Dog Whisperer
Dog Psychology?
The Controversy Continues…

cesars-way-no“THE DOG WHISPERER SHOULD JUST SHUT UP – Misguided expert of the year” By Curtis Pesman for Esquire magazine.  “On Millan’s Dog Whisperer, he goes house to bad-dog house, jerking leashes, shaking scruffs of necks, and throwing the occasional kick — in a wolfman-to-wolfpack fashion, except that the dogs aren’t truly fooled.  They don’t believe he’s a dog.  What’s worse, says Janis Bradley, a San Francisco trainer and author of the helpfully titled Dogs Bite, the dogs often fall into a helpless state Millan calls “calm submission,” but what trainer behaviorists see as possible chronic stress or “shutdown,” which can lead a dog to eventually fighting back.”

“THE ANTI-CESAR MILLAN” By Louise Rifkin for the San Francisco Chronicle.  “…Claudia Kawczynska, editor of Bark magazine, ‘…likens the Millan cult of personality and popularity to the anti-science, anti-academic sentiment she sees prevalent in American culture and politics.’  “…Jean Donaldson, director of dog training at the SFSPCA ‘…thinks Millan is tapping into something deeper in the current culture — and his machismo is only part of it…It’s a backlash against political correctness…People are angry and life is frustrating and [when] someone tells them it’s all about dominating something smaller and weaker?  They’ll go for that.’ ”

cesar-bark-mag“CESAR’S WAY” A Book Review by Pat Miller for The Bark Magazine.  “Many in the behavioral science community view the tenets – and consequences – of Cesar’s “way” with trepidation.  In an interview published in the New York Times in February of this year, Dr. Nicolas Dodman, director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, observed, “My college thinks it is a travesty.  We’ve written to National Geographic Channel and told them they have put dog training back 20 years.”

“HE OUGHT TO CALL HIMSELF THE DOG SCREAMER” By Steve Dale, IAABC Certified Behavior Consultant.  “The Cesar Way rarely includes fun, or accepting the dog as a partner, let alone a friend.  And the dogs have few choices; it’s Cesar’s way or the highway.  Despite the clever marketing, the truth is that Cesar’s Way is nothing new.  In fact, his way was really the way of dog training several decades ago.”

“TALK SOFTLY AND CARRY A CARROT OR A BIG STICK?” By Jean Donaldson, Director of the SFSPCA Academy for Dog Trainers.  “The big watershed in dog training is whether or not to include pain and fear as means of motivation.  In the last twenty years the pendulum swing has been toward methods that use minimal pain, fear or intimidation – or none at all.”

“PROS AND CONS OF THE CESAR PHENOMENON” By Trish King, Director of Behavior and Training at the Marin Humane Society.  “Dominance and leadership are different concepts.  A dominant dog can have or take anything he wants from anyone else.  He is essentially a bully.  A leader provides all the resources necessary to live.  Some leaders are physically dominant, others are benign.  There are leaders who are chosen by the followers, and those who appoint themselves.”

jeffrey-decoster“PACK OF LIES” By Mark Derr for the New York Times.  “He’s a charming, one-man wrecking ball directed at 40 years of progress in understanding and shaping dog behavior and in developing nonpunitive, reward-based training programs, which have led to seeing each dog as an individual, to understand what motivates it, what frightens it and what its talents and limitiations are.  Building on strengths and working around and through weaknesses, these trainers and specialists in animal behavior often work wonders with their dogs, but it takes time.”

“DO YOUR HOMEWORK ON GENTLE METHODS TRAINERS” A review submitted to National Geographic by Andrew Luescher, DVM, Ph.D, DACVB.  “I therefore know very well where dog training stands today, and I must tell you that Millan’s techniques are outdated and unacceptable not only to the veterinary community, but also to dog trainers…The show repeatedly cautions the viewers not to attempt these techniques at home.  What then is the purpose of this show?  I think we have to be realistic: people will try these techniques at home, much to the detriment of the pets.”

“DOG WHISPERER TRAINING APPROACH MORE HARMFULL THAN HELPFUL” Denver (September 6, 2006)  “…Several instances of cruel and dangerous treatment – promoted by Millan as acceptable training methods – were documented by American Humane, including one in which a dog was partially asphyxiated in an episode.  In this instance, the fractious dog was pinned to the ground by its neck after being “hung” by a collar incrementally tightened by Millan.  Millan’s goal – of subduing a fractious animal – was accomplished by partially cutting off the blood supply to its brain.”