Your opinion on Cesar Milan?
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    Senior Member Rescued's Avatar
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    Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Just wondering what all the different individual opinions are- his training methods as a whole, has anyone had success with his methods, ect.

    I personally don't like him and wouldn't use his methods on my dogs. That being said, our mutts don't have headstrong personalities and aren't mixes of the AKC Working class so we can get away with using treats for most training issues.

    Thoughts?
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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Hot button topic which will surely lead to several hundred responses.

    Or you can cut to the chase and do a quick forum search for Cesar Milan or The Dog Whisperer.

    BTW, the REAL dog whisperer is Paul Owens. Cesar is a TV celebrity.
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonE View Post
    Hot button topic which will surely lead to several hundred responses.

    Or you can cut to the chase and do a quick forum search for Cesar Milan or The Dog Whisperer.

    BTW, the REAL dog whisperer is Paul Owens. Cesar is a TV celebrity.
    I didn't even think to search. Should I delete this thread since its been done 458903 times over?

    (and I completely agree, I was just trying not to sway potential answers haha)
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Personally, I don't think he's the worst thing out there. Shoudl we hit/poke our dogs? Well not if we don't have to, but from what I've seen, he seems to get results where others may not have been able to, and deals with a lot of aggressive type dogs. Anyone who can have that many dogs loose in an area, of those breeds, and not have constant fights and keep them under control must know something. He's got some good points for the average pet owner, like walk your dog, do things with them and so on.

    Maybe there are kinder, gentler ways to get the same results, but I've seen much worse on TV and in person with some trainers.

    I'm all for positive methods, I use them for most everything I do, but see it misused a lot too, and the increasing number of 'spoiled dogs' makes me think that sometimes a firmer hand might work better then the inconsistant one with a treat in it. I know with Ticket doing flyball, the first place was all positive, bribe with cookies and that's fine, but he just got wound up at the other dogs getting to play when he had to wait his turn, add in some shelties that snapped at him and I was ready to quit. Put a prong on, went into a different club and one quick pop and an 'enough' and he settled down and got to work without acting up the rest of the evening. The other club's method/suggestion was to start in the parking lot with attention work and slowly move towards eventually (in six months or so was her timeline) having him doing the same in the building.
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    Senior Member Dekka's Avatar
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    ya do the search..lol

    But I have head strong dogs and IME the more head strong the dog the more conversational 'training' is a bad idea. I have worked with JRTs with some very serious bite histories. They had these issues 9/10 because someone thought the needed to intimidate a 'dominant' puppy when all their problems would have been solved if they had simply trained their dog in the first place. (and fixing an untrained dog is most easily done by simply training vs assuming its bad behaviour is some kind of 'dominant' behaviour)
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    Senior Member DustyCrockett's Avatar
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    I like him. He has a lot to offer.

    Maintaining a calm assertive attitude with your dogs, for example.
    Give your dog a balance of exercise, discipline and affection.
    Diiscipline doesn't mean punishment.
    Dogs are not human.
    No touch, no talk, no eye contact.
    Be sensitive to your dog's state of mind.
    Learn to read your dog's body language.

    I learned a lot of his concepts from an big 'ol yella hound dog way before I ever heard of Cesar Millan. A dog will follow a confident leader. He will desire to do what you need him to do, and you don't have to use words to communicate. A well-exercised dog is a good dog. It's better to have a cooperative dog than an obedient dog.

    But here's a warning: you won't be able to replicate his success using his methods. He is one of a kind. Sure, once in awhile you can tell a dog "shhht" and it will cooperate with you. But most of them won't and you'll look foolish.

    And all that "humans eat first, go through the door first" mumbo jumbo is a load of hooey.

    That's an opinion based on actual experience.
    Last edited by DustyCrockett; 01-12-2012 at 05:56 PM.

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bordermom View Post
    I'm all for positive methods, I use them for most everything I do, but see it misused a lot too, and the increasing number of 'spoiled dogs' makes me think that sometimes a firmer hand might work better then the inconsistant one with a treat in it. I know with Ticket doing flyball, the first place was all positive, bribe with cookies and that's fine, but he just got wound up at the other dogs getting to play when he had to wait his turn, add in some shelties that snapped at him and I was ready to quit. Put a prong on, went into a different club and one quick pop and an 'enough' and he settled down and got to work without acting up the rest of the evening.
    Why can't bad training...just be? Why, is the methodology thrown out with the bath water?

    Sometimes a firmer hand might work, but why not improve the consistency of +R, if that's the problem?

    BTW, there is no such thing as 'bribery' in +R.
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Looks to me like he is trying to train adult dogs ..that are owned by idiots.
    His methods may seem unusual at times...
    but keep in mind what he is dealing with.. an adult animal that has been trained by stupid people ..
    Sometimes its a 7 year old girl who lives in a trailor park...Her Mommy bought her a Tasmanian Devil for her birthday .
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roloni View Post
    Looks to me like he is trying to train adult dogs ..that are owned by idiots.
    His methods may seem unusual at times...
    but keep in mind what he is dealing with.. an adult animal that has been trained by stupid people ..
    Sometimes its a 7 year old girl who lives in a trailor park...Her Mommy bought her a Tasmanian Devil for her birthday .
    Your right about the adult dogs -- you will never learn anything about puppies from that show. But how much "training" is he doing? I've never seen him train a dog to follow a command.

    Trust the dog, he knows what he's doing.
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Quote Originally Posted by DustyCrockett View Post
    Your right about the adult dogs -- you will never learn anything about puppies from that show. But how much "training" is he doing? I've never seen him train a dog to follow a command.
    I agree...Its mostly about corrective behavior with adult dogs .
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    Senior Member Dekka's Avatar
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roloni View Post
    Looks to me like he is trying to train adult dogs ..that are owned by idiots.
    His methods may seem unusual at times...
    but keep in mind what he is dealing with.. an adult animal that has been trained by stupid people ..
    Sometimes its a 7 year old girl who lives in a trailor park...Her Mommy bought her a Tasmanian Devil for her birthday .
    Except the dogs on that show aren't usually very bad. Camera crew have talked about how much they have to film just to get the dog 'being bad' on film. He antagonizes the dogs and puts them in positions that make them appear far worse than they are. That is not helping the dog. It makes for exciting TV but its not really how one should work with dogs with issues. In fact behaviourists do the opposite of what he does, and its safe and works for all people (not just big strong men with great timing). When I work with a dog with issues I want the frailest of the elderly as well as small children to be safe with the dog. Just because I could intimidate the dog doesn't mean the problem is fixed.
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    I think Cesar has a lot of good points, I just could NEVER endorse him. His use of the word "dominance" gets old.
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Evil. I think he's evil. He doesn't solve any problem. He creates a state of learned helplessness, shutting the dog down so it won't react to anything anymore. That's not solving a problem, that's suppressing it until the next time.

    Look, every day on this board you see questions from people who attempted to recreate this TV drama violence in their home and they don't understand why they were bitten, why their dog avoids them, why their dog isn't learning. That's what Cesar Millan has done. He's created a generation of dog owners who abuse their dogs because "hey, it works on TV". And don't give me that BS about the warning at the beginning of every episode. Of course people are going to try it at home. That's the most predictable possible result of putting that crap on the air.
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    I think nobody here has enough real information on him to really have an informed intelligent opinion about him including myself.. We see a tiny tidbit of him and what he does, and his explanations in a second language as he grew up speaking spanish..

    He seems to get results, but even that too we don't get to see enough of to really know.

    Most folks get too hung up on the words he uses like dominance, when their definition and his definition of the word aren't really the same.

    You even see it here, like the above post, insinuating he ends up putting every dog he works with into a state of learned helplessness which is frankly ridiculous.

    Go hang out with him and every dog he works with in person for a few months, not gain an opinion by watching tiny clips of video that some editor pieced together, complete with dramatic music score, edited for sensationalistic appeal, and then I might place some actual value on an opinion.

    Dumb dog owners will do dumb things and get bitten. Happened thousands of years before Caesar was born, it'll be happening thousands of years from now after he's dead.

    Dogs like every other mammal learn from consequences to their actions, they learn equally well from both positive and negative consequences just like we do. It's up to you to figure out the best way to teach your dog what you want it to know by providing the appropriate consequences. Most of what CM is doing is providing consequences to the dogs actions, and 90% of the time that consequence is a mere vocal "psst".. How absolutely horrible..
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curbside Prophet View Post
    Why can't bad training...just be? Why, is the methodology thrown out with the bath water?

    Sometimes a firmer hand might work, but why not improve the consistency of +R, if that's the problem?

    BTW, there is no such thing as 'bribery' in +R.

    Well, for one thing, you weren't here to take my dog for six months and work him through the problem at the first training place, spending your own money and time to do so (they would not let me come and work him towards the goal on other nights or come for free - something about insurance which smelled of money grab - why I wasn't permitted to use the parking lot without paying doesn't make sense but...). I'm all for using gentle methods but within reason and budget!

    I didn't say I simply tossed a prong on and swung my dog around, hardly! Put the prong on and worked on his attention as usual at home and in the parking lot, then the first tantrum he got one pop, asked to work attention, then click and treat. I know I'm ruining my dog by using both a clicker and a prong at times but he seems ok. Within the first night he was running flyball and behaving himself, having gotten the message that lunging and screaming wasn't going to be just ignored. We ran and got points a month later and he had a great time, no prong needed.

    And I would like to think that after all these years of training I'm pretty consistant, thanks.
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Quote Originally Posted by TxRider View Post
    I think nobody here has enough real information on him to really have an informed intelligent opinion about him including myself.. We see a tiny tidbit of him and what he does, and his explanations in a second language as he grew up speaking spanish..

    He seems to get results, but even that too we don't get to see enough of to really know.

    Most folks get too hung up on the words he uses like dominance, when their definition and his definition of the word aren't really the same.

    You even see it here, like the above post, insinuating he ends up putting every dog he works with into a state of learned helplessness which is frankly ridiculous.

    Go hang out with him and every dog he works with in person for a few months, not gain an opinion by watching tiny clips of video that some editor pieced together, complete with dramatic music score, edited for sensationalistic appeal, and then I might place some actual value on an opinion.

    Dumb dog owners will do dumb things and get bitten. Happened thousands of years before Caesar was born, it'll be happening thousands of years from now after he's dead.

    Dogs like every other mammal learn from consequences to their actions, they learn equally well from both positive and negative consequences just like we do. It's up to you to figure out the best way to teach your dog what you want it to know by providing the appropriate consequences. Most of what CM is doing is providing consequences to the dogs actions, and 90% of the time that consequence is a mere vocal "psst".. How absolutely horrible..
    If you mean that we don't know enough about him, based on his tv show, ok, yes, we only see an edited, final product, without all of the background, and all the steps taken to get to the result. But, google CM and you CAN find "real information" about him. For example, he has NO formal training. His outlook and philosophies, through his own admission, came about as a result of seeing and interacting with the stray/neighborhood dogs near his grandfather's ranch in Mexico. He has no certification. He hasn't studied animal behavior, or training methods. It's all experimentation based on his own thoughts, ideas and experience.

    Yes, he does seem to have a way with some dogs. But, when I am researching who can help me most with my dogs, I want to know what they've learned. I want to know that they are up to date on current methodologies. I mean, for Pete's sake, we (many of us) acknowledge that the alpha stuff is bunk, unscientific and incorrect, not to mention disproved. How did that happen? How did it become disproved? How do we know that it is unscientific and incorrect? Through further exploration, both of the flawed studies that started it, and new info on animal behavior.

    My point is, I want to know that the people I consider hiring to work with my dogs know current information, and are up to date on the science of animal behavior. I don't want them to base their techniques on outdated info or simply an idea.
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bordermom View Post
    Well, for one thing, you weren't here to take my dog for six months and work him through the problem at the first training place, spending your own money and time to do so (they would not let me come and work him towards the goal on other nights or come for free - something about insurance which smelled of money grab - why I wasn't permitted to use the parking lot without paying doesn't make sense but...). I'm all for using gentle methods but within reason and budget!
    I'm assuming this is in response to the questions I asked. What I should take from this is...$$$ dictates methodology? I don't see how $$$ could ever dictate methodology. If the first training facility was ineffective, I would say that's an indictment of the facility, not the methodology.

    I also didn't say you helicoptered your dog either. In fact, I haven't questioned your training or results at all. I simply questioned your logic to favor +P over +R...because that's how your posts read. And if the reason is $$$ and/or you didn't like the first facility's rules, well, the logic to use a firmer hand doesn't follow.
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    Senior Member DustyCrockett's Avatar
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Quote Originally Posted by doxiemommy View Post

    I mean, for Pete's sake, we (many of us) acknowledge that the alpha stuff is bunk, unscientific and incorrect, not to mention disproved. How did that happen? How did it become disproved? How do we know that it is unscientific and incorrect? Through further exploration, both of the flawed studies that started it, and new info on animal behavior.
    The alpha stuff based on the flawed studies is bunk. But "alpha" is a more general term than that. I avoid using the term "alpha" for the reasons you gave, and so does CM. I know that a wolf pack has a leader, and that in a family the humans have to be leaders to the canines, or else there will be problems. All the humans. I know this to be a fact based on personal experience and observation. I knew it way before I ever heard CM say it.

    So, if you are basing your opinion of CM on his promotion of "the alpha stuff" then you must not be watching his show, because he does not do that. He does not kick or hit animals either. He touches them. A touch with a foot is still a touch. Dogs have four feet, they aren't offended by a touch with a foot. He's not striking dogs and inflicting pain. He does not punish dogs, he corrects their behavior while it's happening with a touch, a look and sometimes a verbal sound. Sometimes a leash correction. That's about it. The idea that a tug on a leash hurts a dog is an insult to dogs everywhere.

    Trust the dog, he knows what he's doing.
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Quote Originally Posted by DustyCrockett View Post
    The alpha stuff based on the flawed studies is bunk. But "alpha" is a more general term than that. I avoid using the term "alpha" for the reasons you gave, and so does CM. I know that a wolf pack has a leader, and that in a family the humans have to be leaders to the canines, or else there will be problems. All the humans. I know this to be a fact based on personal experience and observation. I knew it way before I ever heard CM say it.

    So, if you are basing your opinion of CM on his promotion of "the alpha stuff" then you must not be watching his show, because he does not do that. He does not kick or hit animals either. He touches them. A touch with a foot is still a touch. Dogs have four feet, they aren't offended by a touch with a foot. He's not striking dogs and inflicting pain. He does not punish dogs, he corrects their behavior while it's happening with a touch, a look and sometimes a verbal sound. Sometimes a leash correction. That's about it. The idea that a tug on a leash hurts a dog is an insult to dogs everywhere.
    OK, first, you missed my point, but I'll get to that later.

    Second, I don't know what CM episodes you've been watching ; maybe the most recent ones, as I've heard he has calmed down. But, I have seen many, many alpha rolls, and pinning of dogs where they really squirming and squealing, and struggling for minutes, not seconds. I also have watched video clips of CM posted on the internet showing him using choke collars to actually string up a dog, off the ground til the dog quits struggling and is barely conscious. If that isn't "inflicting pain" then we have a different definition of pain.

    I have also heard him use the term "alpha", as well as "pack leader".

    As for my point in the post you quoted: I did not bring up the alpha stuff as a description of CM's philosophy, necessarily. I was simply using it as an example of an "old school" philosophy that has since been disproven. My point was, someone like CM, who has had no formal study or education in methodology or animal behavior, may not be aware of the advances in the study of dogs and their behavior. Personally, I would not like the person training my dogs to be going with the flow, just having an idea and going with it, or using methods because they worked in the old days, regardless of the science available.

    To sum up, besides the alpha stuff that I have seen him do, and the stringing up and kicking I have seen him do, my other complaint is that he speaks as if he has a vast amount of knowledge but yet has received no training in order to keep up to date with the current science.
    Perhaps that comes from being a teacher myself... we are constant trying to stay up to date with the best methodology to help our students.
    Last edited by doxiemommy; 01-13-2012 at 10:33 PM.
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    Senior Member DustyCrockett's Avatar
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    Re: Your opinion on Cesar Milan?

    Quote Originally Posted by doxiemommy View Post

    Second, I don't know what CM episodes you've been watching ; maybe the most recent ones, as I've heard he has calmed down. But, I have seen many, many alpha rolls, and pinning of dogs where they really squirming and squealing, and struggling for minutes, not seconds. I also have watched video clips of CM posted on the internet showing him using choke collars to actually string up a dog, off the ground til the dog quits struggling and is barely conscious. If that isn't "inflicting pain" then we have a different definition of pain.
    I watch the reruns if they're on when I need mindless entertainment. I've seen a lot of them, I don't always check the date but I don't recall any earlier than maybe 2005.

    I've seen him lay dogs over on their side, but it's always been out of control aggressive dogs who were slated for destruction. He held 'em in place until they relaxed. And yes it took minutes in some cases. In every case, they just played out their aggression. I've not seen him do it to punish, only to calm an otherwise uncontrollable animal. I've never seen him do it with an animal that isn't a known biter.

    Nah, our definition of pain isn't all that different, we're just not looking at the same incidents. I never saw CM strangle a dog, not even once. I've seen a trainer's website that shows it happening, but I never saw it on the Dog Whisperer. Guess I might have to see that for myself.

    Guess I'm not so quick to dismiss personal experience in favor of academic studies.

    Trust the dog, he knows what he's doing.
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