Ceasar the dog whisperer

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Maxy24, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    I was just wondering how everybody feels about his methods of training. I watched his show once but i don't really like his ways of doing things. Just wondering what you all think.
     
  2. sam

    sam New Member

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    Have you done a search of the forum? I'm pretty sure this topic has been covered and covered and then some.
     
  3. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    sorry, being lazy i guess:eek: Next time i'll look before i post.
     
  4. I feel his ideas are good but I dont like the way he expresses himself to the dogs. yes, he is a strong believer of pack rank and alpha status but you do not have to be so extreme to show your dog who is alpha. Just my opinion.
     
  5. DoglessInSeattle

    DoglessInSeattle New Member

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    Always seems to me that he uses extreme methods on extremely troubled dogs/owners.

    Sure would like to see some follow up episodes... One year later, Fido only occassionally attacks the mailperson...

    I'll bet his outtakes would sell like hotcakes.

    Interesting to me, I saw one episode where Cesar was bleeding. The price of success I suppose.

    Regardless, I enjoy his show. I just wish it would move a little faster.
     
  6. krisykris

    krisykris New Member

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    I love him and his show. I've also read his book and it's helped me a lot, not only to better understand my dogs, but to help me be more assertive and calm in general. I agree that he sees a lot of extreme situations and in his book he recommends positive reinforcement for dogs that do not have massive behavioral problems, but in the cases he deals with other methods are needed.
     
  7. IliamnasQuest

    IliamnasQuest Loves off-leash training!

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    Maxy24 -

    If you do a search for "Cesar Millan" or "Dog Whisperer" on this forum you'll come up with a number of discussions which will show a number of people who strongly disagree with Millan's methods.

    I object to him on a number of levels, I have to say. His methods are based primarily on force, with little or no knowledge of what has caused the dog to be acting the way it's acting. He uses forceful methods on dogs who are very fearful, forcing them into situations where they become so overwhelmed with fear that they simply give up. He seems to either not notice or not care that these dogs are stressed beyond belief, and simply crows about how well the method worked because the dog has quit fighting him.

    Personally I think he has no true understanding of dog behavior. He's found that if he is pushy enough, most dogs will eventually give in and so his brute force creates an IMAGE that he's succeeding, when the reality is that he's downright abusive to these dogs at times.

    I also object to his use of the term "whisperer". This term was originally coined to describe someone so in tune with animals that they could "whisper" them into a relaxed, accepting state. Being a whisperer holds a connotation of kindness and understanding, neither of which can be used to describe Millan. He's simply a man with a dominating personality who has some charisma and evidently knows someone in Hollywood, because he had to have known someone to get where he is now. NO one like this guy should be on TV promoting methods based on force.

    I've seen tremendously aggressive dogs turned around with kind, consistent, fair methods - so it's not that these methods HAVE to be used in order to get the same results. The only two things that I agree with Millan on, to an extent, are that dogs need exercise and that humans need to provide leadership. But dogs shouldn't be exercised to the point of exhaustion, and people shouldn't lead by brute force.

    That's my honest opinion of this guy. I refuse to call him a trainer and he's eons away from being a behaviorist.

    Melanie and the gang in Alaska
     
  8. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I agree with everything Melanie said.

    He does not know dog behavior, what he interprets from dogs' body language is flat out wrong. He calls dogs dominant who are showing fear or showing an interest in something and not paying attention. They simply haven't been taught yet. He calls dogs dominant who are eager to go for a walk and want to go out the door in a hurry. This is as simple as a dog not having been taught manners....to wait. He finds something like dominance or alpha to explain every conceivable behavior. He takes a more complicated explanation instead of looking for a simpler explanation first, which is always the way a scientist or researcher looks at things. You don't skip a process and go for an obscure or amiguous reason before going through the more obvious reasons to come to a conclusion. He uses catch phrases which have no specific contextual meaning; calm assertive, positive energy, leadership (meaning yank, alpha roll, shove, poke) Where does it say dogs or wolves use a lot of physical stuff to show leadership? Nowhere. No recent research shows that. Alpha wolves (and dogs aren't even wolves) use very, very little physical stuff. They hardly care what's going on at all other than breeding, sometimes hunting and food distribution. Other than that, they don't go around keeping everyone in line constantly. They couldn't care less what the others are doing most of the time. I've read numerous journals and studies on this and what Cesar thinks and does seems so ridiculous, it isn't even funny.

    His reliance on the theory of pack behavior is way off base because there's much more recent scientific data which says that dogs evolved from solitary village dogs after evolving from an ancestor of the wolf. These village dogs had no need to be in a pack and our domestic dogs have even less need to be in a pack. They are simply living among us. Pack animals hunt for their food and breed, reproduce and raise young. Our dogs aren't doing any of that. Pack animals MUST be conspecifics. (members of the same specie) Those are the ONLY reasons for a pack. In fact, wolves are not even always in a pack unless these factors are present. Hunting small game does not require a pack formation. Wolves are many times seen by themselves. Some seasons require them to be in a pack. Most packs are nothing more than Mom, Pop and the kids. It's not this big 50 dog thing Cesar calls his pack. That's the most unnatural thing that he has going. Comparing anything when in captivity is not indicative of how it operates in the wild. We are simply not a pack with our dogs. Dogs know we're not their specie.

    Sure, we need to be leaders. How else could we have our dogs live peacefully with us and live how we want them to? That does not require force, punishment, aversives and extreme domination. There are other ways to teach dogs how to live with us and go by our ways. All they need is to be taught, to be shown and those methods are best served by appealing to a dog's nature....that he is an opportunist and does what works. So....we make what we want from the dog work for the dog. Operant and classial conditioning based methods are in line with how all mammals learn and are particularily suited for a very opportunistic animal like a dog. It's shown all the time. Many good trainers rehabilitate dogs who are every bit as problematic as the ones Cesar works with. He just doesn't know the science, has a good Hollywood thing going so why fix what ain't broke? He's making millions. I've heard of many regressions with his "methods" on some of those dogs....lots of them. It's all Hollywood hype. He is no whisperer, no mystic ability to communicate with dogs at all. He forces, squelches and supresses behavior so that it stops. Big deal!

    Cesar bases all his "methods" and all his interpretation of how dogs behave on a foundation which is misinformed, proven inaccurate and begotten from horribly inaccurately done research which has since been disproven. There is no scientific backing for his ideas. He just grabs onto this old, outdated, disproven nonsense and pretends to know about dogs. All he's doing is shutting down dogs and supressing behavior....not only the target behavior, but most all behavior. He's taking dogs and turning them into toned down versions of a dog, a skeleton of a dog as far as their spirits and personality goes. I saw him yanking the he!! out of a dog's neck the other night on a show (had to change the channel) when the dog turned his head like 3 inches to the left to look at something. The dog was walking nicely but his head moved and Cesar let 'em have it. HARD. This is a ridiculous way to teach a dog. The guy is ridiculous. He's no trainer. I can't believe people fall for this nonsense.

    In all fairness, I have seen a few things I think are fine which he does, but just a few. How often do you see him rewarding a dog? His main reward is the absense of punishment. I agree with being calm around a nervous dog. Duh. I agree with giving a dog ample exercise, but not the amount he sometimes promotes. He needs to get these dogs exhausted in order for them to "behave." Many of the dogs he is forcing have their heads down, they're drooling, their ears are laid back, their tails are lowered....all signs of stress. He calls that calm submissive. Yup...their submitting all right. Why is this considered a good thing? Good trainers can get the behavior they want without all that, but instead with a dog who has his head up, ears forward, tail up and jaunty, a lively expression. In fact, this is a requirement for a show dog. You can't have a dog moping along the ring looking submissive.

    He's been bitten many times because of forcing a dog, alpha rolling a dog when the dog is terrified. All he had to do was take a little more time and condition or desensatize the dog to the stimuli. Not a lot more time, but a little more. I took a dog who was 20 times worse than one he worked with to cut nails and in three days had this dog accepting it just fine. He got bitten because he was determined to "win." And he cut the nails in ten minutes but got bitten in three places and scratched up too. Ridiculous.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
  9. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    yeah one of the things that really bothered me was that he NEVER praised the dogs he just didn't jab them in the neck with his fingers:rolleyes: What he mostly does is just throw the dog in with all his dogs and says they will teach him everything. He tells you that you don't have to praise because in a wolf pack that does not happen, has he noticed that we are not wolves. The thing is i know tons of people who look up to him and use his methods.
     
  10. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    When I see a thread on this, I always think I should just skip it, as it's usually the same stuff hashed over yet again. But then I read it, and appreciate seeing well thought out replies like Doberluv and IliamnasQuest's.

    To me, I just don't get why anyone would want to train Cesear's way. I can get my point across to my dog and get her to be a willing participant while being nice to her. When I worked at a dog school, I saw numerous dogs with aggression issues who were rehabilitated with positive methods. Why in the world would anyone want to physically or emotionally punish their dogs if they don't have to? I have my dog because I love her, and with completely positive training, she's a wonderful, easy dog who is a delight to own. If I feel the need to take my own personal issues out on something, I'll buy a punching bag.
     
  11. krisykris

    krisykris New Member

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    I've seen him praise the dogs...
     
  12. oriondw

    oriondw user not active

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    I dont like him as a trainer. His methods are strange to say the least, and while somewhat effective on some dogs, with other dogs it will get him mauled.

    How he treats aggressive dogs is just borderline stupid.


    Then again, I dont advocate extreme speed training methods, I think training over longer time with slow exposure and dissentizetion is much more effective in the long run.
     
  13. Rubylove

    Rubylove Training the Trainer

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    :hail: Ahhh - I feel so humbled in the presence of your greatness, Doberluv!! :D
     
  14. I totally agree with you!!! First if your dog doesnt respect you (which is usually where the behavioral issues arise in the first place) and are hard in temperament they will not allow you to correct them and be harsh to them. With certain dogs you cannot engage with them unless you are going to win (and by doing that both you AND your dog will get hurt in the process).
     
  15. Herschel

    Herschel New Member

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    Take a training class with an experienced trainer and you'll see the difference. Maybe Cesar has praised dogs in a couple of episodes, but the overwhelming majority of us haven't seen that.

    My girlfriend and I watch the show occasionally but we always feel sorry for the dogs that are being scared into submission. It hurts even more knowing that people are trying the same "methods" on their dogs at home. For some reason, people treat the show like it is an instruction video. Even if Cesar were a qualified trainer, watching a t.v. show isn't an excuse for real, hands-off training in a class or in a private lesson.

    By the way, what is this "calm and submissive" business all about? When our puppy was going through a fear stage he would roll over onto his stomach whenever we said "No!" or tried to stop him from doing something. We worked with him to make him stop being submissive--we want him to be confident, happy, and eager to please. Why in the world do you want your dog to be scared of you? If your dog is submissive to you, it isn't acting happily and with trust--it is behaving out of fear. Kris, can you please explain this to me? (Seriously)

    This is hilarious:
    http://www.enlighten-up.org/cooper/2006/06/post.html
     
  16. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    A-w-w-w Ruby....I can just type fast. LOL.
     
  17. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Yeah....Herschel, I've seen a couple of episodes where he did all right. One where a dog was afraid of kids. He took the dog to a park and kept him at a comfortable distance...used his own kid. The boy would lie under a jump. The dog loved jumping since he was an agility dog. And he got so he'd jump and then he got a cookie. Amazing because you hardly ever see him use treats...just on a few occasions. He didn't force the dog right up close to the kid right away....let him desensatize reasonably. I was quite shocked...thought maybe he was learning something and changing his ways.

    So, no....not everything he does is horrible at all. But the majority of it is or enough of it is just not showing much understanding of dog behavior. Merely stopping behavior for the time being just isn't the same as training or......"it works." I hear that so much. "It worked." What worked? What is "worked?" There's more to "it worked" than just stopping a behavior. Like Herschel said, what's so great about a dog being submissive and obeying out of avoidance?
     
  18. krisykris

    krisykris New Member

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    Well firstly, I have never been to a training class so I can't comment on other people's methods. I think that he has a lot of good points. I think him talking about the humans being calm and assertive is a GREAT thing. I also think that his methods are not that bad. To be honest I've seen some situations which made me uncomfortable but mostly because the dog was SO out of control.

    If a dog is super high risk and attacking people and he can make a plan to help that dog live a better life, I agree with it. He does not use the same method on every dog and I think it's unfair to say that he scares his animals into submission.

    I don't think that watching a tv show is a supplement in any way for real training, and I highly doubt that Caesar would want someone to go by watching his show alone. That's why there is a disclaimer at the end of every commercial break saying so.
     
  19. Herschel

    Herschel New Member

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    I think you kind of dodged my question. Cesar definitely wants dogs to be submissive (as well as owners to be assertive).


    However:
    "Submissive behavior may occur in situations where a dog feels inferior toward a person or another dog. The submissive dog may flatten his ears against his head, tuck his tail between his legs or hold it low to the ground, lower his head and neck, or crouch low to the ground."
    -http://www.bestfriendspetcare.com/dog_behavior/submissiveurination.cfm

    Kris, do you think it is acceptable for people to make their dogs feel inferior or insecure?
     
  20. krisykris

    krisykris New Member

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    I don't feel the need to defend myself on this one. I happen to think Cesar does a lot of good for a lot of people and their pets. It's my opinion and I don't have to back it up.

    A lot of the dogs he works with ARE already insecure and fearful and I've seen him REALLY HELP them. Doesn't seem cruel to me.
     

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