The training tactics featured on Cesar Millan’s “Dog Whisperer” program are inhumane, outdated and improper, according to a letter sent yesterday to the National Geographic Channel by American Humane, the oldest national organization protecting children and animals.

In the letter, American Humane, which works to raise public awareness about responsible pet ownership and reduce the euthanasia of unwanted pets, expressed dismay over the “numerous inhumane training techniques” advocated by Cesar Millan on “Dog Whisperer.”

Several instances which the society considered to be ‘cruel and dangerous treatment’ – promoted by Millan as acceptable training methods – were documented by American Humane, including one in which a dog was partially asphyxiated in an episode.

In this instance, the fractious dog was pinned to the ground by its neck after first being “hung” by a collar incrementally tightened by Millan. Millan’s goal – of subduing a fractious animal – was accomplished by partially cutting off the blood supply to its brain.

The letter requests that National Geographic stop airing the program immediately and issue a statement explaining that the tactics featured on the program are inhumane, and it encourages National Geographic to begin developing programming that sets a positive example by featuring proper, humane animal training. In its letter, American Humane said: “We believe that achieving the goal of improving the way people interact with their pets would be far more successful and beneficial for the National Geographic Channel if it ceased sending the contradictory message that violent treatment of animals is acceptable.”

“As a forerunner in the movement towards humane dog training, we find the excessively rough handling of animals on the show and inhumane training methods to be potentially harmful for the animals and the people on the show,” said the letter’s author, Bill Torgerson, DVM, MBA, who is vice president of Animal Protection Services for American Humane. “It also does a disservice to all the show’s viewers by espousing an inaccurate message about what constitutes effective training and appropriate treatment of animals.”

Torgerson noted that the safety of a woman and her German shepherd were jeopardized in one episode by the use of an electric shock collar, which forced the tormented dog to redirect its aggression at its owner, biting her arm. “Furthermore, the television audience was never told that Mr. Millan was attempting to modify the dog’s behavior by causing pain with the shock collar,” he said.

Cesar Milan has enjoyed widespread commercial success with his TV and media career and is currently the most well known animal behaviour expert in the United States.

In Britain, Jan Fennel is known as ‘the dog whisperer’. The Humane Society attack on Milan does not draw comparison or reference to Britain’s dog whisperer style dog trainers.

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108 comments
  1. i think this article was totaly pathetic, INHUMANE how does cesar treat the animals inhumane? he simply lets the dogs get back to basics axactly where they would be if it wasnt for small minded people who need fluffy little handbags to carry around to portray an image. i have watched all episodes of the dog whisperer and read cesars book which i found a great help not only with my pack of dogs but on my degree course in animal welfare and behaviour. i wish the world had more cesars and less people working in humane centres that obviously would rather have dogs uthanised than treated as wild animals that they are.

  2. I have to agree with Andrea… if dogs were treated as dogs and not as accessories then there would not be such a a problem. You can love your dogs as dogs and not as accessories or children!

    I am a dog owner and have been most of my life..

  3. I have to agree whole heartedly with the two comments I have just read. I have been around dogs all my life and currently have a pack of 4. They all have very different needs as far as individual breeds and characters go but they are treated as a pack of dogs. I have been following cesars series and am very impressed with the simplicity of his techniques and the huge differences they make to the dogs and their owners. It’s only when we try to humanise our dogs that we create confusion and problems that need never exist in the first place. Boundaries, respect and trust creates a secure and happy hound to my mind.

  4. Cesar may be the last chance for our pack as one of them has huge issues. I have watched his programmes and read his books and slowly we are beginning to see improvements. What is sad is that top trainers and behaviourist and chemist and vets all say the culprit should be put to sleep as we have done the best we can with him and he will never be right!!!! Shame on those people already I can see differences in the pack and him.

  5. I have to say, anyone who believes cesars techniques to be inhumane must be blind! I have been watching cesar for months now, and applying his methods when i am around my own pack, as well as others. The 1st results are small, but make such a difference. I will be travelling over to the US as soon as i get the opportunity, to be at one of his seminars – i am amazed and he has influenced my whole career path! more ppl shud realise wot he is doing is right!!!!

  6. Hi” i am English, but i did live in Florida for two years, i have three dog’s and two cats, i watched all the programs on the tele, and have one of his book,s and i beleive that finally that the dog world has found someone who understands animals in every way possible, but most of all he helps the owner to understand were the dog is coming from and works with them to, and as for the person who wrote that distgustin letter has not learnt yet to be a owner of a dog, to bond you understand the dog and realize you are the owner, and then the dog will be happy and respect you, we have a lady over here she is good but he is the best, and i only wished that i could of met him, thank you for letting me say this to you and say hello to America and the loverly people there. love Valerie baker and furry friends

  7. I just cannot believe this person thinks his methods are inhumane, i have never seen him be cruel or inhumane to any dog in his care, utterly obsurd

  8. Okay come on… Cesar Milan DOES point out to seek a professional before applying any of his techniques, does he not? He basically says that every person’s method is different so how hard is it for these idiots to see that? Apparently it’s too hard. My family and I have used some of his methods on our dog and have had nothing but long lasting POSITIVE results. They weren’t short-lived or temporary (as some critics have tried to point out about Cesar’s techniques) and just like anything else that’s learned, you have to keep applying it in order to keep it working… otherwise YES it WILL be temorary! DUH And inhumane? You want to talk about inhumane?? Why don’t you talk to Paris Hilton and see how inhumane it is to treat a dog as part of your wardrobe and not for the pet that it’s supposed to be??? Geez people…

  9. Last year I got two German Shepherd male puppies from the same litter. I took them training each week individually and they learned the basics very quickly. While I was at these training sessions everyone continuosly told me that having two males from the same litter is a war waiting to happen. I refused to listen because I knew that the dogs needed to be treated like a pack with me as the leader.
    Admittedly they do sometimes have dominance issues whereby they fight and on one occasion drew blood.
    A few months ago I began to think that the people were right and that there was no hope for them in getting along together.
    I have been watching Cesar and his methods religiously for months now and adopting his methods I now have them completely controlled. They know I am in charge and I work with them as though I am one of them. Cesar is a god send and to anyone who thinks differently, look at yourselves rather than blaming the dog!!
    Dogs are very simple animals.
    Many people fail to realise that dogs are not humans and the sooner we learn to understand a dogs behaviour and psychology the sooner we can have the ultimate pet!!

  10. We have just rescued a lovely french bulldog with an occasional unpredictable aggressive trait. Unfortunately we aren’t around enough to make good progress with him and may need to re home him to somewhere more suited to his needs. Can anyone help?

  11. I totally agree with the above messages. I cannot see how Cesar is being inhumane to the dogs he sees. Maybe i am missing something! In my opinion the person who wrote this complaint either doesnt even own a dog OR they own a dog that is nothing more than an accessory. The Paris Hiltons of this world are the true people that are being inhumane as loving a dog like a child is really not what a dog wants. In fact its a big burden for a dog to take on that sort of role. As Cesar points out look at the homeless people who have dogs and you never see them on a leash or wanting to run away or behaving badly. They are happy because they have exercise and at the end of the day they get fed and have a place to sleep. Think about that for a moment.

    I come across a lot of people who say he uses methods that are out of date……….but if they truly work why use any other method?
    I would love to go to America and meet Cesar or attend one of his seminars. He has been an inspiration to me and i have also put his techniques into place with my own dog and have had good results.

  12. Ceasar is an animal genius. His methods have worked amazingly with my lab and the dog appears more relaxed than ever. Who ever can accuse him of being inhumane is just small minded and cannot call themselves an animal lover or anything of the sort. If all dog owners took his advise we wouldnt have so many dangerous out of control dogs!

  13. Hi

    I am shocked and dismayed that so many people think that Cesar Milan is a postive trainer. i have watched a few of his programs and have been outraged.

    He uses prong collars, one little jack russell that was afrid of motorcycles. a prong collar was put on and the dog was given a sharp jerk!!! then the dog was panting very heavily ( a sign of stress)

    I would really love to know how using such things would be getting abck to basics and treating dogs like dogs?

    The sooner that more people realsie that the methods cesar uses are cruel and yes certainly out of date the better.

    looking forward to your comments

    donna

  14. Dogs are not humans, they are animals that when treated like humans develop behaviorial problems. Cesar is doing a GREAT job in teaching people how to create a balance dog. His teaching techniques are perfectly acceptable and he empowers weak people to become pack leaders and as a consequence problem dogs become calm submissive dogs.

  15. I have just discoverd Cesar Milan on Freeview channel 11 (sky3) you dont need a dish to get it. I have found him easy to follow and compassionate. I have been set free and now am able to enjoy my dog. I was my dogs enemy quite unwittingly by being nervous with him when out. I can now thanks to Cesars showing me let my dog off the lead and he is just fine. I must add my dog is not aggressive just naturally nosey when seeing other dogs. He just likes to say hello. Now he is and I am a balanced owner and doggie. I can now ENJOY my dog and the walks. THANKS A MILLION CESAR Marcia. From a 58 year old grannie from England. You are never too old to learn!

  16. Cesar millian is a dog god he knows exactly wot dogs are thinking, there is nothing inhumane at all with his methods he allows dogs to be dogs, not children or a fashion accessory. If he treated dogs as badly as what is being alledged at the minute he wouldn’t be able to control his pack of 30 dogs, anyone who thinks that he treats dogs cruelt ain’t got a clue about dog owner ship or dogs for that matter

  17. As a trainee dog behaviourist I’ve NEVER seen Cesar use any type of ‘inhumane’ technique on his TV show and have been very impressed by the positive results he achieves.
    Whenever he uses a collar/leash it is either the owner’s own or he uses a common nylon webbing style.
    As for him using a “pronged” collar – well, perhaps Donna could direct a polite query to Mr Millan himself via his website with her concerns.
    The reaction of an animal to a dominant challenge can often look highly distressing but is nowhere near as traumatic as it appears. Anyone ever seen a five-year-old have a temper tantrum that stopped them breathing? Believe me, it’s terrifying and people think I’m acting “inhumanely” when I have to slap her hand to get her to breathe again – go figure!
    The letter from the American Humane Society just goes to prove what idiots they have working for them – Cesar often advises owners NOT to use pressure to restrain – anyone seen the episode with the English Bulldog in Texas?
    It is imperative to remember that a great number of the dogs rehabilitated by Cesar were ‘lost’ causes, given up on by other so-called professionals which would have resulted in their DEATHS or serious risk of injury/death to a child or adult.
    When people learn to treat dogs as DOGS and acknowledge that they do not have the same emotional processes as humans and respect them accordingly and responsibly, we may find a dramatic decrease in dog attacks and fatalities.

    Power to you, Mr Millan!

  18. Hi

    I don’t have dogs but love watching Cesar at work as he is such a genius with dogs. I only wish some of the owners near me would apply some of his techniques as their dogs just bark constantly through the night and I don’t think they are disciplined at all. CESAR RULES!!!

  19. Re the collars, it seems to me he uses whatever collar the owners have, though sometimes puts on an “Illusion” collar, which he has designed so that the corrections are higher up the dog’s neck.

    The thing is, the dogs Cesar works with have often been out of control for a long time. I would think that although there may well be some initial stress as this gets turned around, once the dog has slotted in to it’s correct position in the home “pack”, it will be much happier and less stressed in the long term. I have just come back from India and Nepal, where packs of dogs live on the streets, and they certainly don’t hold back with each other when sorting out their roles within the pack. These are dogs, not babies, but like children, they need the security of knowing who is boss!

    I think Cesar is amazing, and not only re dogs. Somehow, I learn about myself as well. Wonder what that says about me??!!

  20. I have been watching dog whisperer for sometime and have learnt a lot so far and have put it into practice with two dogs that I have taken on. I also watch dog borstal which also seems good but there was an episode which they were unable to sort out aggression on an american bulldog,unfortunately the dog had to be put down, shame that he didnt get the benefits of the dog whisperer.They are only to quick to put dogs down in england.P.s dont let this put you of american bulldogs as they normally make a perfect pet.

  21. HI,

    no one has made a comment about the equipment he uses. prong collars?

    If he is using methods that are so natural and balanced where do things like prong/pinch collars come in?

    When in a pack of dogs do they put collars on each other and string each other up by their lead?

    thanks

    donna

  22. In reply to “Donna”

    If you watch Cesars programm more closely, you would find that the prong & pinch collars he uses are what the dogs owners were using at the time, he doesnt make any recommendations for the use or non use for these collars, and uses them only because thats what the dog hes working (on the show) is used to. You do not see him using these collars on his own pack. I have been around dogs have been a dog owner for years. I have always taken the role as pack leader. Watching his show and reading his book has only enhanced the relationship I share with my beautiful German Shepard & Rottweiler (both females who get along wonderfully). Remember it is a human requirement that we put leads on our dogs and you need ask yourself why that is so. Dogs fight more when on lead than when of. If all dogs did the right thing you wouldnt need leads.

  23. To Donna ….I’ve seen a lot of the programmes but not all . I’ve only seen one where he used a pronged collar . I was shocked but they do make a point of saying the collar is what the dog owner uses !
    IMO Caesar is a dog genius .I’ve never seen him treat an animal inhumanely ! The programme with the ex – laboratory dog nearly moved me to tears.
    I’ve modified my behaviour as a result of his programmes and me and the dog are happier !!

  24. I would just like to respond to the negative comments made by Donna regarding the use of prong or pinch collars.

    I occasionally work with very high rank drive dogs and i am forbidden by my organisation from utilising training aids such as prong/pinch collars to achieve compliance from dogs in situations that demand total obedience. These situations could involve a small matter of life or death….. not only for the dog concerned but possibly a third party.

    As a result of the banning order as a dog trainer i am forced to accept this restriction and find alternative methods deemed more acceptable and humane to help me achieve the very same goal that is when i say “No” then this means “No” and right now!

    These can take the form of aversives such as water, citronella, or noise etc etc. Alternatively you could take the click and treat approach in an attempt to counter condition unwanted actions (there are many imaginative means one can use to interrupt a focussed dogs behaviour)which may work fine for the run of the mill pet dog.

    However with some of the dogs i work with as does cesar millan they tend not to be your avearge joe. My job is made that much more harder and no doubt that applies to the dog also by the fact that i am unable to employ a perfectly reasonable training tool that WHEN USED IN THE CORRECT MANNWER BY A DOG TRAINER WHO UNDERSTANDS HOW THE APPARATUS SHOULD BE USED AND WHY!!!! results in a dog who fully understands the difference betwwen right and wrong within a couple of appropriate corrections.

    A wild dog would receive a sharp correction from a dominant dog within the hierarchy of his pack if he oversteps the mark.

    People should begin to understand that dogs need calm leaders and sometimes a peice of hot dog and a clicker does not cut the mustard with mentally strong and challenging dogs.

    Surely any training tool can be misused and thus potentially harmful if left in the wrong hands?

    I wont even begin to start the debate on how useful an e collar can be in the correct circumstances!!!!

    Please please people wake up and smell the roses ….pink and fluffy is very nice and cuddly but dogs wil be dogs and we love them for exactly that.

    would love to hear some comments.

  25. HI pam,

    I see what your saying. But i still feel that the use of prong collars in wrong. And yes many dogs become far more aggresive while on the lead but this is becasue there natural flight option has been taken away and if the dog feels under threat then it has no option but to defend it self.

    you say i need to ask myself why we use collars and lead on our dogs? I would be intersted to know why in your opinion you/we use collars on leads on our dogs?

    I also have owned dogs for many years and have been training for over 17 years. i compleltey disagree with most of cesars methods. i have had many different breeds and also trained more breeds than i could name. i have never used methods like his. i am a reward based trainer and have very good success rate.
    thanks

    donna

  26. I have 5 chihuahuas, all boys between 1 and 2 years old. 3 came from neglected environments. Overall, I’m impressed with Cersar Milan’s approach and advice. I tried the modern reward based approaches. I employed a trainer who works at our local SPCA plus me and the dogs went to classes. I spent a lot of money doing all this and got nowhere. Once I changed, followed some of Milan’s techniques, asserting myself as “pack leader”, things improved significantly. We have have 5 happy dogs and 2 much relived and happy humans.

  27. Hi,

    A few people on the forum have said that dogs should be treated as dogs. i compleltey agree. they are not human. this does not mean they should be subjected to such harsh methods as prong collars, choking, anything to cause them pain of distress.

    they are not 5 year old having a tantrum or babies.

    dogs are dogs, we are human. we are not part of the same pack. we are a differnt species. our rules are different to dog rules. (pack leader is the only one that breeds.

    also dog borstol is a very negative dog training program. rattle bottles, choke chains are all to relevent. like all programs only the bits that the Tv people want you to see witll be put into the program. they are many dogs that have not been helped long term but appear to have made progress.

    i have trained a few amrican bulldogs in the uk and have found them intellegent and nice to train. I ahve only ever advised one dog was destoyed and that was a mastiff that was later discovered it had a brain tumour and was very aggressive toward people.

    hope i have have responded to all.

    donna

  28. From what I’ve gathered when watching Cesar’s programme, his prefered piece of equipment, is a simple slip lead. As already stated he only uses prong collars (which I agree look pretty horrible and I wouldn’t want to use one!)and the like, when that is what the owner already uses. I think that it is basically because that is what the owner is most comfortable using. If they were handed their dog on a slip lead, they would probably get in a state, thinking that they couldn’t possibly control their dog on a piece of “string” and then their negative energy wouldn’t help matters! Hopefully, when they build a better partnership with their dog, they will realise they do not need such things after all.

    Cesar is always saying that dogs need proper exercise and there is certainly nothing cruel in that! I am a pet sitter and I have to say that the most, to use a Cesar term, “unbalanced” dogs I come across are those that don’t get walks with their owners! So to my mind, if some people watch Cesar and just take away the knowledge that their dogs don’t just need to go out into the garden to relieve themselves, that has to be a good thing!

    I’m sure in either his books or in an episode of the programme, I read/heard that Cesar always has the dogs checked out by a vet before working with them. But perhaps I imagined it!

    When I learnt to ride, my teacher said that different instructors would tell me different things and that the best thing to do was to take the bits that worked for me and if there was anything I didn’t agree with/found didn’t work, I didn’t HAVE to do those things. I’m not very good at explaining things, but I know what I mean!

    I have read several articles saying Cesars methods are cruel and outdated, but not one has yet said how to go about training a really agressive dog using rewards. I have had my own dog since he was a puppy and have always used reward training with him, so I know how good it is with a blank canvas, as it were.So am genuinely interested to see how you would use it on a real problem dog.

  29. I’ve been watching the wonderful Dog Whisperer for a while now and am nothing but totally impressed – I see nothing inhumane in his treatment of dogs. After watching for a few weeks I am now ready to tackle the problems with my 5 year old Collie cross, who is most definatley pack leader of me !!! On walks she barks insessantly – at me – especially if I pass the time of day with other dog walkers – and can be aggresive with brown dogs. Can anyone suggest which book or DVD of Ceser Millians I should start with ……. or even give me tips.

    Jacqueline

  30. Hi heidi,

    I agree that dogs that are walked anough are alot better on the whole. amnd yes that is a very good thing that cesar trys to get across.

    and yes i compleltey agree that people should take the things from each source, when they are learning. and we are all learning all of the time. so i get quite worried when people will follow one trainer to the letter.

    thanks

    donna

  31. Hi

    I think one of the best books out there for aggresive dogs is click to calm. cant remeber the author of the top of my head. there are many great books that only use reward based, positive methods.

    any why do you feel your dog is “pack leader” becasue he is aggresive towards brown dogs? maybe your dog is scared of brown dogs for whatever reason? hyst a thought. ahve never seen your dog so cant give you a professional opinion.

    thanks

    donna

  32. Thanks Donna for your reply. I probably didn’t word my post well. I think my dog is pack leader of me but her problem with brown dogs is a totally seperate issue.

    As for the reward route ……. it has never seemed to work with her – she doesn’t respond to tit bits as other dogs seem to. Hense my interest in Cesars way. When we were trying dog agility we had to use her ball as encouragment because of her lack of interest in tit bits. However due to her obssesive ways with the ball – I only take it on one of our daily walks – not all.

    Jacqueline

  33. I am not a dog trainer & although I have owned & loved dogs all my life would not profess to be a dog expert.
    However, I take huge issue with some comments made by “Donna” – specifically :-

    “I am shocked and dismayed that so many people think that Cesar Milan is a postive trainer. I have watched a few of his programs and have been outraged.”
    “He uses prong collars.”
    “The sooner that more people realise that the methods cesar uses are cruel and yes certainly out of date the better.”

    As I say, I am not a dog expert but it doesn’t take a genius to see the change created by Cesar Milan’s methods – he transforms nervous, unhappy, sometimes aggressive (often a sign of fear, nervousness etc) dogs into very calm & very happy dogs simply by making them feel that they have a confident leader, such that they can relax & enjoy life, without the added responsibilities of leading & protecting his/her pack.

    To say that his methods are “cruel” is completely ridiculous – I have never yet seen him abuse a dog in any way whatsoever & I have watched most of The Dog Whisperer episodes.

    If his methods were in any way cruel, where are all the hundreds of complaints from people he has worked with (who now have a calm, happy & fulfilled dog in their family).

    If his methods are “outdated” then so be it, maybe we should use more “outdated” techniques in other walks of life – just because some ‘new’ techniques are all the rage it doesn’t mean all previous methods should suddenly be regarded as outdated, particularly when they are so clearly effective.

    I think Cesar’s techniques very much parallel the behaviour of good parents, ie they are role models for what is or is not acceptable behaviour & they put in place rules, boundaries & discipline + calm, assertive bahaviour to reinforce these boundaries where their children misbehave (& if we had more parents like that we wouldn’t have all these out of control ‘hoodies’ wandering the streets, but that’s another story).

    Although I do agree that no particular training method should necessarily be regarded as the ‘one’, I do have an issue with ‘reward’ based training in that you are effectively bribing the dog to behave well but not necessarily addressing the root causes of the bad behaviour in the way that Cesar Millan does.

    I think dogs are wonderful animals & would be the first person to intervene if I thought someone was abusing a dog in any way whatsoever (cruelty to animals disgusts me & I wouldn’t hesitate to act to stop it).

    To say that Cesar Millan’s methods are “cruel” though is, to me, just completely ridiculous.

    Gavin

  34. I have been training dogs for over 25 years and competed in Agility and Obedience at high levels.I have also judged in both of these. I have also taught obedience for over 20 years. When I first started most people used check chains. I have been down that road and also spent over 6 years using clicker methods. I have found Cesar’s methods the most effective for walking four high energy dogs. The dogs are happy and under control and interact well which the two rescues did not before using Cesar’s methods.

    Stuffing dogs with food is not the answer to dog behaviour. It is great for teaching dogs tricks and retrieve, sendaways, agility contacts but not general behaviour. Humans need to be in control of their dogs. Sadly today we see too many dogs out of control. Dog owners need to be in charge and responsible for their dogs or we will see more and more dogs being banned from public places in the UK.

    I approve of Cesar’s methods, they are effective and not unkind. Too many people treat dogs as humans, dogs will take advantage if we do not control them. We can still show love and affection but not weakness. As write this my four dogs are all lying by me, not squabbling, all content and relax thanks to Cesar’s Way.
    Some people are not natural leaders, Cesar shows how dog owners to be leaders of their pets without distroying affection for their pets.

    Laura

  35. I to live in the uk and am extremely worried by some of the comments i’ve read.If more dog trainers took the approach of Cesar Milan there would not be the problem there is in this country at present. I have 3 boxers all of whom are on the whole extremely well behaved. The only one with slight issues is my 1 yr old and ‘YES’ i used a pronged collar on him!It does not hurt in any way it just teaches him certain behaviour and quickly.Something that is however cruel is something been brought to my attention about a male dog being put to sleep for no other reason than the owners can not cope with it. it’s also caged all day long for almost 12 hours except for when the dog walker goes in…….How cruel and inhumane is that?

  36. I wonder if laura cud help me? I have four gsd’s who are wonderful and well behaved most of the time and absolutely respond to the methods i use which are all ‘Cesar’ based,however when we go out they get so excited they attack each other and totally refuse to listen! We live in open countryside so they have loads of exercise daily but I now have to take them out two at a time! Any advice wud be gratefully received.

  37. To hear Cesar Milan say such phrases as “teamwork is critical” is not the speech of someone who is aggressive and dominating. He shows that one can be ASSERTIVE, rather than aggressive, and that discipline rather than punitive actions are the keys to success with our dogs. Before I started watching “The Dog Whisperer” my belief was that if a dog bit or attacked, it should be destroyed immediately – that the dog was beyond aid. Clearly Mr. Milan has saved many dogs from such a fate, and that there is always hope.

  38. I have just read all the above posts as I did a google on Dog Whisperer. I have only watched a few of Cesar’s programmes as well. I got Freddie a rescue dog (with very little background) back in August 07 and within a week he was ruling the roost, territorial about sofas, beds etc and always, always growling and snarling at my daughter. We had a couple of bites too because we were arguing. So to cut this story short : first person was trained under the “dog listener” ie Jan Fennell. He came and sat for 3 hours and just watched my dog and then handed me 2 or 3 sheets of paper and I paid him £90. I tried so hard to follow the softly softly approach. The next one was better, they came and saw he was a nervous dog and we did clicker training and I thought yes, this will work. So we tried that approach – again quite a softly softly approach. More money shed out. No 3 was at the beginning of January, lovely person, spent 3 hrs with me and Freddie (my daughter didn’t turn up for this session). We did clicker training, and Freddie was very capable of all of this. We went for a walk so that she could see how he’d developed a hatred of cars, and most other things. A DAP diffuser and more sheets and £95 later…… So last week my daughter is in bed and Freddie has been so nice and then he decides he will stay on the bed (yes I know what you are all thinking). She couldn’t move her arm without a growl, teeth showing etc etc. It sounded dreadful on the phone but there was nothing I could do as I was at work. I had booked an appointment to see a dog trainer at obedience classes on the Wednesday night and off I toddled with dog, boyfriend and treats. I just wanted to see if she was a nice lady to the dogs as my then behaviourist said not to use anyone who was aggressive. This lady was fine and we waited til the class was over to talk to her. I explained all the things Freddie got up to. She came over and put her hand my shoulder and Freddie went into action. She immediately grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and onto the floor and told him very firmly what for. He came back and she then left him and he settled down and he was spoken to kindly but matter of factly! She set up the situation again, he responded again but not as quickly and again she told him what for. I was shocked. I said I would think things over and get back to her. Well the next day I took my dog for a walk in the evening, cars everywhere and a trip that I couldn’t do since Xmas. I got round the block and more besides without a squeak. I booked her for Sunday and she came round. Unfortunately he’d had a telling off 3 x that morning as each time he growls he has to be put in order. This time he went full on and the lady wasn’t quick enough and even surprised by his ferocity. She got bitten but she carried on and used her technique twice. We then went for a walk with him. I walked him and talked to him quite a bit of the time. Then we put a lead which went round his waist and each time we passed a dog and he challenged it I would firmly say “leave it” and pull him back with the lead. This too worked and we are on Tuesday and I took him for a walk this morning past the bin lorry and not a squeak. Her training is not horrible or painful. He really is a confused dog and I have allowed (presumably since I have had him) take over as pack leader. Her technique has worked PDQ, whereas the softly softly titbits and stuff have not. I have some way to go with Freddie but I refuse to give up on this cute little laddie (his crime is looking too cute and yes I was humanising him I am sure). My sister is an avid Dog Whisperer watcher and kept telling me about him and I was told he was cruel. I can now see that he isn’t because I have found someone who trains in the same manner. I wouldn’t say I am a convert, but my lady’s methods are working! More news later!

  39. Everyone is talking about the metal pronged awful dog collars that people have seen in Cesar’s shows. Cesar likes to use a 2 banded Nylon Collar called an Illusion Collar. This Collar is kind but also lets the human be in control. Being in Control of a dog is a good thing. To the people who think Cesar is wrong, I would ask you to look at the illusion collar and ask yourself. Would I feel happiest walking my 2 year old daughter safely down the road towards a large dog whose owner has no control of or would the world be a better place by owners being resposible and using an illusion collar and for the child, you, the dog and owner all to be safe? The answer is easy isn’t it. Cesar Millan’s Illusion Collar works and its kind. Cesar is the Monty Roberts of the Dog World.

  40. Hi

    I have got a dog again for the first time in 5 years, a nice little Border Collie, after my last dog passed away and have been watching the series, and have found it a great help. I am no expert but did grown up in a household that bred and trained German Shepherds, so from my first steps dogs have always been around me.

    I think what people are getting hung up on is Training, and Behaviour. Cesar is not training dogs, he states that on his website, he does not do the training side. He is helping the dog to behave in a manner that is acceptable to humans and also most importantly acceptable to dogs and the way in which they see things. If anything he says he trains the humans and not the dogs.

    His methods are very good, and they will work for some dogs but may not work for others, that’s why there is a call for other training methods, like people above have mentioned. All methods are viable as long as the dog is not harmed, or distressed, which will lead to behaviour problems.

    Also make note of his quotes to check with a proffesional.

    This is all about some proffesionals nose being put out of joint, and people love to put down other people and thier methods, well maybe if they get a nip from the pack leader they will back off and toe the line 🙂

  41. I have two 13 week old Labrador retreivers, before we had these adorable puppies we did a lot of research not only into the breed but in how we would integrate them into our home and how we would train them from the moment they arrived. we adopted Cesar Milan’s methods from day 1 and i can honestly say they work. Both puppies have settled well and even though they have the occasional play fight they love one another but know who the pack leaders are. we are all looking forward to our first ‘walk’ this weekend and have been practicing in the garden. if you follow the exercise, disipline, affection rules that Cesar adopts then you should have happy dog’s – it’s working for us!
    As for Donna’s comments each to their own but you need to chill! – Calm assertiveness i think it’s called.

  42. I cannot believe what I am erading here! I think there must be two Cesar Milans, because the one I’ve seen can in no way be described as a God, or the saviour of dogs!!!! And, for the record, I do know dogs, I do train dogs and have for many years, including rehab of rescues, as have several of my friends. My current pack consists of eight dogs, and we have no agression issues, despite two entire boys and two entire girls (currenlty in season!).

    I wouldn’t let Cesar anywhere near my beautiful dogs, let alone tolerate him using that horrible neck jab, the back kikc behind the ribs or any other of the foul things he does. And if someone came to me with their dog wearing a prong collar, then I would make them take it off. What a vile and dangerous thing it os/

    Cesar claims to base his methods on wolf pack theory, although it has been proved beyond doubt that domestic dogs do not interact socially in the same way as wolves, and behave if anything like wolf cubs, not the sophisticated adult pack. The alpha roll is offered by the subordinate wolf, it would never be forced into that position. When wolves reprimand each other it is done with very little if any contact – with their jaw pressure, it is far too easy to damage a useful pack member! So his neck jabs and other pokes are misplaced.

    The Alpha pair in the wolf pack dominate with barely any conncetion, but do it all with looks and the odd air snap. In fact, there are very few dominant dogs out there, and certainly loud, in your face dogs are unlikely to be dominant, generally they are unsure of their position which makes them insecure and potentially aggressive, unpredictable etc.

    As for prong collars, I do not know of a single behaviourist in England who would train a dog in a prong collar, even if the owner used one. They would be quickly taught how to use a more humane method. The area behind the head is VERU sensitive – why do you think CM gets dogs to walk nicely to heel so quickly when the collar is right behind the ears? Press hard into the dips behind your earlobes, and tell me you approve of your dogs suffering constant pressure there.

    Nothing anyone has said on this page has persuaded me to change my mind on Cesar. The Humane Society were right.

  43. I have a labrador/mastif cross who does not respond at all to reward training. He is a loveable and affectionate dog but tried very hard to be dominant. As he does not have an interest in food then reward training by treats doesn’t work. He also likes to be praised but this doesn’t have an overall impact on his behaviour.

    I have tried the calm-assertive energy that Cesar advocates and am very impressed by the results. I appreciate that many people on here are dog trainers, but the only one who seems to be against Cesar’s training is Donna, and she doesn’t seem to accept that reward training doesn’t work for all dogs.

    I fully support Cesar’s methods and my dog has become calmer and better behaved (as all the dogs on his show seem to)
    Amy

  44. Does anyone know a training in the UK (preferably Berkshire area who uses Cesar methods. After 3 trainers and lots of money I have got further with my neurotic dog in 3 weeks than the last 6 years. I now need to get him some socialisation practice with a calm pack but would not like to attempt this without a professional to help me.
    Rosie

  45. i hav a 3yr old rotti he has passed his bronze and silver by the time he was a year old. i hav alot of problems with him now and hav tried so many trainers and spent alot of money including for a behavourist and hav not been able to change him at all. he is aggressive on the lead at all times so he is muzzled. i hav been watching cesar milan also and will be trying his way as rewards and the softly softly approach do not work. he is fine in the home but as we live on a narrow boat the problems are really hard because he thinks he owns the towpath and no one should be walking past at all. i dont think any of his methods are inhumane and would rather use them than hav my dog put down or worst still he should bite someone surely if these methods work and nothing else does then the answer is there for everybody to see. people can now walk past my boat and i hav no barking when my dog is inside which before he would go mad. i no which method i would choose anyday thanks to cesar milan. paying money and being handed a piece of paper afterwards is to me no training at all and of no help what so ever but just a way of getting your money. i wish he lived over here as i would pay him with pleasure to help me with my dog.

    carole

  46. Jill,
    Please actually watch and pay attention to Cesar Millan before you comment.
    He doesn’t ‘kick’ the dogs behind the ribs, he doesn’t ‘press hard’ behind the dogs ears and he doesn’t ‘jab’ or ‘poke’ the dogs.
    I strongly suspect that if he was as abusive as you suggest then he would have a pack full of nervous and timid canines instead of well balanced dogs and the authorites would have imprisoned him by now.
    And ‘for the record’ I have been training dogs, horses and people for 20 years and have seen a few fashions come and go. I adopt Cesar Millans methods with dogs, and Pat Parelli’s methods with the horses and I have exceptionally well behaved animals and pupils.
    Best wishes
    Helen x

  47. CM does not profess to “train” dogs. People do not call him for the purpose of teaching their pups how to sit.

    As to his methods, CM’s “neck jabs” are hardly punches. He often demonstrates the amount of force to be used on the owner and I’ve never seen one even flinch(let alone keel over) from the application. Nor does he “kick” dogs; he specifically tells owners NOT to actually kick, but to merely uses the foot to get their attention. We are talking about dogs here, not porcelain dolls.

    As for prong collars, I am quite tired of all the hand wringing over this tool. They exist for a reason. And despite Jill’s dislike of them, they are not designed to injure dogs (I’ve yet to even see a dog yelp in pain from having one on). Furthermore, if one follows her logic, every dog show is nothing short of a torture exercise considering all the “constant suffering” the dogs must experience from having the leash positioned just how CM advises.

    Enough already. CM clearly advises people to seek professional help. If you don’t like his methods, don’t use them…but don’t pretend they are completely ineffective either when the list grows every day of people whose dogs have been literally saved thanks to his teachings.

  48. It seems to have been ignored that in almost every episode of the TV program it is stated that he (Cesar Milan) “rehabilitates dogs and trains human beings” It is not dog training but helping dogs that have already quite severe problems, and in several cases have been given up by other so called dog trainers.

    To describe his methods as cruel is quite disingenuous, if you study the programs carefully with an open mind you will see that it is in no way cruel. The amount of pressure used in the simulated bites can in no way be damaging or cruel. The illusion collar is for rehabilitation only, not for general use.

    Also it seems to have been forgotten that the simulated bites and lead correction are only one part of his techniques.

    I am not a dog trainer and have not had a dog for the last five years. Having decided to take on another dog I yesterday visited a re homing center to meet the dog I was interested in. I was told by the RSPCA officer and the kennel staff that the dog was very nervous and would either shy away or bark at me, knowing this I remembered Cesar Milan’s methods for meeting nervous dogs. I put his instructions into practice and the meeting went without a hitch, we had a good walk the dog responded well and we were getting on well enough for me to deside that this was the dog for me.

    So please remember his techniques cover many areas and work.

  49. Helen D

    Don’t patronise me. I have watched and paid attention to Cesar Milan, which enabled me to post what I did.

    Obviously you are more of an expert on him than I, since clearly you think I don’t know what I’ve seen. Perhaps “kick” is the wrong word. What would you call it if someone used their heel to administer a blow of whatever strength to your dog in the soft area behind the ribs? Is that not a kick? And that was what I observed on an episode of CM, not once but three times. Personally I think it is wholly inappropriate to use feet to admonish a dog in any way, not least because it is so much harder to regulate the force you apply to a foot, and in addition need to allow for the impact of footwear too.

    Might I suggest that you read posts properly too – I didn’t say that he presses behind their ears, I suggested that as a way of you understanding the pressure that your dog would feel with the illusion collar and others tight behind the ears.

    You be proud of using his methods if you wish, I’ll stick to my guns and admire truly inspirational trainers like Turid Rugaas and James French who incidentally have also rehabbed biters and death row dogs, but don’t crow about it on tv for mass appeal.

  50. Jill said (amongst Other things)
    “although it has been proved beyond doubt that domestic dogs do not interact socially in the same way as wolves, and behave if anything like wolf cubs, not the sophisticated adult pack.”

    Firstly, It would be useful if she could cite her references as it flies in my experience of dogs: In the good old days when you could take dogs to festivals, after a couple of days you would have a pack of dogs running around and doing doggy pack things, so much so that I think that it is the reason that most festivals don’t allow dogs anyway (anecdotal I know).

    However I would like to pick up on the phrase “and behave if anything like wolf cubs”.
    If you look at the reasearch done on domesticating wild foxes in Russia over the last 50 years, (http://reactor-core.org/taming-foxes.html) it becomes clear that that is indeed what we are dealing with. Roughly speaking, young animals have a cub state and an adult state, the former alows them to form bonds easily but at a certain stage in their development this switches off and they become ‘adult’& ‘wild’. In the same way that Big Cat cubs are friendly and playful , but at some point they become dangerous and ‘wild’. The experiment in Russia showed that through selective breeding this transition point from puppy/cub to wild adult has been put back until it has been bred out.

    The domestic dog is still close enough to it’s wolf ancestor to breed and produce fertile offspring – but it is a wolf stuck in perpetual puppyhood.

    Cesar bases his techniques, amongst other things, on his observations of the behaviour in packs of dogs, plus I believe he took the time out to study academically . He takes the time and trouble to explain what he is doing and why, and he makes sense. He shows his clients what is possible, and helps them to achieve it themselves.

    What does he say?

    Leadership, Discipline, Affection. Just what any puppy needs.

  51. I can’t help wondering if there’s not a hint of jealousy behind some of these unfounded vriticisms of Cesar Millan’s techniques? Surely it is obvious that the majority of people have experienced only positive results from following the techniques, and I don’t doubt Cesar’s respect and genuine care for and on behalf of dogs. My brothers dog had nervous-aggressive issues, we applied some of Cesar’s techniques, now she is stable, happy and calm. The proof of the pudding…..
    I can’t see any of the dog owners on the show – who generally adore their pets – taking up ‘cruel’ suggestions to help their dog. I certainly wouldn’t as an animal-lover and pet owner, and I have worked with animals most of my life.

  52. Maybe if more “inspirational” and brilliant animal trainers and handlers DID crow about their methods and work then maybe, just maybe, there might be less animal abuse and suffering in this world. Suffering is usually caused by ignorance, so maybe we all need to be crowing some more.

    Helen x

  53. Psycho B delic – pleasure to quote sources.

    Conversation with Shaun Ellis – had the enormous privelege of touring Longleat’s wolf pack with him, fascinating and enormously knowledgeable guy. He has written books, done wild life films etc on wolves. Also research of David Mech.

    Here’s another: http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/2001/dominance.htm

    Obviously Dr Ian Dunbar has done a lot to debunk the whole wolf pack/dominance theory too over the years.

    The Monks of New Skete are credited with introducing the alpha roll in around 1976, but they have since moved away from it and apologised for it and do not advocate its use any more (as far as I know).

    Observations and experiences of Paul Owens, Tamar Geller, who have also authored books. Ditto Turid Rugaas.

    Will that do you?

  54. I think Gill is very jealous of Cesar Millan as she refered to him by and I quote “but don’t crow about it on tv for mass appeal.” This person does not acknowledge that many of Cesars methods actaully work. Just becasue she does not like them she must be little him. If he she is so good why does she not go on TV and show us why she is so right. Its easy to critise someone on a blog like this but to be honest the proof of the pudding is the actions. I have watched many of his shows and yes they are shows but they are created to educate us human beings. Most faults with dogs are not the dogs but the humans who look after them. I realise this more so now I have watched several of his shows. I have tried some of his methods and they really do work. I suspect the real reason for people like Jill who dont like Cesar is that he will put them out of buisness by the comments hoping that the public will listen to her. His shows are free to watch on TV. I am sorry but it makes me mad when people have such a jealous streak and wont share good practice. I watched him us an elecronic collar to stop a dog from sniffing at rattle snakes. This dog will never do that again. You may say thats cruel but in our world we use the stun guns on human beings who wont do as they are told when being arrested. We tie their wrists together , we tie their legs together sometimes and some times we even shoot them , a lot worse that cesars methods I think. I accept there must be many methods to teach humanns and dogs but please lets not critise each other . all you get is angry people. Live and let live

  55. Cesar doesn’t base his methods on the WOLF pack theory, he bases his methods on the DOG pack theory, as he grew up with a pack of DOGS. He simply does what he has seen dogs do, to maintain balance & respect thoughout the pack. He advocates reward based training.
    The programmes we see are mostly ‘red zone’ cases, dogs which would be put to sleep if he didn’t change thier behavior. The methods in his show are for ‘problem’ dogs, not your every day happy puppy.
    Calm & assertive is in no way inhumane.
    Through Cesars methods, I have transformed my ‘rescue’ dog, who used to be totally unruly, & due to age is deaf. I am also using the calm & assertive approach for raising my Masiff pup with fantastic results and as anyone with Mastiff experience knows (or any other large guarding/fighting breed), you do not get anywhere by being inhumane & physically forcefull to a Mastiff, they are very sensitive they need lots of love & kindness but they also need to know who is in charge.

    I can’t understand how proffesionals think the alpha-roll is outdated, dogs don’t think it’s outdated. I had a dominant-agressive male dog, he would alph-roll anything in sight, if the dog didn’t submit, then there would be a fight. If only I had known of Cesars methods then, that dog could have led a much happier life, one in which he could have enjoyed other dogs company instead of feeling it was his job to dominate them all, but then again, according to the limk above, dogs don’t use physical force to assert thier dominance. The report in that link is based on a study of a dog pack, it mentions nothing abouth dogs meeting dogs from another pack, ie. a strangers dog. I think that is why so many ‘proffesionals’ would rather tell you to muzzle your aggressive dog & keep it on a lead, rather than adopt Cesars methods and show that dog it is not his place to fight.
    http://www.siriuspup.com/pop_fighting.html

    It is really saddening how a person who has saved so many dogs from being put to sleep, a person who is truly passionate about the wellbeing of dogs is branished as barbaric.

    I find it very sad that so many ‘proffesionals’ feel the need to brandish Cesar as inhumane & as using out-dated methods, he doesn’t be-little other peoples methods. It seems to me that that the people with the biggest problem with Cesar are those that have the most money to loose by his success.

  56. Jill,
    Descibing Cesar as administering a ‘blow’ with his foot is going over the top, if somebody tapped you on the shoulder to get your attention would you call the police & accuse them of administering a blow to you?? Because that is the whole purpous of Cesar using his foot – to gain attention when the dog is distracted.
    If it is so hard to regulate the force of pressue applied by our feet, how is it possible to apply accurate pressure to a foot pedal on a car (whilt wearing shoes as it is illeagal to drive with no shoes), or is it simply luck that one can maintain the right speed by pressing the peddal??

    My dogs love being fussed, they will lay by my feet for me to stroke them with my feet, I can easily control my feet, with or without shoes, in order to stroke the dogs.

    My 2 dogs playfight, they use enough force with play bite to the neck to knock each over, yet they enjoy this game. They use much less force than one of Cesars ‘neck jabs’.

    Unfortunatley far too many people see dogs as these delicate little objects, that is why so many end up badly behaved and in shelters. People can’t bring there self to give any corrections or be assertive atall and when ‘cute little puppy’ turns into hell boy humpnig thier legs & chasing anything that moves, ‘baby sit for a cookie’ doesn’t work anymore and people give up thier dogs.

    Turid Rugass may not ‘crow’ about herself on the TV but she happily gives advise on her website and also sells her knowledge to the public. Cesar is on TV due to his fantastic sucess and the fact he has dedicated his life to safing & changing the lifes of dogs. He obviously has made a lot of money from his sucess, but unlike most of the ‘trainers’ that dislike him, a lot of his money goes into his dog centre where he takes on dogs that would otherwise be put to sleep – on recomendations of trainers/behaviourists who think his methods are cruel & outdated he then transroms thier behaviour and finds them loving homes. These caring trainers would rather help a dog by the modern technique of killing it by injection – heartwarming!!

    Cesar’s methods are not about training, they are about behaviour and should be followed with training. I’m with Cesar anyday, but just like him, I can respect & advocate the TRAINING methods of others.

  57. Hi,

    sorry i ahvent been on for while,

    there are so many comments that i feel need a reply. so here are a few. andrea from the uk. you said prong collars do not hurt or cause pain. pardon my language but that is bollocks. it does cause pain and the dog may learn to avoid the problem to stop the pain. But i see alot that become worse with choke chains and prong collars.

    there was more than one comments made that dogs will walk all over us if we do not take control. I persoanlly have 3 dogs at present. i do not use choke chains, prong collars, e collars, i use clickers and reward based training. if you can train a dog to do tricks with a clicker you can use it to shape behaviours. and if you cant your not using it properly.

    There are thousand of people that think cesar is great. But also thousands that dont. He is acutally in the proccess of being sued by a TV producer in the states. and a very well respected trainer Ian dunbar has just written an article about cesars methods.

    thanks for all feed back.

  58. just to let people know also that one of the top magazines in the UK dogs today has not refused to advertise cesar milan and has taken his adverts out of all forth coming issues. they have looked at the methods he uses and have taken that stance that they are out of date and inhumane.

    donna

  59. comments to jill

    thank god a lady that knows what she is talking about.

    i compleltey agree with every thing you ahve said and i wish others would see what he is doing. rather than what they would like to think is happening.

    donna

  60. Donna and Jill , thank you ladies for posting common sense.
    I have eight dogs and would never use a choke chain let alone a prong collar on mine.

    Obviously some of the things Milan says make sense and he makes some good points about people’s attitude to their dogs.

    However the excuse given about prong collars and he only uses them if the owner has them is ridiculous. If he disaproves he should refuse to help and show how to manage the dog without using barbaric aids!

  61. Hey Donna

    It’s been a bit lonely without you! Should have joined the Cesar debate on the Agility Forum, it was much more up your street, ie the whole community thought he was cruel, outdated etc.

    I’m not APDT, but only because I’ve never got round to taking the exam – its on my to do list! I have eight dogs, and like you I don’t use negative methods and won’t h ave them used in the agility club I run – strictly no check chains at all! In fact five of my dogs are walked on harnesses so there is no pressure on the neck at all.

    You might be interested to know that I was going to buy Cesar’s book – so many intelligent people seem so mesmerised by him I figured I’d see if there was something I was missing. Anyway, looking for that book (though it pained me to give my hard-earned to his empire) I discovered “The Dog Whisperer” by Paul Owens. Awesome guy, check him out if you haven’t already. Been around way longer than CM, and saves death row dogs, but his methods aren’t so telegenic because they are non-violent, slower burn.

    Needless to say I didn’t buy Mr Milan’s volume and came home with the non-violent book! So thanks to all the pro-CM peeps, coz if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have discovered Paul Owens!

    BTW Donna, don’t you find it interesting how many people on here proudly say that they use his methods when the programmes are plastered with warnings NOT to try them yourself?!

  62. Have just read all comments in this debate from the beginning. All very interesting and all valid. However, I cannot help but notice the two really negative commentators appear to refer and re-refer to the same arguments time and again. Cesar does NOT make a habit of using prong collars, nor of using check or choke chains. Neither does he “kick” dogs in the soft part behind the ribs – or anywhere else. IF he touches a dog there, it is to divert the dog’s attention away from whatever is fixating the dog at the time. Yes, I am a Cesar convert. I have a pack of three, ranging in ages from 18months to 15+ years. My pack has benefitted from Cesar’s Mantra; Exercise, Discipline, Affection. I have learnt much about myself, and my previous “faults”(one of which was to undertake reward based training) and continue to grow in confidence as a “pack leader” through watching Cesar. I have also read in these comments that Cesar’s methods are “outdated” amongst other things. I do not find them so. Fads will come and go in dog training as in other things I’m sure, but I do not believe that Cesar’s methods are in any way a fad, nor do I believe them to be in any way “cruel.” Also I note the following by Jill to Donna: “BTW Donna, don’t you find it interesting how many people on here proudly say that they use his methods when the programmes are plastered with warnings NOT to try them yourself?!” A bit disingenuous really, when the advisory notices will primarily be placed of necessity by the programme makers’ legal team, to cover their own “tails.” Cesar’s programme is not by any means the only one to give warnings not to try things at home, or to suggest that you seek professional advice. As for it being “interesting how many people on here proudly say that they use his methods…” I wonder if Jill was implying anything about the people “on here” in general or particular? Once a person has made what could, perhaps, be termed as “snide” or even “disparaging” comments in any discussion or argument, they weaken both their own credibility and their own argument. Long may Cesar “Train people and Rehabilitate dogs.”

  63. Hi Jill,

    i havent heard of him, but i will go look him up. I am the saem as you. thought about buying his book to see if there is something, anything in there that i have missed. But as you might have already seen. dogs today have banned him from being advertised in their mag as they have read his book and think it is barbaric and out of date. so just as i thought.

    I ahve actually beena member now for about 6 years and its a great organisation. You should sort it and do the exam. I am also looking to do the KC accreditation scheme but it looks so complicated. Do you know anything about it.

    It is very true about your last comment. I am assuming all the people on the forum are professional or have sought professional help as it does state that on his program. Dont try at home!!!!!!! wonder why that is if its so easy and natural?????

    would love to hear others comments.

    PS what is the link for the agility forum? would love to join.

    donna x

  64. Hi julie,

    didnt notice your comments when i last added to the forum.

    I feel you are watching a different program. He definately uses his foot to touch the dog behind the ribs. He also uses prong collars and choke chains. As a trainer if i see a client that uses either i explain why these devices can lead to problems and show alternatives. and also how to train the dog without pain or intimidation.

    I get a huge buzz form being able to rehibilitate dogs without the use for force. I do get called in to help people change their dogs behaviour after the owners have tried themselves. Most of them have tried methods that they have seen on tv from varouis sources such as CM, dog borstal. they both ahve do not try this without professional help. Yes this is to cover their backs. But that is because these methods can cause so many problems and then the trainer or program being sued. I actually ahd the pleasure of being on a dog training tv program last year. Most of the trainers used kind fair effective methods. the top two trainers were apdt. there was never a mention of these methods not being uses at home. that is becasue anyone can use these methods without the risk of casuign harm or injury to a dog.

    ye si do agree that many dogs need more excersise. i ahve never questioned that. and yes dog need boundaries and affection. But this can be done without stressing or causeing pain to the dog. I heard that cesar milan is being sued at presant for over excersising a dog and causing stress to the animal.

    anyway fed up of rambling. I am very tired and my spelling is terrible lol

    donna x

  65. In fairness Julie, everybody on both sides of the debate “refer and re-refer to the same arguments time and again”. Not one pro-Cesar supporter has presented me with anything new that has made me sit up and think “OK, I was wrong” and some have been verging on the offensive as they can’t articulate an argument.

    OK, so you want a new reference. As everyone seems to be in denial about Cesar’s touches – and, although it is old ground, I still maintain that using a FOOT on your dog in the way he does is entirely inappropriate whatever else you do – lets talk about flooding. So, “problem” dog has a fear, and rather than take the dog through a series of positive consequences associated with the source of fear, Cesar promotes “flooding”. This is the technical term for over-loading the dog with the source of fear and induces a state that is called “learned helplessnesss”, or what CM would refer to as “a calm submissive state”. Far from being calm or submissive, the dog that has been through flooding has learnt that no matter what it does, it cannot get away, so fight or flight instinct – that every living creature including us is born with – has been destroyed and the dog has shut down or learnt to be helpless and allow others, ie the owner now seeing themselves as “pack leader” to make decisions. That is not a dog that is rehabilitated, it is a dog that is broken, although you get the result you wanted in losing the negative behaviour, so that’s ok, right? Not in my opinion, it isn’t!

    Donna – link to agility net website attached, just click on the button to “forum”.

  66. Graham

    OK,I promise you, I am far from jealous of Cesar Milan. You know nothing about me – you don’t know if I’m a multi-millionaire or broke, you only know I have a computer and dogs. So how can you suggest I’m jealous?

    You also say that I have to “belittle” him – I haven’t said anything personal about him, been insulting, suggested he is “jealous” of me or anything else, I have simply offered my personal opinion on his methods which I do not like, don’t agree with and am within my rights to do so. And yet, you say:

    “If he she is so good why does she not go on TV and show us why she is so right.”

    That is inflamatory and offensive, deliberately.

    You also go on to say:

    “I suspect the real reason for people like Jill who dont like Cesar is that he will put them out of buisness by the comments hoping that the public will listen to her. His shows are free to watch on TV. I am sorry but it makes me mad when people have such a jealous streak and wont share good practice.”

    That is suggesting malpractise and unprofessionalism and could have a direct affect on my dog training business, and on that grounds I could potentially sue both you and the publisher of this website for libel. HOWEVER, you (and the publisher) will be relieved to know that I’m not going to sue. And Cesar isn’t going to put me out of business – I work for a registered social landlord, so he’d have a job. So I have nothing to gain or lose by Cesar’s existence. I just don’t agree with some of the things he does.

  67. “As for it being “interesting how many people on here proudly say that they use his methods…” I wonder if Jill was implying anything about the people “on here” in general or particular? Once a person has made what could, perhaps, be termed as “snide” or even “disparaging” comments in any discussion or argument, they weaken both their own credibility and their own argument.”

    I agree completely with your last sentence, so some of the people who are taking a viewpoint against Donna and I should take note. Being snide and snippy is not clever and doesn’t do anything to enhance your argument.

    However, you took my observation as being snide, interesting in itself, but it wasn’t.

    Let me put it into context. There was a progamme the other night about a guy who climbs skyscrapers without any ropes/harness. I didn’t actually watch it, but I know it was on, so I am speaking hypothetically here. Say that programme was plastered with “don’t try this at home” messages – common sense tells you that climbing up the side of a skyscraper is dangerous, so don’t do it. And yet, some people rationalise the warning not to repeat Cesar’s stuff as a caveat to stop him getting sued.

    So, you have an aggressive dog, you fight to put him in an alpah roll, think that it will solve your problems, because you’ve seen it on Cesar. A canid will only force another canid into that position for one reason: to kill it (it exposes the vulnerable underbelly and throat). Remember, the insubordinate dog OFFERS the position, it isn’t put in it. So, dog PUT in that position has two options: capitulate (which it will if it feels it has no chance – basic survival) or it could fight back. So you put your fired up, aggressive dog into an alpha roll, and it doesn’t capitulate – you get bitten and not only have you not solved your problem, you’ve made it worse. Equivalent of climbing a skyscarper with no safety equipment, but one you would do and one you wouldn’t.

    Now, I find that interesting, as it says a lot about dog/owner relationships. If you find my pov disparaging, then maybe its you who is not looking at the whole picture?

  68. Dear Jill and Donna,

    If as humans we can not still agree how to treat other humans (humanistcs-behaviourist-psychonalysis-cognetive therapy……..) and believe me there is decades or scientific research that supports every single approach just imagine trying to agreeing in the “best” way to treat dogs. The typical arguments also apply in humans: this approach treats humans as animals and that is not right, that approach has no long term effects and that also is not right, this other approach looks to deep and there is no need for that… . For instance, while cognitive therapy has enough empirical research to suggests that their methods are the most effective in the same way we can find another piece of research that criticizes and challenge such success.

    Every single human being is different and what might work for one person might not work for other. Every person is unique and the same applies to dogs. You have the right to disagree with Cesar’s methods however many others have find in his methods hope and beyond hope clear results and that in itself is good. The fact that people criticizes just focousing on the bad aspects is just a reflection the incapability of most of us in accepting that our methods and perceptions are not the whole truth, it’s very difficult but is possible to acknolowge and celebrate the good efforts of anybody like Cesar in helping humans and animals, rather that only focusing on the not so good aspects.If we move away from the black and whithe way of thinking and we do the effort to put things in to perspctive it is clear that overall Cesar has done much more good than harm. It would be great that if when pointing the weakness of someone or something we could also see and acknowladge the stregnts. This would be constructive and useful!

    Donna I’m sure you are great and what you do, (not perfect though) the same you Jill, and for Cesar he is great too (not perfect either). Let’s use our time and energy in trying to help animals that are in hands of people that deliberatly want to hurt them.

    Pilar

    Pilar

  69. I absolutely agree with Donna and Jill.
    I’m so glad you had the courage to step up and try to educate the folks out there who see Cesar’s so-called ‘great’ results and never consider the real consequences of this brand of behavior modification.
    To the Cesar fanatics… please listen to what this ladies are telling you. They’re not making money of posting this. They’re writing for the benefit of your dog – the poor little puppers that can’t cry out, “STOP – I’m totally STRESSED OUT! This isn’t helping me! Consider this, the SPCA and AHS are non-profit organizations. They have no motive other than your animals’ welfare in mind. They are speaking for your dogs because our dogs can’t! If your dog could speak, he would beg you to turn off that show and stop abusing him/her!
    I am in veterinary school and was horrified when I watched Dog Whisperer. I was even more troubled when the trainer I had hired to walk my dog when I’m at school/work told me that he thinks Cesar is the greatest.

    Now, I do think that Cesar does have some positive things to teach people:

    – It’s very important to use ‘the voice’ of authority with your dog.
    – Being the alpha/pack leader is key. Inspire confidence/security.
    – Be consistent. Use the same language for your commands each time.
    – Follow-through on your commands. If you call him, make sure he comes to you.
    – Exercise is crucial to your dog’s mental and physical well-being.

    Some of the things that disturbed me about Cesar’s programs:

    – JERKING YOUR DOGS NECK CREATES LONG-TERM HEALTH PROBLEMS!
    I can’t believe that this guy is so damn socially irresponsible as to advocate this, knowing full well that people believe most anything they see on tv without question!
    He repeatedly instructs people to jerk harshly on the leads. Ok folks, tie a lead around your child’s neck. When you dislocate his vertebrae, cause permanent nerve damage, and give your child blinding headaches he will scream and holler. Your dog won’t bark or whine because he knows your response will be another terrifying escalation of stressful stimuli thanks to Cesar’s training. But when your dog dies, perhaps you won’t look at his autopsy results, but a vet student might… and they’ll know exactly how you trained him… by violently jerking on his neck! You are injuring your dog! If you need to restrain him, buy a body harness and hook your lead through the loop on the top his back. Better yet, train him effectively through positive reinforcement!

    Most dogs respond very well to praise. If not, hire a trainer, read lots of books, by a wide range of trainers, not just one! Don’t listen to me, educate yourselves!

    I do not believe that Cesar is ill-intentioned – maybe just ill-advised.

    PLEASE reconsider your strategies and monitor you dog for signs of stress. A STRESSED OUT ANIMAL IS NEVER DESIRABLE, even if he’s not displaying what you might consider negative behavior. If he’s panting, he’s likely stressed.

    If you want a silent dog with a fractured personality, keep watching Cesar. If not, perhaps you should consult others.

    Don’t use a choke/prong collar -EVER! Don’t jerk the collarLook at the studies done on dogs who have worn these things their whole lives and let the statistics do the talking.

    ‘Flooding’ as Jill so apt described may get your dog to behave the way you want him to, but ultimately you’re really screwing your dog’s head on backwards. How can you possibly think that traumatize your dog this way, even if it gets him to comply with your wishes? When your dog is basically saying, “I’ll do whatever you want just stop hurting/terrifying me,” – do you really think you’ve succeeded in training him to be a happy, well-trained dog? You’ve broken him, but you certainly haven’t trained him. Is that the kind of personality you’re looking for in a dog?

    Well, that’s all I have time for – I hope some of this sinks in for your dog’s sake.
    I really don’t want your $ or approval. I want the puppers to be ok.

  70. There is ‘NO PLACE FOR NEGATIVITY IN ANY FORM WITHIN DOG TRAINING’. If more trainers were to work positively alongside each other, everyone could learn more from each other and work towards better training and get rid of some trainers that are actually causing more problems by filling classes to make money rather than improving dog behaviour.
    What is the point of treat based training, if you cannot control your dog un-forcefully,calmly without a treat!
    Opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one but it doesn’t mean you have to like it.
    I would imagine the negative feedbackers on here would be the type of people that would bah humbug anyone trying to develop something new and probably feel they know better than anyone else on the planet and probably negative closed minded people.
    Cesar Millan, Jan Fennell, Dog Borstal who cares. They are trying to make a difference to dog ‘behaviour’.
    Teaching your dog to do tricks such as sit, stay rollover for treats DO NOT resolve ‘behaviour’ issues.
    Puppies are taken from their pack environment and put into a human environment that they do not understand. The quick jerk of the lead for attention is not something that wil be used throughout the dogs life, it is whilst it is being trained to un-focus on what the dog is fixated on.
    Cesar explains clearly the methods he is using and explains when he is using the prong collar that he is using what the owners use for their dogs.
    The same as I would ask my students to bring their equipment to a class. You can’t expect the owner to change everything in 30 seconds. It takes longer to correct a negative behaviour than to change it.
    If you watch, normally at the end of the show, he has them walking on just a leash.
    The higher fabric collars he uses, are touching the same pressure points behind the ears that a Halti use.
    Please stop being so disrespectful to someone who you also know nothing about. As you say, most of the show is edited by the show producers.
    If you have to get on your soapbox, why not try to do something about dog licensing to stop people breeding dangerous dogs or put your energies into getting UK pet foods regulated by a governing body…

  71. Oh I’ve just noticed someone encouring the use of a body harness…
    What position does your dog hold in a body harness? Does it look comfortable? Don’t most people lift the dogs off the ground in those harnesses? Doesn’t that cause body disfiguration as you pull on the harness and your dog toes end up stretched outward to the floor and its shoulders are pushed together.
    Your dog leads from the neck and head, whats the point of a body harness apart from turning your dog into a sledge puller, it won’t help you control it!

  72. Oh this is really entertaining!!

    For the Anti Cesar crew.

    I have watched The Dog Whisperer several times, I own a copy of Paul Owens Dog Whisperer Book, I have been a dog owner for years, I am by no means an expert nor a fanatic, I just love my dog. I also love my kids and watch Supper Nanny and have read a few articles/books about how to bring them up to be happy, loving, respectful etc etc. I like most, ‘cherry pick’ the ideas and solutions to problems and add a few of my own along the way, to come up with what suits me and mine. Seems to be working fine, well behaved dog and no asbos.

    I am sure your methods are generally great, but I might not like some of them – just like some of Cesars suit – but not all.

    Cesar obviously gets results, he may have touched a dog with his foot and you may not do it – did he hurt the dog by the way, didn’t see that one? Or did he just show it who was boss? How do you achieve that? Please share – we may wish to adopt your approach….

    I fully appreciate that some of his methods may not fit in with your way of training; I remember a teacher at school who just could not get me to understand quadratic equasions, no matter how hard he tried – it took a different one 10 mins and I had it! My point being; be reasonable about this – ok you may find a foot and a ‘owners’ collar unpalatable – but you got to admit it – there are some good bits in his methods. You may choose a different tac, but is everything he does bad?

    I am always interested by people with a passion for dismissing the work of other people fighting the same cause……you see I work sorting out human brains…surely at the end of the day you and Cesar are on the same side here? All very interesting….

    Just out of interest – can you let me know the name of your books, dvds, web sites etc – maybe I could cherry pick from those – I am assuming with so much experience and sucess stories you are published….

    PS Heather, I will cherry pick from you – you sound to be rational, reasonable and able to see the good and the bad.

  73. Hi,

    I feel I have to comment because, I like Cesars ethics, i’m not sure about the whole jerking thing it all depends on how much force is used, but then again I don’t believe responsible dog owners would hurt their own dog. I’m a vegetarian and i have a cat, I just became a volunteer to walk dogs for an animal charity, and I sure as hell know i’d never hurt a critter no matter how small, and thank-you i’ll leave it to the professionals to teach me how to do it and thats what Cesar advises.
    I have been reading some of the comments here and i would just like to say, Donna, you seem to be deliberately ignoring the fact that as several people have pointed out, Cesar did not condone the use of prong collars, he pointedly stated it was the owners choice, you were told this by Pam in 24 and Geoff in 25, you totally ignored chris in 26 as if he wasnt there! in 27 stated you thought the use of prong collars was wrong (i must say i agree) but did not respond to the point that this was not Cesars way, which is something you should have acknowledged to take part in a reasonable, unbiased argument and you should have acknowledged what Chris was saying whether you agreed with it or not.
    Then you totally horrified me in 29 when you admitted you had ‘advised’ someone to have an agressive dog destroyed. I can’t put into words how much that knocked me sick to the stomach, and if they had a child with an agressive behavioural disorder, what in Jesus name would you advise then? I’m sorry but I don’t think anyone who advises an animal be destroyed has any business anywhere stating Cesar Millan’s methods are cruel, i mean lets look at the two hands here, ‘training a dog the way its mother would’, vs ‘have the dog exectued’. You are not the only dog trainer on here, Laura has 20 years experience, and she uses some of Cesars methods, I would assume that not all of one trainers methods are correct for all dogs, but no one can argue, Cesar has ‘a way’ with dogs which thankfully has prevented many dogs being ‘PUT TO DEATH, EXECUTED, SLAUGHTERED’ and no matter what way you say it, it boils down to the same thing. How in the name of sweet Jesus saving a dogs life is wrong is beyond me!
    Jill in 46, never once have i heard Cesar mention wolves, only dogs in the wild, you mention Canid, I thought a wolf was a member of the canidae family, are they so dissimilar? This is a genuine question, I don’t claim to know squat about these matters.
    Cesars programme states, ‘do not try these methods without consulting a dog training professional’, and I say ‘be very careful what professional you consult!’.
    Everybody knows their own dog, and every body knows the point where a correction becomes a punishment or becomes cruel, and no responsible owner should ever cross that line, and NO ONE should advise anyone to have a dog destroyed unless that someone is a vet who is doing it because the dog is in pain and nothing more can be done for it.
    If you don’t agree with all of Cesars methods, for goodness sakes come up with a relevent ‘unbiased’ argument as to which ones and why, because nobody can say that all of Cesars methods are cruel and outdated, and the results speak for themselves, I know that these people on this programme love their dogs and if Cesar had been in anyway cruel, they would be the first ones hollering about it, and you know what, i just cant hear them, all I hear is, how happy their dogs are after a visit with Cesar, and they know their dogs a darned sight better than you do honey.
    I tell you the one programme i had trouble stomaching, the one where the rotweiller herded sheep, and it bit the poor critter and brought it down terrified and it must have hurt and that in MY opinion was just plain wrong, so I am not ranting on a one sided biased argument for Cesar here, just so we have that clear, theres pros and cons.
    I would also like to say that i find getting dogs to do agility is cruel and outdated, a bit like getting bears to dance, IMO. I mean performing dogs, performing bears, its all for human amusement, I don’t see Cesar making his dogs do tricks, but hey thats My opinion and im entitled to it, I would like to hear why getting a dog to do tricks is all good for the dog and has nothing what so ever to do with performing for humans, and how this is what a dog would do in the natural world, and when i say dog here i mean member of the canine family which ‘to me’ are those in there with dingo’s, jackals, wolves, foxes and the like, cos i sure as dixie dont see no wild dogs running up and down see saws and ramps and jumping through hoops.
    Hey just be kind to animals and each other, and see here that what Cesar’s ethics are doing here is a good thing, even if you don’t agree with all of his methods.

  74. Hi shelli,

    i’m orry if you feel i ahve not commented on everything tht people have said a i just simply dont have time. so i’m orry for that.

    i have advised that a dog was destroyed. it had severe problems that were later found out that the dog had a brain tumour. o i really dont feel that i was in the wrong at all. Not all dogs can be saved unfortuantely. But yes most i deal with do make a huge improvement.

    i dont use punishemnt at all to train. i sue rewar based mehtids and who is to say that i cant get dogs to do something if i dont have a treat. they actually work on a variable schedule. so if you would like to go and look up skinner than you will understand why dogs will do things.

    I use harnesses. i dont use them or condone people picking there dogs up by them. they are a training tool. they help with training. and also some dogs that have had problems with collrs becasue of various reasons. they dont make dogs pullers if you use the right type and in the right way on the right dog.

    through thousand of years of selective breeding we have devoloped breeds such as border collies. If you dont work them they nee something to do i.e agility. all dogs have prey drive and some parts are stronger than others in certain dogs or breeds. I also have a ridgeback. i dotn have lions to hunt so will use up the natural insticnt in another way.

    alos there is a phenominon called learned helplessness as jill mentoned earlier. if you would like to go and find out about it thatn maybe you would see harm in what cesar is doing. cesar is not new. it is about 30, 40 years old. it is outdated.

    jean donadlson, ian dunbar are both brilliant trainers go and look at their info.

    sorry ahve to go rush and help a dog.

    donna xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  75. Hi shelli,

    as i said i didnt get time to read through everything and answer earlier. and i assumeed in the reponse 29 when i stated i had advised one dog was put to sleep that i had not explained fully. i have just looked back at it. and i didnt say it had a brain tumour. it might of had behavioural problems but these were becasue of the mental problems it had, which were as i said later discovered the dog had a brain tumour., this dog could not have been helped. and if the metod that people condone in this forum were used someone would have probably had their face bitten. or even killed. there are some dogs that cant be helped. As some people with severe problems cant be helped.

    i do think cesar has oped peoples eyes to the fact there are dog trainers and behaviourists out there that can help. so yes that is positive.

    i take objection to the fact that some trainers put loads of dog into classes to make money and dont care about thier behavoural problmes. If a dog has behavioral problmes i would not put them in a calss but see them one to one. and yes i do put dogs into classes that suit the dog. and yes i make a living from it. and if you believe that cesar milan does it all for free then i am very suprisesd at that. It is my job/vocation like it is cesars. of course i make money from it.

    right i’m off to write a report for the vet for the dog i have just seen.

    sorry for all spelling mistakes. i didnt get time to correct everything.

    thnaks

    donna

  76. Reply to Samantha

    I have my dogs on harnesses on the advice of my chiropractor, as one of the corrections she had to make was caused by using a head collar. She advised a certain type of harness, that does not put pressure on the breast bone, which can cause it to go out. The harness allows the lead to be over the centre of the back between the shoulder clades, so you are not unnaturally pulling the head in any direction, which may be detrimental to the neck and/or spine.

    I was so impressed with the result that all my dogs are on harnesses now. So to answer your questions:
    – All dogs hold a natural stance, unless of course they are sitting/lying down, in which case they are holding a natural sit/down.
    – Yes, very comfortable. That’s kind of the point in having the harness.
    – No, I don’t lift my dogs off the ground in their harnesses, if I have to lift them I hold them properly. They don’t even have to lift their legs to put the harness on, because of the way it is constructed.
    – No, i don’t pull on the harness, my dogs aren’t disfigured and nobody’s toes are stretched and shoulders together. And I know that because their regular chiro checks would find stuff like that out.

    I don’t understand why you have a problem with a harness, your choice of course but I am more than happy with mine thanks, and my dogs are comfortable, walk beautifully on lead and are injury-free.

    Reply to Shelli

    Dogs have evolved from wolves and share a degree of DNA, but have parted ways in some aspects along the evolutionary path. Kind of like humans and benobos (sp?).

    I don’t understand why you think agility is cruel – would you say then that obedience is as well? Or working trials? Cani-X? All these things that physically and mentally stimulate a dog and make their lives interesting are cruel? Dogs are opportunists and problem-solvers in the natural world, and so may exhibit behaviours that we could consider a “trick” like flip something over to get to what is underneath, or throw something in the air. And of course dogs – and wolves, actually – play because that is how they school younger members of the family group. Wild dogs and wolves have even been observed playing with “toys”, eg sticks, antlers etc. So you may not see them do a seesaw, but you will definitely see them play, and of course jump stuff, run up hills, climb rocks etc I certainly don’t train my dogs for my amusement, but for their physical and mental health and well-being.

    Just as a general point too, loads of people have mentioned treats and whether you can control a dog without a treat if you support reward-based methods. Well, just to say that treats are only one reward, there are many other types of positive reinforcer you can use, so please don’t assume that reward based training is about shoving a treat down a dog, its not.

  77. I have to say that the reactionary attitude of some people can seriously do more harm than good. I have seen ONE episode of the Dog Whisperer where they used a prong collar (the one with the poor dog that had been used in laboratory) and there was a very loud (and I thought extremely apologetic) voice over explaining to a slightly horrified public that this was the owner’s collar, not Cesar’s.

    Cesar obviously has respect for other people’s methods even if they are not his first choice (something it would seem some people on this blog could learn from).

    I don’t know if you have ever been for a walk in a common dog walking area, your local park perhaps, where you see owners allowing their dogs to almost strangle themselves they pull on the lead so much. Now, I know dog can develop a desensitisation over a prolonged period of time if this behaviour is repeated, but seriously, how can this be less cruel than a few short sharp tugs on the collar of a dog that needs to learn to behave in a way that is less damaging to it’s own health??

    A lot of the dogs that I see on the Dog Whisperer just need to learn a bit of respect and a few manners and all Cesar does is show them that a human can demand that respect – but generally he does this with body language and what he terms ‘energy’. It’s not often he does the ‘alpha roll’, generally he just takes the dog for a nice long walk and tells people to stop treating their dogs like humans.

    I know so many dog owners who just don’t’ take the time to truly satisfy their dog’s needs and I can’t imagine how many of these people, after watching these dramatic changes in behaviour that Cesar incites, have thought – “Ah, I just don’t walk her/him enough – that’s why they rip the house to shreds while I’m at work!”

    How many lives could be improved (both human and canine) if people used Cesar’s ‘common sense’ approach to dog training:

    Exercise: Walk your dog – EVERY day!
    Discipline: Don’t let your dog get away with unacceptable behaviour (Cesar calls waiting for a treat discipline before everyone shouts that he only uses ‘barbaric’ physical methods)
    Affection: Food, house, shelter, love – all of these should be earned and not taken for granted, by anyone, including the dog!

    If people started off this way, along with training such as obedience and agility, so many dogs would be spared the trauma of being taken to dog shelters because people “just don’t have time” for the dog. An hour and a half exercise a day, split into two – that’s an episode of House and one of Friends – I’m pretty sure they have time for that!

    If Cesar is getting his message out to millions that dogs take effort and work and it is ultimately the human’s duty to ensure the dog is well behaved, then maybe more people will take the responsibility of owning a dog seriously.

    The programmes are always very clear about seeking professional help for the more specialised techniques and I think more people are likely to take the easier approaches suggested by Cesar, such as regular exercise, dehumanisation and changes in body posture, than you will get misguided people just kicking their dogs to get them to behave.

    But then maybe I am underestimating the stupidity of people and we should demand all his books and DVDs be burned just in case they get into the wrong hands and are misinterpreted…just in case.

  78. Hi Everyone,
    I’ve read all the previous posts, so thought I’d add my two cents. I have two Bernese Mountain Dogs, my sister has 2 Border Collies, and my brother has a Valley Bull. I, like most of us, am no expert, but I do know what has worked for my “family” of dogs. I like to mix it up a little with advice from different resources.
    My first Berner “Riggs”, I got as a puppy..and I had very little experience with dogs, but was passionate to learn. He has been great for that. We did a couple of clicker training classes and some basic obedience. As I understand it, the click-reward is just to TEACH the dog the correct/desired behaviour..you do not need to carry around a pocket full of meat for the rest of your days once your dog knows what it is you expect from him/her. Basically.. I LOVE positive reinforcement training. I would take Riggs to construction sites, traffic areas,soccer games, etc with cookies and click-treat when he was calm so he would associate the noise with something positive instead of scary/threatening. Again, I was very lucky with this and don’t feel I was “flooding” him…he’s naturally a very outgoing/mellow pup and never really seemed stressed or anxious..it was just another place to be. With walking on lead, we also used positive methods such as treats for heel, wait, sit, come, etc. I found these fantastic as long as there were no other distractions. I discovered when we went to watch a dog show in another province that this was not enough when he was excited…as he managed to back out of his collar and took off across the parking lot to play with some other dogs. The cookie meant nothing to him at this point. (I do recognize that this is likely an indication of my less than stellar recall training with him.)
    My sister’s Border Collies are amazing at learning tricks with the clicker…but they have horrible manners. They jump on people, they attack Oscar (the Valley Bull puppy), they bark incessantly at anything and everything. She could not rake the yard without one of the dogs attacking the rake and getting very hyped up about it. She had also heard that Cesar was mean or threatening to dogs and wasn’t sure about what she should be doing. As much as I love positive reinforcement, I also love most of what Ceasr does. The biggest thing I take from that show is the idea of pack leader, and trying to relate to dogs as they would relate to each other, while helping them be happy and stable and co-exist in a human-led environment. Oats (the b.collie)was getting instantly into this crazy state of mind over the rake, and it wasn’t benefitting anyone. All I did was physically place my body between him and the rake, “claiming” it as Cesar says. I did not yell at or touch the dog in any way, although I did make that kind of “ssh” sound that he uses when Oats would try to get around me. It took about 60 seconds..honestly..60 seconds, for him to realize that it was my rake..or perhaps it was realizing that what I wanted was for him NOT to have the rake. Regardless…he left it alone. My sister was stunned…he totally ignored the rake after that and went to play with something else. Not a week later, my brother’s wife was complaining that she couldn’t sweep the floor because Osacr would attack the broom, no matter what she did to disuade him. Using the same “claiming” idea..he learned to leave it alone in half the time that Oats did.

    As far as the whole alpaha roll debate goes. I too have read that it is the role of the subordinate dog to decide to roll over and show the belly as a sign of trust or submission…and all the other 4 dogs in the family do this with Riggs..he is the oldest in tact male, so I don’t know if that makes a difference, but for whatever raeson, they all differ to him. However, if Oats and his brother Eddie are getting too rough in their play, I’ve also seen him give a loud, deep bark, and actually go over to them and roll them over on their backs until they submit/behave.

    Collars and walking: Ouch..touchy subject here;) I started Riggs off with a regular collar, but this wasn’t great when he decided the compost bin smelled better than the chicken in the treat bag! So I moved on to the harness where the clip is at the back. He seemed very comfortable in it, but still if he decided to pull, then I was going along for the ride; I was also concerned that I did seem to be pulling on him alot..so I may just not have been using it correctly. After the dog show incident, I decided to try a Halti (chin led collar). I thought this was great! Whenever he tried to pull, he would just go around in a circle and would end up back at my side. He very soon stopped pulling, and just seemed to enjoy his walk. Then a woman at a soccer game stopped me and told me she was horrified that would put that on my dog. She said her parents were Berner breeders, and they would never use it as it damages the “snout” of the dog, that I should immediately stop using it and get a choker. “ok”, I thought…she must know more than I do. So I got the choker. I of course bought it too big because I didn’t want to actually choke my dog. I’ve also since had people admonish me for the use of the choke collar as well…I can’t seem to win here. So the way I use the choker is that if we are just walking down my road, the choker is dangling VERY loosely…not even touching his throat. If we are at a soccer game and I know there will be lots of kids, food, other dogs, then I place it high up like they do at dog shows (but no pressure on it), so I have a greater degree of control IN CASE I need it. Riggs’ favourite thing is babies in strollers…he’s a licker!..and most parents don’t appreciate that kind of thing. Rosie, my second Berner, we got as a rescue about 3 months ago (she’s 2 yrs old). Her previous owners had used a prong collar on her, and I was horrified at what looked to me like a medeivel torture device, but she would get very excited to go for a walk whenever the woman holding her for rescue would jingle the collar. Still, when I took Rosie home, I left the collar there. She very nearly ripped my arm off the first couple of times I tried to walk her. So eventually I thought..”hmmmmm..I wonder if the halti would help..?” So I tried it, and it did. But she seemed not to get over the initial annoyance of having it over the top of her nose, and she did still pull quite a bit…to the point that I was worried she WOULD hurt her eyes or nose in time. Last week I went to the pet store and bought a second choker (are we all calling the same thing a choker..length of chain with a larger circle on either end?) AS SOON AS I put this on her, she sat at my left side and waited for a command. I did not tell her to sit, I did not pull on the choker. As soon as I started to walk, she went to a perfect heel position and followed me wherever I went. Now it was my turn to be stunned!! This dog has been nearly dislocating my shoulder and giving me leash-burn for 3 months. So I guess she must have associated the metal or the sound of it with her old prong collar or something…I can only speculate
    There is a dog trainer/author here in Canada by the name of Stanley Coren who has written a couple of books, one of which is “How to Speak Dog” and it talks about how dogs interact with each other and their origins..but trust me…this is not an intimidating man as some people find Cesar to be. He does seem to use many of the same philosophies as Cesar:don’t humanize your dog, be the leader and mean it…that kind of thing..but he also seems to come from a very positive place, which I like.
    As far as the “don’t try this at home”, I took that to mean don’t try to deal with the exteme “red-zone” cases, or severe abuse/neglect situations where the dog can be potentially more dangerous than the average pooch.
    Sorry this was so long-winded.. I just wanted to contribute some examples from my own “pack-life”, because I agree with the aforementioned idea that all methods don’t suit all dogs…but I think we all want to do what is right for the good of our dogs. I am still trying to work out the collar thing though…because I don’t want to hurt my dogs’ necks, shoulders, noses, eyes, or breastbones. HA…maybe that’s an indication that dogs weren’t born to wear collars!! A necessary evil though, if we wnat to keep them and others safe. Thanks for the forum,
    Stef

  79. Congrats to Jill and Donna on their fine use of anti-CM propaganda via a flooding technique.

    Jill,

    If you copy and send your anti-Cesar rhetoric to the APDT, you won’t need much else to qualify for membership…as long as you also fork up your dues.

    Regarding any Cesar bashing posts…look to the source, *cough* APDT/positive only/purely positive/truly dog friendly/kill ’em, but don’t correct ’em *cough*…and keep your dog away from these fanatics.

    PU

    1. What have you got against the APDT? I think you will find that the fanatics are the Cesar people who won't here a word said against him.

  80. I’ve read alot and have learnt alot through this post and still think Caesar is the man!!! His methods changed my dogs life and wellbeing either way!!! I dont think he abuses the dogs in any way, infact I think he helps us and dogs form a stronger and more trustworthy relationship between man and animal!!!

    I live in London, UK, Im 22 and I own a pitbull. Up until two years of age I had no problem with my dog at all but then around her second year of life she started becoming very hostile towards other animals. I’ve read Diane Jessops website, workingpitbull.com and I understand the breeds history and why an animal bred to hunt/fight would behave in such a manner and I’ve also learnt through Caesar Milan that it is our duty to correct such behavour otherwise it could get worse. I wouldve tried getting some professional help from a trainer but as you know “pitbulls” are illegal, so no help there. Since watching Caesar Milan, I’ve adopted his methods and find no problem at all walking my dog and I have total control of her aggression. She is now a sound dog that does not tug on the lead whilst walking and I now a have a second dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which she gets along perfectly with no exchanged aggression whatsoever!!!

    I used the leash behind the ears technique and I can say that i did not need to use constant force, the leash only fits comfortably on that area and the “side correction” required no more force than it would to pluck a hair from my leg plus the technique lasts no longer than a split second and does not require you to be tense or have the leash tense any longer than that and he always advised to never be tense anyway but instead to be calm and assertive.

    I also used a combination of other techniques Caesar uses for aggressive dogs and has worked a treat. One particular technique i found useful was in an episode from which he rehabilitated an aggressive french bulldog (you’d have to watch that episode to know what I’m talking about).

    Since watching his shows, I now take my dog on longer walks and more often too!! I also take her on runs with my bike aswell which works a treat!!!

    I can now proudly say, which i couldnt have said 2 years ago and prior to CM, that my dog is a well balanced dog and she knows full well the art of walking and staying focused!!!

    And now thanks to the police and the dog warden, I now know to pick up my dogs litter on our walks!! Make sure you pick up your dogs mess otherwise you could face a £1000 fine, which I got a warning for!!!

    To all those ANTI-Caesar Milan people out there…
    “BEHIND EVERY SUCCESSFUL PERSON LIES A PACK OF HATERS”

    P.S. “Google picture” the quote above for a nice surprise!!!

  81. I have read all of the posts with interest, and I think we can argue until our eyes bleed, there is always going to be a difference in opinion on this subject. People and animals are all individuals, enjoy different things and respond differently to different methodes.
    We have a Staffordshire bull terrier named Chobham. He is now 1 1/2 years old. It is the best behaved Staffie people have ever come across, we constantly get comments from people on how good he is, and how nicely he walks on the lead (with a normal collar, I might add, and he’s not even castrated yet). Even our children (5 and 8) can walk him, because he goes into “travel mode” as soon as the lead is put on him – one of Cesar’s descriptions – and he does not pull or sniff. He is allowed to “do his business”, but he has learned that sniffing and running around is for when he is off the lead. He is also always the last one in and out of the door. We have never used any cruel methods to enforce this, simply followed the “little tugs sideways or upwards, ‘shh’ sounds and praise”. And exercise! (Exercise, dicipline and affection – in that order.)As with children, some punishment is always going to be neccessary, but it has to be done in the moment and without cruelty.
    When we got the puppy, my husband “warned” me that I shouldn’t expect too much from the dog, because Staffies are almost impossible to train. He has had to eat his words. We started watching “The Dog “Whisperer” by chance, and we were hooked. We have, as previously suggested, “cherry picked” the things we thought would be good for us, and boy, has it worked! We have applied the “submission” methode (by patience, not force!), and the result is a well-balanced, happy dog who knows his place in the pecking order, and knows he’s a dog.
    I agree that all dogs are different, and it may not be as easy for others, maybe we were lucky. But I do know that it takes effort and patience to get a good dog, and a lot of Cesar’s cases has to do with the humans, not the dogs. The dogs are very sensitive to our energies, and if you hold on to the lead with tension, the dog will sense this and react accordingly.
    My husband is surprised at how well I am managing our dog, and my mother-in-law has applied the same methodes to her Staffie, with brilliant results.
    Off course, one should always be careful when training dogs, and I believe aggression breeds aggression. The warnings on his show are to protect them from law suits, because there will be people thinking they can do all sorts, and the result could be tragic… I agree, though, that this would more apply to the “red zone” cases, not simply trying to get your dog to stop eating your house, barking at the hoover, get the dog to walk nicely on the lead etc. These are things people would (and should) try with or without Cesar’s methodes, and for some it works better when they apply his methodes. It is simply discipline, something every dog should be subjected to. How pleasant can it be to take your dog out for a walk, only to be hangig behind it as it pulls along?! That surely is not for me. And that is a choice.
    I probably haven’t said half of what I wanted to get across here, but at least I have voiced my opinion.
    I’m now off out on my bike with Chobham.

  82. This debate is like the long argument over spanking children…common folks, there more than one way to correct and discipline your children. Unfortunately, being political correct these days is more important than what really works. This goes also to the anti-Ceasar folks too. It boils down to philosphy on life in my opinion…do you want Johnny/Susie to behave and do what they are told??? There’s a reason for the saying of sparing the rod you’ll spoil the child. Geeze people wake up! It’s the same for the Milan’s critics…they want to “PC” up training animals! Sometime you have to use aggression/dominance techniques…while other times the R+ style works to.

  83. I’m just curious, I would love to know what Jill, Donna & other anti CMs would do to a raging dog that can’t be taken out on a walk without attacking other dogs, pulling their owners onto traffic or take extreme pleasure in destroying the house?

    Is this when tit bits & happy training outshine any other methods?

    Last time anyone posted on here was in May so I doubt I will get any feedback, but I am so curious since Freeview really only allows me to watch ‘The Dog Whisperer’, ‘Dog Borstal’ or ‘It’s Me or the Dog’ and out of 3 I have found CMs principles to be the most encouraging.

    I am the type of person that likes to take the best from different views in all aspects of my life so I do consider myself to be quite open minded, yet now I am being told that by creating rules, limitations and boundaries with my dog I’m being totally and utterly cruel (as these are CMs core principles).

    I am not a parent, but maybe one day I will be. I am proud to say that if my child were to disrespect me in such a manner as to skyve off from school to put fireworks up a cats bum or throw a tantrum at the corner shop because I won’t get them a certain candy or high sugar drink that I will happily give ’em a proper slap and send them off to naughty chair. My mother did & I love her ever so much & she’s one of my best friends 🙂

    Therefore I am more than happy give my beautiful & adorable dog an assertive ‘tsk’ or slight tap with my foot when I feel like she is getting out of control or about to do something I consider wrong.

    I would also like to point out that CM is totally against silly collars and most training tools, however he does feel that when used appropriately under certain circumstances by professionals they can be positive. This is where the anti-CMs may be bit confused after watching one of his shows for 5 mins.

    However, I do know of someone that I pass on by during dog walks that has an out of control dog whom has no time for CM but also feels he knows all about dogs.

    So again I ask, what would the Jill’s, Donna’s & other positive trainers do for a dog like this? I’d love to give this fella some advice he may be willing to listen to as I hate seeing his dog so full of rage.

    Thank you for anyone’s time 🙂

  84. Hi, I am a fan of CM and have just bought his book Cesar’s Way. However, I do not take everything he says as gospel. I have 2 yr old Akita bitch and a 5 month Chow Chow dog. My Akita is fine in the house but a nightmare on walks, and my Chow Chow is over excited most of the time. I have tried many different methods and harnesses with my Akita that haven’t worked for me, so i am now trying Cesar’s method. i do believe in his energy and exercise, discipline and affection theory but find some of his methods are contradictive, but I would never fault him or any other trainer because they are passionate at what they do and his methods work for many people. If Cesar doesn’t work I will try something else. My Akita is fine with my dog and any dog that she know’s but aggressive towards other dogs. I feel that if I get a trainer in, they may say she needs to be put down as some are very narrow minded.

  85. i am a fan of CM and i really get fed up of people being so venemous about his techniques and theories if you have only watched a few episodes and not read his books how can you acuratly critique anything! I have read the accusations about him relating dog behaviour to that of wolf behaviour, however through watching most episodes and reading 2 books i dont recall him actually using that comparison, I have however heard him use the term pack of DOGS. I have no qualms with any other methods or techniques regarding dog training however I don’t understand why people get so outraged all of CM’s dogs appear well balanced and just plain happy at his rehabilitation centre and i have never once seen a dog which appears afraid of CM or his staff so surely his methods can’t be that brutal! He treats all dogs differently and will approach with respect and introduce himself in the way which he deems most appropriate. As for the never ending arguement of the choke chain and prong collar, I couldn’t tell you what a prong collar was so it obviously isn’t something he uses regularly as I record the series and have never seen one. I am not a dog trainer but have met several with my own dog and i have to say i have mostly been less than impressed they were very expensive and I saw very little results CM however offers free advice, he is doing valuable work and he is very passionate about what he does all in all i would say that despite your feelings regarding his methods he is far from the monster some people wish to accuse him of being!

  86. I have two ‘red zone’ dogs and I adore them. I had problems walking them (individually as they are BIG girls)until I tried Cesar’s methods. This man is a ‘GOD send’. Having trained them the CM way, I can now walk them through the crowded town with no worries. Thank you Cesar!!

  87. One of my dogs is a rescue, and came to me with a whole bunch of problems, among which was a vicious aggression toward other dogs. For years I tried to train her out of it using positive only methods – and nothing worked. Nothing. Then I heard about Cesar Millan and lo! within two weeks of my reading his book “Be The Pack Leader” I had learned WHY my dog was barking so much and WHAT I could do about it. I did it, and my dog now only barks when she hears something out of the ordinary – like a strange car coming up our driveway. And she only barks once – she doesn’t need to keep it up until the car is gone again, like she did before I learned Cesar’s Way.

  88. i agree with american humane 100%. I have had plenty of dogs and train bird dogs. I have never put a shock calar on a dog or punished any of my dogs. I like to redirect them and ALWAYS give them a break if they seem confused. I am a strong believer in clicker training and positive reinforcement. When training your dog, don’t be closed minded. Yes, you can get your dog to stop going in the front yard by shocking the hell out of him at the front door or you can take your time to get to know your dog and train them. You might get the same results but you as a dog owner will have to make the correct choice. Remember dog training has been around for many years and modern technology was not an option and they did a better job than we do today. Mostly because their dogs had jobs to do and they had no choice but to get to know their dogs.

  89. Anyone that says cesar is inhumane or cruel doesent have a clue whatthey are talking about. He is very successful.

  90. Cesar is not cruel inhumane or evil! He is my faavourie animal person along with david attenborough! If you watched his programme with at least degree of intelligence you would realise that he is not.

    To be truthful I dont like and wouldent use any prong collar. However, he is not cruel. If you dont believe me ask him yourself if he thinks he is cruel. He loves animals, its obvious.

  91. Is this American Humane Society who critisize Caesar a democratic organisation? Did the membership vote for this attack on him.?.Or is it just some tiny cabal that has taken control?. Is this organisation made up of reward trainers? I think if a hundred people watched The Dog Whisperer you'd only get 2 or 3 consider his methods cruel(apart from the choke collar which I think looks worse than it is and is used on red zone dogs). Maybe American readers can speak to the politics of the AHS. I think Caesar is a wonderful human being who has helped many dogs and people. His training has made me and my dog very happy together.

  92. I am a lifelong owner of ZBorder Collies. Do not call me cruel, but I do use electric collars to prevent my dogs from leaving my property, as we live on a busy road. They have plenty of space, and I love them to bits, but our property is too big to completely fence. We have recently started training our 6 month old puppy for the collars, he has been 'zapped' about 5 times, but now knows his boundaries, and I doubt that he will ever test them again, I would rather him get a couple of shocks, than escape into th road and be killed. We live on a blind corner that people go around at 100km/h, and have had numerous cats kkilled on the road (which is why we now just stick with dogs). Anyway, the point is, it is not considered inhumane to use electric fences on cows and horses, dogs are no different, it is NOT inhumane if the collar is rarely needed/worn. I think Cesar is brilliant, and every dog he trains changes for the better. 🙂

  93. Would you rather the aggressive dogs needing the higher end treatment that Milan administers be put down because they can not fit into any household? I know I'd rather have a dog be straightened out for maybe a week so that it could live a good life for many years.

  94. I agree, even if the dog is in distress, as long as something is being achieved that lets the dog live a long happy life then I think it is acceptable.

    1. Aaron, I suggest you look at the clinical research that the University of Bristol has just released. They have scientific evidence to show that methods based on a dominance reduction programme are based on flawed logic, at best leave your dog damaged and at worst only encourage aggression.

      Why do people think that the only way to straighten out high end aggressives is Cesar's way? There are loads of people doing just that every day without using his techniques.

  95. Wow, I had no idea that the illegal immigrant until 2009 Cesar Milan had everyone so fooled.He is a seller of himself not of dog training he is a farce. He trained dogs in the US as an illegal. How can someone that starts their career off with a lie and an illegel act be considered such a great man. I have watched him hang dogs with coke collars until they submitted. His aggressive measures needs to be stopped and people need to wake up. He was a salesman from the beginning. He sold himself. I tried his methods and was nearly killed by my dog. I went to school to learn to be a dog trainer myself and a behavioralist so I know what is humane and not. His methods are not taught in any behavioral school. I am a dog trainer and I would never suggest to anyone to hold their dog down until it submits, or choke the air out of the dog until he obeys this is cruelty and he should be stopped. His methods are based on the pack mentality. If you ever watch a wolf pack the submission is freely given not forced from the dog. There are better ways to train animals than to hurt them and Cesar Milan shows everyone how to hurt their dog. He is not a saint but a sinner in every aspect of the word.

    And I feel very sorry for the ones that follow him for you will see that your dogs are not better for being afraid of you and all you have done is scar them for life.

  96. Well, cruel or not, his way works.
    I rather do it his way than see dogs end up in a shelter or destroyed because no-one bothered to train them or re-train them I should say.
    Having worked for Animal Welfare in the UK, I admire Mr Millan and I have not seen him fail a dog or owner yet.

  97. I do feel that Caesar Milan is inhumane and at least 30 years out of date. The so called dominance theory has been debunked by many animal behaviorists, simplly as it was formed by observing wolves in captivity not in the wild. In the wild all wolves become the alpha at one time as they mate and reproduce. Dogs do not think of us as the same species, they know we are a different species, As we as humans provide the resources, we are naturally the ‘alpha’ to dogs. There are many notable behaviorists in Canada and the United States as well as in the U.K who use positive training methods. Using physical aversives can only make the dog submissive, and fearful. One does not want a submissive dog, but rather a dog that acts like a dog and is not fearlul of its humans. Correcting behavior problems is slow if done using operative conditioning. To use “alpha rollovers”, choke collars and shock collars is inhumane enough. To tighten a collar to the point where the dog is almost choking is cruel and and produces a dog that will hav fear aggression.
    Yes, Caesar Milan’s techniques work in that the dog no longer has that particuliar behavior problem, but and this is the big but, the dog no longer has joy he has fear of his owner and fear of the trainer. Is that what is really wanted?

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