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I found this article very interesting. Simply put, CM scares me -- much too flashy, and some of his practices would be, I think, downright dangerous in the hands of most average dog owners (like me). Glad to see experts agree.

Ian Dunbar vs. Cesar Millan
 

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that is an interesting article. and i didn't know Malcolm Gladwell had taken on Milan as a subject --- i really like Gladwell's stuff, so perhaps it will be of help.

i also can't disagree with anything Dunbar says. and it's very interesting that Dunbar relates it to the culture at large, because that's what I see --- eg, from my perspective, we're in the middle of a return to authoritarianism (!!!), with negotiation down the tubes, and fear being spoonfed to us and driving our behavior. and Dunbar doesn't fit that model, while alpha rolling and the like do, at least imo.

good article - thanks for posting it!
 

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I have watched lots of episodes of the Dog Whisperer, probably most of them. I actually think most of his advice is pretty good for the average dog owner. For example, I have a neighbor that always "exercised" her dog by tying it in the front yard. Needless to say, the dog was nuts, crazy hyper, barked at everything. She watched the dog whisperer, and actually started walking her dog because Caesar pointed out that dogs need exercise via walking.

The exercise and dicipline mantra make sense to me. I walk my dog two miles a day, and have rules in the house like no dogs on the furniture, no jumping, no food stealing. I don't enforce through intimidation or hitting, all it takes is a sharp "NO" and Rosie behaves because she knows who is in charge, and she knows I'm in charge because I control the food. I don't see where Caesar Millan harms dogs, he never strikes them or even raises his voice, he does do leash corrections, which my own obedience instructor also advocates along with treat training.

It seems to me that there would be fewer dogs in shelters if "average dog owners" bought into dogs needing exercise and dicipline. A lot of "average dog owners" just go get a dog and never walk it or establish rules, and soon the dog is running roughshod over the house, jumping on people, chewing furniture, then it gets taken to the shelter.

I can see criticizing the dog whisperer program for showing Caesar working with dangerous dogs, leading stupid people to think they could try the same techniques. But it seems to me that his work with "regular" dog problems is fine and useful. I think a lot of the vitriol directed toward him is simply because he became popular. It is true that he doesn't have an education in animal behavior, but neither did my mother have an education in child development and somehow she did an excellent job raising three children. Maybe there is room for more than one paradigm in dog training.
 

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He has nice dog skills, but from a scientific point of view, what he says is, well ... different," says Dunbar. "Heaven forbid if anyone else tries his methods, because a lot of what he does is not without danger.[/b]
Nicholas Dodman, program director for the Animal Behavior Clinic at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and author of "Dogs Behaving Badly," goes even further. He calls Millan's techniques "abuse."[/b]
I have no personal knowledge about Cesar Millan. I've never watched his show and probably won't as I don't watch TV. Although if Ian Dunbar or Nicholas Dodman were going to have a show I'd have someone tape it for me. I do know about Ian Dunbar, having attended his seminars, read his book/pamphlets and watched his puppy training video. And I've used his methods and they work. He also has impressive credentials.

Likewise Nicholas Dodman has impressive credentials. I read several of his books and have friends who have consulted him for help with behavior issues.

I really have no reason to watch Cesar Milan. I have no need to learn his techniques because what I've used for the past 40 or more years has worked for me. If I ever have serious behavioral issues with an animal I'll see someone like Dr. Dodman.

I agree that his methods could be very dangerous in the hands of your average dog owner.

Ian Dunbar and Dr. Dodman have been around for years and years. I'd say Cesar Milan is just a fad and his influence on training methods and theories of animal behavior will be minimal. I suspect he'll end of being just a flash in the pants. ;)
 

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I, too, have some friends who've consulted Nicholas Dodman, and his methods have worked miracles on a frightened, aggressive pound puppy. Turned that dog around in a matter of months and saved that dog's life in the process. I think at the end of the day I would always want to use the gentlest approach on training dogs, kids or husbands too. :lol:
 

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I have never seen an episode of his show, but have heard of the 'Alpha Role' and looked at his website. I agree that dogs need exercise and affection, but its the word discipline' that worries me. I use the positive re-inforcement method in all my training with the dogs, and I have seen it change the mind-set of the dog, and make them not just comply, but happy to do so.

As a lot of animal training now seems to centre on the wolf and the pack, I think it is interesting to note that wolves display a series of body language, amongst other things to control the pack , but very rarely physical force. In the rare circumstances that it is used however, it usually results in the subordinate member being killed.

I personally don't think this 'Alpha Role' changes the mind-set of the dog, and may possibly confuse the message you are trying to convey although it may work in the short term. I also wonder if when a dog decides it would like to move up in the pecking order it would perhaps challenge it's owner in a similar fashion.

This is the sign that my dog training school has above the door.....People who use physial force or punishment to train a dog, do so because they are too ignorant or lazy to train a dog properly (or words to that effect). She also refuses entry to any dog wearing a choke chain. Don't think I'd be quite that harsh, but she does get results.
 

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[personal opinion on] I don't really disagree with any of the techniques CM uses on his show (I've never read any of his printed materials). I've watched a dozen or more episodes and have never seen him use any kind of physical force that I would consider abusive or extreme. However, advising people who don't have a clue on how to handle aggression can be very!!! dangerous. Its one thing to air a show about how to housebreak or leash-train "Fluffy." Its quite another to toss out 5 mins of tele-advise on how to get Rottweilers to stop attacking every dog they see, especially when he advises controlling the aggressor dog(s) by grabbing the neck (like another more dominant dog would) or using an alpha roll.

The main complaint I have with CM, and the reason I wish National Geographic had picked a real expert like Ian Dunbar or Patricia McConnell, is the fact that CM has no credentials at all and he uses "made-up" science. Tossing around terms like "the red-zone" and "gladiator dogs" just gives people a false sense of understanding. Just what is a "balanced" dog anyway? Unfortunately, I believe The Dog Wisperer is less about dog training and more about NG competing with all the Animal Planet "man chases down and wrestles with wild animal" shows. I am very glad that NG has added all the warnings during the show. [/personal opinion off]
 
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