Ceaser Milan

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#1
Okie Dokie. I noticed alot of people on here do not agree with Ceasers methods. Why not? I don't understand. I watch his show, I read his books and it all makes sence to me. I also noticed people do not agree with his 'dominance' theory. Why not? I would LOVE to understand why. If what he's doing isn't right, then why do his tecnuiqes work SO well? When I first got Lily I bought all the training books and could find, watched tons of videos and nothing seemed to work for us. Lily still DRUG me down the street, had horrible dog agression issues and was just a rude puppy. All my dogs have been raised Ceasers way, and they are all great dogs. Ceaser's way was the only thing that worked for us. I would love to find the reasons why you do not agree..

Thanks so much! Have a safe holliday!
 

houndlove

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#2
This link right here is absolutely the best and most comprehensive explanation that I've ever come across: http://www.4pawsu.com/dogpsychology.htm
Please do give it a read, with an open mind.

I used to be a pretty big fan, back in his first season. It was watching his show that got me interested in learning more about dogs and dog training. But the more I learned, the more I realized that what he was doing was not what I wanted to be doing and that there was a way, way better way.
 

MafiaPrincess

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#3
Last years article but it puts what's wrong with CM into an easy to read format. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/31/opinion/31derr.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

WITH a compelling personal story as the illegal immigrant made good because of his uncanny ability to understand dogs, Cesar Millan has taken the world of canine behavior — or rather misbehavior — by storm. He has the top-rated program, “Dog Whisperer,†on the National Geographic Channel, a best-selling book and a devoted following, and he has been the subject of several glowing magazine articles.

He is even preparing to release his own “Illusion†collar and leash set, named for his wife and designed to better allow people to walk their dogs the “Cesar way†— at close heel, under strict control.

Essentially, National Geographic and Cesar Millan have cleverly repackaged and promoted a simplistic view of the dog’s social structure and constructed around it a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approach to dog training. In Mr. Millan’s world, dog behavioral problems result from a failure of the human to be the “pack leader,†to dominate the dog (a wolf by any other name) completely.

While Mr. Millan rejects hitting and yelling at dogs during training, his confrontational methods include physical and psychological intimidation, like finger jabs, choke collars, extended sessions on a treadmill and what is called flooding, or overwhelming the animal with the thing it fears. Compared with some training devices still in use — whips and cattle prods, for example — these are mild, but combined with a lack of positive reinforcement or rewards, they place Mr. Millan firmly in a long tradition of punitive dog trainers.

Mr. Millan brings his pastiche of animal behaviorism and pop psychology into millions of homes a week. He’s a charming, one-man wrecking ball directed at 40 years of progress in understanding and shaping dog behavior and in developing nonpunitive, reward-based training programs, which have led to seeing each dog as an individual, to understand what motivates it, what frightens it and what its talents and limitations are. Building on strengths and working around and through weaknesses, these trainers and specialists in animal behavior often work wonders with their dogs, but it takes time.

Mr. Millan supposedly delivers fast results. His mantra is “exercise, discipline, affection,†where discipline means “rules, boundaries, limitations.†Rewards are absent and praise scarce, presumably because they will upset the state of calm submission Mr. Millan wants in his dogs. Corrections abound as animals are forced to submit or face their fear, even if doing so panics them.

Mr. Millan builds his philosophy from a simplistic conception of the dog’s “natural†pack, controlled by a dominant alpha animal (usually male). In his scheme, that leader is the human, which leads to the conclusion that all behavior problems in dogs derive from the failure of the owner or owners to dominate. (Conveniently, by this logic, if Mr. Millan’s intervention doesn’t produce lasting results, it is the owner’s fault.)

Women are the worst offenders in his world. In one of the outtakes included in the four-DVD set of the first season of “Dog Whisperer,†Mr. Millan explains that a woman is “the only species that is wired different from the rest.†And a “woman always applies affection before discipline,†he says. “Man applies discipline then affection, so we’re more psychological than emotional. All animals follow dominant leaders; they don’t follow lovable leaders.â€

Mr. Millan’s sexism is laughable; his ethology is outdated.

The notion of the “alpha pack leader†dominating all other pack members is derived from studies of captive packs of unrelated wolves and thus bears no relationship to the social structure of natural packs, according to L. David Mech, one of the world’s leading wolf experts. In the wild, the alpha wolves are merely the breeding pair, and the pack is generally comprised of their juvenile offspring and pups.

“The typical wolf pack,†Dr. Mech wrote in The Canadian Journal of Zoology in 1999, “is a family, with the adult parents guiding the activities of a group in a division-of-labor system.†In a natural wolf pack, “dominance contests with other wolves are rare, if they exist at all,†he writes.

That’s a far cry from the dominance model that Mr. Millan attributes to the innate need of dogs by way of wolves.

Unlike their wolf forebears, dogs exist in human society. They have been selectively bred for 15,000 or more years to live with people. Studies have shown that almost from birth they are attentive to people, and that most are eager to please, given proper instruction and encouragement.

But sometimes the relationship goes very wrong, and it is time to call on a professional.

Aggression is perhaps the most significant of the behavioral problems that may afflict more than 20 percent of the nation’s 65 million dogs, because it can lead to injury and death. Mr. Millan often treats aggression by forcing the dog to exercise extensively on a treadmill, by asserting his authority over the dog by rolling it on its back in the “alpha rollover,†and through other forms of intimidation, including exposure to his pack of dogs.

Forcefully rolling a big dog on its back was once recommended as a way to establish dominance, but it is now recognized as a good way to get bitten. People are advised not to try it. In fact, many animal behaviorists believe that in the long run meeting aggression with aggression breeds more aggression.

More important, aggression often has underlying medical causes that might not be readily apparent — hip dysplasia or some other hidden physical ailment that causes the dog to bite out of pain; hereditary forms of sudden rage that require a medical history and genealogy to diagnose; inadequate blood flow to the brain or a congenital brain malformation that produces aggression and can only be uncovered through a medical examination. Veterinary behaviorists, having found that many aggressive dogs suffer from low levels of serotonin, have had success in treating such dogs with fluoxetine (the drug better known as Prozac).

Properly treating aggression, phobias, anxiety and fears from the start can literally save time and money. Mr. Millan’s quick fix might make for good television and might even produce lasting results in some cases. But it flies in the face of what professional animal behaviorists — either trained and certified veterinarians or ethologists — have learned about nomal and abnormal behavior in dogs.
Mark Derr is the author of “A Dog’s History of America: How Our Best Friend Explored, Conquered and Settled a Continent.â€
 

ihartgonzo

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#4
This link right here is absolutely the best and most comprehensive explanation that I've ever come across: http://www.4pawsu.com/dogpsychology.htm
Please do give it a read, with an open mind.

Yayyy! 4Paws! That's where I take both of my boys. =) They are superb... I recommend reading as much of their article library (OP), as you possibly can.
 

adojrts

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#5
Well done Mafia

Hey isn't ol Milan's long term 'success' rate at 67 or 68% Failure rate of the dog's that come out of his 'training' centres. With a 67 % failure rate for long term, that isn't too impressive.
Can't remember where I saw that, but it doesn't surprise me.

Lynn
 

houndlove

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Erica, I'm jealous! Their website is just a treasure trove of resources for positive training. I reference it all the time.

Lynn, if you do remember where that stat came from please do let me know. I've suspected for quite a while now that at least the people who go on his show sign a non-disclosure agreement, which is why you rarely hear from those people about their experiences later.
 

Maxy24

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#7
His dominance theory doesn't make sense because most dogs are not trying to dominate their owners. He seems to think a dog that walks in front of you, goes through doors in front of you, jumps on you, sleeps on your bed or couch, or misbehaves at all is dominant. The dog simply has no idea he is not supposed to do these things or has not been properly taught, he is not trying to dominate anyone. I still can't get the image out of my head of him punishing the dog in what I call "the let's destroy the dog's confidence game". The dog had his ears flat against his head in fear after being harshly collar corrected for I don't remember what (which I don't agree with in the first place). Ceasar then stood there and waited until the dog's ears began to move away from his head, once they started he gave the dog a hard yank, then again the next time until the dog's ears were in a constant position of a fearful dog. Ceasar decided that unless the dog has his ears flat against his head he is being dominant. So apparently dogs can't be confident. I don't believe he has any degree in animal behavior, he seems to make things up. And his methods do work fast many force methods do, but do they last? do they build a relationship between dog and owner? Does the dog enjoy working with his owner? Force methods and PR methods both work with force the dog listens because he is afraid not to, with PR he listens because he has learned listening is the best thing to do it is fun for him. When someone taught there dog to heel with force they walk with their ears pinned to their head(usually), when they were trained with PR they walk with them alert (usually). I mean what the heck is calm submission? He definitely made that up. I don't remember does he alpha roll? He seems like the type that would, in which case I hate him *even* more. I just dislike his complete lack of understanding of dog's minds, anyone can make a dog too afraid to misbehave.
 

adojrts

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#8
Houndlove,
Kerri (Dekka) and I were chatting about him and she told me about that stat.
I then went looking on line and I found it but that was months ago or even last year. I 'll have a look again.
I'll ask Dekka as well, she may have the info at her fingertips.
I may have seen it here lol, Pat Miller and Jean Donaldson not too impressed with him either, go figure. I'll side with them any day over him and his methods.
http://www.dogviews.com/2006/12/against_cesar_m.html
Take care
Lynn
 
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adojrts

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#9
His dominance theory doesn't make sense because most dogs are not trying to dominate their owners. He seems to think a dog that walks in front of you, goes through doors in front of you, jumps on you, sleeps on your bed or couch, or misbehaves at all is dominant. The dog simply has no idea he is not supposed to do these things or has not been properly taught, he is not trying to dominate anyone. I still can't get the image out of my head of him punishing the dog in what I call "the let's destroy the dog's confidence game". The dog had his ears flat against his head in fear after being harshly collar corrected for I don't remember what (which I don't agree with in the first place). Ceasar then stood there and waited until the dog's ears began to move away from his head, once they started he gave the dog a hard yank, then again the next time until the dog's ears were in a constant position of a fearful dog. Ceasar decided that unless the dog has his ears flat against his head he is being dominant. So apparently dogs can't be confident. I don't believe he has any degree in animal behavior, he seems to make things up. And his methods do work fast many force methods do, but do they last? do they build a relationship between dog and owner? Does the dog enjoy working with his owner? Force methods and PR methods both work with force the dog listens because he is afraid not to, with PR he listens because he has learned listening is the best thing to do it is fun for him. When someone taught there dog to heel with force they walk with their ears pinned to their head(usually), when they were trained with PR they walk with them alert (usually). I mean what the heck is calm submission? He definitely made that up. I don't remember does he alpha roll? He seems like the type that would, in which case I hate him *even* more. I just dislike his complete lack of understanding of dog's minds, anyone can make a dog too afraid to misbehave.
Lol, when my dogs go as a pack in or out doors it has nothing to do with dominance and who gets in first. They just come in even when grouped all together, trying to be the first one in. Now if Milan's views were correct, then the 'alpha's' within my pack of dogs, should be first, nope they don't CARE!!

As for him Alpha rolling, yep he does (again proving that he is light years behind), on one of the few shows that I watched of his, he rolled an adult female GSD and got bit!!!!!!!!!!!! What kind of idiot does that???? and what kind of fool puts on t.v for someone to try????
 

Paige

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#10
^I agree. I wish he'd flip a dog of giant proportions and get knocked down a few pegs. Not that I wish harm upon anyone but I'd like to see him on the receiving end of a body slam.
 

adojrts

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#11
Okie Dokie. I noticed alot of people on here do not agree with Ceasers methods. Why not? I don't understand. I watch his show, I read his books and it all makes sence to me. I also noticed people do not agree with his 'dominance' theory. Why not? I would LOVE to understand why. If what he's doing isn't right, then why do his tecnuiqes work SO well? When I first got Lily I bought all the training books and could find, watched tons of videos and nothing seemed to work for us. Lily still DRUG me down the street, had horrible dog agression issues and was just a rude puppy. All my dogs have been raised Ceasers way, and they are all great dogs. Ceaser's way was the only thing that worked for us. I would love to find the reasons why you do not agree..

Thanks so much! Have a safe holliday!
I am curious, which training video's and books did you purchase?

Btw, the leading behaviourists and dog trainers in the world firmly believe that although some of Milan's methods which are out dated and based on faulty wolf research of 45 + years ago, can work to some degree, there are better methods now based on sound behavioural research. They also state that he has put dog training BACK at least 20 years.
 
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#12
I am curious, which training video's and books did you purchase?

Btw, the leading behaviourists and dog trainers in the world firmly believe that although some of Milan's methods which are out dated and based on faulty wolf research of 45 + years ago, can work to some degree, there are better methods now based on sound behavioural research. They also state that he has put dog training BACK at least 20 years.

I read these books as fallows:

Dog Training for Dummies, Puppy Training, Dog training ILLUSTRATED.

I watched these videos as fallows:

Fun to know Dog training, Training your pup the right way Video Version!


Both these videos the local shelter gave me. The books I bought online. The tqnuiqes used hand signals and TONS of treats. I also took her to a obedience class at petco but I quit because she wasn't learning anything. Everytime she did anything they gave her TONS of treats which I did not like. She also wouldn't do anything for me unless I used tons of treats. Thats when I went Ceasers Way. If what he's doing is wrong, then why does it work so well?
 
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#13
All that business about dogs preceeding you through a doorway or into an area, or really makes an effort to walk just ahead of you when you're out . . . let's think about it from a different point of view . . .

Ever wonder if your dog is maybe following his/her instincts to be alert and to protect you from the unknown? That's probably not going to be true in all cases, with all dogs, but with more guardian-oriented dogs, it's something to be considered.

Makes you wonder how people like Caesar got such a reputation for being gurus.
 
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#14
All that business about dogs preceeding you through a doorway or into an area, or really makes an effort to walk just ahead of you when you're out . . . let's think about it from a different point of view . . .

Ever wonder if your dog is maybe following his/her instincts to be alert and to protect you from the unknown? That's probably not going to be true in all cases, with all dogs, but with more guardian-oriented dogs, it's something to be considered.

Makes you wonder how people like Caesar got such a reputation for being gurus.
Lily wasn't walking infront of me. I do dissagree that he thinks if a dog walks infront of you he's dominant, Lily was PULLING me down the street. Dragging me. She got REALLY big REALLY fast (she was the first big dog that was ALL mine...) So now I have another question... Did I ruin her by training her Ceasers Way? If what hes doing is so bad, and I basically trained her in that manner, then did I ruin her? She's really well behaved and I have even taught her ASL commands because my parents are deaf... Shes insanely obdient. did I break her will?
 
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#15
I doubt you hurt Lily. Where Caesar does the most harm, I believe, is when people who want to think in terms of domination and forcing dogs - or other animals for that matter - glom onto his schtick.

You trained Lily with love, and that's what makes the difference. That will cover a multitude of inadvertent mistakes. :)
 

Lilavati

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#16
I doubt you hurt Lily. Where Caesar does the most harm, I believe, is when people who want to think in terms of domination and forcing dogs - or other animals for that matter - glom onto his schtick.

You trained Lily with love, and that's what makes the difference. That will cover a multitude of inadvertent mistakes. :)
Most of what I know about Caesar's way I only know second hand. But I really, really doubt you ruined your dog that way. There are better ways, much better ways, to train a dog. But dogs have been trained by those methods for a long time, and many if not most of them turn out fine. You love your dog, you did the best you could by her . . . and from what you've said, she turned out fine. So its all good. Just from here on out, try postive reinforcement . . . it works better and won't make you feel bad either!

The biggest danger to Caesar's methods, from my limited knowledge, is when they are applied by people who just watch his show, diagnose their own problem (because they do have a problem) and either make the situation worse, or damage their dog. I presume that Caesar does in fact have some idea what he's doing . . . we don't agree with what he does, but he is a professional, with a lot of experience. I make the assumption that he does have some understanding of which certain techniques are appropriate. When amateurs with dogs with serious problems watch heavily edited television shows using punative methods and try to replicate it . . . <shutter>. Especially when they are people see their dog as a thing and not a living creature.

I am reminded of the person whose dog kept peeing on her feet and decided it was domanance . . .
 

houndlove

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#17
"What he does works" is kind of in the eye of the beholder. There are many many ways to train dogs and to get them to do the physical things we want them to do successfully. So there's lots of things that work by that measure. (Though we actually don't really know how much Cesar's way works because all we have is anecdotal evidence. I know personally of three stories in which people took Cesar's advice and their dogs ended up becoming very aggressive and being put down. But that's still just anecdotal.)

What I find really interesting is to learn some about dog body language and then turn the volume off on the show. Don't listen to what Cesar is telling you about how the dog is thinking and feeling, make that judgment for yourself based on what you've read. I think you'll see a very different show. I personally can't watch it any more. It makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable and after a while I just get angry. Because I am not listening to the stuff that Cesar spouts (remember, he has no formal training in dog handling or dog behavior, so he is telling his viewers his opinion on dog behavior, which differs really really greatly from the educated opinions of people who have studied dog behavior formally and worked with dogs for decades), all I see are dogs who are in crisis, mishandled by their owners for years sometimes and then mishandled by this guy who comes in to their houses and starts poking, prodding, yanking, choking and flipping them over. The dogs by the end are not "calm submissive" they are shut down. Those poor dogs can not win for losing, I feel so bad for them.

I trained my first two dogs largely like that. Conrad is still with me, and I did train him with great love, I did not abuse him or anything, so I'm not accusing anyone who judiciously uses these methods of abuse. But I still regret what I did with him. It was really not fair to him, it was not terribly successful beyond a certain point, it did not solve his serious behavioral problems (separation anxiety and some mild reactivity). I used a choke chain for training, and used the occasional scruff-shake (that's a Monks of New Skete thing) and alpha roll. I had a dominance viewpoint, though we were not strict with that kind of thing--Conrad was allowed on furniture, slept with us in bed, went through doors first, that kind of stuff. But underlying all of that was my feeling that dogs need an "alpha" in order to be happy, and that to demonstrate that I was alpha I could not let Conrad "disobey" me. When the dog disobeyed I needed to punish him in a way that would let him know "I am alpha, you listen when I talk to you." I never used food rewards because I felt that Conrad should listen to me because I'm me, I'm alpha, end of story.

By the time we got Marlowe, I'd done a complete 360 and that was based on my being inspired by Cesar (so thanks to him for that) to get more interested in learning about training and dog behavior. I read "Bones Would Rain from the Sky" and "The Culture Clash" and had an epiphany. I started reading more in that vein and almost as soon as Marlowe came home, I began clicker training him. The difference between them was really striking and it made me sad. When I began to cross Conrad over to the clicker, I saw how upset being trained made him. I'd never made training a pleasant or fun experience for him. No wonder I was never able to get much beyond sit, down and shake with him. Clicker training relies on the dog being in control of his own training--he offers you behaviors that you can choose to reinforce, or not. It took Conrad months to get over his terror of doing anything in the training context but just sit in front of me and look submissive. I felt incredibly guilty. I had done that to him. I'd made him afraid to be creative.

So, back to the successfulness issue. I judge the success of a trainer or a method by a dog being creative, being vibrant, being full of zest for life, knowing how to learn, thinking independently--and all of those things are not compatible with being "calm submissive". I do not want a dog who is shut down, not that I've had a dog who really knows how to learn and how to be creative. As I say, until you've had the latter, it's hard to be able to tell the difference. But after you have both types in your life, it's really really clear.
 

RD

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#18
My problem with Cesar is dominance, dominance, dominance. He reads way too far into simple behaviors and assumes that somehow every behavior is tied into the dog's desire to reach the top of the social ladder.

When a dog is pushing past you to get out the door, being dominant over you is probably the last thing on its mind. It's pushing past you in order to get outside because that's where it wants to go!

When a dog jumps all over you to get its food bowl, it's not doing so out of dominance, it's doing so because it's been improperly trained and doesn't know any better - and, because up until now, jumping all over has always resulted in the food being set on the ground. The dog wants the food, he doesn't want to be the boss of you.

When a dog is going for a walk and is pulling on a leash, it's not because they think they're dominant over you. It's because they want to GO and aren't properly trained to walk politely with you. It has nothing to do with dominance or lack of leadership. I know dogs that have excellent leadership from their owners but are still untrained to do polite things like walking on a leash.

Cesar preaches "pack" handling skills to pet owners with only a couple dogs. If you have a gigantic pack of dogs and need to control them, you probably can't train every single one individually and so calm, quiet control is probably a good way to go. But with pet dogs, this approach just doesn't work in the long term. For one, pet dogs are treated SO differently from the dogs he works with in a large pack. His dogs in that pack aren't his friends the way pet dogs are friends to their owners. They don't follow him around in his house and they aren't there to keep him company like most pet dogs are. So how can he say that companion animals with only a human for company should be treated the same way as a dog that's in a pack of 50?

While I do find that some dogs have a desire to be 'in charge' and will challenge humans, this isn't their life. They're not wolves and their survival does not depend on who is alpha, so their every behavior is not tied into a desire to be #1, as Cesar may lead people to think.
 

Lilavati

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#19
"What he does works" is kind of in the eye of the beholder. There are many many ways to train dogs and to get them to do the physical things we want them to do successfully.
Well, yes. I didn't deny it. I did say its not the best way, by far, to do things. My main point is that it is unlikely Lily ruined her dog that way . . . if she had, we'd know. I've meet lots of dogs trained in methods like that. Most of the are fine. They may not be all they could be, but they aren't, but any stretch of the imagination, ruined. Lots of children were educated by methods that we would condemn, justly, today. Most of them turned out fine. Many of them did reach their potental. Others, of course, were in fact ruined . . . they were turned off to learning, or never learned at all, because they were punished, harshly, for things that were not their fault (such as dyslexia). But most of those kids turned out ok. We now know better. The same is true of training dogs. We know better. The old methods largely work, but they will ruin some dogs and prevent others from being all they can be. And they don't do wonders for our relationships to our dogs. So they should not be used. But I really doubt Lilly ruined her dog . . . and now she knows a different way, and can move forward from there. No harm done.

So there's lots of things that work by that measure. (Though we actually don't really know how much Cesar's way works because all we have is anecdotal evidence. I know personally of three stories in which people took Cesar's advice and their dogs ended up becoming very aggressive and being put down. But that's still just anecdotal.)
No idea. I did say what I know is second hand. But I made a point about just this: Caesar, whatever we may think of his methods, is a professional, and would not be where he is today if his methods were a total disaster.

But hand those methods over to a bunch of people who don't know what they are doing AT ALL . . . who have only read chunks of his books and his shows . . . who may not care much for or pay much attention to their dogs . . . who lack any kind of knowledge or judgement . . . and I'd not be at all suprised if their dogs turned vicious. I've been outright shocked by some of the things I've seen people do to their dogs because they read it in a book or saw it on TV . . . but in at least some of those cases, I'm pretty sure what they are doing is not what they saw on TV or in the book . . its what they THOUGHT they saw. Because they lack the judgement to know the difference. What they saw or read was probably not the best way to handle the problem . . .but it wasn't the raving stupidity I witnessed either.

By way of quick example . . . a few days after I got Sarama, I was walking her and encountered a woman sitting with her two pit bulls. Alpha rolling them. Over and over. Mostly, they were just sitting there, looking at Sarama . . . perhaps they'd get up and bark once or twice. And this woman was just sitting there, grabbing them and flipping them over. Appearently at random. And giving me a lecture on how I should show my dog who is boss. "You shouldn't" [grab, whump] "let your dog get away" [whump] "with anything. She'll try to be" [grab, whump] "dominant over you if she can" [whump] "and then you'll have" [whump] "a lot of problems" [whump]. I have no idea who this person is. I think alpha rolls are a horrible idea. But what I was witnessing wasn't even recognizable as an alpha roll under the theory of what it was for . . . it was a random assault upon her dogs. She had taken a bad idea and was now misusing it in a way that could only end in tears. She clearly had no idea what she was doing, or why, in theory, she was supposed to be doing it. She just though that knocking her dogs over would make them obediant. Bad theory, appalling application.

I am not defending Caesar . . . my main point is that what works in a limited way for him, or for someone with some empathy and care for their dogs, would be, and probably is, a total catastrope in the hands of someone who had no idea what they were doing and didn't care.

Of course, some of the worst trained dogs I've ever encountered were trained by poor +R methods . . . though none of them were vicious . . . Anything done badly is worse than anything done right. Even if what you are trying to do is the right thing.

I am a strong supporter of +R methods . . . and I recommend them to everyone who asks. On the other hand, I refuse to walk around annoucing that any dog (or even most dogs) trained by other methods are badly trained, or mean, or that their owners are bad people. I have too much evidence, seen with my own eyes, to know that simply isn't true. The best dogs I've met were trained with love, and at least a strong measure of +R. But I've met plenty of others (admittedly, loved) that turned out fine by other methods.

Frankly, you hurt your case if you declare unilaterally that all dogs trained by other methods are somehow deficient. There is too much evidence that that is not true, at least by the standards most people use. Again, I'm not supporting these methods . . . but I know lots of dogs that were trained that way, or by a hybrid of +P and +R that are simply fine. Probably, even probably, not optimial. But fine. Not zombie robots or ravening monsters. Just nice enough dogs trained well enough. Not superdogs, but not disasters.

That doesn't mean that these methods should be used (we know a better way) but it also doesn't mean that they don't work and will make your dog vicious. It just means they are not the best way to do something . . . and hold risks, when they fail, that +R does not have. And are much harder and more risky for the inexperienced to use. So they should be abandoned. Agreed.
 
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2dogmom

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Most of what I know about Caesar's way I only know second hand. But I really, really doubt you ruined your dog that way. There are better ways, much better ways, to train a dog. But dogs have been trained by those methods for a long time, and many if not most of them turn out fine. You love your dog, you did the best you could by her . . . and from what you've said, she turned out fine. So its all good. Just from here on out, try postive reinforcement . . . it works better and won't make you feel bad either!

The biggest danger to Caesar's methods, from my limited knowledge, is when they are applied by people who just watch his show, diagnose their own problem (because they do have a problem) and either make the situation worse, or damage their dog. I presume that Caesar does in fact have some idea what he's doing . . . we don't agree with what he does, but he is a professional, with a lot of experience. I make the assumption that he does have some understanding of which certain techniques are appropriate. When amateurs with dogs with serious problems watch heavily edited television shows using punative methods and try to replicate it . . . <shutter>. Especially when they are people see their dog as a thing and not a living creature.

I am reminded of the person whose dog kept peeing on her feet and decided it was domanance . . .

Absolutely. Most of what I know I got from his website. There is an emphasis on explaining behavior problems using 'dominance theory', there is an emphasis on classifying dogs as dominant when they may or may not be (like if they walk through the door in front of you) and ther is an emphasis on physical methods. Now it may be that there are dogs with serious behavioral issues which he has turned around and if he gives people hope, then I am all for that.
But many of us deal with fearful, submissive dogs, and the possible damage that can be done by assuming that a submissive dog is being dominant ("My dog peed in front of me to SHOW me she is boss!" :rolleyes: ) is huge. If he would make room in his tool box for submissive dogs I would be a lot happier with him.
To his credit, he has come out against BSL so I give him a thumbs up for using his name for a good cause IMO.
 
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