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Found this on another training board I belong to. Interesting article on a different view on Cesar. http://www.4pawsu.com/cesarfans.htm

by Lisa Mullinax, CPDT

Since writing The Dog Whisperer Controversy, I have received emails
from fans who vehemently disagree with what I have written. In an
effort to dispel many of the myths viewers have about the show, I
have responded to the most common arguments below.

I HAVE NEVER SEEN HIM HURT A DOG

The majority of the critics are not referring to physical abuse,
although some of the methods used on the show could be classified as
such. In the episode Fondue, Chip, Hope & JoyJoy, small dogs are
lifted several feet off the ground and swung by the scruff of their
neck. In Teddy, a Lab's feet are pulled off the ground by hanging him
from the leash. Most dog owners would not allow a person at the dog
park to treat their dogs in this manner, regardless of the dog's
behavior.

JonBee, muzzled, is lifted off the ground by a choke chain, a
procedure known as "stringing up". Prior to this, the dog had not
only shown no signs of aggression but had been attempting to avoid
interaction with the star completely.

Ruby shows frequent multiple signs of stress during this episode.
Shortly after this, she is offered a treat, which she does not take.
Refusal of food in an otherwise healthy dog is a common sign that a
dog's sympathetic nervous system has engaged, shutting down the
digestive system in preparation for fight or flight.
What critics are primarily concerned with, however, is the
psychological stress that dogs are placed under during the show. Many
dogs that offer avoidance behaviors at the start of the show are
often pushed to the point of aggression.

One disturbing example is JonBee, a Jindo who is forced to lie on his
side. After a significant and dangerous struggle (during which the
dog appears to have urinated), the dog finally gives up and allows
himself to be rolled over. However, the dog is not relaxed. Quite the
opposite. The dog exhibits all of the signs of stress listed in the
previous article, and is exhibiting a phenomenon known as learned
helplessness, sometimes referred to by trainers as "shut down."

Learned helplessness was originally observed by scientists who placed
dogs in a box with no escape and shocked them through the floor. The
dogs first tried to escape and then, exhausted and finding no exit,
simply lay down on the floor, despite continued shocks. The dogs
weren't enjoying the shocks more than they were in the beginning,
they had simply given up.

It does not take physical injury to traumatize a dog. While some dogs
can recover from traumatic experiences, others will have lasting
behavioral problems as a result.

Just as in humans, chronic stress causes serious medical problems in
dogs such as weakened immune systems, digestive diseases and heart
disease. Acute stress can sensitize the dog to specific environments
and people, creating a more negative association than before and
escalating behavior problems in the long run.

So repeatedly stressing a dog does, in fact, hurt the dog.

HAVE YOU EVER WATCHED THE SHOW?

In fact, most of the professionals who have spoken out watch the show
regularly. Andrew Luescher, a Veterinary Behaviorist at Purdue
University, viewed tapes of the show sent to him by National
Geographic before it aired. He voiced his concerns to the producers
at that time.

I regularly watch the show and download the video podcasts. I first
watch it without sound, so that I can observe both the dogs' behavior
and the star's actions, as well as the dog's response to the methods
used. I find that the dramatic music, the announcer and the star's
explanations frequently contradict what is actually happening on the
screen.

AREN'T CRITICS JUST JEALOUS OF HIS SUCCESS?

Many of the professionals who have spoken out against the show are
immensely successful in their own right. They have the respect of
their colleagues, are professors at universities and popular speakers
and authors. Others include professional dog trainers and behavior
consultants who successfully help dogs with serious behavior problems
through shelters and other non-profit organizations that are
dedicated to improving the welfare of dogs and other animals.

Second, the popularity of the show has not created a loss in business
for professional trainers and behavior consultants. In fact, quite
the opposite. We have seen a tremendous increase in calls as owners
realize that behavior problems are not something they have to live
with, which is the positive influence of the show. However, at least
half of the households we visit watch the show regularly and have
attempted the methods on the show without success or with negative
results.

If the show achieved the same level of success with humane methods
based on the current and ever-expanding knowledge of science and
behavior, and not on one individual's personal interpretation of
behavior, most professionals would be singing the praises of the show
and the star. It is not jealousy behind the protests but concern for
the safety and well-being of dogs and their owners.

BUT HE DOESN'T TRAIN DOGS, HE REHABILITATES THEM

While training for obedience and changing problem behaviors are not
the same thing, they are not entirely separate, either. Successfully
training a dog requires an understanding of how dogs learn and what
motivates them to repeat behaviors. That understanding is also
critical in being able to change behavior.

Dogs that don't have even a basic foundation of obedience are harder
to control and less responsive to their owners, which can make
behavior modification (or rehabilitation) much more difficult. One of
the things I frequently observe about the show is that, while the
dogs may not be reacting to whatever triggers the behavior (other
dogs, people, skateboards, etc.), they are also not looking at or
responding to the owner. Instead, the presence of a tight leash and
frequency of jerks on the leash suggest that the dog would not be
quite as "calm-submissive" if the owner were to drop the leash.

It is hard to imagine how one can rehabilitate a dog without a basic
knowledge of how dogs learn or why they would want to skip this
important step that encourages cooperation and puts the owner in
a "leadership" position.

DO YOU THINK THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO TRAIN A DOG?

Not at all. However, what few people realize is that many of the top
positive trainers (including "clicker trainers") started as
traditional trainers 20-30 years ago and switched to reward-based
methods after realizing the benefits in training for obedience,
competition and behavior modification. So not only are they aware
that there is more than one way, they have extensive experience using
a variety of methods, including the compulsive methods used on the
show. They also have extensive experience with the backlash that can
occur after using such methods. On the other hand, there are few
trainers who still use traditional methods today who crossed over
from reward-based methods.

Yes, there is more than one way to train a dog. I think what owners
should ask themselves is why choose to start with a method that could
stress or hurt the dog without trying less aversive methods first.

Additional Reading
Traditional Training Methods

I HEARD THAT "POSITIVE" TRAINERS WOULD RATHER EUTHANIZE THOSE DOGS

Given the extensive number of books written by positive trainers on
how to change serious behavior problems, including aggression, not to
mention the ongoing continuing education through seminars and
conferences regarding how to change aggressive behavior, it is clear
that positive trainers do not immediately choose euthanasia over
modifying the behavior.

An ethical trainer, positive or otherwise, knows that euthanasia is
an option that is not to be recommended lightly, and never over the
phone or internet. The ultimate decision should be made by the dog
owner, after they have considered all factors including any disease
or illness that may be causing and/or contributing to the behavior,
extent of the behavior, available behavior modification options,
ability to safely manage the dog while implementing a behavior
modification plan, personal liability and the commitment of all
household members.

If a dog owner receives this recommendation over the phone or
internet or from only one professional, we strongly advise seeking
additional opinions.

BUT IT WORKS

I have not seen changed behavior on the show. I do see dogs with
suppressed behaviors; dogs walking on very tight leashes, dogs that
are stiff and immobile after being rolled onto their sides by force,
dogs that are in almost every case restrained or shut down in some
form or another.

For me, as for many others who work with dogs on a daily basis, if
the dog has to be restrained on a short leash to walk past another
dog, to be groomed or to do any other task, the behavior has not been
changed.

IT WORKED ON MY DOG

If the show's methods helped you and your dog and have not created
additional behavior problems, then I can understand why it would be
difficult to see the harm in them. However, in comparison to the
limited number of dogs the average owner will own in their lifetime,
professional trainers and behaviorists who speak out against these
methods see thousands of dogs that develop significant behavior
problems as a direct result of punitive methods.

One must also define "work." What I frequently hear is something
along these lines:

"It worked on my dog. Every time he does [enter behavior], I just
give him a correction and tell him "Tsssht" and he stops."

Note the words, "Every time he barks." This indicates that the dog is
still repeating the behavior. The idea behind behavior modification
is not that the dog simply stops the behavior momentarily, but that
the behavior changes so that the dog's reaction in that environment
is different, like looking at you instead of barking. Suppression of
a behavior is not changing the behavior, itself. If the owner has to
continually repeat the "correction" the behavior isn't changing.

SO WHAT IF HE DOESN'T HAVE A FORMAL EDUCATION? / HE ACTUALLY WORKS
WITH DOGS AND DOESN'T JUST STUDY THEM IN A LAB.

There are a lot of professional trainers and behavior consultants who
do not have a formal education or advanced degrees. However, these
trainers do educate themselves and continue their education, staying
abreast of the latest in dog training and behavior.

While it may be true that the scientists who work in laboratories
studying behavior do not always work with problem dogs, the
information that they provide is invaluable to those of us who do
work with problem dogs.

Ignoring over a century of research about animal behavior and
learning furthers the ignorance of dog owners, the leading cause of
behavior problems in dogs.

DO YOU THINK PEOPLE SHOULD TREAT THEIR DOGS LIKE CHILDREN?

Responsible parenting involves providing required nutrition,
education, and rules and boundaries without the use of physical
violence. All of those principles are also consistent with raising a
healthy, well-mannered dog. So if more dog owners treated their dogs
as they are expected to raise children, there should be fewer
problems, not more.

In 1992, The Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science published a
study1 of more than 700 dog owners which tried to determine whether
or not anthropomorphic attitudes or activities were related to
problem behaviors:

"....dogs whose owners interacted with them in an anthropomorphic
manner, 'spoiled' them in certain ways, or did not provide obedience
training were no more likely to engage in behaviors considered a
problem by the owner than were dogs not viewed
anthropomorphically , 'spoiled' by their owner, or given obedience
training. ("

Dogs do not develop behavior problems simply because people view them
and/or treat them as child-substitutes. Many other factors such as
genetics, early socialization (or lack thereof), and trauma all
contribute to behavior problems in dogs.

While it is not advisable to view a dog as a human, neither is it
advisable to view them with an inaccurate and flawed interpretation
of wolf behavior.

POSITIVE METHODS DON'T WORK ON "RED ZONE" DOGS

Once again, many of the professionals who focus on force-free methods
started using aversive methods similar to those used on the show as
many as 30 years ago. Over time, they found that compulsive methods
posed a significant risk of increased problem behavior in many dogs.

When a dog is in a situation where the sympathetic nervous system is
engaged (also called fight or flight), the digestive system shuts
down to divert all energy to the muscles for survival. This is what
is known as over-threshold. So, if one tries to feed a dog treats
when they are over-threshold, the dog will not eat. This means that
the owner or trainer has moved too quickly into an environment in
which the dog is already reacting and unable to learn.

To use positive methods effectively to change behavior, one needs a
basic understanding of how dogs learn. If they lack that
understanding, they won't be successful. However, when one is
unsuccessful with positive methods, there is no change in behavior.
When one is unsucessful with punishment-based methods, there is often
an escalation in the problem behavior.

CONCLUSION

Because one doesn't understand a method doesn't mean it won't work.
Because one doesn't follow-through with training at home doesn't mean
the methods failed. Because a method contradicts one's long-standing
personal beliefs about behavior does not mean they are inaccurate.
Because one has had success with a certain method doesn't mean other
methods are ineffective.

There was a time when I, too, believed, based on information gleaned
from friends and well-meaning dog lovers, that serious aggression in
large dogs was the result of a dominant personality trait and that
the only solution was through physical, aversive means. Fifteen years
ago, I would have been a fan of the show, myself.

Much to the relief of Mac, my large, powerful and what the show would
refer to as a "red zone" dog, I discovered the many benefits of
reward-based methods. From that point on, the shock collar and prong
collar collected dust while we enjoyed many long walks and off-leash
adventures.

When it comes to working with dogs, the alternative to aversive is
not permissive. Overly permissive dog owners are just as damaging at
times as abusive owners. Reward-based trainers and behaviorists have
extolled the benefits of exercise and boundaries for well over a
decade. The difference is not in what we do or the results that we
get, it is in how we get results.

____________ _________ _________ ___

1. Voith, V.L., Wright, l.C. and Danneman, P.l., 1992. Is there a
relationship between canine behavior problems and spoiling
activities, anthropomorphism, and obedience training? Appl. Anim.
Behav.Sci., 34: 263-272.
 

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I've only even a few of his shows. I am not a fan.

I took a look at that link you have posted which shows a picture of Ruby. Poor thing looks terrified.

Excellent article.
 

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thank you so much for this. I have always had a hard time explaining to people why I am uncomfortable with his methods (and yes, I watch it all the time as well).
 

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But a great marketer. Flipping thru the channels the other day, I saw him on QVC. Selling pet toys with CD's to show how to use them.


The show started with his aussie getting up, Cesar told the dog to sit and it walked off stage. Smart dog - lights must have been killer.

He had a seminar here in town and I was told he was very funny and not very informative. Good charisma and good marketing. As a trainer? Not my style at all.
 
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I've seen him do things I considered very bad and things I was surprised at that he did very well. As Bonnie said, not my style of training for the most part.

I note with pleasure that the article is written by a CPDT trainer. As that is my certification as well I find it a good indicator of the value in this text.
 

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Because Cesar has been criticized in the past, I think his new shows are trying to show him in a gentler way. He is a marketer, for sure... I don't agree with some of his methods, but I do still watch it when I can, just because I love shows about animals and behavoir, though I like "It's me or the dog" much better. I wish DogTown would have new episodes...
Thank you for posting the article, Sarah!
 

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If I could be sure show was NOT extremely edited I might believe.Some really dumb owners helped for SURE.I do watch the show but am not a true believer that Caesar is whisperer.WHY don't we see any failures?NO ONE is good enough to be totally successful!
 

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While I don't agree with all of his methods, I do watch him occasionally.

What I think he is good for is this: people who don't have much insight into canine behavior will learn simple things that most of us here already know.

For expample - my neighbor is a cat person (she has 5) and a newly wed. Husband brought home a terror (opps terrier) pup. She has no idea how to relate to the dog and watching Cesar makes her feel better that at least her dog isn't THAT bad. She's also learned about how to have leadership skills without bullying the dog like her husband does.
 

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Though on the flipside of that it can enpower foolish owners and be dangerous if people who don't know any better decide to roll their dogs or string them up just because they saw it (not knowing there is editing) and thought it would work...I don't think we will ever see Cesar do these methods again on his shows, luckily.
 

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Excellent article! I didn't know Cesar was still on the air
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I'm glad that now Animal Planet has a real dogtrainer- Victoria Stidwell- on, so hopefully people will see that they can successfully train their (even aggressive) dogs without choke chains, treadmill tortures, alpha rolls and other physical & mental abuse- and there's no warning disclaimer.
 

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I liked the article.

I do respect CM because I believe he is genuine in his love of dogs and something has to be said for having a stable pack of 40+ dogs.

When people ask me my opinion, I say "Would I be honored to have lunch with him? Definitely. Would I let him touch my dogs? Not likely."

For one, I don't encourage what seem to be his two biggest techniques - flooding and physical corrections. I do use some physical corrections, but only for skills that I have already taught the dog. I do not use them to force submission out of my dog. And yeah...I don't use flooding on my dog. It does NOT work and just makes things worse. I've had much better luck using positive reinforcement, "click to calm" type training, and gradual desensitization.

Also, he sort of annoys me in that his big "philosophies" are really basic things that are common sense as far as dog training and every trainer I know has always advocated the same things (exercise the dog, don't inadvertently reward the dog for doing what we don't want, don't treat a dog like a child....). His "pop" phrases like dog psychology and rehabilitation annoy me because it's like he's trying to set himself apart from the rest, when really he is just another trainer (lacking the education and credentials that many others have earned) using the same basic philosophies as everyone else and implementing them using some out-dated methods.

This is no fault of his, but I am perturbed at how many people watch his show, accept his word as gold, and try what he does on their own dogs. This weekend I met another GSD fancier at the fireworks show and she told me that she loooves Cesar and his methods...then later in the conversation she tells me that her dog is spoiled and failed basic obedience. Hmmmmm.....
 

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Originally Posted By: LedZepTreadmill tortures? Are you suggesting that putting a dog on a treadmill is torture?
Depending on the dog- yes. There might be some dogs who tolerate it well (I wouldn't say any dog will truly enjoy it), but most of them hate it (just look at the dogs!). It's very unnatural for dogs and there are much better ways to excercise a dog (like through mental stimulation)- but I understand he has to do it in order to better overpower them (an exhausted dog is less likely to protest against his abuse).
 

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I enjoy watching his show. Only too see what stupid mistakes people make with their animals. Some of his training methods are ridiculous and my DH gets pissed when I watch.
I spoil Brady I'll be the first to say it but when I speak you know that he listens, especially when we are not at home. Let me just say this if you don't have time to train your dog then DON'T get one plain and simple
 

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Originally Posted By: Liesje

This is no fault of his, but I am perturbed at how many people watch his show, accept his word as gold, and try what he does on their own dogs. This weekend I met another GSD fancier at the fireworks show and she told me that she loooves Cesar and his methods...then later in the conversation she tells me that her dog is spoiled and failed basic obedience. Hmmmmm.....
More than these folks, I love the ones that come over to me and tell me how to train MY dog because this is how Cesar says to do it. Really. I'm proofing my dog for serious distractions (in a public place), perhaps working on downstays or sitstays, and some moron walks up and tells me "oh, this is what you need to do. This is what Cesar says to do."

It's happened more times than I can tell you.

There are three things things I like about Cesar is that he basically says:

1. A "bad" dog is the fault of the owner.

2. Get the dog out of the back yard and get him some exercise. WE all know that a tired dog is a good dog. But most people really believe that a decent size back yard is fine for a dog. Is a walk enough exercise? No, not for big dogs or certain other breeds. But it's a start, especially for really bored dogs that just hang out in the yard all day long.

3. The owner is the leader. Act like one.

With these little tidbits, it's really helpful to speak to laypeople/neighbors usually when they say "I just don't know what to do with Fido. He's such a bad dog." You know the neighbor won't EVER take an obedience class, but they probably will read a book (or watch a TV show, though I try to steer people toward the book). One of my neighbor's dogs goes for walks almost every night after I suggested she pick up the his book. The result? The dog doesn't bark all day/night long; and seems happier; neighbor isn't planning to give the dog away (like she has her last 3 dogs, including the last one that was euthanized). Neighbor has lost 10 pounds and is thrilled. Just a simple daily 1-hour walk and an engaged owner. Could I have suggested the same thing? Sure. But I'm not a professional endorsed by Jada and Will Smith.

That said, we have no idea how many takes, cuts and video edits it takes to create his show. We don't know what Cesar *really* does on his show. We simply don't. So I don't trust him. I don't trust any television "reality" show, because I don't think I'm seeing much "reality" there.
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom
Originally Posted By: Liesje

This is no fault of his, but I am perturbed at how many people watch his show, accept his word as gold, and try what he does on their own dogs. This weekend I met another GSD fancier at the fireworks show and she told me that she loooves Cesar and his methods...then later in the conversation she tells me that her dog is spoiled and failed basic obedience. Hmmmmm.....
More than these folks, I love the ones that come over to me and tell me how to train MY dog because this is how Cesar says to do it. Really. I'm proofing my dog for serious distractions (in a public place), perhaps working on downstays or sitstays, and some moron walks up and tells me "oh, this is what you need to do. This is what Cesar says to do."

It's happened more times than I can tell you.

There are three things things I like about Cesar is that he basically says:

1. A "bad" dog is the fault of the owner.

2. Get the dog out of the back yard and get him some exercise. WE all know that a tired dog is a good dog. But most people really believe that a decent size back yard is fine for a dog. Is a walk enough exercise? No, not for big dogs or certain other breeds. But it's a start, especially for really bored dogs that just hang out in the yard all day long.

3. The owner is the leader. Act like one.

With these little tidbits, it's really helpful to speak to laypeople/neighbors usually when they say "I just don't know what to do with Fido. He's such a bad dog." You know the neighbor won't EVER take an obedience class, but they probably will read a book (or watch a TV show, though I try to steer people toward the book). One of my neighbor's dogs goes for walks almost every night after I suggested she pick up the his book. The result? The dog doesn't bark all day/night long; and seems happier; neighbor isn't planning to give the dog away (like she has her last 3 dogs, including the last one that was euthanized). Neighbor has lost 10 pounds and is thrilled. Just a simple daily 1-hour walk and an engaged owner. Could I have suggested the same thing? Sure. But I'm not a professional endorsed by Jada and Will Smith.

That said, we have no idea how many takes, cuts and video edits it takes to create his show. We don't know what Cesar *really* does on his show. We simply don't. So I don't trust him. I don't trust any television "reality" show, because I don't think I'm seeing much "reality" there.
great post!! i especially liked the last part! cesar is interacting with the owners and dogs, as far as i know hes not the producer or the one editing the film. what you see [the final product], makes good tv and thats why its so popular.

guess what? i am a CM fan! and i have been long before his show went to the NGC. in addition to working with dogs, he is a good marketer and speaker, he is a businessman and a very successful one at that. but he also helps people with their dogs.

im not going to comment on all the things i want to defend but my perception or interpetation of what CM is doing is different than what has been stated in the first post. not that i agree with all his methods because i dont, anymore than i agree with any one way for all dogs. i do feel strictly positive method training can be VERY successful for many dogs of all types and issues, but not for all. to point out, i feel "the walk" is a positive method.

again this is just my opinion.

the flooding or bringing on the behavior is to get the dog in the dogs bad place, its something ceasar does to deal with the issues the owners are having, he usually doesnt take on dogs for more than one session. and generally once the dog learns that this human [meaning ceasar] is not afraid of him or her and wont back down ceasar is changing the dynamic of the relationship this dog has had with humans [im refering to dogs that are acting aggressive towards their owner or another pack member human]. CM does it from the minute he walks onto the property, with his body language and not having eye contact with the dog. its clear to me he is sending a message to the dog and most times it doesnt take much for the dog to unlearn what his humans have taught him. but some dogs dont want to transform so easily, can it be handled differently than CM does it? sure! but he is the one the owners called!

and honestly i am not so convinced so many of them were cured with one visit from him, i think the humans need a lot more insight most times than one visit can cover. how many of you went from knowing nothing about dogs, to knowing everything you know today in one sitting with one person who works with dogs?


so i will end this saying that CM methods are his and maybe there is some old school training within his practice, but being he was raised in a time when that was the way to handle dogs, i think he is a kitten in comparison. and i think he is doing alot more good than people give him credit for. i also think that some folks arent being realistic about how many trainers are out there that speak like they are all hip on new training methods and still resort to old methods in combination. to me its a matter of knowledge and based off that knowledge you get a preference. not everyone is going to be on the same page on dog training.
 

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Great post Angie.

I am with you on CM. No, I dont agree with ALL of his methods, but, well, chances are, theres always gonna be someone doing something that someone else doesnt like.

Its TV, so yes, alot of things are cut, but that doesnt mean its all bad. Why must people assume that only bad things get cut out all the time. We dont KNOW what got cut out. Maybe he had an hour long convo with the owners before they started, maybe he walked for 20 minutes with the dog.....etc etc etc.

I dont believe in a one size fits all in training. I think you have to take alot of things into consideration.

One thing about CM, is he's not a trainer, hes a behavorist and deals with canine behavor. Not training as in sit stay heel.

In the grand scheme of things...there are people who deal with dogs WAY worse an in an obvisous abusive way.
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom
Liesje said:
]

There are three things things I like about Cesar is that he basically says:

1. A "bad" dog is the fault of the owner.

2. Get the dog out of the back yard and get him some exercise. WE all know that a tired dog is a good dog. But most people really believe that a decent size back yard is fine for a dog. Is a walk enough exercise? No, not for big dogs or certain other breeds. But it's a start, especially for really bored dogs that just hang out in the yard all day long.

3. The owner is the leader. Act like one.
I agree with this as well. I do like Ceasar and I do watch when I can, I like many others don't always agree with what he says, but I am a fan and enjoy watching his shows.
 

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I'll 'fess up, I'm a big fan too. However, all I get from simply watching his show is the importance of a sense of confidence and calm. My little (huge) Otis can drive me absolutely "red zone" crazy sometimes and I do use the take a deep breath, picture positive outcomes, and be calm tip. This is totally more for me than Otis, as I don't think anyone would be inclined to listen to a shrieking madwoman, much less obey. But I don't think I'd ever succesfully be able to work with a dog by just listening to any tv show. Ceasar's method of exercise, discipline, affection confused me to no end at first. Exercise obviously- Otis would walk from NY to California and back if I could keep up- and affection easy- of course I love him- but discipline? Was I supposed to break out the biker gear and crack the whip around the house to terrify my dog into submission? I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to smack my dog around (not that I ever would or even could given that he's my size and equipped with way bigger teeth) so what was this 'Dog Whisperer' guy talking about? My solution was more research. Not only did I read and watch everything I could find on GSD's and dogs in general, I went out and read his books to learn more (yes I'm a nerd but I have a powerful curiosity
). I discovered discipline wasn't for my dog- narrow escape Otis!- but for me. Ahhh the light dawns, it will benefit my dog to establish a routine, enforce rules, be repetitive, and make sure that I don't slack off just because I may not feel like going for a walk or making sure my dog has good manners. If I had only watched the show, being nowhere near a professional, I probably would not have learned very much about how to raise a dog- but through more research and being open to try different techniques I think I'm doing an ok job. One also has to realize that he is working with owners that are a step away from taking drastic measures. My previous GSD had not been abused but nevertheless was a rescue/ruthless fear biter/hated everyone but us/one more bite reported to the police and you're gone doggie and it was a very different experience living and working with her than raising a clean slate puppy. We had 7 years with her and it was a constant state of vigilance so that she could have the best and most free life possible. It is totally different to work with a puppy we've had from two months old, he may be a naughty little monkey but I'm not calling Animal Control anytime soon. I would never use the same techniques with him as we had to use with Star, so why would I copy a man I see on tv working with aggressive dogs? I've picked up more useful and specific techniques from this forum than anything else, but I still enjoy watching the show. Because that is what tv is, entertainment and not something to blindly follow cause it seems easy. And enough from the soapbox, I'm off to practice some deep breathing so the next time Otis knocks over his water dish- I'll keep my cool, remember that it's not the end of the world, and try not to pitch a hissy fit. I'll save calling the 'Dog Whisperer' for a dog that really needs it, not one that's merely being himself and needs a wee bit of direction.
 

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Well put Sarah,I think alot of people lose patience with GSd puppies
and look for the definitive answer.Patience first,read tons of advice
and never give up or you weern't destined for a GSD in the first place
 
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