Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I love Cesar!

Captain's Log, Stardate 02.06.2008

The Wasabi Wednesday winner of
Awaken My Heart
DiAnn Mills

I’ve now finished both books by Cesar Millan and the first two seasons of The Dog Whisperer on DVD. I love Cesar!

Captain Caffeine and I have noticed a change in Snickers since we started watching the DVDs and reading the books. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say that we’ve changed how we act as dog owners, and so she’s become more calm and submissive.

There’s still some food aggression and dog aggression, but we’ve been slowly and consistently dealing with it. For those two things, we needed both the books and the DVDs to learn how to handle her.

The books talk about his general philosophy for dog psychology, and the DVDs show it in practice (the TV show kind of glosses over his philosophy, while the books go into greater detail so we understand his point on the TV show).

For example, just the other night we realized that we were letting her enter our space between the coffee table and the couch in the living room. She was walking in and lying down under the table—where we put our legs—as if she owned it, not us. When we tried to move her, sometimes she’d growl and not move.

She’s better at listening to verbal commands these days (I think because I started walking her more regularly and establishing myself as a pack leader), so I told her to move from under the coffee table. She moved, probably expecting me to get up.

I didn’t. I stayed, and kept watching Cesar on TV. When she tried to move back, I firmly told her no. Every time she tried to move back under the table, I told her no. Eventually she went to lie down on her dog bed.

Later in the evening, she again tried to move under the table and I told her no. A few minutes later, I invited her next to me to pet her, and then told her to move again. Now she understands that the space between the coffee table and couch is my space and not hers.

In watching the DVDs the other night, I realized that I might need to move into her when correcting her for her dog aggression on our walks (she tries to rush the other dog and sometimes growls). She has stopped growling in past weeks, but she still pulls at the leash, and that’s not good.

Snickers can’t be more stubborn than Jordan the bulldog from the TV show, so we have hope!


  1. I may have to pick up those books. My dog isn't particularly aggressive, but she's a 85 pound spaz who thinks she's a lap dog. Probably our fault since she's so darn cute we have trouble denying her anything.

  2. I love Cesar, too! I'm in the middle of one of his books right now and our whole family loves his show.

    My whole way of thinking when it comes to dogs and the way we're supposed to be with dogs has changed with Cesar.

    I'm glad his method is working for ya'll and Snickers.

  3. I've not watched or read Cesar, but he sounds very much like the trainer that we are using with our dogs right now. Dave Baron has trainers in several parts of the country (including the Bay Area). Some of that stuff (like showing the dogs whose area it really is) was something I'd never really thought about. We have seen so much change in our dogs since we began the training. It only took one dinnertime to teach our Great Dane puppy (whose head is over the table) to stay in the other room while we ate rather than walk all around the table.

    I'm glad Cesar's ideas are working for you.

  4. Yea, another Cesar convert! I got hooked on him during a Sunday afternoon Dog Whisperer marathon last year while my hubby was away on business and there was nothing else on TV. Now we DVR every new show. Our little black border collie mix actually watches with us--I think he recognizes the sounds of other dogs. Or maybe he's just trying to get a heads-up on what techniques we'll be trying next.

    One of the biggest helps Cesar has bee is clipping toenails. Now, instead of fighting with the dogs, we just "be the pack leader," and it's over quickly.

  5. Cesar Millan's philosophy has become a way of life in my two terrier dog household. Life has become a lot easier since my husband and I have adopted the leader of the pack mentality. One main thing to remember it isn't something that you do one time and your dog's unwanted behavior is corrected. It is a daily occurrence for the life of your dog. After all if you are truly a dog lover you want what is best for your best friend. Having them be balanced and happy is all they really need from us.