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Thread: The Dog Whisperer

  1. #11
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    His show used to be on either SkyOne or Animal Planet at about 9:30am, i don't know if it still is.
    Stephen 3 Cavs - Cody, Abigail & Jasmine, Gavin the terrier and the cats - Buffy, Kendra, Thomas, Caleb, Robin & Cadbury, the Geckos - Crane, Poole, Schmidt, Amber, Seven, Eleven, Thirteen, Ivy, Gretchen, Darcy, Ari, Zeva, Claude & Claudine, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Dov, Ronia, Netanya

  2. #12
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    Patience, kindness, understanding and a gentle voice has always deliverd rewards to me. You can be firm and kind at the same time. I think dogs pick up on our feelings and emotions more than we give them credit for.

    I hate to see people yell at their dogs, you can see the fear in their eyes.

    Alison, Wilts, U.K.

  3. #13
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    I've seen Cesar Milan's show on TV quite a few times....and at first he seemed OK. But you know, after watching more of the shows, and reading more about him, I don't think I'm liking him much any more. Agree with using a much kinder and gentler method of training!!
    ~Renee, Bentley & Bailey & Maddie

  4. #14
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    I think everyone needs to decide for themselves too. I used to watch The Dog Whisperer too and agree that kindler genter methods are preferable and I think for Cavs, they'll work. I'm using positive reinforcement with Lucky and it's going fine so far. He's such a little angel. (most of the time ...)

    That said, there are a couple things that people ought to know about the show (I also used to watch it a lot and I also eventualy stopped because , well, once you have seen a few episodes you "get it").

    Anyway, things to know - First of all, they do say, frequently throughout the broadcast, that his methods should not be attempted without first consulting a qualified dog trainer. Secondly, the dogs featured on the show are usually severe problem cases - some are at the point where they are biting neighbors, children, barking at other dogs constantly while on walks, etc. In many of the cases, they at the point where the owners are reluctantly considering giving them up.

    That said, I think Karlin said in a previous thread that the kind of relationship that Cesar advocates is not the kind that she'd like to have with her dogs ... I completely agree with that. But I don't think he's the devil. I think for the dogs featured on his show, he makes a huge difference in the lives of the dogs and their owners. So that's my view on the Dog Whisperer ... works for some, but not necessarily for me and Lucky.

    That said, it was recommended to me that I purchase a book written by the Monks of New Skete - they have two books - one of which is called "how to be your dog's best friend ..." ... They also have a video that I'm thinking of getting. I think I'd like to be Lucky's best friend.
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

  5. #15
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    He's a Cavalier. If you provide him with food, and lots of it, that's pretty much guaranteeed

  6. #16
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    Lisa, you have me laughing out loud!!!! I know you are right. He's just such a little love-muffin!!! That said, I do get worried about feeding him TOOO much given their propensity for heart issues. And Lucky sure does LOVE his food.
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

  7. #17
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    Lisa_T You've got Cavaliers sussed then?

    I agree with Alison here. I think kindness and patience works far better than yelling. I also think I am far too soft with my furbabies, my human kids and my hubby and they've all got me right where they want me

    Ah well........


    Fran, any idea when the new series is going to start? I love Victoria Stillwell's methods of training, they are so effective

  8. #18
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    I had heard of Cesar Millan on the boards, so I checked out his first season on DVD. I wanted to see for myself what the controversy was all about.

    The methods he uses are based on a lot of terminology he created, and while I see that he uses the old philosophies of dominance and submission, he doesnt not always use the terms consistently. For example, he calls a dog quieting down and relaxing as being submissive. To me, the dog was just calming down, which makes the dog listen more easily and behave in ways people find more acceptable.

    He also uses the concept of a dominant dog in relationship to the idea that the human has not established him or herself as "pack leader". Any dog who is spoiled and hasnt been given limits to his/her behavior is called "dominant." In some cases, the behaviors the dog is exhibiting are actually behaviors that have been inadvertently taught to the dogs by people who don't know any better.

    Many of these points are the issues why a lot of trainers and dog behaviorists have abandoned the terms and the accompanying philosophies. Cesar's lack of formal training in the area probably leads to his use of these terms but in uneducated ways.

    Personally, a lot of what I have seen in season one episodes are a lot of "it sounds good for TV". The dominance and submission language is accompanied with a lot of "bring your energy" so that it can "travel down the leash to the dog". I'm sure this language serves Cesar well in his LA business when he deals with celebrity clients. It obviously transitioned well to TV.

    Not to bash without giving credit, while some of Cesar's techniques are reminiscent of the failed dominant/submissive dog training philosophy, some of his techniques are useful and relevant. For instance, he teaches owners not to reward unwanted behavior. For example, if a dog acts nervous or scared, human reaction is to comfort and pet to help reassure the dog. Unintentionally, the owner is praising behavior that they'd be better off ignoring. He's using positive training philosophy to understand why the dog has developed unwanted behavior... he just doesnt always carry through how to use that same training method to get folks OUT of the negative behavior.

    Similarly, while his emphasis on exercise can be extreme, I agree that many pet dogs are not walked enough (mine included!). It is not a huge insight, however, as it would require folks to walk their dogs, and most folks are grossly neglectful of their own need for exercise!

    So while I can take and leave some of what I have seen from the show, I can understand, too, how my own experience and training has allowed me to judge the techniques. Others who watch the show who have less experience (and hence with dogs who are out of control) could grasp on to anything he says and give it a try. This risk if really quite huge, as I wouldnt suggest trying to do a submissive roll on a Great Dane with nervous issues. :S
    Cindy
    Cedar (tri), Willow (blen), & Holly (ruby)

  9. #19
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    I tried the dominance thing once and ended up with a nuerotic dog. Never again.

  10. #20
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    We saw this show recently and weren't impressed at all. The dogs did seem to be extreme cases but having previously watched the Dog Listener, Jan Fennell, deal with equally extreme cases without resorting to domination it was difficult to stomach this guy. As others have posted I don't think his methods would suit cavaliers at all. Our first training book was It's Me or the Dog and that was a great starting point.

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