Pet-Related Television Shows: Two Reviews

I’d generally rather see people get their pet information from a book than a television show. I recommend Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor, The Dog Who Would Be King by John C. Wright and Judi Wright-Lashnits, and Is Your Cat Crazy (same authors as the previous title). However, television isn’t going anywhere, and pet-related TV shows are likely to be a permanent part of pet ownership now and in the future. Many people now get training, grooming, and behavior advice from television. Some shows provide excellent information. Others seem to misinform owners and are intended to entertain rather than convey helpful advice. Here are my reviews of two shows I enjoy, and which provide  generally accurate advice.

It’s Me or the Dog

It’s Me or the Dog is an Animal Planet show featuring renowned trainer Victoria Stilwell consulting with pet parents whose dogs’ behavior is jeopardizing the relationships between human members of the family. Issues dealt with on the show include separation anxiety, dog aggression, resource guarding, hyperactivity, escaping the yard, and more. Victoria is a genuinely experienced, educated, and respected trainer who uses positive reinforcement and behavioral analysis to change dogs’ behavior. More importantly, she excels at explaining complex behavioral concepts to novice owners, and convincing them to make changes in their pet care routine in order to permanently solve problems.

The only negative is that a half-hour television show doesn’t leave room to go into much depth about specific problems, and some of the issues featured on the show are severe enough that the pet parents really should be working with a professional Animal Behaviorist on an ongoing basis after their time with Victoria is over.

Grade: A-minus. Victoria gets a near-perfect score, but should emphasize the importance of ongoing professional assistance with any issue involving aggression toward humans or other pets.

Beverly Hills Groomer

Artist, first season winner of the reality show Groomer Has It, returns on Beverly Hills Groomer to build a mobile grooming business with his winnings. Although Artist is invariably kind-hearted and well-intentioned, the show is as frequently about his mistakes and poor business sense as it is about his skills as a groomer. Overall, pet parents who get information about pet grooming from this show are doing well. Artist provides tips about nail clipping, ear cleaning, and other simple grooming chores.

However, if you aspire to be a professional groomer, don’t let the show fool you into thinking that you just need to talk your way into accompanying a professional and helping to bathe dogs for them, as Artist’s brother does on television. Artist’s biggest errors tend to involve trusting  his inexperienced brother too much. If you’re hoping to pick up some tips for grooming your pooch or kitty at home, this is a good show to watch. If you want to be a professional pet groomer, do yourself a favor and ask a busy local groomer to let you shadow them for a day instead. Stay out of the way, observe the day’s routine, and decide if you really want to pursue this career. If so, you’ll likely need to shell out up to $6,000 for training, and work your way up from an entry-level position in a grooming shop.

 Grade: B. Artist is likeable and easy to root for, and gives good basic advice. Just don’t base your career on his business moves.

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2 Responses

  1. jelenawoehr
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    @PetLvr PetLvr [Blog] \\ Pet-Related Television Shows: Two Reviews

  2. HART (1-800-HART)
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    (new PetLvr post ).. Pet-Related Television Shows: Two Reviews: I’d generally rather s..

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