Get to Know Victoria Stilwell, Host of It's Me or the Dog
Born and raised in Wimbledon, England, Victoria Stilwell is one of the world's most recognized and respected dog trainers. Stilwell is best known for her role as the host of Animal Planet's hit TV series It's Me or the Dog, through which she is able to share her insights and passion for positive-reinforcement dog training, and as a judge on CBS' Greatest American Dog. By reaching audiences in more than 45 countries, Stilwell helps counsel families on their pet problems.
In the early 1990s, Stilwell began her career in pet training by creating her own successful dog-walking company and immediately recognized the need for qualified professionals to help her clients with the training process. While pursuing a successful acting career (working in London's West End as well as in numerous films, TV series, commercials and voice-overs), she 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, 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. With a particular fondness for rescue animals in need of behavior rehabilitation, Stilwell devoted much of her time and energy to a number of animal rescue organizations in New York and Atlanta, serving as a behavior adviser and giving regular seminars on the subject of dog rescue, training and rehabilitation.
Stilwell is a passionate advocate for positive-reinforcement training methods that enhance a dog's ability to learn while increasing his confidence. The results are a healthy, well-adjusted pet. She is a vocal opponent of punitive, dominance-based training techniques, which often result in quick fixes but ultimately cause more long-term harm than good.
She also remains committed to helping the cause of animal rescue and is heavily involved with rescue groups around the world, including Paws Atlanta, Stray From the Heart (NYC), Hong Kong Dog Rescue and Greyhound Rescue of West England. She works closely with the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project, Humane Society, Puppy Mill Awareness Day and Waterside Action Group to increase awareness of the horrific practice of puppy-farming globally. Stilwell has worked as a volunteer adoption counselor for the ASPCA, and she has been featured in numerous magazines and journals, such as The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, The Daily Mail, MSNBC.com, USA Today, Psychology Today and The Sun (U.K.). Stilwell is a regular columnist for The Bark, Dog World, American Dog and Dogs Today magazines. She has appeared on countless talk shows, news broadcasts and radio shows in the United States, Europe and Asia as a dog-training expert, and her popular Positively Podcast series is heard by listeners worldwide. Named 2009's Dog Trainer of the Year at the Purina Pro Plan Dog Awards, Victoria is certified by Animal Behavior and Training Associates and is a proud member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.
Her two best-selling books, It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet and Fat Dog Slim: How to Have a Healthy, Happy Pet, have received much praise and detail her core rewards-based training philosophy: "There's a better way to train — Positively."
Stilwell currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, daughter and chocolate Lab Sadie.
For more information, visit Victoria's official site: positively.com.