As I’ve said before, dog training is an unregulated industry where anyone can claim they are a professional dog trainer just because they feel like it. As a former college instructor and life-long educator, getting the best possible training was important to me.
In my (sometimes less humble than it could be) opinion, the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior (aka VSA) is the premier professional dog trainer educational institution. VSA was founded by world-renowned pet behavior expert and Animal Planet TV star Victoria Stilwell. Victoria is one of the world’s best-known dog trainers due to her hit TV show It’s Me or the Dog, through which she shares her passion for educating the public about the power of reward-based positive reinforcement training methods and the dangers and ineffectiveness of traditional dominance-based philosophies.
Victoria founded VSA with a mission to educate, engage and inspire future dog trainers and its founding principles reflect her passion for promoting effective, safe and humane training tools and methods by qualified dog training professionals in an otherwise unregulated industry.
Taught by Victoria herself and her world-class faculty, VSA’s Online Dog Trainer Course is a rigorous academic and practical study of dog training and behavior knowledge and skills, effective human communication, and business management acumen. The comprehensive course curriculum features multiple learning models and requires students to engage at the highest level via online studies and practical experience and skills assessments under the tutelage of a personal VSA Faculty Advisor. My faculty advisor, Tara Houser of Real Pet Behavior, was a generous and brilliant mentor with so much passion for and expertise in dog training.
Although I’ve been dog training for a while in the positive reinforcement world, this learning experience and certification testing has made me an even stronger advocate for dogs with more training tools to share with families and their adopted dogs.
Part of being a VSA dog trainer means that I have pledged to to promote, practice and uphold Victoria’s high level of force-free, reward-based, positive dog training methodologies and ideologies in all of my work. It’s a very public statement of my vision for dogs and I’m honored to be part of the VSA community.
About Victoria Stilwell
Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned dog trainer best known as the star of the international hit TV series It’s Me or the Dog. Having filmed over 110 episodes since 2005, Stilwell is able to reach audiences in over 100 countries with her philosophy of positive training methods. A best-selling author, Stilwell appears frequently in the media and is widely recognized as a leader in the field of animal behavior. A passionate advocate for positive dog training methods, Stilwell is the Editor-in-Chief of Positively.com, the founder of the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior, and the CEO of Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training – the world’s premier global network of positive reinforcement dog trainers. The recipient of multiple awards, Stilwell is committed to helping the cause of animal rescue and rehabilitation and is heavily involved organizations around the world to increase awareness of puppy mills, dogfighting, animal abuse, pet overpopulation, dog bite prevention and other animal-related causes, but she is best known as a champion for force-free positive reinforcement dog training methods. She is a National Ambassador for the American Humane Association and serves on the Advisory Boards of RedRover, DogTV, Dognition and Canine Assistants.
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