Why I Love The Dog Whisperer

Oh, it’s not just because Cesar Millan is adorable, or that his show has helped me get Junebug under some semblance of control when out walking.

It’s because he talks completely unabashedly about empowering women.

Cesar’s whole focus is on dealing with dogs’ behavioral issues by making the human in the human-dog relationship the pack leader. And that means putting all humans in the home in a dominant position vis-a-vis the dogs. There have been many times when he has had to make a special effort to convince a male-female couple that both of them need to be dominant, and works with the woman to be sure that she asserts herself. And he does use the term “empowerment,” which is frankly a little shocking coming from a man. Even if he does talk a lot about energy and balance.

Plus, he’s utterly unflappable in the face of owners with more money than sense.

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15 comments for “Why I Love The Dog Whisperer

  1. dharmadyke
    April 18, 2006 at 10:10 am

    “Submission is not bad, submission is when the mind is open so people can teach you things.”
    –Cesar Milan

  2. April 18, 2006 at 10:35 am

    Ahhh most definitely. He is responsible for so many of my dog’s improvements! I love how he brings out the powerful leader in everyone on that show, no matter how shy they are. I downgraded my cable recently and I was sad to lose that show.

  3. hp
    April 18, 2006 at 11:01 am

    As a (female!) dog (human!) trainer myself, getting other females to exhibit dominant behavior with their dogs is about the hardest part of training either human or dog. Getting other females to simply walk with an “I’m in charge of you” attitude while heeling their dogs can be frustrating. Stand up straight. Walk forward with assurance. Offer praise when the dog does right, but don’t take the praise into play. Speak firmly in a deep voice when correcting the dog, don’t yell or squeal.

    But, in the end, it’s worth it. It creates a better human-dog relationship all around.

    (Although, I LOVE to work with girls, especially girls in the 8-13 age range, and their dogs. They get it, and they get it fast.)

  4. April 18, 2006 at 11:03 am

    Here’s an interesting post y’all might enjoy. Check it out and the comment string, good stuff!


  5. zuzu
    April 18, 2006 at 11:06 am

    I’m sorry, I don’t go to that blog.

  6. johnieB
    April 18, 2006 at 11:41 am

    What a sensible decision, and clearly put! I shall emulate it.

  7. lavalamp
    April 18, 2006 at 1:05 pm

    I completely agree that he’s preaching the right message, and it’s one that people have got to hear- it will save a lot of dog’s lives. Most people don’t get how primal it is for dogs to have a leader. They think they will die if they don’t have one and if you’re not going to be it, then the dog has no choice but to be the boss.

    however, I read something he said in our local paper recently when he was doing a pr thing at some mall that put me off and I’m sorry I saw it, frankly. He was comparing the way Clinton handled Buddy to the way Bush handled Barney and seemingly drawing conclusions about the two men from the way they handled their dogs… “See- Clinton let Buddy pull him all over the place as they came out the plane. Bush picks up Barney and carries him down the stairs….”

  8. zuzu
    April 18, 2006 at 1:16 pm

    Oh, that wounds me.

    But I can tell Barney hates Bush. Especially after he dropped him.

  9. Ron O.
    April 18, 2006 at 1:21 pm

    I’ll check this show out. Maybe he can help out an accidental dog owner who’d prefer not to be.

    I married a wonderful woman. The only thing that made me question marrying her is: she’s a dog-lover. I don’t have anything against dog-lovers, just most dogs. I’m not a hater, but I prefer very well-behaved, quiet dogs. Maggie is not one of those. Living with her is extremely trying at times. I wish she would stop barking at every person who walks by our house for hours and hours and hours. She goes ballistic at the neighbors when in the yard. I’m sure they find this stressful. When I was on the receiving end of such treatment, I’d get so stressed, I often wished the dog would have a fatal accident. When I get fed up I yell at her and banish her to the basement. I bet this is not the strategy Cesar would use. Seriously, her dog is the most stressful thing in our marriage.

    Sorry for venting here, but I’ve got to find a way to get the dog to shut up when I tell her to. My wife doesn’t get stressed enough about her behavior to do anything about it.

  10. zuzu
    April 18, 2006 at 1:23 pm

    Jesus, Ron.

    Run, do not walk, and get a trainer with or without your wife. And watch the show, definitely.

  11. Ron O.
    April 18, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    Good advice. Any more advice on how to pick a trainer? What questions to ask? Can anything actually be done to reduce barking?

    It’s not her fault it drives me crazy; she’s just doing what dogs do. A lot. I’d be happy if she only barked when people were coming onto the property instead of just walking next to it. That would be useful.

  12. Martial
    April 18, 2006 at 3:52 pm

    I enjoy Cesar Milan, but he can do things with dogs and with their owners that you can’t pick up from the tv. It’s rare that someone can just watch his show, follow the recipe, and have a good dog without working with a trainer. Find a trainer like the one who told me up front her job was to train me; my job was to train the dog.

    By the by, we do clicker training. I’d recommend Click for Joy by Melissa Alexander or Karen Pryor’s Getting Started: Clicker Training for Dog for those interested. You can probably browse them at a pet shop or a training center.

    I should add that while I’ve had great success with clicker training, it is not always the most effective method. I know a dog who hasn’t responded well at all to attempts at clicker training, but has learned a lot from a trainer using the old choke-chain method (anathema to most clicker trainers; bordering on heresy that I even mention it).

    For aggressive barkers, read Patricia McConnell’s Feisty Fido to get more insight on your particular pooch.

  13. April 18, 2006 at 11:28 pm

    Ahhh, I love (love!) The Dog Whisperer. I don’t catch it all the time because we only have the channel downstairs (satellite) but I try to watch it when I remember. Between Cesar’s show and all the animal cops marathons, I’m a happy dog lover!

    And Ron, YES! You can most definitely get the dog to stop barking so much. Usually it’s a result of stress and insecurities in the dog. Cesar is always quick to point out that it’s usually the humans who have the problem, not the dog. So find a trainer and watch the show! He’s convinced me to seek help for my pit who barks at everything animal while in the car with me. When I get out of the car, she barks at everything, slamming herself into the windows which bloodies her lips and last time she broke a toenail and it bled all over the place.

  14. Katy
    April 19, 2006 at 10:26 am

    In case anyone is interested, Cesar Millan has a book and dvd out (or coming out soon). The book is called “Cesars Way” and the dvd is “People Training for Dogs.” There’s more descriptive info on both the book and dvd at his site http://www.dogpsychologycenter.com/ *

    *I’m not affliated in any way – just love the guy and using his methods have helped me train my adopted dog. I’m sure you can get the book and dvd from most libraries.

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