Since I started training Rosie, I’ve become more aware of the doggie-related programmes on television. Lately, I’ve been following Cesar Millan’s The Dog Whisperer series on the National Geographic channel.
I am amazed at how over and over again, Cesar Millan is able to calm down and “reprogram” a dog that has long-standing behavioural issues (although he claims it’s really the owners who have the issues and who need re-training!). All this happens within a couple of sessions with the dog and its owners. Sue* (Click here to read more about her), a fellow dog owner whom I meet up with most mornings, thinks Cesar Millan is wonderful. Sue has trained a number of very large dogs successfully, so she knows a thing or two about dog training. Unlike me. Anyway, when we meet up Sue and I often stop to chat for a bit, and lately it’s mostly been about The Dog Whisperer, and what happened in the latest episode. You can tell we both spend way too much time with our dogs!
The most important thing that we have to provide every day is that we are the pack leader, that we set the rules, the boundaries and the limitations, and then we love. Most of the people, they go to get a dog because they need somebody to love. So they are going after what they need, not what the dog needs. And that, to me, creates instability immediately, and the dog sees the human as a soft energy. So they don’t follow the lovable leader or a spiritual leader; they follow a dominant one. ~ Cesar Millan
I think the programme is very entertaining. As much to watch the frazzled dog owners, as their problem dogs. And I find Cesar Millan quite charming. But I sometimes wonder if there’s more going on than just Cesar Millan’s “leader of the pack” attitude. Do they edit out all the hours when the dogs are not doing what Cesar wants? Are the dogs in the show drugged or hypnotised? Has he started a little doggie cult?! It really does seem like he casts a spell on them. Obviously what ever it is I don’t have it or do it, because following his instructions with Rosie, I just don’t get the same results . . .
“We are the only species that follows unstable pack leaders.” ~ Cesar Millan
[*Name has been changed]