Victoria’s Blog

authorname

Positively Expert: Victoria Stilwell

Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned dog trainer best known as the star of the internationally acclaimed TV series, It’s Me or the Dog. A bestselling author, Stilwell frequently appears in the media as a pet expert and is widely recognized and respected as a leader in the field of animal behavior.


Why I’m Not a Purely Positive Dog Trainer

Posted on: September 22, 2020 - No Comments

First of all, I have certainly never referred to myself as a ‘purely positive’ dog trainer, but I have heard many others – usually pretty vocal opponents of humane modern dog training – label me and others with that description.

Becoming a Dog Trainer

Posted on: September 20, 2020 - No Comments

Since It’s Me or the Dog first aired back in 2005, I have received thousands of emails, letters, social media messages and phone calls from dog lovers around the world who saw me working with dogs on TV and wanted to do the same (but usually not on TV).

Social Bullying

Posted on: September 15, 2020 - No Comments

Have you ever received negative comments or been bullied on social media? If you have then you understand how bad it can make you feel and how damaging it can be. This week’s post is not about dogs, but this is a conversation we all need to be having right now, and that is why I am sharing what has happened to me since I became known in the media world.

Does Your Dog Respect You?

Posted on: September 13, 2020 - No Comments

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” In the film ‘The Blues Brothers,’ Aretha Franklin sings about her need for some respect. The words of the song are as applicable today in human relationships as they were then, but what does the word actually mean?

Differences Between Male and Female Dogs

Posted on: September 8, 2020 - No Comments

I’ve only ever had female dogs. This has never been a conscious choice on my part, I just fell in love and adopted dogs that happened to be female. I don’t know if things would be any different if I had a male dog in the house, but people often ask me what the behavioral differences between male and female dogs are and if gender either influences or suits one lifestyle over another.

The Reactive Dog

Posted on: September 6, 2020 - No Comments

Do you have a dog that becomes restless in certain situations? Does she bark, whine, urinate, defecate, or vocalize inappropriately? Does she excessively lick herself, spin in circles or chase her tail? Does she jump up at you or other people, lunge towards other dogs or run up and down the perimeter of your fence?

Today I Was Called a Snowflake

Posted on: September 1, 2020 - No Comments

A new study led by biologist Ana Catarina Viera de Castro of the Universidae do Porto in Portugal reveals that shouting at dogs and using punitive methods to train them does short and long term damage, while using reward based methods yields better results both for learning and emotional health.

The Dog Meat Farms of South Korea

Posted on: August 30, 2020 - No Comments

I won’t ever forget the faces that stared at me as I approached them; faces of dogs that had been subjected to a life of neglect and abuse at the hands of a cruel, relentless industry.

How IMOTD Changed Me As a Dog Trainer

Posted on: August 25, 2020 - No Comments

We all have dreams. For a long time, my two dreams were to be a good actor and to have the opportunity to make a living as a dog trainer.

The W-Underdogs – Kids Save Dogs, Dogs Save Kids

Posted on: August 23, 2020 - No Comments

In a shabby, litter strewn, overgrown neighborhood in south Atlanta stands an old, white house with peeling paint and rotting wood.

The Power of Management

Posted on: August 18, 2020 - No Comments

A trainer’s most important job is to help people live harmoniously with their dogs and sometimes the only thing that is needed to create harmony is effective management.

Labeling Dog Behavior

Posted on: August 16, 2020 - No Comments

Every dog lover uses labels to describe their dog’s personality – my dog is ‘aggressive’, ‘stupid’ ‘highly driven,’ ‘lazy,’ ‘stubborn,’ ‘happy,’ or ‘dominant,’ but labels can be misleading and limit a dog’s potential.

Using Aversives

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.’

Avoiding Bites In Shelters

Posted on: August 9, 2020 - No Comments

Working or volunteering in a shelter is a rewarding but sometimes challenging job. No matter how lovely a shelter might be in terms of design, the animals housed within its walls will still experience the stress that comes from abandonment and transition.

Needs and Wants

Posted on: August 5, 2020 - No Comments

The Human-Animal Bond is the connection between a human and a pet and includes the development of emotional attachment to that pet, with genuine feelings of affection and a sense of responsibility for their well-being.

Dogs and Exercise

Posted on: - No Comments

The benefits of good exercise for dogs and people are well known. Exercise improves physical fitness and releases endorphins and opioids in the brain, promoting an overall feeling of wellbeing.

The Most Important Job

Posted on: August 2, 2020 - No Comments

When I first started training dogs I was thrown into the deep end. I had run a successful dog walking business in Wimbledon, but didn’t handle many dogs who had a bite history.

Night Time Vocals

Posted on: July 29, 2020 - No Comments

If you have ever raised a puppy you know what it’s like to have sleepless nights. It’s inevitable that to begin with, some puppies have a hard time adjusting to a new home and vocalize their discomfort and loneliness, particularly at night.

Why We Love Dogs

Posted on: July 26, 2020 - No Comments

I have just returned from walking my dogs, which is always a social experience, judging by the amount of people I talk to while I’m out. I usually walk in the local park, which takes me past a playground.

Confusing Cues

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?

Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t

Posted on: July 19, 2020 - No Comments

There are many hot button issues in the dog world that cause spirited conversations and disagreements, including what training methods you should use and when you should or shouldn’t use words such as ‘dominance’ and ‘pack.’

How To Not Be a Rude Dog Owner

Posted on: July 15, 2020 - No Comments

I’m a dog lover and I want everyone to be as passionate about these amazing animals as I am. I would also like to take my dogs with me to more places, and I believe if people were a little more responsible, dogs might be accepted in more public areas than are currently allowed.

Managing Your Overwhelmed Dog

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.

Obedience

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.

Coping With Fear

Posted on: July 5, 2020 - No Comments

I’m flying to Portland, Oregon, from Los Angeles and the pilot has just told us that there will be turbulence the closer we get to Portland. It is 53 degrees at our destination with rain and gusty winds. He tells us that our descent is likely to be very bumpy.

The Emergency Drop It

Posted on: July 1, 2020 - No Comments

I lived with a Labrador. She was a hungry hound who was on a constant mission to find food wherever and whenever she could get it. When she reached the grand old age of 16 I thought her food obsession might diminish a little, but it remained as strong as ever.

Why I Marched

Posted on: June 7, 2020 - No Comments

I marched today in peaceful support of the change needed regarding the lack of true justice and equality for people of color and minorities. Here's my message to the haters.