Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Dog Whisperer Is A Phony

Have you heard of the dog whisperer? Some guy named Cesar Millan has a dog training show by that name on the National Geographic Channel. I don't get that channel, so I've never seen it, but my friend Mouth swears by it. Millan also wrote a book titled Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems. Coincidentally, I saw this book when I was buying some dog training books a few weeks back. I thumbed through it pretty heavily, and it didn't look that great to me. As I recall, I didn't think there was enough emphasis on positive reinforcement, which is what I was looking for.

I found this review of Millan's book, and it's a pretty interesting read. The reviewer says that this supposed Dog Whisperer puts dog training back 20 years. Apparently, it doesn't even provide tangible training tips, but instead focuses on the calm, confident energy you should exude to get your dog to do what you want. I spoke to my co-worker about it, and she confirmed that his show is the same way, and she wasn't very impressed.

I'm sure he gives a lot of good tips on his show, but I think I'm no longer tempted to go out and buy his DVD. Besides, every message board about dog training has so many people that reference him, who needs the DVD?


streetCat said...

Cesar gets a great response from the dogs on the show, but not all of his techniques work with my Corgi. Funny thing is, Cesar had to deal with a Corgi once on the show but the Corgi thought Cesar's discipline was a game, just like mine does!

dlevin said...

Hasn't been a post in a while but I saw this and I wanted to chime in. Before you go onto specific training, like for tricks which does go very well with positive reinforcement, its important to understand dog psychology for everything. Cesar Milan is no genius. (It hurts me to say that) He just understands dog psychology and how to apply it as well as how to teach it. He is tenacious. You have to be in order to raise a dog properly. If they think it's a game, you are the one who has to show them differently. You can't go on talking about him like he wont work for you without ever seeing his show or dvds or reading anything. The principles he teaches are the foundation. Try out one dvd. I get compliments on my dog almost daily. Because I raised him from day one on these methods. I taught him tricks with positive reinforcement too but that was easy once he was calm and understood who the leader was.