Her popular U.K. dog training TV show, "It's Me or the Dog," makes its American debut 8:30 PM (ET) on Animal Planet (with repeats scheduled in the future). Because of her TV work with dogs (as well as the best-selling book, "It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet"), she is one of the world's most well-known dog trainers. "It's Me or the Dog" has been seen in 20 countries.
Although the people, breeds and situations change from episode to episode, the moral of each of Stilwell's visits to dog-ruled homes seems to be the same: It's not the dog's fault, it's the human's.
Animal Planet bought the first 30 episodes of the U.K. versions of the show, have re-packaged them for the U.S., and will air them in order, Stilwell said.
Stilwell has worked as an actor in London's West End, in New York City, regionally in the U.K. and U.S., in television, and on film. A native of London, England, she received a BA honors degree in theatre from Middlesex University in London. On the advice of Sir Anthony Hopkins she was awarded a scholarship to London's prestigious Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, where she earned an MFA in acting with distinction. Her extensive British acting credits include U.K. national tours as Juliet in Romeo & Juliet; The Rocky Horror Show; and the female lead in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story – a role she reprised in London's hit West End production and on a successful U.S. national tour.
Her film credits include roles in Francis Ford Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula" as well as several independent films. Regionally, she has appeared in productions of Betrayal (Tennessee Rep), Private Lives (New Harmony Theatre) and Merry Wives of Windsor (Princeton Rep). Stilwell is committed "to education and training as a way of reducing the number of animals that are owner-surrendered and abandoned due to a lack of knowledge and understanding," according to her website, www.victoriastilwell.com. "In the early 1990s, she created her own successful dog-walking company and recognized the need for qualified professionals to help her clients with the training process. While pursuing an acting career, she expanded her focus into dog training and behavior counseling by working with some of Britain's most respected positive-reinforcement dog trainers and behaviorists.
"In 1999 she moved to Manhattan where she co-founded Dog Trainers of New York, a dog training and behavior modification company working primarily with families and educating children on safe and effective dog handling."
Click here for more information about Animal Planet's "It's Me or the Dog."
For more information, visit www.victoriastilwell.com.