Speaking Positively With Dog Trainer Victoria Stilwell

January 21, 2013 By Lisa Desatnik

When I attended the Association of Pet Dog Trainers conference, I had an opportunity to meet Victoria Stilwell, best known for her role as the star of Animal Planet’s hit TV series It’s Me or the Dog. What I share with her is our passion for positive reinforcement training methods that enhance a dog’s ability to learn while increasing confidence, resulting in a healthy, well-adjusted pet. I spoke with her afterward about her training philosophy. Below is an excerpt.

Do you think of yourself as a trainer or a teacher?

I actually just wrote my third book and a lot of it is teaching. For so long the emphasis in our industry has been on training your dog but I see it more as teaching your dog. To make that transition, I still have to make that connection with people by using the word ‘training’. Inside my new book, however, I talk more about teaching. The word ‘teaching’ puts more emphasis on not putting your will upon your dog. Instead, you’re teaching it how to live successfully in your world. Teaching gives a better understanding that it isn’t any different than teaching a child….

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Victoria with Lisa Desatnik

Victoria with Lisa Desatnik