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Talking to Animals by Jon Katz


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But what access do we have to similar evidence about CM? Someone says he punches dogs in the throat. I've never seen that, and no particular episode is referenced.

 

Just google "Caeser punches dog". 19 second mark.

 

Here's Caeser trying to defend it as "a touch".

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And then the bite, with subsequent kick at around 1:15.

 

He says "I didn't see that coming" but anyone with even a modicum of understanding dogs' non-verbal cues could see it coming . . . along with the dog practically begging him to back off and leave her alone. When he says (twice) that she's not submitting, the dog is very clearly showing avoidance behaviors trying to tell him she doesn't want to fight. CM's body language OTOH was entirely aggressive and threatening throughout. I'd have lashed out with whatever weapon could find if I'd been cornered like that too.

 

As for ppl not having access to evidence about CM, all you have to do is a quick search on YouTube to locate tons and tons of it, including full episodes of his program. (Note: I'm sure you'll get even more results if his name is spelled correctly. It's Cesar Millan.) Keep in mind that these were all heavily edited before they aired.

 

Here's the full episode of CM not being physical while choking a Jindo:

Another video on YouTube about this dog informs that it was decided that the dog needed to be moved into another situation (IOW CM was't successful in "taming" this dog) and he was eventually adopted. No information on what, if any methods were used to help him become adoptable, or if he lived in a house, which is where his problem behaviors occurred, or outside, where he was said to be OK.

 

There are more. I wasn't all that interested in revisiting anymore of this.

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Okay, I've been away for a week and have just now had a chance to review these videos. This still seems to me an exercise in futility, but here are my reactions:

 

The video of CM and Holly the lab is clearly not Cesar's finest moment. but in no way would I describe this as punching a dog in the throat as a training method.

 

I'm assuming the owner called CM because his dog was attacking him when he tried to take her food dish away or interacted with her near her food dish. CM comes up to the dog with a food dish, squats, puts it down and clearly shows by his body language that he's not giving her the food yet. She looks around, seems unsure, does not seem hostile or afraid. He says okay and indicates that she can eat, which she does. He talks a little. He then moves forward a little and gives a quiet verbal signal that he is taking possession of the dish, but showing no aggression toward her. She quickly snarls and snaps at him, turning back to the dish, clearly expecting him to back off. Instead he moves forward a little more, making it clearer he is claiming the food, and swiping his right hand in a fist around the area where the dish is. She snarls again and lunges forward, and his hand makes contact with her neck. It happens very quickly, and at most I'd say he is pushing her back, but the force of his hand and arm (such as it is) goes past her, not into her. He then assumes a very aggressive posture, not attacking her, but in defense of the food dish, and she continues snarling for a few moments, looking unsure, considering her options, and eventually lies down and looks around. She is in a yard, not cornered. She does not appear terrified or even fearful, and he immediately drops the aggressive body language, backs off a bit, squats down again, and starts talking to the owner. After a bit, with her lying calmly, he casually reaches out a hand to her, not at all aggressively. She snarls, he doesn't move for a heartbeat, and then she snarls, lunges and bites him, continuing the attack for a couple of seconds, during which he fends her off at one point with his foot (could not possibly be interpreted as a kick, IMO). There is then a five minutes standoff between the two of them, with him giving no ground, and her looking uncomfortable and resentful, and very gradually relaxing. He does say he didn't see the attack coming, and I'm sure he's been in many, many situations like this where no attack came. I don't know any trainer who hasn't misread a dog at some point, and in other episodes I've watched he demonstrates an ability to read dogs and dog-human interactions extremely well. He at no time manhandled her, choked her, forced her down, or did anything that could reasonably be interpreted as abuse. I also noted that when that video stopped playing on YouTube, another one came along with a title something like "Dog that bit Cesar Millan -- Kiss Attack," which showed CM and the dog at his place interacting together in a relaxed and affectionate way as he talks with the dog's owner.

Here's the full episode of CM not being physical while choking a Jindo: Another video on YouTube about this dog informs that it was decided that the dog needed to be moved into another situation (IOW CM was't successful in "taming" this dog) and he was eventually adopted. No information on what, if any methods were used to help him become adoptable, or if he lived in a house, which is where his problem behaviors occurred, or outside, where he was said to be OK.

Another video that came along when I watched this one showed this dog a few years later with a person named Cheri Lukas, who I gather (from yet another video that came along) runs a rescue, respects CM, and works cooperatively with him in training and placing dogs. The person who owned the dog when he called CM for help was a guy who rescued and placed feral street dogs (37 so far), and had captured this one (he noted how many fight scars the dog had on its face at that time) to train and place. He never intended to keep the dog. The dog went to CL's shelter for further training, and was eventually adopted into a family, where she says he is fine with everyone--parents, adult kids, grandchildren, visitors, other dogs, etc. It's implied but not stated that he lives in the house. FWIW -- as with anything on TV or the Internet, it could be fake or it could be real (but the fact that it could be fake is no reason to believe it IS fake, and vice versa). I'm sure it would come up if you searched "Jon Bee."

 

These two videos apparently cast CM in the worst light, since they seem to be used over and over again on the net to show how bad he is. Kill me, but after watching them I still wish I had his physical eloquence, timing and clarity in training dogs.

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Sure, it is possible to look at any action from the guy in a negative light.

If you really want to, and made up your mind to the point that nothing in the world can make you change it.

 

But the discussion starts to bore me, it was about Katz, and for no good reason it turned to CM bashing.

 

So I am out, this sort of stuff was not why I joined the forum years ago (a great source for stockwork discussions and info then). The internet is full of pet people with strong opinions, I don't really care. A pity that that crowd has taken over here, and the majority of the interesting handlers moved away. Though I can't claim to be that interesting, I might better follow them (to bloody facebook I suppose, oh well).

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One of the advantages of geezerhood is not needing Facebook. Life being so short and all. Nice work, Eileen. Unfortunately Cesar Milan took off as the positive movement took over dog training and, oh dear, how they hated him.

 

Donald

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Facebook may be just as bad for those of you whose stockdog discussions are very advanced, but for novices (and beyond!) I think the administrators of the To novice and beyond FB page do an amazing job with that group. There is an impressive bunch on that forum who are generous with their time, and the discussions are almost always about sheepdog training and trialing. Sure, you get some posts from those of a foreign culture. I mostly sit down and shut up in the interest of learning ;) but IMO they are drowned out by people who know what theyre talking about.

 

I should probably point out though, that Katzs book and the title of this thread are about pet animals. It should come as no surprise that pet people would contribute to a discussion about pets and pet dog training.

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