Episode 3: Canine Containment with Richard Vickers


Within this episode we will be speaking with special guest, Richard Vickers, to learn about canine containment. Richard will discuss the various containment options out their for you to decide what is best for you and your animals, how much they cost, and materials to use. Hell answer questions such as: Can I crate train my wolfdog, and how do I do so? – My animal is an escape artist! How can I ensure he/she doesnt break out of their crate/enclosure? – Do containment needs vary based on dog breed and wolf content? – What do I need to consider before building containment? Are their laws and guidelines I must comply with? Where can I learn about these requirements? – And many more!


Richard Vickers is a 3rd generation canine trainer and handler. His family traces its canine professional and specialized roots back 100 years to his grandfather who bred and trained specialized hunting dogs. In 1978, when he was just 6 years old his parents opened the business known as Dark Forest Kennels in a secluded part of a small town in Southwestern Virginia. At that time, Dark Forest Kennels bred, raised, and trained German Shepherd Dogs as well as provided boarding services and training services to the public. Richard grew up and spent most of his life working in the family business and was handling and training canines of various breeds by the age of 10.

In 1987 Richard acquired his first Wolfdog through rescue services his familys business provided. From his mid teens until now, Wolfdogs have been a major part of his life and integrated into the family business. During this time Richard has had the opportunity to meet many other Wolfdog owners all over the country, volunteer at Wolfdog Sanctuaries, work within the Wolfdog rescue community, visit and help other Wolfdog owners in various ways, become a Board Member and eventually President of The National Wolf Hybrid Association and National Esquimaux Dog Association, as well as share his life with numerous Wolfdogs of various contents.

Today, Richard has revamped the family business into Dark Forest LLC. The company now goes by the name The Dark Forest Group as it is now a group of businesses under the same parent Company. Dark Forest Kennels is now a boarding facility for pets that also offers canine training, pet related products, canine fencing and containment solutions, and features a staff consisting of not only general labor but a full time Trainer, Engineer, and Veterinary Technician. 

Dark Forest Designs is a small manufacturing facility within the same parent facility that applies the Engineering education Richard received at Radford University toward custom built pet products. Recently Richard reopened Dark Forest Garage which is also located at the same facility. Originally Dark Forest Garage was owned and operated by Richard Sr., who was a certified GM Automotive Technician. Today Dark Forest Garage specializes in the restoration of classic cars and trucks with a staff that includes PPG Certified Body and Paint Technicians. Though his time is split between his love of canines and classic vehicles, Richard still focuses all of his efforts into helping others and their pets to have happy lives together.  

Richard’s first wolfdog was a low content rescue misrepresented as a high content. It was clear that Cheech was very different than the German Shepherds and sled dogs he had raised throughout his life, so Richard began searching for everything possible on wolves and wolfdogs to learn more about these animals and try to cope with their increased behavioral intensities. Since this was pre-internet, this involved a lot of library visits combined with numerous phone calls tracing down leads of people that knew people that had wolfdogs. In 1995 when internet access became more readily available this research finally led to numerous wolfdog organizations. Since 1987 Richard has shared his life with six wolfdogs ranging from low content to a very high content F1. This does not account for the many wolfdogs that shared short and long periods of time with Richard and his family sheltered, rehabilitated, and eventually placed in their new forever homes. Currently the Vickers family share their lives with Zeus who is a high content rescue, and year and a half year old Logan, an upper mid content rescue. And not to leave out their other animals, including Jigz an American Bulldog rescue, Isis an ACK Siberian Husky, Zoey a UKC Pomeranian, Zander a rescued Pekingese mix, as well as their two rescue cats.

Richard Vickers: Owner/Operator of Dark Forest LLC, Elliston, VA – richard@thedarkforestgroup.com 

For more information on Dark Forest and its subsidiaries, please visit their site at: http://www.thedarkforestgroup.com
and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dark-Forest-Kennels/193965793948808 


Richards Credentials:
Third Generation Canine Trainer/Handler
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University/AKC venture program graduate Canine 
  Handling Apprenticeship
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State 
University/AKC venture program graduate 
Apprenticeship Obedience Training
Radford University 3 years Undergraduate Biotechnology
Radford University/Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 3 years Undergraduate 
Mechanical Engineering Bioconversion Technologies Design Engineer (mechanical and Bio Design) 1992-1998
Commonwealth of Virginia Licensed Operator of Bio Technology 1993-1998
National Wolf Hybrid Association Board Member
National Esquimaux Dog Association Board Member and President
National Wolf Hybrid Association Virginia State Chapter Founder and President 


Episode 2 – Canine Training Methods: Positive Reinforcement with Linda Michaels, MA – February 15, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. EST

Join Wolfdog Radio with special guest, Linda Michaels, MA Psychology, Victoria Stilwell Canine Consultant, on Sunday, February 15th at –8pm EST/ 5pm PST– and learn how to use the principles of Positive Reinforcement/ForceFree training to help develop a trusting, working relationship with your wolfdog. Linda will outline the techniques of Reward-based Training and Benevolent Leadership that you can use to get more of the behavior that you want, and less of the behavior that you don’t want. Find out how you can ameliorate some of the most common behavior issues with your beloved wolfdog. Learn to communicate with your wolfdog in a language he/she can understand through signals and manipulating resources. Find out about the importance of ultra-early socialization and how to prevent and decrease fearfulness/shyness. Examine the differences between reward-based and dominance methods. During the second half of the show we will be asking Linda questions from our listeners. If you have questions for Linda, please submit them via email at questions@wolfdogradio.com



​​Linda Michaels, MA Psychology is a long-time practitioner of the Positive Reinforcement method of training. She helps puppies and dogs of all temperaments, ages and personalities. She believes that communication is the foundation for happy pet parenting and happy, well-behaved dogs. Linda trains all dogs, from teacup Chihuahuas to Wolfdogs and serves as a behavior advisor for WolfEducationProject.org

Linda holds a Master’s Degree in Experimental Psychology from San Diego State University with research experience in Behavioral Neurobiology, as well as a host of professional dog training credentials, plus 13 years and many thousands of hours of hands-on training and behavioral consulting experience. Linda’s advanced studies in associative and operant learning, as well as her extensive background working with pure breeds and rescue dogs, has culminated in the latest science-based training, generously sprinkled with lots of love.  Linda works with some of the most difficult behavioral cases in her private practice.  Her ethics and methods are firmly rooted in the humane treatment of companion animals.  She regularly attends dog training conferences to keep abreast of the latest scientific behavior modification and methodology advances in her field.

She has volunteered her training services with the San Diego Humane Society for many years and still does pro bono work for select groups.

Linda is a member of the Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training network. Stilwell is the internationally acclaimed trainer and Animal Planet star.


Linda Michaels
Licensed FAR Beyond Trainer
San Diego, California
858.259.WOOF (9663)
LindaMichaelsPositively@gmail.com                                                                                               ​

Visit Linda’s website: www.dogpsychologistoncall.com            

Linda will be speaking at the Pet Professionals Guild Summit along with other notables –Dr. Karen Overall, Pat Miller, and Niki Tudge — on November 11-13, 2015 in Tampa, FL. Pet Professional Guild Summit         

                                                WOLFDOG TRAINING WITH JOURNEY                                                          


                                                     WOLFDOG TRAINING WITH SHILOH AND OKA


Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training is a comprehensive network of highly qualified, like-minded trainers who subscribe to Victoria’s philosophy of positive reinforcement dog training. Victoria herself personally oversees the recruitment of the very best positive reinforcement dog trainers, on an international scale, to join her team and bring her message of positive reinforcement to the entire dog-loving world.


* Have been hand selected and work with Victoria personally
* Train dogs using positive reinforcement
* Avoid force and outdated dominance-based methods
* Practice the highest level of courtesy and professionalism
* Respect your dog and you at all times

All Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainers share Victoria’s passion for positive training and her ability to achieve exceptional results without using force or dangerous dominance-based techniques.


Master of Arts/Experimental Psychology. San Diego State University with Distinction
McNair Science Scholar
University Scholar Award. Psychology Department, San Diego State University
Behavioral Neurobiology Research
Behavioral Trials and Histological Examinations 
Veterinary Assistant Certified
FAR Beyond Licensed. Canine Aggression, Reactivity and Fear Specialist. 2011 – Current
AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. 2002 – Current
AKC Community Canine Evaluator. 2013 – Current
Pet First Aid for Cats and Dogs. American Red Cross
Class Assistant Trainer. San Diego Humane Society
Volunteer Council Representative. San Diego Humane Society
Shelter Trainee and Volunteer. 5-year Veteran, San Diego Humane Society
Basic First Aid, Zoonoses and Animal Diseases Certified. Project Wildlife

Behavior Advisor to the WolfeducationProject.org




WDR Presents: An evening with Marc Bekoff


We are proud and honored to have  Dr. Marc Bekoff on our next show.  Marc Bekoff is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is a Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and a past Guggenheim Fellow. In 2000 he was awarded the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society for major long-term contributions to the field of animal behavior.  Marc Bekoff is co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Marc’s work has been featured on 48 Hours, in Time Magazine, Life Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, The New York Times, New Scientist, BBC Wildlife, Orion, Scientific American, Ranger Rick, National Geographic Kids, on NPR, BBC, Fox, NaturGEO, in a National Geographic Society television special (“Play: The Nature of the Game”), Discovery TV’s “Why Dogs Smile and Chimpanzees Cry,” Animal Planet’s “The Power of Play,” National Geographic Society’s “Hunting in America,” and more recently in “What Animals Think” and PBS Nature’s “Why We Love Cats and Dogs,” “Animal Odd Couples,” “My Bionic Pet,” and “Animal Reunions.” Marc has also appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, and 20/20.

Dr. Bekoff’s works include:




Please join wolfdog Radio for this very special Interview with Dr. Bekoff!

Wolfdog Radio will also feature a personal and live interview with our very own  Jerry Mills of the Tejas Den.  What personifies character and greatness is not only coming back from one tragedy but to rise again like a phoenix from the ashes of another. Jerry Mills is is such a man.  He will chronicle his experience and share with our listeners one man’s battle with the elements.



L. David Mech – Wolf Truths – Tuesday – August 15, 2017 at 9:00 P.M. (EST)




If the Wolf is to survive, the Wolf Haters must be out-numbered, out-shouted, out-financed and out-voted. ‘
The Wolf – The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species by L. David Mech, Ph.D. http://www.davemech.org/

The 20 words in the quote above define the plight of wolves and continue to hold true today.  Wolfdog Radio is proud to present the man who began the understanding of wolves, L. David Mech.  L. David Mech (pronounced “Meech”) is a Senior Scientist with the Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota.

George1George Stapleton conducts an in depth interview and asks the questions on all of our minds and hearts regarding wolves.  This interview cuts through the innuendo and lands squarely on the future of our wolves…and they are “our wolves.”


Don’t miss this once in a lifetime conversation
with Dr. Mech August 15, 2017 at 9:00 P.M. (EST)


The International Wolf Center is a research and educational organization based in Ely, Minnesota, founded in 1985 by a group of biologists led by Wolf Biologist Dr. L. David Mech.  The International Wolf Center opened in June of 1993.  The Center educates through its website http://www.wolf.org, educational outreach programs, International Wolf magazine, and a beautiful interpretive center in Ely, Minnesota with its live ambassador wolves and exhibits.

international wolf cneter