What is the training philosophy of Victoria Stilwell, host of Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog” show?
A passionate advocate for positive reinforcement training methods, Victoria Stilwell believes that this approach enhances 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 that often result in quick fixes, but ultimately cause more long-term harm than good while damaging the owner-dog relationship.
A native of England, she began her career in pet training in the early 1990s when she created her own successful dog-walking company. After moving to the United States. with her husband, Stilwell co-founded several successful dog training companies up and down the East Coast, while becoming one of the leading voices in the field of dog training and behavior. In 2005, she began filming “It’s Me or the Dog,” which has now aired 110 episodes over 8 seasons.
She writes on her website: “Those of us who love dogs know what an important part of our lives they share. That’s why I’ve made it my life’s mission to help create healthier, more balanced relationships between dogs and owners by spreading the word about positive reinforcement training. We all know that dogs need and want us to provide effective leadership, and I firmly believe that the only way to truly ensure that we are successful in achieving the necessary balance with our dogs is by using positive reinforcement and treating them with the same respect that we ask of them. Dogs are dogs, after all, and since they don’t speak our language, the only way we can effectively communicate with them is if we learn to talk and think dog – Positively.”
Victoria Stilwell is best known for her role as the star of Animal Planet’s hit TV series “It’s Me or the Dog” through which she is able to share her insight and passion for positive reinforcement dog training by taming some of the world’s most unruly pets as she counsels families on their pet problems. She also served as a judge on CBS’s Greatest American Dog.