Wednesday, September 02, 2009

He Whispers So Quietly, No One Knows What He's Doing

SUMMARY: A review of Cesar Milan's book.

I knew a bit about Cesar Milan even before someone gave me his book-- from reading & hearing descriptions; had seen a couple of his shows. I knew that most Dog People I know--trainers and behaviorists especially-- think that he's the worst thing to happen to dog training in decades. I wasn't impressed with what I saw; I felt sorry for the dogs, sorry for the owners.

I read his book. There are some things that he says that I like. Dogs need exercise. You must be firm with your dog. OK. That about sums up what I agree with in the whole book. The rest seemed like smoke and mirrors--OK, THAT example seemed to work for him, but really what went on behind the scenes? What happened after he left the room? What happened on the days he DIDN'T write about?--or like just appalling lack of understanding or engaging in all the progress that's been made in companion animal training in recent decades, reverting to I Am The Bigger, Stronger Beast method.

But I'm not an official dog trainer--although I've studied in that direction. I'm not a behaviorist--although I've learned so much by working with people who are, and interacting with so many people and their dogs (and my own six, too).

Here's a review by a professional; it's the most clearly thought-out explanation of why it's a bad book at the very least. (It's near the bottom of this page, which also lists brief reviews of other fairly well-known training books.)

3 comments:

  1. ok, but you know who is worse then him. That new show on Animal Planet called "In the dog house". That guy is crazy. He says treat training causes aggression in dogs. He treats the dogs really mean, the dogs cower. It was horrible and I turned if off. Diana

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  2. Wow, that does sound awful. I pretty much don't watch TV, so I haven't even heard of him.

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  3. I heard there was negative feelings about the Dog Whisperer, but never saw him on TV or read his book. Thanks for giving me the quick run down so I don't have to!

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