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It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet Paperback – January 31, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned dog trainer best known as the star of the internationally acclaimed TV series, It's Me or the Dog. A bestselling author, Stilwell frequently appears in the media as a pet expert and is widely recognized and respected as a leader in the field of animal behavior. Visit Victoria's official website at

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; 1.1.2007 edition (January 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401308554
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401308551
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born and raised in Wimbledon, England, 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 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 and as a judge on CBS's Greatest American Dog. Having filmed over 110 episodes since 2005, Stilwell reaches audiences in over 60 countries while counseling families on their pet problems.

In the early 1990s, Stilwell began her career in pet training 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 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 advisor and giving regular seminars on the subject of dog rescue, training and rehabilitation while becoming one of the leading voices in the field of dog training and behavior.

Stilwell is passionate about using positive reinforcement training methods that enhance a dog's ability to learn while increasing confidence, resulting in a healthy, well-adjusted pet. She is firmly against the use of forceful, dominance-based training techniques, which often result in 'quick fixes' but ultimately cause more long-term harm than good.

Her 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, have been widely praised, and they detail her core reward-based training philosophy: avoid the use of pain, fear and punishment while helping to build mutual trust, respect and love through the implementation of her scientifically-backed positive training methods. Her third book, Train Your Dog Positively, will be released in the US in the spring of 2013.

A regular guest on talk shows, news broadcasts and radio programs throughout 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 a regular columnist several magazines including Dogs Today, and she has been featured in numerous journals, magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, USA Today, Cosmopolitan,, Oprah Magazine, Rachael Ray Everyday,, Self Magazine, Shape Magazine, The Daily Mail, and The Sun.

Stilwell is the Editor-in-Chief of which features the world's leading veterinary behaviorists, dog trainers and behavioral scientists on her Positively Expert Blog. She also serves as the CEO of Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training - the world's premier global network of positive reinforcement dog trainers. In addition to her globally available Positively Podcast series, she also produces several shows in her role as the director of training and behavior for the popular eHow Pets YouTube channel.

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. A co-founder of the national Dog Bite Prevention conference series, Stilwell is also a National Ambassador for the American Humane Association and serves on the Advisory Boards of RedRover, DogTV, Dognition and Canine Assistants. 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 90 people found the following review helpful By citywulf on May 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This clearly written book covers all the essential topics (including some that many books overlook) in a very accessible way. The author believes in leadership, but she also stresses that your job is to help your dog learn to live in a human world. Her philosophy: "Training is not about imposing types of behavior on your dog that are alien to his nature. It's not about making your dog fearful or breaking his will. It's giving him the tools to live in your world." Her advice is practical and effective, and for "show me" people, her tv series is also excellent.


Think Dog/understanding your dog

Talk Dog/communicating with your dog

Dog School/basic obedience training

Dog's Dinner/feeding your dog the right diet

Accidents Will Happen/how to house-train your dog

You'll Never Walk Alone/exercising your dog

Ain't Misbehaving/teach your dog how to live in your world

Worker's Playtime/how to have fun with your dog

For those looking for problem-solving guides with a similar practical, positive approach, try Outwitting Dogs: Revolutionary Techniques For Dog Training That Work!.
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121 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Brian on March 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is wonderful. A friend of mine who lives in England ordered it for me, as Victoria Stilwell has a dog training TV show ('It's Me or the Dog') over there that started around the same time as Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer show here. Apparently, the show is coming to Animal Planet in the US in April.

First of all, the book is beautiful. Could be a coffee table book in its own right considering the beautiful photography and layout. It's presented so that you can flip around from chapter to chapter as needed, which is nice for a dog training book. I'd recommend reading it all the way through first, though, as you get a real sense of her philosophy that way.

Which is the best thing about the book. The whole concept is to try to get us dog owners to view things from a dog's point of view and understand the reasons behind the behavior we're trying to change in our dogs. She still says to treat the dog like an animal and not a child, but it really opened my eyes about how and why certain things were happening, and I feel like my relationship with my dog (which was great before I read it) is even better now. It's like discovering there's another plane from which you can view things. Very positive-reward-based training methods which have worked wonders for us so far. Really easy to read yet intelligently presented.

My friend in England says Victoria is the biggest name in dog training there now because of her show, and after reading her book, I can see why. Good for dog lovers or dog owners. Even if you've got everything sorted out between you and your dog, you'll love this book, as it's truly a celebration of dogs and our relationship with them, as well as a fantastic training tool. A must for all dog people!!!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Carol A. Brown on June 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Best dog training guide ever! I used this book to help me solve my problems I had with my Labrador Retriever pulling on the lead,being unfriendly toward strange dogs,barking,and his mild separation anxiety.I also love this book because Victoria uses positive training methods unlike Cesar. I highly recommend this book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Grace Jaques on August 17, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Her approach to dog training is very postive and upbeat. She helps you remember that while it is a process training your pet that you shouldn't forget that you can have fun and enjoy them. I wish there would have been a bit more information on puppy specific issues but on the whole still a good tool for understanding and training your dog.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Laura W on July 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started watching It's Me or the Dog on TV a few weeks ago and was learning a lot. I have been working on training my 6 month old puppy and decided I should get this book. Normally this is the kind of book that I might skim through and read the applicable sections, but I ended up reading it cover to cover. Victoria writes in such a way that you really understand what's going on in your dog's head. Being a fairly short book, I wasn't expecting it to address all of my concerns but it seemed at some parts that she must have met my dog before because she exactly described some of her quirky behavior!

The portion of the book that I wasn't expecting and that I found very informative and somewhat shocking was the section about dog nutrition. I had never really read the labels of the dog food that I was using because it was recommended by my dog's breeder and it is a well-known brand. In this book Victoria lists and describes some of the common ingredients in dog food. After reading this and then seeing the ingredients in my dog's food, I was shocked to see things like chicken by-product (rendered chicken carcass, possibly bones, beaks and feathers!) and unhealthy fillers. I have since switched to dog food with natural ingredients and I now pay much more attention to what I buy to fuel my dog's body!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By JT on March 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very informative and I love her positive approach to training. Most of the information in the book you can view on her tv show "It's Me or the Dog", but the book is great for a quick review on how to handle situations if you have seen all her shows. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a dog of any age! Victoria's information really helps you to understand a dog's point of view and therefore helps you to understand your dog. I have learned so much from her show and this book! Truthfully it was watching her show that made us go to a rescue center and buy a dog so we could train it. Her methods really work. Our new 2 year old Boston Terrier mix isn't perfect...yet, but Victoria has helped us over several hurdles and we can foresee a wonderful life with our new bundle of joy.

Would just like to mention that we also watched several Dog Whisperer shows and found his (Ceaser Millan)methods much too aggresive. He was too forcefull and it seemed like Victoria got faster and better results with patience, kindness, and understanding with your dog.
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