It’s Me or the Dog Free on YouTube!
We're very excited to share the news that full episodes of It's Me or the Dog are now available on YouTube via the @ItsMeOrTheDog channel.
It's been quite a while since we broke ground on that series back in the early 2000's, and I never would've guessed that we'd end up shooting over 100 episodes and have the show airing in over 200 countries. Crazy!
I originally pitched the show idea to the same producers of Supernanny, saying that I did the same things with dogs and their owners that Jo Frost was doing with kids and their parents. Obviously the format was a winner and we went on to collaborate with the same production company for over 8 full seasons (4 in the UK and 4 in the US).
When the show first started, there were no other modern TV shows about dog training and behavior on the air in the UK (where the show first premiered). As time went on and other dog training shows simultaneously gained in popularity, it began to become apparent that one of the main purposes of It’s Me or the Dog would be provide a public voice promoting positive training techniques and force-free tools and methods.
Like all good dog trainers, however, I’ve evolved quite a bit in the 15 years since we shot those early episodes in the UK. Good dog trainers are always learning and perfecting their skills. As behavioral and cognitive science evolves, so does our understanding of how dogs think, feel and learn, and that’s what forms the foundation of everything I do as a modern dog trainer. I’m lucky to know and work alongside many of the leading dog trainers and behavioral and cognitive scientists in the world, and many of them are involved with Positively, the Victoria Stilwell Academy, and/or some of the other platforms and initiatives we’ve built over the past decade – a few of them even made it into some of the later episodes of It’s Me or the Dog!
I’m incredibly proud of the content we produced on It’s Me or the Dog, and I’m continually amazed at the number and breadth of people that share with me how something about the show helped them in their journey towards a deeper understanding of their dogs and dog behavior. I’m still good friends with the producers of the show and have continued working in various regards on other projects with many of the great people that were part of the It’s Me or the Dog team.
That said, like almost anything that’s over 10 years old these days, there are a few soundbites and snippets of various shows that I would handle far differently today than I did back then. I first learned to train dogs during the time when ‘pack leader’ and fixed hierarchy theories in dog /human households was still popular and more widely prevalent. In order to suppress a dog’s supposed ascent to become ‘top dog’ of the household, for example, I was taught that we had to ‘demote’ them. Some trainers did this in a more harmful way using physical punishment, while trainers like me were taught to do it in a softer way – to pretend to eat out of a dog’s bowl, for example, because ‘the leader always eats first’, or to keep the dog below me so that he didn’t think he was a ‘higher rank’, etc. All these things felt a little odd to me when I was taught them, but I studied with people and read from books that espoused these and other similar theories. It was a massive relief to find that these ideas were actually based on flawed research, and that what I truly felt inside fit much better with newer studies about dog behavior that were emerging from canine behavior and cognition research centers and universities around the world.
This is an exciting time to be a dog trainer because the wealth of discovery is revolutionizing the dog training and behavior world and we at Positively and the Victoria Stilwell Academy (VSA) are at the forefront, helping to turn those discoveries into workable learning platforms for our canine and human clients. By focusing on the function of behavior and the power of choice and enrichment, as well as understanding the importance of bridging the gap between dog and human needs and wants, we continue to promote our mission of helping humans and dogs live more harmoniously together.
So we hope you enjoy the new YouTube roll out of It’s Me or the Dog! And if you happen to notice something in an early episode that might be a bit more ‘old school’ than what you’ve seen, read or heard from me more recently, check out more information about positive training at positively.com, learn more about what we teach at VSA (vsdogtrainingacademy.com) and join my Facebook (facebook.com/victoriastilwell), Twitter (twitter.com/VictoriaS), Instagram (@victoriastilwell), or YouTube (youtube.com/victoriastilwell) pages and keep up to date with the latest information about me, positive training and exciting articles and information to help both you and your dog.
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