“I’ve heard a lot about Cesar Millan‘s training since the Alan Titchmarsh show. But until I found the right videos I didn’t want to post any story. But I found the one regards the show, plus a slowed down version of what Titchmarsh is talking about when he refers to ‘thumping a dog’. I’m not saying everything he does is bad…watch the videos below to see what you think. I am no animal trainer but have lived with dogs, breeds from German Shepherd’s to Chihuahua’s & horses of all breeds & sizes, since I was knee high to a grasshopper. When working with big animals like horses it’s vital you learn to take note of their body language, because it will save you from getting your butt kicked or hand bitten…all of which I have had done to me, so many times, when I was younger.”
“Going & crying about it to my parents didn’t help, the best advice they gave me was, ‘if you don’t want it to happen again, learn to respect their space & get them to respect yours, they will tell you via their body language if their pissed at you’! It took a long time for me to pick up on such subtle actions as a tail flick to tell me, ‘I’m warning you get out my stable I’m busy eating’ but I finally got it. I don’t know about other animals, but with horses & dogs the body language is similar, the eye’s, nostrils, lips, chewing & licking, ears, tail…that is how they communicate with us.”
“But there are the usual dick heads who want their dogs tails docked or ears cropped because it’s our preference…to make them look better. If you don’t like a breed the way it is, don’t bloody well buy one…simple! We have no business nor any right to be cutting off bits from animals or de-vocalising them, just because it suits us!! If we are to live in harmony with our pets & understand their needs, wants & desires, then as owners we must learn to listen to what their bodies are telling us!”.
- Charges £60,000 for controversial methods, including electric shocks
- Hollywood fans of Millan include Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron
A week ago, Hollywood ‘dog whisperer’ Cesar Millan scarcely registered in the national consciousness. But now, after a single appearance on ITV’s normally sedate Alan Titchmarsh Show, he has become one of Britain’s most controversial characters.
The normally genial host turned on him, saying: ‘You punish dogs. You hit them. I’ve seen you punch a dog in the throat to get it to behave, and to most people, like myself, this is totally unacceptable as a way of training an animal. You also work with electric shocks and spikes on collars – and that’s pretty barbaric treatment.’
Unsurprisingly, the spat triggered an internet frenzy. Many critics were vituperative about Cesar’s controversial methods. Others say the Mexican-born dog trainer – who is rumoured to charge £60,000 to tame Hollywood pets – uses tried-and-tested methods.
Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, Cesar robustly defends his methods. ‘I am not brutal or cruel to animals,’ he insists. ‘My mission has always been to save dogs – especially troubled and abandoned dogs. I’ve dedicated my life to this. My new TV series is all about saving shelter dogs and rehabilitating them so they can be adopted by good families.’
Cesar insists he uses the more controversial techniques only on what he calls ‘red-zone’ animals: aggressive and abandoned dogs who could never be re-homed without proper training.
He says he never hurts the animals, only touches them lightly. But he also says that spike chokers and electrical devices ‘may be helpful’.
On his website, Cesar says that an electronic dog collar ‘is the most successful’ at stopping unwanted barking, but says owners should seek expert advice before using them.
He says: ‘I use many techniques to rehabilitate dogs. In extreme cases – by which I mean cases where I’m the last resort before a dog is put down – these tools may be helpful. But they are just one of many techniques.
‘The processes I prefer are exercise, discipline and affection. I realise there is debate about what techniques are “best” or right, but I focus on the fundamentals of the problem – the question of why the dog is behaving like he is. Then I know what technique from a wide range of options is the best to solve the problem.’
Le Bon’s husband, Duran Duran star Simon Le Bon, last week tweeted:
‘What did Alan Titchmarsh say about Cesar Millan that’s seriously put my wife on the warpath? He should be afraid, very afraid! Cesar Millan is pretty close to holy in this house.’
While animal rights groups voice disquiet about some of his methods, many on the internet seemed to side with Cesar. Jessie from Stoke-on-Trent spoke for many when she posted:
‘There is no point asking a red-zone dog, as they’re called, to sit and offer him a treat.
‘His behaviour demands immediate action to dominate the dog and that is what Cesar does.
‘If people took the trouble to actually watch him at work on his TV show, they might realise that dogs are not children and should never be treated as such.’
Cesar himself insists that calmness is the key to canine obedience. ‘When I approach an animal, I want to demonstrate that I’m calm,’ he says. ‘Then I ask myself what he needs. Both those considerations must come before any needs of the human. If you’re calm, the animal will pick up on that. I believe a calm dog is a happy, obedient dog that won’t get into trouble.
‘There’s a time for excitement but it isn’t first thing in the morning. Don’t start your dog’s day with excitement.
‘ We’ve got to become better at listening to what a dog is trying to tell us. I always start off by teaching the owner to relax before I start working with their dog. Otherwise, they’re influencing their dogs negatively.’
Nor should you judge a dog by its breed, he says. ‘Don’t suspect a rottweiler or a pit bull before you’ve met it. And look at the owner. That will tell you all you need to know about the dog. Dogs d don’t see themselves as breeds. When a beagle meets a pit bull, he’s not thinking: “Are you the one everyone talks about?” They see themselves as individual dogs.’
Wherever your sympathies lie, 43-year-old Cesar’s personal story is extraordinary, even by Hollywood standards. He was born into abject poverty in Culiacan, Mexico, where three generations of his family lived in a one-room shack. His spare time was spent on the farm where his grandfather worked, which is where the young Cesar learnt about dogs.
In December 1990, he left home to seek a new life in America, crossing the border illegally. ‘I wanted to be the best dog trainer in the world. It felt like a calling I couldn’t ignore,’ he says. A decade later he has a 43-acre ranch in Santa Clarita, California, a new house in the affluent Studio City area of LA, a TV series syndicated to 110 countries, and a string of celebrity clients.
It was a transformation that nearly stalled at the very start. Cesar tried for two weeks to cross the border. ‘Luckily, I was always stopped by the US guards. They’d give you a sandwich and a can of cola and send you back,’ he says. ‘They did not abuse you like the Mexican guards. You d didn’t want to get caught by them.’
CESAR had only $100 to his name – exactly the sum demanded by a man who told him that he could get him over the border into America. ‘He was a dirty, skinny guy,’ he says. ‘But for some reason, my gut told me that I could trust him.’
That night, they stood up to their chests in water in a hole while they watched until the border guards changed shift. ‘That’s when we ran for it across the border and into a sewage tunnel, where I was told to wait.’
The man eventually returned in a taxi that took Cesar to the American town of Chula Vista. For weeks, he slept rough, sweeping floors and washing cars to get enough money to eat. Then he got a job in a dog-grooming parlour – despite not speaking a word of English – after demonstrating that he could calm a snarling spaniel. The parlour’s owners even allowed him to sleep there.
Cesar taught himself English by listening to the radio. Two months later, he moved to downtown LA. ‘My goal was Disneyland or Hollywood, the home of Lassie and Rin Tin Tin – the dogs that inspired me to come to America,’ he says. ‘Our dogs on the ranch back home didn’t do tricks like them. I found out later, of course, that there were lots of Lassies, lots of Rin Tin Tins so the whole thing was fake.’
It was in LA that his reputation as a dog whisperer began to grow. ‘The LA Lakers played basketball nearby. A lot of them had rottweilers and pit bulls that were causing problems, and I started dealing with them,’ he says.
Music producer Tony Spoon heard about Cesar and asked him to train his rottweiler, Kanji. Spoon’s friend Jada Pinkett – Hollywood actress and Mrs Will Smith – was so impressed she asked if he would train a dog for her.
‘She wanted me to see her two rottweilers who were pretty much out of control. She introduced me to Will, but I didn’t know who he was, either. It was only when the movie Independence Day came out [in 1996] that I realised who I was dealing with.
‘Will’s animals had received plenty of affection but no direction. They lived in a fabulous house but they were frustrated. They needed good, long walks. I also taught them discipline when it came to eating. A dog’s natural tendency when there’s food around is to keep checking that another dog isn’t about to take it from him. They’re very competitive. So I clicked my fingers and made them concentrate on the dog bowl in front of them.’
Cesar’s fame was spreading. Nicolas Cage asked for help with his dogs. Scarlett Johansson asked him to help her mother’s wayward bulldog, then her own timid chihuahua. Charlize Theron needed to train a rescue pit bull. Then Oprah Winfrey mentioned on her show that her dog, Sophie, had started biting other dogs. ‘We made contact with her office and it all went from there,’ he says. ‘In the human world, Oprah is a leader. But in the animal world, she isn’t.’
And that is a position Cesar seems very keen to hold for himself – however controversially.
Cesar Millan will be touring the UK with his seminar from April. Details are at cesarmillanlive.com.
Aggressive techniques are exciting for TV – but terrible for the animals
By BEVERLY CUDDY, Editor of Dogs Today
When the American Navy wanted to train dolphins for military purposes, they quickly picked up on the fact that rewards work a lot better than punishment. It’s all there in the history books of animal training, but it doesn’t make for good TV.
Cesar Millan is a showman. He presents himself as a modern-day gladiator wrestling with snarling animals he calls his ‘red-zone cases’ – and he usually ends up getting the upper hand by punching and kicking the dogs to prove who’s boss.
Cesar claims he’s merely ‘touching’ the animals, but most informed dog lovers wouldn’t see it that way – certainly Alan Titchmarsh didn’t let him get away with that excuse on his ITV chat show last week.
Apart from the tweed skirt, there’s really not much difference between Cesar and Britain’s own Barbara Woodhouse. But Barbara was training dogs 35 years ago, when none of us knew any better.
The science of dog training has moved on a lot since then, but Cesar hasn’t. Who needs proper scientific techniques when you can make a fortune on the back of celebrity endorsements, his Hollywood smile and wrestling with powerful dogs that sometimes bite him?
Proper, positive, qualified dog trainers would never do that for the cameras. But it’s much better television to see Cesar zapping a dog with electric shocks or tightening a prong collar so the spikes go into a naughty dog’s neck.
Cesar said last week that shock collars were an ideal training tool for people with disabilities to use on their dogs. “Being disabled myself, I don’t like the way he is referring to us…does he mean because we can’t get out of our wheelchairs that it’s easier to shock a dog? But use a shock collar in Wales and you could get six months in prison or a £20,000 fine. Hopefully, England’s animal welfare laws will catch up soon, too.
Caesar’s loyal fans claim his detractors are jealous of his fame and fortune, but it’s much more complicated than that. Even if you accept his claim that he’s merely ‘touching’ the animals, it’s a real problem that Cesar’s techniques are already being aped by scores of copycats whose only qualification is usually watching his show.
And just as his imitators probably won’t have his gorgeous Hollywood smile, they might also not have the benefit of his ‘calm assertiveness’ or, crucially, the TV editing skills that ensure the required happy ending. The result could be serious cruelty to dogs – and a trip to A&E for the unsuspecting owner.
News Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2224252/Yes-I-dogs-electric-shocks-use-spike-chokers–Im-NOT-cruel-says-Hollywoods-favourite-pet-guru-Cesar-Millan.html#ixzz2AiJHwDsM
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“I like to back up evidence as much as is possible, so hopefully these 2 videos will help explain all….the first video is the one that Titchmarsh mentions, saying cesar thumped the dog…watch the body language…who instigated that stand off??
Alan Titchmarsh you Hero !
Published on 24 Oct 2012 by battymiles
“Now watch the video slowed down…you can clearly see the dog is trying so hard to say ‘I’m sorry don’t hurt me’ watch the eyes, body posture, chewing & liping licks, blinking…all signs that say ‘I don’t want to fight, just go away, leave me, but you keep invading my space'”
Show down with Holly slow motion
Published on 24 Sep 2012 by saranebe
All comments containing swear words and insults are now going to be deleted, whichever ‘side’ you are on.
Recent quote from a legitimate dog trainer on people that frequently get bitten. “”The person has no business working with dogs in the first place.
If you can’t keep a dog, as a supposed trainer, from getting upset you have no business doing that job and you should be ashamed of yourself.”