I loathe and despise Cesar Milan, the supposed “dog whisperer”. This man is not good at all for dogs. In fact, his asinine behaviours have likely resulted in more than a few undeserving dogs being labelled as “dangerous” and being put to sleep.
He’s all about the spectacle and not at all about the actual “training”. For example, in one “episode”, a young St. Bernard dog was showing reluctance/fear when asked to go upstairs. The first thing that comes to my mind is does the dog have an injury/feel pain of any kind? My first course of action would have been a veterinary assessment, as it is not at all uncommon for large breed dogs to have one of any number of joint or hip or back problems associated with their size and growth.
Once I ruled out any physical impediment, I would have used treats to lure the pup. If he was truly terrified, I would have started by simply getting him to put a paw on the first stair—not taking an actual step, just putting his paw on the stair. I would have rewarded that profusely and had him repeat several times, then built up to his putting his other paw on the stair, and eventually getting him to take some steps up the stairs and overcome his trepidation.
I was stunned by what Cesar Milan did. He put a short leash on the pup and dragged him up the stairs by his neck. The pup was writhing in fear, terrified not only of the stairs but also of the demon yanking on him, and he fought hard against being pulled. Cesar offered no words of encouragement, no kindness and no thoughtfulness at all toward this dog’s very real fear of stairs. He just hauled and yanked and pulled on the dog’s neck until he had got him to climb all the way to the top. Then he gave him a brief pat in reward. The dog was exhausted and terrified from the ordeal. If you want to see the episode, it’s here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHvPhFelym4 .
This “method” is akin to pushing a child who is terrified of water and cannot swim into a lake.
W. T. F?
I’ve also seen Cesar Milan push dogs well beyond a reasonable limit and get bitten in the process. Then the dog is labelled “dangerous”. For example, one family had a Labrador Retriever who demonstrated some food guarding behaviours and the couple were worried because they had a baby and were concerned the dog was “dangerous” (“Showdown with Holly”—even the episode name is melodramatic). Here’s the link to the “episode”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ihXq_WwiWM.
Now, I’m by no means an expert, but I’m pretty sure there are ways to train a dog out of “guarding” the food dish that involve positive rewards rather than physical intimidation and creating fear and anxiety in the dog.
But instead of employing those kinder, more reasonable and certainly more effective methods, Cesar Milan pushed the dog past her breaking point by intimidating her and causing anxiety and fear in her (his ridiculous warrior stance is at once comical and tragic). She gives numerous indications of anxiety, fear and appeasement, which he ignores.
He proceeds to HIT her, and when she shows her severe dislike of the asshole by latching onto his hand (I would have done the same in her situation), he KICKS her. This man enjoys being violent to dogs. He’s sadistic.
I am also quite troubled by the menacing look on Holly’s “owner’s” face. He looks like he might also enjoy knocking poor Holly around a bit to get her to “submit”.
And then it is so very dramatic when he stands there, glaring at the dog with blood running freely down his hand, backing her into a corner and escalating her fear and dislike of him. What a brave, strong man, willing to go head-to-head with a “dangerous” dog.
I am tired of Cesar Milan. I am tired of his antics and melodrama, and I am tired of how he demeans and mistreats dogs. I am tired of other people who think he’s a genius and are stupid/cruel enough to try employing his “methods” themselves.
Basically, he gives people social acceptance of the use of violence in our interactions with dogs. Many people, especially MEN, like to think that it’s best if your dog (or wife and kids) fear you, and you rule over them with threats and physical intimidation. Because you are bigger and stronger and that makes you KING, dammit. Goddam bullies.
You don’t have to be a vegan or animal rights activist to know that what this guy does to dogs is just PLAIN WRONG, not to mention dangerous, both to humans and to dogs. Cesar Milan is a disgrace to the bond that dogs have forged with humans—that bond is predicated on trust, and Cesar Milan violates that bond in truly horrifying ways.
He needs to GO AWAY.