I just finished reading Cesar Millan’s book, Cesar’s Way. The book was a little redundant, but to his credit even though you read about the same topic over and over, you still feel compelled to continue reading. I felt there was a lot of “name dropping” and self praise, though you have to admit that the man has made a name for himself despite the fact that he came to the US illegally in the early 90s, so those methods are working for him.
As you probably already know Cesar’s Way is a book about one man’s interpretation of Dominance-Based Training. The idea is that if you can convince your dog that you are the leader you can automatically get him to do what you want. Does that somehow seem to good to be true? Well, not for Cesar, he has had tremendous success with this method and he has also helped (in his words) thousands of dogs become happy, healthy and balanced.
So how does someone put these methods to work for themselves? The path to convincing your dog that you are in charge is not an easy one. You must remain the pack leader 24-7, you must be sure that you are “calm and assertive” ALL the time you are around your dog. In every situation you must enforce the rules you have set up for you dog or he could resort back the same behavior as before. Consistency is key. Also you must follow Cesar’s plan for success which is a balance of, exercise, discipline and affection in that order.
In my opinion many of the methods that Cesar puts forth make sense and seem to work. I am not a fan of positive reinforcement as the only means to train your dog. However, at the same time I don’t think most people can be disciplined enough to completely adhere to Cesar’s methods and therefore they don’t work as magically as they do on TV for the average person. They simply become an unhealthy aggression over your dog, which I don’t believe Cesar would agree with either.
I have watched Dog Whisperer on National Geographic Channel many times. I really enjoy the show and most of the techniques Cesar uses seem to make sense, but there is a school of people out there who disagree with “Cesar’s Way.” There is no doubt that Cesar is dedicated to his dogs. His daily routine would put many athletes to shame. He starts his day with four hours of exercise with the dogs at his Dog Psychology Center. While the dogs are resting after the four-hour workout he goes to work behind a desk so to speak. Then he feeds the dogs, and works some more until it is time for them to go rollerblading which can take him a few hours. Then back to the center for a game of ball with the dogs. Which puts us near the end of the day, but Cesar’s day is not over, since the dogs are tired it is easy for him to do one on one work the individual dogs as needed. Whether or not you agree with Cesar’s methods, they work for him and he is clearly doing what he thinks is best for his dogs.
Read the book and decide for yourself if “Cesar’s Way” is the best or even the only method for you and your dogs. Happy reading!
If you have already read the book I would love to hear your opinion! Feel free to comment below.