Victoria Stilwell is one of the world's most recognized and respected dog trainers.
She is best known for her role as the star of the international hit TV series It's Me or the Dog, through which she has been able to share her insight and passion for positive reinforcement dog training. She has also been featured on CBS's Greatest American Dog and Sky’s Dogs Might Fly. Having filmed over 100 episodes of It’s Me or the Dog since 2005, Stilwell reaches audiences in over 100 countries while counseling families on their pet problems.
Born and raised in Wimbledon, England, Stilwell began her career in pet training in the early 1990s when she 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 gradually expanded her focus to professional dog training.
After moving to the U.S. in the late 1990s, Stilwell co-founded several successful dog training companies, quickly establishing herself as one of New York City's most sought after dog trainers and becoming one of the leading voices in the field of dog training and behavior. As a co-creator and host of the globally popular hit TV series It's Me or the Dog in 2005, Stilwell's reputation as the torchbearer of the movement towards force-free, positive dog training was cemented. Her involvement with later TV shows continues to expand her reach as a pet behavior expert around the world.
A passionate advocate for positive reinforcement dog training methods, Stilwell is the Editor-in-Chief of Positively.com which features a roster of Positively Contributors comprised of the world’s leading veterinary behaviorists, dog trainers and behavioral scientists. 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 while damaging the owner-dog relationship.
Stilwell's first 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, detail the power of her reward-based training philosophy. Her highly anticipated third book, Train Your Dog Positively, was released to critical acclaim in 2013 and explores the debate between traditional compulsion training methods versus progressive, positive training. Her fourth book is due to be released in autumn, 2016.
A regular guest on talk shows, news broadcasts and radio programs in the US, Europe and Asia, Stilwell was named 2009’s Dog Trainer of the Year at the Purina ProPlan Dog awards and was the recipient of the prestigious 2011 Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contributions to the Pet Industry Award. Since its premiere in 2005, Stilwell’s show, It’s Me or the Dog, has filmed over 100 episodes in both the UK and US and has been the recipient of multiple honors including 2011 and 2012 Genesis Award Nominations and a 2009 People’s Choice Award nomination. Stilwell is the resident pet expert on CNN's HLN and has been a regular columnist for several magazines including The Bark, American Dog, Dogster and Dogs Today. She has been featured in numerous journals, magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, USA Today, Cosmopolitan, Time.com, Oprah Magazine, Rachael Ray Everyday, MSNBC.com, Self Magazine, Shape Magazine, The Daily Mail, the Sunday Times, and The Sun.
Stilwell is the CEO of Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training (VSPDT) – the world’s premier global network of positive reinforcement dog trainers. Since its launch in 2010, VSPDT has become the industry leader in the field of dog training by attracting world-class positive reinforcement dog trainers who share Victoria's dedication to providing the public a brand name they can trust in humane, force-free positive training. In 2015 Victoria opened the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior – the world's premier dog trainer educational institution, creating new generations of positive dog trainers and enhancing "The Future of Dog Training."
Her Positively Podcast series is available globally, and she serves the Executive Producer of various ongoing television projects in addition to her own popular informative dog training videos series, Teacher's Pet and Ask Victoria, the critically-acclaimed Arson Dogs series, the Guardians of the Night web series and other related content on the Positively Media Center platform.
Stilwell is committed to helping the cause of animal rescue and rehabilitation and is heavily involved organizations around the world to increase awareness of puppy mills, dogfighting, animal abuse, pet overpopulation, dog bite prevention and other animal-related causes. She is the Executive Director of the Victoria Stilwell Foundation - a non-profit charitable organization committed to providing financial assistance and dog training expertise to small rescue shelters and assistance dog organizations who practice positive training methods.
A co-founder of the national Dog Bite Prevention conference series, Stilwell is a National Ambassador for the American Humane Association and is a member of its ‘No Animals Were Harmed’ Committee. She also serves on the Advisory Boards for DogTV, Dognition, RedRover, and Canine Assistants, and she is a member of the US Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC).
Victoria currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, daughter and two rescue dogs, Sadie and Jasmine.