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  • FIRST POST
    • lynn44
    • By lynn44 18th Feb 08, 11:23 AM
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    lynn44
    Cesar Millan Dog Whisperer
    • #1
    • 18th Feb 08, 11:23 AM
    Cesar Millan Dog Whisperer 18th Feb 08 at 11:23 AM
    Can I have some views please on Cesar why do pepole think he's cruel ?
    I have watched and cant see what he is doing wrong ?
    I enjoy the program and also watch Dog Borstal which have different training methods ?

    Thank You
    I would love to be a Travel Agent
Page 4
    • foreign correspondent
    • By foreign correspondent 22nd Jan 09, 12:10 AM
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    foreign correspondent
    too true!
  • Topdogfran
    If any training programme has to warn against using the methods without consulting a professional - what is so harmful about their techniques. I worked with Gwen Bailey (author of Perfect Puppy etc.) whose motto is 'first do no harm'.
  • CFC
    If any training programme has to warn against using the methods without consulting a professional - what is so harmful about their techniques. I worked with Gwen Bailey (author of Perfect Puppy etc.) whose motto is 'first do no harm'.
    Originally posted by Topdogfran
    Partly because the dogs on these programs are nutters, and partly because the owners on the programs are nutters....
    • orlao
    • By orlao 23rd Jan 09, 5:53 PM
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    orlao
    I honestly think that the programs are so popular because so many people have pets, dogs in this case who they somehow expect to be fully trained on arrival at 8 weeks.These are the people who will fall for what they see as a quick fix and who are least likely to take note of the advice to consult a professional trainer as until now they haven't seen any need for training at all.

    There are so few people now who have basic animal savvy IYSWIM.....how many times have you heard a dog owner say that "they did that to upset me" " they never listen to me" " the dog doesn't like me" ? Note the repeated use of the word me! Quite often they haven't put any work or effort into teaching the dog, let alone any consistancy and they blame the dog when it does something wrong:confused: IMHO they are the people who end up on this type of show.....not the dogs fault it's an untrained hooligan but these are the people that watch a TV series or read an article and decide that are now experts in these techniques but they've already proved that they can't train a dog in the basic manners/skills so when they then attempt CMs methods it all goes terribly wrong and in many cases it's the dog who suffers because it's now branded as dangerous.The difference between CM and the other usually British TV programmes I've seen is that on DB and It's me or the dog , the emphasis is usually on training the owner.....and a lot less physical force is applied. On both those programmes there have been dogs PTS as the trainers have said they are too dangerous to keep, there doesn't seem to be the same "macho, miracle worker" attitude that I have noticed on my admittedly limited watching of the Dog Whisperer
  • frankie55
    I've been watching a lot of the Cesar Millan programmes recently and have noted some of the op's concerns about his methods. The main thing is that most of the dogs on the shows are extreme cases who have had their problems for several years. They seem to be mostly large stubborn strong dogs, or tiny neurotic dogs......and their owners are amazingly ignorant in that they don't think they need to exercise their dogs daily, they seem to think that leaving a dog in the garden all day is enough!! Frankly I'm staggered by many of the owners attitudes to their dogs, they treat them as posessions and not as companion animals. They was a young man on yesterday whose main concern was putting pink booties on his chihouahua with a matching dress!!
    Anyway, some of Cesar's methods do seem extreme at tmes, but we also have to remember that it is an American TV programme, some of which can have dodgy production values, and these dogs are seriously damaged, it would be boring to see him correct my mini schnauzer's habit of barking when someone knocks at the door, she runs back and forth telling me someone is there as I don't move too fast, being disabled, but shuts up when I open the door.
    I take the tips I need from these shows and make sure my dogs don't get into bad habits and exercise them properley, I also have dogs which are suitable for my situation, though I adore large shaggy water loving dogs I can't cope with them within my lifestyle, the dog owners on the show seem to think that an English Mastiff or Rotweiler is suitable for a smallish apartment, and as for the Pitbulls on the show I wonder at their sanity in expecting a child to be able to exercise a dog weighing150lbs. By the way nothing against any of the breeds I've mentiond when they are with caring experienced owners who know the breed inside out.
    I've had dogs which have been hard work, and a totally neurotic Border Collie which I'd taken in after my parents had spoilled him rotten, and had good results. but the Collie had to be pts after a couple of years as he took to hiding in the garden hedge and jumping out at people who passed in the street, and came too close to biting a young girl, it was totally my fault as a Border Collie, though traditional in my family, wasn't suited to living in a town and by then wasn't suitable to be trained to live on a farm, he was bought for his colour and show potenial with little thought of his doggy needs. It was a harsh lesson 20 yrs ago. Cesar at least seems to care about the dogs first.
    • Raksha
    • By Raksha 24th Jan 09, 9:18 AM
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    Raksha
    The problem is owners see these techniques appear to work, don't take into account the fact that the reason the problem arose in the first place is down to bad pet ownership, and think that these techniques are suitable to use in lower level examples of the same sorts of behaviour, or even as preventative measures.
  • cally
    I too take the tips I need from the shows. His method of dealing with a rescue dog scared of humans has worked brilliantly for us. Not giving eye contact or speaking directly to our rescue GSD quickly resulted in her starting to come to us. After several months and a little more patience she now asks for her tummy to be rubbed while lying totally upside down with paws in the air!

    If I feel anything I'm seeing from any trainer doesn't sit well with my own instinct then I don't use it.
    • Di
    • By Di 24th Jan 09, 8:34 PM
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    Di
    this is not his method but i'm glad you took that from the show, its sad that dogs have been put in the position to afraid of us. allow them to come to you and dont force the issue.

    i remember years ago getting a kitten that was terrified and my mum said to put it on my lap and 'make it get used to you touching it'. i did as i was told for about half an hour and couldnt bear it so stopped and ignored her. she remained timid for the rest of her life but would sit next to me on the sofa having a belly rub purring away. if i had not allowed her to come to me when she felt she wanted to and had forced her to confront her fears, i would have had a hissing scratching nervous wreck.
  • Spentit
    Presumably the American Humane Association are just jealous as well.
    http://www.americanhumane.org/site/PageServer?pagename=nr_news_releases_dog_whisperer

    I'd like to say I am surprised or disappointed with how much support he has, but I can't honestly say that. There are too many people who believe everything they see on television. Still, it only needs a few more deaths and serious injuries at the 'Dog Psychology Center' or at the hands of his assistants. Dead dogs don't make for good ratings.

    In the meantime dogs will continue to get kicked, throttled and shocked by the people who are supposed to be caring for them, and that's the bit that really does depress me.
    Originally posted by pboae

    Pboae,

    I have no way of knowing if what you say is true, but I do know for a fact that Cesars methods work. You have to lead your dog if you don't want your dog to lead you and he teaches us to do that in a calm assertive manner. He does not advocate violence or aggression in any way. Have you read his book? Whatever you've been told goes on at the dog centre, he does not talk about those sort of methods in his books or on tv.
    I know many other dog walkers that use his methods and swear by them. These are people with happy contented dogs who can run freely every day amongst other dogs and people. I know that is the truth.

  • Spentit
    Just wanted to add that pinning a dog down by a collar is a practice that is commonly used in the Kennel club good citizenship training scheme. In fact it's something that I was advised to do very early on to get my dog used to 'settling down' on command. I have also seen it used very effectively to calm down an aggressive dog or a dominant dog ( ie peeing up someones leg lol)

    • pboae
    • By pboae 25th Jan 09, 8:53 PM
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    pboae
    Just wanted to add that pinning a dog down by a collar is a practice that is commonly used in the Kennel club good citizenship training scheme. In fact it's something that I was advised to do very early on to get my dog used to 'settling down' on command. I have also seen it used very effectively to calm down an aggressive dog or a dominant dog ( ie peeing up someones leg lol)
    Originally posted by Spentit
    Oh great, this thread has been dragged up yet again. :rolleyes:

    The KC scheme is just a syllabus, how it is taught is entirely down to the trainers at the club, it's not monitored by the KC in anyway. Pinning was never used at any club I have been to, including in the KC classes attended. But then, I wouldn't go to a club that treated dogs that way.

    There is a recent news report from USA here
    http://www.komonews.com/home/video/37440019.html?video=pop&t=a

    I don't see a great deal of calm assertiveness going on in those clips, just his usual tricks of shock collars, choking and pinning.
    When I had my loft converted back into a loft, the neighbours came around and scoffed, and called me retro.
  • callywally
    It is only a matter of time til someone trying to use these methods will get badly bitten. What happens to the dog then?
    Try positive reward based methods not the quick fix that the cm offers.
    Go to a good training class that uses reward based methods.
    As it says on the programe dont try cm methods at home!
  • Spentit
    It is only a matter of time til someone trying to use these methods will get badly bitten. What happens to the dog then?
    Try positive reward based methods not the quick fix that the cm offers.
    Go to a good training class that uses reward based methods.
    As it says on the programe dont try cm methods at home!
    Originally posted by callywally

    There is a lot to be said for positive reward based training methods but what about pack leadership? I would feel very sorry for the owner of a dominant powerful dog who was only advised on teaching sit, stay and heel. There is so much more to dog handling than teaching basic commands. People like Gwen Taylor talk about pack leadership and discipline too but perhaps the drama and 'Americanness' of Cesars show put some people off?

    With regards to the KC Good Citizenship classes, I have never seen a dog distressed or hurt by being put in a long down. What other emergency measure could owners take that would not harm their dog?

  • callywally
    Of course dogs need more than basic obedience training. my dogs are large guarding breeds and have done all kc good citizen awards bronze, silver and gold. As well as agility etc. I would not go to classes that recommend pinning a dog to the ground and have never been advised to do this to calm a dog down.
    Ive owned dogs for over twenty years including rescues and large guarding breeds and have worked with dogs too, as well as other animals and I would never use some of the methods cm uses. I have seen him hold a dog down while holding another small dog that had been attacked by the first dog over the first dog to get the first dog to submit to the dog it had attacked. The look of terror on the small dog was very obvious. It was avoiding eye contact, turning its head away, lip smacking and shaking and yet cm says that by holding it above the first dog it was showing its 'dominance' over the first dog. dogs use body language far more than we realise and the first dog would have been well aware that the small dog was terrified. Nothing would have been gained by this and most likely the dog would have attacked the small dog again although of course this would not have been shown on tv.
    Dominance is a word that is very ill used in the dog training world.
    most problems are caused by the wrong people getting the wrong dogs and not putting in the time and effort needed to have a well balanced dog.
    Of course some dogs have problems mainly caused by a poor upbringing.
    Positive reward based methods are still the best way to go. If you have a problem dog go to a good trainer or behaviouist and if the problem is aggression use a basket type muzzle until the problem is sorted. in my opinion cm methods are cruel and unneccesary and give the impression that force and electric collars etc are a quick fix.
    • orlao
    • By orlao 26th Jan 09, 7:10 PM
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    orlao
    There is a lot to be said for positive reward based training methods but what about pack leadership? I would feel very sorry for the owner of a dominant powerful dog who was only advised on teaching sit, stay and heel. There is so much more to dog handling than teaching basic commands. People like Gwen Taylor talk about pack leadership and discipline too but perhaps the drama and 'Americanness' of Cesars show put some people off?

    With regards to the KC Good Citizenship classes, I have never seen a dog distressed or hurt by being put in a long down. What other emergency measure could owners take that would not harm their dog?
    Originally posted by Spentit

    I have a large dominant dog (Rott) and his basic puppy training was sit, stay, and most importantly recall..... with those basic tools you have control of your dog both at home and in public and any further training is just building on those basic skills but IMHO where a lot of people go wrong is that they don't put in the work and time required to train the very basic skills that allow you to go on and refine your training.

    For instance once a dog knows sit and stay, it is very easy to teach a "bed" command so that visitors can come in the house without wearing the dog A good heel command means you don't go down the road at 90 miles an hour if the dog sees something while out (very MSE as it also saves a fortune on oesteopath bills when it's a large dog towing you)......a reliable recall means that you can walk your dog anywhere without worrying about losing it or getting abuse from other people. Any extra training above that level is a bonus but even at that basic level you have a dog that is a pleasure to have around and it can all be done without silly tricks or abuse:confused: just time and commitment.

    Obviously, there are dogs with "issues" who need a lot more work to overcome their problems but in a lot of cases those problems were caused by people in the first place
    • pboae
    • By pboae 26th Jan 09, 8:49 PM
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    • 3,407 Thanks
    pboae
    There is a lot to be said for positive reward based training methods but what about pack leadership? I would feel very sorry for the owner of a dominant powerful dog who was only advised on teaching sit, stay and heel. There is so much more to dog handling than teaching basic commands. People like Gwen Taylor talk about pack leadership and discipline too but perhaps the drama and 'Americanness' of Cesars show put some people off?
    Originally posted by Spentit
    As a scientific theory pack leadership was based on misinterpretation of poor data. It still works as a training tool because if is followed carefully it forces the owner to be consistent and that is the single most important factor in dog training. Dogs know that humans are not dogs, they do not communicate with us in the same way as they do with other dogs, they do not expect us to communicate or behave like another dog. So the concept of a human behaving like a dog in order to assert pack leadership, makes no sense.

    I am the owner of a very large, very dominant, and originally very challenging dog (thanks to his previous owners). I can assure that attempting to train a dog like mine by dominating or challenging it, is a recipe for disaster. All it takes it for the dog to call your bluff once. Bottom line is that if a human picks a fight with a dog like that, they will lose. I was actually told by one trainer to alpha roll my dog, (admittedly he was still pretty skinny then, but he still weighed a good 13 stone). Can you imagine how that would have turned out?

    Positive training can be used to train anything that punishment based training can. But there are many things that can be trained with positive training that cannot be trained by punishment (such as many of the behaviours required by service animals).

    I only use positive training, and have never punished or dominated my dog in training. I still expect good manners, like waiting to be invited on to furniture, not barging through doors, etc, but it's nothing to do with pack leadership. Instead I actively avoid any form of challenge, so that I get my own way without any risk of confrontation.

    I have used positive training to tackle dog aggression, resource guarding, collar and handshyness, grooming issues, I can't even remember half of it anymore TBH. As well as regular obedience sit/stay/down. It's as flexible a method as I could ask for.

    The most useful command I have taught him is 'look at me' which I use for everything from controlling situation to self control exercises.

    With regards to the KC Good Citizenship classes, I have never seen a dog distressed or hurt by being put in a long down. What other emergency measure could owners take that would not harm their dog?
    Originally posted by Spentit
    I'm not sure what you mean by this, asking a dog to down is not the same as pinning it. It should never be necessary to physically force a dog into a down. If it's been trained properly it will down on command, and if it hasn't been fully trained yet, you shouldn't be using the command, as it's setting the dog up to fail.
    When I had my loft converted back into a loft, the neighbours came around and scoffed, and called me retro.
  • Spentit
    Thank you for your replies to my comments. I think you are all talking about dog training, probably my fault for bringing Gwen Taylor and KCGC into the discussion. I have also trained my dogs as I said before (KCGC) but dog training is a separate issue and not what CM is about.

    To go back to the OPs question about Cesar Milan - on the show we see Cesar carrying out certain techniques on problem dogs and we are warned not to try these techniques at home. What we can take away from the show or his books is his philosophy of treating dogs as animals, not humans, giving them plenty of exercise and giving them discipline in a calm assertive manner. I can't see any problem with that at all. I have never seen him recommend that someone tries to pin down a 15 stone rotweiller, don't you think that would be silly?

  • Spentit
    I'm not sure what you mean by this, asking a dog to down is not the same as pinning it. It should never be necessary to physically force a dog into a down. If it's been trained properly it will down on command, and if it hasn't been fully trained yet, you shouldn't be using the command, as it's setting the dog up to fail.[/quote]

    You may be right but that's the way I was taught and it's a very effective method for getting a dog under control without causing it physical harm. Basically you put it in a down and stand on the lead so it's not getting up again. I'm quite happy to put my dog in this position to settle it down because it works, I don't think I would try it on your dog though.

    • orlao
    • By orlao 27th Jan 09, 6:58 PM
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    orlao
    Thank you for your replies to my comments. I think you are all talking about dog training, probably my fault for bringing Gwen Taylor and KCGC into the discussion. I have also trained my dogs as I said before (KCGC) but dog training is a separate issue and not what CM is about.

    To go back to the OPs question about Cesar Milan - on the show we see Cesar carrying out certain techniques on problem dogs and we are warned not to try these techniques at home. What we can take away from the show or his books is his philosophy of treating dogs as animals, not humans, giving them plenty of exercise and giving them discipline in a calm assertive manner. I can't see any problem with that at all. I have never seen him recommend that someone tries to pin down a 15 stone rotweiller, don't you think that would be silly?
    Originally posted by Spentit
    The point I was trying to make was that if the basic training is done properly that you should never need to use CMs methods......and if you can't train a dog to do those basic things you are really pushing your luck in trying a programme that requires both skill and timing....

    Speaking for myself, my dogs are not human but they are my beloved pets albeit with very clear boundaries...I need to be able to take them anywhere including a city office,a working farm and busy horse shows to name just a few so their manners have to be good...and while my dogs are far from perfect (one JRT is an inveterate food thief, the rott thinks he is a little dog and regularly gets stuck in stupid places, he also has thug tendancies that include humping other dogs if he gets a chance and the other JRT is a wimp of the highest order and demands rescuing from the silliest of things ) they all were trained with postive reinforcement which is effective IME.

    IMHO if you were to try dominance type methods with many willful, spoilt dogs they would fight back one way or another, then you are in an escalating situation where it's either you or the dog win...what happens if the person loses?
  • Spentit
    The point I was trying to make was that if the basic training is done properly that you should never need to use CMs methods......and if you can't train a dog to do those basic things you are really pushing your luck in trying a programme that requires both skill and timing....

    Speaking for myself, my dogs are not human but they are my beloved pets albeit with very clear boundaries...I need to be able to take them anywhere including a city office,a working farm and busy horse shows to name just a few so their manners have to be good...and while my dogs are far from perfect (one JRT is an inveterate food thief, the rott thinks he is a little dog and regularly gets stuck in stupid places, he also has thug tendancies that include humping other dogs if he gets a chance and the other JRT is a wimp of the highest order and demands rescuing from the silliest of things ) they all were trained with postive reinforcement which is effective IME.

    IMHO if you were to try dominance type methods with many willful, spoilt dogs they would fight back one way or another, then you are in an escalating situation where it's either you or the dog win...what happens if the person loses?
    Originally posted by orlao
    Yes I agree that if you make sure that basic training is done properly you shouldn't end up with a dog with problems, but even with basic training there may still be problems with the owner, nervousness about their dog being hurt being a common one where owners stand rigid with all their tension on the lead as another dog approaches. Of course the poor dog thinks it needs to be afraid and this sort of behaviour leads to all sorts of problems. Having a greater understanding of dog psychology can avoid this sort of thing. Walking out of the door first, eating first, keeping the toys etc, all of this would be viewed by the dog as acts of dominance. Whether you think of it as dominating your dog or just expecting good manners it doesn't matter because the result is the same; the dog understands who's in charge.

    I'm not going to go on about this any more because I understand your point of view but I do think a disctiction needs to be made between the work CM does as a professional dog handler and the ideas he passes on to the public to try with their own pets. Exercise, discipline and affection in that order is what makes my dogs a joy to be with. ( although I can sympathise with you on the food theft thing, I think I may have found a solution with one of my dogs, I have a purple fruit shoot bottle that I've squirted him with a couple of times. It really puts him off but as soon as I leave the kitchen, he's up at the worktop mooching. I've started just leaving the bottle on the side pointing at him when I leave the room and I think it's doing the trick!) Sorry to go off topic - again.

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