Millan's Theory - It's Dog Crap

President Obama has had rough few months, being growled at from every direction - and now from Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer.

obama and Bo.jpg

What?

Millan says that because Bo (the First Family's Portuguese Water Dog) pulls on the leash, walking in front the President (or whoever else is holding the leash) the dog is clearly in charge.

Dog Crap!

When Bo pulls the President on a leash, it means Bo is not trained. Or Bo's training isn't being reinforced. Also, by using a flex-type leash (which I believe I've seen used on Bo on TV), Bo is actually being reinforced to walk ahead just by the very equipment being used and how it is used. None of this has anything to do with what Millan asserts - and that is that the dog is in charge.

Millan has said repeatedly on TV, "you must be the pack leader."

cesar millan2.jpg

To demonstrate leadership; walk ahead of your dog, and depart from doors before the dog. It sounds good, maybe...but I am telling you he made this stuff up. This demonstrates nothing (except maybe a well trained dog). There's no sound explanation based on any science whatsoever! Except, I must say I like it when people leave through doors first because it's safer. If your dog bolts out the door first, it either means you don't have control (a training issue - not a leadership issue) or your dog's really gotta pee.

Here's what Millan told Leslie Stahl on CBS "60 Minutes"

"If your dog doesn't learn to follow, you'll never have a disciplined pet.
I've seen them (President Obama and Bo) day one, and definitely day one was not a good
scene. The dog, Bo, was in front of the President of the
United States."

It's a matter of teaching Bo to heel and the Obama family reinforcing (all of them reinforcing) what the dog has been taught. It could be Bo is going every which way because he hasn't learned otherwise. However, I can assure you Bo isn't ahead of the President because he wants to run our nation, rule the White House or even take over as head of the Obama family.

Comments

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  • Steve, I couldn't agree more. Bo was a new puppy with no training, and he was excited - of course he was pulling! Thank you for speaking out about the nonsense that is CM's dominance theory. Of course, if Bo has some really good ideas about solving the various problems facing the President today, perhaps he SHOULD be in charge!

  • In reply to askmuddy:

    LOL - thanks...I am concerned about the suggestion here - as you point out, concerning the need to dominate the dogs...it's not really even a leadership issue, it's a teaching issue. Anyhow, feel free to pass the link to this along...

  • In reply to askmuddy:

    Steve, you're too funny, "your dog's really gotta pee."just cracked me up!

    What Millan also forgets is what we DON'T see in the photo--dozens of Secret Service, White House aides, cabinet members and other staff, reporters, gawkers and so on, all being a distraction to any dog, even a well-trained one. I can imagine someone waving a treat to get Bo to pull the President his way!

  • In reply to bernadette:

    That's a great point - when they are out for a walk - it is a pack....
    So, I suppose Bo must be the leader

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Maybe he should wrestle Bo to the ground and pin him there 'till he submits, then they can have a new photo of the president getting bit, LOL

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    On Obama's case Cesar Millan couldn't be more correct. Our president clearly gets no respect from his dog because Bo doesn't see a leader on the other end of the leash. To Bo it doesn't matter that Obama is the President of the United States. He pulls him and walks in front of him because to Bo, Obama doesn't show him any leadership, he can recognize. You can fool people but you can't fool dogs. Our president may seem calm and collected on camera, but he clearly isn't from a dogs point of view. If Obama really wants to get a better behaved dog, he should give Cesar Millan a call and learn how he has to change around him to achieve that goal. Once Bo becomes a more balanced dog, use all the +R methods your heart desires to teach him to sit, stay, come, etc. because that's what they are good for.

    I am a dog trainer myself and regularly see clients who paid lots of money to positive reinforcement only trainers over many months with nothing to show for it; these are usually aggression cases. It is fine to advocate positive reinforcement where appropriate. I use it myself a lot but this doesn't work for every problem. One thing that always makes a difference no matter what is going on is calm-assertive leadership on part of the dog owner. That is what Cesar Millan is all about. Also, if you like +R's leading advocate Ian Dunbar may I recommend you check out Cesar Millan's new book Cesar's Rules. Cesar Millan spent 2 days with Ian Dunbar who provided significant contributions to Millan's first ever dog training book. If Ian Dunbar can come together with Cesar Millan to help dogs and owners maybe than maybe you can take your +R only blindfold off for a while, open your eyes and realize that there are more ways than one when it comes to addressing dog behavioral issues or training. Also +R only, according to the latest research on the matter, is now actually considered ineffective because it is based on wrong assumptions about how dogs learn. +R trainers will have to go back to school it seems. Read here:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/my-puppy-my-self/201009/the-unified-dog-theory-ii-using-pattern-recognition-in-training

  • In reply to askmuddy:

    I like Cesar and agree with him on some things but this leash thing is just silly. It's a training issue, agree with you Steve.

  • In reply to janowin:

    Thanks Jackie - truth is there are specific points I agree with Cesar about...but even then - and more to come soon - he has be spouting about under exercised dogs. Me too! I agree!!!! But his solution, in part, to put dogs on treadmills. Ugh- no way...that's dangerous, can you say, run with the dog or dog park, or flyball or agility...whatever...not treadmills. Well, thanks for reading the blog.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Excuse me, but my dogs use a Jog-a-Dog treadmill for supplemental exercise and strengthening. LOTS of canine/equine rehab DVMs use treadmills. I think you're way off base in your criticism of treadmill use.

  • In reply to harpercollie:

    They are super expensive though, a regular treadmill can be just fine.

    I think Steve is concerned that people will do it the wrong way-- i.e. someone putting their dog on a treadmill for an hour or something crazy like that, the dog can collapse and die, or leaving them unattended tied to it, etc. For your "average person" letting the dog exercise at its own pace is safest.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Excuse me, but my dogs use a Jog-a-Dog treadmill for supplemental exercise and strengthening. LOTS of canine/equine rehab DVMs use treadmills. I think you're way off base in your criticism of treadmill use.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    I love this! If the sidewalk is crowded we let our dog walk ahead of us with a loose leash so we don't take up a lot of room. A few times someone has stopped me to tell me that "I'm letting her be the boss." Letting her walk in front of me for 30 seconds won't make my dog automatically disrespect me. Although I respect CM's principles on walking your dog frequently and being calm/assertive, I don't think agree with his techniques of training.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    There are Jog-A-Dog treadmills and they are great for conditioning dogs and getting extra energy out, I think it's a fantastic thing, along with mental stimulation and training, but to use the treadmill you have to stand there and time it so the dog is not over-exerted.

  • In reply to janowin:

    Leave a comment...

  • In reply to janowin:

    Let's try that again-my first comment vanished so hopefully this will not appear twice.

    The lore of the "pack leader"is an inaccurate and outdated explanation that only serves to create an adversarial relationship with your dog. After all, if your only tool is a hammer, pretty soon everything starts looking like a nail.

    Dogs pull on leash because:
    A. It gets them where they want to go!
    B. They have four legs-we have two-dogs naturally have a longer stride than we do. In fact, a natural gait for a dog on the move is a trot. If you are lucky enough to walk safely off leash with your dog, you will see that he quickly trots ahead of you, happily sniffing and will turn around to see where you are (probably thinking-why the heck is she so SLOW!?)
    C. They have been reinforced in some fashion for doing this (dog pulls + reaches bushes containing interesting smells=REINFORCEMENT!)

    I thought Mr. Millan had decided to join modern dog training when he included other trainers in his latest book. Sadly, it seems he is pounding the same tired drum. Bad manners are just that: bad manners. To view them as anything else only confounds the problem.

  • In reply to chriswaggoner:

    right on ChrisW.

  • In reply to chriswaggoner:

    I think Cesar is right. I mean I watch his shows as much as I can (which unfortunatly is not very often) I mean who is the pack leader or boss in your house. I know in mine it's my mom so everybody listens to her and do what she tells us to do. And that is how it is supposed to be with your dog. If your are not the pack leader then the dog won't listen to you. I mean if you are not the leader of the pack and try to tell the dog to do something you mine-as-well be ordering a big brother or sister to go clean your room while you sit and watch tv.

  • In reply to Fall14:

    A teacher, a leader....sure....but a leader as being the dominant, no. Of course, your dog doesn't pay the rent. Pack leader. A couple of problems. First, the way he describes it - just not right. He compares dogs to wolves and wolf families. But dogs are not wolves, and according to wolf experts - he has that wrong. What's more, yes, dogs look to us all the time for leadership, to answer questions. But we are not dogs - not a part of their pack - and they know we are not dogs.

  • In reply to chriswaggoner:

    I have a really good point as well. How many of you have gone to college, studied about dogs and have a tv show where you help people with their pets because the owner was not the pack leader and just let them do whatever they want?

  • In reply to Fall14:

    I would agree - dogs should not be left to make all their own decisions....not a leadership question there, a safety question.

  • In reply to Fall14:

    I don't know the book, the 100 Silliest....I do agree, greatly sounds like a PR ploy. To a degree, I suppose I'm guilty of feeding that.

  • In reply to Fall14:

    Well said -- I agree completely. I taught dogs and their families for over 15 years, and I watched as dog training logic shifted from "wolf-dominance theory" to humane training methods. My current dog is well-trained, and I let her walk ahead, behind, or around me. She's not pulling, so I'm fine with it. If I ask her to heel, she does instantly. She's also submissive to every family member, down to the youngest kid. She's just having a great time out for a walk!

  • In reply to Fall14:

    Way to go Steve. To Fall14: CM did not go to college or study dogs.. just grew up with them.. the trainers that have a problem with his theories are the ones that DID study animal behavior and have been training for years. He just has a great marketing team and a tv show.. that does not make him an authority to follow. while he does raise some good points about exercise and such... his other theories are not based on science and reasearch.. actually science and research have proved what he does is NOT good. His methods are old and outdated. If your dr. or vet chose to use techniques from 20 years ago and chose to ignore recent studies on how to improve his techniques.. would you still go to him?
    Dogs are not humans, humans are not dogs.. we know that, they know that.. we cannot try to do dog corrections or act like a dog "pack leader" without confusing the crap out of our dog. We do need to have rules, guidelines and training but it needs to be done with respect and love, not force. Good professional trainers continue to educate themselves all the time and know through their education that the dominance theory has been de-bunked.. not valid... so trainers that still follow that need to attend some seminars, read books, and follow what research has proven to be the most effective and humane ways to train.

  • In reply to tranerladee:

    "actually science and research have proved what he does is NOT good."
    Can you be a little more specific? Can you cite the studies you're referring to? Was the research published in any particular academic journal and if so, what was the name of the journal, authors, titles, etc. I am interested in reading the complete articles, not bits and pieces.

  • In reply to harpercollie:

    Here is one to get you started on, Harper:
    or I am sure you agree that the methods he uses are similar enough to make this article above applicable.

  • In reply to chriswaggoner:

    O-kaaaay...looks like the blog stripped my link. Just do a Google search for "If you are aggressive your dog will be, too" and a link to the study by the School of Veterinary Medicine at Penn, published in the journal, Applied Animal Science (Feb 2009) should appear.

  • In reply to chriswaggoner:

    Thanks.

  • In reply to chriswaggoner:

    Steve, I have never been a fan of Mr. Milan's Training Philosphy because of the PACK Idea. In order to train your dog do you have to invite 3-4 friends over each time you want to train. And even that is not a "real" pack. A real PACK is the family of dogs that the dog lives with. So I guess a single person with one dog is just out of luck in Cesar's eyes and will never be a "Disciplined" dog???? Not, I have a loving dog that heals well and completes in Obedience (and has won Titles and Placements) But when we are out on a walk I allow him to walk in front of me and enjoy being a dog. Way to Put Mr. Milan in his rightful place!

  • In reply to chriswaggoner:

    Would have replied sooner - but was in a studio all day...I am grateful for all your comments, and for reading the blog. You know, some folks are afraid to post on blogs, or don't want to and prefer sending emails. Reading still through the dozens of email, and also some Facebook Fan page posts. While a few people defend Cesar on this...well, very few that wrote me....And except the Terrier person here only a few small pawful of professional trainers. Indeed, the behavior groups have Huge concerns about Cesar's methods, in general. I do offer him credit, though, for moderating some in recent years.

    Oh PBurns - a dog doesn't need to be in a perfect heel at the time. Dog is in the house or White House for hours, gets to go out, can't run around the yard. So a leash is one. What is a dog to do? Also, some - who know - have pointed out that the secret service are there, and others...and photographers often coaxing the dog. That's not your average dude walking a dog.

    And for the person maintaining Cesar is doing good....ok
    But by spreading misinformation, also harm.

    You think it's a coincidence - he does something to get himself in the news, oh sure, just coincidentally as his most recent book comes out. Wow - funny how that works, isn't it?

    I had a very interesting conversation with Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz who trained Bo, the Obama dog. We're posting it even before it appears in a podcast.

    I also deconstructed the interview with Obama and Lesley Stahl...and NO NO NO!!! I don't criticize everything Cesar says or does. And I do admire his talent with a TV camera and with dogs, and I know he does good. I happy to good with him, if asked...And he seems like a nice guy...But for crissakes, pop up WARNINGS - don't try this at home - appear on his National Geographic Show...Maybe, just maybe they are there for a reason.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    "And for the person maintaining Cesar is doing good....ok
    But by spreading misinformation, also harm."

    I've read misinformation in your articles re:shock collars. I doubt if you have ever picked one of these collars up and tested it on your hand to see what it actually feels like. Maybe you are going by old, outdated information from the 1940's.

    "...he [Cesar Millan] does something to get himself in the news, oh sure, just coincidentally as his most recent book comes out. Wow - funny how that works, isn't it?"

    Wow! That's how it usually works, Steve!!! Book comes out and the author makes appearances promoting it. Geez, you're in the "biz", too.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    I realize that's how it works - how you promote books....but there are responsible ways to do that or not. This is not fair to Obama's real trainer, for starters. And not true anyway...C'mon a dog that pulls is in charge. No really. Getting PR at any cost, that's a shame.By the way, I heard (second hand) the book is pretty good.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    Maybe Cesar will send you a copy of his new book.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    I really don't understand so much of the attacks on CM. The only explanation I could think of is that people who believe him to be so wrong haven't actually watched his show, read his books, or really understand his philosophy. If you were to ask CM what is the most *important* thing for a person to embrace while working/being with a dog, he would *not* say "dominant". If you think that "being dominant" is at the cornerstone of his teachings, then you are severely mistaken. What he always comes back to is the importance of being calm and assertive. The only time he feels that it's necessary to "dominate" a dog is when the dog is showing extreme aggression, rooted in dominance (versus insecurity or fear). Most often, these are the cases where *all* other dog trainers and professionals that the owners sought out felt the dogs should be put down, due to their severe aggression issues. And Cesar was able to help them.

    If you notice, CM never once mentions that the Presidents dog is trying to "dominate him." He doesn't even use the word "dominant" or "dominance" once. He said, "If your dog doesn't learn to follow, you'll never have a disciplined pet." Do you disagree with this statement? If you watched his show, you would learn that Cesar uses different techniques with each case he works with. Sometimes he lets them walk in front, other times he doesn't. It depends on what the dog is needing to learn. If the dog is well trained and obedient, CM has no issue with the dog walking in front. In fact, he talks about rewarding a dog for walking next to you by then letting them go wherever they want and letting them sniff around. One of his recipes for creating a *balanced* dog is to have the dog walk next to you for twenty minutes, and then reward the dog for the next twenty minutes by letting the dog go wherever it wants, sniffing around, etc.

    As far as the whole issue with the term "pack leader", I really think it's all about semantics. There are "positive reinforcement" dog trainers who actually talk about the importance of humans playing the role of the leader (versus the follower). CM simply uses "pack leader" to describe this role.

    I also think his methods are sorely misunderstood. When he does a correction, it is not done to inflict pain on the dog (and if done right, *shouldn't* inflict any pain on the dog). In fact, I've seen episodes where an owner did a correction too strongly, and he told them it was too harsh, and they need to be gentler. He talks very clearly about there being a difference between touching a dog firmly (giving a tap, or pulling the leash to the side) and hurting the dog. And again, he brings it all back to the state of mind of the person doing the corrections.

    I've heard him several times ask the question, "What's the difference between correction and punishment?" The answer, he says, is that one (punishment) is done with anger and/or frustration, and the other one is done with calmness and assertion. I think that's where people can really harm a pet (just like the animal shelter example): if they *ever* touch an animal with anger or frustration, it only reinforces fear in the animal and could lead to aggression (which is the exact opposite than what CM wants to bring out in dogs). If anything, CM's desire is to bring out a dog's balanced, happy, calm, as well as playful side.

    If you've ever watched a show, and watch Cesar Millan interact with dogs (whether they are other people's dogs or his own), you can tell that after he has rehabilitated the dogs, that they are not afraid of him. Otherwise, they would cower, growl, put their tail between their legs, or bite him, and they would never get better. When you see him working with these very sensitive cases, you see a transformation. The aggression subsides, the fear slowly goes away, the tail comes up from between their legs, and they are genuinely happy. You can tell the difference between a dog that is happy or unhappy. Most dogs that people bring to CM are unhappy in some form or another - whether it be fearful, anxious, frustrated, bored, aggressive, etc. His whole goal is to create an environment where dogs are getting what they need, which is a balanced life, with exercise, love, and discipline/boundaries.

    The only way I could possibly imagine CM's techniques inflicting harm on a dog is if they are done incorrectly, as is the case with *any* technique. If you do any dog training technique with anger or frustration, you could hurt or tramatize your dog. Therefore, to truly understand whether the effects of Cesar's methods work or not, it's not a matter of asking people who use his techniques (since they can be used incorrectly) but rather by talking to people who have had Cesar work directly with their dogs. I have had the privilege of meeting people who have had CM work with their dogs, and according to them, his techniques DO work. You don't need a *degree* in dog training in order to understand dogs. He has lived with and worked with dogs all his life. He has rehabilitated hundreds of dogs who were beyond help and who were going to be put down.

    I used to be much more critical of CM and his methods until I actually (and accidentally) started watching the show (it was on at a local vet while i was in the waiting room). When I then began watching the show, I realized that all my previous beliefs about him were unfounded. And now, it's hard for me to understand where all the anger (and at times hatred) comes from. Just because he uses different techniques than the ones that others use, why is he so threatening? I like the saying "The proof is in the pudding." You can attack his techniques and philosophies all day long, and not accept him because he has had no "official" (ie conventional-style) training, but at the end of the day, he has helped (and continues to help) so many dogs, and is so invested in their well-being, and he has proven his results to be effective, that it's hard to understand people's attacks on him.

    Thanks for reading.

  • In reply to caroline32:

    dogglover32, I enjoyed reading your post. I think people pick and choose what they like and dislike and forget to look at the whole picture with CM's training methods. They are missing out.

  • In reply to SteveDale:

    yes - I disagree that if the dog doesn't learn to follow....he'll never have a disciplined pet. I don't at all understand. First, I am told and believe Bo does know how to heel (don't know about follow). Listen to the interview I did with Dawn Sylvia Stasiewicz - she has a book out and she's not out there slamming him for publicity. You can listen: www.petworldradio.net. Because Bo pulls on the leash is not necessarily an indication that he pulls all the time...or that he isn't pulling after being confined for many hours...or that photographers and others there aren't walking ahead of the President....or most of all, that the President hasn't asked him to heal...or that he isn't getting consistent message to heal. None of this has anything to do with whether he is a good pet or a disciplined pet (whatever that means). Thank you for your post, though...wish you hadn't mentioned pudding. I am now hungry.

  • In reply to chriswaggoner:

    I don't see the citation.

  • In reply to harpercollie:

    And, I will respectfully and in all professional mannerisms ask you to cite the studies that prove that a dog walking in front of a human is showing dominance.
    Leashes are manmade and donot come naturally to dogs and their relationship to other dogs.
    So if we can't even prove that a dog walking another dog on leash and that the determining factor of dominance is made by who is walking in front how would one ever prove that this scenario can even make sense to two different species.
    Watch two dogs not on leash walk together and going in the same direction they donot "HEEL" at all in relation to eachother. They may do some parallel walking and each will at one time or another be in front or in back but it doesnot appear to be anything more than just a random pattern.
    Thanks to you if you can cite and peer review "Status of two different species in relationship to who is where when headed in the same direction.
    Sincerely,
    CanineCare

  • In reply to Fall14:

    Well...Fall14, I think that your example can also be asked this way:

    Whom would you choose to treat your emergency heart attack...Dr. Anonymous who went to college and studied hearts OR John Stamos who plays a doctor on tv?

  • In reply to Fall14:

    zzzzzzzzzz...here we go with another attack on Cesar Millan. Boring. Meanwhile, CM is out there making positive steps toward helping people learn how to communicate effectively with their dogs. He doesn't need a Masters or a PhD or even a "behavior consultant certification." Imagine that!

  • In reply to harpercollie:

    It IS boring, having to patiently set the record straight after yet another blundering generalization is uttered by Mr. Millan, I agree! But to sit quietly when what he says is potentially harmful to dogs is just as bad as if I had uttered them as well.

    Oh, and I DO imagine that he is blathering his nonsensical "pack leader" theories w/out a Masters, PhD, or even a "behavioral consultant certification"-I don't have to imagine, actually. I SEE the results of his nonsense every day when I visit a dog in the shelter now responding with aggressiion because someone watched a television show and despite the warnings ("Do not try this at home") did just that.

  • In reply to chriswaggoner:

    I'm sure it is difficult dealing with aggressive shelter dogs, but isn't it the former owner's fault for 1) dumping the dog at a shelter, 2)not consulting a professional trainer for help, and 3)ignoring the "do not try this at home" warnings? How do you figure that it's the fault of a celebrity trainer that never even worked with your problem dog?

  • In reply to harpercollie:

    Until this year I ran a breed rescue. By the way- this celebrity dog trainer's advise runs rampant through not only the dog owning community, but also many shelter staff have bought into it.

    Here is an example of how things can go wrong by using this celebrity trainer's advice.

    Mr. Millan's advises one to "put the choke collar up high on the neck of the dog, like a proud show dog" which in reality places it just behind the dog's sensitive ears.

    Dog is walking on leash with the choke chain on. Another dog on leash approaches. Your dog becomes excited and begins to pull forward and perhaps even lunge. You, being the pack leader, immediately give a sharp "correction" to your dog by popping the leash and issuing a "tsssst!".

    Your dog does NOT stop and consider "Hmmmm...my human wishes me to not lunge or jump. Therefore I will walk quietly by her side now".

    No, your dog, instead (because dogs live very much in the moment and are not capable of the level of critical thinking we assume they are) gets this message: Dog in view + Pain = DOGS/PAIN. Repeat this enough times and you now have a dog that, while leashed, upon seeing another dog, becomes VERY reactive.

    You, still trying to apply pack leadership rules, must now apply even greater force and it becomes a vicious cycle. How far are you willing to go?

    I am not saying that people who follow the Dog Whisperer are mean or evil-quite the contrary. They are people just like you and me, trying to find a way to live with anther species and make it work. It's just this-there is another way to train. It does not involve folklore or special whispering abilities. Anyone can do it.

  • In reply to chriswaggoner:

    I have seen the type of correction you describe used very effectively in dog training classes. Some dogs take longer than others, but most dogs understand pretty quickly that behaviors have consequences. E.g., dog,rabbit,squirrel, etc. in view - "leave it and watch me, otherwise there's a correction.

  • In reply to harpercollie:

    This is a poorly written piece that does not have much to say. And what it does say it so poorly phrased I am not sure anyone can understand it.

    Sorry, but there it is.

    Steve Dale seems hell-bent on attacking Millan, but he simply does not have the kindling to start the fire, much less to sustain it.

    At its core Dale reveals some basic ignorance about training 101.

    Let's start with the leash. Anyone who uses a string lead on a dog this size is incompetent as a dog handler, and I don't care if that person is Barack Obama or Jesus Christ Himself. You cannot control a dog this size with a string lead. Does Dale dispute that?

    Point two is that having a dog almost pull you over is a visual evidence of failure, young dog or old. Any question there?

    As for BO being a puppy, that too is nonsense. Bo is not a puppy anymore. In fact, he is a fairly large adult dog that needs to be trained, and that training needs reinforcement, none of which seem to have occured.

    I have not even gotten to the issue of walking the dog in front, or how to go through doorways. Why raise those issues when the the dog is CLEARLY walking the owner, rather than the owner walking the dog?

    And Steve Dale thinks all is fine here? Ha! Something is very definitely wrong here, and it starts with the wrong leash on full extension. Get the right leash, shorten it up, and get that dog walking with you, not dragging you are the lawn. That is the very definition of training, but it seems to be lost on Steve Dale.

    Bottom line: Steve Dale is not a dog trainer and should probably not be writing about training until he has actually done a little.

    PBurns
    www.terrierman.com

    PBurns

  • In reply to PBurns:

    A good pack leader does not need a leash at all to control a dog.
    Leashes are manmade, therefore, would not fit the wolf pack model.
    It's calm, assertive pssts' that will gain you respect and dominance over your dog.
    Seriously, are people really using leashes to train dogs?
    I hope you are just being sarcastic about using a string leash as it doesn't fit the paradigm.
    Sincerely,
    CanineCare

  • In reply to harpercollie:

    Who came up with that article title? Unless you are good pals with CM (and I doubt that you are), calling someone's theory "dog crap" is really rude and unprofessional.

  • In reply to harpercollie:

    It IS boring, having to patiently set the record straight after yet another blundering generalization is uttered by Mr. Millan, I agree! But to sit quietly when what he says is potentially harmful to dogs is just as bad as if I had uttered them as well.

    Oh, and I DO imagine that he is blathering his nonsensical "pack leader" theories w/out a Masters, PhD, or even a "behavioral consultant certification"-I don't have to imagine, actually. I SEE the results of his nonsense every day when I visit a dog in the shelter now responding with aggressiion because someone watched a television show and despite the warnings ("Do not try this at home") did just that.

  • In reply to Fall14:

    I approach most things on a very analytical level. Before I agree, disagree or admit that I just don't know or have an opinion about something I ask myself several questions.
    -Does this make sense?
    -Does research support this?
    -What are the possible scenarios and I use critical thinking skills to try and separate fact from fiction.

    Dog that walks in front of human is being dominant.
    Use your College brain here and lets start asking questions and come to some hypothesis.

    -Is a dog capable of critical and cognitive thinking?
    -If yes, to what degree?
    -Is the dog capable of knowing the fture or that his behavior can impact the future?
    -If yes, to what degree?
    -Do dogs show dominance amonst each other by walking in front of another dog?
    -If so, how do we know what the dog knows or believes to be true?

    -A dog walking in front of his owner must beable to recognize that this is a superior state to the human.
    How can a dog know that walking in front of a human is going to result in the dog being viewed by human and dominant?
    -If a dog in displaying a dominant behvaior to the human he would have to know that the human views that his position behind the dog is an inferior position.
    -How do we know the dog knows that the humans knows to interpret his behavior as dominant, therefore being of any relevance to the human. The dog would have to know that we know that he is doing this on purpose to let the human know where he stands in the hierarchy.
    -In said example, the dog would have to know that his behavior of "dominance" would impact the future of the relationship between the dog and the human.
    Are dogs capable of understanding the "future" or that their behavior towards the human at this moment is going to impact the "future" of their relationship.
    -If dogs are so smart at assessing us humans they would be smart enough to know that in this country Americans do not apply any importance to who is walking in front or behind someone.
    -The only time an American in this country feels that they are being slighted by someone deliberately walking in front of them would be those that have learned or been taught that in other countries the underling walks behind.

    Ithink dogs are really smart but I don't believe they have the ability to know that their current behavior may impact the future.

    I admit that I donot know the answers to above questions but if someone is capable of scientifically being able to prove to me that the dog knows, that I know, that their walking in front of me is a clear indication of their dominance and predict the future of our relationship I WILL BE ONE EXCELLENT STUDENT FOR YOU TO IMPART YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND PROOF ON.
    ...Because frankly, I don't know the answer and the above paragraphs that I wrote make me really dizzy :)
    Sincerely,
    CanineCare
    PS Await a professional based dialog on the leash thing.

  • In reply to chriswaggoner:

    Commenting on the President was likely thought up by CM's cheap-shot publicity crew. This hairdresser hopes of course to get an invitation to the White House and thus up the illusion (which started with Oprah) of being some kind of authoritative dog trainer.
    We advise everyone from CM to Obama to read Alexandra Semyonova's 'The 100 Silliest Things People Say About Dogs' -- the best rebuttal to CM ever published.

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