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Discussion Starter #1
i have watched the dog whisperer before and have been impressed.why do so many people dislike him? his method seems to work and in a short period of time? victoria stillwell doesnt seem so great anyways. why do people like victoria over cesar?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
well i have heard this from friends( who are dog trainers) and from threads from here
 

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There are many many great trainers who really dislike Millan, for good reason. His methods are based primarily on force - a tight, choking collar/leash up high on the neck, forcing the dog into compliance, forcing dogs into fearful situations in order to "flood" them into helpless submission, alpha rolling, etc. He does all of this with a captivating grin and a charismatic attitude and people fall for it, even though his techniques border on abuse.

The only things he advocates that are any good are that dogs should be exercised (although not to the point of exhaustion, which is what he sometimes demonstrates) and that dogs need leadership (although leadership can be established through controlling resources like food, toys, etc. instead of force and pain). Other than that, he's the typical "old school" dog trainer who relies primarily on his ability to choke the dog into submission without any true understanding of dog behavior or mentality. He hasn't offered anything to the dog community that is new or is even based on truly knowing dog behavior. Anyone with the physical ability to hurt a dog could train like Millan. Heck, I'm not nearly as strong as him and yet 20 years ago when I first started training, I choked dogs into submission. I didn't know anything but the uneducated public was impressed because dogs listened to me (of course, they were AFRAID of me too). Luckily I matured and evolved past the whole "force the dog into compliance" methods and learned how to understand and work WITH the dog instead of just using brute force.

I haven't seen the Victoria Stilwell show, but have heard it discussed. She's more of a dog behaviorist, with true understanding of how a dog thinks and learns. She doesn't depend on pain and force to push a dog into submission. I think it's likely that they've gone a bit overboard in her show trying to make it flashy and entertaining, but at least she's not choking dogs while smiling into the camera.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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I can only speak for myself, but I like both, Cesar's show and training methods, much more than Victoria. Cesar's methods are more hands on and physical which I prefer to use, but I think the best training methods really depend on the individual dog. Different strokes for different folks... or dogs.
 

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I don't like Cesar's methods mainly because the reasoning behind them is flawed and also because the methods he chooses to use have a big potential to backfire.
That and when I have seen him describing a dog's "feelings" what he is describing and what I am reading from the dog's body language do not match, which leads me to assume he either does not know how to read their body language or he is purposefully misinterpreting it.
 

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I like watching all trainers - Cesar Millan, Victoria Stillwell, the trainers on DogTown, and so on, and so forth. It's interesting to see how different trainers approach different things.

I find that there are some things I see that I agree with and that I would use; and there are some things I see that I disagree with and would never use on a dog. I try to take away what works in some situations and for some dogs, and leave what I think is a bunch of nonsense. I have not yet found a trainer that I've liked without question and I've not yet found one that had nothing to offer at all.

There are plenty of things I disagree with about Cesar Millan's methods, and I think IliamnasQuest has addressed almost all of them. There's plenty I don't like about Victoria Stillwell, either.
 

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Cesar's a clever showman, but his psychological terminology does not jive with the science that behaviorists and ethologists have worked so hard to compile and create over the past 35 years or so, creating a new school of training, which employs those lessons.

So basically it's force or compulsion based training, and thus considered "old school." He floods to overcome fear, another forceful method. When he first came out, the behaviorists protested and implored NGC to can the show, but money talks, so now they bemoan his show sets the mentality of training back a couple or few decades.

Basically, he's an ex-groomer beast master, laughing all the way to the bank, an activity few behaviorists are likely to do. The controversy is not likely to die off anytime soon.

Personally, I think if he wasn't so charming and did not sound like Ricky Ricardo, he'd just be another old school yank and crank "trainer"
struggling to survive.
 

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Originally Posted By: ChicagocanineI don't like Cesar's methods mainly because the reasoning behind them is flawed and also because the methods he chooses to use have a big potential to backfire.
That and when I have seen him describing a dog's "feelings" what he is describing and what I am reading from the dog's body language do not match, which leads me to assume he either does not know how to read their body language or he is purposefully misinterpreting it.
I agree, I've seen him alpha roll a dog and boast when it stops fighting that it is now 'calm-submissive.' Meanwhile the dog is lying on the floor hyperventilating, eyes bugging out of it's head, mouth pulled back tight, a very fearful expression. Yes, the dog stopped fighting but there's no way you can look at it and say it's calm.
 

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I just have to hi-jack slightly...this sounds SOOO much like the debates that go on in the horse world (especially dressage). Amazing how similar the training debates are between species.
 

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One day, he will roll the wrong dog and lack a larynx
 

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Originally Posted By: HistorianI like watching all trainers - Cesar Millan, Victoria Stillwell, the trainers on DogTown, and so on, and so forth. It's interesting to see how different trainers approach different things.

I find that there are some things I see that I agree with and that I would use; and there are some things I see that I disagree with and would never use on a dog. I try to take away what works in some situations and for some dogs, and leave what I think is a bunch of nonsense. I have not yet found a trainer that I've liked without question and I've not yet found one that had nothing to offer at all.

There are plenty of things I disagree with about Cesar Millan's methods, and I think IliamnasQuest has addressed almost all of them. There's plenty I don't like about Victoria Stillwell, either.
Excellent post!!! Could not have said it better.
 

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Originally Posted By: Smith3One day, he will roll the wrong dog and lack a larynx

I shouldnt laugh, but that struck me as funny. And true!
 

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We don't get to choose what our dogs need. If we hate the idea of working with food and a gadget-- but our dogs respond best to clickertraining-- we have to swallow this and read some Karen Pryor, go to a positive methods training class, etc. If we hate the idea of using a toy as a lure or bribe-- but our dog responds best to this-- we find a good play-training/sportdog trainer who uses a jute roll, a bumper, a ball on a rope, a dummy, a Kong, etc and accept this and do what the dog needs.

I don't think Cesar's alpha roll idea is a smart one. I hate seeing his flooding of a scared dog-- even though I DO know that in the end, it does relieve the dog of the phobia/neurosis in most cases. Folks at home trying these methods? Also: NO.

However: I do agree with his "calm, assertive energy" and strong, calm, no-nonsense leadership ideas, as well as his formula of excersise-obedience-affection. To be brutally, painfully honest, this type of guidance on regulating my OWN energy is exactly what GRIMM needs me to learn. Yes-- I am the weak link here. Grimm needs me to take the calm, assertive leadership guidance to heart. When I do-- HE BECOMES CALMER and much, much more relaxed. In short-- I hate the fact that I cannot just use purely positive, easy clicker training methods only with my dog. <span style="color: #3333FF">But what my dog needs is more important than what I want</span>.
 

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I would like to see him come out and do this to Ghost and Narys, I bet he won't survive 5 minutes with them with his methods. He only shows the dogs that he was able to work with, but never shows any failed attemps
 

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Patti, I couldn't agree with you more. You put into words what I was grappling with. I believe that we humans are just about always the "weak link", and are the ones who need the most work. Having said that, I think most of us realize that watching a TV show isn't supposed to be a substitute for on the job learning, and there are disclaimers at the end of these shows warning against it....... it's Television, and as such has to be "entertaining" in part for people to watch it. You take the best parts and leave the rest......and then hopefully go off and find a trainer who is right for you AND your dog.

I will say this - I have seen more abuse on the local club level (Schutzhund) than I ever have on either of the shows mentioned here. And of course it goes without saying that these people wouldn't be caught dead watching either Cesar or Victoria........

_______________________________________________

Susan

Anja GSD
Conor GSD - adopted from this Board
Blue GSD - at the Bridge
 

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Some of you have this backwards, Cesar is a dog behaviorist, he tells you he's not a dog trainer. Victoria Stilwell is a dog trainer.

I am probably one of the biggest wimps there is when it comes to seeing an animal being hurt, I can't stand it. I cry watching the animal rescue shoes. I have no doubt that I'm one of the most suspicious people there is walking the face of the earth.

I am also a huge Cesar fan. I do not see Cesar hurting the dogs he rehabilitates, if I saw him inflicting pain it would be the end of my fan-ship and belief in his ways. He taught me you don't need to use force with a dog, something that I personally never made a practice of but was taught as I was growing up.

The only dogs I've seen him pin down that had bug-eyes, had the bug-eyes before they went down because it's part of the dog's breed charactaristics. He doesn't choke them any more than another dog would be choking them under the same circumstances. To me they look like they're breathing hard because they're pooped not afraid. If they were afraid, they'd be trying to look away and they don't. They remind me of a wrestler who's finally called "uncle!" and hits the matt in order to catch his breath. Because of what some people have said I have actually TRIED to see fear in the dogs he works with because I don't want to be a blind follower kind of thing, and I'm not seeing it.

As for flooding for fears, I myself have a phobia and something like flooding is probably something I could use a good dose of to cure me. Coming from someone who lives every day with a phobia (one that I might add has almost killed me AND my children at one time or another), yes, would be traumatic to be flooded but then the phobia would be GONE! Believe me, if you had a phobia of your own it is NO WAY TO LIVE. If you had your choice of a few moments of fear and then a lifetime free of your phobia OR living with your phobia the rest of your life - which would you choose? Remember, dogs move on much more quickly than humans. Where we would remember the flooding of ourselves, within a very brief period of time, dogs would not.

If it weren't for Cesar, I would no doubt have one less dog because I would not have known that being calm in a hazardous situation would help me save one of my dog's lives.

When I look at Cesar's own pack, they don't look scared or abused to me. Heck, my dogs should be so scared and abused!

There's supposed to be a right and wrong way to use a prong collar. I've been using one, but not because I like it nor do I believe in them, but only because I had to. As soon as I find something else that works I will stop. Any kind of collar, prong or otherwise, has potential to hurt or kill a dog because it's a device used around the dog's neck where all the breathing mechanics are located. I'm one that no one will ever convince that a collar is totally safe, prong or not but particularly prong. For me right now, it's nothing more than a necessary evil that I'm really hoping I can do away with one day.

Brightelf - I agree. I had heard of clicker training some time ago but never checked it out because I didn't want to mess with the additional equipment and the little bit I knew of it all I could think of was "Oh puh-leez - give me a break - what's a clicker going to do that my voice can't?"

Well, guess who's now using a clicker and treats because she's been frustrated with some issues that just weren't working and got to the point that she'd try just about anything short of cruelty ... and now these same dogs are responding to things they didn't before, because of the clicker. Kind of a bummer to have them "listen" to a clicker over the sound of Mom's voice but heh, I'll make like a dog and move on.

Anja1Blue - I have never seen any Schutzund activities/events up close and personal, only a few videos on YouTube. I do not like the part where they're striking the dog with the stick or whatever it's called. In a way it does seem a bit barbaric but on the other hand there are some really cool visuals to watch in this sport. I love to watch bite work in action for instance.

Chuck - Not saying your dogs might not be a first, but on other hand - some people have said the same thing you have, and lost their bet.

Cesar has been able to start an awareness about dog problems that are directly related to their owners. People always blame the dog when it misbehaves according to human standards. Our society has been putting down dogs that have bitten for centuries. Cesar has shown us that #1 it's not always necessary to put a dog down for biting - it may be a dog that can be rehabilitated and #2 misbehaving dog behavior is more than likely related to it's owner and as owners we need to learn what our responsibilities are and more importantly - live up to them.

I think the concept of dog behavior and dog behaviorists is something quite new to most of the world even if it's been around for umpteen years, I don't think the majority of people know about it nor do they understand/comprehend there's a difference between dog training and dog behavior.
 

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Cesar is not a behaviorist. A behaviorist has a PhD in animal behavior. Cesar is a dog walker/groomer who found he had an art of BS'ing people while forcing their dogs into compliance. He has NO formal training or expertise - he's simply found that he can force dogs into obeying him .. and people choose to believe he's some sort of mystic when in truth he shows every day how little he truly knows about dog behavior.

I've never seen him NOT use force and compulsion on the dogs he handles, regardless of what they're doing. His training tool of choice seems to be whatever he can find that will easily choke the dog, and he puts it right behind the ears where the throat is the most sensitive. And I've seen him choke dogs to the point where they're laying on the ground, gasping for air.

Karen Pryor, John Rogerson, John Fisher, Ian Dunbar - these are behaviorists and you wouldn't see them choking a dog like that. And I myself have worked with hundreds of dogs, many aggressive dogs, and have found that there are gentle, fair ways to change the dog's behavior without flooding or forcing. Yes, some dogs get stressed some but then these are dogs that are generally stressed anyway.

I've turned dogs around that were biting, snapping, nasty things and never choked them once. I've taught umpteen owners how to be a strong, caring, kind leader without having to create a fear/respect in their dogs. These are things that CAN be done without harshness, and yet trainers like Millan are out there choking and yanking and rolling dogs.

I hate seeing Cesar with his pack of dogs on their concrete jungle. They look so miserable. They are fearful and show those fear behaviors with lowered heads, lowered ears, tails down or tucked, corners of their mouths tight - just not "happy to see you" kind of body language. Yes, they approach him .. and I've seen abused dogs do the same thing to the person who abused them. They come up with body languages saying "please don't hurt me, please be kind" in hopes of having a different relationship. What surprises me (and saddens me too) is that so many people don't SEE the behavior these dogs offer and don't recognize it for the fearful behavior it is. I haven't seen a single episode of Millan's show that didn't have dogs show major fear signs. He causes pain, pain causes fear, fear causes dogs to shut down and become - in his words - "calm and submissive" (translation: scared to do anything).

Millan is simply what trainers used to be 20-30 years ago before people started thinking more about dogs being companions and not just possessions. He's charismatic and evidently that's enough for people to allow him to treat their dogs harshly. But he's exactly what trainers are when they don't evolve through constant learning and observation. He's the neanderthal of the dog training world. And I wouldn't let him on the property here, let alone allow him anywhere near one of my dogs. I care about my dogs and the wonderful relationship I have with them far too much to take the risk that this macho-brained dog handler might do something to hurt one of them.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Copypaste from my post in the Victoria thread:

Cesar is not a behaviorist. Watch a REAL behaviorist, someone who TRULY understands psychology (not "dog psychology"), all the different parts of learning, operant and classical conditioning, positive reinforcement/punishment, negative reinforcement/punishment, someone who truly knows how to work WITH the dog rather than break it down, THEN you will understand what a behaviorist is and what Cesar is not. Don't get me wrong, he's done some good things and yes, he has made it so people get off their duffs and work with their dogs, but he's missing a lot on his plate. Dogs don't just need physical exercise, they need MENTAL exercise and this is something big he never mentions yet it's something that everyone savvy in animal husbandry understands as crucial. Zoos make a HUGE deal of mental stimulation for their animals. All the physical exercise in the world won't solve problems due to a bored mind. Victoria does stress mental workouts more.

Word of caution: there are many so-called "behaviorists" out there who don't know their rear from their front. A good trainer who understands psychology and canine behavior is all that is needed. Boy, is Cesar off his mark, especially with those alpha rolls.

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Actually, I think one day his clients will roll the wrong dog and THEY will end up dead. Cesar has very good reactions, he's a very strong guy, I think he can handle himself if the dog decides to alpha roll HIM. I'm waiting for one of his 40 year old soccer mom clients to alpha roll the neighbor's rottie. Or, all deities forbid, a CHILD attempt this.
 
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