Cesar the Dog Whisperer
While there are plenty of dog trainers out there willing to teach your dog to be obedient, one man has captured the attention of many dog owners by declaring that he rehabilitates dogs and trains people.
Cesar Millan has turned his natural ability to connect with dogs into a multi-million dollar business and into television show called The Dog Whisperer. The story of how the man called “Dog Boy” in Mexico, his native country, who went on to become Cesar the Dog Whisperer, is almost as fascinating as his ability to calm a raging dog.
Millan came to the USA without legal documents nor money, but he embraced his greatest talent and started a dog walking business. He then expanded his business with dog grooming services and finally, training dogs.
At some point he got several influential clients who started to spread the word about his amazing talent with dogs. Then one fine day, The National Geographic Channel called him…and the rest is history.
So what’s the secret and philosophy of Cesar the Dog Whisperer? They can be summed up in the following three-word phrases.
Calm Assertive Leadership
Millan urges owners to act as calm, assertive leaders in their households, based on the assertion that in wolf and dog packs, one animal is the leader and the rest of the dogs look to him to know how to behave. He reminds dog owners to work on generating this kind of energy from within and communicating that with body language and the right tone of voice. He says that if the humans in the house don’t behave this way, the dog will take over the leadership role. The consequence is that from such incorrect division of leadership, bad dog behavior is born.
Millan gets owners to change simple things, like walking with their head up and shoulders back so they feel more confident. Dogs easily pick up this positive, confident energy and start adapting their behavior towards you.
Exercise, Discipline, Affection
All dogs should be given these three things in this order, Millan says.
Firstly, exercise should be used to eliminate excess energy that can turn into obnoxious behavior. At the same time, the walk lets the owner establish leadership and discipline with the dog. Kind, firm discipline assures the dog that the owner is in charge and lets him relax as the follower.
Finally, after the dog is tired and understands discipline, the dog owner can and should give his friend plenty of affection. Millan says owners frequently ignore this order and give affection first without using exercise and discipline appropriately.
Rules, Boundaries, Limitation
These three things are the basis for calm assertive leadership. The leader must establish rules for the dog, such sitting before going outside. Boundaries come into play when the dog owner decides where the dog can go and when. Don’t want your dog in the kitchen? Then a boundary must be established at the edge of the kitchen which then must be firmly enforced.
Limitations are a combination of rules and boundaries. Just like children cannot have ultimate free rein, dog also must have limitations to be calm and happy.
Dogs that don’t have rules, boundaries and limitations, will naturally get anxious or try to dominate the environment. Both anxious and dominant dogs display unwanted behavior like chewing, barking, nipping and mounting.
Being the leader of the pack with rules, boundaries and limitations in place and combined with appropriate exercise, discipline and affection, will help both you and your dog become the best version of themselves.