View Full Version : Friend planning to get a new puppy

22nd November 2009, 08:57 PM
Ok, so she's not getting a Cavalier, she's getting a Clumber Spaniel next year, has her name down for a puppy having researched the breed (with my help and good old google:D) and is determined not to spoil this dog like she did her Newfie (sadly departed).

So, I thought I'd recommend she joins a decent training class for pet dog owners, and she seems fairly keen, but then I find out that as well as being an avid fan of all dog training programmes on tv, she is a huge fan of Caesar Milan (apologies if I've spelt his name wrong). She has bought her husband one of CMs books, and I'm a little worried. I'm not sure what some of his methods would do to a fairly laid back friendly breed like the Clumber?

Being a good friend I've just ordered two books off Amazon, one by Ian Dunbar and one by Gwen Bailey in the hope that these two reward based trainers will counteract the dominance theory in CMs books. They will be her Christmas pressie, and :xfngr: she will not only bring up the new pup in a less spoilt way but wont go OTT in the other direction and try to dominate the pup.

What do you all think? Am I interfering, or do you think it's more like gentle guidance, which is what I'm aiming for?

I can't even set myself up as a good example of how to bring up dogs because last time I took the dogs round Pippin cocked his leg up her bed, and Maddie peed in the living roomicon_blshingicon_blshingicon_blshing I'm not quite sure what went wrong that day............................................... .:sl*p:

Brian M
22nd November 2009, 09:03 PM

Clumbers are beautiful dogs ,the lady who grooms my four breeds and shows them at even Crufts ,she will be happy with a Clumber ,Good luck to her .:)

22nd November 2009, 09:11 PM
I must admit I'd never taken much notice of Clumbers, but made a point of seeing them at Discover Dogs this year. I was very impressed by their nature.:)

23rd November 2009, 11:39 AM
I think giving her the books is a great idea and also you can just gently note that a lot of the Dg Whisperer approach is pretty controversial though it makes for good TV -- and that as Cesar himself says, much of what he does is never to be tried at home on your own dogs (which avoids a more involved criticism of why...).

You might also steer her to this good trainer post on what some of the issues are and why so many trainers have problems with the kind of relationship he seems to encourage people have with their dogs:


I'd hate to see a Clumber being jerked around and 'dominated' :(. They are a really sweet gentle breed.

Two good websites for her as well, with lots of blogging trainers and advice, are:



Kate H
23rd November 2009, 12:05 PM
Karlin wrote: the Dog Whisperer approach is pretty controversial. More than that, it's very old-fashioned! The whole idea of dogs being wolves in disguise has been pretty thoroughly disproved by scientific studies. Dogs have relied on humans for food and shelter for over a thousand years and are miles away from animals who live in packs and have to hunt for their food. And apparently the wolf theorists weren't even very accurate at interpreting their observations of wolves... Dogs trying to get their own way (so-called 'dominance') has nothing to do with being wolves - any more than it has with teenage humans! Especially with a breed like ours which has centuries of experience of manipulating humans to get a comfortable life; they're much cleverer at it than wolves!!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

23rd November 2009, 02:08 PM
I think you are going about it the right way, and the books as Christmas pressies is a good idea.

I hate the idea of trying to dominate any fellow creature (unless there is truly no other way) - but I am a bit of a softie. I've always believed that rewards and persuasion work much better - it even works on Humans (and we're nowhere near as bright as our dogs:D)

It might be worth trying to gently explain that what is done to make a visually good TV programme might not in fact work in reality etc etc.
For example:
I remember Barbara Woodhouse (on prime time TV) literally dragging a tiny Yorshire Terrier around with a great big choke chain, and Yelling 'HEAL!' I was horrified! and I remember her making dogs SIT practically in the puddle where other dogs had just urinated!!!!!! - and this training was allegedly held in high esteem at the time. Everyone was yanking their dogs around on the dreaded choke chain!:eek::eek:

I know, it was a long time ago - but it really is etched in my memory as a worst nightmare!

23rd November 2009, 04:07 PM
I totally agree with everything that has been said. A friend of my Husbands came for an evening, he has Red Setters, his dogs are highly trained and totally obedient he also believes dogs have their place and all of that sort of stuff which according to my book doesn't apply to Cavaliers! I couldn't believe how Dougall reacted to this chap, he became very submissive and almost hid away:eek:. This chap has not been invited since and won't be in the future! So this old fashioned style of training is not for the gentle breeds.

23rd November 2009, 04:19 PM
I totally agree. My mum informed me that The Dog Whisperer is doing a tour and is coming to the Glasgow SECC. I told her "No thanks, I really don't agree with his methods."

It's funny, I used to really enjoy his show until I came on here and realised just how out dated his methods are.

23rd November 2009, 04:58 PM
I totally agree. My mum informed me that The Dog Whisperer is doing a tour and is coming to the Glasgow SECC. I told her "No thanks, I really don't agree with his methods."

It's funny, I used to really enjoy his show until I came on here and realised just how out dated his methods are.

I've never watched him much, I have an issue with the way the dog is never praised for getting it right - among the other more obvious things. He's coming to the O2 in London as well - I wont be going.

We take our dogs to a pet dog training club, obedience and agility, where reward based training is all that's taught. The reward is tailored to whatever suits the dog, so Maddie works for praise, Pippin works for food.;) Some dogs work for toys. I'm going to try and persuade her to bring her new little boy along to the puppy classes when she gets him next summer.

24th November 2009, 08:24 PM
That IS a really gentle way to do it! I'm afraid I'm a lot clumsier when it comes to talking about Milan with friends who love his show.

In other words, with eyebrows jumped up to my hairline, I yelp: "That guy!?? Have you seen what he actually does to his dogs? Flooding? Would you lock a two year old in a dark closet for an hour to cure fear of the dark? Well, he would."

Like I said, you're very diplomatic. I wish I could be so subtle!

Cathy T
24th November 2009, 09:25 PM
I think that's a brilliant idea! You can get your point across but in a gentle and caring manner. Explain that dogs actually just want to please you and react so much better to positive reinforcement. I think Cesar is extreme in his methods....I do think there is a place for them when all else fails, but very much feel it is the last resort. We had a train use "dominance" methods on us personally in a class to show us what it felt like. It was awful!! And I knew what was going on and why it was being done, just imagine how the poor dog feels :eek: Then she used "positive" and "reward based" methods on us, soooo much better...and we were much happier ;)

25th November 2009, 07:15 PM
The books have arrived (good old Amazon :)) and I haven't been able to resist looking through them. Both look good, though I think the Gwen Bailey one is probably a bit easier to read, and lots of colour pictures. Still, the puppy isn't coming until July, so my friends have plenty of time to read and inwardly digest.:D

mckcomplex: I have also given my unvarnished opinions about CM to people unasked :D but haven't found it converts anyone to my way of thinking, just divides us into two different camps. That's just in general discussion though, and I was determined to try and find a subtle way when I know there's going to be a puppy involved (especially as I'll be looking after him for holidays etc.:cool:) that will hopefully be listened to. I'll let you know next year how it's worked, or if the more direct approach would have been more effective.

25th November 2009, 07:40 PM
Just a thought, but if your friend has already put her name down for a pup with a breeder, how about suggesting she rings the breeder to have a chat about what he/she thinks are the best methods to train a Clumber?

I know this could be a bit of a high risk strategy, as you don't know what the breeder will suggest - and it may backfire if (s)he rates the dog Whisperer or similar training methods; but it might be worth a try?

The more angles you try and tackle this from, the more likely she will begin to see that her 'Hero' might not have all the answers.

The problem with criticising someone your friend admires could just make her put up barriers to the different training methods you suggest. The good thing is you've got 6 months to wear her down!:grin:

28th November 2009, 02:54 AM
Madpip: Maybe if there was a puppy involved, I'd be able to clap my trap shut in time. At least I hope so.

I guess I'm always shocked by people who really love his show and approve of his methods. I've watched it several times, and I have to say, the dogs never scare me--but he does!

With that said, I'd love to hear how your covert operation goes! I've only successfully converted anyone to my side on this once, and that was simply because he was really curious about my aversion and I started going on and on about Dr. Ian Dunbar, and whaddayaknow . . . he actually checked him out and came to the bright side!:mexwav: