Thanks To You!

Thanksgiving is one of my all-time favorite holidays. Being from Britain, I of course did not celebrate Thanksgiving until I met my American husband, but since then, I’ve come to truly appreciate what is one of the least commercialized major holidays. I also value this time of year as a rare opportunity to do what we all love to do best: eat good food and spend quality time with friends and family.

So I thought this would be a good time to let you all know how very much you all mean to me.

I am extraordinarily blessed with a wonderful family, dear friends and an amazing team to work with, but I wanted to take the time as we begin a new holiday season to thank you for all you’ve done to allow me to live my dream every day. I won’t call you ‘fans’ because you’re much more than that. My daughter is a ‘fan’ of Taylor Swift, but however much she may love Taylor and however hard Taylor tries to engage and reach out to her millions of adoring fans around the world, it’s still pretty much a one-way relationship.

To me, you’re more than fans because of the passion you all share for making the world a better place for our animals. As a music fan, you can’t really do more than sing along with latest pop song on the charts on the way to school, but all of you do infinitely more than that in your daily lives. From spending extra quality time on a long walk with your pup to cuddling with kitty while watching TV, to volunteering at the local shelter to attending your local doggie meet up in the park, you are truly making a difference in the lives of animals, and I thank you for that.

As we continue the journey of raising awareness about the dangers of compulsion training and the beautiful power of animal-human relationships built on positive training ideals, it can sometimes be hard sledding to face the headwinds of several decades’ worth of misinformation. But the fact that you all engage in the discussion every day and work to change the world one person at a time gives me strength as well. Together we are making a difference in the lives of our beloved animals, and the momentum behind the movement towards positive training is undeniable.

So thank you. Thanks for watching the TV shows. Thanks for reading the books. Thanks for being involved on Thank you for trusting your local VSPDT trainer. Thanks for coming to see me at local appearances.

But most of all, thank you for your passion for promoting healthy, happy relationships with your own pets. Thank you for your dedication to searching for and committing to truly humane, force-free, effective and long-lasting methods, for communicating with your dogs and building relationships based on mutual trust, respect and love instead of pain, fear and intimidation. Together, we’re moving the needle, and now a world where we collectively understand what our dogs need to thrive and flourish, is within sight.


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20 thoughts on “Thanks To You!

  1. Diana L. Barké

    Dear Victoria,

    I hope you have the most wonderful Thanksgiving ever. You truly are a pearl to take the time to write.this letter with so much thought put into it. My 96-year-old mom fell and broke her hip and is in the nursing home for rehab. I plan on buying a sub the day before and having lunch with her at the rehab.
    Maybe I will get a turkey sub, LOL. Nah, I think I will go for tuna.

    The rest of the day I will spend with my little Fernando.

    So thank you for your caring, your shows and your tips. I did not know you had books and I plan on getting them from Amazon.

    May your day be blessed,


  2. Dominika

    I don't want to slag anybody off or start a discussion about this certain dog trainer but my brother always asks me why I follow you, Victoria so strongly and not the other one (as far as TV shows go). And I always say what you are saying now - because you are doing it for the people and the pets to be able to live what you preach by simply being humane to those who have nobody else to rely on but us.
    It's the people that are 'to blame' that there are so many dogs around and we owe it to them to look after them and make them feel safe instead of punishing them for being dogs.
    It makes me so angry when I see people losing patience with their dogs and I keep asking myself WHY would they put such responsibility upon them withouth trying to understand the poor creature.

    I was at the talk in Shrewsbury and I asked what to do about my lurcher chasing people in fields and I got the Victoria treatment. But he's better now and I'm working with him around people in all sorts of situations. It's because I am the wiser of the two and I should have realised all along that people don't understand dog behaviour and that it's up to me not to let him feel threatened. I understand now that it's a combination of just being a dog and fear.

    And yes, we will change the world for the dogs!

  3. Cherrie Bevers

    Thank you Victoria, for being such a huge positive influence and inspiration for us. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Jean Butler

    Thank you Victoria. I wish you and all your family a very Happy Thanksgiving too. I enjoy watching your shows and seeing how gentle you are with all the dogs that you train

  5. Robin Rosner

    And a Happy Thanksgiving to you too...for you are one of our blessings. There is still much work to be done though. Can you believe that our local suburb has council people working on legislation to determine how long (!!!!) it's ok to leave a dog tethered outside?
    I wrote and provided some resources with better information and advised no tethering should be allowed at all unless it was very short term and a RESONSIBLE person was with the dog at all times..

  6. Al Larese

    What a lovely letter! I give thanks for finding you, Victoria, several years ago when I caught your first episode of It's Me or the Dog. I've been a devotee of your training methods and your compassion for animals. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  7. Elise

    I love Thanksgiving too! It is all about people and food, and what could be better? And it gives us the opportunity to be thankful for all that is good.

    Thinking of you and your whole family.

    Love you!


  8. Linda Bilodeau

    Thank you for the lovely message. I believe that you are right. People who have absorbed your message do make use of it in their daily life. My dogs benefit, I benefit, and the dogs I walk at the shelter benefit from your teaching.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  9. Dawn

    Thanks Victoria! And a blessed Thanksgiving for you. Thankful you have a voice for animals. Hopefully at least one corporate person will read your letter and see that you enjoy Thanksgiving for the non commercial side of it and NOT open their stores on Thanksgiving! And let people be home with fiends and family, (pets included!).

  10. Sandy

    Thanks to you for all thye training tips. I've watched your show every Saturday, Wonderful.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  11. Vivian Tanis

    Thank you, your training methods were instrumental to my dog becoming the wonderful therapy dog she is. She brings great joy were ever she goes.
    Bless you

  12. Kathy

    Hope You have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Holiday season. I know I will with my dog Oreo. you have taught me alot of stuff that I do with Oreo. I love your show and you. I hope you come to Orlando Florida someday I would relally love to meet you. You are a wonderful person. You have changed the way I train my furbaby..Thank you again

  13. Kris

    Dear Victoria,

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, too!

    I am grateful for family and friends and for all the good work you do.

    On Wednesday, I am having a visit from a sweet shelter jack russell/chihuaha mix to see her interaction with my cats before making this her forever home. Hopefully, she will be home for the holidays!.


  14. Cydney

    Dear Mrs. Stilwell,

    First of all, I would like to thank you for the work you've done. I will always be your fan. Now that I know fans mean that much to you. I will continue to follow your training. Please, will you consider adding me on Youtube, and Facebook? That would make my day.


    Cydney Paige Gravenstein(facebook name)


  15. Jenny Alltree

    Hi victoria,
    Just want to say I find your programmes fascinating and horrifying at he same background is horses but over the last 20 years I've phased out the horses and have taken on rescue dogs instead.
    I know you see the worst cases of people who have little idea or background in dogs,however I'd like to say with good,consistent rules and keeping calm in the crisises you will definately get with animals it is possible to have lots of happy animals.i am a point in case.
    I work full time,on 12 hour shifts and live in a typical British end of terrace house with a small garden,yet I currently have 10 rescue dogs with me.
    I never pick a dog,I take what comes up,whether it's from the shelter or,as has happened,one turns up on the doorstep.I went 21/2 years between getting my 6th dog and the 4,which have all turned up in the last 14 months to make 10,2 came in he same weekend!
    These dogs are different breeds sizes,sexes,ages,temperaments and,as I have some experience,I always get the ones that are long term rescue,with problems.
    I have no background in dog training,so if you take your ownership seriously,treat dogs as dogs,follow through with rules and discipline and DO YOUR HOMEWORK,anyone can do this,keep going with the show,we all sit here,riveted!! Regards Jan, Stanley,Oliver,Harriet,kirky,stupid Brian,Louie,maggot,Betty,weasel and cabbage.

  16. Erica

    You are one of the best people around ty for sharing with all of us training tips I know it has helped me a very Happy Thanksgiving to a very sweet lady

  17. Linda Messina

    Victoria - thank you for your encouraging words on this Thanksgiving Day. So pleased that you have adopted our USA day of Thanks. Today I am eternally grateful that I had my canine baby girl for almost 17 years. I had to help her leave this earth 2 weeks ago today. Of all of the dogs I've had the pleasure of in my life, Reba Messina had my heart. I only hope she returns it to me one day soon. Reba Messina @GotMutt. Reba Messina's blog: Facebook: reba.messina/

  18. Alex

    Dear Vicktoria,
    I really love the way you train the dogs.
    I also like the advice that you give the
    owners. I'm hoping someday I will get a
    chance of being the type of dog trainer
    you are.

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