What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby Sabine » Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:31 pm

In addition to Yintzy's post, here are some links worth reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behaviorism
http://www.emtech.net/learning_theories.htm

And some names worth googling

Edward L. Thorndike
B.F. Skinner
Ivan Pavlov
Nikolaas Tinbergen
Konrad Lorenz
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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby MaisyPancakes » Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:38 pm

Is CM's methods based on *he* pretending to be a DOG? I guess I don't really know how he trains in the end (other than those snippets from the few shows I've seen...).

I was more interested in how he brings to light how humans' preoccupations/temperament/personality/expectations/desires manifests in the dog who is on the receiving end of those emotions. I'm familiar with all the alpha theories and clickers and what have yous, but this very notion, I had not been aware before I saw the show. Grain of salt type thing for me, maybe.

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby Sabine » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:00 pm

He is trying to teach people that they shouldn't be treating dogs as "humans", but as dogs - creatures with a different way of communicating and ineracting socially. This I very much agree with. We need to treat them as what they are, not as what we'd like them to be.
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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby MaisyPancakes » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:06 pm

Yup, I stopped believing that MP was actually good at math.

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby Calypso » Mon Mar 27, 2006 6:33 pm

Is CM's methods based on *he* pretending to be a DOG? I guess I don't really know how he trains in the end (other than those snippets from the few shows I've seen...).

I was more interested in how he brings to light how humans' preoccupations/temperament/personality/expectations/desires manifests in the dog who is on the receiving end of those emotions. I'm familiar with all the alpha theories and clickers and what have yous, but this very notion, I had not been aware before I saw the show. Grain of salt type thing for me, maybe.
You should check out Jean Donaldson's writings, if you haven't already. She is very much into debunking the "Disney myth" and having people focus on what motivates a dog - what's safe and what's not safe, what works and what doesn't work. She is also a huge proponent of backing up training theories with science, so her writings can be a touch dry, but still fascinating.

Gina - I think part of the problem I have with CM, granted it's only based on what I've heard, is that on the show he goes in and "fixes" the dog in one episode, or at least a few short sessions. Your friend had the benefit of multiple meetings and training sessions both for him and the dog. Plus he gets refresher courses. JQP doesn't see that part in the show, or at least it isn't hammered home. So while his training methods may be effective for many dogs, the show isn't a super-accurate depiction of all the work he has to do.

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby MaisyPancakes » Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:51 pm

Calypso, I loooove Jean Donaldson! I really enjoy her books and really respect her.

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby Colleen » Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:52 am

I love Jean Donaldson too

Her training tactics helped me reform my dog aggressive, human aggressive totally out of control rescue Rottweiler. I took in a dog that had too many issues to count, could not get near other dogs, she attacked myself and my Sister and she was "the" biggest challenge we ever took on.

Now, I can walk her with "some" other dogs. She is calm with me because I have always been a calm postive owner. I showed her the behaviors I desired, I never forced any thing out of her. The NIFIL policy was the best training I could have ever used with her...NIFIL policy is all about learning proper behaviors, it really doesn't have much to do with "Alpha" training.

As for Cesar Millan, I've never watched him. I will try to catch him on the tube to see what he's all about.

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby ryngwraythbeagle » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:04 am

Calypso...
yep..that's true. That's how EVERY dog training show/snippet, inbetween filler I've EVER seen, from Barbara Woodhouse to Warren Eckstein...has ever been. People AIN'T gonna watch a 2 hour long show three time a week of one dog getting trained. At least not enough to make it financially feasible.

Cesar isn't responsible for the length or editing of his show...the network is. But apparently he gets to take the heat...lol!

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby Kathleen » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:39 am

I have met CM in person and attended a seminar in person. One of his big supporters runs a rescue near here and has him up quite often. Several people in my area have done privates with him. It is interesting to me that all the ones I have met, the problem wasn't fixed. It was fixed for him, but when he wasn't around the aggression continued. I certainly haven't met everyone he has done privates with, but that is my experience. I get very frustrated because a huge part of what he preaches is exercise, but people choose to pass right over that. I was so disappointed the first time I saw his show because I had been hearing so much about him, but I didn't see anything that they weren't doing twenty years ago when I first started training my dogs.

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby Calypso » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:51 am

Calypso...
yep..that's true. That's how EVERY dog training show/snippet, inbetween filler I've EVER seen, from Barbara Woodhouse to Warren Eckstein...has ever been. People AIN'T gonna watch a 2 hour long show three time a week of one dog getting trained. At least not enough to make it financially feasible.

Cesar isn't responsible for the length or editing of his show...the network is. But apparently he gets to take the heat...lol!
True, people aren't going to watch every training session for weeks, but I really encourage you to watch "Barking Mad". I think they do a great job with the editing of showing the time that passes and the work the humans need to do to get the desired behavior.

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby MaisyPancakes » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:34 am

It is interesting to me that all the ones I have met, the problem wasn't fixed. It was fixed for him, but when he wasn't around the aggression continued.
I was asking Gina about that -- he obviously *has* something (vibe-wise) that most of us don't, and we discussed a bit about how her friend was trained to sort of carry himself and even think/emit vibes differently. I think this is the hardest part for humans, no matter what training method you use, because when you have a *difficult* doggie, it's easy for us humans to get frustrated/scared/distraught that we forget we're totally sending these messages to our dogs. This is the part of CM that I like, that he makes the humans look at themselves to see if their personal issues have been reflected in their dogs.
I get very frustrated because a huge part of what he preaches is exercise, but people choose to pass right over that. I was so disappointed the first time I saw his show because I had been hearing so much about him, but I didn't see anything that they weren't doing twenty years ago when I first started training my dogs.
I totally agree, that it's an "of course a tired dog is a good dog!" kind of thing! I think, in terms of TV, this is another reason why the show is so popular. It seems to provide an easy solution. And, I think in a lot of cases of bored butt-less and energized dogs, simply wearing them out on a long power walk in the morning can do amazing things! The issue many of his clients on the show seem to have, though, is that these people are afraid to walk their dogs because of their behavior, and they end up being confined to a "jail" where they can't expend their energy.

Just realized I'm not adding much here, but I thought I'd chime in...

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby gr8pyrz » Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:20 am

This is a very interesting thread. I can really relate to the mix of opinions on both sides.

Being that my breed has very specific instinctual traits that are favored, I agree 100% with the "know the breed - know the dog" theory. It's imperative to look at the history of the breed, what the dog is bred to do and work with that and not ignore it. I think that too is why so many in the average public get frustrated and fed up with training their dog. They are not able to understand, recognize and work with built in unchangeable traits.

Most of us LGD (Livestock Guardian Dog) folks have very hard times with trainers. Our dogs do not fall into the 'average dog catagory' nor are any of them meant to work with human direction to do their job so they buck pretty much any form of training - depending on the individual dog of course. They have to be the Alpha 80-90% the time in their original role so instinctually they always feel they know best. Without that triat they could not be the protector they are. They are also dog to dog unfriendly by nature which again is a requirement of their job.

I don't know how the Pyr world would sit as a group, but I'd guess they could easily relate to the dominance work.

I do find fault in blaming dominance on everyting though. I don't think that addresses the individual dog enough. My male Pyr is extremely dominant, and although I by far have the Alpha role, he still has his challenging behaviors. Just simply re-inforcing my role with him will not help to undestand why the behaviors are happing. So for that, I cannot relate to CM.

I also hate how in every program I watched "how to walk the dog" became the main point of the show. I think there are so many subtle things we do in the home to establish ourselves to the dog, the dog's behavior, etc. I would have preferred to see a more varied content.

I Tivo'd his show for a few months and watched all the episodes until they started re-running and then I never bothered to watch again. I took away a couple of things and others I completely disagreed with. I never hurts to check it out !

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby eradano » Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:59 pm

as a first time dog owner, i found the "how to walk the dog" portions very helpful. in fact, every time i watched the show, i made sure that i watched those parts just to reinforce the method in me. and i know it's probably sad to say, but i also try the dominance thing as well, (by projecting that i'm the boss), and it works with our little guy. the difference between how he behaves and acts with me vs my girlfriend, is night and day in obedience training as well as on walks.

someone in here once mentioned something that stuck in my head, that they heard in passing: that talking about dog food to dog owners is like talking to others about politics or religion. i think the same thing goes for training as well. i'm so glad that i found you guys because i got a lot of help here in researching a proper diet for rocks. and now that we're starting to train the little guy, we're looking at books that were mentioned here, by our new vet, and we've even tried to catch a couple of Ceaser's show.

the one thing i've taken away from the show is the fact that the amount of effort that i put into training and making sure that he gets enough exercise, comes back tenfold in having a happy, well-adjusted puppy.

as for the "know the breed-know the dog" theory that gr8pyrz mentioned, it sounds really interesting, and it's definately something that i'm going to look into, (it's funny how once you hear these things - they just make sense and you're left asking yourself why you didn't realize it earlier... except for that canned pumpkin thing... still can't get over the wonders of canned pumpkin!). i just need to figure out what in the world a pom was bred for !

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan? UPDATE!!

Postby Brenda » Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:47 pm

Just received word from Paul Owens that Cesar is appearing on Martha Stewart tomorrow, April 5th, Wednesday.

FYI

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby Colleen » Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:47 pm


gr8pyrz
I should post a picture of the Pyr we used to have. Very sweet dog, I also have 8 Pyr's that come in for boarding. I look after Pyr's from Kenneview Reg'd kennel, and she is also the breeder we got Heidi from.

Here's a link showing one of her dogs.
Her site
Pyr here

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby Ash » Fri Apr 07, 2006 8:25 am

I for one LOVE Cesar Millan. I make sure I watch the dog whisperer every Friday. He doesn't say he really train's dogs just rehabilitates them. I think he's some success at it! I agree a lot with his exercise and postive energy focuses!
Im not saying his methods would be for me but I think they work out really nicely for him.

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby tessa_s212 » Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:40 pm

I've only ever watched one episode of his... and it screamed "dog abuse". I was NOT pleased, and far from impressed. His "training" of fear-aggressive dogs angers me so much. His "flooding" is mentally abusive to dogs. Sadly, this man is on TV and influencing so many people in the wrong way.

I hope it is not rude of me to post this, but I felt there were some extremely educational posts in this thread on another forum about the same topic:
http://www.chazhound.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23517

Some wonderful and educational posts! Keep them coming! I've enjoyed them!

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby Bari » Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:28 pm

I tried doggie boot camp and didn't think it helped my puppy at all. He stayed for 3 weeks and I went once a week to learn what he was learning then worked with him. The problem was he was kenneled the whole time and it changed his personality. He is a little fearful of people and dogs now so I have to start all over. He has to get socialized all over again.

I have watched Cesar's show and went to a seminar here in Los Angeles. I also met him and his wife and I enjoyed my visit with him. He had a couple of the Katrina dogs with him as well as "Daddy" whom I absolutely love. I found some of his points useful (and some not) but that's what I think I need for my little guy - many resources, (like a tool box) then I weed out what works and what doesn't. It takes a village to train a dog. There isn't just one source to go for training because each dog is unique unto itself, as are we.

PS: Keep in mind, Cesar was a well kept secret until 2002 when the LA times ran a story on him - this man who runs with a pack of dogs in the mountains - off leash. It was an amazing story. Also, I am reading his book because I find some of his thoughts on psychology (dog psychology) to be very interesting. As I said, he isn't the end all but he is another source to use in training.
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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby Bari » Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:39 pm

Calley,

Try reading his book. It is really interesting. Also, when I am watching the DW, my dogs come running into the room at the sound of his voice - they love to watch him and bark back at the dogs. Pretty funny.
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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby Colleen » Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:33 pm

That's too cute Bari. I will pick up one of his books, I can add it to my collection. I currently have mainly all Jean Donaldson & Dr Ian Dunbar (I got his tapes on dog aggression).

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby jones » Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:28 pm

Did anyone else see Cesar's appearance on Martha Stewart earlier this month (the show Brenda mentioned)? I saw it and for the life of me I can't remember the breed of the dog he "fixed" for one woman nor what the specific problem was.... At any rate, his solution for this problem dog - I think it was a working breed? - was to wear a backpack around. He put the backpack on the dog and she looked totally cowed by it, not in a good way - but Cesar & Martha burbled, "Look, she loves it!" Cesar paid his usual lip service to exercise, but then when the woman said she only gave the dog a couple of 15 minute walks a day (for a high-energy breed) he nodded, "Okay. Well just have her wear that backpack so she'll have a job to do." My jaw about hit the floor. The dog was severely underexercised, and wearing a doggie backpack was supposed to fix that? I don't buy it.

Needless to say I'm not a fan.

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby sammy » Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:27 pm

Nope, I'm not a fan either. People talk like he's soo wonderful and talented or new and different but he's just an old school, correction based, train-by-force and intimidation trainer. He he has decent enough training chops that I'm sure he is good at suppressing behavior and with good editing I'm sure his show is making his methods look amazing.
The sad thing is now so many people attribute all their dog's behavior problems to dominance and think all they need to do is show 'em whose boss etc and it's causing lots of people and dogs tons of problems. Trainers I have talked to are seeing all kinds of dogs with major issues and the first thing out of the owner's mouths is "well I've been watching 'the dog whisperer and... "
But what can you do? Soooo many people get off on dominating something and this gives them pretty much the only socially acceptable way to do it.
What people (including me not too long ago ) don't realise is that reinforcement based training / positive training is NOT permissive training-- that's a Susan Garret quote btw- not my words

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Re: What do you guys think of Cesar Millan?

Postby Bari » Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:32 pm

I have since gotten over the Cesar Millan fever. He does have some valuable information to impart but like I said earlier, it takes a village to train a dog. It takes a lot of different resources to successfully train a dog and since each dog is different and unique, you have to see what works and what doesn't. A lot of what is aired is for shock/viewers enjoyment only-that's why I hate reality shows.

Personally, he seems like a very nice man. I met him and his wife, Illusion, at a seminar here in Los Angeles in February.

The slogan "Don't Try This At Home" is so true in this instance.

Be safe!
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