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I have a friend from university whose family is getting two Scottish Terriers in March. Unfortunately, they're a family who thinks everything they see on TV is the "right" way to do things and think that Cesar Milan is the coolest thing going! :doh::doh:

I suggested "Before and After Getting Your Puppy" as another resource to check out and she replied her mom is really into Cesar right now, as well as saying that Lucy is really cute.

Here's what I replied, "Thanks! We didn't use Cesar to train her (I don't like his methods with the dominating your dog mentality). Dunbar uses positive reinforcement to teach them. We really like the way she's turning out. I know you aren't getting a golden, but if you want some more ideas for books to read etc www.goldenretrieverforum.com they have some good suggestions... see more on puppy rearing in their puppy section.

The way we looked at the different methods was like this: Cesar will give you a dog that obeys you because it fears you. Dunbar will give you a dog that obeys you because it respects you and wants to please you."

I also sent her the article that Heather sent home with us "Alpha Roll or Jelly Roll".

How do you guys handle a Cesar Milan fan? What do you say? etc etc? I think I've made my point with her for the moment and she'll at least consider alternative ways of training these puppies, but where would you go from there?

Thanks!
 

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You might try pointing out some of the positives that Cesar teaches. Like exercise. Exercise is important and Cesar stresses that on every show. Or that a dog is not a person. He is right on that point, too.

Then point out that his show does have the disclaimer to not try this at home.

If they prefer to watch TV to learn how to train their dogs, tell them about Victoria Stillwell's It's Me or the Dog on Animal Planet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks fostermom! I don't watch the show, but those points will definitely help me out.

I also wanted to say after re-reading my post. I shouldn't say "handle" or "deal with". I meant more along the lines of encouraging the use of alternative methods to Cesar's.
 

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a Cesar fan myself, I'd say the best way to deal with one, is to make shore they realy understand whats he's about, and just doesn't copy him blindly.

I read all his books and his ideas are great, but some of the things he does like pinning dog can be very danerous
 

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I also suggest they read "Reaching the animal mind" by Karen Pryor, amaaaazing book.
 
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I just remind them that Cesar is dealing almost exclusively with what he calls "redline" cases. The dogs he deals with have serious behavior problems. If a puppy is trained and exercised properly, he'll never get to that point.

I don't agree with the whole dominating thing, but I learned a lot from watching his show a few times. The key things I took away from his show are the exact same things fostermom mentioned, the importance of exercise and treating a dog like a dog, not a person.
 

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I like Ceasar. I often watch his show while I eat lunch...although now he has to compete with Dr. Oz.

If you watch it enough, you start to see that he does not have one method. He uses a different approach depending on the dog. If what he is doing is not working, he is willing to try something different. Sometimes his corrections look harsh, but that is usually when he is dealing with a dog with major aggression issues. If he is able to turn that dog into a happy "balanced" dog, then I think its good in the long run...but they do have the warnings about consulting a professional and not trying the techniques yourself.

Ceasar doesnt want to make the dog fearful of the owner. He's all about having the dog feel calm and submissive. He wants the dogs to be happy! He doesn't really consider himself a dog trainer - but does often use positive reinforcemnt when teaching new behaviours.

I wouldn't recommend just watching the tv show for someone to learn how to train their puppy though. I haven't read any of Ceasar's books - but I think he does have a puppy raising book - I don't know how good it is. I would reccomend taking a puppy class to gets hands on training with the instructor and for the socialization benefits.
 

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I'm also a "fan". He's about dominance, yes, but dominance is not necessarily a bad thing either. I think people tend to confuse what the word really means, in Cesar's terms. Dominance means, being the leader, the one in control is where I think Cesar means.

He's about the energy we give off when we're interacting with our dogs. "Calm Assertive" is what he's about in regards to the owners. I really think that's what he's trying to convey in his shows.

Actually, I'd trust him to take my 2 "babies" in a heartbeat. They are my world, but I also know that they are dogs first, and that they're happiest being allowed to be dogs.

Actually, we were having a heck of a time with Sophie running out the door if it was left open. We live in a busy intersection of a subdivision... she'd run out and get the zoomies up and down the park we have next door to our house, she'd run up and down the sidewalk, and the last time, she ran across the street in the middle of the intersection... very scary! That's when I decided to take a tip from Cesar. Without saying a word, I stepped into her space in front of the door quietly and CLAIMED the door and the space in front of it. She figured it out in the space of 15 minutes. She now knows that the door and entryway is off limits unless I invite her out the door.

I've seen people complain about the collars Cesar uses, but most of the time, unless it's a "red zone case" as he calls them, he uses the tools that the owners already have at home.

I really admire his work with dogs at risk.
 
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I do not care for Cesar's methods at all and find that he just really gets on my nerves. A friend of mine adores him and has helped her through many trials and tribulations with her rescue. Frankly for my dog I learn much more from Dr. Stanley Coren. He is a gentle "honey gets reward" kind of guy... My GR is extremely sensitive and I think Cesar would destroy her very being. Mind you I don"t need Cesar as my dog is "perfect" ... Well to me anyway :) Thanks to Dr. Coren.
 

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If they prefer to watch TV to learn how to train their dogs, tell them about Victoria Stillwell's It's Me or the Dog on Animal Planet.
I've never seen her show, but I did see her on that dog show one summer where she was a judge. She really rubbed me the wrong way on that show. A handler was doing a routine, she told her dog to sit, the dog didn't sit, so the handler put her hand on the dog's rear to have it sit. Victoria really came down on her, saying she didn't ever want to see anyone force a dog to do anything.Seriously? I know some people don't like to put their hands on a dog when training, but to totally condemn someone else for doing it? The handler didn't slap, jerk, push, or shock the dog, just put a hand on its rear with downward pressure when the dog ignored its command.
 

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I too am a Cesar fan and watch his shows as often as I can. I have learned quite a bit from him and feel that myself and my dogs are better for it. I know he really stresses the Exercise-Discipline-Affection theory which, for me, is important to remember as I tend to be all about affection!!! And I MUST remember that my dogs are just that....dogs and must be treated as such.

I saw an episode the other day about a very food aggressive 11 month old Golden and it is amazing what he did to rehabiliate the dog...which included spending time at his psychology centre. The dog had previously bitten his owner quite badly.

I just enjoy watching his show for extra tips that I may be missing in my dogs' training.
 

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I agree with a previous poster - Cesar adjusts his methods depending on the dog. I recently saw an episode where he rehabilitated a rescued greyhound. This poor dog was sooo afraid of everything! There was no mention of dominance here, it was all about posiitive reinforcement. I think its just the aggressive dogs make good TV. His basic principles are sound - exercise, boundaries and limitations, and of course affection. Affection is the easy part!! In fact, alot of his theories would probably work on my kids, too!
 

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Sorry, another fan here. I don't have a problem with his methods, considering a lot of the dogs he deals with on the show likely would be homeless or not with us anymore if he didn't step in to help. Every dog is different, every situation is different and some dogs do need more of a firm hand than others to get results in a reasonable amount of time. I'm sure I'll get flamed here... yes I agree that clicker training and shaping everything is awesome and I try to do it where I can, but (not intending to offend/shock anyone here) if my border collie, who can be a bit of a jerk at times, decides to snark at another dog for no good reason other than they looked his way, I will get on his case, lift him by the scruff and say (stop reading now if you don't want to faint) a firm NO to him.

Anyway, to answer your question, I would tell them that it is very foolish to simply watch a tv show of anyone (I can think of worse ones too) and expect that will train the dog, any more than sitting said dog in front of the show will result in a trained dog. It's great they are watching but the best thing to do would be to still sign up and take group classes with the pup, so the dog gets socialized and they get HANDS ON expereince with training and problem solving.

Unless, of course, they intend to majorly screw up with the dogs and then go on the show.... maybe pay for part of puppy classes, or all of them, as a welcome puppy gift, that way you can guide them to a good local trainer you do like...

Lana
 

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I think people tend to confuse what the word really means, in Cesar's terms. Dominance means, being the leader, the one in control is where I think Cesar means.
I think this is where Cesar's methodology falls short, or at least where people misunderstand:

humans tend to think that being dominant means being a leader. But in most animal societies, these two are very different. The dominant animal is usually the biggest and strongest and the one which can take the best resources. But that's not usually the one who is being followed by the others. Quite the opposite, often the other animals will try to avoid the dominant one, because they don't wish to compete with it.
 

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That may be why people are confused. Dominant in the human world means leadership, influence, control. In the human world, to dominate doesn't always mean brawn, it often means brains. I've seen Cesar often encourage owners to use their brainpower and to discourage yelling and excited behaviour toward their dogs.
 

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I respect Cesar. I don't agree with everything he does but I agree with quite abit. I don't agree with any trainer 100%.

Encouraging people to look at different techniques is a good thing. But ultimately people can't be controlled on who they decide to follow.
 

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Caesar has nothing but promote good dog ownership. Exercise, Discipline and Affection. Leadership is just not the dog but the entire family. Whether that family is a single person, couple, family with children or entire firehouse.He talks about being consistent with your dog. Speak to the Dog in a calm assertive manner.

I believe he does a great job showing that it is not the dog's fault but it is totally related to the environment that the dog is located. How many shows have the wife that is going nuts with the dog, the wimpy husband that is doing nothing and the lazy kids that don't care about the dog. The poor dog has so much energy it can only get into trouble.

There are a lot of people on this forum that complain about how much their dog is acting up and they never mention anything about exercising the dog or puppy. Exercising a dog is a new concept. When people buy a puppy they are so small and cute and can't walk down the street without collapsing. BTW, I miss those days. Six months later they are complaining about the puppy acting up and they don't understand.

When you meet a Caesar fan how about talking about the overall positive nature of his show instead of how he has to intercede with a red zone pit bull or rottweiler. I have never seen him dominate a golden. I saw two of them drive him nuts because the poor dogs needed attention and were in the back yard all the time while the family was inside playing video games and ignoring them.
 

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Cesar is a behaviorist not a trainer per say, at least according to him. I can just about guarantee he will work with dogs that Stilwell will not come near. However as a trainer Stilwell seams to be very good. I watch both of them and other shows as well as reading books and also taking classes. I don’t agree with everything that most anyone says but look for good ideas to help me.
I would remind her that Cesar is gifted and very experienced, what he does must be used with care especially by an inexperienced person.
 
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