Cesar Millan: Love Him, Hate Him, And Why?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by milesfullofsmiles, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. JazzyandVeronica Experienced Member

    Well I'm a tad late to the party, but these are my thoughts on Milan: overall I don't really care for him.

    The positives are: he empasizes exercise, maintaining a calm demeamor and having expectations of your dog - rules and boundaries, not letting it run amock.

    The negatives: I really dislike his reliance on flooding with fearful dogs and I think it tends to be a quick pseudo fix that really doesn't solve the problem, I think he promotes dominance theory which has been debunked and I think he relies too heavily on heavy handed, corrective measures as a first line of defense...some of which as has been mentioned borders on/equals abuse..and I am not a positive only trainer...I am a "whatever the situation calls for to maintain everyone's safety using the least amount of physical force to get the job done" trainer. So obviously things like tricks and fun things are always positive only; but other safety related issues...I would consider corrections once it was clear that the dog learned the behaviors through positive training methods and was clear what was expected.
    milesfullofsmiles and Puppylove like this.

  2. MaryK Honored Member

    Dogster, short succinct description excellent(y):)

    I agree, this does need to be a new sticky thread.

    It's good for everyone here and would also be excellent for anyone new joining.(n):)
    Dogster likes this.
  3. Dogster Honored Member

    As long as it doesn't get derailed too quickly, LOL.:LOL:
    MaryK likes this.
  4. sara Moderator

    OK all, I posted a new thread about +/- reinforcement/punishment Please post your charts (awesome by the way) and dcefinitions and examples

    I have also stickied it (YAYYY the first time I've gotten to use the power of the sticky LOL)
  5. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Thanks Sara (y):LOL:
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  6. Pawbla Experienced Member

    Actually, negative punishment again, I believe, since the behaviour is diminished because you subtract a good thing :).
  7. MaryK Honored Member

    Thanks Sara(y):LOL:
  8. Dogster Honored Member

    Thanks Sara!!!:)

    MaryK likes this.
  9. jackienmutts Honored Member

  10. Dogster Honored Member

    GREAT read!!!(y) Not so great comments.:cautious:
  11. MaryK Honored Member

    Thanks Jackie, great read(y)
  12. milesfullofsmiles Well-Known Member

    I actually think I remember reading that a while ago! It was the article that got me thinking that Cesar wasn't perfect. I used to LOVE him. Now I'm a lot more reserved.
    MaryK likes this.
  13. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    There are two arguments that extra-specially get my goat, and they are both reflected in the comments after that article. The first is that he works with the "worst" dogs and that all of these happy positive people just work with puppies and sunflower-sunshine dogs who probably don't even need training, they are so easy and perfect. Do you know who works with the worst dogs? Veterinary behaviorists. And guess what, they don't use groin kicks, etc. because those methods don't get good results. These are scientists, results-oriented people, not interested in scattering rose petals and cooing. They want to do XYZ so that the dog will/will not do ZYX.

    My friend is a CPDT who works closely with the local DVM behaviorist (DACVB) and she gets referred the 'worst of the worst.' The "has already bit someone/killed another dog/etc." cases. She doesn't use shock, or choke chains, or flooding, because the results suck.

    This leads me to the second annoying argument, which is that it is somehow closed-minded to discount the use of certain methods. As if, because I won't even try using a shock collar, I can't speak about how good or bad it is. Well, I ain't a cultural relativist. I think it's wrong to use shock collars, I think it's wrong to tell your kids they are stupid, I think it's wrong to throw a dog or a child into water and say "SWIM!" and I am perfectly comfortable making moral judgements as I see them.

    I was in Mexico a few years ago with some classmates and we visited a deep, watery pit where the ancient Mayans used to throw a little girl every year to ensure a good harvest. The tour guide said, We can't judge them for their beliefs, it was a different time, they truly thought the good of the village depended on this sacrifice. I say uh-uh, tossing a child into that dark hell of a place is never ok. And why do you think they stopped tossing a child into that pit? Because someone (probably a mother) said heck no, my little one isn't going into that abyss. It's never ok to throw a child off a cliff. It just isn't. I don't need to throw a child off a cliff, or live in ancient Mayan times, to judge that. (I heartily acknowledge that, had I lived in ancient Mayan times, there may be extreme social pro-pit pressure. It doesn't mean it was right, or that everyone truly believed it was right.) Ergo I am perfectly capable of using my big human brain to decide for myself what I believe is ethically right, and what is scientifically valuable, and I am able to do this based on second-hand information. I don't need to be the remote-holder or the kid-pusher to judge.

    Anyway, just had to vent ... so tired of hearing the same b.s. !
  14. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Wish I could hit "like" a few times!!! Or better .. wish there were a "love" button!! (y):love::D

    I was fortunate and honored enough to attend a Patricia McConnell seminar hosted by our training facility a couple years ago. She mentioned at that time that Cesar had been invited (apparently a few times) to attend some huge conference/big meeting of the great dog minds (where big behaviorists would be - wish I could be specific but I can't remember which one) - and he declined. Figures, eh? She said she truly wanted to sit down and talk with him and really find out why he was so opposed to moving toward positive methods, and even discussing issues with them, why his mind seemed so closed to science ... but sadly, it looks like that will never happen.
    Pawbla, Dogster, bekah1001 and 2 others like this.
  15. Dogster Honored Member

    I hate reading the comments under that article, or the comments under the video of Cesar Millan kicking dogs. It makes me sick.:sick: I went through pages of comments on the dog-kicking video, and there were only like 1 or 2 comments on how positive reinforcement is better, but there wasn't a single comment on how positive reinforcement can also fix dogs with agression issues, fear issues, or guarding issues.:mad: It's just sick, to think how many people admire Millan, and, in what is supposed to be a new era for dog training, how many people still use traditional methods. I wish that at least people were open to positive training.:( Sigh...
  16. jackienmutts Honored Member

    I read lots of comments, then had to stop cuz I just couldn't read any more. I think you need to keep a few things in mind. First and foremost, remember that he's a "tv personality" and to some, because of that, whatever he says, goes. Celebrity status speaks volumes to many. There are so many people who have never been to a class or read a dog book, but they watch this guy from their living room couch, who proclaims to be a dog whisperer and oh my goodness, he's magic, he knows how to rehabilitate dogs, and train people, and fix red zone dogs, and he's their last hope. Well, "red zone" is a term he made up - but only he knows that. And is he really these dogs' last hope? To his fans, it's gospel truth. If Cesar says it, it must be true.

    I also think that loads of positive reinforcement folks just don't bother to argue with his fans in comment sections after his videos anymore. Why bother? It's like bucking up against an entourage. Personally I know I never have. I can't make an argument worth anything in a couple sentences. It's not worth my time or frustration. I do remember back a few years ago, some of the arguments would get really heated, really heated.

    But I can make my arguments by example and one by one, out in the world. So Dogster, don't feel the heat from the comments. Take that instead as a challenge to find one "Cesar person" out there, and change their minds. Thing is, it's hard, and it's gotta be done slowly, and with an armload of facts and a turnaround in their dog. I've done it tho, and it's a great feeling. And once you've changed one, you know that person will go change someone else, and then go off to find someone else. :)
  17. Dogster Honored Member

    Really well said, thanks jackie.:) I wish I could like your post more than once.:D

    That should go for everyone.:) We could change everyone's thinking, one dog owner at a time.

    As much as I want to comment, I know I shouldn't, cuz it really won't help the situation. I would just be broken down by all his fans anyways. :cautious: I forgot of course about celebrity worship syndrome. :rolleyes: Whatever he says, is true, and no one can dare to argue with it.
  18. milesfullofsmiles Well-Known Member

    One person had it right. He said, "Clicker training with positive reinforcement is the way to go!" (second comment.)
    But that was the only sentence that I think was definitely correct in his comment.
    Because then, he said "But, show me how a clicker trainer can calm down the high energy or crazy dogs when they are in "attack mode". There aren't other ways than Cesar's one to handle dogs during attacks."

    But, I tend to disagree. Really, I think the reason that many of these dogs are in a "high energy" or "crazy state" is because of how they are approached. I believe that Cesar comes off as too dominant and forceful, therefore putting many dogs in a nervous and unsure state. The consequences are an unapproachable, wary dog(s) from the start of "rehabilitation."
    Pawbla, Mutt, MaryK and 1 other person like this.
  19. bekah1001 Honored Member

    The high energy dog comment reminded me of this video from kikopup
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  20. MaryK Honored Member

    Love the vid:love:(y) Clicker training was the ONLY thing which worked with Ra Kismet after the dog attack and he's also an extremely high energy, high voltage dog! Without clicker training (and all the help on this forum:D) I hate to think where I would be with him now:eek::(
    bekah1001 likes this.

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