Welcome to Positively!

Hello and welcome to the new online home of positive reinforcement dog training!  I’ve been planning the development of this website ever since it became clear to me that a unified voice was needed to help let the public know that there’s a better way to train their dogs… Positively!

For the past five years, I’ve filmed almost 100 episodes of my show, It’s Me or the Dog.  When I first started shooting, positive reinforcement was still the dog training philosophy with the most momentum in terms of educating the public about training methods based on modern behavioral science.  For the past 40 or so years, amazing trainers and behaviorists like Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, Karen Pryor, Nick Dodman (all of whom deliver their fantastic knowledge as Expert Bloggers on this site!) and many others have been moving the needle of public awareness away from the traditional, yank-em-crank-em, dominate-your-dog-into-submission style of dog training and towards the use of positive reinforcement.  This gradual shift had been gaining in popularity and awareness, as more and more people continue to see positive results while building mutual trust and respect with their dogs.  Most dog owners prefer to train their dogs using rewards and constructive discipline, rather than using more punitive training methods, because they want their dog to WANT to behave rather than having their dog behave only because he is scared of what will happen to him if he doesn’t.

A lot of this may seem like common sense, especially when you see the parallel progress we’ve made as a society in the way we raise our children.  Of course dogs are not children, but many of the same general behavioral philosophies apply – using reward to reinforce positive behavior and discipline to guide rather than to instill fear.  Modern behavioral science has shown that dogs have a lot more in common with us humans than people and trainers may have thought 50 years ago – they feel emotions similar to ours (fear, anger, joy, excitement, social insecurity, even love) – so it’s important to understand that many of the same basic philosophies we use now with children can be applied successfully to training your dog.

As clear as this issue may seem, unfortunately there are still those who use dominance-based techniques to train dogs.  There is less of an emphasis on understanding WHY a behavior is occurring and more of a desire to get a ‘quick fix’ and suppress bad behavior with punitive means.  The dangerous thing about doing this is that quick fixes can quickly come unstuck.  The dog might not be doing the behavior because it is afraid of his owner’s reaction, but he still feels the same way inside, and one day those feelings will come to the surface again, and even more intensely than before.  Similarly, dominance trainers will often treat ‘fire with fire’ in the sense that they combat what are most commonly insecurity or fear-based issues, such as aggression, with punitive methods that create more fear.  Some may say that the dogs aren’t fearful of a dominance trainer, but when you really look at it, you can see the difference.  For example a dominance trainer will often ‘flood’ a dog who is anxious and aggressive around other dogs, by forcing the dog into a situation where it is surrounded by lots of dogs it doesn’t know, forcing the dog to refrain from responding when inundated with that stimulus the dog fears most until the dog ‘submits’ to the fact that there’s nothing he can do.  The dog doesn’t react when it is surrounded by all the other dogs and the technique is therefore labeled a great success – the dog is cured!  But what would you do if you as a human were scared of other humans and had a habit of lashing out at people walking past in an effort to get them away from you, but were then forced into an environment where you were surrounded by thirty or more people?  Would you lash out in that scenario or would you be worried that if you did you would get attacked back?  Chances are if you’re smart and want to survive, you are going to shut down and not do anything until you are out of that situation and in your comfort zone again.  Then your reaction to just one person going past you might be even worse because the stress and trauma you felt being flooded by so many people has made your fear worse.

The same dog being treated with positive reinforcement would slowly be desensitized to the presence of other dogs in a controlled environment with constant praise and rewards whenever he had a calm response.  Eventually, more dogs are added and the dog is set up for success by teaching it to literally feel differently about the presence of that which once caused such a fearful response.  It may take a little longer, but it’s safer and, more importantly, humane and effective for the dog.

A main reason why I think a lot of dominance trainers take the approach that they do is because if they do take the time to find out why a situation is occurring they often fundamentally misdiagnose what is causing the problem in the first place.  If a dog is aggressive then often that aggression is attributed to a dog trying to be an ‘alpha dog’ or boss of all the other dogs.  In order to treat this aggression the dog will often be ‘put in its place’ with punitive methods such as ‘alpha rolls,’ where a dog is forcibly put onto its back or side and held there by the owner until it submits, so that it recognizes that it is not the alpha.  But think about it – most aggressive response is not a dog’s attempt to usurp others, but a demonstration of a lack of confidence and insecurity.  Punishing that insecurity just serves to increase the insecurity even more.   The aggressive behavior might look confident and dominant but there is always an underlying discomfort.  Think of the bully in the playground.  Is the child who bullies other children a secure or insecure child?  Nine times out of ten the bully is the insecure kid.  Confident children don’t feel the need to bully, and the same dynamic can be said of dogs.  Misdiagnosing the reason for the aggression and suppressing that aggression with punitive training means that the dog is made even more insecure and that insecurity has the potential to surface again, possibly more violently than before.  A positive reinforcement trainer will recognize that most aggression is not a dog trying to be alpha but a dog that is aggressing because it is trying to control situations or stimuli around him that make him feel uncomfortable.  The positive trainer will then find non threatening ways to train the dog to feel more comfortable around the stimuli, with the result that this confidence means there is no need for the dog to behave aggressively.   

Sometimes this debate can get frustrating, because so much of the positive reinforcement argument is based on common sense.  Unfortunately there are still a lot of owners and trainers out there who feel that their machismo or manliness might be called into question if they do anything that’s misperceived as letting a dog be the ‘pack leader’ over them.  To those, this debate is likely a lost cause and destined to go nowhere since we’d ultimately be debating two completely different things, but I and the rest of the Positively community will continue our efforts to bring awareness of positive reinforcement back to the forefront of the popular consciousness. I see progress being made every day on both small and large scales.  Have a look around this site, read the other wonderful Expert Blogger entries, and come back often to check for new info. 

Lastly, if your dog were to choose how it would like to learn, would it choose reward based positive training or more punitive, dominance methods?  I’m sure I know what my answer would be.

 

Welcome!


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40 thoughts on “Welcome to Positively!

  1. Tara Choules

    Thanks for this website. It's a breath of fresh air and hopefully it will help to open people eyes so they may take a good look at the dog being trained. I see fear, anxiety and learned helplessness in so many dogs on the other very popular dog training show and sadly the public miss this because they are not looking at the dog and not understanding the effect that this kind of training is having on the human to dog relationship.

    We really hope that your show gains popularity and that it reaches more and more people.

    Good Luck with this website and thanks again.

    Regards,
    Tara Choules MAPDT 00852, CCPDT
    http://www.dogtrainingireland.ie

  2. Debbie Delaney

    Thank you. Your thinking is exactly what and how I believe all dogs should be handled. My puppy is still learning and has lots of fears but we are working with him and our trainer thinks like you think. We love it...

  3. kez

    hiya im a huge fan and i agree with your methods so much iv watched every episode of its me or the dog and i think its made a huge improvement in the way i train my dogs and they have changed alot as well for the better i have an american bulldog and a cane corso cross i had my american bulldog castrated yesterday as he was getting a bit snappy around his food and he was very dominent and he seems to have calmed down already but hes only 11 months so i dont expect him to be calm all the time as hes still a pup any way i could sit here for hours chatting about dogs but i know your a busy woman . just one quick question do you know how i can get my american bulldog to stop weeing on his bed he wont wee anywere else in the house just on his bed very strange ?? many thanx kez xx

  4. Anthea

    Dear Victoria, I am such an admirer of your great work. I've learnt so much from you, and I really respect your positive approach and sentiments. Wishing you all the very best now and in the future, Anthea

  5. Cynthia

    Thank you thank you, Victoria. I'm an Applied Behavior Analyst (still in training) who gets so excited to see you using behavioral principles and even some jargon. One of the saddest things about dominance training is the decades of research that are ignored. Every dominance trainer should have to watch the YouTube video of Skinner training a pigeon to turn around. I think it took about 1 minute. People talk about looking at wolves as models for doggie parents. That's like going to the zoo and copying what chimps do to raise your children. Keep up the great work!

  6. Maria Titomichelaki

    Hallo from Greece Victoria!
    I admire you so much, I never miss even one episode of the "its me or the dog" and I learn so many wonderful things!
    I never had a dog in my life, I m plan to buy this year from a legal beeder in UK, a female bichon bolognese (this is the kind of dog which I like to live with), but first, I colect information from internet etc, so I can be a good "mama" for my dog!!!
    Victoria, congratulation about your work, you are the best!!!

  7. Sarah

    Thank you for everything you do 🙂 I've no doubt you have saved a lot of dogs lives and anyone who does this is an absolute star in my book.

    I hope to mee you one day, but hopefully not because my dogs are total nutters 😉

    Wait, I told you a lie. They already are! 😀

    Good luck in the future I have no doubt you will continue on to bigger and better things.

  8. Marcy

    Hello Victoria,

    It's great to see a positve trainer on T.V. and showing that there are better ways to train a dog. Keep up the great work you do!

  9. Joyce Moore

    The biggest compliment I get when doing an in home private lesson is "you remind me of Victoria Stillwell." They love your methods and enjoy your show. I am so pleased to be able to suggest my clients watch "It's Me or the Dog" Thank you for all you do for positive reinforcement.

  10. Irina Risukhina

    Dear Victoria,

    It breaks my heart to know what is going on in many Puppy Mills. They must be outlawed in the country. Reputable breeders & backyard ones will supply just enough pups & thus the issue of overpopulation will be solved. Can you start the compain please? Many many people will support you!

    Thank you for your kind work & expertise!

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  12. Judith Senfeld

    Hi Victoria,
    We adore your It's Me or the Dog Show. My 13 year old son is autistic so prior to getting our rescue dog we watched you for months. My son is very literal thinking and I was determined to help him learn to train a dog properly. I have used much of your techniques on him when he was young but I wanted him to participate in the process and even go further. We now have our rescue dachshund (my 6th so I knew we were going to have a barking issue, I wasn't wrong). I can't imagine us going through this process without you. You are not only helping my dog but my son as well as his self esteem is elevated when he uses one of your techniques and it works immediately. I watch him turn his back on the dog without any discussion and our Kramer will know his behavior is inappropriate and he has no chance of getting what he wants using his methods. WE LOVE YOU!!!!! We really need a clicker. I believe it will help with some issues and we don't want to yell. I've been redirecting my son's inappropriate behavior for years and now he is doing it with the dog. Never thought I'd live to see something like this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Our house (2 cats as well) is filled with love and positive reinforcements for all. Oh, my son wants you to be on The Greatest American Dog again. That's when we first saw you. He LOVED that show. We still talk about the malteese going under the elephant. Our dachshund would actually bark at an elephant!!!!

  13. Patty

    thanks Victoria for this web site, I love the show. I agree with your training methods and try to apply the training methods on my two beagle girls. Sometimes with success and sometimes not. When my husband see's them doing something and then see's how I react he will say "Victoria would be appauled if she saw what you are doing". Im the one who has to have a stronger hand and not give in to them.

    Thanks again for all your training advice.

    Patty Cipriani
    Chicago Illinois

  14. Julie Idding

    Hi Victoria~

    I have been a certified dog trainer through Animal Behavior College for about a year and half. I watch your show often and can so identify with your love and appreciation of the canine spirit and energy. At the same time, I identify with the frustration with the humans looking for a "quick fix" for a PERFECT dog. Your show is good therapy for me to know that I am not alone when I shake my head in amazement!

    Thank you for getting the word out to train with trust not fear.

    Julie Iddings, ABCDT

  15. Skye

    Victoria,

    Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your training techniques with us. My education in training dogs started about 40 years ago when I was 14 and acquired a German Shepherd puppy who was extremely dominant and weighed as much as I did once grown. The techniques I was shown worked, but only because she was a very smart dog. Worked for other dogs in the family, but then came the JRT and it was a disaster. Finally, I adopted a collie, then got involved in collie rescue and became very attached to the breed. What I lhad earned about training dogs would have been cruel beyond words to use on a soft, gentle collie, and I knew I had to find a new way to train. I had read Karen Prior's book long ago, and
    it helped, but then I saw your show and realized your motivational training is ideal.

    I now have 5 collies of my own, and all but one are double dilute/white merle/double dapple or whatever you care to call it, the result of merle-to-merle breedings. Three are visualliy challenged and my big male has minimal hearing in one ear and no eyes at all. Yet Piper is trained in basic obedience, with commands through touch. Okay, his recall is rather wobbly because he has to find me first (requires a lot of shrill whistling and jumping up and down on my part so he can feel the vibrations), but he can do it. I am so proud of him, and none of this could have been accomplished without having learned training in the new way from you. My collies and I thank you, and we hope you will continue to spread the word on training with kindness for a long time.

  16. Pam

    Hello Victoria!

    Wow! Your positive ways are the only ways! You have a great way with words and really get the point accross effectively, and with good humor, I must say.
    You have a great sense of what 'is really going on' behind behaviors. Funnily enough, positive behavior works so very well! (And even on humans! Imagine the world with these principles applied!). .
    I live on an estate, often with care of two of the best black labs ever! These dogs have the best life! They are always sooo happy, and are so joyous when we return home; even if we are only away a half an hour or less!. They also mind very well and are affectionate, easy going and great with other dogs. I learn how to be a better human being from these two labs every day and am delighted to be blessed to be in their lives. What more can you ask for, I ask you!?
    I have done LOTS of pet sitting and by way of necessity have done lots of training too. My experience with some of the other pets that I've encountered really makes me appreciate these two best of all labs!
    My approach is about 'being with' animals, observing their behavior, feeling them, their energy and tuning in to them. Basically ~ lovingly seeing them behaving perfectly. Only possitive behavior and feedback is necessary.
    The way you put into words: what the dogs would say to their owners (if only they could!) is just so 'spot on'!!!
    I have felt a kinship with you in a sense, upon seeing you on tv; and have really enjoyed your show!
    Growing up, I was regularly put in an outdoor pen with a friend of my Mom's golden retriever and her puppies, while the 'adults' had a visit of their own, I discovered heaven! This experience was one of the most important and impactful in my life, and began a lifelong and forever love of all animals. Right then and there, I decided that I wanted to be around dogs ~ always. I have an uncanny sense of commumnication with them... and other animals as well. My sister calls me 'the cat whisperer'.
    I am interested in becoming a 'professional trainer'... though looking into this has brought up the issue of where, as the methods likely will not be in keeping with the positive direction in which I want to go.
    Have you ever thought about organizing some training for those of us who are already 'on board' and part way there... to exponentially spread these positively positive ways??? Or even an online training course, for parts of it with hands training for other parts??? Please, please, please consider me, should you ever decide to do so! If you never will, would you mind referring me to a likeminded training course?

    Thanx so very much!

    Pam

  17. Sebastian Garth

    Thank you, Victoria, for working so hard to spread the awareness of positive reinforcement methods. The significance of your work cannot be overemphasized! I think I speak for everyone when I say that you are an incredible woman and a true gem. Take care, and all of the best to you and your family.

  18. Katrina Kiefer

    Sigh....I really dislike all or nothing thinking. For more information about dog behavior and and how you all can help your clients understand what's really going on in the minds of their pets, I recommend you have them read the following books from Stanley Coren. "The Intelligence of Dogs" and "How to Speak Dog". They're accurate and scholarly, but also written in an engaging manner that's easier for the general public to enjoy. I also recommend the National Geographic Series "Dogs" on video or DVD for some insight about animal behavior you may be missing out on.

    I learn something new every day, if I'm paying attention. Thank you for your knowledge and insight Ms. Stilwell. Anything that furthers the education of potential dog owners is a little victory for dogs in need everywhere. I hope to see your show remain on the air until your Ms. Goodall's age, and that your campaign accomplishes everything you dream for dogs.

    Katrina Kiefer

  19. Tiina

    Hello Victoria!

    I'm very happy that I found you web sites. I just watch you show on tv. I'm goin in the school where I learn to be a dog trainer and I absolutely admire you way to train the dogs. I want also become a trainer who shows that dogs learn with positive methods and I want people to learn how to "speak" with their dog in dog language.
    Best wishes to you and your family and all dogs in ypuf life.

  20. Steve Dale

    Victoria, we've not met - so consider this a fan letter....We need a clear leader, who consistently does what is appropriately humane for dogs and their people - and you are it! I am grateful for not only an engaging TV show starring our best friends, but for making a difference...Treating dogs with the love and respect we should shower on our best friends.

    My only complaint - the type as I write this blog comment is very small....

    Other than that, I love what you do! Thank you!

    Steve Dale

  21. BJ Mattson

    Dear Victoria

    I refer people to your website frequently, in addition to recommending your show for examples, as I am a cat person and want to ensure they get good, solid advice.

    I've also encouraged cat owners to praise and treat their felines when they want to encourage a behavior, such as using the litterbox. In at least one case, that has been helpful (well, along with some other modifications of the owner behaviors!)

    BJ

  22. johanna

    I LOVE THE SHOW AND WATCH IT EVERY CHABGE I GET. I HAVE A 3 YEAR OLD PIT AND I THOUGHT HER FROM ANIMAL PLANET AND FOUND OUT ABOUT PAAETIVEFEY TRANING IT HELPED ME ALOT BABY MY PIT STILL HAS A LOT TO LEARN AS WLL AS MY LITTLE MUT AGE 2 HIS NAME IS TORNADO CAUSE SHE IS LIKE A TORNADO WHEN YOU OPEN I FOUND BOTH OF THEM ON THE STREET. BUT WITH ANIMAL PLANET THE ARE GETTING A LITTLE BETTER THANK YOU FOR THE SHOW IT REALLY HELPS ME ,
    THANK YOU FROM ME BABY,TORNADO AND THE CAT LITTLE IGIRL.
    THANK YOU JOHANNA IN LAS VEGAS NV

  23. Sheila

    I love the show and watch as much as I can. We have a young pit, Beauty, at the office and she is a pistol. I try to train her but her "owner" lets her get away with pretty much everything. We also have a male pit, Brownie, that lets her take bones and toys away from him after he gives her a few warning growls. He is such a push over. The oldest dog, Bob (female), we have is a bayou mutt who is 10 yrs old. She does not like the new pit. Mainly because whenever any of us arrive at the office in the morning or any other part of the day the young pit starts licking the older dog around the mouth. Looks like Beauty is cleaning Bobs teeth. The young one has a few small scars around her nose for this behavior but she still does it. She is so bull headed and stubborn.
    Keep up the good work Victoria, and yes, I prefer your methods as to Dog Whisperer.

  24. Annie

    Thank you, Victoria. I appreciate your techniques so much and it has turned my Old English Sheepdog around. As you know, these dogs have minds of their own and my sweet alpha OES wanted to dominate me. I’ve had him in training since he was a pup and unfortunately not always positive training, which led to added anxiety, I think. I worked hard with him but something wasn’t working. One day he growled and snipped at me, actually drawing blood. I became discouraged and called the trainer who became very tough on him. While it did work, I felt that something was not working right. I said a little prayer and that night I happened to watch your show and it happened to be on some of my dog’s issues. I watched and as I watched I worked with the techniques that you were teaching the owners with my OES. I didn’t even have to say anything, just used hand signals and treats. I immediately knew that my pup needed this type of training. From that moment on, he started turning around. He is the sweet boy that I knew he was. I continue to work with him each day and it is paying off big time! Thank you again, Victoria!

  25. April

    Hello Victoria! I wanted to let you know that your approach to training has been such a wonderful tool for my husband and me. We have two dogs (both rescues) that we love very much, but of course, both of them have some behaviors we've been trying to correct for years. I've read different philosophies and sought much advice on dog training, and though I've seen some improvement with my dogs' behavior, I never felt any of the methods were 100% effective. I know that I still have a lot to learn myself about how to interpret my dogs' thinking and WHY they behave the way they do, so I appreciate your approach so much! Everything from positive reinforcement and praise to diet and holistic remedies are so right on with what I believe in! I want to thank you and your organization for your hard work and dedication. I believe it's important to have well-behaved dogs, so knowing what to do to deal with bad behavior is great! I look forward to learning more, and my dogs Tucker and Hailey are also very happy to have a "mommy" and "daddy" who are using positive reinforcement. By the way, the "hide the treat under the cup" game is a huge hit in my house! Whenever I bring out the cups to play the game, they get so excited! Take care and thanks again for everything:)

  26. Jane E

    Hi Victoria, I really like your positive approach on dog training. I frequently watch your show and try to apply your methods to my dogs. A couple of things I don't quite understand though. What is the difference between the command-"watch me" and "focus"? Also what is the difference between a "heel" command and the "close" command.

  27. Lindsey

    Thanks for every thing you do! I am so glad you are a dog trainer! I have no clue what I would do without you. Thanks for everything! I know how to train my puppy, Maya very well. If I never had watched your shows, I wouldn't know so much about dogs! Thanks sssooo much again, Victoria!

  28. Ryan

    Hi! I am 8 years old and a HUGE fan! I LOVE your show.I always wanted an autographed photo of you and your dogs. My friend Lacie and I always get in BIG talks about her favorite trainer Caesar and you. You are the best ever!!! I learn so much from your show. I'll be watching!

    Your Fan,
    Ryan (I'm a girl Ryan!)

  29. George Stevens

    Our family has been watching your show for a while now and have learned a great deal about how to relate and interact with dogs in general as well as our own dog. I am coming to learn that before I can train my dog, I first need to retrain myself. I would like to know what kind of treats it is that you use for positive reinforcement. My dachsund is a very picky eater, and I would like to find a food he likes as well as treats that he cannot resist. Just curious if there is a specific brand or type of treat that you find more affective in keeping a dog's attention.

  30. Kayla

    Dear Victoria,
    I AM YOUR #1 FAN!!!!!!!!! My dream is to someday meet you!!! You are the best dog trainer ever!!!!!! I would really like your autograph and OF COURSE TO MEET YOU SOMEDAY!!!!!!!! Sometimes I pretend that I am you,the dog trainer, and I am training the dogs and giving the owners some of your AWESOME tips!!! My sister and I always watch your 'It's Me or The Dog' shows!! You could say that we LOVE your shows!!! If you have the time to write back please do!! Someday I want to be like you but that will be a while because I am only 9. PLEASE write back either to me on your website http://www.xxxxxxxxx.com or by calling us at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thanks!!! You #1 fan Kayla M.

  31. alessio

    non conosco l' inglese ma spero che ti arrivi questo messaggio! victoria scusami ma sei stupendamente bella ( amo i capelli lunghi lisci ) complimenti per la trasmissione sulla rete SKY e la inverosimile pazienza inglese . comunque vivissimi complimenti! !! - alessio reale via comasina 57 20161 milano italia ( tel. 02 6456480 grazie e ciao, avrei molte cose da chiederti spero di risentirti ancora )...

  32. Jennifer

    This is a great website Victoria ! I am currently reading your first book , and plan to work with my chi using the clicker training method ! We have a dachund that is still a puppy and a lab ! The puppy tends to get biten alot by either the lab or my chi ! Both times has drown blood !

  33. Cathy

    Victoria- I have to tell you I love the show-and i watch it every chance that I get. I was just recently given a 5 yr old golden retreiver-she is the lite of my day-we have had no real issues as she came to me pretty much with manners and house broke- but we have had to just tweek a few things and I must say the clicker training is marvelous. She isn't quite sure what the body blocking is about but she gets it and does get praise especially now since all i do is get up and say back(good girl!!). I might add that she is the first dog that i have had on my own and she is just a joy. Thank you for your help!!!

  34. Ilona

    Thank you for this wonderful website. People laugh at me because I ask my dog plitely "may I put you on the lead?" She happily sits down to have her lead clipped on.Respect and politness work fine, for humans and for dogs.

    We go jogging togehter, and my dog, an Irish setter will not leave my side - most of the time off the lead (not along busy roads!). We are a team, and we are both learners for life. In our training sessions, we learn together, and sometimes we have a good laugh when we muddle it all up.But most impoertant, my dog listens to me, and some people say that she is the best mannered dog on the doggy beach!

    It is so important to spread the word. Not only is dominance based training unnecessary - it can be dangerous.

  35. dervy

    Hi Victoria
    I relly dont want to sound lke a typical fan, but I probably will end up sounding like one.
    I am only a12 year old girl, and I love your show, your website, your book, and all of your methods.
    I dont have a dog, or any pets, but I regularly go walking with a friend who has 2 Bernese Mountain Dogs.
    I would love to meet yu some day, and though I know it is very urealistic, I would love to work with you to train dogs.
    I have just finished 7 months of research into dog training, a lot of which has involved your methods, which i write down as I watch your show. I am currently trying to set up a dog training group in my village with an adult friend. I would love it if you could possibly write an article about the legalities of setting up a dog training group, with things in it like:
    How old you have to be
    Quaifications you need
    And maybe some other advice about setting up a class or group!

    I love everythng you do,
    Good Luck for the future (I'm sure you won't need it)
    Dervy

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  38. Diane

    Thankyou so much for this website and all the resources it has to offer. I read the above page and agree whole-heartedly with all that was said- I truly couldn't agree more. I am a first time dog owner (my girl has just turned 4) and have always wanted to do things in a positive way with her. I've seen too many horrors in the past to ever want to do anything other than with positive and gentle reward based methods. Never ever ever would I strike her or get physical with her or want her to live in fear. I couldn't live with myself if I did. Although I recognise I need to be a leader for her safety, and to teach her how to get along well in the human world, I like to view us as a team- she gets to communicate, make decisions (within boundaries) and express and ask for what she needs, and I as the leader am responsible for meeting her needs, keeping her safe, and helping her live the best life possible. Unfortunately she had a terribly traumatic experience where she was attacked by two other dogs who weren't properly fenced, and it took me so long to get her walking again, and we are still experiencing some big fear based problems even after so long. That's why I am so thankful for websites such as this - expert help based on awesome philosophy and most of all positive and the very opposite of punitive- THANKYOU.

  39. Ana

    Victoria admiro tu gran trabajo, gracias por enseñarnos a cuidar a nuestras mascotas de una manera sana y real.

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