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Back to back episodes of Dog Whisperer today

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I was just flipping through the channels and it looks like The Dog Whisperer (Cesar Millan) is on the National Geographic Channel all day today.


I'm going to watch as much as I can and see what I think about him.


I've watched a few episodes and was overall in agreement with what he did. There was one, I don't remember anything about it, but it didn't sit right with me.


This should be interesting.

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I've been watching since I started this thread and so far I'm not seeing anything that I disagree with.


The first case I saw was of a "red zone" Pit mix showing aggression to another dog.


What I'm watching now is of an extremely fearful but not at all aggressive dog.


Another case in-between these two was of a dog that chewed and ate everything and nearly died from blockage.


So there's variety here and like I said, so far I'm not seeing any methods that concern me.

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My wife and I have watched quite a few episodes lately. He seems pretty consistant, and I like how he scolds the owners for their own bad behavior. We need someone like that around my neighborhood. Just an enforcer that goes around saying, "PSHHHH!" to the owners when they do something dumb.

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The extremely fearful dog is a Viszla (sp). So Cesar puts his rollerblades on (that apparently have training wheels!) and attaches the leash to the dog. They go flying through the city and the dog releases some energy.


From there he puts his shoes back on and uses his hand to lift the dog's tail up manually, to help the dog feel confident. From there he attached the end of the leash to the tail and walked the dog so that his tail remained up. Said it was the first time he's ever done that, but it worked! The dog felt confident.


The owner had tried many things in the past to help the dog get over his fear, things you and I would have tried, but it didn't work. I think the tail in the air thing was a really neat idea. I doubt that was the only advice Cesar gave to the owner as it wouldn't be practical to do all the time, but there was definately a noticeable difference right away.


I hope some of y'all got to see that one. I was laughing! :rolleyes:

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I remeber the ones that you are talking about (most of all the dog that eats EVERYTHING).


Just a few weeks ago he worked with "Hootie", and Agility aussie that was scared of kids. I liked the agility part! :rolleyes:


I think that he does really well too - but like you said, every now and then there is one that just doesn't feel...right.

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I watched that agility Aussie one too and thought he did well. I really don't remember which episode I saw that sat with me wrong. Hopefully I'll see it again.


I pre-ordered his book and will give my impression of it when I read it (in April).


They're showing Black Widow spiders on NGC now but it will show more Cesar at the top of the hour. I'll continue watching.

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Stubborn Arab! His name is Amir too! :rolleyes:


They have a dog-aggressive Rottweiler.


He basically says their dog can't be fixed, maybe only managed with aggressive methods.


Says it would be a "miracle" if it was any different than what he thinks, so Cesar asks if it would be a "miracle" if they can walk their dog with another dog today. Guys says yes. We'll see...

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Whether you like him or not, from the few shows I've seen, he is very consistent in his methods AND I've never actually seen him talk down to anyone who had a different opinion or training method. I do think he's successful because of who and how he is versus what he does.


His basic advise is exercise (and it's true that nine out of ten dogs misbehave because they're bored) and a consistent dominant role in the family.


I think he's kind of like Dr. Phil, making the big bucks on common sense....



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ok-just a quick thing...this is actually my first time seeing the show THANKS Miz. It all looks great and happy endings and it is interesting but I don't see how just going "PSHHHH!" teaches anything but just acts as a temporary distraction? I am learning though and while I probably won't spend $100 to go see him, I'll continue to check it out. How about that Jingo (?). That was nerve wracking. But again, how does 'taming the beast' teach the dog not to attack? He said, "you have to believe it, to see it" and I will give it a shot. Why not?

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They are showing repeat episodes now, so I have a few minutes.


It's not the "PSHHH" alone that means anything. That's just his own little noise he uses. "Ah-Ah" or "Aahhnntt" or "no" or whatever are other common noises we make.


Pay attention to his body language when he makes that noise though. He looks the dog in the eye, stands confidently and leans forward, points, etc. Many dogs respond well to that.


The noise gets the dogs' focus off of whatever and back on the handler. You know those game show buzzers that make that noise when someone gives a wrong answer? Like on Family Feud? That's the noise I use here with my dogs.


He doesn't just make the PSHHHT noise, but he follows through. The whole package is what makes it work, not just the noise.


Fynne is/was exactly like Jingo when it comes to other dogs. She is extremely aggressive acting but she's also very fearful of dogs. She puts on a very convincing show but if the other dog in any way stands up for itself or even faces her (when close by) then she will tuck tail and want to run. If there's any distance between her and a dog then she will be just like the Jingo. That's no exaggeration either!


What he was doing with the Jingo was getting the dog to submit to a human, first himself and then with the owner dude. That dog was not fear aggressive but dominant aggressive. That is a very dangerous dog.


That dog won't obey and stop attacking his owner until he respects his owner and sees him as the leader of the pack. The man and dog could not go forward until the dog saw him as leader.


Having the dog lie on his side was a way of dominating the dog. It's extremely dangerous to do and not recommened for many dogs because for most dogs there are other ways. It's also just plain extremely dangerous, so the handler really needs to know what they are doing. It may have looked over the top, especially when the dog was on lead and being "hung", but really it wasn't. This dog was facing death. This dog was extremely dangerous.


Cesar didn't apply any unnecessary force. The dog himself caused whatever discomfort he felt. If he was not trying to attack and struggle then there would have been no discomfort at all. That's what I call a self-correction.


The moment the dog stopped struggling and submitted to being on his side the lead was relaxed and Cesar pet him calmly in a way that reassured the dog.


I did the exact same thing with Fynne outside the dog park when we began our socialization trips. She would act like that Jingo did from a good 50 yards or more! I was unable to get through to her or make any progress, so after a few trips I changed tactics and forced her on her side. It was a struggle but it happened and it worked. From that point on I was able to work with her. I still stayed at a great distance and we're slowly working our way closer (up to around 30 feet now!) but she's now able to calm down, relax, and stay focused on me.


So "taming the beast" in her instance and with the Jingo is a necessary step with some dogs, few dogs thankfully, that help make behavior change possible. When you become 100% irrelevent to a dog then you will have absolutely no influence or control over the dog.


Does any of this help you to understand what you were seeing better?


edit: There's another dog that looks like Jingo that was among one of his shows tonight. It's on again now. The dog's name is Wendall and Cesar used a similar method to the one he used with the Jingo. They look alike, the methods were alike, so I might have gotten them mixed up a bit.


edit again: The dog is a Korean Jindo and his name is Johnbee, or John B., or something like that, but it's Jindo. (It's on again now.)

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The second time watching the Jindo part really highlights the subtleties of his understanding of dogs. I'm really impressed.


The commentator guy says the dog is fine outside, but inside will not allow the owners to touch him. They don't elaborate on why there's a difference outside and inside.


Cesar started with the Jindo muzzled but he realized and mentioned that the dog associated the muzzle with negativity, so he helped remove it.


Then he placed the Jindo in a sit with pressure on his butt and the dog exploded. He continued to work with the dog until he sat like Cesar wanted.


Then he put pressure on his back to put him in a down. The dog struggled and fought but eventually did lie down.


Then Cesar urged him onto his side and the split second the dog did so, Cesar released all pressure and pet him in an assuring manner.


Then he had the owner do it. The owner was afraid and nervous and the dog was feeding off that, so Cesar had him muzzled.


That process showed me that he really understands dogs. With the muzzle on but not clasped shut, he pet the dog until he was relaxed and ok with it. Then he clasped it and had an intimate moment with the dog. He sat on the ground and had the dog lean against him, belly up, and talked to him soothingly and stroked him gently until the dog was completely relaxed.


Then he had the owner try again. It was plain to me that the man was nervous and awkward. He made some small mistakes, like pushing on the dog's back instead of his butt to get him into a sitting position.


The owner also missed when the dog was trying to comply and roll over. The dog was leaning one way and the owner was trying to roll him over the other way.


I don't know if anyone caught this, but Cesar reached under the dog, past the one front leg, grasped the other leg, and pulled it under him. The owner made the move difficult but that is a very safe (won't hurt the dog) and effective way to get a dog to roll on it's side. There's a similar method that is used to force a dog into a down. By force I don't mean anything extreme. I used that to put Boy into a down when he was in the learning phase. Use the same amount of pressure as you would when forcing a dog into a sit. Nothing dramatic or anything.


Anyway, the owner was nervous and awkward but the dog was placed on his side and submitted.


There's another thing that Cesar said outside, before he brought the dog in the house, that caught my ear.


He said he feels more comfortable around dogs like the Jindo than he does around fearful or anxious dogs. I feel the same way. I wonder why he feels that way? For me it's just easier to read an aggressive dog than a fearful or anxious dog. Anxious and fearful dogs seem to be more unpredictable to me.


Anyway, I wish I could have taped all of these shows tonight. I give him a thumbs up and recommend him.

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Thanks for all the clarification. I understand the body language part. So much to learn. It's quite a dance isn't? What get me so confused about what I am doing, NO TREATS, no rewards except quiet. There's plenty of discussion on this board about treats or no treats and I love reading it. We are all about treats here, if the boys give right answer. I just purchased the Treat n Train (haven't used it yet) but that dispenses treats. I considering starting again with both dogs and start clicker perhaps-treats. I also realize that Milan isn't about teaching sit etc. he's about control. I also was considering taking Shep to a local trainer who shows guard dogs...Dobie, GS and Belgian Malinois, Bouvier des Flandres. He's an interesting individual...has quite a calming effect. Obviously I have no firm plan which is part of Sheps problem.

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That's a really interesting explanation, Miz. I wish I could have seen the shows, but I wasn't home most of the day.


It IS an intricate dance, and I think that's why it's so hard, even for people who have tons of *information* and learning. I find it so hard to translate that into action with Zeeke (or used to) because of all the little details... I'd miss up, and he'd react badly, and it just never seemed to work. My fault, yes - but that didn't really make it easier!

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Ceasar has been discussed several times before on here but never before have I read a post that explains how he works and why it works as well as your previous posts have.


Thank you for expressing what I have wanted to say for so long but couldn't find the words.



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Thanks Olivia, and good morning!


Now if I just could learn how to say what I want to say without writing a book every time, I'd be all set! :rolleyes:


KJ, Nat, I think it's an art. I can't sing, dance, paint, draw, sculpt, build, or do anything like that. I have no natural talent.


Dogs come naturally to me though. That and eating chocolate.

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Conveying when writing is a great talent which you possess. Me not so much. I'm a better technical writer. Even on these boards, I'm impatient posting and most of the time my posts don't come out right. And unfortunately probably give the wrong impression of me.


Now I have a question Miz - does Cesar do any training with prong collars? I've only seen one or two episodes of his show.

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Yes. He seems to work with whatever the owners work with. If the owners have a regular collar on, or choke, or prong, or head halter, or whatever, he uses that.


KJ said something worth mentioning again. Cesar doesn't say anything at all to the dogs while he's working with them. He only makes the PSHHHT sound. He doesn't tell dogs to sit, down, stay, or anything. I never really noticed that until yesterday.


Also as was mentioned, he doesn't use treats, toys, or even praise ("good dog") or petting, yet dogs seem to respect AND adore him.


On an older thread I recall someone saying something about the dogs fearing him. I looked for any signs of that and didn't see any. I saw respect, submission, deference, that kind of stuff, but not fear.


The more I analyze what I saw after watching his shows all day, the more I like him. He's plugged in to dogs big time. I do things very similar to the way he does, but I'm not as demanding of results RIGHT NOW. He gets results fast!


There was a Great Dane who was afraid of shiny floors. He took the dog out for a walk to "build a relationship" with it and form a bond of trust. Then he made a few attempts to run the dog into the school without losing momentum so that the dog would suddenly find himself there.


Well, after a few tries the dog suddenly found himself there on the shiny floor. It just stood there like "wow, I'm standing on the shiny floor". I could see that the dog was not relaxed though and thought at first that this was just a forced thing and not a behavioral change. The dog was salivating and its tongue was wide and flat at the tip.


Cesar sat in a chair without reeling the dog to him. The dog walked to him willingly (still anxious). He slid the chair back a ways and the dog again went to him on his own. He did this a few more times, watching the dog closely, then did the thumbs up thing. I wasn't sure why because the dog was obviously not happy with being on the shiny floor.


Then he walked the dog up and down the same hall, over and over. At no point did he have to literally drag the dog, but he did have to stand the dog back up (wanted to lie down) and encourage him quite a bit at first. Each pass up and down the hall showed that the dog was becoming more and more relaxed. They left the school but the dog was still somewhat unsure about the shiny floors.


He came back a week or whatever later for a follow-up visit. The owner had been practicing with the dog. Cesar wanted to see so the owner walked the dog into the school and the dog was not the slightest bit concerned about the shiny floors.


Then I realized why he gave the thumbs up earlier on. When he scooched the chair back and the dog walked to him on his own accord (he did not call him or in any way indicate for the dog to come to him), and did it a few times, he knew he had broken through.


(It would have taken me days, maybe even weeks or months, to get that dog over his fears. I would have brought him to the school and lured him with treats, going slow and rewarding each little microstep. He just did it, and the dog was fine.)


One more subtle detail about the dog that I just realized. He did not walk the dog up to the entrance where the shiny floors began and then just drag him in. It seemed important to him that he and the dog have a running start and not lose their momentum, and that the dog just suddenly find himself there. I need to remember that and apply it with my dogs in other areas. If they are just suddenly "there" then they won't have the opportunity to get their minds all worked up about going "there". A dog who's overly anxious cannot learn. The Great Dane was not overly anxious, but was just "there". Wow.


It would be nice if he made these subtleties a little more obvious but that's what he's doing. He's plugged into these dogs in a way that makes me jealous!


I am no writer Muggs. I am a yacker. That's all. A yacker. Thanks though.

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Thanks for all the clarification. I understand the body language part. So much to learn. It's quite a dance isn't? What get me so confused about what I am doing, NO TREATS, no rewards except quiet. There's plenty of discussion on this board about treats or no treats and I love reading it. We are all about treats here, if the boys give right answer. I just purchased the Treat n Train (haven't used it yet) but that dispenses treats. I considering starting again with both dogs and start clicker perhaps-treats. I also realize that Milan isn't about teaching sit etc. he's about control. I also was considering taking Shep to a local trainer who shows guard dogs...Dobie, GS and Belgian Malinois, Bouvier des Flandres. He's an interesting individual...has quite a calming effect. Obviously I have no firm plan which is part of Sheps problem.

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You know... after reading a lot of threads, and your summation of some of the dogs Cesar's dealt with, Miz... I realize how very good Zeeke is. He has his issues, sure - but he's not really an *aggressive* dog. Pushy, yes. Wants to be dominant, probably. Territorial, absolutely. But he's really not aggressive. There are a very few specific times that I'm afraid he'd push his luck enough to hurt me (and it's in situations where he feels threatened, like me taking garbage from him or trying to clip his nails). But most of the time he's a big lug of a teddy bear. Not only that, but I think about the HUGE amount of progress he's made in the past two years. He's really come a long ways. He sits/downs whenever we say to; he moves immediately if he's in my spot and I tell him to move; he's started dropping food and garbage when I tell him to drop it; he doesnt rush the doorways anymore; he calmly goes into his crate and naps during "time out"s. I could go on. During Zoe's OB class the other night during the instructor's instructions on how to teach a sit, it involved holding your dog and she said most dogs will pull away and not want to be held in spot or manipulated in any way (because the dog wants control) - Zeeke doesn't have that problem, he very happily submits to being held in place, or placed in a down, or having his eyes or ears cleaned. (His paws are a whole different matter he HATES anyone touching his paws and will freak out if you try to hold them - I don't think it's a control issue, he just seriously has an issue about his paws, and it's fear-based.)


So yeah. I just was thinking a lot about it all.

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It's fun reading your thoughts Natalie. That would be great if Zeeke wasn't so bad after all!


I was just doing some thinking too. After watching Cesar work on so many different cases, I've seen where I could have done things differently. Did you see the pictures I posted on this thread?


Cesar is the leader in all respects. In the case of Fynne and Boy when we got her, I handed that responsibility over to Boy instead of taking it on myself. I didn't make things right with her and Boy. HE did.


For instance, if I right now added another dog, say a male that was a mean little twerp, do you think Boy would sit back and watch that dog harass Fynne, jump all over her, hump her, whatever? (Just assume that Fynne is a nice, normal dog in this example.) Heck no! He's the leader of the pack and he would be sure to step in and demand order. He wouldn't put up with it, and he certainly wouldn't sit back and wait for Fynne to handle the situation.


Unfortunately, that's what I did. I passed the responsibilty onto Boy instead of handling it myself. He did a great job but I should have been the one to correct her behavior, not him.


What a revelation. Now I feel bad. :rolleyes:

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Awww Miz, don't feel bad. You did the best you knew and it all worked out well in the end. This whole thing is a learning process... it makes sense we'll be more knowledgeable later in the game. There's a lot of things I did with Zeeke that I really wish I hadn't. All I can do is do better NOW.

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Don't feel bad Miz, its OK.

At least Boy did a good job! :rolleyes:


Millan really is a great guy with dogs. Also the owners seem to no nothing so he has to train them up from a blank slate. Not easy.


I think that if he was training a dog "sit" then he would use praise, of some kind or another. But the stuff on the show is just the dog learning its place in the pack - it is hard to give a cookie for that! But when he deals with a scared dog, he does use cookies to make "it" seem nicer.


Did anyone ever see if he has any BCs in his "pack"? :D

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