Hi Amy Cook,
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Thank you for voicing your opinion. I personally share a different view. I've actually met Mr Millan in person, attended one of his LIVE lectures. My wife's friend's dog was used as a LIVE demo dog in his shows, we've never seen any "dominance, intimidation, kicking or used other abusive tools" that you mentioned. The only known trainers that's ever used such methods is Brad Pattison.
If your intention is to get other members to agree with you on one subject matter publicly, this is one way to do it. On the other hand, If your intention is to contact the team, discuss this matter and voice your concern, you can always message us directly, that way we will surely get your message across and you will get a direct response from us. As much as we want to, we do not read every post, we reserve time for our loved ones in the weekend, if no members responds to this thread, it'll be overtaken by other popular threads in a few hours and it'll never reach us. If you have a problem with an individual or an organization, direct communication is the appropriate method.
I appreciate your concern, thank you for sharing a different opinion, I hear you and I agree to disagree. If you have any other questions that concerns MyCorgi.com, feel free to message me directly, I'll get back to you next week. Have a wonderful weekend!
I must admit that I've watched dozens of episodes of The Dog Whisperer and never seen him kick a dog, nor advocate such behavior. If you can point me to a particular episode (title or original air date) where he kicks a dog, I would be happy to watch as it might change my opinion.
I HAVE seen him use his foot to non-violently reposition a dog who was crowding. I have done this on occasion myself; it's faster and safer than leaning over, and since most dogs find looming over the top of them to be at best intimidating and at worst a visible show of force or threat of same, I have found that most dogs respond much more positively to a gentle foot touch than they would to leaning over the top of them and repositioning with the hands. While walking two dogs I frequently need to use any available method (hands, feet, body block) to get the attention of two different dogs who have spied two different things they are reacting to. I've also bumped my female with my foot in the backside when she lags behind my husband and trips me. I've never kicked a dog in my entire life and don't intend on doing so, but would be deeply shocked if someone reported my using my foot as "kicking".
I HAVE seen Cesar use positive reinforcement in countless episodes. Releasing a dog who has been held back from doing what it wants to do is, in and of itself, a reinforcement. But I've also seen him use peanut butter to recondition a dog who had become anxious whenever it's owner was in a garage; cheese to redirect a dog who excitedly barked out windows at other dogs; bananas to retrain a dog who ate her own stools; a feathered toy on a string to re-motivate a fear-biting dog (who he never corrected, not once, not even a "no" because she was biting out of fear); and other well-adjusted dogs to give reinforcement to a dog who was afraid of walking. That's just off the top of my head.
I've also seen him alpha-roll. I would never alpha-roll my own dogs; they don't need it and Cesar himself does it to a tiny fraction of all the dogs he works with. Virtually every dog he has alpha-rolled had been to multiple trainers and was recommended for euthanasia by all or most of them. One was a Korean dog who had lived for years on the street and repeatedly attacked its own owners. Another was a shepherd-mix who had been reduced to living its life tied in a dark garage and no one, not even the trainers in the area, would work with it out of fear. One might argue that such dogs would be better off put to sleep, or one might argue they deserve a chance, but the fact remains that I have yet to see a trainer who criticizes Cesar offer to work with on of these man-attacking dogs and improve its chances when multiple other trainers already recommended euthanasia.
My nephew had a Bull Terrier put to sleep because of extreme dog aggression. The dog was deemed unsafe and they were seriously afraid it would go through a window after another dog; it had already scaled a very high fence to get at other dogs. They took it to two trainers who were considered tops in our area. Neither would work with it and both recommended either euthanasia or sending it back to the breeder. Afraid that the "breeder" had lied to them completely and was breeding fighting and/or drug dogs, they ended up destroying a healthy, happy, face-kisser of a dog because of his violent behavior.
Now, I don't agree with everything Cesar does; "flooding" in particular is a controversial method for dealing with fearful dogs and he does it routinely. However, I would have been thrilled if someone like Cesar would have been able to get somewhere with my nephew's crazy aggressive bully breed, because no one else would even try. It's very easy to say that positive methods would work with these dogs, but when faced with a dog who is intent on killing you, well.... the options are very limited indeed for most people.
Just watch this "battle of wills" where Millan chokes this dog into submission. He collapses the dog by a throat hold:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQUegRGo0kw
And just think about what is on National Geographic's editing room floor!
Is this how we want to treat our dearest canine friends? I am deeply sorry to hear that you feel it necessary to use any sort of force, pressure, or nudge to get your dog to work. Why not employ positive techniques that engage the dog's mind, heart and soul! There is REAL SCIENCE by ethologists such as Dr. Patricia McConnell (author, The Other End of the Leash) that proves that positive reinforcement works! Not strangling your dog cruelly into submission or using your foot to "position" your dog.
This sort of positive training is endorsed by CCPDT, dozens of animal behaviorist (Dr. Patricia McConnell), behavioral vets (Karen Overall), and well-established CPDT-KA trainers (Jennifer Lund, Jeni Grant, Pat Miller, Jean Donaldson, Kathy Sdao, Karen Pryor, Vicotria Stilwell). If you want to watch a fun dog training show, why not "It's Me or the Dog" on Animal Planet (ever wonder why Millan is not on Animal Planet?), or why not read the latest in positive methods in The Whole Dog Journal or Bark Magazine?
My best to all of you at MyCorgi, and with positive reinforcement in mind, I wish all of your pups the best in what training has to offer!
Hmm. I DO use positive methods on my dogs, all the time, and have spent hundreds of hours training both my dogs to be therapy dogs and Canine Good Citizens using almost exclusively positive methods. Both mine will heel off-leash, sit, stay, come, leave it, and down. One also does paw, speaks and does agility, all using positive methods. But sorry, when my dog trips me, you can be darn sure that I am not going to hurt myself trying to get out of its way. And no, touching a dog with your foot is not using force.
Let me put it this way: if you take a frightened child gently by the arm to get her attention and direct her through a crowd, is that using force? Why is physical pressure bad? Would you like to go through your entire life with no one ever using any physical pressure on you? If you were at a noisy rock concert, would you prefer your spouse scream in your ear to get your attention, or tap you on the arm? If your spouse tapped you on the arm, would you cry out that he hit you? Abused you? Because THAT is the sort of physical "force" I use on my happy, healthy, well-trained dogs. Who are, as I mentioned, trained using positive methods. I should have taken out stock in treat companies because I use so many. Feel free to read through these blogs and see the positive methods I have suggested to many posters who are having problems with their dogs, be it pulling. lunging, barking, stealing, nipping, etc.
I have read Patricia McConnell and post on her blog.
I also grew up riding horses, and am keenly aware of the difference between touch as a cue or aid and physical "force."
So please, don't be "deeply sorry" to hear that I use physical pressure or nudges on my wonderful happy Corgis. Because they are not sorry at all.
I just spent nearly six months teaching my claustrophobic male Corgi to tolerate having his nails done, using nothing but positive training, specifically using a marker word.
He's to the point that when he sees me coming with the Dremmel, he starts waving his front paw at me. If he jerks away, he whines a little and gives me his paw again, as if to say "I screwed that up, here let's try again so I can have some cheese."
The vet gave me tranquilizers because he's so bad but I don't want to use them unless there's an emergency, and I could not bear the thought of someone fighting with him at a groomer's.
But thanks for suggesting I employ positive techniques without bothering to read any of my posts first. :-)
Well I guess we all see what we want to see. That dog is actively attacking Cesar. I'm pretty sure that waving a piece of cheese in front of his nose would not have stopped the attack. I don't know what was done with the dog before Cesar came on the scene, but again this is exactly the sort of dog that many trainers won't work with.
I'd hate to see a video of myself if a dog started leaping at my arm and biting me, because I truly don't know what I would do. Many of us can't predict how we'd react in that situation.
I think the trainers at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary are a good example of trainers rehabilitating aggressive and dangerous dogs who were scheduled for euthanasia using only positive methods. Cesar's training methods are not for me, mostly because I have seen dogs that were on the fence become extremely aggressive and dangerous in the hands of owners trying to replicate his methods when they have no idea what they are doing. Obviously if you have a TV show about dog training people are going to try your methods. Now you look at another trainer like Victoria Stillwell for example, when people at home try to replicate her methods they aren't going to create a dangerous dog, worse that can happen is their dog STILL won't listen or mind them. To each is own I guess, but I personally prefer watching the trainers at BF animal sanctuary or trainers like Victoria Stillwell who have also rehabbed extremely aggressive dogs with a lot of success and less force. I don't disagree that Cesar has saved many dogs, but I also would never use any of his methods on my own dog.
That being said, I do think that the use of pressure and the use of force are two completely different things. I grew up in the horse world and even the most gentle trainers are constantly using pressure to get the horse to do what they are asking. Releasing the pressure is the reward. You just make the wrong way hard and the right way easy but you are in no way applying force (i.e. jerking, kicking, whipping). In dog training its the same thing, you want to make the dog choose to do the right action and if this means applying some pressure (for example using a body block) then by all means do it. Even Victoria Stillwell uses these methods. You can't do EVERYTHING with just a piece of cheese or a treat. You must make the dog/horse/etc think critically and decide to do right. In the end if you are ONLY using treats all the time, when the time comes that you don't have treats your dog will know it and will totally ignore you. The most effective method of training is to make your dog WANT to please YOU not just perform for a treat. The reward should be your affection and not the hot dog you are holding. I have helped train Search and Rescue dogs and police dogs and only the most basic training is done with treats. Once they get the idea and start to progress, a job well done is a reward in itself.
Have watched the show. I think it should be noted that in many cases the dogs that he is working with have EXTREME behaviors. In many situations owners are looking to rehome, or more dramtic measures because the dog is unmanagable. I understand your view but faced with putting a dog to sleep or rehoming I think I might try some of his methods. I believe that in many cases the opportunity for positive reinforcement might have passed and a more dramatic measure is necesary UNTIL the behaviors are at a managable level.
Just as an afterthought I would like to revisit the concept of people doing research on breeds prior to making the "choice". A number of times I can say that I have thought "what were those people thinking" IE living in an apartment with a weimaraner.....great dogs but really....we are going to leave it cooped up all day and then walk it a couple or three times after work. And then these people wonder "why is he acting out?" Really.....uuuugggghhhh I might add that in some situation I have seen him say to people that their dog would be better suited to a more compatable climate or find placement where the dog has a "job".
Just my opinion. ^,,^
The dog in the video had already bitten Cesar in the arm multiple times, and was still trying to attack him. And one hand flat on the neck is hardly a choke hold. How would you handle this situation with only positive methods? Even holding the dog away from you so it can't bite you is putting pressure on the dog. A body block is using an aversive. Let's face it, not all training methods work for all dogs.
My only issue with Cesar's show is that I think some people try to emulate his methods on their own dogs regardless of temperament, and without having the proper training. Most of the dogs on the show do not have "average" behavior problems, they are extreme cases. And I believe the show specifically states that owners should seek out professional assistance. Overall I think Cesar does more help than harm though, there are many dogs that would have been euthanized without his help.