Ceaser Milan

adojrts

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#21
Have either of you read ANY of the links posted in this thread?
The people who are against Milan for the most part are people that use to use the same theories and methods BUT they learned that there are better methods, based on sound reseach?
Have you read how the original reseachers on Wolf Packs from 45 years ago, (which is where all this dominance and pack theroy comes from btw) have RECANTED, they know they screwed up, that the theories and reseach were seriously FLAWED?
Alpha rolling - dominant wolves and dogs DON'T ALPHA roll, the submissive offers the roll!! And in the cases where another the one takes down another in pure aggression, its meant to kill not to punish.
The fact remains that people at the fore front of dog traininig, believe that Milan has taken training BACK 20 YEARS.
He isn't a Professional Dog Trainer by any means, but he is a PRO at marketing.
 

Dizzy

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#22
He does some good things, some bad things.

I wouldn't put a prong collar on my dog (not that you can buy them here) or correct my dog in the manner he does, but I do think that some of his ideas have a little worth.

Most of the people on the show are push overs and do not train or exercise their dogs.
 

Brattina88

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#23
Most of the people on the show are push overs and do not train or exercise their dogs.
I agree. I also agree with what Milan says about exercise first - people at work tend to ask me for help with their dog's and behavior issues they are having. My first question to them is usually how much exercise they get. I am continually surprised by how little exercise dogs are getting. Some people never walk their dogs, and their yards are small :confused: and they wonder why their dogs dig, bite, chew, etc. Even I hate being cooped up in my house too much. Dogs thrive on way more exercise than I do LOL
I also agree with his saying about remaining calm or whatever. I know a woman who just asked me to help her with her puppy who is biting at her pant legs. She flails her arms around and yells "OW! THAT HURTS!" which gets the puppy all wired up, and encourages him. Even I had to laugh, it looked like fun to me as well! :eek:

But that guys just plain out gets on my nerves. Everything is NOT dominance related. And I HATE that episode with the Great Dane on the shiny floors - Milan keeps repeating how his calm-assertive energy helped the dog overcome his fears. Meanwhile, the dog is clearly showing many stressed-signals and ends up panting like crazy after his flooding.
My personal opinion is that people want a quick fix - and Cesar's 'techniques' seem to work well with that. But where are some of these dogs 6mos or a couple years after he works with them?? Hmmmm...

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.†nytimes quote
Ha. BS :rolleyes:

JMHO
 

Lilavati

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#24
Have either of you read ANY of the links posted in this thread?
The people who are against Milan for the most part are people that use to use the same theories and methods BUT they learned that there are better methods, based on sound reseach?
Have you read how the original reseachers on Wolf Packs from 45 years ago, (which is where all this dominance and pack theroy comes from btw) have RECANTED, they know they screwed up, that the theories and reseach were seriously FLAWED?
Alpha rolling - dominant wolves and dogs DON'T ALPHA roll, the submissive offers the roll!! And in the cases where another the one takes down another in pure aggression, its meant to kill not to punish.
The fact remains that people at the fore front of dog traininig, believe that Milan has taken training BACK 20 YEARS.
He isn't a Professional Dog Trainer by any means, but he is a PRO at marketing.
We have. And we agree. But you are not reading what we are saying. We are not supporting Caesar or alpha rolls.

He has indeed taken back training 20 years. On the other hand, it did work, in a limited way, 20 years ago, and it works, in a limited way, now. I would NOT recommend the methods to anyone. On the other hand, I will not tell someone that I think they have ruined their dog that way. I don't think they have. I think their dog is very likely to be perfectly fine. Use +R methods for here on. Not only will wracking oneself with guilt over well intentioned training be totally counter producive, I don't think there is any reason to do so.

As for the alpha rolls . . . of course they are discredited! But my point about that woman was that she was not even using them under the discredited theory . . . this is a suble distinction, perhaps . . . but the theory and the training manuals that use it tell you have to use an alpha roll. (it doesn't work, I agree, it doesn't work, but hang with me here). There is a rationale to it, and circumstances that, under the theory, it is recommended. The woman I encountered was SO ignorant, that she wasn't even using the alpha rolls as they are supposed to be used under the discredited theory. She was taking a discredited theory and applying it in a way that, even with the bad science, it was never meant to be used. That's ignorance twice over. Not only is the theory discredited, but she wasn't even doing what the discredited theory said she should do. Bad useless training methods are bad and useless, but may not do too much harm (if no good) to a balanced, stable dog. Bad and useless training methods applied in ways that even their advocates never intended are downright dangerous, even WITH a balanced stable dog.

Although there are many, many reasons to use +R, one of them should be that if you screw up +R you are most likely to get a badly behaved, but happy and friendly dog that someone can retrain later. If you screw up +P you might get a vicious, neurotic, or mentally damaged dog who will take a lot of work to fix, if it can be fixed.

Basically, there is a scale of training, from best to worst (it is of course more nuanced that this, because of debates about what technique exactly fits where, but it gives the idea):
+R done right
+R done poorly
Traditional training methods done as they were supposed to be done. (some might argue that this is better that +R done poorly, but I'm not going to get into that arguement)
Traditional training methods done poorly
Traditional traing methods done by people who have no idea what they are doing
Cattle prods
 

adojrts

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#25
We have. And we agree. But you are not reading what we are saying. We are not supporting Caesar or alpha rolls.

He has indeed taken back training 20 years. On the other hand, it did work, in a limited way, 20 years ago, and it works, in a limited way, now. I would NOT recommend the methods to anyone. On the other hand, I will not tell someone that I think they have ruined their dog that way. I don't think they have. I think their dog is very likely to be perfectly fine. Use +R methods for here on. Not only will wracking oneself with guilt over well intentioned training be totally counter producive, I don't think there is any reason to do so.

As for the alpha rolls . . . of course they are discredited! But my point about that woman was that she was not even using them under the discredited theory . . . this is a suble distinction, perhaps . . . but the theory and the training manuals that use it tell you have to use an alpha roll. (it doesn't work, I agree, it doesn't work, but hang with me here). There is a rationale to it, and circumstances that, under the theory, it is recommended. The woman I encountered was SO ignorant, that she wasn't even using the alpha rolls as they are supposed to be used under the discredited theory. She was taking a discredited theory and applying it in a way that, even with the bad science, it was never meant to be used. That's ignorance twice over. Not only is the theory discredited, but she wasn't even doing what the discredited theory said she should do. Bad useless training methods are bad and useless, but may not do too much harm (if no good) to a balanced, stable dog. Bad and useless training methods applied in ways that even their advocates never intended are downright dangerous, even WITH a balanced stable dog.

Although there are many, many reasons to use +R, one of them should be that if you screw up +R you are most likely to get a badly behaved, but happy and friendly dog that someone can retrain later. If you screw up +P you might get a vicious, neurotic, or mentally damaged dog who will take a lot of work to fix, if it can be fixed.

Basically, there is a scale of training, from best to worst (it is of course more nuanced that this, because of debates about what technique exactly fits where, but it gives the idea):
+R done right
+R done poorly
Traditional training methods done as they were supposed to be done. (some might argue that this is better that +R done poorly, but I'm not going to get into that arguement)
Traditional training methods done poorly
Traditional traing methods done by people who have no idea what they are doing
Cattle prods
Well said, your right I did think you were supporting him, thanks for clearing that up and my apologize.
I don't have time now to re-read all the posts, but I don't think any one told the OP the she had ruined her dog..........If I remember correctly she asked if she had, not anyone saying that she did.

At any rate, Merry X-mas, have to run.
Lynn
 

Lilavati

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#26
Well said, your right I did think you were supporting him, thanks for clearing that up and my apologize.
I don't have time now to re-read all the posts, but I don't think any one told the OP the she had ruined her dog..........If I remember correctly she asked if she had, not anyone saying that she did.

At any rate, Merry X-mas, have to run.
Lynn
Merry Christmas, and its cool. I tend to write long dense posts, so I understand if people get lost. I need to work on that.
 

houndlove

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#27
I think my intention may have also gotten lost in my rambling too, which was to say that I don't consider what I did with Conrad abuse, and I don't think I ruined him, but I do regret many of the things I did and I am trying to improve things with him now. The result of the way I used to train was not a ruined or abused dog, but it was a dog who still had the same behavior problems he came with, and who lacked a certain something. A certain spark, and creativity. That is what I regret, though he is coming along great now.

I did what I did way back in the day not because I did not love Conrad. On the contrary, I had been convinced that if I did love my dog, this is what I should do. So I fully understand that people train this way and have these ideas not out of spite or cruelty, but out of love. But sometimes we do things with the best of intentions and out of the greatest love that still aren't the wisest things to do, all things considered. It's why in Buddhism wisdom goes hand in hand with compassion. Just having wisdom makes one cold and remote, but just having compassion makes one make rash decisions that don't always turn out the way we want. Having both, you can do the wisest things out of the greatest compassion, and that usually ends up better in the end for everyone. We can never see the end of the story, so to speak, so we never know what the results of our actions will be. We can only take our best guess and hope for the best.
 

IliamnasQuest

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#29
I agree with most of the things said about Milan - his methods are outdated and archaic, as well as (in MY opinion) based on an abusive level of force.

When we think about whether or not a method works, we have to each decide what we consider as a "good" result. If you have a dog that doesn't pull, doesn't bite, doesn't give you any sort of dominant actions or reactions - do you consider that the method "worked" or do you look at the other aspects of the dog's actions? I see the dogs on Milan's show and they are exhibiting huge stress signals and they look absolutely MISERABLE to me. But as an experienced dog trainer, I've learned to recognize and understand the dog's body language and overall I've found that the typical person - regardless of how long they've owned dogs - does NOT have a good knowledge of the body language of dogs. Many seem to think that if a dog is obedient and minds the owner, then whatever method was used worked well. But the facts are that you can take a dog and force that dog into submission and it will indeed act obedient. I could take almost any dog out there, use the right kind of pain, and could get that dog to show submissive obedience in a relatively short amount of time (and when I say "the right kind of pain" I mean for that particular dog - it may be a tug on a choke chain for one dog, it may be a shock collar set on 90 for another). To the unknowledgeable, the end result would look beautiful - a dog that complies instantly on command. To those who know canine body language, they'd see a dog that is responding through a fear of consequence - a dog that may wag its tail, that may fawn over the handler, but that is a dog with a personality that has been broken in some way.

I don't consider that kind of result as a method having "worked". And that's what I see when I look at the dogs that Milan handles on his TV show.

Nearly every dog I've seen him work with ends up with something thin and tight directly behind the ears (at the most sensitive and easily choked section of the neck). This is a FORCE method, pure and simple, and is based on teaching the dog that any response that is not very submissive will result in being choked and hurt. Milan delivers this pain with a charismatic grin and a cute little accent and people accept this brutal treatment of their dogs! It completely appalls me that anyone can say "I LOOOOOVVVE my dog!" and then let someone brutalize it like that. Yes, the dogs are a mess generally because the owners are completely inept. Yes, forceful pain-based training gets quick results (but not necessarily long-term results). But are the results worth doing that to your dog?

I, too, trained with force when I first started. I was good at it. I could use a choke chain very effectively, alpha-roll a dog a split second after it showed any aggressive attempt, and I had dogs that were SO obedient it would make your jaw drop to watch them. I loved my dogs, but I was brutal with them all in the name of training. And I won't ever forget what I did .. regardless of how much I apologized to them afterwards, I will never forget the look of confusion in my old shepherd's eyes when I was walking around the shop reinforcing all the younger dogs (that had been trained using positive methods) for getting into heel position, and poor Dawson stood in the middle of the floor with his head and tail down, watching me, completely afraid to offer a behavior because my harsh methods had taught him that he wasn't to do anything unless given a command. He wanted to be a part of what I was doing but I had destroyed the part of his personality that made him think he was allowed a choice.

When people ask me "did I ruin my dog by using these methods?" I tell them "well, maybe not ruined - but it's likely you have changed your dog's personality by adding fear as a main part of their behavioral response to you". You CAN NOT have the same relationship with a dog if you use fear-based methods in order to train, and if you use anything that causes pain (including the choking leashes/collars) then you are compromising the relationship to a certain extent. Maybe control is more important in some instances. I know that on occasion I do use methods that provide a consequence even now, but I do it fully knowing what I'm doing and fully knowing that it could create some change in the relationship I have with my dog. And that's something I watch for very carefully.

So if people want to use force, they have the legal right to do it. But I think we all have to ask ourselves, "what kind of relationship DO I want with my dog?". If all you want is obedience then I suppose any method will do. If you want a dog that trusts you, that believes you won't cause it pain and responds from a bond you have instead of a fear, then you won't base your methods on pain. You'll work hard to develop a good, solid, trusting bond and use positive reinforcement methods as much as you can - and save the corrections for those times when nothing else seems to work.

Anyhow, having been in both camps - having seen the difference, and having enough experience to see what Milan is doing - I just wanted to offer my thoughts on this. I do agree that dogs need more exercise and that they need leadership, but those things can generally be produced with a minimum of pain. +R methods can and do work well overall IF they're applied properly and they build a trusting relationship. I encourage everyone to try that first.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

Chewbecca

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#30
I haven't read this entire thread, in fact, I only skimmed the last page.

But I have a question since I cannot watch him on tv (I don't get National Geographic Channel), is he softening at all in his ways of handling dogs?

My in-laws told me of the recent show with the lab that was afraid of everything from being over in...Iraq (?) and how Cesar took this dog and calmly worked with him.
I didn't see the show and they were just talking about different things he did with him and how he worked with him for like...45 days or something.
But what they said led me to believe that maybe he's softened with his handling of dogs.

Do you think he'd still take a dog aggressive dog and force it onto his pack and force his pack onto the dog?
Because that would destroy my dog.
 

Lilavati

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#31
Melanie,

You are right about "worked." And it really depends on how abusive the methods are. There is a whole lot of debate about what is and is not an abusive training method . . . and frankly, I've never paid any attention to Mr. Milan, so I only know what other people have said.

I was using "worked" in the general public sense. . . the dog obeys basic commands, doesn't bite, doesn't jump, and generally is pleasant to be around. In terms of "fine" after using traditional training methods, I meant friendly, bonded with its owner, a satisfying animal to be around and to own. The best they could be? No, not necessiarly.

As for ruining your dog . . . I agree with you. But, I think it really depends on the exact training methods. But I've met a lot of dogs trained by traditional methods that I would not call ruined, because the training was balanced with a lot of love and affection from their owners, who meant well. Was their relationship damaged? Probably, but I also think that it can be repaired. I've met ruined dogs. They're scared and scary. Most dogs trained by traditional methods, as they were meant to be used, do not turn out that way. They may not be what they could be, and they may not have the incredibly strong bonds with their owners that +R creates . . . but they are not ruined. And largely, I feel, by switching to +R, you can fix it, and heal your relationship. Of course, that also depends on the dog, and what you mean by traditional methods. That's where we get into debates about what is and is not acceptable in a +R program . . .which is probably for another thread. :)

However, I do refuse to condemn somone who did the best they could, have a dog that is not insane, and wants to learn more. Guilt is not constructive.
 

corgipower

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#32
Without reading the entire thread, but having skimmed most of theposst, and with only having watched a couple episodes of the show, I have been less than impressed with his lack of dog reading skills. One episode that stands out for me involved a dog that he took and put in with his pack. He showed the dog on video commenting how the dog was calm and confident and was now exhibiting control, blah blah blah, while the dog stood in the corner, tail tucked up against his belly, head half way to the ground, tongue hanging out with stress panting and trembling.

I was horrified that he would show that and comment on it being calm and confident. The dog was scared witless.
 

Lilavati

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#33
Without reading the entire thread, but having skimmed most of theposst, and with only having watched a couple episodes of the show, I have been less than impressed with his lack of dog reading skills. One episode that stands out for me involved a dog that he took and put in with his pack. He showed the dog on video commenting how the dog was calm and confident and was now exhibiting control, blah blah blah, while the dog stood in the corner, tail tucked up against his belly, head half way to the ground, tongue hanging out with stress panting and trembling.

I was horrified that he would show that and comment on it being calm and confident. The dog was scared witless.
I think I am glad that I have never actually watched the show . . . sigh . . . from your description, that behavior and its meaning should be obvious to anyone, even one not familiar with dogs . . . the dog is speaking universal Mammal.
 

Maxy24

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#34
It also bothers me how he does that with almost all the dogs, throws them in with his "pack". The "pack" all gather around the dog all showing him who's boss at the same time, stressing and scaring the dog. I think Caesar feels this is supposed to teach the dog to be submissive and that he is not always boss or something :rolleyes:. He's lucky there have been no big fights (that I've seen). Oh and IliamnasQuest GREAT post, it reminds me a lot of the book I'm reading "Bones would Rain from the Sky" it talks about how training methods can either help or hurt your relationship with your dog and how to read your dog and truly listen to what he is asking so that he learns to trust you and feel that he can depend on you to read him and respect him, not push him further than he can go. Certain training puts a value on you respecting your dog, other methods could care less about you respecting your dog it's all about the dog respecting you. You need to remember that your dog is directly and constantly affected by you and everything you do. Every time you are with him or interacting with him you are affecting his behavior, it's not "my dog has a problem" it is always "we, me and my dog, have a problem". So yeah now I'm getting off track but it's such a great book, everyone should read it I think. Your post just reminded me of it so much.
 

adojrts

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#35
I think I am glad that I have never actually watched the show . . . sigh . . . from your description, that behavior and its meaning should be obvious to anyone, even one not familiar with dogs . . . the dog is speaking universal Mammal.
lilavati;
You really need to watch at least one episode, I think you will then see what everyone is talking about.
As for 'it being obvious', it constantly amazes me how unobservant so many people are. And even when they do see something, they don't know what it means.
I can give a good example, I know someone who has been in the dog industry for over 25 yrs as a pro. They also compete with their dogs. (this person is not a dog trainer, except for the work they do with their own dogs).
They have 4 dogs, 2 males and 2 females all of different breeds and mixes, ALL are spayed and neutered. 3 of the dogs are rescues.
In the last two or three months, they have been having an esculating problem between the older female and the younger (2 yrs) bully cross female.
I was over at their place just last week and we were discussing the problem.
All the dogs were there, greeting me etc, while we were standing there, I watched some very subtile signs pass between the two dogs. I pointed the signs out to the owner and told them that it was at this point that they needed to redirect and take control of the situation. They missed it completely, so we let things carry on. With both of us chatting and watching, it happened again, owner missed it again. My visit turned into a lesson in subtile body language of dogs. And also a strong recommendation to get their hands on some books and DVD's. And which ones to purchase.
Before they have a blood bath, btw blood have already been drawn.
 

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#36
I always recommend that people watch the show with the volume up, and then hit "mute" and watch with no sound. Humans are very very verbal creatures, and the show is chock full of this supposed expert telling the viewer what they are seeing. He is constantly interpreting and "translating" for the dogs, into human language and we as humans tend to really glom on to that. There's this really constant running commentary about, "Now the dog is feeling this, see he did that which says he's feeling this way and is about to this thing, and now I'm reacting in a way which tells him this and that and the other and now see he's saying this new thing, mission accomplished." Get rid of that commentary, and all of a sudden you can see what the dog is trying to say much more clearly, because this human verbal chatter isn't getting in the way of you just interpreting physical signals. And rarely is the dog actually saying what the commentary is telling the viewer it is saying.
 

Cessena

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#37
Ugh, I'd never watched any Cesar Milan until this weekend. I don't get Nat Geo, but my parents do. So I was home for christmas and had the flue, I decided to watch me some dog whisperer, and man do I regret it. In the episode I watched he worked with 3 different dogs, and each time he talked to the owners, and essentially blamed them for their handling of the dogs. (And he did say a few things that I agreed with but then he'd say something totally ridiculous to follow it up.)

He would get into this whole thing about how the owners needed to project a commanding presence blah blah blah and just by being assertive they would be able to get their dog to obey. He did this on three separate dogs, and on all three dogs, they show this HUGE almost instant change in behavior that they've made and going on and on about how much the owner's confidence and assertiveness helps.

And every single one of those dogs was switched to a regular buckle collar to some kind of choke collar. Wow, I'm sure it was just the ATTITUDE that fixed the problem, it has nothing to do with the rope/chain currently shutting off airflow every 5 seconds when Cesar thinks they are putting a foot out of line. Yank yank yank yank. It just broke my heart.

I am really surprised that more people don't see through his BS. But I guess it helps that I've heard all about it before.
 

heartdogs

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#39
I have little use for the guy - one thing I do notice in the more recent shows is that there is a subtle attempt to discredit some of his detractors. For example, he used to just leave whatever equipment the owner had on the dog, without much commentary. But, when a dog appeared in a Halti, he took that off quickly as if to suggest that it was harmful equipment. I wanted to say, "No, idiot, the owners probably just stuck the darn thing on the dog without acclimating it at all, and expected the dog to like it, which it didn't." The number one reason head collars fail isn't because they don't work, it's because the handler introduces it improperly. If you can get a dog to stand for having its nails clipped, or you can make it come when called, what the heck should be so hard about acclimating it to a head collar? But, it's like everything else - people want the "magic bullet", the "quick fix". And, Cesar Millan makes it look like that is possible - through the magic of television. I think that houndlove is dead on - that guy doesn't know fear when he sees it - fear and stress do NOT equal "calm submission",
 

lives4dogshows

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#40
I've never really watched CM or read any of his books but one day I did happen to catch him alpha-rolling a dog on one of his shows as he was flipping channels. That was it for me, I really don't want anything to do with his methods. The Dominance theory has been debunked in the last few decades and the fact that he is still using it as a basis for working with dogs just made me sick.

Anywho that's my two cents on the whole thing.

Have a Happy New Year!!
 
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