My Take on Cesar Millan

Okay I finally had to do it. All the controversy about Cesar Millan and I had never seen his show. I don’t have the National Geographic Channel so I rented some of his shows on Netflix to see what I thought. I only got one DVD, which is fine, and I’ve watched about 3 of the episodes so far.

Can I form a full opinion on watching only 3 episodes? Well, maybe not, but already I think I have a good general idea.

What I liked

He is a very strong personality and he is a natural leader with the dogs. Dog respect him immediately and he probably gives off very strong energy so he can take charge with the dogs. This is great for him and it really works well with dogs. I agree that all dogs need to have a firm, benevolent leader to lead the pack.

What I didn’t like

I don’t think that what he shows on TV is really a good thing for the average general public dog guardian. Many, many people don’t have that strong of a personality as he does. Personally, and I’m not bragging I’m just being honest, I have a good strong personality with dogs. I am a good leader and dogs respect me.

Would I take a dog for a walk that has a history of biting his person? Um, no. Not without a muzzle. Would I try to take a bone, or anything, away from a Vizsla who is growling and lunging to resource guard? Again no, not without a muzzle. And I do not think any regular dog guardian should be doing anything like that. It is most likely they will get bitten. Heck, Cesar got bitten on the show.

And there was the lady with the lab/pit mix who, when she took the dog on a walk, he would bark and lunge and go into a frenzy when another dog came by. And he bit her multiple times and punctured her and drew blood. This dog, for Cesar, was okay.. but still nervous. And even after Cesar left she could not walk the dog, because she was afraid of her own dog.

What Cesar Millan doesn’t do is address the deep down issues the dog has. He doesn’t get into the dog’s personality or behavior. He doesn’t try to work through these issues with loving, firm support. I see and understand how some critics have said he sets dog training back 100 years. Sure you can thrust a dog onto a shiny floor and make them walk on it until they just do it. But why not gain that dogs trust at the same time by approaching the floor, and clicking and treating the dog when he gets nearer the floor? Why not boost this dog’s confidence and teach this dog, a Great Dane, to trust the people’s guidance and make good decisions? That poor Dane was terrified, you could see the stress drool coming out of his mouth. I would so have preferred that situation to have included slow progress with a clicker and food rewards. Even after the dog went onto the floor by himself, he still looked nervous.

I don’t want a nervous dog. I want a happy dog that has confidence in my leadership and works for me because we are a good team, and we are figuring each other out and we have a good connection and we are having fun!

I didn’t see that at all in the episodes I watched.

The sad thing is, of course, that these people let these dogs get to this point in the first place. The Viszla (who was bred in Utah no less) went to live with her family at 8 weeks old. Why on earth is a puppy learning to be fearful, learning to be a resource guarder? Did they not read any puppy books? Did they not follow the three most important rules of puppies… socialize, socialize, socialzie? I guess not. That entire situation was avoidable. They created the Vizsla’s fears, and reinforced them along the way. It’s a very sad situation to see.

The rescue dogs, of course, are always a challenge because of the baggage they bring with them. But still, for the lab/pit mix the lady couldn’t walk without him flipping out, I would recommend her to read Fiesty Fido, teach the dog the look, and some calming behaviors, perhaps TTouch, and work that way instead of forcing the dog into situations where he is uncomfortable, which may aggravate the whole issue.

Anyway… that’s my soapbox rant for the day!

68 thoughts on “My Take on Cesar Millan”

  1. Hi OC Treats thanks for your comment.

    Actually, if you followed my blog, you would know that I have many years experience as a dog trainer, in agility, obedience, flyball, herding, and I’ve had a great deal of rescue dogs through my home, too. So yes, I feel like I am knowledgeable enough to write an informed blog about Cesar Millan, even after only watching (I’ve watched about 6 episodes now) of his show.

    I’m glad he helped your sister-in-law with her dogs. That’s great. I would rather, myself, go about using treats and positive reinforcement for dogs. Behavior wise and training wise. Many rescue dogs have come through my home in the last ten years and I have always been able to rehabilitate them, build their confidence, and bring out their happy good sides.

    I have read a great deal of books on behavior. I work with the most talented and effective dog trainer in Utah. I do have the skills and the knowledge to put forth an informed opinion.

    How many dogs have you and your sister-in-law trained? Rehabilitated? Drawn out of their shells? Do you do rescue, obedience, agility, herding, flyball, tracking.. or any dog sport? I’m just curious. If you come back and comment again with your dog experience, I would love to hear from you!

  2. So let me get this right. You rented a DVD, watched 3 episodes and now you’re capable of writing a blog about Cesar? Sorry but you’re not.

    My sister-in-law was a client of his. What I personally observed first hand impressed me with her 3 dogs. His recommendations, when applied, work. Cesar himself will tell you that he is a dog psychologist and not a DOG trainer.

    Remember this is a tv show and should be taken at face value. What you don’t see, off camera, is the additional help and training he gives the dog owner.

    When I go to Lisas house now, I’m happy to be there since her pets are well behaved and “part of Lisas pack.” Before? It was crazy. Her Jack Russell was the biggest pest. Now he’s much better.

    So I’ve witnessed it with my own eyes, His techniques work. You hardly have the authority to judge Mr. Milan.

  3. So let me get this right. You rented a DVD, watched 3 episodes and now you're capable of writing a blog about Cesar? Sorry but you're not.

    My sister-in-law was a client of his. What I personally observed first hand impressed me with her 3 dogs. His recommendations, when applied, work. Cesar himself will tell you that he is a dog psychologist and not a DOG trainer.

    Remember this is a tv show and should be taken at face value. What you don't see, off camera, is the additional help and training he gives the dog owner.

    When I go to Lisas house now, I'm happy to be there since her pets are well behaved and "part of Lisas pack." Before? It was crazy. Her Jack Russell was the biggest pest. Now he's much better.

    So I've witnessed it with my own eyes, His techniques work. You hardly have the authority to judge Mr. Milan.

  4. Don’t ya just love random comments from people who just fly by.. personally I thought your post was a fair assessment of what you saw.

    There is no question that his techniques work.. but at what cost?

    Fuzzy Logic’s last blog post..A bit more on Mr. Millan

  5. Thanks Fuzzy Logic. πŸ™‚ I do wonder what sort of dog experience the commenter has. I was hoping some people who know me would come by and comment, too, since they know my training and experience!

  6. Hi OC Treats thanks for your comment.

    Actually, if you followed my blog, you would know that I have many years experience as a dog trainer, in agility, obedience, flyball, herding, and I've had a great deal of rescue dogs through my home, too. So yes, I feel like I am knowledgeable enough to write an informed blog about Cesar Millan, even after only watching (I've watched about 6 episodes now) of his show.

    I'm glad he helped your sister-in-law with her dogs. That's great. I would rather, myself, go about using treats and positive reinforcement for dogs. Behavior wise and training wise. Many rescue dogs have come through my home in the last ten years and I have always been able to rehabilitate them, build their confidence, and bring out their happy good sides.

    I have read a great deal of books on behavior. I work with the most talented and effective dog trainer in Utah. I do have the skills and the knowledge to put forth an informed opinion.

    How many dogs have you and your sister-in-law trained? Rehabilitated? Drawn out of their shells? Do you do rescue, obedience, agility, herding, flyball, tracking.. or any dog sport? I'm just curious. If you come back and comment again with your dog experience, I would love to hear from you!

  7. Thanks Fuzzy Logic. πŸ™‚ I do wonder what sort of dog experience the commenter has. I was hoping some people who know me would come by and comment, too, since they know my training and experience!

  8. I have watched quite a few episodes and come across with the same opinion. I think he gives the average dog owner a false sense of what can be accomplished. His use of dominance looks effective, but does not always create a happy, trusting dog that is bonded to its owner. the dogs might respect their newfound place in “the pack”, but are they truly happy? Not sure.

    His techniques are successful if employed correctly and consistently. Tough to do for a lot of people over time. But I, like you, would never take out a reactive dog and expose him to situations where I know he could be provoked and end up reverting to old behaviors. You never know when a situation will arise that could send a dog over threshold.

    I’d certainly like to see a lot more use of positive reinforcement and true shaping of proper behaviors. These are more difficult concepts for avg dog owners and take more patience than his approach, but IMHO, are more successful in the end.

    Now that he’s sold himself to the public, I’d truly love to see an episode, or even whole season, from him on how to properly raise a dog using positive methods so that they don’t end up with these problems that have to be fixed. Like, let’s talk about how to prevent resource guarding in your new puppy! Easy episode to market.

  9. I have watched quite a few episodes and come across with the same opinion. I think he gives the average dog owner a false sense of what can be accomplished. His use of dominance looks effective, but does not always create a happy, trusting dog that is bonded to its owner. the dogs might respect their newfound place in "the pack", but are they truly happy? Not sure.

    His techniques are successful if employed correctly and consistently. Tough to do for a lot of people over time. But I, like you, would never take out a reactive dog and expose him to situations where I know he could be provoked and end up reverting to old behaviors. You never know when a situation will arise that could send a dog over threshold.

    I'd certainly like to see a lot more use of positive reinforcement and true shaping of proper behaviors. These are more difficult concepts for avg dog owners and take more patience than his approach, but IMHO, are more successful in the end.

    Now that he's sold himself to the public, I'd truly love to see an episode, or even whole season, from him on how to properly raise a dog using positive methods so that they don't end up with these problems that have to be fixed. Like, let's talk about how to prevent resource guarding in your new puppy! Easy episode to market.

  10. OC – I tend to agree with you (no offense to the blogger who I’m sure has talent as a dog trainer). Sounds like you pushed a button, hahaha

    Overall his show has had a positive effect on the dog world. He’s got his faults and techniques that are questionable but like everything, in the big picture it’s all good.

    Comment to this blogger – you put yourself out there in cyberspace with a blog entitled “MY TAKE ON CESAR MILAN”. Not everyone will agree with your opinion so don’t take it so seriously –

    “but” tsst
    “but” tsst
    “but” tsst

    I am now exerting a calm and effective lead over you – LOL

  11. OC – I tend to agree with you (no offense to the blogger who I'm sure has talent as a dog trainer). Sounds like you pushed a button, hahaha

    Overall his show has had a positive effect on the dog world. He's got his faults and techniques that are questionable but like everything, in the big picture it's all good.

    Comment to this blogger – you put yourself out there in cyberspace with a blog entitled "MY TAKE ON CESAR MILAN". Not everyone will agree with your opinion so don't take it so seriously –

    "but" tsst
    "but" tsst
    "but" tsst

    I am now exerting a calm and effective lead over you – LOL

  12. Hmmm, I am not sure exactly what I think of Cesar myself. I think he has alot of good to say and is amazing with animals. He gives people hope when they have none. What does bother me is that the show is set up for entertainment and the situations are not logical for the lay person to try. His books however are MUCH better.

  13. Hmmm, I am not sure exactly what I think of Cesar myself. I think he has alot of good to say and is amazing with animals. He gives people hope when they have none. What does bother me is that the show is set up for entertainment and the situations are not logical for the lay person to try. His books however are MUCH better.

  14. I am a huge Cesar Millan fan. And these are my thoughts. I think your rant is a little misguided. He teaches dog psychology. He’s not a dog trainer. When people treat dogs as human the dog becomes unfulfilled and bad behavior happens. I think he does give loving and firm support.
    I do agree that it is sad that people let these dogs get to this point. I rescued 2 shepherds that were not socialized with humans. These dogs have come a long way with Cesars psychology and with treat training. It really drives my friends nuts. That I am always walking and going to dog parks and everything I do is in the training , pack leader mode. When we go camping I end up hiking my 2 with everyone elses dogs.
    I firmly believe that in order to correct a dogs behavior they need to go through the the situation. They need to go forward.
    I beleive that once you are a pack leader to your dogs, you really don’t need training. But if you do both it’s a double bonus.
    If you really watch and listen to him on his show you will get it. “We are the only species that follow unstable pack leaders” Cesar Millan We can’t forget these are dogs not humans. Minn

    Minn’s last blog post..Brutus and Nero

  15. I am a huge Cesar Millan fan. And these are my thoughts. I think your rant is a little misguided. He teaches dog psychology. He's not a dog trainer. When people treat dogs as human the dog becomes unfulfilled and bad behavior happens. I think he does give loving and firm support.
    I do agree that it is sad that people let these dogs get to this point. I rescued 2 shepherds that were not socialized with humans. These dogs have come a long way with Cesars psychology and with treat training. It really drives my friends nuts. That I am always walking and going to dog parks and everything I do is in the training , pack leader mode. When we go camping I end up hiking my 2 with everyone elses dogs.
    I firmly believe that in order to correct a dogs behavior they need to go through the the situation. They need to go forward.
    I beleive that once you are a pack leader to your dogs, you really don't need training. But if you do both it's a double bonus.
    If you really watch and listen to him on his show you will get it. "We are the only species that follow unstable pack leaders" Cesar Millan We can't forget these are dogs not humans. Minn <em>Minn's last blog post..<a href='http://imustrelax.blogspot.com/2008/01/brutus-and…rel="nofollow">Brutus and Nero</a></em>

  16. I am a huge Cesar Millan fan. And these are my thoughts. I think your rant is a little misguided. He teaches dog psychology. He's not a dog trainer. When people treat dogs as human the dog becomes unfulfilled and bad behavior happens. I think he does give loving and firm support.
    I do agree that it is sad that people let these dogs get to this point. I rescued 2 shepherds that were not socialized with humans. These dogs have come a long way with Cesars psychology and with treat training. It really drives my friends nuts. That I am always walking and going to dog parks and everything I do is in the training , pack leader mode. When we go camping I end up hiking my 2 with everyone elses dogs.
    I firmly believe that in order to correct a dogs behavior they need to go through the the situation. They need to go forward.
    I beleive that once you are a pack leader to your dogs, you really don't need training. But if you do both it's a double bonus.
    If you really watch and listen to him on his show you will get it. "We are the only species that follow unstable pack leaders" Cesar Millan We can't forget these are dogs not humans. Minn <em>Minn's last blog post..<a href='http://imustrelax.blogspot.com/2008/01/brutus-and…rel="nofollow">Brutus and Nero</a></em>

  17. Hi Donna, thanks so much for your comment. I think the episode on how to raise your dog right is an excellent idea! I just wouldn’t feel right about, like you said, taking a reactive dog out that could revert to old destructive behaviors.

  18. Hi Treasure seeker. Thanks for your comment! I was hoping I’d get some opinions that differed from mine. I like to hear, and argue, contradicting views. πŸ™‚

    After watching the episodes with a friend who didn’t have a problem with Cesar’s methods, I have relaxed my position a bit. However, I still don’t like his methods and prefer positive training techniques as well as shaping and clicker training. And I will use these on my dogs, not Cesar’s techniques. I do realize that sometimes dogs just have to deal with a situation to over come it. As do humans. However, I still stand by my words that building a trusting relationship with a dog with positives is more valuable to me, personally, than just dominating the dog.

    Plus the little Shitzu that wouldn’t walk on a leash… it was only because the leash was tight. Many dogs that have been through my house have had the same problem. Release the tension, the dog will walk. I disagree with Cesar 100% on that one, I think it has nothing to do with dominance.

    I think he over emphasizes the dominance issue. Some of those dogs didn’t seem, to me, to have dominance issues at all!

  19. Hi Lora. I wonder if he has any books on CD. I don’t read much anymore… between dog training and blogging I don’t seem to have the time. But I love to listen to books on CD when I’m traveling to dog things in the car!

    Books usually give a much better idea of the whole thing than TV shows.

  20. Hi Minn, I really enjoyed and appreciated your comment thank you. I do agree with you in that many humans treat dogs as humans in suits and they are not. Far from it. We have to treat dogs like dogs and the average pet-person doesn’t know this. And that is where problems can start from the beginning and then escalate out of control.

    I think there is a balance between pushing a dog forward through tough situations, and guiding them through. Pushing a dog over threshold into a situation that is too hard for them can cause much more damage than good. Desensitizing a dog to a situation, while keeping the dog under threshold, is much better. It’s the same for humans with a phobia, too. I didn’t get the idea, from the shows that I watched, that Cesar does that or addresses that at all. He just seemed to force the dogs into situations without considering their threshold and limits.

    For me personally I do dog training with agility, flyball, and obedience among other things. My border collie, Chase, was having so many focus problems in agility and the regular trainers just told me I had to handle him better. Keep running him. It’ll work out.

    Finally I found the best trainer in Utah. She is an excellent trainer. However, she incorporates a great deal of behavioral psychology into the training. She realizes that quite a bit of the time the training problem isn’t handling or running, it’s behavioral. Chase is stunningly better now, because working behavioral issues with him. He knows how to do agility. He just needed to learn how to control himself with speed, and accuracy. I am thrilled watching him grow and develop. And I’m also excited about learning all this about dog behavior and training. They are, in my opinion, intertwined and you can’t have one without the other.

    Sorry for the lengthy reply!

  21. Hi Donna, thanks so much for your comment. I think the episode on how to raise your dog right is an excellent idea! I just wouldn't feel right about, like you said, taking a reactive dog out that could revert to old destructive behaviors.

  22. Hi Treasure seeker. Thanks for your comment! I was hoping I'd get some opinions that differed from mine. I like to hear, and argue, contradicting views. πŸ™‚

    After watching the episodes with a friend who didn't have a problem with Cesar's methods, I have relaxed my position a bit. However, I still don't like his methods and prefer positive training techniques as well as shaping and clicker training. And I will use these on my dogs, not Cesar's techniques. I do realize that sometimes dogs just have to deal with a situation to over come it. As do humans. However, I still stand by my words that building a trusting relationship with a dog with positives is more valuable to me, personally, than just dominating the dog.

    Plus the little Shitzu that wouldn't walk on a leash… it was only because the leash was tight. Many dogs that have been through my house have had the same problem. Release the tension, the dog will walk. I disagree with Cesar 100% on that one, I think it has nothing to do with dominance.

    I think he over emphasizes the dominance issue. Some of those dogs didn't seem, to me, to have dominance issues at all!

  23. Hi Lora. I wonder if he has any books on CD. I don't read much anymore… between dog training and blogging I don't seem to have the time. But I love to listen to books on CD when I'm traveling to dog things in the car!

    Books usually give a much better idea of the whole thing than TV shows.

  24. Hi Minn, I really enjoyed and appreciated your comment thank you. I do agree with you in that many humans treat dogs as humans in suits and they are not. Far from it. We have to treat dogs like dogs and the average pet-person doesn't know this. And that is where problems can start from the beginning and then escalate out of control.

    I think there is a balance between pushing a dog forward through tough situations, and guiding them through. Pushing a dog over threshold into a situation that is too hard for them can cause much more damage than good. Desensitizing a dog to a situation, while keeping the dog under threshold, is much better. It's the same for humans with a phobia, too. I didn't get the idea, from the shows that I watched, that Cesar does that or addresses that at all. He just seemed to force the dogs into situations without considering their threshold and limits.

    For me personally I do dog training with agility, flyball, and obedience among other things. My border collie, Chase, was having so many focus problems in agility and the regular trainers just told me I had to handle him better. Keep running him. It'll work out.

    Finally I found the best trainer in Utah. She is an excellent trainer. However, she incorporates a great deal of behavioral psychology into the training. She realizes that quite a bit of the time the training problem isn't handling or running, it's behavioral. Chase is stunningly better now, because working behavioral issues with him. He knows how to do agility. He just needed to learn how to control himself with speed, and accuracy. I am thrilled watching him grow and develop. And I'm also excited about learning all this about dog behavior and training. They are, in my opinion, intertwined and you can't have one without the other.

    Sorry for the lengthy reply!

  25. Pingback: Tip Tail » The Missing Element in Training
  26. Hi Astrid!
    I ended up watching most of the episodes on the DVD… but not all. Just didn’t really like them and it’s not a show I would watch on a regular basis.

    Yeah.. flooding, that is what he does. Which, imho, can push a dog way over threshold and screw the dog up much more than the dog originally was. It is really weird that he has all these ideas and isn’t willing to meet with behaviorists. Maybe he doesn’t want to actually believe them? How did this guy get a TV show anyway? And ‘whisperer’ is a misnomer. Whisperer implies gentleness, which he doesn’t have.

  27. WOW! You only watched 3 episodes you have it right. He uses flooding for everything and he mixes in some bullying and I have seen him hang a dog. That is not dog psychology.

    He can almost take on any dog, but so far, has declined to meet with leading dog behaviorists that have actually studied psychology and dog behavior.
    What is he afraid of?

  28. WOW! You only watched 3 episodes you have it right. He uses flooding for everything and he mixes in some bullying and I have seen him hang a dog. That is not dog psychology.

    He can almost take on any dog, but so far, has declined to meet with leading dog behaviorists that have actually studied psychology and dog behavior.
    What is he afraid of?

  29. Hi Astrid!
    I ended up watching most of the episodes on the DVD… but not all. Just didn't really like them and it's not a show I would watch on a regular basis.

    Yeah.. flooding, that is what he does. Which, imho, can push a dog way over threshold and screw the dog up much more than the dog originally was. It is really weird that he has all these ideas and isn't willing to meet with behaviorists. Maybe he doesn't want to actually believe them? How did this guy get a TV show anyway? And 'whisperer' is a misnomer. Whisperer implies gentleness, which he doesn't have.

  30. Respect Minn I Agree+ The world is full of uptight whiners that just cant see the reality of any situation. I love dogs and Love Cesar, read many books on dog behavior and training and i know i still dont know it all, but… Dogs are in fact dogs and they respond to natural assertive leaders, in the wild they wouldnt recieve praise and loving reinforcement through tough situations they would just have to learn to deal with it or get left behind. Pushing their threshold or not.

    Thats the reality of the situation, survival of the fittest and we humans tend to mix love up with everything. in the wild they would have a leader and would receive excercise and boundaries from living in a natural pack in a natural environment where they would be the happiest. therefore if we try to bring that into our homes we would see happy, TRUSTING, respectful and well behaved dogs. If you act as a dominant (you say dominant around some people and they pee themselves..no i dont mean agressive) benovolent leader you will achieve this.

    And all this rubbish about Cesar hanging dogs and ‘bullying’ is just so ridiculus, i dont think he would be where he is now if people believed that he hurt their dogs in any way or bullied them like they are 5 year old humans. Grow up a bit. And taking training back 100 years… thats coz its not training, you should know that by now. He is starting at the very first step of training your dog which is understand your dog first. and to get it to respect you and see you as the pack leader before it’ll do what you want it to do out of respect, not for a treat. The treats wont work if your dog is chasing something more appetising.

    Im sure Cesar has his reasons for not bothering with other dog behaviourists because they will probably just feed him crap like he is not being loving enough to them blah blah blah. wasting his breath. he is better than that. You dont know anything about the situation just what you heard from the other comment and you insist you know it all. You wont get anywhere with gentleness if a dog is trying to attack another dog, he is being firm and not displaying animal cruelty… give me a break.

  31. Respect Minn I Agree The world is full of uptight whiners that just cant see the reality of any situation. I love dogs and Love Cesar, read many books on dog behavior and training and i know i still dont know it all, but… Dogs are in fact dogs and they respond to natural assertive leaders, in the wild they wouldnt recieve praise and loving reinforcement through tough situations they would just have to learn to deal with it or get left behind. Pushing their threshold or not.

    Thats the reality of the situation, survival of the fittest and we humans tend to mix love up with everything. in the wild they would have a leader and would receive excercise and boundaries from living in a natural pack in a natural environment where they would be the happiest. therefore if we try to bring that into our homes we would see happy, TRUSTING, respectful and well behaved dogs. If you act as a dominant (you say dominant around some people and they pee themselves..no i dont mean agressive) benovolent leader you will achieve this.

    And all this rubbish about Cesar hanging dogs and 'bullying' is just so ridiculus, i dont think he would be where he is now if people believed that he hurt their dogs in any way or bullied them like they are 5 year old humans. Grow up a bit. And taking training back 100 years… thats coz its not training, you should know that by now. He is starting at the very first step of training your dog which is understand your dog first. and to get it to respect you and see you as the pack leader before it'll do what you want it to do out of respect, not for a treat. The treats wont work if your dog is chasing something more appetising.

    Im sure Cesar has his reasons for not bothering with other dog behaviourists because they will probably just feed him crap like he is not being loving enough to them blah blah blah. wasting his breath. he is better than that. You dont know anything about the situation just what you heard from the other comment and you insist you know it all. You wont get anywhere with gentleness if a dog is trying to attack another dog, he is being firm and not displaying animal cruelty… give me a break.

  32. Watch the episode with the aggressive Jindo. He is certainly hanging that dog. Front feet off the ground. Not sure what else it would be called.

    About dominance in dogs in the wild…. could you please refer to the study. I am open to learning this.

    Dog behaviorist get togeher to share dog behavior. It is part of the profession.
    Even he has been influenced by some… taking a dog to an acupucturist… giving treats to others.

    One thing I like about CM is that he has never insulted another person about their views of his “show”, but there can only be one dominant in his pack, all other have to squabble.

  33. Watch the episode with the aggressive Jindo. He is certainly hanging that dog. Front feet off the ground. Not sure what else it would be called.

    About dominance in dogs in the wild…. could you please refer to the study. I am open to learning this.

    Dog behaviorist get togeher to share dog behavior. It is part of the profession.
    Even he has been influenced by some… taking a dog to an acupucturist… giving treats to others.

    One thing I like about CM is that he has never insulted another person about their views of his "show", but there can only be one dominant in his pack, all other have to squabble.

  34. Hey Astrid.. I am with you, if there is a study I’d be interested in reading it. And hanging… I will always disagree with that. All that will do is cause the dog to be afraid of you, and I don’t want my dogs to fear me. I want them to respect me, and trust me completely.

  35. Hi Sabine thanks for your comment. I am glad to get opposing views about Cesar on this post. I do want to reply to some of the things you said.

    First off… my home is not the wild. And my dogs are not wolves. They are quite different from wolves and I doubt they would survive in the wild on their own. I also doubt that they would prefer the cold winters or hot summers, or ticks and fleas and bugs they would be covered with in the wild. Or being hungry on a regular basis. I also bet they prefer (of course I don’t know for sure… but from what I see in them I believe I assume correctly) having a gentle trusting leader instead of a wolf pack leader that pushes them around and growls and snaps at them. Since two of my dogs currently do this, my border collie and sometimes my new collie girl, and the other dogs react either being hurt physically or emotionally, I will assume that they don’t really like being subdued with physical punishment and wouldn’t like it from me, either.

    You said that dogs, in the wild, would have to learn to deal with things or get left behind. Well, our rescue girl Angel was abused in her prior home, and she is the reason I started clicker training. She has just as much value to me than all my other dogs, and there is no way I would make her deal or be left behind. I have encouraged her for five years to build her confidence so she will trust me. I have carried this training over to my other dogs as well, because I liked how it worked a great deal. Now my border collie, on the other hand, I do make him deal with certain things because his personality is so different. But still I would not push him over threshold because he can snap and fight with the other dogs. And I want to set him up for success, so I know his limits and I don’t do this.

    Hanging a dog in any way, shape or form is something I would never do. It would cause the dog to fear me, and I want the dog to trust me. That sort of pain can cause physical damage to the dog and is never, ever necessary.

    And if you are referring to Astrid in your other comment.. well, you should meet her dogs. They are amazing. They enjoy their jobs, they are happy as can be, and Astrid has a great deal of training knowledge that Cesar could probably learn from… if he would meet, like Astrid said, and swap ideas. I love learning from other trainers and soak up information like a sponge!

    Anyway thanks for the debate! πŸ™‚

  36. I disagree about the hanging. Dogs throat’s can be easily damaged by being hanged, whether their rear two feet are on the ground or off.

  37. hanging is all feet off the ground,he still has two feet to rest his weight on… dogs have a different physique than ours and are capable of handling alot more than we are. obviously if that was a human it would be a little different….

  38. Hey Astrid.. I am with you, if there is a study I'd be interested in reading it. And hanging… I will always disagree with that. All that will do is cause the dog to be afraid of you, and I don't want my dogs to fear me. I want them to respect me, and trust me completely.

  39. Hi Sabine thanks for your comment. I am glad to get opposing views about Cesar on this post. I do want to reply to some of the things you said.

    First off… my home is not the wild. And my dogs are not wolves. They are quite different from wolves and I doubt they would survive in the wild on their own. I also doubt that they would prefer the cold winters or hot summers, or ticks and fleas and bugs they would be covered with in the wild. Or being hungry on a regular basis. I also bet they prefer (of course I don't know for sure… but from what I see in them I believe I assume correctly) having a gentle trusting leader instead of a wolf pack leader that pushes them around and growls and snaps at them. Since two of my dogs currently do this, my border collie and sometimes my new collie girl, and the other dogs react either being hurt physically or emotionally, I will assume that they don't really like being subdued with physical punishment and wouldn't like it from me, either.

    You said that dogs, in the wild, would have to learn to deal with things or get left behind. Well, our rescue girl Angel was abused in her prior home, and she is the reason I started clicker training. She has just as much value to me than all my other dogs, and there is no way I would make her deal or be left behind. I have encouraged her for five years to build her confidence so she will trust me. I have carried this training over to my other dogs as well, because I liked how it worked a great deal. Now my border collie, on the other hand, I do make him deal with certain things because his personality is so different. But still I would not push him over threshold because he can snap and fight with the other dogs. And I want to set him up for success, so I know his limits and I don't do this.

    Hanging a dog in any way, shape or form is something I would never do. It would cause the dog to fear me, and I want the dog to trust me. That sort of pain can cause physical damage to the dog and is never, ever necessary.

    And if you are referring to Astrid in your other comment.. well, you should meet her dogs. They are amazing. They enjoy their jobs, they are happy as can be, and Astrid has a great deal of training knowledge that Cesar could probably learn from… if he would meet, like Astrid said, and swap ideas. I love learning from other trainers and soak up information like a sponge!

    Anyway thanks for the debate! πŸ™‚

  40. I disagree about the hanging. Dogs throat's can be easily damaged by being hanged, whether their rear two feet are on the ground or off.

  41. I’ve watched quite a few of Cesar’s episodes, and I do agree with his theories as others have said, however, like Astrid, I disagree with his methods of flooding and bullying a dog. Sure it’ll calm down and stop reacting to that situation, but it often leads the dog to move it to a new situation. There’s no way ANY dog can be fixed in just one visit, MOST cases take YEARS of patient work to properly fix, and the dog’s personality really needs to be taken into consideration, something I’ve noticed Cesar doesn’t do. Dogs are dogs – The same principle works for dogs are not people, our domestic dogs are NOT wolves! Yes, they are pack animals and we need to be calm, assertive leaders as Cesar puts it, but there’s no need to use physical force or flooding to accomplish that!! I’ve had many rescue dogs that where ruined by inappropriate training methods, some to the point they never where able to completely leave it behind, but I’ve never seen one ruined by patient but firm positive reinforcement – Some do need a stronger hand then others, but no dog needs to be forced into a situation it’s afraid of!

  42. I've watched quite a few of Cesar's episodes, and I do agree with his theories as others have said, however, like Astrid, I disagree with his methods of flooding and bullying a dog. Sure it'll calm down and stop reacting to that situation, but it often leads the dog to move it to a new situation. There's no way ANY dog can be fixed in just one visit, MOST cases take YEARS of patient work to properly fix, and the dog's personality really needs to be taken into consideration, something I've noticed Cesar doesn't do. Dogs are dogs – The same principle works for dogs are not people, our domestic dogs are NOT wolves! Yes, they are pack animals and we need to be calm, assertive leaders as Cesar puts it, but there's no need to use physical force or flooding to accomplish that!! I've had many rescue dogs that where ruined by inappropriate training methods, some to the point they never where able to completely leave it behind, but I've never seen one ruined by patient but firm positive reinforcement – Some do need a stronger hand then others, but no dog needs to be forced into a situation it's afraid of!

  43. Cesar treats dogs like dogs, as they would be treated by other dogs and do get treated by other dogs because dogs know how to communicate to other dogs better than we do… obviously coz they are dogs! i never said dogs were wolves, i know dogs act more like juvenile wolves and of course your domestic dog brought up in a domestic environment would not stand much chance in the wild, but you could be surprised. im referring to dogs insincts and where they came from… just like WILD DOGS survive in the wild. It makes sense because he works with the dog using the dogs natural instincts and how dogs communicate in their own language. By looking back with an evolutionary point of view, you can see that wild canines spent a long time forming a life style and the types of behavior that perpetuated their existence. In their world, before they teamed up with us, there were no food bowls set on the floor always filled with a balanced diet. No individuals, except other pack or family members, guarded them from injury, and there were no veterinarians, vaccines, and medications to protect them from disease. of course they would much prefer being inside and getting fed wouldnt you? where does that statement get its relevance from? oh and dogs snap and growl at each other, thats how they communicate their dominance etc… not because theyre being mean. thats your human way of viewing it. and yes dogs will bite other dogs. thats their way of communicating so it makes it more difficult when we teach them how to understand us.

  44. I have been a huge fan of Cesar Milan since his first show. He accomplishes things with dogs that can easily be accomplished by others. I’ve taken some of his techniques from the show and from his book “Be the Pack Leader” on my Pitts and they work. For me it took a little while of learning what to look for in my dogs and for the most part being aware of them and being aware of myself and the type of energy I was sending out to them.
    I’ve also learned that when other people in the household refuse to use the same techniques on the dog it causes a lot of confusion in the animal. I now live in a household with one of my pitts (Max) and my bf’s mom’s beagle (Bailey). Recently because of the negative energy and the refusal to use ANY discipline on Bailey and Max when I’m not around has resulted in nothing but fights between them. When it is just me, my 3 1/2 yr old son and my 1 month old daughter in the house both dogs behave as they are suppose to and are perfectly content in doing so. As soon as other people start getting off work and school, I can literally see the tension between both dogs start building. Without watching Cesars show and reading his book, I would not have seen nor would I have been looking for a problem in the people. I can now see what each individual is doing wrong and I know how to correct it, but it’s up to the people to want to change what’s wrong.

  45. I have been a huge fan of Cesar Milan since his first show. He accomplishes things with dogs that can easily be accomplished by others. I've taken some of his techniques from the show and from his book "Be the Pack Leader" on my Pitts and they work. For me it took a little while of learning what to look for in my dogs and for the most part being aware of them and being aware of myself and the type of energy I was sending out to them.
    I've also learned that when other people in the household refuse to use the same techniques on the dog it causes a lot of confusion in the animal. I now live in a household with one of my pitts (Max) and my bf's mom's beagle (Bailey). Recently because of the negative energy and the refusal to use ANY discipline on Bailey and Max when I'm not around has resulted in nothing but fights between them. When it is just me, my 3 1/2 yr old son and my 1 month old daughter in the house both dogs behave as they are suppose to and are perfectly content in doing so. As soon as other people start getting off work and school, I can literally see the tension between both dogs start building. Without watching Cesars show and reading his book, I would not have seen nor would I have been looking for a problem in the people. I can now see what each individual is doing wrong and I know how to correct it, but it's up to the people to want to change what's wrong.

  46. Thank you for giving me hope! It’s difficult, it seems, to find anyone who will criticize Cesar’s methods. Many don’t know enough about dog behavior or body language to understand how punishing his methods are to the animals, and how unnecessary it is to be so punishing. Thank you for your thoughts!

  47. Thank you for giving me hope! It's difficult, it seems, to find anyone who will criticize Cesar's methods. Many don't know enough about dog behavior or body language to understand how punishing his methods are to the animals, and how unnecessary it is to be so punishing. Thank you for your thoughts!

  48. Good blog!

    I have watched way more episodes than you and boy is it refreshing to see someone watch just a few and immediately pick up on what Cesar is REALLY doing.

    Some of what he says is common sense, dogs have needs such as exercise and consistant rules to be happy. When his methods work they do so because he instills in the owners the need to be consistant at all times (something we humans find very hard).

    Sadly he is I think, extremely dangerous. He CANNOT apparently, from what I see on his show, read dog body language the right way at all. Countless dogs are labelled as ‘red zone aggressive’ when they are merely unsocialised and highly frustrated. Yes, frustration can turn to aggression but the way to deal with that is NOT to use MORE aggression.

    My huge problem with Cesar is that unless you ARE very good at reading dog body language, and understand how powerful psychological bullying is, his methods can look kind and amazingly effective.

    Sadly they are not, they are treating the symptom without treating the cause of those symptoms. This can only result in the problem escalating in the long term, even if in the short term it appears to go away.

    If anyone doubts me here, I have been rehabilitating and training problem dogs for 10 years, if you are really sure that Cesar is actually kind and you dont think that he bullies, just think over a few things.

    Pinning a dog down the way Cesar does is akin to someone holding a gun to your head. They are not physically hurting you, but you are so aware that you could wind up dead any second you would be terrified. So the person holding the gun can make you do damn near anything and you would obey. Do you REALLY want to have that kind of influence over your dog?

    The power of body language and domineering behavoiur – have a friend stand and talk to you. Now you stand just a few inches closer than feels comfortable, and you hold their eye contact for longer than is polite. Speak with a slightly louder deeper voice.

    Are they backing up yet? They will do unless you have them against a wall, now have them do this back to you… does that feel pleasant in anyway? No it feels horrid and threatening, and yet no one has laid a finger on anyone, nor said anything nasty.

    These are the things and there are many more that Cesar does that you dont immediately see.

    He also describes things one way ‘calm submissive’ and really they are another way ‘shut down’ or ‘learned helplessness’. Dogs who have shut down learn nothing, eventually they will break that state and they will do so with someone who is slightly less of a threat. Unfortuatnely that is often a child, and the fearful dog who has learned nothing useful is more likely to react very badly and bite a child.

    Walk away from Cesar Millans methods, there are better, kinder, more effective ways that have often zero chance of bad side effects available, we dont NEED to use Cesars methods, no one needs to use them!

    (And before someone says ‘these dogs would end up dead without him’, no, if they are put down for their behaviour it is down to their owners lack of education, I and many other people have rehabilitated dogs often much WORSE than shown on cesars program, without ONCE needing to abuse a dog the way he does!_)

  49. Good blog!

    I have watched way more episodes than you and boy is it refreshing to see someone watch just a few and immediately pick up on what Cesar is REALLY doing.

    Some of what he says is common sense, dogs have needs such as exercise and consistant rules to be happy. When his methods work they do so because he instills in the owners the need to be consistant at all times (something we humans find very hard).

    Sadly he is I think, extremely dangerous. He CANNOT apparently, from what I see on his show, read dog body language the right way at all. Countless dogs are labelled as 'red zone aggressive' when they are merely unsocialised and highly frustrated. Yes, frustration can turn to aggression but the way to deal with that is NOT to use MORE aggression.

    My huge problem with Cesar is that unless you ARE very good at reading dog body language, and understand how powerful psychological bullying is, his methods can look kind and amazingly effective.

    Sadly they are not, they are treating the symptom without treating the cause of those symptoms. This can only result in the problem escalating in the long term, even if in the short term it appears to go away.

    If anyone doubts me here, I have been rehabilitating and training problem dogs for 10 years, if you are really sure that Cesar is actually kind and you dont think that he bullies, just think over a few things.

    Pinning a dog down the way Cesar does is akin to someone holding a gun to your head. They are not physically hurting you, but you are so aware that you could wind up dead any second you would be terrified. So the person holding the gun can make you do damn near anything and you would obey. Do you REALLY want to have that kind of influence over your dog?

    The power of body language and domineering behavoiur – have a friend stand and talk to you. Now you stand just a few inches closer than feels comfortable, and you hold their eye contact for longer than is polite. Speak with a slightly louder deeper voice.

    Are they backing up yet? They will do unless you have them against a wall, now have them do this back to you… does that feel pleasant in anyway? No it feels horrid and threatening, and yet no one has laid a finger on anyone, nor said anything nasty.

    These are the things and there are many more that Cesar does that you dont immediately see.

    He also describes things one way 'calm submissive' and really they are another way 'shut down' or 'learned helplessness'. Dogs who have shut down learn nothing, eventually they will break that state and they will do so with someone who is slightly less of a threat. Unfortuatnely that is often a child, and the fearful dog who has learned nothing useful is more likely to react very badly and bite a child.

    Walk away from Cesar Millans methods, there are better, kinder, more effective ways that have often zero chance of bad side effects available, we dont NEED to use Cesars methods, no one needs to use them!

    (And before someone says 'these dogs would end up dead without him', no, if they are put down for their behaviour it is down to their owners lack of education, I and many other people have rehabilitated dogs often much WORSE than shown on cesars program, without ONCE needing to abuse a dog the way he does!_)

  50. I have watched almost all of CM’s episodes and have found that I like the way he works with dogs.

    This is not an uneducated answer either. I used to work at the local animal shelter and learned alot by just watching the so called “dangerous” dogs. I saw how some of my coworkers acted around them, barking back at them or teasing them. I would just watch them and see what bothered them, why they were acting one way and not the other.

    Why would a scarred, bloody pit bull lick my face and fingers and roll on his back when i went into the cage to feed him and pat his head?

    Or why did the rottweiler lunge at me when I was just setting down the bowl?

    I learned, by observation, that the same nice pitbull hated being told “no” or stopped from doing something it wanted to do and would lunge and bite and growl and get all tempermental until someone came along and just walked the dog around a bit, got it to sit then put it back in its cage. I learned that the rottie thought IT was in charge of its food and it stopped when it was told to sit and wait for its bowl and for me to get out of the way so it could have space to eat. Voila, no more biting and lunging when asked to sit.

    My own dog that I adopted was frightened of everything and had horrible separation anxiety, he also loooooved to fixate on things, like squirrels and rabbits.

    As humans, we no longer have instincts but me, being the weird girl that i am, learned long ago to act like a dog around dogs and would take my dog to where he was frightened, let him sit and look around until he realized that whatever was scaring him was stupid and would calmly wait to go do something else. He now no longer fixates on squirrels and rabbits because i do the finger bite thing and make a noise when he’s too fixated on something and he calmly plods along beside me until he sees kids, then he gets all awiggle and wants to go wrestle with them and play.

    I’m not saying that, if Fifi the teacup poodle is biting people’s ankles that we should pin him down until he’s relaxed, but to watch Cesar’s stuff and maybe see why he does what he does and translate into “why yes, i have seen dogs do that to other dogs, but i am not a dog and so must translate my actions into something similar”

    Its great for my mutt to learn that i am dominant above my abusive father and “Scared of large dog” mother because there is something wrong with those two people that make them afraid of him and not of me because i’m usually always calm in tense situations and he picks up on that.

    My father always yells at me because my dog doesn’t listen to him, doesn’t obey him luike his old great dane did and I always tell him that that is because I give him his purpose, i’m the one who works with him and lets him beat me up and gnaw on my toes and throws the toy mail truck that he puts in my lap when im watching tv. It’s because he knows his place with me and doesn’t view him (my father) as anything more than “the mean guy who yells at me then gives me cookies”.

    I learned so much from watching Cesar’s shows.

    No, he isn’t perfect, but he’s a human, not a dog, of course he’s not going to get everything right. Even when I take my dog to our professional trainer, she tells us that our dogs wont obey every command because they are infact dogs and can’t know everything all the time. If people could successfully churn out wellbehaved animals all the time, people like cesar, and you and my trainer and me and everyone else would have no need to train our dogs because they’d know everything because we are showing them all the right signals and telling them in just the right voice all the time what they need to do.

    I think i am an alpha dog in my home and i treat my dog as a beta, second in command. I learn from him what he responds to and learned the same thing from cesar.

    Learn what ya need to learn from him, if he does something you don’t agree with think about the same even from every single angle, what may seem like hurting a dog or psychologically harming it may be something else entirely.

    I know i’ve held dogs up like that Jindo only to have the same dog just get pissed that it’s not being allowed to do what it wants.

    I suppose that I’ve watched too many wolf documentaries, read too many books on how dogs interact with dogs to think about how a person should act with a dog.

    but i don’t hit my dogs, i don’t strangle them or yell at them for one thing then praise them for doing what i hjust told them no for.

    If my dogs fight going somewhere, i let them freak out about it then wait for them to look at me then skitter on up as if to say “sorry mom, i didnt know what it was so i freaked out, but i’m done now and i see there’s nothing wrong.”

    kinda like going on a roller coaster. you fight with yerself if yer brave enough to go, psychologically terrorizing yourself until you actually go on the ride and 15 trips later you decide that all that freaking out was bloody pointless and the whole ride is great!

    so maybe im right, maybe im wrong, but im a human, not a dog. No one knows everything and we’d be foolish if we could claim to.

    ~kes

  51. I have watched almost all of CM's episodes and have found that I like the way he works with dogs.

    This is not an uneducated answer either. I used to work at the local animal shelter and learned alot by just watching the so called "dangerous" dogs. I saw how some of my coworkers acted around them, barking back at them or teasing them. I would just watch them and see what bothered them, why they were acting one way and not the other.

    Why would a scarred, bloody pit bull lick my face and fingers and roll on his back when i went into the cage to feed him and pat his head?

    Or why did the rottweiler lunge at me when I was just setting down the bowl?

    I learned, by observation, that the same nice pitbull hated being told "no" or stopped from doing something it wanted to do and would lunge and bite and growl and get all tempermental until someone came along and just walked the dog around a bit, got it to sit then put it back in its cage. I learned that the rottie thought IT was in charge of its food and it stopped when it was told to sit and wait for its bowl and for me to get out of the way so it could have space to eat. Voila, no more biting and lunging when asked to sit.

    My own dog that I adopted was frightened of everything and had horrible separation anxiety, he also loooooved to fixate on things, like squirrels and rabbits.

    As humans, we no longer have instincts but me, being the weird girl that i am, learned long ago to act like a dog around dogs and would take my dog to where he was frightened, let him sit and look around until he realized that whatever was scaring him was stupid and would calmly wait to go do something else. He now no longer fixates on squirrels and rabbits because i do the finger bite thing and make a noise when he's too fixated on something and he calmly plods along beside me until he sees kids, then he gets all awiggle and wants to go wrestle with them and play.

    I'm not saying that, if Fifi the teacup poodle is biting people's ankles that we should pin him down until he's relaxed, but to watch Cesar's stuff and maybe see why he does what he does and translate into "why yes, i have seen dogs do that to other dogs, but i am not a dog and so must translate my actions into something similar"

    Its great for my mutt to learn that i am dominant above my abusive father and "Scared of large dog" mother because there is something wrong with those two people that make them afraid of him and not of me because i'm usually always calm in tense situations and he picks up on that.

    My father always yells at me because my dog doesn't listen to him, doesn't obey him luike his old great dane did and I always tell him that that is because I give him his purpose, i'm the one who works with him and lets him beat me up and gnaw on my toes and throws the toy mail truck that he puts in my lap when im watching tv. It's because he knows his place with me and doesn't view him (my father) as anything more than "the mean guy who yells at me then gives me cookies".

    I learned so much from watching Cesar's shows.

    No, he isn't perfect, but he's a human, not a dog, of course he's not going to get everything right. Even when I take my dog to our professional trainer, she tells us that our dogs wont obey every command because they are infact dogs and can't know everything all the time. If people could successfully churn out wellbehaved animals all the time, people like cesar, and you and my trainer and me and everyone else would have no need to train our dogs because they'd know everything because we are showing them all the right signals and telling them in just the right voice all the time what they need to do.

    I think i am an alpha dog in my home and i treat my dog as a beta, second in command. I learn from him what he responds to and learned the same thing from cesar.

    Learn what ya need to learn from him, if he does something you don't agree with think about the same even from every single angle, what may seem like hurting a dog or psychologically harming it may be something else entirely.

    I know i've held dogs up like that Jindo only to have the same dog just get pissed that it's not being allowed to do what it wants.

    I suppose that I've watched too many wolf documentaries, read too many books on how dogs interact with dogs to think about how a person should act with a dog.

    but i don't hit my dogs, i don't strangle them or yell at them for one thing then praise them for doing what i hjust told them no for.

    If my dogs fight going somewhere, i let them freak out about it then wait for them to look at me then skitter on up as if to say "sorry mom, i didnt know what it was so i freaked out, but i'm done now and i see there's nothing wrong."

    kinda like going on a roller coaster. you fight with yerself if yer brave enough to go, psychologically terrorizing yourself until you actually go on the ride and 15 trips later you decide that all that freaking out was bloody pointless and the whole ride is great!

    so maybe im right, maybe im wrong, but im a human, not a dog. No one knows everything and we'd be foolish if we could claim to.

    ~kes

  52. Pingback: Cesar Millan Debate - Utah Dogs
  53. In all forums, blogs and other websites I go to there are those that love Cesar Milian and those that hate him, never anything in between.

    I’ve only seen one episode of his so I don’t think I can give a true and fair opinion, but from my point of view I see what he does and I thought, yes I’m sure that works but there are other ways of doing things and they’re a lot more in tune with my own beliefs/feelings.

    Any way that’s my two cents worth!!

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  55. I’ve watched almost all episode of Cesar Millan’s second season of “The dog whisperer”. I think we have to remember a few things, first off, he is working with “trouble-dogs”. And sometimes these dogs need to be dealt with in special ways. Someone complained that Cesar didn’t care about a dogs history. Well, I can say that Cesar’s methods are very similar to cognitive therapy, applied to dogs by human proxy.

    Second the critique is that he is “inhumane” to dog the dogs. But we have to remember that dogs are just dogs and not human. A dog can’t be treated “inhumanely”, but of course a dog can be treated wrong.

    But the most important thing Cesar does in the most cases is that he educates people. Most people in the show that have problems with their dog treat their dog like a bicycle or a pair of inlines — something they can take out of the closet when they’re going for a casual stroll in the park, odd Saturday evening. Most of the “clients” in the show are also fat and unhealthy because they live inactive and have lazy lifestyle. The dogs are just bursting of unreleased energy and their owner treat like they where a mix of babies in need of pampering and a game console that they can shut off whenever they wish. Cesar tells them that all of this is wrong; sure he uses terms like “submissive energy” — but what he really is talking about is so basic to us experienced k9 owners that we almost miss the point. Remember; this is a program for the fat, fast food fed American who almost have any understanding what their dog is.

    The critique against Cesar is massive and harsh, but very diffuse. I’ve heard no one yet offer any alternative.

    I think the rest is said by the signature “kes” above me.

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  57. I find Cesar’s show useful to watch and some of his methods work well.

    Dog separation anxiety is more common than you think however it is often overlooked and therefore not properly dealt with.

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  58. These comments are very interesting. What I haven’t really heard here though is that we can learn something from everyone. I have watched many of Cesar’s shows and read his books. I don’t agree with everything, but I have taken away a lot of good thoughts from him such as being calm and assertive and the huge necessity of exercising a dog, which can help change some of the bad behaviors people complain about. I am actually very much in favor of clicker training and positive rewards and taking the time necessary to work a dog through it’s problems. The one difference I have seen in my own work with rescue dogs is that when taken slowly and using positive reinforcement, the end result is a much happier dog than what I have seen in Cesar’s episodes of his rehabilitated dogs. I don’t think you can rehabilitate a dog in one session, as he seems to do on TV. I’m sure there is a lot more we don’t see that goes on before and after the TV version. He has a gift, that is unquestionable. But he also has a lot of experience and devotes his whole life to dogs. A normal person trying to follow his instructions doesn’t always understand the wealth of knowledge and experience it may take to accomplish rehabilitating their dog. If they don’t understand the principles behind the training, they could do more damage than if they were to use a click and treat slower process. Let’s face it, we all want immediate results. But sometimes the slower process will produce better, happier results. There are several training methods out there and several trainers who think their way is right, but I suggest we take what we can use from every trainer and build our own training plan and not criticize the trainer. We can never stop learning.

  59. I know this post was like 2 years ago. But I remember that episode with the Great Dane. They had to leave the dog outside or at home while they worked in that building with the floor the dog wouldn’t walk on. Cesar ran the dog onto the shiny floor before the dog could build up much resistance. Yes, the dog was stressed. But when the show followed up with the family later, the dog no longer had any problems walking on the floor. Was the followup not in the same show? Maybe it was a later show. So for those few moments of stress, the dog and his owners are much happier. So the technique worked.

    Cesar almost always places the blame on the owners. Bad dog, bad owner. Fix the owner, fix the dog. It seems most problems arise when an owner is not well matched to the breed. I’ve got a well behaved collie, who hasn’t had a bit of professional training. But we also aren’t in a power struggle. We both know who the alpha dog is…the cat.

  60. Great post. I can’t believe there are people defending Cesar Millan. Personally, I think you were too soft on him. He’s brutal, ineffective, inhumane, and the dogs never have positive experiences. And everyone who claims he’s a dog ‘psychologist’ and not a dog trainer, you’re absolutely wrong. A psychologist has a degree and the title “Dr” before the name, such as Dr. Nicholas Dodman, the Head of the animal behavior department and clinic at Tufts University, who says Cesar’s brutal techniques have put dog training back into the dark ages.

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