Tag Archives: positive reinforcement

Why I’m Not (and never have been) a Purely Positive Dog Trainer

Posted on: March 1, 2017 - 10 Comments

First of all, I’ve certainly never referred to myself as a ‘purely positive’ dog trainer, but I’ve heard many others – usually pretty vocal opponents of humane modern dog training – label me and others with that description. It seems to be somewhat of a dog training unicorn, in that there are those who still Read More

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.

So Your Dog Ignores You?

Posted on: July 7, 2015 - 3 Comments

I got to thinking just how simple it should be to have a cooperative dog, so why do our dogs so often ignore us?

Food for Thought: Using Food in Dog Training

Posted on: June 29, 2015 - 2 Comments

There’s a lot of negative talk about using food in training. Even when people are prepared to use it in a class or at home, they often refuse to carry it when taking the training 'on the road'. Comments include; it’s bribery; I want the dog to work for me; the dog ‘knows’ what I 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

What Is Positive Training?

Posted on: April 29, 2014 - 6 Comments

Positive training is not a scientific term. You will not find it in any scientific journals, and you will regularly hear it being mischaracterized by those who do not fully understand it. When we at Positively refer to the power of positive training or you hear Victoria describe herself as a positive trainer, we are Read More

The Truth Behind Positive Training

Posted on: March 27, 2014 - 1 Comment

On Sunday 23rd March 2014 there was a great article about dog training in the Sunday Telegraph as well as in the Telegraph online.  The article highlighted a study that found pets trained using aversive methods were 15 times more likely to exhibit symptoms of stress than those trained using "positive" techniques and that training Read More

New Study Suggests Re-Thinking How You Train Your Dog

Posted on: January 21, 2014 - No Comments

Those of us who know and love dogs don't need scientific proof that dogs love us. But the results of a recent study may provide hard evidence that dogs are capable of feeling complex emotions, particularly love and attachment. Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Burns and his colleagues analyzed the results of brain scans on dozens 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

Positively Success Story: Dr. Phillips

Posted on: August 13, 2013 - 3 Comments

I love to hear success stories about how positive training has impacted the lives of people and their dogs. Check out this wonderful story I received about how positive training methods truly saved a life.

Positively Success Story Winner

Posted on: August 5, 2013 - 4 Comments

During my younger years I worked as a pizza delivery driver, during the course of which “career” I was bitten several times and developed a fear of dogs. But I have always had a dog; as long as I raised them from a puppy, there was never a problem. Four years ago, we adopted Cobie as a nine-week-old puppy, a husky-boxer Heinz mix, pick of a large accidental litter out of my daughter’s dog. Mama was a good dog. Cobie was horrible. He bit and bit and bit. He was my worst nightmare, and growing larger by the day. My arms were black and blue. My clothing was in tatters. He once ran along the back of the sofa, bit my ponytail, and leapt over my head, injuring my neck, and all this while he was still small.

Using Positive Reinforcement on Dogs vs People

Posted on: May 20, 2013 - 6 Comments

Everyone knows I use positive reinforcement in my dog training. You’re probably sick of hearing me go on about it. But an issue that comes up more frequently than you might think is the idea of using positive reinforcement in the human side of dog training – and let’s be honest, the human aspect is the biggest part. The dogs are usually pretty easy – it’s the humans that need the most help!

Victoria Demonstrates Positive Training on Good Day New York

Posted on: April 9, 2013 - No Comments

Victoria Stilwell was featured in a live segment on Good Day New York, which aired on March 22, 2013. In the segment, Victoria discusses and demonstrates her success with using positive reinforcement to train dogs. Victoria stated, "I don’t believe you need to dominate your dog into submission, you just have to motivate your dog Read More

Victoria Featured on WGN Radio

Posted on: April 8, 2013 - No Comments

Victoria was featured on WGN Radio, where she discussed her new book, "Train Your Dog Positively," as well as why positive reinforcement training works for dogs of all breeds and even for the most serious behavioral issues.

Victoria Talks About the Power of Positive Training on NY’s Live From the Couch

Posted on: March 28, 2013 - No Comments

Victoria Stilwell joins New York's Live From the Couch to discuss special dog training tips from her new book Train Your Dog Positively and highlighted her success with using positive reinforcement to train dogs.

Victoria Featured on Better Mornings Atlanta

Posted on: March 26, 2013 - No Comments

Victoria Stilwell joined CBS Atlanta to discuss her new book and how positive reinforcement training can work for all types of dogs and problems.

Problem Parrots and Progress With the Positive

Posted on: March 19, 2013 - No Comments

Birds are screaming. People are screaming back. Every spring, as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, birds scream more. While some pet parrots scream every season, many scream more during spring when their hormones get revved up as they are looking to breed. Wild parrots scream, too. They scream at sunrise to 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

A Conversation with Victoria Stilwell

Posted on: October 28, 2011 - 2 Comments

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

Barking, Barking, Barking, etc., etc., etc…

Posted on: June 4, 2011 - 23 Comments

Does your dog bark while running in circles, bay at the moon, bark at bugs, or scare your visitors out of their boots? Dogs bark to repel intruders, for attention, during play, as an outlet for energy, or in separation distress. Barking is as natural a vocalization for dogs as speaking is for humans. Basic Read More

Victoria at the 2011 NYC Pet Show

Posted on: May 26, 2011 - No Comments

Victoria was honored to be the featured guest at the recent NYC Pet Show in Manhattan on May 21, 2011.  In its second year, the Pet Show brought together dog lovers and owners from all over the New York metro area to celebrate man's best friend and share tips on how to live a happier, Read More

Victoria featured on AOL’s You’ve Got… Series

Posted on: May 25, 2011 - 1 Comment

Victoria was featured on AOL's popular "You've Got" series of videos on Wednesday, May 25, 2011.  In the short video segment, Victoria describes why it's so important to have a positive relationship with your dog based on trust and respect rather than fear and intimidation.  She also provides some basic tips for owners whose dogs Read More

Being Nice to Your Dog is Good Science!

Posted on: May 11, 2011 - 4 Comments

All living things thrive on positive feedback – people, dolphins and very importantly, your dog! Positive training for companion animals is fast becoming the preferred method of dog training. One of non-aversive dog training's most prominent advocates, The Journal of Veterinary Behavior (2006) in their article, "Good Trainers: How to Identify One",  recommends dog-friendly dog Read More

Top 10 Things to Teach Your Dog

Posted on: March 17, 2011 - 11 Comments

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

Help for the Fearful Dog

Posted on: February 7, 2011 - 17 Comments

“Lilly” certainly was little. She measured just up to the high end of my ankle and it made me shiver to think of what it was like to live down there with all the giant humans and bigger dogs tramping all over the place. Nevertheless, I’ve seen many confident, even overly-confident toy breed pups that Read More

Top 10 Ways to Say “Thank You” to Your Dog During the Holiday Season…Part II

Posted on: December 12, 2010 - 1 Comment

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