• Advertisement

Victoria Stilwell-dog trainer

including pets and non-pets

Victoria Stilwell-dog trainer

Postby admin » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:25 pm

from wiki:Victoria Stilwell

Born July 20, 1969 (age 41)
Wimbledon, England
Nationality British
Occupation Dog trainer, television presenter, author, actress
Years active 1995 - present
Employer Animal Planet, Channel 4, CBS
Known for It's Me or the Dog
Greatest American Dog
Official Website
Victoria Stilwell (born July 20, 1969 in Wimbledon, England) is widely known as a dog trainer, author, and television presenter. Stilwell served as a judge on the CBS show Greatest American Dog and presents the Animal Planet dog training TV show It's Me or the Dog, counselling families with problem pets and solving their dogs’ behaviour problems.


Stilwell originally trained as an actress, playing roles in Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1992, ITV1's The Bill in 1994, and onstage in London's West End theatre, as well as several commercials and voiceovers. In order to supplement her income as an actress, Stilwell's veterinary nurse sister suggested Victoria start a dog walking agency. Within a month Victoria was walking 20 dogs per day - 10 in the morning, 10 in the afternoon - and immediately recognized the need for qualified professionals to help her clients with the training process. She then expanded her focus to dog training by learning from some of Britain's most respected positive-reinforcement dog trainers and behaviorists. After moving to the U.S. with her husband in 1999, Stilwell co-founded several successful dog training companies up and down the East Coast, quickly establishing herself as one of New York's most sought after dog trainers.

[edit]Dog trainer

Victoria has become one of the most well-known dog trainers in the world due to the international reach of her TV show It's Me or the Dog, which is now shown in over 40 different countries. She is a passionate advocate for science-based, positive reinforcement training methods that enhance a dog’s ability to learn while increasing confidence, resulting in a healthy, well-adjusted pet. She is a vocal opponent of punitive, dominance-based training techniques which she says often result in quick fixes but ultimately cause more long-term harm than good while damaging the owner-dog relationship.

Stilwell has become the leading voice for the science-based dog training movement in the public debate regarding the question of what are the most humane and effective dog training methods. She represents the science-based positive reinforcement camp, which is intent on educating the public about the dangers and ultimate ineffectiveness of traditional, dominance-based training techniques. Instead, Stilwell promotes positive reinforcement techniques which she says enhance a dog’s ability to learn while increasing confidence, resulting in a healthy, well-adjusted pet. This positive reinforcement philosophy maintains that the healthiest relationships between dogs and humans are based on cooperation and kindness rather than a human dominance/animal submission methodology, which is central to what she and the vast majority of the behavioral scientific community consider to be outdated traditional training methods. Their position is that positive training helps to establish and maintain a connection that increases trust and therefore creates a stronger bond between dog and owner, because if your dog feels good about you, he will be a happier, more confident and better-behaved dog. Stilwell believes that positive training results in a dog who follows an owner because it wants to rather than following out of fear, while traditional training uses punitive methods to force a dog to behave, often resulting short term solutions which never truly identifies the root cause of the misbehavior while promoting insecurity and negative behavior.[1][2][3]

In 2010, Stilwell created Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training - a global network of positive reinforcement dog trainers dedicated to spreading the word about positive reinforcement techniques[4]


In 2009, Stilwell created the Victoria Stilwell Foundation, whose mission is "to provide financial support and canine behavior expertise to assistance dog organizations and small animal rescue shelters while promoting the concept of reward-based, positive reinforcement dog training philosophies in organizations and households throughout the United States."[5]

With a particular fondness for rescue animals in need of behaviour rehabilitation, Stilwell devotes much of her time and energy to a number of animal rescue organisations around the world, serving as a behaviour advisor for shelters in Atlanta, New York, the UK, and Hong Kong while giving regular seminars on the subject of dog rescue, training and rehabilitation. She worked as a volunteer adoption counsellor for the ASPCA, and has been featured in numerous magazines and journals including The New York Times[6], USA Today[7], Cosmopolitan, the Daily Mail, MSNBC.com[8], Psychology Today and The Sun[9]. Stilwell is a regular columnist for The Bark, Dog World, American Dog and Dogs Today magazines, and she has appeared on numerous talk shows, news broadcasts and radio shows in the US, Europe and Asia as a dog training expert.

[edit]TV programs

[edit]It's Me or the Dog
Since 2005, Victoria Stilwell has worked with unruly dogs on her TV show, It's Me or the Dog, which airs in over forty countries. The show features Victoria as she counsels families with problem pets and uses positive reinforcement training techniques to help them learn how to correct their dogs’ behavior. Originally produced for Channel 4 in the UK, the show premiered in the US on Animal Planet in April 2007, and over 90 episodes have been aired worldwide. A typical episode involves a family struggling to cope with their misbehaving dog(s). Victoria initially observes the problems in situ, then presents the family with her opinion regarding the causes of the issues. Victoria then works with the family and their dogs to restore balance. After a period of time alone to implement Victoria’s positive reinforcement training regimen, the family reuinites with Victoria to check progress, get a few tune-ups and encouragement. Special episodes of the program have featured overweight dogs, Victoria’s public seminars at an outdoor dog festival, her work with the caretakers of a wild wolf rescue park, and her training of out-of-control pedigree dogs on their way to the world's largest dog show.

[edit]Greatest American Dog
Victoria was one of three judges on the CBS show Greatest American Dog, in which 12 dog-owner teams compete for the title 'Greatest American Dog' and a $250,000 prize. The series debuted on CBS July 10, 2008.


Victoria was named 'Dog Trainer of the Year' by DogWorld Magazine at the 55th Annual Purina® Pro Plan® Show Dogs Of The Year® Awards Presented By Dogs In Review®[10]. She was named among 2009's '100 Best & Brightest' in the dog world in The Bark magazine[11]. Victoria won a 2009 CableFax award as Best Host in the Animals & Nature category. In 2009, It's Me or the Dog was nominated for a People's Choice Award in the US, and after its first season in the UK, It's Me or the Dog was nominated in the 'Best Factual Entertainment' category in the UK's TV Quick Awards. Her first book, It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet was voted one of the 50 greatest dog books ever written by Dogs Today magazine.


She advocates animal rescue and supports Paws Atlanta, Stray from the Heart (NYC), Hong Kong Dog Rescue and Greyhound Rescue of West England, Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project, the Waterside Action Group, Deed Not Breed (campaigning to re-write the UK's Dangerous Dogs Act to remove breed-specific legislation) as well as Vets Get Scanning, promoting mandatory pet micro-chipping and scanning by vets.


It’s Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet (Hyperion)
Fat Dog Slim: How to Have a Healthy, Happy Pet (Harper Collins UK), 2007
[edit]Personal life

Stilwell met her actor husband while starring opposite him in the West End production of Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story. The couple and their daughter live in Atlanta, Georgia[12].

After many years without a pet dog of her own (due to work commitments), Victoria adopted a rescued chocolate Labrador named Sadie. Prior to that, she had spent her time since 2000 fostering dogs due to be euthanised by local municipal shelters. Stilwell and her husband then gave the dogs a home while rehabilitating them and eventually finding suitable homes for the animals. She has explained that, until recently, owning a dog would have been irresponsible and not fair to the dog, considering how much the whole family travels. The couple has re-homed over 50 dogs and cats[13].


Victoria is currently certified by the Animal Behavior and Training Associates and is a longtime member of the US Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).
  • 0

think unique,be special
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 3397
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 7:54 pm
Reputation: 0

Return to Animals

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

Reputation System ©'