It's Me or the Dog is a dog training show I can get behind. It's insightful, realistic and pretty darn funny at times. Best of all, Victoria Stillwell, the star and dog trainer, knows what she is talking about.
She understands dog behavior and she practices rewards based training to get results. She helps dog lovers understand why their dogs are behaving the way they are. She also helps them understand that their reactions to certain behaviors are often part of the problem.
Her own web site is called "Positively" and she has a great line up of experts on the site. One of them is Karen Pryor of "clicker training" fame and someone we've written about extensively. They all have one thing in common. They understand that helping dogs make the right choices, and reinforcing those good choices with timely rewards, is the best way to train a dog.
She starts each segment with keen observation of the dog in his home environment. She observes the dog's behavior, the owner's reaction to the behavior and the physical environment as well. She takes all this into consideration and develops a plan of action. Most of the segments involve dealing with problem behavior, but she throws in a good deal of basic training skill as well.
The shows are real, too. No magical cures are presented. Instead, you get the sense that dog training and behavior modification takes time, patience and consistency. These are real life experiences complete with failure, but by the end of each segment she has the owners on the road to recovery. You get the sense that the hopelessness has been replaced with knowledge and increased confidence.
Victoria is a no nonsense gal, too. It's really funny to watch her facial expressions when owners try to rationalize their crazy take on the situation. She won't let them equivocate and she holds them accountable for their choices and reactions. She makes them better dog owners by helping them understand why the dog is behaving the way it does. Seeing the world through the eyes of the dog is a real break through for everyone interested in dog behavior.
Tivo her show and check out herwebsite. Both have great training resources available and lots of good advice.