I’m not a fan of Cesar Millan and his techniques. His handling of dogs is very heavy handed and his constant chatter about being the pack leader and energy flow is a bewildering mix of outdated dominance theory and new age woo that makes watching Larry King seem informative. Many dog trainers feel obligated to pay homage to his remarkable handling skills, but based on how the show is edited, how can you tell? How many takes were dragged to the trash during editing? How much time did he spend off camera with the dog? Others commend him for conveying the idea that dogs need exercise and stimulation, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
I try to not dwell on the Dog Whisperer too much. When he first received a lot of attention I was pretty upset, but I eventually came to grips with the fact that getting myself wound up over someone who is more a creation of directors and editors than anything else is unproductive. When people ask me about his techniques or seem to be using them, I explain what I have been taught about dog training and animal behavior and move on.
Today I received a link to a news article about the Cesar Millan, or to be more exact about what the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) has to say about him, that I think is worth sharing.
Here’s an excerpt:
The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) issued a new position paper aimed at countering some of the pervasive influence of his show, which airs on the National Geographic Channel, and of Millan’s training approach, which is based on what the position statement calls outdated dominance theory.
Take a look. Judge for yourself.