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What do you guys think of Cesar Millan or 'The Dog Whisperer'?

Been watching some videos and been having some debates about his methods of training (which to me, being someone how has and does train dogs, are not as bad as people think).
The controversy that he hits/punches dogs or even uses tooth collars and shock collars is just stupid to me as well. He never comes on the show saying 'we're going to use this shock collar to control your dog', if anything he tries to discourage the use of these things for control of bad behaviors, showing owners they can gain control and stop bad behavior easily, without painful tools.
The fact remains that if a dog is aggressive and ready to hurt another dog or a human NOTHING will stop it, not a shock collar, not a choke chain, not a spike/tooth collar, or even a gate/fence. So the 'tools' used mean nothing, it's about presence, making the dog realize you are not a threat but you are also not a pushover.

His methods do work when done properly and with an understanding of WHY they work. So many people want to humanize dogs and make them seem like their behaviors are rational.
'Oh, Fido just doesn't like men' or 'She just chases dogs because she's dog aggressive'
If you DO want to humanize the reasons for a dogs bad behaviors then as with people bad behaviors usually stem from a root cause; a reason. To solve the problem you have to find the reason it started and to do that you have to know how dogs think, what are their natural states of being?
People still find it hard to believe that even after hundreds of years of breeding there are parts of a dog's brain/mind that are untouched and still primitive-- wolf-like if you want to put it that way.
Dogs DO respond to dominant behaviors. Beating a dog or hitting a dog doesn't show dominance, it induces fear. Dogs don't rationalize fear, they immediately go on the offensive because they have a primal instinct to kill or be killed ingrained in their mind. There's no way I advocate beating a dog or hitting it as a training method at all.
However, nipping or even tapping a dog gives the same reminder another dog does to show 'hey! stop that.' This I have no problem with because it is meant to direct attention and deflect a dangerous state of mind.

The recent happening with a food-aggressive Labrador named 'Holly' is one such case where people are sorely mistaken in deciphering behavior and reading body language. Here's the video --…
Many people see the dog as 'protecting' it's food from him... thing is he he gave the dog that food. Food aggression is probably the biggest problem I hear about with people and their dogs, sometimes it's even dangerous and people get hurt by being bitten (as he was).
Fact is a dog should never bite people unless it is a guard dog and the person is an obvious threat. Having a good well behaved dog is about training, assertiveness, AND consistency. Dogs learn but they need repetition sometimes and again if you want to humanize it some humans are stubborn and need more intensity than others to get the message.
In the video you will see that when the dog latches onto his hand he 'hits' the dog to get it to back down and let go. People of course are going crazy saying he's abusive and hit the dog but the truth is the dog was latched onto his hand people. His approach was passive aggressive and the dog responded.
There's also claims that Holly was 'confused' or 'scared' -- wrong again. Being scared means a dog will show signs of being scared. Running away or standing back barking a warning BEFORE leading up to aggressive behavior. This dog did no such thing at all... She had it in her mind SHE was the dominant one and what made that clear was the fact she came at him AFTER it appeared she had calmed down. Her behavior did a complete 360 in a matter of seconds.
She wasn't confused, she was asserting dominance with aggression; aka: Bad behavior.
The reason it's so whipped out is because it was him that got bitten. Had it been a child that had it's hand or arm bitten we would have said 'that is a bad dog!' but since it was Cesar Millan who was bitten we blame him, not the dog or her owners for not training their dog earlier on that people are NOT a threat, even when around food.The dog was calm and seemed to have backed off but she literally turned on him when he went to pat her for good behavior and reaction.
So many people seem to argue that he was baiting the dog by being there when she's eating... ok, well, how about the fact he wasn't fighting her for her food or pulling the bowl across the yard teasing her? THAT would be a good cause for aggressive reaction; taunting. NOT sitting there or calmly trying to take the bowl away.
She bit him because she wasn't afraid, she saw him as a potential rival or an opponent out for her food, not as a human friend. She bit him to tell him 'I'M the dominant one here, that's MY food, you took it, I DON'T like that!' when in reality she should not be aggressive even if he puts his hand in her face while eating. He's not hurting her OR stealing her food, he was just sitting there talking and the moment he went to grab the bowl she got offensive. Then when she stopped and 'calmed' down she turned and bit him. That is not right behavior and THAT my friends is a problem that has to be trained out or it can become very very dangerous, even deadly.
If Holly's owners would have done their jobs properly and taken her to training sooner after she showed signs of aggression I am pretty sure that whole situation would never have happened. However, it did and because of it people are now intensely debating and debunking this guy's methods because he 'hit' the dog that had latched onto his hand. The guy may be a dog training guru or something but he's still human. If anyone else had a dog biting their hand they would immediately try to hit to get the dog off. I think he handled it pretty well and did NOT hurt the dog at all even when she was hurting him. He just did what came naturally but with restraint. If anything I commend him for how well he reacted.

Honestly I think people just want to argue his methods because they can. They call them primitive but the thing is they DO work when done right. Yes, we won't be able to do it LIKE him, not even those of use who do train dogs can do it like he does but his methods do work.
People ignore the fact that dogs DO respond to security and they ignore a weak minded trainer. If you don't show assertion most dogs won't listen because they won't see you as being serious. Kind of like a child. Think of a dog as having the mentality of a toddler. If you don't show an assertion when a child behaves badly they will keep doing it because they know you won't discipline them.
My mom spanked me when I was a kid and did something bad like hit someone or swear. It hurt but I didn't get spanked all the time because I LEARNED what I did was wrong and that I shouldn't do it. That is what Cesar's little 'tap' or 'touch' does.
It does NOT hurt... dogs are tough animals and unless you are literally kicking them in the gut a rough 'tap' on the snoot or a quick jolt-grip on the back of the neck does NOT hurt them. It just surprises them and grabs their attention.

As for humaneness what is worse, only having to use a choke collar for a short time until the dog learns not to behave badly with professional help using trite and true methods or having to hang your dog every time you take it for a walk because you won't train them properly or get help to do so?
I see so many people who claim to walk their dogs but the fact is their dogs walk them down the street and they can't figure out why this happens. It's mostly in America too! Over in the UK dogs are often let off their leashes and play nicely. They listen and usually behave pretty damn great! For someone FROM the US to see this was quite shocking actually. Dogs over there behave amazingly well for the most part.
Then again this can be due to the fact that many people there view their dogs as their family so they treat them as such. They're not children, they're family. You would intervene if a family member was getting out of hand with bad habits developing and so you do the same with your dog. Nothing is more heart breaking for a pet owner who loves their pet than to have to yell at their friend for doing something bad/horrible. What is worse than that is letting the bad behaviors continue untouched thus enabling the cycle and then stretching to wonder why nothing is happening to stop it.
In America we seem to be pretty lapse in training and it's importance and so now we'd sooner keep our dogs locked up and/or have to put that tooth/shock collar on them to stop them from trying to rip another dog apart instead of learning the ways to stop bad behavior and stimulate their minds properly.
Sensitive to the wrong things... I swear.

Granted, Cesar's methods are a bit primitive but it remains a fact that dogs respond to him, not out of fear but respect. They look him in the eyes and respond to him because he shows them 'hey, I'm going to give you some direction but you have to pay attention'.
Dogs are active creatures and they are SMART, but they need control and training to benefit a home life and not wreck it instead.

Most of the time the cases Cesar gets are to the point where owners are ready to give up and throw in the towel despite how much they love and adore their pets. Dogs have their quirks same as any other animal on the planet but they also have something we humans don't; they are built to hunt. We aren't. Our instincts have been severely drained over thousands of years of creating things to make our lives easier. Dogs still have the tools to hunt and kill and they can and will if allowed to go untrained. A trained dog is a happy dog because they get a sense of purpose in life. Dogs love us and want to please us because they love us. As such we should want to do the same for them! We love them and we don't want them to suffer or be unhappy... and an aggressive dogs is not a happy dog. Dogs don't often bite because they are overly joyed (not including nipping or teeth clapping) they bite out of fear, anger, and/or a desire to dominate.
Cesar comes in when people don't know what to do and he shows THEM (the owners) their faults and it often leads to them being able to help stave off their dog's bad behaviors because they learn a different mentality. Dogs can read us better than we can read them because they have an arsenal of senses we can't use as well. They can smell fear, sense discomfort, and smell anger through chemicals and signals. They read body language we humans overlook or perhaps see but don't analyze.
If you can learn their language you can be on their level which helps learn what causes their bad behaviors. Cesar does that.

Now, before people go thinking I'm some Cesar Millan fangirl or something just know this: I don't know the guy, never met him, and I probably don't want to. The reason I stand behind his methods is because they work and they are NOT abusive or cruel.
People are just freaking out over it because they can... because if they don't what is anything made from Hollywood without some kind of guilt or dirty red lettering?
Yes, the man is a paid actor but he still knows dog behavior and I can see that because I had to learn it too to train dogs myself. His methods are unconventional but they're not abusive or debilitating to a dog's mentality. Dogs are smarter and tougher in their thinking than people think. They CAN manipulate and deduce how to get what they want, why do you think bad behaviors start? They do them and their owners scold lightly or not at all so they keep doing it. Finally it becomes a problem but because the owner is not taken seriously by their dog the dog ignores them.

**For a better example I had a friend who had a wonderful Shepherd mix named Dusty. They raised her from a puppy and she was a great dog until she got to be about 3 years old. Then she became dog aggressive and started to try and attack any and every dog she saw be it from the car window to on a walk. She was a BIG dog (around 60lbs) and could pull her owner dog the sidewalk easily.
Of course my friend loved Dusty and treated her like she was her baby. She couldn't see Dusty had a problem and she also couldn't see that SHE herself was part of it.
When Dusty would try to go for other dogs she didn't get reprimanded because my friend was actually scared of her own dog; too scared to try and stop her properly so she just took to making Dusty wear one of those spiky choker collars on every walk which didn't even work anyway as Dusty STILL lunged and fought to get to other dogs ignoring the spikes digging into her throat/neck. Dogs get tunnel vision when their attack instincts are triggered and when they are honed to attack they will not be stopped unless you know what you're doing.
Eventually Dusty escaped and attacked another shepherd mix which wound up having to be put down from its injuries. Poor Dusty was then locked up and the only way my friend got her back was by building a 6ft fence around her yard and then having a solid top kennel for Dusty to be in when she was let out for extended periods of time. Even with the fence and the kennel whenever Dusty heard the jingling of a collar (or even keys) she went berserk; so much so she managed to chew a small hole in the chain link.
Finally my friend was at her wits end. She loved Dusty but she couldn't handle her because she couldn't walk her and as such Dusty got more and more anxious and then started becoming people aggressive too! She tried training which worked somewhat but Dusty remained dog aggressive and the the trainers simply said it was in her breed to have some dog aggression but she'd calm down with interaction and age. After a while when nothing worked my friend surrendered Dusty and unfortunately due to her prolonged streak of untrained and uncontrolled dog/people aggression she was put down at the age of 5.
Her aggression got to be so bad she actually bit the vet who was assessing her at the shelter which in turn was part of the reason for her euthanasia (the other being she became people/dog aggressive and couldn't be adopted out because of it).
A wonderful and healthy dog's life ended because of ONE problem that could have been solved easily had the time been taken to analyze the problems and situation at hand and remedied it.

This is what many owners do. They think just loving their dogs and trying to 'block' their bad habits will stop them but it doesn't. Blocking the doorway to keep your dog from bolting out to attack the neighbor's dog isn't going to stop it because one day you will miss and the dog will get past you.
The best way to resolve the problem is to find the cause and understand why it happens. Then all you have to do is learn the signs of when it is happening and deflect it through positive methods and encouragement.

The thing with Cesar is he doesn't lean down and like 'pat' or 'coddle' the dog intensely when it behaves or does a good job. This is to keep the training serious because he's not teaching a dog to just 'sit' or 'stay'... he's teaching them to not attack or bite something/someone. To teach a dog to stop this means you have to have them focused on you so they can learn and when you bend down to coddle and embellish the dog with affection it breaks that concentration and they forget why they're being trained in the first place.
That is probably why people think he's mean or cruel but perhaps it's just because his efforts to detain bad behavior are physical, as in actually touching the dog or tapping it quickly we assume it's hurting the dog if it yelps or cries out. I've tapped a dog lightly with my foot (on accident mind you) and it yelped like I had slapped it in the face. It surprised the dog so it reacted, kind of like a person crying out in fear when someone jumps out at them unexpectedly.

Having trained aggressive dogs before (some ex-fighting dogs) I've come to understand that their mentality is often times very different than the average dog, they are more akin and in tune to emotional and physical stimuli so if you appear weak or scared of them they will react to it, often times not favourably. Dogs learn through encouragement but with dogs used to aggressive behavior and control must first learn respect and how to feel safe and not threatened. To do this you do have to take a gingerly cautious approach toward dominance. They need to learn that you are not a threat to them but you are also not afraid to defend or deflect their aggression. You don't hit them or physically temper them when they behave badly but you do have to be secure in your assertion of they will often ignore the submission on your part.
Almost every dog with aggressive tendencies I have seen and worked with had a root cause for that behavior be it fear, insecurity, protection, or even a desire to be dominant over everyone else. However they can be calmed down and made into wonderful and well behaved additions to any family but you have to know what to look for and how to treat it. Aggression can not be treated or stopped with ignoring it thinking it will go away with time. If you want it to stop you have to do what it takes to stop it properly and that is to seek the help of someone who knows what to do without being inhumane or mean. Also aggression cannot and never will be stopped with more aggression or even anger.
Cesar's approach seems aggressive but it's assertive, there IS a difference. He shows a high presence so a dog listens to him, kind of like a drill sergeant if anything, or a parent when their child has done something bad/wrong-- that look and feeling of 'ohhhhhboooooy' often seen on the dogs' faces says it all. They know he's not a joke because they can sense it, see it, and smell it. He's secure and calm, not aggressive or afraid which calms a dog down sometimes right away. Other times a dog tries to do what they around their owner but he corrects them and it triggers a 'huh?' mentality so they listen (not always but often).

All the trainers I have talked to say Cesar's methods aren't ones they completely agree on but they understand the cases he deals with are more than the average garden variety dog trainer deals with daily. Their main point of contention with his methods is that people may think they're doing it right but aren't. They think of his 'touch' with his hand is a hit or a punch so they do this rather than just a quick jolting motion; barely touching the neck but enough to retract the dog's attention back to you and not what it's looking at.
[Kind of like a teacher calling you out for staring out the window during math class; "HEY, you're in school right now, pay attention to the teacher. This isn't play time"]
It's true that the people's ignorance in thinking they can follow his lead and do what he does and do it as well as he does may be the main root cause of the debate, but it mostly boils down to he's got celebrity status and he works with animals. We automatically favour the animal no matter what because 'they don't know they're wrong' when in fact they do. They know when they're getting scolded just like a little kid does. They may not know why because often times owners punish AFTER the act is done, not when it's being done, but they know when they have done or are doing something wrong. Don't let the 'they're just animals' fool you into thinking stupidity. They're smart enough to learn how to open doors, jump fences, escape, and even steal food silently. They're not dumb. They know right from wrong for the most part, just not on the level we humans do and decipher it.

This concept that a wolf pack is just a 'family'? Obviously those that say that don't actually know about wolf hierarchy. Packs have Alphas for a reason, they're leaders of the pack because they are big, strong, and smart (or because they started the pack). However, the alpha role is not secure and other wolves of a pack WILL and DO challenge the alpha(s) for their position if the alpha shows signs of weakness or even being unfit to lead.
Wolves are wild animals, not pets. Dogs are pets but they have wild instincts because of their connection to the wolf. Yes, they're not as unpredictable but they can be if not trained and yes, some of that does depend on breed as well as some other factors.
A wolf pack IS a family but it's also a well oiled machine that knows where each member stands for the most part and it's because of this purpose that a wolf pack can survive. They're smart enough to know that more members and a well kept bond between those members allows them to hunt bigger prey and survive easier than singular animals in some situations.
Dogs descend from this mentality so they see YOU as part of their pack; their family. That is why they protect you, love you, and show you affection and fanfare when you come home from work. However, some dogs will also see you as a potential rival if they're not taught that you are the provider or their alpha dog. This is when they become dangerous, when that 'wolf' mentality is allowed to come out because of a lack of stability and training. Dogs kill more humans in the US than wolves, and those dogs are not always Pitbulls, Rottweilers, or Dobermans. They're Labradors, terriers, and sheepdogs. It doesn't matter all dogs have the potential to be dangerous if not trained or handled properly. A dog isn't just a companion, it's a friend and an ally. A protector but it can also be an enemy. As an owner you need to instill a bond with you dog through respect, love, and harmony. Without a bond you are going to butt heads and the dog can easily one up you if you're unarmed, trust me.
Wolves can harmonize with humans but both the human and the wolf must know the limits of their dominance and dependence on one another.

So all in all the debate on the methods of a one Cesar Millan are just stupid. He's not a cruel bastard, he doesn't beat up dogs or break them, and he certainly doesn't hurt them to teach them. He does methods we consider primitive but they work. Yeah, maybe not always but for the most part they do.
Celebrity or not he's just a guy who learned about dogs, found a way to make them behave, and wanted to share it with the world through TV. He's paid to do it now but still... it's a TV show. They have a disclaimer before every episode so the idiots out there don't start punching or kicking their dogs thinking that's what he's doing in hopes of fixing their problems. BUUUUUUT people still do it and then say 'I saw Cesar Millan do it and it worked for him!' but in reality they're just too lazy to hire a PROFESSIONAL who knows what they're dealing with and rely on a television show to teach them everything about dog training (in extreme cases).
Don't let the media fool you... they do with everything and everyone. If you're unsure of how to remedy your dog's problematic behaviors, SEEK A PROFESSIONAL TRAINER. They can help you. Cesar can't, he's in Hollywood helping posh pooches now. His show is wonderful and gives you a good feeling in your heart to see the terrifying terrier turn into a terrific companion after a training meeting with Cesar but it's still television. What may appear to take hours on TV in reality takes days, weeks, or even years in reality.
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alienex1234 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2015  Student
Finally the voice of reason on this site

ingte some people say he's bad and all that shit even saying he's a celebrating and not a trainer, but how things on the screens look different the where he's at, there are many methods of training ones dog, Cesar is one of the, u can disagrees with the guy but what ar eu gonna trust one certain species of dogs 
LunarHeart123 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014
I really like Cesar's methods. If they work well, and the dog is obviously responding to it without being beaten, then I see no issues. Love cures nothing in ANY species (including humans).
Lindblut Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Professional Digital Artist… here, watch this and learn a thing.

I agree that food guarding is a problem, but the approach Cesar took is not ideal by all means. First of all it's extremily unsafe, as you can see he got bitten. I would not advice anyone to take this approach because it is dangerous!
Instead of threatening Holly and given her even more a reason to be on the fence and defensive when someone is around her eating, he should have taught her that letting go of the food and a person nearing her while eating is rewarding, not punishing. He could have done so by giving her a treat even tastier than the food she has in her bowl, like for example a piece of raw or cooked liver.
By doing so he would have changed the underlying emotion of Holly, teaching her that giving up food is benficial to her; she would have learned to love to give up her food for people and other dogs, she would have stopped being aggressive and rather would have been focused on Cesar and people approaching her in a positive way.

Instead she learned that people are aggressive assholes and that she has a reason to act aggressively and defensive when she eats.
NinjaKato Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014
Yes, he did mess up that time and many times before and after I'm sure. I can understand the methods didn't work but I fear the behaviour of Holly was already progressed to a point of being dangerous. This kind of problem usually lays with the owners rather than a trainer. 
Food aggression (while not always) usually has preliminary signs early on when the problem is infantile in severity. Growling, snapping, hoarding over food and toys, the signs are pretty clear. However, most owners often mistake it as just 'being a puppy' or being a dog. 
Thing is, if those behaviours are left untreated at the earlier stages, this is what happens =/ 

Poor Holly was scared not only by being intimidated by Ceasar (who thought he was doing the right thing at the time) she was also nervous about the cameras and no doubt her owner watching her. I find it hard to believe that he (the owner) didn't try physical reprimand as a first route of action so no doubt she kind of fears him a bit when around food. 
Do I think the reaction could have changed had Ceasar made a different approach? Absolutely! There's a bunch of thing he could have done much better and would have possibly yielded a less aggressive response. 
But since he was doing what he thought would work he learned the hard way that some methods are not as good for certain animals. 
The main issue is the fact that the moment Holly has food in her possession and humans are around she is automatically on alert. This shows that she hasn't had kindness around food before from her owners, again there's no doubt that they may have used physical punishment for her aggression *not abuse but reprimand*. Her body language shows that instantly and you can see her looking to her owner and her posture is submissive but fearful. 
The sad part is if it wouldn't have happened then it would have happened soon/eventually. She was ready to snap the moment she got that food. She didn't want him in control for some reason, be it fear of dominance but she was at that point a danger to people. 
Ceasar's method was meant to show just how far she'd actually go if pushed, to prove this is not just a little problem. This is the danger zone. Dogs like Holly need care and they need firm training to get over that kind of issue. Rewards work but she also has to learn that people are her friend and leader. They shouldn't be feared and your food isn't yours until you're given it. People are taught the same thing, hence why we don't bite our sibling's hand off for the last piece of chicken, haha!
It's manners and Holly didn't have them because she wasn't taught them by her owners. They ignored the issue until it got so bad that Ceasar had to come in. He got bit but he didn't give up after that nor did he say 'she's hopeless'. He pressed on. 

When Ceasar took Holly back to his center to be rehabilitated she showed promise through non aggressive but strict guiding. She learned that people give you food and that you have to wait for them to give it; they make the rules. She learned well and her aggression was curbed. However, when she went home I heard she didn't fare so well sadly... 

Exactly. I think it's really important to inform owners of the beginning signs of bad behaviours before the escalate to being bad enough to be dangerous. Many times people just mistake certain things as 'being a dog' or 'doing what dogs do' but they're actually problems with the dog's mind. They're either bored and acting out, upset about a situation, ill, or even just enabled to be bad by being spoiled. 
If more owners knew what to look for from the start then training would be a bit easier. 
Holly might still be alive if her owners had known what was happening early on. (Last I heard she had to be put down but that was from the grapevine to please, don't hold me to that). 

So yes, I agree :nod: Different methods could/would have worked to a degree. I just hope more people become aware that aggression isn't just a 'snap' suddenly thing. It does have signs if you know what to read/look for. 
It should be said that treating aggression with aggressive techniques never really works, particularly in a case like Holly. I can see Ceasar read her wrong quickly but he did try what he thought would work. He guessed wrong. Nice to know the man is human, huh? Heh. 

(Sorry for the delay in a reply, been away a while. Thanks for your comment though! Great insight :) )
iEro-Lau Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
FUUU !! FINALLY someone saying the truth !! XD *high fives*
nlmchaos12 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013
I'm not against other methods of training,  but I favor Cesars methods because I know from experience that they work without hurting the dog.  Kept a food aggressive Shar Pei from attacking me,  and also my 100 pound guard dog from biting a friend of mine.  I'm not a dog expert or trainer,  but I can't argue with the results.  Cesar may never have been "trained" to be a dog handler,  but he knows what he's doing.  I'd trust his advice over these "modern",  experimental methods any day.
byLisboa Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013

I remember he said once during an interview on mexican television:

"The dog would never follow an unbalanced leader. Only humans do that."
RainingWarriorCats Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
Though I would never use these methods on a (fearful) aggressive dog, they sometimes do work in making your dog calm down.

Now I don't want to get into a huge debate, so just, please, do this. Anyone who supports Millan.

Give some DOCUMENTATION, written or otherwise, where a group of feral dogs are forming a pack.
If you can do this, I will be surprised. But you never know, you might find something.

As for the nip that simulates a mother's touch - documentation for that, too, please? :)
And how does Cesar know that the pressure he's using in the touch is equal to that of a mother dog's, if a mother dog does do that?

Now, watch and read this:


Thank you for your time, and I appreciate your opinion if you wish to keep it.
ShimmiDragon Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Here here! Well said!
alvringer Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think he's really very talented and people don't realize how they are treating their dogs could be dangerous. He never hurts the dogs, he just sometimes have to tap or shove them away, but it doesn't hurt them! A dog would do a lot more damage, the dogs never act hurt or in pain with him. The results are always good..I don't really see why people have such a problem with him :(
Saiiza Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cesar Millan is a hero. So many people would have just given up and got rid of their dogs if not for him. And with their behavior problems, they most likely wouldn't have been adopted, thus getting euthanized. Yes, he makes mistakes sometimes, but honestly I can't actually name one right now because there's few. Also.. who the heck said he "punches dogs"? That's retarded. He just touches them. Whatever pain the dogs feel, if they actually ever feel any, has to be minimal. Dogs are supposed to be tougher then humans and if I can handle a small tap, dogs can. Just bringing them to the vet is like 100x worse to them. Also, Cesar needs to fix the behavior of these dogs as quickly as possible. I'd like to see anyone do that in under a minute without using "physical discomfort" as someone mentioned.
jealousapples Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I absolutely love him and think he could train any dog <333 he's amazing and I never doubt him
Lady-Roac Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013
Cesar's methods work for him. I agree with much of what he says and how he handles most of the dogs he's called to assist. What pisses me off about him isn't really something he can change. It's the fact that people watch his shows on tv (and buy all the items with his name on them) then assume they know as much as he does and try to 'fix' a dog that needs professional attention. I work at a dog daycare/boarding kennel and work with all three of my girls non-stop. They are not just trained but taught and have had boundaries drilled into them from the moment I acquired them. I love them as if they were my children, but they are not. They do not think the way we do and Cesar knows this. That is why he is so successful with most of those ill-trained dogs. There are cases that even Cesar cannot fix, however. There are several genetic issues that affect the temperament of the dog and those are often the BREEDER'S fault for not recognizing the early signs and either disposing of the pup (don't try and tell me that all dogs deserve a chance, I've seen the results of to many mentally imbalanced dogs to appreciate your ignorance) or placing it with a family that knows what they are getting into (I've seen this happen successfully several times). In mutts (and even 'pure' bred dogs) people get this cute little puppy or a grown dog in the shelter that they feel sorry for and give no consideration to the size of the dog or its build (often a clue to what the dog's ancestors were bred for) and end up with something they just can't handle.

Ack...You touched a nerve...ranting is not my strong suit...sorry. =P
NyanArtz Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013  Student General Artist
I used to watch Cesar Millan's show all of the time when I was younger and I have to say that I agree. Cesar Millan doesn't abuse dogs. >.> He has literally a pack of them and from what I've seen, they live the best life they could possibly have. The people accusing him of 'abusing' animals most likely don't give their dog what Cesar gives his. Besides, some people will find any reason to claim someone is abusing their animal (if you've seen animal videos on YouTube, you probably get what I'm talking about here ._.)
Forwardess Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cesar is my role model. Plain and simple. He's human and makes mistakes, but ultimately (as a human) he learns new things and alternate methods as life goes on - just like we do. People have to put certain methods to the test before they put them down. All dogs are different and respond differently to certain training methods. Cesar tries to preach this, and when he hits a brick wall with a dog, he tries something else until he figures out what works. At the end of the day, we're talking about dogs. Dogs that naturally respond to a social hierarchy and instinctual nuances - not hugs and kisses and treats and butterflies; all of that is conditioned. All of which generally gets dog owners in trouble in terms of misbehavior. None of Cesar's more harsh methods would be necessary if the dog was raised properly in the first place in my opinion. It's just like taking care of a vehicle. If you maintain it from the get go, future maintenance is relatively easy - if you drive it willy-nilly and wait for something to break down to take it to the shop, you're paying a shit ton of money for someone to pull everything out, replace old parts, and put it all back together. Anywho. I could ramble on forever on canine behavior and how passive our society is in handling misbehaviors, buuuttt I won't.

I love Cesar. I don't think he's God, not do I believe he's perfect. But I've employed his ideas and embraced understanding the dog's natural language to communicate my expectations to my own pets and the dogs I work with daily as a veterinary technician and it's pretty darn effective.
PilafiaMadness Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Student General Artist
Finally someone who has some common sense when it comes to dogs. I have a Shepherd, he just turned a year old, and I'm training him myself. I've gone through dog training classes with my friend. her husband, and her three dogs, and I didn't wan't to have to waste so much money on going through it myself. The thing that pisses me off about that though, is every time I go somewhere people ask me if I am going through class, and if when say no they basically call me stupid right to my face. Why should I waste my money going through the same classes again, if at all? Is my dog behaving badly in front of you? Because most of the time hes sitting or standing right next to me. My dog isn't a bad dog, and probably the only bad behaviors he has are jumping, submission piddling (mainly with men who enter my house or out in public when he gets really excited and pet by a stranger), and he isn't quite leash trained yet (which is my fault, I almost always have him off leash where I live). My dogs listens, is obedient, comes when called, responds to commands and his name, and is not aggressive in the least. I just hate the fact people are so judgmental, because at least where I live, it seems like if you don't have your dog in some sort of stupid class you don't know what your doing and you have a 'bad' dog. Another thing that makes me angry is I tap my dog on the nose to make him regain focus and people freak out. I'm not smacking him, people, I'm tapping him. Chill the fuck down. -_-

And about the owners being the problem thing, I can totally attest to that. My last dog, who sadly passed away last year, was a shepherd/huskey mutt. We rescued him at about what wee think was the age of four, and man, was he a disaster. He would jump the fence, dig under, basically do whatever to escape, basically walked all over you like you were nothing, and was EXTREMELY dog aggressive. While I'm sure some of it had to do with the fact we're pretty sure he was abused before we got him (He would shy if you lifted or moved anything abruptly around him, would never look you in the eye, and was always looking and searching around and was very timid for the first few years) I know my dad and I were also the culprits for not reprimanding him. As he and I got older, I started training him and he became fantastic! He never ran off after that, I could walk him off leash without him bolting, and I could actually walk on the same side of the road as someone else with a dog- something I could never do before. It truly is amazing what a big of training can do, or, in some cases, what no training at all can do.
Kayru-Kitsune Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sigh... it's just like the people who balk at spanking. There is a HUGE difference between beating and doing small disciplinary actions that the subject -understands-. You can't ground a 2-year-old. It's purely for discipline, it's barely and temporarily painful, and it's NECESSARY.
And I'd like to see anyone get bit like that and not have a reaction to get them off. He reacted as well as any I could expect.
CriminalSpirit Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I love Caesar! ^^ I hate people over humanizing animals, it drives me crazy, they don't think like us! :roll:
One of my neighbors overly babies their dog and he is seriously the worst behaved dog I've ever seen! He threatens them constantly, baring his teeth growling while they're petting him, putting his leash on, even doing something that isn't related to him, like filling a water bottle. The sad thing is that it isn't his fault and they just encourage it, baby talking to him and petting him when he growls. Recently I was trying to leave and go out the door at their house and he was guarding the door and I pushed him aside with my foot and he attacked my shoe. Their explanation? "He was kicked as a baby and he's afraid of feet." It's a good thing he's small because he is totally out of control.
I could never stand for my dog or horse to behave that way, training animals is one of my passions and psychology is a big part of it, I love getting in to their minds and learning to think how they do, it's like becoming part dog or horse. C:
toshema Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Student Digital Artist
OH, I love caesar, I wish I could multiply him !! so many dogs can be saved, if their were more caesar millans running around.
articfoxice Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Student Artist
My method of training is to study the behavior of a species and then get the animal to respect my, and in time other's, "Space". I don't watch his show and I have my methods and that's all good as long as no one gets hurt. Personally I don't nesisarily need dominance, just "respect" which is really the acknowledgement of "hey, when I mess with this person they get ticked off, and they will react accordingly." without hurting anyone, now the reinforcement varies depending on the individual of course and my method doesn't work very well if there were big previous issues between the trainer and animal, but that is a more fundamental behavioral issue between them in their relationship. Once you get the animal to recognize, I will get rewarded if I work with them and if I don't they give me nothing" on a basic level, you can build and train further. As long as the animal is not hurt though I'm okay with whatever method I suppose.
articfoxice Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Student Artist
My dog only bit after training when he was in serious pain and we accidentally agrivated it, that I belive was understandable.
Saphira1334 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i agree with this the one with holly biting him was like wouldnt u do the same thing if a dog (that has very sharp teeth lets not forget) had its canines chomping down on you i mean its not a pleasant experience to be in pain people
sushiroll-wolfling Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
In my opinion, his methods are really out-dated and are based on false, but popularly believed "information".

It has been proven scientifically that learning is anything is a much easier task for any living creature when stress is minimized. Punishment = stress, quite simply. In most situations, I'd say punishment or "Cesar's Way" are unnecessary tools that can cause pain and fear in dogs. Am I saying they are ineffective? No, they work, but they do not necessarily benefit you or your relationship with your dog.

If you are looking for your dog to be a friend and to trust you, I suggest staying away from punishment, and try to keep the R's of training: negative and positive reinforcement. If you're a good trainer, you can do without punishment most of the time. I dare not say all the time...since nothing is carved in stone.

However, if you care little about a deep connection and relationship with a dog, punishment can be used effectively as well. However, the circumstances for its effectiveness are very strict: you must have extremely accurate timing, you must be 100% sure that the dog is making the right connections in his mind (he may think he's being punished for one thing, while you're trying to punish another...)...But, once you begin using punishment over the R's, you lose your dog's trust.

Will he obey? Yes, out of fear of receiving a punishment. It's simple psychology: its called "Learned helplessness". It is what happens when a dog (or any other animal) learns that not matter what, a punishment will he feels no will to run, fight or get away from the painful or "scary" stimilus because he has learned he cannot.

When Cesar uses flooding for example on dog aggressive dogs, these dogs are experiencing "Learned helplessness" matter what they do, they are stuck in that stressful situation and are being punished for expressing the need to get away.

So, anyway, Cesar is not a terrible person...just terribly out dated. It's just old methods that have been proven to be less effective than the R's. It's just a shame that these methods have been made so popular when there are much safer and better ways to train dogs (aggressive or not).
NinjaKato Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
I honestly don't get where people are getting the sense of 'punishment' from his methods. He never hits a dog, never kicks a dog, and never does anything that is cruel or mean. I see so many people try to pin the '+R' treatment without understanding that it does not always work on every dog. I've used the +R treatment on one dog and it works but then not on another which responded to another way.

'Flooding' as it's called does help in the sense it is making the dog confront fears and that there's no need to be afraid of them. To simply try to baby a dog and let them freak out over thunder or even someone taking their food bowl away doesn't always work. In fact most of the time that kind of treatment enables the problems and fear to progress.
What he does is make the dog face its fears (within reason) and then helps them to feel that sense of accomplishment like 'I did it! I'm not afraid anymore!' It gives a dog a sense of power that is beneficial to it's development because it can no longer worry about being afraid, it can just get back to being a dog and enjoying life.
That's what people seem to overlook. They see it as he's bombarding the dog with bad things, crowding it to stress it out but in reality he's putting them head on with their fears and showing them 'you don't have to be afraid, see?' They then learn that their humans/owners will protect them and in turn they protect their humans because they trust them and love them knowing they will guard them from harmful things.

I've trained and dealt with dogs who have been trained and rehabilitated with his methods and NONE of them were ever worse for wear. In fact many improved very quickly. Am I saying his methods will work on every dog, no. They won't. But he doesn't deal with 'every dog' he deals with cases where the behavioral problems are not just minor they are on a level that is dangerous or detrimental to a dog and their owner's well being. It's not just 'peeing on the carpet' or 'barking too much' it's 'she will try to kill another dog' or 'he will bite and jump all over my children'.
His methods work on dogs that need that kind of treatment. You often see owners that say 'we tried this, we tried that, and it didn't work' and so they call him in or someone who knows what to do.
Lindblut Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you for this comment, I wholeheartely agree with it.
sushiroll-wolfling Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
What he is using is punishment. Physically putting your hands on a dog (whatever you want to call it, a "touch" as he calls it) or equipment that causes physical discomfort or pain are punishments by definition. That doesn't mean he's a bad person, that just means he uses punishment.

As I said though, I won't say that there are no cases where only punishment can work, because I can't know all cases.

However, I still stand firm with the fact that a good, informed trainer will rely mostly on R+/R-. Punishment is an "easy way" to "correct" things it doesn't take much brain power, so people use it.

Most aggression is fear based, and therefore, punishment in these cases is inappropriate, in my opinion. Should you baby the dog? No. You could use, for example, BAT: behavioural adjustment training. You work initially within the dog's comfort zone and slowly work your way farther from it using R+. Eventually, the dog accepts the trigger presence or occurance (whatever it may be) and ideally, no longer reacts.

But, there are other things which can be done as well without punishment, I could go on and on. :P

It's two different schools of thought really.
MIZZKIE Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Blah blah blah. All this scientific talk. *yawn*
Meanwhile, an illegal immigrant from Mexico with no "professional" education taps the dog on the neck and it snaps out of it's obsession, thus allowing the owner/trainer to teach it something else than obsessing. Time taken - 2 seconds.

If punishment is as wrong as you guys say, why do we get an outcome of stable, happy dogs? (hint: Episode 100 and success stories of people using Cesar's techniques on troubled dogs - including me)
Cesar haters focus waaaaay too much on JUST the "unhappy" parts of his rehabilitation instead of looking at the whole picture, just like how a dog fixates on an object.

Cesar's pack of 30+ dogs at his Dog Psychology Center is solid proof that his techniques are right.
If no-punishment type dog training is SO good as the supporters say, why do many clients in Dog Whisperer had to consult Cesar and his "outdated" alpha theory to save their innocent dog from being put to sleep?
If no-punishment type dog training is SO good as the supporters say, why did Victorial Stillwell have to put down a freakin' Cocker Spaniel because her PR METHOD did not work? HUH? A freakin' Cocker Spaniel my lord... *mega facepalm*
Look at a nature documentary of wild animals AND domesticated animals. I see dominance and hierarchy EVERYWHERE. I see peace because of dominance and hierarchy. I wish scientists stop obsessing with books and certificates and rather take a good look at mother nature.

And FYI I am NOT saying positive reinforcement is stupid. Even Cesar himself uses positive reinforcement! :D
He tackles every case differently, and modifies how much force (both physically and psychologically) he uses to match the individual dog. Too less is pointless, and too much results in abuse.
Just because a theory is old, it doesn't automatically mean it's wrong. The Bible anyone? (just using that as an example, not debating Religions)
MIZZKIE Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Forgot to mention an extremely important point:

Wrong or not, he alpha theory itself is indeed an old idea if positive reinforcement and other scientifically approved approaches are the new, but Cear's way of rehabilitation is just founded on the theory, but the actual techniques are about ENERGY - something which is a totally new concept. At least I've never heard of an energy theory before Cesar Millan.
The outdated type dominance theory-based dog training fails in the long term (="ticking time bombs") because it's all about force (mostly physical), not energy (mostly psychological).
I would like people who bash dominance training see that Cesar is different from the other dominance trainers.

The concept of energy can be applied to ANY type of dog training, and I believe it is something EVERY dog trainer in the world must learn.
Animals respond positively to positive energy and respond negatively to negative energy. This may seem like common sense, but we were not using this concept in our daily lives with dogs until Cesar Millan explained and demonstrated to us in his shows. What an enlightenment! :)

I support and spread the words of Cesar Millan because of his energy theory.
If it weren't for his energy theory, I would've stuck to positive reinforcement type methods.
NinjaKato Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
There is a very big difference between abuse and physical reprimand. Many people mistake being reprimanded when doing something wrong as being mean; as if the dog doesn't know it's doing something wrong. Well then how is a dog supposed to know when it's doing something wrong if you don't reprimand them WHILE they're doing it?
It's kind of like yelling at your dog AFTER they poo on the carpet. They don't know it's wrong, they can't read or understand 'Bad dog for pooing on the carpet!' they only know you're angry and they don't know why because at that point they're not doing something physically wrong.

When you see this 'physical' reprimand it's usually done when the dog is acting out in a bad unwanted manner. It's to tell the dog 'hey, this is not what you should be doing right now. There's no need for that' and then triggering their mind to think otherwise. It's not punishment, it's teaching. It's utilizing their intelligence to let them know what is right behavior and what is wrong and that is why they get it so quickly with that technique. Because it allows them to learn and understand in a way they immediately understand. It's not pain, it's nature. He doesn't slap the dog, kick it in the ribs, and he certainly doesn't hang the dog mercilessly.
I will be honest here, problem dogs we have trained using the soft method, the +R method took much longer to calm down and retain trust than when we did the immediate method of a 'tap' and then comfort or affection when they behave. If you try to trick a dog into thinking otherwise you are betraying nature. Dogs aren't tools, they're not children, and they're not to be tricked into thinking a different way. When you only work in a dog's comfort zone they become accustomed to it and it takes much longer to expose them or even remedy a fearful response when confronting their fears. Dogs have the mentality of a child for the most part, their understanding is primitive in a lot of ways because they see things how they are, not how they could be.

Punishment is reprimanding the dog AFTER bad behavior, not reprimanding the dog WHEN it does something bad and unwanted. When a dog turns 'on' into an aggressive state of mind you have to confront that state of mind and calm it. You often cannot do that with just calm words, treats, and reassurance. Dogs that are allowed to continue behaving in such a manner for years don't recognize that 'trigger' of kindness. Not when they're afraid, upset, or in dominance mode. They say speaking softly to a dog that is upset can mimic 'whimpering' or submission but in many ways an aggressive dog will respond to that kind of behavior from a human as weakness. 'Hey, they're whining at me, I am stronger. I have power' and so they continue to follow through with their aggression simply because we use one method and not the follow through. You reward good behavior but reprimand bad. It's just as with a child. You don't beat the snot out of a child for biting you, you tap them on the cheek and tell them 'NO. You don't bite me.' calmly but sternly. The child may cry and get startled but it's not pain, it's either 'sorry' or shock from the tap, but they learn that mommy/daddy says not to bite. Granted, some kids will stop by just saying 'NO, you don't bite me!' with a calm assertive nature but some don't and will keep doing it until they get a tap on the cheek (not a slap or a hit, a tap) or soap on the tongue.
Dogs are the same way. Some will respond to firm handling while others won't. That is why it's crucial that any trainer knows how to read dogs' behavior and body language to be able to read and understand what kind of dog they are working with. Nervous dog? Aggressive dog? Dominant dog? Fearful dog? That is how you determine the handling and training process. A physical reprimand is not abuse or even punishment. It is telling the dog in a way it gets quickly that 'This is something you do not do, I don't want you to do that'. It looks mean and like it's demeaning but in reality it is triggering what they do naturally, how they'd react naturally.
Yelling doesn't work. You can yell about how Fido tore up every thing in the house until you're blue in the face but Fido won't listen because he doesn't know what he did wrong. He just knows you're angry and that you are lashing out at him for what seems like no reason. THIS is where fear and distrust come in and as such that breeds frustration, anxiety, confusion, and even aggression.
You need to know what type of dog you are dealing with and then how to know good behavior from bad so you can teach them as well. They don't know, they're just doing what a dog does but they have to learn that hey, you are a dog but you are living with people. We don't want you to chew up our shoes, we don't want you to terrorize the neighborhood. We want you to be happy, calm, and loving. Owners who care expense every option to help their pets get better and feel better.
Many owners don't know what punishment is and many think it's all physical. That tapping the dog on the snoot with a paper is punishment and therefore abuse.
They are wrong. Punishment is confusing a dog by yelling and reprimanding AFTER the mad behavior stops which is what many owners do. 'I turned my back for ONE SECOND and you tore up my nice new shoes! Bad DOG! BAD BAD DOG.' No physical actions taken, just implanting the seed of confusion and insecurity. 'I'm sorry mommy but I don't know what I did' is what the dog is thinking, they get scared becayse they don't understand. Now if you catch the dog eating your shoe you confront them and take the shoe from them (if possible) and reprimand them AS you're doing this so they know 'NO, we do NOT eat this'. You point to the shoe and say 'NO.' so they equate the shoe to 'not yours, don't do this'.

Of course that is a bit different than dealing with a dog that will or has hurt someone because of aggressive behaviors. These dogs are often spinners, or loving one minute and then vicious the next for what seems like no reason at all. Owners treat these cases as 'it's just a bad dog, bad blood in him'. Not the case. It's a scared dog, an upset dog, or even an unbalanced confused dog. Dominating a dog lets them know 'hey, I am here now, I am your leader. You don't have to fight all the time, you don't have to scared I am here to protect you' and they get that almost instantly because it triggers that primal nature within them. They learn to trust you because you don't back down, you don't give in. That 'touch' is just that. It's a quick 'jolt' that doesn't hurt a dog, it turns their attention. They look scared or unsure because they're startled. It's a bit like if someone were to nudge you as you were daydreaming. You'd be startled and probably look a bit embarrassed or even mad for a moment.
It's very very very important to know how dogs think to be able to help them on a level that is more than just a pacifier. You give a baby a pacifier, block out that hunger for a while but then the baby realizes 'hey, this nookie isn't feeding me, I still feel hungry' and they start crying again until you give them a bottle; fulfill that need. Oftentimes when you use a comfort zone security method it acts like a patch on a overfilled pool. It'll hold up but eventually that emotional distress is going to come out again and the behaviors WILL continue if not worsen because the real issue isn't addressed. I know trainers who have repeat cases of dogs that come from other trainers because their owners THOUGHT they were cured but then when the behaviors come back, they come back tenfold and worse because the dog is still not fully healed or balanced mentally.
Dominance isn't punishment anymore than a tap on the nose is abuse. A bite on the side of the neck never hurts the dog. Anyone who knows dog physiology knows a dogs neck is the toughest part of their body so they feel it but not painfully. Hence why a dog can literally be choking itself and STILL not slow down from pulling someone behind them. They don't feel pain in the same physical manner as we do for a reason, because they can't otherwise they wouldn't survive.
A nudge to the back end or even to the armpit doesn't hurt them, not unless you are literally punting them full force which no one should do.
Reprimand is not punishment.

Just because I don't agree with your angle completely doesn't mean I'm demeaning it. I'm just speaking out from experience with many methods of training and rehabilitation of dogs of many walks of life. Yes, there are softer ways of training and treating but they don't work on all dogs in every case of bad behavior. It's like trying to treat a lion like a house cat, apples and oranges. You have to know what kind of dog you have on an emotional and mental level to determine what to do when you assess the problem(s) or issue(s).
sushiroll-wolfling Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I see and understand your point of view, being that I had started dog training with the thought in mind that these were the methods to be used. I encourage you to read some books and articles (science based) on animal cognition (unless you have already, of course!). Check out the other methods a little more deeply, even if you feel you disagree with them. It can only expand your knowledge and your ''toolbox''. That's what I did, and I know a lot more about training now, and dogs. (Again though, you might have done this already xD, just a suggestion if you haven't).

But, I still, with the information I have gathered over time, disagree: using these methods is using punishment...It is what it is, no matter what words or justifications anyone tries to tie to it. It is punishment, by definition. Does that mean I believe everyone who uses punishment is a dog abuser? No, truly not. Like I said, these are two very different ways of thinking about dog training. I have to say though, for the training I use, it's not about never saying no to the dog, it`s more about considering your options more carefully.


In my opinion, since my views on dog training have changed (because I used to believe what Cesar was doing was reasonable), I put the dog`s physical and emotional well-being into consideration. This type of training challenges the human to think of ways to solve the problem using much more ways than punishment, because really there are soooo many other options. You just need to know about them, to think. Since the moment I learned more about actual dog cognition (based on facts, scientific research..)I could never go back to using punishment so freely and without considering all the various options available to me.
Tartii Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm having a hard time understanding your viewpoint. Do you think that packs in the wild are cruel and need to be corrected? All Ceasar is doing is taking on the role of an alpha male in the pack, which is how dog's view things. If you don't take on the alpha role, the dog will.

Alpha's put their pack mates in line by biting, shoving to the ground, snarling...sometimes even more brutal methods. Its how the animal world works. Yes we are humans and are above that, but dogs do not understand human speech. They read our body language and tone, but they are animals.

Ceasar finds the perfect line in all of this of where to take it.
sushiroll-wolfling Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I disagree with this perception of dogs. It's not at all that I do not understand it; I do, this is what I used/thought before.

However, my perception of dogs has changed a lot since then, and everything works a lot better for me now with the methods I use currently. I looked into updated facts about dog cognition and, even wolf packs. The information about wolves being a jumbled pack full of unrelated wolves holding "dominant" status above one another is not longer something I can agree with, based on the more current information I have gathered.

The day I stopped believing that I needed to be "alpha" to the dogs I encountered in my life was the day I began to fully understand and respect them. Creating a partnership with dogs works perfectly well for me without intimidating them into doing everything. I'll say again though: that doesn't mean you never say just means a partnership. Sometimes no, but mostly it is looking for a way to cooperate; give and take.

Whatever works for you though; the way you train the dogs in your life is up to you as long as you feel comfortable doing your thing. I personally feel a lot better using the newer methods, with all dogs (deemed aggressive, dominant or any other label) and I feel like I understand more behaviours now, then I ever did.
HannannaH Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Student General Artist
I agree with everything you said.

One thing I wish he would address in more episodes is that some dogs just aren't a good match for an owner/family no matter how hard they try to make it work. Also that, just like humans, some dogs are just mentally off, sometimes in a very dangerous way. I've experienced this firsthand with one of my own dogs. She would behave excellently most of the time but sometimes, for no discernible reason, she would snap. On one occasion she nearly killed my other dog (who had been laying out in the yard not doing much of anything) with my two year old sister standing just a few yards away. That was the last straw after years of working with a professional trainer on her issues. We had raised her from a puppy and she was excellently trained, exercised consistently and extensively, and behaved well almost all the time- but sometimes she would just go nuts. It wasn't safe for us to keep her. She's living out on a ranch somewhere now where there is little danger of her hurting anyone or anything. It is a much better fit. She was not a good "family dog," as our trainer had been trying to tell us for a long time.

This is a pretty extreme example and I think she may even have had a mental disorder or something, but it goes to show that sometimes it really isn't the owner's fault. Sometimes a dog just is forced to live in a situation that they don't belong in and should be removed from. Only once have I seen Cesar say that a dog just doesn't belong in a family and that it would be dangerous to keep no matter what they did, and help them select one that would be a better fit for them. It isn't a common problem, but I think it should be shown in some more episodes.

There is a huge feeling of shame that goes with giving up a dog. People should know that if there really is a serious problem and you have genuinely tried (especially with a professional trainer) to make it work and it just won't, it is ok to give the dog up. The dog can find a home that will better suit its needs or where the behavior that was such a huge issue at the first home isn't as big a problem. The person giving them up can find a dog that better suits them. This is much better than continuing to live with the dog in a mutually destructive way. (I should note that I am not upholding simply dumping the dog at a shelter where it will likely be euthanized. Spend some time with your trainer or a rescue organization finding a home that will be willing to take the dog on that seems like a better fit.)

Our other dog is an absolute dream and was raised with the help of the same trainer, who worried that the violence he had faced could cause issues later on, especially with his behavior toward other dogs. Thankfully, it hasn't been an issue. We now foster dogs for a rescue and he is excellent at helping to rehabilitate them by being very patient with them and a model of good behavior. We are all much happier now.
RainsofOblivion Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
While I do not agree with ALL of his methods I do agree with some of them dogs need to be kept in their role of the family, if you're going to have a child and a dog in the same household you need to show the dog to behave so that everyone is happy,if the dog isn't shown to behave then he will become aggressive and get away with whatever it pleases. But when it comes to behavior treatment and so on, he's good for overly aggressive dogs, dogs that have little to no other choice in the matter because their owners were IRRESPONSIBLE and did not in any way address the problem when it STARTED. But for other minor problems like peeing and barking and jumping on strangers Victoria Stilwell is a great trainer using positive re-enforcement which is why I prefer her over the two she doesn't deal with aggressive dogs, she deals with minor problems that can be fixed, he deals with aggressive behavior which more often than not is highly dangerous and shouldn't be done at home without help as it is highly dangerous, people don't seem to understand the 'do not try/do this at home' disclaimers thought...
NinjaKato Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
THANK YOU. Hallelujah! SOME ONE sees it! O_O
I agree that trainers like Victoria Stilwell and Ian Dunbar have their own methods but they also have different cases they work on. To say one is wrong because the other doesn't do it their way is silly. Especially in the case of minor vs major behavior problems.
The fact people seem to overlook in this instance is the difference in clientele trainers have. The compare peeing on the carpet to snarling and biting at people, the two behaviors are not on the same level.
You can't always use one method on every dog. Heck, when I train them I use several different techniques because it all depends on the dog and what they respond to. I've dealt with dogs where treats mean nothing and they ignore you when you try a subtle approach. They're more action based and so the pay attention with a pat or a tap on the nose. Then I've had dogs which are nervous and respond badly to physical attention so you have to be very careful and use a gentler approach with them.

Again, THANK YOU for saying this (as others have but you put it very clear and openly) because it seems a lot of the time people are pointing fingers at his methods because they look abusive or provocative toward the dog. His methods are trite and true for the cases he works with and they DO often work. He made a mistake with Holly and he admitted it. However, he didn't do what anyone else would have do; avoided the dog and let it get away with biting him. He didn't back down or hurt the dog he just asserted himself to say 'hey, I'm not a threat but I'm not backing down'. If anyone is at fault it's the owners (as you said) for being irresponsible and not going to remedy the problem BEFORE it gets to a dangerous point.
When people call a behaviorist they are usually at their wits end on trying to figure out WHY their dog is doing what they do. They have tried alternate methods, training, and other things but it doesn't work. So they call in someone who they know has experience and can help guide them and their dog to a better life by exposing what is necessary to stop bad behaviors from continuing.
People to try to do this kind of thing on their own often get hurt or surrender the animal because they can't handle it and don't understand why 'if it works for him, why not me' and forget to remind themselves he IS a professional and has studied for years to achieve what he does. The minor things like the leash pull and the easy assertion of presence people can try but not the touch/bite or anything physical. Unfortunately people DO try it and they get bit and wonder why... because they're not a professional, they don't know HOW to do it properly or how to read a dog's psyche. The still think of dogs as human in traits because they have been very domesticated so they treat them as humans and think they respond as we do and when they don't owners often freak out or get scared that Fido is now a snappy growling beast and not a lovable little Teddy bear.
You have to know what you are doing. Cesar's program can teach you what to look for to find out IF your dog has problematic behavior but he does NOT tell you how to fix it. He tells you how a professional does it and encourages you to seek out that help before you get hurt.
RainsofOblivion Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh you're very welcome :) Glad you replied!

And yes people more often than not try his methods without knowing ANYTHING about proper dog behavior, or training, or anything of the sort. They often try it out because it works for him but they seem to forget every animal is DIFFERENT, as with people, dogs will respond differently to the same training, and more often than not people themselves turn their OWN already loving animal with zero problems into a ferocious beast for doing the WRONG training and not realizing that the method of training they are using just isn't the way the animal would like to work!It just doesn't click with the animal and obviously once they're mad they wont go back to suddenly being happy if you're MAKING them unhappy. Which is why he has the "do not try this at home" disclaimer and he also CONSTANTLY states it on his show. He deals with already bad behaviors and aggressive dogs, and tries to find a way to work them AROUND those behaviors and teach the dog how to work with others, even if it seems harsh some dogs cant be treated gently or too nicely because they are stubborn and strong and wont back down, which is why HE specifically deals with them he isn't afraid to back down. He knows his methods and how to adjust to the animals.

He works with these cases he's used to it and knows the signs, he knows what he's going to do and how to help. These are special cases with very aggressive and strong and stubborn dogs, while others deal with minor troubles like jumping on people, excessive barking, peeing on carpets because they AREN'T aggressive behaviors and can be dealt with in a positive manner without the use of 'harsh' training, its all about the dog and how it RESPONDS to the given training. This is why i like trainers/handlers, they KNOW what they are doing they've studied this and are meant to help people with their minor/mayor problems and its also the main reason why regular people shouldn't handle dogs lightly if they are going to attempt to train the dogs on their own and why they should start at an early age the dog will be easier to handle but once a dog reaches a mature adult age its much much harder to train out the bad habits, and if the dog is aggressive then it's time to call an expert.
FlickaBee Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm mostly in agreement to his methods but I'm terrified people who don't fully understand what he's doing will try it because 'it was on tv' and get hurt especially with pit bulls, obviously that's not Cesar's fault but people will still do it. The average dog owner does not understand the obvious, it's a DOG not a HUMAN it functions and thinks differently. I do small movements like a quick, mild shove for my dogs if need be but I know what seems mild to me is cruelty some (which to think it's cruelty is stupid).

I would have to say that my biggest issue is his sugar coating to powerful breeds especially pit bulls. I'm a huge pit bull advocate and own an American Bully (Pit bull x Bulldog). I love pit bulls but people need to understand the bad with the good. Every breed has it's own ups and downs, pit bull's are just targeted more. They are not vicious, no, but they are also not couch potatoes. They NEED exercise and stimulation more than the average dog and ARE prone to dog aggression due to 100 years of selective breeding to be so. Plus, the breed itself is in total ruin due to so many mixes and poor breeding that the word 'pit bull' is so widely used on dogs that aren't even pit bulls (ie every dog labeled a pit bull even though they have unknown origin). The only 'real' pit bulls left are the gamebred dogs but there are very few left and are in the hands of dogmen and the few people that compete in dog sports. What I'm getting at is Cesar is a great trainer but he doesn't acknowledge the genetics of each breed as much as he should and I feel like he even denies the origin of the dog he's working with. I don't care if you are a miracle worker, you can't make a gamebred pit bull to get along with other dogs, it goes deeper than just dominance.
Spazdoodle Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I absolutely love Cesar Millan. He's literally my hero.
Thorunn Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I completely agree! I watch Cesar a lot and clearly he's doing something right if he can manage to make dog aggressive dogs like together in a huge pack without many incidents. In almost every case he takes on, the dogs barely get exercised. I just watched an episode of a Dalmation that had not left it's yard for 3 months! I mean, how do people not understand that dogs have primary needs.. If a person would sit on it's ass everyday and never go outside, it would lose it's mind
Jindovi Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I respect your opinion and all, but just watching his show and how he treats the dogs he trains.. I can't stand it. I started crying and had to turn off the tv.

Dominance/submission training is WAY out dated and can cause more harm than it does good.
"He does methods we consider primitive but they work. Yeah, maybe not always but for the most part they do. " Maybe not always? I'm sorry, but I'm not going to be the one to take risks.

If a dogs training methods are too dangerous to perform at home, I don't even want a 'professional' doing it. I witnessed my Aunt's Shiba Inu go from a playful, people and dog loving animal into an extremely animal and stranger aggressive, dominant dog. All because of my aunt mimicking what Caesar did. It really breaks my hearts. People imprint, and people think they can easily force their dog to the ground, grab their scruff, yank the lead hard, slap their muzzle or the like and be a great dog trainer like Caesar. I'm sure a lot of his methods /do/ work. But honestly..
I feel as if he's teaching the dog to fear their owners, not respect them, not live mutually with them.

Personally, I think that people should stop fighting about it and just focus on training their dogs in the way that is best – the way that won’t hurt the dog, or make the dog scared or fearful of you. Yep, I’m talking about positive reinforcement… it’s the better way to invite your dog to offer you a behavior because it wants to, and not because it feels threatened.

Like Victoria Stillwell has said “‘Any person can make an animal behave through force and fear.”

If you get the time, would you mind reading this? [link] c:

I'm honestly not here to start a fight, I'm just pointing out my opinion just as you have. Wolves and dogs differ greatly over their evolution. Dogs look to humans for assistance when they've grown up with people, whereas even a fully tame wolf will independently go their own way when given the chance.
GhostInThePines Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I hate how people anthropomorphise dogs... or any animal for that matter! They are animals. And all animals can be dangerous and unpredictable, regardless of how harmless they may appear to be based on size. People don't question that a wolf pack can kill a moose or an elk. And yet they think dogs are these fragile, little children that need to be handled with kid gloves.

A tap on the nose is not going to hurt a dog, even if it is smaller than you. Hell, I've seen my own dogs and plenty of others run into things head-first harder than Millan taps, and it hasn't slowed them down one bit. His methods aren't primitive so much as they lack all the fancy humanization that makes us think dogs understand the words and thoughts behind the training we give them. And if you think a dog does understand every word its master says, then you're probably one of those people who has been manipulated and trained by your own pets rather than vice versa.
SHlR0l Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Student General Artist
You should have a blog about personal opinions/reviews on famous people. owo
HMS-ArtHound Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree with all of this.
Most of the shows I watched, all he had to do was teach the dog how to walk on a leash, teach the humans how to walk the dog on a leash, and that was half the problem solved already. People don't seem to realize that a lot of breeds NEED exercise everyday or they get anxious.
And people do baby their dogs too much. They aren't little people, you have to treat them like dogs (not treat them bad, but understand they are different) and that's what Cesar does and teaches people to do.
As far as the muzzle taps and such, that's what dogs do to each other when they don't like something the other dog is doing. That's what most animals do.
Akmu Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Student General Artist
I myself get a bit agressive with my husky when he's bad if i need to.
Sherriffs-art Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's funny, I used to think Cesar was the best thing since sliced bread but after watching his latest series after his divorce (we're a bit behind here in the UK) I found him too flashy & showy and couldn't watch it any more, however I still agree with his methods. Dogs are dogs, not people! Everytime I see a dog in an outfit or a buggy or being carried, I have to restrain myself from going up to that person and snatching the dog from them & say; "your dog is an animal, not a child. If you want something to dress-up; get a doll!!" (don't think I'd trust them with kids either).
Another thing that people need to remember is that dogs don't actually understand words; what they respond to is tone & pitch in our voices therefore you cannot simply say "oh Rover, don't do that!" & expect the dog to have any clue as to what you expect of it. I've used the 'tap' method myself & it works.
People think it's just pitbulls & the like that kill because they're the stories that make the headlines. It's the same here. There was a story not that long a go about a less aggressive breed (think it was a sheepdog of some sort, I forget) & it was tucked away in a corner of the paper yet only a few days a go there was a man killed by a Perro de Presa Canario, it's headline. Of course you get the muppets who buy dogs for their 'looks', they look tough so I'll get one but not knowing how to handle it.
On one of my previous accounts, I was slatted for saying I 'used' Cesar's methods & the person just wouldn't listen to rationalisation so I just blocked them in the end. - I could keep on about this all day but I don't want to bore you :XD:
Princemews Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
Good. Yes. This is a thing.
TheRockyCrowe Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I think his teachings and methods of training a dog are almost perfect. Dogs derive from wolves and wolves run in packs. To make this short and an owner you are either gonna play the role as Alpha or Omega - your dog will either respect you and obey commands or trample all over you. So sometimes to make a message clear you may have to 'teach em a lesson' in a semiaggressive way (the Millan way!)
Now I said his method is ALMOST perfect because not all dogs are equal. Not all dogs have a similar behaviour pattern. Most of the dogs he works with are labs, retrievers, toy breeds, collies etc. These dogs may be bad and disruptive...but deepdown inside their breeds' normal instincts are to be kind. Notice you never see him try his method on a pitbull? Or a rottweiler? Great Dane? Etc. All these breeds are predispositioned to be aggressive and whoop ass. Millan only appears to deal with mildtempered dogs (even a German Shephear and some breeds of mastiff falls in this category). But if he were to try the techniques on a breed such as a Dogo Argentino the dog would probably snap at him for being a nuisance. I also say milans ways are ALMOST perfect because he deals with neutured/spayed dogs most of the time= his techniques are now 85% easier to use. When you 'clip' an animal your stripping it of its instinct and personality , therefore the dog will often be more passive than it otherwise wouldn't be.

So all in all..I'd say Millans ways are 70% effective in the real world. IT depends on the type of breed you have and if the dog is 'all natru-al' or has been altered by getting 'clipped'
Mauston-girl Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
THANK you.
SXxIntoxicatedxX Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I've come to be good friends with Cesar, I've seen him train dogs first hand and I don't understand why everyone fusses about the tap on their muzzle. I mean, if it honestly hurt them, they'd yelp or bark. That's like saying being flicked hurts.
Anyways, I agree with his methods whole heartedly. =)
Princemews Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
Pics or it didn't happen.
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