Inside Your Dog's Mind with Victoria Stilwell
3.9 (178 ratings)
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Inside Your Dog's Mind with Victoria Stilwell

Understanding canine behavior and how dogs think, feel and learn to make dog training easier & more effective.
3.9 (178 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,007 students enrolled
Created by Victoria Stilwell
Last updated 5/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $200 Discount: 95% off
5 hours left at this price!
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  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Gain a thorough understanding of the canine mind and develop tailor-made training plans and communication techniques to enrich the relationship with your dog.
  • Explore the different ways dogs learn (including associative and operant learning), find out how good of an imitator your dog is, and determine whether your dogs are dependent or independent learners.
  • Utilize custom-built cognition games and exercises to more effectively teach and communicate your dogs.
  • Learn about the difference between behaviorism and cognition, including the evolution in dog training in recent history.
  • Test your dog’s intelligence and learning style.
  • Find out the latest scientific research about whether or not dogs feel certain emotions including love, guilt, jealousy and joy.
  • Gain a better understanding of your dog’s cognitive profile using the Five Cognitive Dimensions, including empathy, intention-reading, memory, reasoning and cunning.
  • Investigate the physiology of the canine brain and understand why an awareness of how your dog’s neurotransmitters and hormones affect how you can interact more effectively.
  • Explore how the evolution from wolf to dog has influenced how our modern dogs think, feel and learn.
View Curriculum
  • There are no prerequisites for this course, but having access to a pet dog with whome you can practice the activities will improve your learning!

Do dogs really experience love?

What makes the bond between man and dog so unique?

How does the dog's wolf ancestry affect the way we communicate today?

These are just a few of the questions answered in Inside Your Dog's Mind by world renowned dog behavior expert and TV dog trainer Victoria Stilwell from It's Me or the Dog.

By focusing on the amazing advances seen within the world of animal behavioral and cognitive science over the past few years, Victoria will take you on a fascinating journey deep into the canine mind while providing practical tips and exercises designed to enhance your communication and relationship with your dogs. 

Inside Your Dog’s Mind explores how dogs think, feel, learn and process the world around them. By learning what modern behavioral and cognitive science is uncovering to help better our understanding of how man’s best friend learns, adapts and communicates, you can discover how to use this knowledge to more effectively promote learning and guide your dogs into making choices that are more compatible with the world you share with them.

Inside Your Dog’s Mind explores the following:

  • What is canine cognition?
  • Breakthroughs in canine cognitive science
  • Canine ethology & the canine brain
  • Measuring your dog’s intelligence
  • Harnessing the power of the five cognitive dimensions
  • Dogs & emotions
  • How dogs learn
  • Cognition games & exercises for your dog

This course is designed for dog owners and enthusiasts of all skill levels, and while you are encouraged to at least have access to a dog so that you can participate in the many games and exercises led by Victoria, it is not required. Inside Your Dog's Mind is designed to take you beyond the world of dog training, providing you with the information, tools, and activities you need to not only help your dog more effectively learn from you, but also for you to learn from your dog.

By exploring how to develop the strongest possible communication system with your dog based on his/her unique traits, characteristics and learning styles, Victoria will guide you through the canine mind and help you get the most out of your relationship with your dog(s).

"We live in an exciting time of scientific research and discovery. The last ten years have seen an explosion in the study of canine behavior and cognition, thanks to universities and research centers around the world. The minds of dogs are being explored like never before, and the findings are proving once and for all just how intelligent, emotional, and complex dogs are. Dogs have coexisted with humans for thousands of years, and as they have adapted, so has their ability to communicate with us. By paying close attention to our vocal and physical language, dogs have evolved a rich social intelligence and a physical and vocal language as complex and subtle as our own. Like humans, dogs communicate consciously and unconsciously, using a complex language of body and vocal signals that reflect what they are thinking and feeling. These signals communicate intent and ensure dogs’ personal safety by affecting behavior in others. Understanding what dogs are saying as well as how they perceive the world will make it easier for you to understand their needs."
-- Victoria Stilwell

Who is the target audience?
  • Dog lovers, owners, and enthusiasts who want to learn more about how dogs think, feel and learn.
  • Dog trainers interested in increasing their trainer toolbox with the latest in cognitive research and training tools.
  • This course is appropriate both for complete beginners and those with more dog behavior knowledge.
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Curriculum For This Course
59 Lectures
Course Introduction
4 Lectures 08:10

Renowned TV dog behavior expert Victoria Stilwell lays out the structure of the course, including background on why she feels this topic is so crucial for dog owners to understand as well as her experiences which led to her fascination with the canine mind. Victoria also explains how the interactive dog games, tests and activities will work throughout the course and kicks things off with a suggestion of how to create a baseline understanding of how you perceive your dog's actions and thought processes prior to taking the course.

Preview 03:42

Learning Goals for the Course

Explanation of Dog Activities During the Course

ACTIVITY - Dog Observation
Introduction to Canine Cognition
3 Lectures 06:36

Behaviorism vs Cognition

Canine Cognitive Science
Canine Ethology
5 Lectures 14:42
Wolves and Dogs




ACTIVITY - Wolf vs Dog Features Quiz
The Canine Brain
3 Lectures 12:07
Biology & the Brain


Canine Intelligence
4 Lectures 16:09
How to Define Intelligence

What Intelligence Depends Upon

ACTIVITY - How Well Do Your Dogs Know Themselves?

How Do We Know What Dogs Are Thinking?
How Dogs Learn
7 Lectures 25:32
Types of Learning

Associative Learning

Operant Learning

ACTIVITY - Identify the Type of Learning


Independent & Dependent Learners

The Effect of Learning on the Dog's Mind
Dogs & Emotions
7 Lectures 20:34

Happiness & Joy



ACTIVITY - Identifying 'Guilty' Body Language Signals


Bonding - The Biology of Love
The Five Cognitive Dimensions - Intention-Reading
12 Lectures 35:03
Introduction to the Five Cognitive Dimensions

Intention-Reading (Communication)

Similarities Between Dogs and Children

Understanding Gaze

ACTIVITY - Left Gaze Bias Test

ACTIVITY - Understanding Human Gestures (Pointing)

ACTIVITY - Following a Pointed Foot

ACTIVITY - Following Body Orientation

Putting It All Together

Canine-to-Canine Intention-Reading

VIDEO - Analyzing Canine Intention-Reading

ACTIVITY - How Aware Is Your Dog of Your Attentional State?
The Five Cognitive Dimensions - Empathy
3 Lectures 03:10
Do Dogs Feel Empathy?

Emotional Contagion

ACTIVITY - Can Your Dog Catch Your Yawn?
The Five Cognitive Dimensions - Memory
6 Lectures 16:46
Understanding Canine Memory

Olfactory Memory

Auditory Memory

Social Memory

Short & Long-Term Memory

3 More Sections
About the Instructor
Victoria Stilwell
3.9 Average rating
177 Reviews
1,007 Students
1 Course
Dog Trainer & Behavior Expert

Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned dog trainer best known as the star of the international hit TV series It's Me or the Dog as well as Greatest American Dog on CBS, Dogs Might Fly on Sky One and her hit web series about the real world of police K-9’s and their handlers, Guardians of the Night.  Having filmed over 110 episodes of It’s Me or the Dog since 2005, Stilwell is able to reach audiences in over 120 countries with her philosophy of positive training methods.  A best-selling author, Stilwell appears frequently in the media and is widely recognized as a leader in the field of animal behaviour.

A passionate advocate for positive dog training methods, Stilwell is the Editor-in-Chief of Positively, the founder of the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior, and the CEO of Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training – the world’s premier global network of positive dog trainers.

The recipient of multiple awards, Stilwell is committed to helping the cause of animal rescue and rehabilitation and is heavily involved organizations around the world to increase awareness of puppy mills, dogfighting, animal abuse, pet overpopulation, dog bite prevention and other animal-related causes, but she is best known as a champion for fear-free positive reinforcement dog training methods.  She serves on the Advisory Boards of RedRover, The Grey Muzzle Foundation, DogTV, Dognition and Canine Assistants.