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Okay, I’ll admit it.  I would love to meet Cesar Millan.

I have a confession to make.  We’ve been watching the Dog Whisperer.  It’s not my fault.  My boyfriend sucked me in, because he watches it every now and then and I love the stories of difficult dogs and their humans being made happier.

The last time I saw a discussion of Cesar Millan was in a Facebook group where someone shared a really great article about walking multiple dogs effectively.  I’m the primary dog walker in our house and with 3 dogs, you KNOW I clicked the link.

When I returned to give thanks for the share; I saw that people had already started in on the Cesar Millan attacks.  He kicks dogs.  He’s abusive.  He killed a dog on his set once.  Good Gravy!  But the damage was done and I feel like a Biggest Loser contestant sneaking a candy bar whenever I watch Cesar Millan’s show.

A short time later, someone shared the video with me of Cesar Millan kicking a dog.  It wasn’t what I expected, but I didn’t agree with it as a training method.  I won’t bother sharing it here, because I think it’s time to move on.  I recently read a blog post that helped put things into perspective for me.

“Here’s the thing about Millan that his television show makes it easy to forget- he made his name not by working with pampered house pets of the upper middle class and celebrities, but instead working with dogs who, if their behavior didn’t change, would die.

Stop and think about those stakes. It wasn’t the carpet at risk. It wasn’t that they wouldn’t be able to go to the dog park. It was the dogs’ very lives. If what he was doing did not work, the dog would die. How many of us are training with those kinds of stakes?

Whether we like his methods or not, he found a way to keep dogs alive, to make them adoptable and able to go live in homes where they were loved and pampered.

In addition, in a time when the world wanted to ban Pit Bulls, he was a voice for them. He was their advocate, and showed the world that these were loving, wonderful dogs. He was their first celebrity voice, and was proud to feature his Pits on his show.”  ~ Life By Pets


I still love the Dog Whisperer program.  But I would not invite Cesar Milan to help us with our dogs, because my dogs don’t need to be rehabilitated.  I know my dogs and although they don’t always do what I’d like them to do when I’d like them to do it, they’re pretty good 95% of the time.

The other 5% of the time…

  • Blue is jumping on me when I get home from work.
  • Rodrigo is focused on something (probably a mole) and is going to dig it up; Blue and Sydney decide to help instead of coming inside.
  • Sydney is rolling in the foulest stench she could find.
  • The dogs forgot the truce they have with the cats and it’s Game On.
  • Rodrigo (or Blue or Sydney) is bounding down the stairs happily after having devoured all the cat food.

What I love most about our dogs is that they’re high energy and they’ll stay chill in the house until I say “wanna go outside and play?”  All of a sudden they wake up and when they hit the great outdoors, I’m thankful that I opened the door fast.  To have all that energy unleashed in our house would be a nightmare.

We have great dogs so I’m going to stick with the training method I learned from Shannon Finch; it comes with lots of love, treats, and snuggles.  It’s worked on 4 dogs (Riley will always get a mention)!  Plus, I shudder to think how much Milan will judge our living situation, i.e. the gorgeous sectional aka most expensive dog bed in Washington.

 

What style of dog training has worked for you and your dog?


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