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I'm a little of both. I know almost nothing about the hard science of animal psychology but I have some years of dog experience. (I don't think anyone, no matter how many years experience or letters after your name, could ever claim to REALLY know what's right or wrong for dogs - only the dogs will ever know!) :eek:

Recently I read "Cesar's Way" and have seen his TV show The Dog Whisperer and I'd have to say I'm about 70/30 on the guy.

70% in favor because:

- He's really about training humans to adapt to dogs, not dogs adapting to humans, which is cool/makes sense
- I think he really truly loves dogs and is really truly trying to understand them
- He encourages people to be responsible, accountable for and in control of their dogs
- He tells ppl not to hit or yell
- He rehabs and gives bully breeds - pit bulls esp.- a CHANCE which helps them and all of us
- He encourages people to get up, get out, and EXERCISE with their dogs (can't fault ANYONE for that!)
- He does some formidable work with almost no formal education or training

30% against because:

- He does some formidable work with almost no formal education or training
- He's a Hollywood guy, it's easy to make him appear slick and talented when that might not be the case
- His celebrity clients give him a very high profile - I imagine there are other 100's of trainers who do the same work who just don't get props from famous ppl
- His methods can be extremely unrealistic for the average dog enthusiast, no matter how well-intentioned they are (walking hours/miles a day, using treadmills, etc.)
- I think his confrontational approach with dogs with fear problems is sometimes too harsh

There's been huge debates about him on the BARK blog (http://www.thebark.com/blog), especially now that he's being sued (http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2006-05-05-dog-whisperer_x.htm).

Any thoughts, bully owners?
 

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I love Cesar and I think he is truly amazing with dogs. HOWEVER....I would like to see some follow up on these cases he has done. Also, I think his show gives your average dog owner a false sense of security. Cesar can do it, so can I. And they try potentially dangerous things that they have seen him do on the show. (even though the show clearly states many times....DO NOT TRY THESE TECHNIQUES ON YOUR OWN) I want to say he makes things look almost too easy. Maybe it is for him, but not for your average person.
 

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I dont know the guy but id never follow an unqualified advisor on serious behavioral issues. There are great animal behaviorists who have studied years and years on animal understanding, psychology and behavior and if I really needed advice thats where I would turn.

Its ironic really but animal understanding is more adavnced than human because animal testing is where shrinks began their understanding of the mind. Some of the most infamous understanding of the human mind come from very famous animal conditioning experiments.

Maybe the guy is good. A bright guy with the will to read in depth on a subject and much exprience around the animals daily can have a wonderful knowledge and understanding. I guess the fact hes on a TV show just makes me dubious as to whether hes real or just another hollywood crank, that would be my concern.
 

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I really like that he puts emphasis on exercising your dog daily (I always love peoples' reactions when he tells them to take their dogs on daily walks: "WALKS?? NO WAY!!!" :lol: ) I don't like how he yanks dogs around on lead, especially dogs that have had no formal leash training. I prefer more positive methods to actually make my dogs want to stay by my side rather than yanking and startling them into doing so. I also don't like how almost every diagnosis is a "dominance issue."
 

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I don't know how I feel about the guy. It's hard to swallow that if you have a certain "energy" that even the most crazy and aggressive of dogs can calm down.
I do love the fact that he promotes pitbulls though....but something just doesn't seem right with him.

I do agree with Bellas mommy though about the exercise!
 

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I've only seen a few of his shows, but I don't like that every dog seems to be instantly "cured". There never seems to be any REAL explanation of what he's doing to change their behaviours, and I don't know if I believe that the dogs are "fixed" once Ceasar leaves and the owners take control again. Yes, follow up shows would be good!
 

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against.
i feel he doesn't show the true and whole story behind most of his training .
maybe he can train but only giving the general public a "sugar coated" version doesn't help joe blow on the street. it only creates more problems
 

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I like the fact that he lets these "foo-foo" dog owners
realize their dogs are insane and act like brats b/c
they give them the run of the house. I spoil my dog, but
these little dogs are beyond spoiled. They have no rules so the
dog calls all the shots.
His saying "rules,boundries and limitations" is what most babied dogs need to become adjusted. I keep telling my mom that is why her
shih tzu wont eat her dog food, why she growls at people and wakes them
up in the nite, etc.! The dog is calling the shots.
I am a little skeptical on him changing dog-aggressivness.
 

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I'm not really for or against Ceasar. Like attitude, I feel he sugar coats everything and gives people a false sense of training in general...he really only shows his positive outcomes and condenses training sessions into a few minutes of time when in reality, training takes a while..you can't accomplish "miracles" overnight. People see his shows and read his book and feel he's God... that just isn't the case. He's a man who trains dogs and has a TV show..simple as that.

At the same time, I agree it's nice to see people realize what they are doing wrong in how they have created certain behavior issues and what steps they can take to prevent certain issues. I just feel he should emphasize more on the show that not only should people not try techniques on thier own, but should contact a behaviorist in thier area.

Do I feel he is a "whisperer"..NO. Is he a decent trainer..probably. I just feel that anyone out there with an understanding of animal behavior can get results. No one is an animal God.
 

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But the thing is....he is not a trainer. He doesn't train dogs. He is a dog psychologist. He doesn't show people how to recall their dogs or sit, stay, etc.
 

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Dog psychologist is a fancy term for dog behaviorist..if you understand dog behavior, you should be able to be a dog trainer. I would hope that if he can modify a dog's behavior, he should be able to train...something tells me he does.

I have a degree in animal behavior..it's what I went to college for. While my degree is broad spectrum (I specialized in exotic animals) I now work mainly with dogs.... I understand behavior and I can train...the two go together.
 

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attitude said:
against.
i feel he doesn't show the true and whole story behind most of his training .
maybe he can train but only giving the general public a "sugar coated" version doesn't help joe blow on the street. it only creates more problems
I agree with this totally, but I'm not against him in every case. He does wonders for those people who are absolutely clueless, particularly those with vicious little lap dogs that are ridiculously pampered and babied (like Oprah's dog).

A long time ago I think it was Lisa that pointed out his use of prong collars, hidden under nylon collars. What dog doesn't behave with a prong collar on? I think his methods are far more conventional than he admits, and far less miraculous than they make it appear.

Video editing does wonders for just about every "reality" show out there. They'll show Ceasar tell the owner to command the dog to sit (when it's never sat before). When the owner says "SIT", all of a sudden the dog miraculously sits as if he knew English all along but was being stubborn. They cut out the part where the dog had time to mellow out after the excitement of a camera crew invading his home, and after a few obedience lessons. They make it seem like Ceasar's presence alone cures unruly dogs with bad habits.

I also agree that his methods are unrealistic for the average pet owner. I read his book also, and I find it very difficult to believe that everyday he walks 30-40 dogs off leash in some hiking trail in LA, then alternates rollerblading 10 dogs at a time until he's taken a trip with all of them....everyday. How many vans do you think it would take just to transport 40 dogs, let alone keep them all in line during the run? I think maybe this number is grossly exaggerated from maybe 10 max...on a really good day.

Basically, I think he's just found a way to glorify conventional dog care (like exercise and mental stimulation), and make it seem like he's providing some miracle cure for unruly dogs. But, this works very well for those who have no clue about dog behavior and dog care. They think they're getting some expert analysis, when any experienced "dog person" could tell them the same thing for a lot less money. It seems that the overall results of Ceasar's new found fame are all positive though. His fame has brought a lot of attention to proper dog care, and made a lot of clueless people more aware of their dogs' needs. In the end, a lot of dogs have probably benefited from Ceasar Milan. So, I don't see anything wrong with that. And I don't know anything about the lawsuit, so maybe I'll change my mind after reading that. :D
 

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I support Cesar Milan 100%. My cousin lives not to far from his dog phsycology center and he's told me that yes he does go running and rollerblading with several dogs, several skeptics have went out to see him after the show launched. Him or his assistants have been seen locally rollerblading with up to 8 Pitbulls, Rotts, etc. without any problems. He uses pitbulls to help other dogs, to me that is putting a positive light on this misunderstood breed. I have met Ceasar at the LA bully expo and he seemed very knowledgeable about dogs and even came out to take a stand against BSL! I think the reason many do not like him is because he tells people to stop treating their dogs like humans, this is the main problem with dog owners and many take offense when told that, also the fact that he's not educated scares many but in my opinion you do not have to be highly educated to handle a dog well, all you need is common sense and be willing to learn, also the fact that he came here illegally and is Mexican does bother many people and they tend not to take him as serious because of it. I overheard it with my own ears by some so called professional breeders at a UKC show they were saying that only ghetto people follow him, now thats what I call a HATER. As for him being sued for dog abuse at his center, don't you find it funny that these allegations happened right when his book was released, and the claim that this guy spent $25,000 in vet bills so far seems a little bit exagerated, remember these are only allegations....
 

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my two cents

i go back and forth on this whole thing. i watch in awe sometimes at what he can accomplish.

but the thing that gets me is that he does a lot of his work (with the more severe cases) away from the owner. and this is something he touched on slightly with a pit named emily (white with a heart shaped birthmark) in one episode - that how a dog acts around its owner is based on how the dog is handled in stressful situations by its owner.

my problem is not luna with other dogs when i'm not around - in fact she went to a doggie camp that i trusted IMPLICITLY and never had a problem with another dog. it's when i'm around that she freaks out. i know that almost all of this is because i'm giving her clues that she reacts to - like a good girl.

what my point is is that i am in a position where I'M the one who needs training - how to socailize her smartly and smoothly. and i think that at times, ceasar ignores this in more dire situations and just takes them to socialize with the pack at his center. i need luna to be "good" at my local park. i need her to be "good" with a friend's dog. i need her to be a "good" dog in everyday, realistic situations.

am i making sense here?
 

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While I am not a dog training expert, nor play one on TV, Cesar has done good for Sheila. It all depends on what you take from his advice, and I am sure there are 1,000's of dog trainers out there they know and or use the same knowledge/techniques, but are a little pissed they did not get the same breaks. While his show definetly abuses on finding those dog owners who have no clue what having a dog is about, hell half the people on that show seem to need training on life!! But remember, that is how the majority of America treats/trains there dogs. How many bully breed owners in US per say??? How many on this forum trying to squeeze every last bit of info out of any member that will give some sound advice?? Point being, everyone on this forum seems to have atleast a basic grasp of what having a dog requires, whether they have had bully breeds in the past or not. On his show there are few and far between people that have common sense much less dog sense. His ideas/theories/dog psychology/method, whatever you want to call it seems to work well, follows the pack leader mentality that obviously works, however you apply it. And his belief of exercise, discipline, affection seems to work for us and Sheila. Sheilas worst days and temper tantrums come when we do not follow in that order. I am sure that it is not a revelation, but he is the first one to take it mainstream, so you have to atleast give him credit for that. And as mentioneed before, his show cleary states do not try these techniques with out consulting a professional. It does not say with out consulting Cesar, so it lets the common folk now, there are trained professionals out there besides him that deal with these issues as well. I personally love the show, whether real time, edited, whatever, it entertains me and at times gives my info that is useful in certain situations with Sheila.
 

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PS and he is a great role model for Pits, Rotti's, etc....... National exposure of the other kind, pits walking, playing, eating together!! A change from the usual media hype. And he always speaks highly of the pits, and how misunderstood the breed is etc....
 

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Cesar's Way

I am almost finished with Cesar's book "Cesar's Way" but I am not sure I can finish it. I understand all the comment about Cesary being a good dog handler and all but I got to a point in his book which angered me beyond belief. So I am attaching the letter I sent to his email address because I know he will never read it, just some assistant. I figured you guys can read what I wrote to him and then tell me what your opinion is. Here is the letter.

Mr. Milan,
I am currently reading your book "Cesar's Way". While
I enjoy the book and the information you provide I
cannot understand the route you take about pit bulls
starting on page 181. For someone who loves the
powerful breed dogs you are careless in your comments
and statistics about "pit bulls". The average dog
owner does not know what "pit bull" means and the
average American knows even less. They are not aware
that it usually refers to mainly three dog breeds,
American Pitbull terrier, American Staffordshire
Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Why do
you not explain that the fatality statistics regarding
"pit bulls" in your book on page 181 are not just
those three breeds of dogs but any dogs that have a
history of pit fighting, Argentine Dogo, the English
Bull Terrier, the American Bulldog, and the Perro de
Presa Canario to name a few. Basically you have
allowed opposers of pit bulls to quote your book
against what they think a "pit bull" is. Now those
three original breeds are blamed for 41 fatalities
when it really was many different breeds used for the
statistic. Also, why use words like "So once I block
those pit bull genes". What do you mean by that,
there is no pit bull gene, you should know better than
that. That is a scientific statement with no
scientific backing which to the average person means
"oh, so pitbulls do really want to kill things but
Cesar blocks that killing gene." That is very
irresponsible and so damaging coming from a respected
dog handler such as yourself. If you are going to use
numbers like that then you need to explain that "pit
bull" in the way you use it is many different breeds
of dog and each breed has its own traits and as you
say "genes". Some are huge and even the slightest bit
of anger in them could be deadly, some won't get
larger than 35 pounds and are called "the nanny dog"
because of how well they get along with humans, mainly
children. Sorry for my anger but I am the owner of a
beautiful Staffordshire Bull Terrier who is small and
will never weigh more than 40lbs as the breed standard
says, and I understand because of her breed is less
likely to attack humans than other dogs but may
possibly be inclined to attack other dogs. That is
her "pit bull gene" which is very different than say a
Presa Canario's "pit bull gene" or an American Pit
Bull Terrier's "pit bull gene". But now when I have
to explain that to someone they will say "No, Cesar
Milan says that there is a pit bull gene and it says
kill, kill, kill and Cesar Milan knows what he is
talking about." The damage may already be done but
for Gods sake please use your influence to help dogs,
not hurt them. Image is everything in this country
and right now it isn't looking so good for my dog and
your statements haven't helped her or her brethren one
bit.
 

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I also would like to see the follow up. He always appears to work "miracles" with these animals.

I believe there are others out there doing the same thing, and I agree they don't get the attention and credit they deserve because Cesar Milan has all of Hollywood going after him. I watch the show from time to time and know people who use his methods, but I don't think unexperienced people should be copying his techniques without a professional. It can be very dangerous. Telling people not to try what he does at home doesn't stop them from doing it.

A lady sued him because his "pack" attacked and injured her dog?? I don't know the outcome or whole story. I heard he just put her dog into a pen with them, no introduction nothing!
 
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