popular 'Petcast' radio show to discuss American Humane's Pet Meets Baby contest and safe dog-child handling. For more information about how to win free merchandise from Victoria in the Pet Meets Baby sweepstakes, click here. Listen to the interview:

Embracing Empathy

Posted on: August 10, 2011 - 6 Comments

My rabbit sprayed urine in my face this morning. Now what on earth does this have to do with dog training you may ask?  Hear me out.  So after cleaning my face, swallowing my frustration that while I was reaching in to feed my rabbits their beloved pellet breakfast, Smokey decided to spray me in Read More