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National Geographic Cancels “The Dog Whisperer”

On TV, Cesar Milan, has been very successful at getting dogs to stop showing signs of fear. But, what happens when a dog is still afraid and they learn that they will feel pain if they show their fear? They stop giving warning signs, and the next time they are fearful, they just bite without warning. I wonder if that can explain why every episode of The Dog Whisperer says on top of the TV screen, “Do not try this at home.”

Personally, I’d rather create a partnership with my dogs than be a leader of the pack and dominate them. That isn’t to say that I don’t have very well-mannered dogs. Sanchez and Gina go almost everywhere with me. They are exemplary canine citizens and I still train every day with them, including Sanchez who is nine years old. The positive reinforcement training methods I use help continually build a bonding relationship and inspires them to keep thinking and learning.

What do you think? Are you a fan of dominance-based or science-based dog training methods? Are you happy or sad to see The Dog Whisperer being taken off the air? Thanks for posting a comment and taking our poll below.

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Related:
Positively Dog Training with Victoria Stilwell
Is Dog Training an Animal Welfare Issue?
Are You Always Training that Dog?

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.

268 comments

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3:00AM PST on Jan 26, 2014

It's sad he's gone, I don't like the new show's concept. He helped dogs in many ways. Like letting people know about how important exercise is, he uses that way more than the being assertive thing. He lets people know that dogs should be treated like dogs. Not just sat on a sofa or carried around in a purse! Dogs need exercise and challange. You've got to know what your able to give and then pick a dog based on that. It's not fair to get a high energy dog while you sit on the couch and wonder why he won't behave! It's amazing how he was with scared dogs. He would sit for a long time with but not facing the dog until it was comfortable, moving
towards the dog little by little. I use his techniques on my dogs, none of them aggressive. My dogs wouldn't stop crying while we were eating and they where behind a gate. I'd go to them, claim my territory, they'ed move back and I'd have my arms out like he does and say no. It worked and now my dogs are quite when we eat, with corrections here or there. I didn't even touch them. I do the same when they won't potty and want to come back to the deck. I take the techniques that worked for me.
And if you have a big powerfull breed you need to know how to control them so no one or animals get hurt!

11:37PM PDT on Sep 15, 2013

Cesar rocks!

1:31AM PST on Jan 28, 2013

The Dog Whisperer show should continue and Cesar should not be stopped. He is doing things the right way especially with red allert dogs. Dogs who are on the brink of being possibly put down due to misbehavior. What Cesar shows towards them is necessary, you have to be dominant towards your dog. That is an animal. It's funny how they relate his acts to what happens to children, that further more shows how stupid those critics are and are likely going to cause more animal put downs in the future.

Cesar has saved many dogs from that. People to animals sometimes need to learn the hardway in order to become straight, the thing is though dogs are very dependent on their masters teachings and the master should teach the dog that he is the superior.

Continue the show, and tell the critics that their sensitivity is actual stupidity.

11:42AM PST on Jan 13, 2013

I just read today on the Animal Rescue Site that only 4% of people take their dogs for obedience training. Maybe if more people did this up front, right away, we'd have fewer dog problems. I really want to get a dog but my first allegiance is to my rescue cat, Ruby, who didn't have such a good time before I came along and does NOT want another cat . - I'm wondering if she'd like a dog. If so, and I'm lucky enough to get a big, wonderful, goofball dog, the first thing I would want to do is get the dog some obedience training.

11:39AM PST on Jan 13, 2013

I think Cesar also uses his confidence as a strong tool. But any kind of aversive, dominance-based training methods should not be used. I've seen others over the years on Animal Planet who seemed to use loving, non-agressive methods VERY successfully.
I'm wondering WHY they are cancelling the program?

10:01AM PST on Jan 12, 2013

Cesar is great! He's done more for dog rehabilitation than anyone else. What I see is jealousy from all other dog trainers. How sad.

11:25PM PST on Jan 11, 2013

I enjoyed his show.

11:08PM PST on Jan 11, 2013

I am Pack Leader and I dont necessarily have to "dominate" my dogs as you call it. Caesar has had an impact that many other trainers will never achieve. Calm assertive does work with many dogs. Many owners do not follow through and do not train "everyday" as you do. They probably think that giving their dogs commands throughout the day is abusive. I am sorry to see the show go and I look forward to seeing his new show.

3:55AM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

What I do not understand is why people cannot see the difference rehabilitation and training.
Cesars way of training NORMAL dogs do not differ much from other clever trainers.

To me it seems that when he helps people to rehabilitate bad behaving, nervous, scared, aggressive and dominating dogs, he helps people to handle the dogs in a better way than they have done and helps the dogs to find out how to be normal dogs.

I would like to see some documentation that the dogs stops showing signs of their fear, aggression and so on. I have never seen any of that kind.

Sometimes it makes me cry when I see how he handles these dogs. But when I see them afterwards it makes me warm inside.

What Cesar says is that he cannot always help. If the owners cannot/will not coorporate they cannot help their dogs. You cannot show those cases on TV. You cannot exhibit people that way. (Sorry I am Danish - do not know if exhibit is the right word to youse).

Cesar does what people think is bad to do to the dogs. And it is not his intention that people should do it themselves. But I would like to hear what others suggest to do!

There has been a lot of trainers in TV-programs in Denmark. And I think he is the best. Because he trains the owners. Most trainers forget to do that. My dogs are 8, 5 and 3 years old. After I began train them after Cesars TRAINING-methods they have been much easier to walk and to handle. They are beginning to accept that I makes the rules for how to behave i

11:43PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

Caprice. You are so very right. What I do not understand is that also some professional trainers cannot see thet. I expect professionals to be able to read dogs. And Cesar remembers to read people too. What he is amazingly good at. I have never met at trainer who remembered to do that.
I wish those people would sit down with an open mind at concentrate on what he is really doing. Because then I think they would change their minds.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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