My Body

Victoria Stilwell on the Joys of Dog Walking and Parks

Dog trainer Victoria Stilwell is the host of Animal Planet's series "It's Me or the Dog." Her insights and advice for positive, reward-based dog training can be found on

We have a chocolate lab, and having a dog you have to exercise, because you have to exercise your dog every day. It's not fair if you don't. And that's a great thing. Even if I don't feel like it, I have to go, and then of course after I've finished my walk, I feel great.

I am the primary dog walker. My husband might disagree but, I am. We do an hour to an hour and a half a day of good strong walking. So she gets her aerobic exercise, and I get my daily walk. I just find it so beneficial. I used to run, I used to go to the gym, and it just bored me. If I have to run or do some sort of regimen like that I know I won't do it. But I like my daily walks, and I like to play group sports. Exercise for me has got to be interesting. I don't want it to be a daily grind. When I exercise, I want to enjoy myself.

The other thing, when you're walking dogs, especially in the park, there's a big social aspect to it. You can meet a lot of people. You're getting your exericse, you're meeting people, your dog is getting exercise. It's terrific.

Canine obesity is a huge problem in this country. Obesity is a human problem, not a canine one. It's not fair on the dogs, and it's not fair on the person either. If you're too busy to exercise your dog, get up in the morning earlier. It really will make you feel better.

Victoria Stilwell


Having a dog is awesome!  I walk a lot but with a dog - it's pushed to the nth degree!  And it's so enjoyable to see things through thier eyes.  I notice things I never used to notice !

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