Ambassador Profile: Tiffany Allen
At Cesar Millan, Inc., our goal is to make the world a better place, one dog at a time. The Ambassadors group was created to harness the power of the pack in order to make a greater difference in our world.
Cesar Millan Ambassadors is a volunteer organization that helps spread the word about Cesar Millan events and products on the internet and in their community; assist in events, such as Dog Whisperer auditions or fundraisers for the Millan Foundation, that are held in their area; and share their participation and outreach in their community with other pack leaders. Together, we work to build a greater awareness of our dogs’ needs and create a positive “ripple effect” in the dog community.
For more information on the Ambassador Program and to apply, click here.
CMI: How did you first learn about Cesar Millan?
TA: A co-worker of mine invited me over with my dog, Scarlee, to watch The Dog Whisperer with their new puppy, Lander. It was the first time I had ever watched it, as I don't get cable, and I was instantly hooked on Cesar. I immediately went online and ordered his book, Cesar's Way, the next day. That book made so much sense to me. It was all new, but I was blown away with how it just seemed to click; like a puzzle piece that I was missing.
CMI: What is it about his techniques and philosophies that interest you?
TA: Cesar's philosophy works with every dog and every situation. Scarlee is prone to nervous anxiety and slight fear aggression towards other dogs. As I was reading through Cesar's Way and practicing becoming her Pack Leader, everything changed. From our very first walk, Scarlee started to react to me differently and thus to her surroundings differently. Fast-forward more than four years, and she now helps me foster dogs (for almost three years) and enjoys going to the dog park. We're still working on some issues, but so much progress has been made it's like she's a different dog! Using the same philosophy of Exercise-Discipline-Affection, Scarlee and I have helped rehab more than 15 dogs in almost three years with issues ranging from hyperness and overexcitement, to an extreme lack of socialization and fear, and just about everything in between!
Cesar's use of exercise really fits in with my lifestyle as well as I'm very active and love to have my dogs with me. I've always walked, hiked, and ran with my dogs over the years, but what a difference it made when I actually started having Scarlee stay at my side and follow me! I use it as the number one bonding tool for all of my fosters as well as dog-to-dog bonding.
CMI: How did you hear about the ambassadors program and what made you apply to be part of the program?
TA: C.J. Anderson, who I had originally met online through the yahoo Dog Whisperer Fan forum, had invited me to be part of the Ambassador group she started up. Of course I said yes, as I just couldn't get enough of Cesar, talking to others who really "got" it as well, and spreading Cesar's philosophy to other dog owners.
CMI: What do you do as an ambassador?
TA: Most of my focus is talking with other dog owners I'm friends with, meet at the dog park or out on our walks and hikes. Who doesn't love talking about their dog? All of the conversations I've had usually includes something the dog does the owner doesn't like. They may say they don't mind or laugh at it, seeing it as cute, but when it comes down to it, if they had a choice they'd rather the dog not do it. I just share my own personal experiences with Scarlee and various fosters I've had and what I've been able to do to mold the dog's behavior into something I do want. I always add in a bit about exercise-games to play to challenge the dog's mind, how to tire a really energetic dog out (other than letting it run around at the dog park), as well as how to stop a behavior with a correction. My mom likes to bring the problem dogs of her friends and co-workers to me as well, over the phone that is. She presents the problem to me, I tell her what I'd do, and she relays the information to the dog owner, advising them to also start watching Dog Whisperer!
I also bring Cesar's Way into the rescue I foster for and sit on the Board of Directors with. Of course I use it with all of my foster dogs, and I've become one of the fosters to go to when we have a "problem" dog. Granted it's a Golden Retriever Rescue so we don't have too many dogs that have severe aggression, but what is usually a problem for other fosters, I don't have an issue taking that dog in and working with them. A couple of other foster homes have asked me for advice on certain issues they have with their foster dog and I've let a couple of them borrow my Mastering Leadership DVD's, which are a great hit. The rescue has also partnered up with The Millan Foundation's Shelter Stars program [http://www.millanfoundation.org/programs/shelterstars.php].
While most of my Ambassador role takes place in person with other dog owners, I also occasionally respond to online articles and blogs that question Cesar's techniques, as well as another Yahoo! Dog forum. I have so many personal experiences to share that have been successful using Cesar's Way that I end up writing more than the original poster probably wants to hear!
CMI: What do you want people to know about Cesar and the Ambassadors?
TA: Read at least one of his books and learn his philosophy. From there, it all makes sense. You'll see your dog in a whole new light and things will start to make sense from your point of view and your dog's. A dog is a dog, not a human being. It'd be ridiculous to try to use a human's way of thinking (psychology) on a pig, or horse, or lion. It's just as ridiculous to use it on a dog. Cesar teaches you how to see the world from your dog's point of view.
CMI: When you’re not volunteering as an ambassador, what do you do?
TA: I work full-time as a Strength & Conditioning Coach at a college, working with the Swim & Dive, Softball and Women's Tennis teams. I make them bigger, faster, stronger and whatever else they need to be the best athlete they can be! I also stay involved with my church through bible studies, teaching a little kid's class, and volunteering at our different community outreaches, as well as volunteering with the dog rescue I've mentioned.
CMI: Anything else you’d like to add?
TA: Keep an open mind. I love to study dogs, whether it's in person, reading books or blogs, or talking with owners like me, rescue volunteers, dog professionals, etc. I take what works for me and if it doesn't, then I move on. Just because it doesn't work for me doesn't mean it's wrong--it's just a different way. At the end of the day, it's all about the dogs.