Over the past couple of years there has been a lot of controversy surrounding National Geographic’s series called the Dog Whisperer starring Cesar Millan. Pros: On the one hand, the guy has show that a Latino can bust out and take the lead. (LOL, no pun was intended—but hey, why not?!) The Dog Whisperer has actually shown people that they need to train their dogs, something that was once not really prioritized but that now is considered a requirement instead of an option. Dog trainer phones are ringing more frequently since people who catch the show are motivated to change their dog’s behavior and know they need help. Cons: The drawback to the Dog Whisperer show is that the methods being shown are considered archaic (and harsh) in comparison to other methods that are available today. Not everyone can safely emulate the techniques shown in the Dog Whisperer series. Hence the need for the numerous disclaimers that seemed to appear after a lawsuit against Millan. People mistakenly believe they are seeing real time training accomplishments and think they can get the same results quickly. They fail to understand that they are viewing edited clips of events that happen over time. What I like about Millan’s message: exercise, calmness, and leadership. I absolutely agree that a huge portion of the behavioral issues people see in their dogs can be ameliorated through increased exercise and mental stimulation. Canids evolved to spend a large portion of their lives active and challenged, and sticking them in a room all day with rich foods and little exercise leads to many problems. I also agree that canids thrive in an environment with clear boundaries and a calm and strong leader. This allows them to be relaxed and confident and know how to behave. I also recognize that many average pet homes want a dog that is as “shut-down” as possible: they do not want a happy, curious, and confident pet, they want a pet that just lies quietly in the corner, and Cesar’s techniques are in many instances an effective path to that end. Millan sometimes uses different tools, but his basic range of techniques is very narrow. So when he happens to get a dog that needs those techniques he will be very effective, when he happens to get a dog that needs something different he will be very destructive. I would have the same problem if he were purely positive and gave treats for everything—one technique does not work across the board. Good trainers are fabulous problem solvers. They come up with brilliant ways to induce behaviors, change attitudes, and mold responses. They have a remarkable range of techniques that they use to work with different dogs. They can be very positive when needed, very harsh when needed, supportive, quiet, loud, calm, exuberant, etc. I have used many of Cesar Millan's techniques and find them quite helpful. They work fine with my puppy. But I do believe that Cesar has been "Hollywoodized". Many situations and ideas are not shown as they truly are. But, what I don't get is when people say things like this (I found this on a dog trainer's blog, who is against Cesar Millan): "Millan chokes dogs till they pass out and he electrocutes them repeatedly until they are biting and terrified. The American Humane Association who monitors animal use on set has requested that Nat. Geo not air some Dog Whisperer episodes because the treatment of the animals is so inhumane. Good training is never cruel." "Millan often keeps the dogs on such a short leash (literally and figuratively) that they do not learn accountability. They do not learn to make the right choices and respect the rules, they simply learn to give up and shut down. They learn to do and try nothing because they will get attacked if they move. Good training allows dogs to feel empowered and instructed; to clearly understand what behaviors are not allowed, and be responsible for making the right choices." I don't see this. Call me blind, but I don't. Someone's a little jealous... Cesar Millan's walking techniques are excellent in my opinion.They are the reason that when Miles was 4 months old he could already walk better than most grown dogs I saw; right next to me, no pulling, glancing up at me occasionally for direction and to make sure I approved of the way he was walking. Don't get me wrong. There are some faults in Cesar's training sometimes, and like I said, he has been hollywoodized quite a bit. But, I don't understand why grown adults are bashing him immaturely this harshly. I don't see the "hitting" and "electrocuting" (????) that they talk about.... In my opinion, gleaned from the school of hard knocks, the best way to implement change is to be the change you want to see. The bottom line for me: -We might not agree on our methodologies but most of us have the same goal of helping animals stay in the home and of getting them to behave well.- I have to say that I am 50/50 with Cesar Millan. Where do you stand? Oh, and sorry for the long post. I wanted to get that all out, and I'm STILL not really done. Lol! Thank you for reading!