Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Cesar Milan Debate

I hear this all the time from shelter volunteers and from industry professionals: not many seem to be a fan of dog trainer Cesar Milan's methods. They feel he forces the dog into fearful situations. I feel as though I stand alone when I say that I enjoy Cesar Milan, and that I am not opposed to his methods. An electric collar for example, can be an excellent tool when used correctly. Secondly: discipline doesn't have to be a negative experience. 

With horses, I learned a long time ago that animals can sense your emotions, so the real trick to accomplishing the difficult was remaining 1) calm  2) assertive  3) persistent. I was also never going to allow the horse out of a situation simply because he was afraid of say, a river in our path. I was taught to push the animal through the fear, 99% of the time, their reaction was "Ohhhh. It's not so scary." Sometimes, we had to have a battle of wills several times before the horse willingly crossed the river. 

I think people have their methods. I wouldn't say one method over another is wrong, it's just different. I do not feel that Cesar is abusive ... I think his tactics are founded on the "face your fear" belief.

How do you feel about Cesar? Do you like him? Do you dislike him? We're all entitled to an opinion.


  1. I have no idea who he is, but I've also never owned a dog. Good luck! Any word yet?

  2. I like his show!
    I wish I had his magical powers so I could use it on Brownie at times :)

  3. I think he's great and I can tell that he loves his job and really cares about his clients and their success! I definitely think he sort of has a "tough love" approach as far as dogs go but never once did I think he was abusive.

  4. I think his techniques if used correctly can be very helpful to the dog and the owner. He also says that many of his techniques should involve a professional.

    I have read a couple of his books and I think he has some great advice. I have found with my two pits that they can completely sense my feelings. And that when I'm calm and assertive they are calm and submissive.

    The trainer we work with refers to Cesar's three steps...exercise, discipline, and affection and it is true.

    Good luck with your dog!

  5. I am personally a Victoria Stillwell fan, but from the little I know about Cesar it seems like he's a good advocate for dogs.

  6. I'm with you, discipline, with an animal, can be a good thing. Discipline doesn't mean punishment either. Our dog, who is a rescue, when we first got him was very fearful, but he showed it with fear aggression. Showing him that these situations aren't really that scary and rewarding him when he behaved correctly worked wonders. That doesn't mean he doesn't attack the vacuum cleaner anymore, but now, he does what he is told when he is told and instead of being aggressive when he's afraid, he goes to his crate.

  7. I've watched it, and so has Marc.. His dog, Gus, is one of the best behaved animals I've ever met. M doesn't agree with Cesar wholeheartedly, and trained Gus simply by asserting himself as the Alpha Male and being consistent.
    But to each their own.