Posted on: August 11, 2020 - No Comments
If you ask a group of dog trainers to define what an aversive means, you will get many different answers as well as some spirited discussion. Regarding behavior modification techniques, an aversive is ‘the avoidance of a thing, situation, or behavior that is achieved by using an unpleasant or punishing stimulus.’
Posted on: July 22, 2020 - No Comments
“Sit! Sit! Sit!” Have you ever asked your dog to ‘sit’ and when she does not respond you repeat the cue again and again, getting louder and louder each time you say it?
Posted on: July 12, 2020 - No Comments
As the modern dog’s role continues to evolve from that of working dog to companion animal, there is more pressure on all dogs to cope and behave well in an increasingly busy human world.
Posted on: July 8, 2020 - No Comments
I don’t participate in competitive dog sports or obedience trials, but I do love watching dogs and their handlers having fun, and appreciate how much time it takes on both sides to become proficient.
Posted on: May 29, 2019 - 1 Comment
We as humans have made such progress with how we view dogs, but it seems with so many steps forward, we take a few more steps back At one time, dogs were given far more freedom than they have now, many having at least the daytime run of their neighborhoods. But that freedom also came Read More
Posted on: December 19, 2017 - No Comments
K9 officer Shawn Humphreys talks with Victoria and Holly about the world of police dog training, its challenges, and the changes he’s noticing with his move towards more positive training. Also, new VSA course dates, how to find a licensed trainer as well as leash-walking and separation anxiety issues.
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?
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
Posted on: September 8, 2016 - 4 Comments
Those of us who help modify dog behavior for a living have to try and not see things during the course of our daily life.
Posted on: November 30, 2015 - 3 Comments
OK, let’s be honest here: Can positive training really work with an 11-year-old feral dog? Yes. Yes, it can.
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
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.
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
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
Posted on: February 20, 2014 - No Comments
A new study released in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior reveals what many of us in the dog behavior field have long known to be true: that positive reinforcement training is beneficial for a dog's overall well-being and the canine-human bond, and that aversive training has detrimental effects on both. For the first time, trained Read More
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
Posted on: January 20, 2014 - No Comments
Has your life or your dog's life been changed using Victoria's positive dog training methods? Submit your success story and you could be featured on the upcoming brand new Positively website. Join the Positively movement, and your voice can help encourage others to take the leap and commit to using only force-free methods with their Read More
Posted on: January 6, 2014 - 4 Comments
Victoria Stilwell has the most awesome fans. You are passionate about animals, care deeply about promoting positive approaches to animal training, and want to make this world a more compassionate place. Take a moment and congratulate yourself (in our culture, it isn’t always easy to follow the positive path.) Many of my clients (I’m Read More
Posted on: January 3, 2014 - 1 Comment
If you're adopting a dog this new year or choosing a puppy, think carefully about how you will select, socialize and train the new addition to the family. Read More
Posted on: November 8, 2013 - 4 Comments
It never fails—someone always says it. In a recent online discussion about a trainer known for using less-than-gentle methods, someone made a comment that sounded a lot like this: “Positive training is fine for smaller dogs and puppies, and maybe even some adults, but there are some dogs that need a heavier hand.” Really? Because that sounds an awful lot like justification for jerking, yanking, shocking, and other things done to dogs in the name of training.
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.
Posted on: July 27, 2013 - 1 Comment
Xena is a pitbull mix whose amazing transformation from a neglected, emaciated puppy to a thriving companion dog for Jonny, a boy with autism, has made national headlines. The bond between Jonny and Xena is incredible.
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
Posted on: January 21, 2013 - 6 Comments
Like Dr. King, the battle to change people's perceptions of how we should interact with our dogs is an uphill fight. But as the evidence from the scientific community continues to mount and our collective willingness allow others to treat pets more like livestock than cherished family members erodes, it becomes clearer and clearer that there is no alternative in sight but to win the fight.
Posted on: November 18, 2011 - 4 Comments
Discussion of new study regarding the way kids are disciplined & how it relates to dog training. Also: author Bob Vetere on how +R training applies to business.
Posted on: February 16, 2010 - 3 Comments
Fortunately there’s lots of good news around these days about positive dog training methods. Note: positive does not equate with permissive; it involves setting limits, having reasonable expectations, paying attention to and helping a dog achieve desired behaviors, rewarding such behaviors and ignoring (or tsk-tsking) unwanted or objectionable behaviors. Yes, the yin-yang approach of reward Read More