Drugged or hypnotised?

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.

Cesar Millan - Leader of the Pack

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]


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I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)


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11 Comments on “Drugged or hypnotised?”

  1. November 30, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    Hmmm. It seems like Cesar’s advice is practical for human relationships as well.

    I can’t imagine that ALL dogs behave for him. Some friends of mine have this Jack Russell Terrier that humps everything that walks through the door, despite being neutered. He also has a bad habit of running away and into other people’s houses. Following all of Cesar’s good advice, I’ve seen little change in the poor fellow. Now he’s developed a love for Snickers Candy Bars even though they make him sick. I think some dogs, like humans, are just gluttons for punishment.

    • November 30, 2010 at 9:09 am #

      I agree with the boundaries and limitations thing, just not sure I’d want to follow a “pack leader” all the time.

      Am glad to hear that Rosie isn’t the only bad student of the Cesar Millan method! Staffies (which are also terriers) are notoriously difficult to train. They know exactly what you want them to do, they just don’t always want to do it.

  2. November 30, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    This is so weird. I just heard an interview with him on NPR very recently!

    • November 30, 2010 at 9:42 am #

      I find it quite hypnotic just watching him on television. I don’t know whether it’s his voice or his “visual energy”.

  3. November 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    I’ve only ever watched his programme once or twice before, and absolutely loved it! I think he really has a gift, and I have no doubt there are plenty of times when things don’t go according to plan, and end up being edited out!
    We’ve often thought our elder son has a bit of dog whisperer in him, as dogs are amazing around him!

    • November 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

      It is amazing how some people are able to communicate with animals. We have a friend who was a dog-handler in the army. It’s not just the dogs that are totally mesmerized by him. Our very anti-social cat, who is scared of strange humans, made a beeline for him and jumped on his lap when he came to visit. He didn’t seem to think it odd – probably happens all the time!

      Does your son have any pets?

      • November 30, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

        No, he doesn’t at the moment. But I think as soon as he can, he’ll have a whole bunch of dogs!

  4. November 30, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    I’m afraid I’m one of those dog-owners with issues–yikes! I wish I had access to televison here, so I could watch a few episodes and train myself to train my dogs more effectively. Great post, Lisa!

    • November 30, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

      You’re not the only dog owner with issues! I’m big on the loving, not so good on the disciplining.

  5. Melissa
    June 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    I’ve noticed that after Cesar begins to work with the dogs (never before), they start yawning a lot. This makes me wonder if they are drugged. I’ve also noticed Cesar’s own dog, Junior, yawns a lot. I would hate to think we are being duped, but in our current world as it is, it wouldn’t surprise me.

    • June 23, 2014 at 7:43 am #

      Hi Melissa! An interesting observation – maybe you’re right. Or the dogs have been trained for hours before the filming starts? I’d still like to believe that Cesar Milan is a true dog whisperer . . .

      Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment! 🙂

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