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A friend and I, and our daughters are going to see her this Wed.
Here is the write-up for the show:

"Victoria Stilwell, from Animal Planet's It's Me or the Dog, is one of the world's most recognized and respected dog trainers. She will speak about her experiences, answer questions and demonstrate her techniques with dogs from a local shelter. Please do not bring your dog!"

I'm not her biggest fan, but thought it would be fun to go see. We can e-mail questions in advance. I'm not sure what to ask, as my dogs are perfect :rolleyes:
 

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I like her. Unlike another popular TV personality, she demonstrates techniques that some of us actually CAN try at home.

Have fun.
 

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I like her too. I'll be curious to hear what you have to say. Have a great time.
 

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Lucky you! Tell us about it afterwards. On an overall basis, I think her training methods are decent and have learned a thing or two from her. I love watching It's Me or the Dog, even if it is just for fun!
 

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How lucky you are! Have fun! Just let us know what knowledge you gleaned from her so we can live vicariously lol! :)
 

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I'll be there too with my mom! I think it will be pretty interesting and I can't wait to hear her speak. Plus I really like Mount Pleasant Animal Shelter and that's where the dogs are coming from that she will be using for demonstrations.
 

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Wow, that sounds like fun! I really like Victoria and most of her techniques are really great. It's too bad she doesn't come to Denver!
 

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One of the episodes I saw she told the family to put their dog down. I am glad they aired it, it shows it doesn't always worked out. She really disappointed me by that, not because she told them to put the dog. But how she handle it. The family said their dog attack for no reason. She didn't even attempted to look at the problem. There's always two sides of a story. Dogs are simple, unlike humans. I highly doubt the dog attack for no reason.
 

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It was really really good, much better than I expected and I have a whole new respect for her.

The talk started with a discussion of different training methods and why she prefers to use positive reinforcement. She gave a lot of credit to Dr. Karen Pryor and Dr. Ian Dunbar for helping to develop the training methods that she uses.

It really wasn't anything I haven't heard but it was still very interesting and there were a lot of novice dog owners and people who didn't own dogs at all who this info was great for.

She discussed that she thinks it's ridiculous that people always assume dogs are trying to be dominate. She talked about dogs being a group and not a true pack like you have with wolves and that among the dogs hierarchy is fluid. She hates alpha rolls and doesn't believe in people being an alpha, but rather the leader.

She got on her soapbox (her words) about BSL and how she dislikes it and ended that part with "Blame the deed not the breed".

She spent a lot of time on dog body language and understanding what dogs are showing us. She also believes that most "dominate" dogs are actually insecure and the best way to help is to bring up their confidence.

She stressed over and over that large behavioral changes take a lot of time to accomplish and that there are no quick fixes. If anyone has seen the episode of her show with the dog "Cooper", the DA boxer, she said he is the hardest dog she's ever worked with. Apparently though she didn't stop working with him after the show. She lives near his owners and so has been able to continue working with him. He had two knee surgeries and had to spend almost 6 months on crate rest which set him back to the beginning so he's still a work in progress. I thought that was pretty cool that it wasn't "okay, shows over, now you're on your own."

She really pushed for adoption and fostering and did some great work with the shelter dogs she brought in, the first being a pit bull mix who was very food motivated and needed to learn "leave it". One was there for food aggression so she showed how she trains the dog by giving them a high value treat when she is near the food but said that it takes weeks and weeks of doing so to make any real difference.

The end was a very sweet video about dogs relationships to humans and how special they are (I'll admit it had me a bit teary eyed). Then she talked for a little bit about 9/11 and how she was there to help the families afterwards using therapy dogs and what a big difference that made.

She doesn't do many of these but if you have a chance to go I would highly recommend it! Listening to her explain her methods was terrific and while I liked her before I have a real respect for her now.

Oh, and she mentioned that that the wearing all black thing was the director's idea and she came out in jeans and a red sweater :).
 

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One of the episodes I saw she told the family to put their dog down. I am glad they aired it, it shows it doesn't always worked out. She really disappointed me by that, not because she told them to put the dog. But how she handle it. The family said their dog attack for no reason. She didn't even attempted to look at the problem. There's always two sides of a story. Dogs are simple, unlike humans. I highly doubt the dog attack for no reason.

Perhaps that particular dog would have been good for (I know people do not want to hear it) the dog whisperer.
 

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One of the episodes I saw she told the family to put their dog down. I am glad they aired it, it shows it doesn't always worked out. She really disappointed me by that, not because she told them to put the dog. But how she handle it. The family said their dog attack for no reason. She didn't even attempted to look at the problem. There's always two sides of a story. Dogs are simple, unlike humans. I highly doubt the dog attack for no reason.
Are you talking about the Cocker Spaniel? She has a long write up about it on her website and it was more than just one attack.

She feels (whether it's right or not) that the dog was exhibiting Spaniel Rage and that the attacks were unprovoked. Apparently the dog bit the family's children three times and then mauled a child. The dog also mauled the mother in the family.

Apparently though she didn't automatically recommend putting the dog down. She worked with the dog and the family but even after working with them the dog attacked (that's when the mauling of the child happened). She didn't feel that this was a safe dog to try and rehome and that it could never become a trustworthy pet.

Honestly, once a dog mauls a person or child I do believe euthanasia is the kindest thing. If they hadn't and that dog had gone on to kill a child or adult we would all be on here talking about the irresponsible owners with the dog with an aggressive history. Sometimes you can't win either way.
 

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Thanks, Xie, for summing the evening up - probably better than I could have.
Some other things that she said/did that I liked:
Regarding dog owners being the "alpha" or "dominant" - Dogs are smart! Your dog knows that you are not a dog! Your dog knows that you are mostly in charge of everything in it's life.

When going for a walk, your dog should not pull you out the door, as a matter of 'manners'. Though, it does not mean the dog thinks he is dominant over you if he/she goes out the door ahead of you.. It means that he can't wait to see/smell all that is out there. Same with the dog being out in front of you on a leash during a walk. Though, it doesn't mean we should not teach them to walk calmly on the leash.

In addition to speaking out against BSL, she talked quite a bit about the horrendous puppy mills. And she brought out a dog from the shelter that was rescued from a puppy mill.

All the dogs she brought on stage were available for adoption, and they were outside after the show to "greet" people.

Also - I had no idea that she lives in the U.S., and is very familiar with the NY/NJ area.
 
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