Criminal Acts by the Positive Dog Training Community

Victoria Stilwell and K9-1 Dog Training

The Positive Training community, also known as the "friendly dog training" community has been guilty of criminal level fraud, negligence, and slander.  This has been causing harm to honest professional trainers, pet owers, the public, and the dogs themselves.  I am offering assistance pro bono to any attorneys who need help protecting the rights of the public who have been damaged by their practices.

I am also willing and ready to defend my claims, with further evidence and under oath, in a court of law toward any entity or person in the "positive dog training" community that makes claim these are false and slanderous statements.  I stand by my statements and attest that there is nothing more important than the truth.

I am not one that likes to gloat on my own accomplishments and hard work, but I feel it is necessary for this post for those that will question my credibility and character.  A partial list of my qualifications to make such statements are:

Trainer and Student of Dog Training since 1993:

State University of New York at Delhi 1993-1995 (5 full time semesters)

Degree in Veterinary Science including college accredited courses in:

dog training (included history of the profession and notable trainers, training theories, operant conditioning, classical conditioning, and hands on training with local shelter dogs)


Animal Shelter Functions (covered management, treatments, and care of dogs at shelters)

Kennel Management (All aspects of Managing Kennel)

Animal Research Technology 1 and 2

Primatology (regarding my statements on humans vs chimpanzees)

Courses relating to dog anatomy, nursing, parasatolgy, emergency procedures, and more..

Solving Canine Behavior Problems Seminar - Cornell University 1995

Tom Rose School of Dog Training Professional Trainers Course 1997-1998 (total 6 months)

requirements included completing multiple dogs to different tasks such as:

AKC obedience routines

All common shutzhund  obedience and agility exercises

Completing the training of a dog to a competitive level track

Training of a drug detection dog to certify with the NNDA

Teaching Group Classes and Private lessons

Apprenticeship Courses Global K9 1999 and 2000 (total 6 weeks)

More Operant Conditioning theory

Application in training Working Dogs

Professional Work 1995-1997 (trained only part time during this time)

Animal research technician - New York University (non-human primates)

Licensed Veterinary Technician

Full time Certified Professional Dog Trainer since 1998:

CEO of K9-1 Specialized Dog Training

Trainer and handler of narcotic and explosive detection dogs (handled at Empire State building, Federal building, and various recovery sites for FEMA during post 9-11 aftermath).

Trainer for dogs to be sold by a vendor for the department of defense.

Instructor at Police K9 seminars and working dog handler courses

Creator of scientifically accurate training systems and blueprints for various dog training tasks that are used by many professional dog training organizations. See about us

Personally trained hundreds of dogs of various temperaments for different advanced tasks, and behavioral modification goals through in-kennel training services.

Personal trainer for hundreds of clients to instruct training and behavior modification on their own dogs.

Training director of large group classes for puppies to adults with aggression problems.

Free puppy classes and behavior counseling in group setting as a public service to prevent future behavior problems.

Trainer of many successful trainers through a 120 hour classroom course and hands on mentor program. See dog trainer school

A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau with perfect record.  Zero client complaints despite high volume. See rating

Mentor to hundreds of pet owners through online forums.

Most viewed youtube channel in the world for free scientifically accurate instructional videos: see channel 

Policy maker for humane societies

Police K9 donation and handler course program

high school vocational work study sponsor

and much more...

An individual cannot have this type of success on a large scale of teaching systems to many individual trainers and clients for many different purposes without  a thorough understanding of dog training science and mechanics.

I have been hard at work in the industry full time, 6 days a week, and for very long hours since 1998.  The business was shut down once for 16 months during a long national guard deployment from 2003-2005 where i served as medic with an infantry unit.  I still worked with and studied the dogs on the base and was able to spot for an explosive detection dog during this time.

I received two citations, one for treating a fellow solider without cover during an ambush and the other for going beyond my call of duty treating iraqi citizens, even the ones that were trying to kill me before being injured themselves.  I truly believe i have been trying my best to live a life of selfless service and integrity to the humans and animals of this world.  I have always searched beyond my formal education to find the most humane way to train as possible and when I could not find a way i used my education and experience to create a new way that made sense from a scientific and practical point of view.

The first thing you see when you walk in my facility is a sign that reads " We welcome these dogs as they are.  With respect, compassion, and devotion we will lead."  I also have three signs in my training room that each simply state "knowledge", "respect", and "patience" to remind anyone that is doing training what supersedes all else.

I am generally regarded as an expert in my field unless you are asking the opinion of a "positive trainer" that knows nothing about me besides superficial things like the training tools that I may or may not use and what the "rhetoric" tells these trainers to feel about them.  I have never known of a "positive trainer" that understood the correct way to use the tools they speak against since none attended a school that taught correct usage.

Most "positive trainers" are blindly repeating rhetoric without any first hand knowledge of the studies or claims that they are quoting, nor have any formal education to make their own judgement on information that is fed to them from their sources whom they pay to stay "certified" (if they are certified by anyone).  Since this is legally acceptable and most seriously do not know any better it is difficult to blame the individual "positive trainer".  Therefore, it is important to make accountable the organizations and individuals who knowingly give this false information to this growing population of unregulated and under-educated trainers.  Left unchecked, honest professionals suffer the prejudice effects of their slander and dog owners risk loss of pet, injury to self and others, and even death as a direct result of the misinformation that is delivered as fact.

Before i get into this list of violations I want to make clear my solution:

There needs to be true regulation in this industry as to who can call themselves a professional dog trainer.  There needs to be government regulated educational programs that teach the real science behind the aspects of training and canine behavior.  The correct application of all training tools needs to be taught through training labs.

This needs to be something offered at the college level.  Current professional trainers should have a chance to test for the standards within a set amount of time and others should be required to attend an accredited school that leads to licensing.  This is what was done in New York State when it was determined that Veterinary Technicians should have a formal education and licensing test.  Currently, in New York and other states you need a license to cut hair, but if you want to advise a family as what to do with a 100 lb dog growling at the children... you don't need anything for that in any state.  In my estimation, for every 1 dog training professional that had to create their own educational path to feel confidently about their knowledge and skill as a well rounded dog trainer, there are at least 100 "positive trainers" that have taken a multiple choice test on a computer with no formal education whatsoever, especially about proper training tool usage and discipline, to buy the the title of certified dog trainer (see CPDT-KA). This must end.

Here are some starting points for anyone to reference that are in need of legal help from the damages caused by the "positive dog training" community (aka "dog friendly" training)

False Statements about "Positive Dog Training"

False Statement by APDT: “Dog-friendly training is training that utilizes primarily positive reinforcement; secondarily negative punishment, and only occasionally, rarely, and/or as a last resort includes positive punishment and/or negative reinforcement.”

Reality: The vast majority of Positive Dog Trainers use no more positive reinforcement than other trainers in their training and use just as much positive punishment in their training.  The use of positive punishment is not occasional or rarely.

operant conditioning cycle


This leads to fraud for the consumer who pay money to a positive dog trainer and then discover that this is not the case.  Verbal reprimands, gentle leaders, no pull harnesses, tugs on leashes are all forms of positive punishment.  Negative Reinforcement is also used in every instance of training being performed on a leash with a training device.

False advertising leads to an unfair advantage toward competition among dog trainers that do not make false claims.

related Victoria Stilwell Bitten by a Police Dog

 Part 2 and more info:  CLICK HERE




  1. Inaffective training!! Dangerous…
    Ineffectiveness is not the only sin of The positive only trainers .It is dangerous to dogs. People walk out of these classes believing they have a well-behaved trained dog…and they don’t. They are a danger to themselves and others. If the dog gets off leash or pulls his person down, he is at serious risk of being hit by a car. They don’t listen and they don’t come back. When they barge out the door, they are gone.

    The mortal sin of Positive only is that it causes aggressive behavior. This comes from two base causes: an adrenalized mindset and an environment of no consequences. Next time you are around a PO trained dog, watch him. He’s always on edge. He may be pacing, whining, pushing, panting or dancing. If he is ordered into a Down, he’ll still be jittering and wired…because he can’t be still. He has been taught to constantly SEEK. He has been taught that whatever he wants is the only thing that matters.

    The issue of “no consequences” comes to the heart of the problem with PO. Every living organism on this planet has to learn there are boundaries…and that there are consequences for crossing those boundaries. These people will go at our throats and it happens every day. There is a facility down the road from me that is PO based. I love the lady. ( joke). The longer she stays in business the more mine grows. ( not good for the dog). Lady is nuts. I’ve learned to keep quiet in forums and groups. As soon as I open my mouth to give a suggestion or advice. I’m slammed. For my methods. But the funny thing is, my methods work and it doesn’t take me 12 weeks to teach a dog and an owner to loose leash walk a dog and I don’t have to carry a million treats. These people are a CULT. Sorry but that is how I feel. How do you use an “Only” anything when working with a dog? They are all different.. Smh. Sorry for the rant. But this subject lights my rear end on fire !!!!

    1. Kelly love this line, “He has been taught that whatever he wants is the only thing that matters.”

      It is definitely OK for a dog to know that sometimes they just can’t have or do something, especially if a good owner knows how to provide for a dog’s needs and desires properly and the training is done the right way and humanely.

  2. First of all Mike, Thank you for all of your service you have provided for our country, fellow man and K9 companions.
    The sole reason I started following you was because of your K9 pyramid on your YouTube channel. I knew at that point you were a very skilled and educated trainer. The type that I would like to learn from. I feel your pain and also agree with KLISA these people are a cult of quacks. They have no clue what they’re doing. Ypu are correct in your statement that they are committing fraud for taking money for a service that they claim to provide yet don’t deliver. Point made clear again by KLISA what happens when they break leash and get hit by that car? How do you PO that situation?
    The best advice I can give you from a professional standpoint is keep doing what you’ve been doing. You’re in a way higher class and league than these parasitic emotional vampires. You dominate your industry and they’re futile attempts at competing against you in business or character assassination attempts will wither away just as their business does when little Johnny is bitten by their clients PO trained dog trying to take his lollipop from his hand. Keep on keeping on and when you have haters you’re doing the right thing. Have a great day and 2016 is your year to shine.

    1. Thank you for the encouragement Cowboy! It looks like my sentiment is being shared by many in the industry, and I am confident that there is going to be a stronger effort by the whole industry to fight back at this behavior. I have a couple parts to this to come. Great to have you on board here!

  3. Klisa, I am so pleased to hear your comment which included the PO trained dogs. I also love the line “He has been taught to constantly SEEK. He has been taught that whatever he wants is the only thing that matters.” This training is ruining the GSD breed and the trainers livelihood here in Australia who still value the breed as it was envisioned to be by Stephanitz. I too was slammed for opening my mouth on this subject through sport clubs and trainers of service dogs and no longer would voice my opinion until I came to be a member of this site… I’m starting to get my voice back from the support I receive here.

  4. I’m of the opinion and firm belief that being too far either side of the fence is equally damaging so like to sit somewhere in the middle and use a bit of both which for me and my dogs works best.

    Have relatives that are all about being harsh and heavy handed and leaving a dog broken and devoid of spirit because at least then it knows who’s boss and won’t step out of line. They think I’m soft and pathetic and treat dogs like they’re fluffy little teddies and have no idea what I’m doing. Doesn’t matter what my dogs are like or how good and well-trained they are. That’s irrelevant and it interferes with what they prefer to think which is that I do everything wrong.

    Then I know people whose attitude to dogs and training is terrifying in that they will not do anything they think or know the dog won’t like. Needless to say they have Godawful and potentially dangerous dogs that call all the shots, hold them hostage in their own homes, have no respect for anything or anyone and won’t do a thing without a reward.

    It is difficult to find people somewhere in the middle but I’ve made an effort to speak with, read up and research both sides although as with everything in life, a lot are so hardcore they just can’t bear to hear anything other than what they want to hear.

    Some aspects of positive training make sense and I have met some really good PO trainers to be fair but many are just way too far gone and would have burned me alive if they could. One said she didn’t like me “yelling” at my dog when she saw a video clip of her working sheep and I gave loud voice commands. (“She’s a working sheepdog what do you suggest? Throw endless treats until she’s where I’d like her to be??)

    That said I have met some great PO trainers that really did help me see things from a different viewpoint in other areas too so it’s not all good or bad.

    Victoria Stillwell is an idiot though. No two ways about that the woman is special.