(Click photo below to watch Victoria’s interview with CNN.)
TV dog trainer Victoria Stilwell is registering an official complaint: “Dogs aren’t allowed to be dogs anymore,” she says. “It’s great they’re living in our homes, but they have less freedom.”
Stilwell, best known from the Animal Planet show “It’s Me or the Dog,” explains that all dogs were all bred to do something, but today most are unemployed with no outlet to express natural behaviors.
“Dogs share our bedrooms. We love them. But how often are we there for them? We’re so busy now,” she says.
All these factors combined explain why today’s dogs are suffering from more behavior problems, according to Stilwell…
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Completely-redesigned Positively.com leads the way in dog training, behavior and wellness.
ATLANTA, Oct. 28, 2014
World renowned dog trainer and behavior expert Victoria Stilwell (It’s Me or the Dog, Animal Planet) has launched the ultimate dog-related website at Positively.com. Featuring beautifully redesigned and easy-to-navigate layouts, Victoria’s expert advice and a suite of comprehensive, feature-rich content platforms, the new website is the result of several years’ worth of development and extensive public feedback integration…
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Victoria Stilwell is the famous face of “positive” dog-training and the star of Animal Planet’s show “It’s Me or the Dog.” At a recent lecture in Pittsburgh, she shared some tricks of her trade.
Stilwell believes that kids and dogs “should be raised in a force-free way.” Positive training “does not mean we do not say ‘no’ to a dog. It does not mean there are no boundaries,” she said.
“If you like a dog’s behavior, reward it. Positive training is about motivating a dog to love learning. Whatever your dog likes, use it — food, toys,” praise and petting, she said. “When you go to work, do you get paid? Food is not bribery. It’s powerful. Just don’t use it all the time. Use it sometimes.”
Confrontational methods and abusive handling don’t work in the long run, she believes, and they may make dogs behave aggressively. Training tools she dislikes include prong and shock collars, electric fences, long hours on a chain or tie-out and the “alpha roll,” in which trainers force a dog down onto the ground and hold it there to prove they are in charge…
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Whether she’s teaching a Pomeranian not to bite his owner when he gets in bed with his wife or treating a Wheaten Terrier with severe OCD, trainer Victoria Stilwell always thinks positive.
The star of Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog and a judge on CBS’ Greatest American Dog, Stilwell — coming to town for two local events — preaches the virtues of training dogs through positive reinforcement. Think praise and treats instead of shock collars and physical punishment.
“People want quick fixes,” says the author of Train Your Dog Positively (Ten Speed, $14.99 in paper). “If you’re teaching dogs something, you can do it quickly. But changing a habit takes longer. You can suppress those behaviors with punishment, but they’re still there.
In the book, which she’ll sign from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Books & Books in Coral Gables, Stilwell offers solutions for behavioral problems including separation anxiety, housebreaking, leash pulling and excessive barking. (One tip: A walk each day does wonders for your dog’s well-being — and yours, too.)…. [MORE]