Victoria Stilwell is one of the world's most recognized and respected dog trainers. As the host of the hit TV show It's Me or the Dog (currently airing in more than 20 countries), Victoria has been able to share her insight and passion for positive, reward-based dog training with an ever-broadening audience.
Born and raised in Wimbledon, England, Victoria has been working as a dog trainer in London and New York for over 15 years. In the early 1990s, Victoria created 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 voiceovers), she expanded her focus into dog training and behavior counseling. She was soon working with some of Britain’s most respected positive-reinforcement dog trainers and behaviorists.
In 1999, Victoria moved to Manhattan, where she co-founded Dog Trainers of New York. Through the company, Victoria primarily worked with families who needed help with dog training and behavior modification. In addition, she taught children techniques for safe and effective dog handling. Her unique background, personal sensitivity and innate training skills quickly made her one of New York City’s most sought-after dog trainers. With a particular fondness for rescue animals in need of behavior rehabilitation, Victoria devoted much of her time and energy to a number of the many fine animal-rescue organizations in New York, serving as a behavior adviser and giving regular seminars on the subject of dog rescue, training and rehabilitation.
In 2002 Victoria expanded her business and created Dog Trainers of New Jersey, earning further acclaim as one of the nation's top dog trainers. She has also worked as a volunteer adoption counselor for the ASPCA, and her dog-related writings have been published in numerous magazines and journals. She has appeared on countless talk shows, news broadcasts and radio shows as a dog training expert.
For the past three years, Victoria has been working with some of Britain's most unruly dogs (and owners!) on her TV show, It's Me or the Dog. On the show, she counsels families with difficult dogs to help solve their pets' behavior problems. She has also written two books (It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet and Fat Dog Slim: How to Have a Healthy, Happy Pet). Detailing her reward-based training philosophies (which include "Thinking Dog" and learning the power of body language in both owner and dog), the books give owners the keys to having a happy, confident pet and a balanced, healthy dog-owner relationship.
Victoria is certified by the Animal Behavior and Training Associates Inc. and is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. She is deeply committed to education and training as a way to reduce the number of animals that are owner-surrendered and abandoned due to a lack of knowledge and understanding. She is also a patron of the Waterside Action Group, which campaigns against puppy farming. Among the other organizations with whom she is associated are Deed Not Breed, which works to re-write the U.K.'s Dangerous Dogs Act to remove breed-specific legislation, as well as Vets Get Scanning, which promotes mandatory pet micro-chipping and scanning by vets.