Product review

Dog training DVD series by Cesar Millan – Understand and Fulfill your Dog

Training your dog and building a relationship with him are two different things. If you want more than a dog that merely responds to commands, then Cesar Millan’s dog training DVD series can help you understand your dog and teach you how to fulfill his needs.

Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan advises to learn how to understand your dog long before you get to teaching him commands. From the dog training lessons available on his DVDs you’ll learn to focus on the different areas described below.

Physical and mental exercise

Your dog needs to have plenty of exercise before you start with any training. Depending on your dog’s breed and fitness level, proper exercise can range from a brisk walk to an hour long run. The idea is to burn off excess energy that makes your dog obnoxious or anxious. It’s important to realize that consistent and sufficient exercise is one of his basic needs which you should meet.

Along with physical exercise comes mental exercise. Dogs, especially certain breeds, need a job to keep them mentally sharp. Herding breeds need to round things up; terriers need to search and find things and running breeds need to… well, you get the idea! Whatever your dog’s background, pay close attention to what your dog enjoys, and find games to play with him that stimulate his mind.


Millan bases his methods on the natural behavior of dog packs. Dogs are social creatures and depend on the pack mentality for survival. He urges dog owners to always be the pack leader by adopting what he calls “calm assertive leadership”. The role of the leader is both expressed mainly through confident body language and tone of voice. When training dogs for his clients, he often asks the dog owner to change the way they walk to assert leadership, as a submissive, non-confident walk can signal to the dog that the dog should take on the role of the leader of the pack.

Millan distinguishes three other components in leadership, namely:

  • rules,
  • boundaries and
  • limitations

In nature, the pack leader will spontaneously set all of these unapologetically, so you should do this naturally do this as well. You decide where your dog can go, what he has to do to get his food, when he gets his food, what kind of limitations are in place in the house, etc. Then you enforce these rules simply, calmly and confidently.

This will create the appropriate atmosphere in which your role as the leader can further grow and strengthen, which will lead to more balanced and happier lives for both you and your dog.


A third component of meeting your dog’s needs is affection. Just because you are the leader and you are expecting him to behave properly doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give him plenty of affection.

Millan remarks that dog owners however often give affection at the wrong time. You should only give affection after you dog has had his exercise and has been disciplined correctly. You should also pay attention when you notice anxiety in your dog. If you pet him when he is anxious or afraid, you are sending him the message that being anxious or afraid is okay.

Finally, another part of fulfilling your dog’s needs is to make sure that he is well cared for. When you bring a dog into your life, you are responsible for all his needs. Make sure to take him to the veterinarian regularly to assure his vaccinations are taken care of and to check whether any other health issues are bothering your dog.