Victoria Stilwell’s Top 10 Dog Tips

Victoria Stilwell of It’s Me or the Dog on Animal Planet uses positive reinforcement for training your pooch. She is one of the world’s most recognized and respected dog trainers.

She started a successful dog walking business and realized the need for qualified dog trainers to help her clients. She learned from some of Britain’s most respected positive-reinforcement dog trainers and behaviorists, quickly establishing herself as one of New York’s most sought after dog trainers.

She is a vocal opponent of punitive, dominance-based training techniques which often result in ‘quick fixes’ but ultimately cause more long-term harm than good while damaging the owner-dog relationship.

Stilwell summarized her top ten tips:

  1. Don’t stop training your dog  – people think that once they have taught their dog a few basic commands then that’s dog training off the list. Dogs don’t stop learning and training should be reinforced throughout your dog’s life.
  2. Look at the world through your dog’s eyes from time to time, and use this knowledge to help you with your training.
  3. Make sure your dog gets enough exercise – as the saying goes a tired dog is a happy dog.
  4. Give your dog confidence and make him feel secure. You don’t achieve this by being dominant owner, but by being a calm teacher who encourages and rewards good behavior.
  5. Check your dog’s diet – many behavioral problems stem from a poor diet.
  6. Dogs easily get bored, so sign up for a fun activity together – agility and flyball are examples.
  7. Make dog care a top priority – have your dog micro chipped and keep up to date with veterinary checks and shots.
  8. Playing with your dog is a great way to bond with him.
  9. Keep your dog safe – with increasing dog theft know where your dog is always and don’t leave him unattended.
  10. Have fun and enjoy your dog, you should never think of your dog as a burden.

Photo Credit: Jaypeg21

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One thought on “Victoria Stilwell’s Top 10 Dog Tips

  1. Great list … I have had a list like this one for some 25 years. The only thing I added to my list was:

    11. Socialize your dog regularly. Your dog will be more confident, less reactive and much more predictable if it is used to being around other dogs and other people.

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