When Bricil Madero moved in with her soldier sister on base at Camp Pendleton, she never imagined that her miniature pinscher Kiko would bully everyone in the house. Binkey, a young Chihuahua mix born without her two front legs, won’t have anything to do with the wheelchair her owners devised.
Writer and director Mike White had no problems controlling the set of his new film Year of the Dog, but at home, French bulldogs Tootsie and Ginger are out of control. Will Cesar be able to call the right shots, or is this an inevitable case of life imitating art?
When I want to introduce a dog to a new tool, such as a dog “wheelchair,” I first visualize the dog with the tool, the way I would see using it. I want him to be successful and have a positive experience. You can’t have a negative attitude or energy when you’re introducing something new to your dog – especially if he doesn’t get it the first time.
The Enemy Within
When you deal with animals, you can’t expect them to rationalize your good intentions. And when it comes to training, clients often expect results too soon. Because of this, both the dog and the owner can become very frustrated. This can also create a fight-or-flight instinct within the dog, which can make it extremely difficult for him to achieve calm-submission.
To get the results you’re looking for, you first need to gain the dog’s trust and respect. And, above all, you need patience.
Year of the Dog
Your dog’s bad behavior is not funny. If your dog is aggressive or fearful with people or other dogs, it’s definitely no laughing matter. In fact, if you laugh off a bad behavior, you may be reinforcing her actions.
Remember, your energy is a trigger for your dog. If you’re projecting a type of fun, positive energy while she’s misbehaving, she’s going to think it’s okay.
Meet Reggie, a feral dog who likes to guard pregnant horses on a breeding and training ranch near Prescott, Arizona. Next, Vito, a boxer, and Diva, a cocker spaniel, were a team all their own — until an English bulldog named Rocco joined the pack and singled out Vito as a target to attack.
Finally, meet Mugsy, a rescued pit bull terrier, who has turned out to be quite a couch potato, refusing to go out for a walk. How will Cesar motivate this lethargic canine?
The Lone Wrangler
I’ve worked with a number of feral dogs over the years and have learned that these dogs don’t respond to people the way domesticated dogs do, and because of that, they initially don’t trust us. So the way I deal with them is more instinctual, meaning I have to think on more of a primal level and study the way they survive outside–where they live, how they move from place to place, and where they rest.
In Friday’s segment, because I knew this feral dog would probably not come to me, I needed to be able to trap her—both physically and psychologically—in order to help her. Remember, animals who think they’re cornered will instinctively go into a fight-or-flight mode. So, in order to catch her, I chose a time when she would be unaware I was coming – during rest. I made sure my human helpers were staged to create a sort of psychological fence. Once she knew she couldn’t run from us, she surrendered psychologically.
Dog aggression doesn’t have a gender, but it’s true that un-neutered males can be more aggressive with other males around a female dog in heat. And an un-spayed female dog can show defensive behavior when surrounded by males dogs who have picked up her scent.
With un-neutered male dogs, that female scent is an invitation to mate, and, when there is competition, they can go into a fighting mode. Remember, aggression is not just a physical state; it’s also mental. There are fights because there’s only room for one at the top. This is why it is very important not to bring un-neutered dogs to a dog park.
When someone goes to neuter an aggressive dog, it’s helpful to create a calm-submissive state of mind before handing over to the vet. Neutering prevents signals from this part of his body and will ease aggression around other dogs.
In many ways, you are the source of your dog’s energy, so motivating him really begins with you. Motivation doesn’t necessarily mean saying “good boy;” it’s an energy. And you can’t fool a dog – in other words, if you don’t believe it, neither will he. As long as you are positive and see no limits, you can accomplish anything with your furry friend and you can also have a lot of fun!
Meet Luna, a Lab mix, who has extreme fear of dog parks, walks, and noises at home. It’s time for Cesar to step in, but has this case gone too far, even for the Dog Whisperer? Next, Cesar heads to Florida to meet a pack of dogs that spends its days carefully keeping the port of Miami free of drugs, explosives, and dangerous chemicals. Can Cesar help these K9 sniffers learn to play together as well as they work together?
Lost and Lonely Luna
Without a doubt, fearful dogs are more difficult to rehabilitate than aggressive dogs. A red-zone aggression case often takes me no more than thirty minutes to make a difference, but a fearful dog can sometimes take me two months. Why? It’s a self-esteem issue. A lot of times, when a dog is afraid to confront a situation, they are lacking in self-esteem. In other words, they don’t believe they can trust themselves to handle the situation. And it’s a vicious cycle because the more they run away from the situation, the more it conditions the brain to flee or avoid.
Now we’ve all seen how dogs tend to greet each other. And it’s easy for a little dog to become overwhelmed when a bigger dog comes over to say hello. Can you blame a Chihuahua for becoming a little frantic if say, an English Mastiff is towering over him? The Chihuahua doesn’t immediately know that the mastiff won’t hurt him. He just sees this massive amount of energy coming towards him.
But since that’s dogs’ nature in how they greet each other and you can’t change that, I try and help the little ones gain confidence with they meet other dogs.
Energy is energy, regardless of the state of mind, so when I work with an insecure little dog, I do have a tendency to grab hold of him or her, in order to have absolute control right away. This way, the rest of the pack can smell the dog without the little dog acting out and I can gauge the kind of reaction the little dog might have.
Once they’re done sniffing, I place the dog on the ground and create a big enough personal space, so the other dogs feel that I “own” this little dog – my energy will reflect that. And I’ll let them know when it’s okay for them to come back over.
Meet Zena, a pit bull/Chow mix whose extreme fear of the stove has forced her owners to cook outside on a grill for the past year. Then, Cesar visits Major, a Rottweiler, and Nira, a German shepherd, who are battling for control of the house.
Finally, meet Willie, a Jack Russell terrier, who can’t handle the death of his pack leader, the family cat named Jake. Willie’s owners say Jake kept Willie in line, but now the terrier has abandoned his good behavior.
Because dogs pick up on our emotions, it’s important to keep yours in check when dealing with your pooch. If your stress level is high, you may need someone else with you to remind you to stay calm and assertive; a sort of an unofficial “coach” to observe, correct, and cheer you on.
A lot of times, we need a neutral third party to see ourselves from the outside. The most important thing is that you find somebody who will watch and evaluate, but not judge. That person should have your –and your dog’s– best interests at heart.
One thing about instincts is that they will always create balance because it means you are connected to the environment around you. Michelle is a cancer survivor and someone who knows how to follow her own instincts. The problems with her family dogs arose when her parents disregarded those instincts.
In dealing with animals, the best time to listen to and follow your instincts is when you are calm and there are no negative voices in your head and no one giving you pessimistic input.
Two years ago, Cesar Millan brokered peace between two great Danes, Violet and Hudson. After Violet passed away this year, Orchid, another Great Dane, joined the family and aggressively moved in on Hudson’s territory. Next, Cesar helps the city of Los Angeles’ Animal Control department with its aggressive new pet ownership program by riding along with one of its officers.
The Ride Along
I’m often asked, how do you keep a dog safe while you wait for animal control to arrive? Well, the first thing to assess is the dog’s energy and state of mind. Is the dog in a submissive state? Is the dog in an avoidance or flight state? If so, you’re probably safe playing Good Samaritan. And in such cases, one obvious way of keeping the dog around is by offering food, but make sure you don’t offer a large amount, because after he eats, he will probably walk away. If you can give small pieces without getting too close, that will keep him in one place.
Another strategy is to ask for cooperation from others. Ask two or three people to calmly surround the dog, but remember, everybody has to maintain the same level of calm-assertiveness and the same distance from the dog. You don’t want to scare him – you just want him to know that he can’t move from that spot.
Now if the dog seems aggressive, don’t approach him by yourself. You could be putting both you and the dog in a very dangerous situation. In that case, just stay calm and try to keep tabs on him until professionals arrive.
Dane Déjà Vu
Dogs grieve the death of a companion, just as humans do. They are social animals, and a loss of a pack member is a very big deal for them. They may seem depressed or lethargic, and not have much appetite. However, in their natural state, dogs pass through the grieving period quickly and return to balance.
The problem is humans are often not as adept at the grieving process, at least from a dog’s point of view. And when animals live with us, we can unintentionally prolong their grief and reactions to it because they follow our lead emotionally and instinctually. So when a client loses a dog, I always advise them to wait before bringing a new dog into the family – not based on the dog’s readiness, but on their own.
If you need a year to grieve, then don’t get a new dog for a year. If you need three months, then wait three months. Remember, your dog is following your lead and how long the grief remains in the home isn’t his choice, it’s yours.
Legendary Tonight Show sidekick Ed McMahon rescued a Wheaten Terrier named Gus. He can be sweet and cuddly around Ed’s family, but he has become seriously aggressive toward Ed’s assistants and guests.Next, meet the Swanson family, who live outside Minneapolis, Minnesota. They adopted a beagle named Abbey who now won’t leave the house. Then, in Torrance, California, meet an Australian shepherd named Vinnie who is so territorial of his owners’ house that no one has visited in two years.
Aussi Vinnie was never socialized as a puppy, so we essentially had to teach the dog how to be a dog! And the best way I know to accomplish that is to bring that dog into a pack of balanced dogs because they can influence a dog in a way that humans can’t.
The dogs from my pack deal with aggressive, insecure, and fearful dogs on a daily basis and have learned not to attack – which would actually be their instinctual response. Instead, because they trust and respect the judgment of their pack leader – me – they don’t follow those instincts. And that allows them to help other dogs. I look at it as a kind of manipulation of Mother Nature, but in a way that is best for all the dogs involved.
Some people disagree with one particular rehabilitation technique that I sometimes use: bringing a dog to literally face its fears in order to overcome that fear. Mind you, this is always done in a controlled and supervised manner. Critics have called this “flooding,” but the more accurate term is “exposure,” and it’s actually the most effective method used by human psychologists to help people overcome phobias.
If exposing a dog to what she fears will cause only minimum stress and help her to get over those fears forever, then that, to me, is a smart and logical method to choose. With Abbey, I determined that this was the right method for her, and it worked perfectly. But before I decided on the method, I spent time with her to gain her trust and respect. That allowed me to challenge her in a way the owner would not be able to do alone.
Since dogs can’t tell you their feelings, I believe, as a professional, I must carefully assess the situation and choose the method that is best for that individual dog. I know that there is no “one size fits all” way to rehabilitate, just as there is no “one size fits all” human therapy. My strategies and techniques are based on both my twenty years of experience working with hundreds of dogs, and my instincts.
Tonight Show Dog
When you have a group of people who are all equally responsible for a dog, it’s important to have rules in place. In a household like the MacMahons’, where employees work out of their home, it’s the responsibility of the dog’s owners to teach the employees what their rules, boundaries, and limitations are. It’s important that everyone who is interacting with the dog have the correct energy and way of relating with the animal. I would never hire anyone who doesn’t want to follow the rules that benefit my pack. If everyone works together for the good of the pack, you can guarantee a happy and peaceful work environment.
An adopted German shepherd has to be caged around other animals, and a Rat Terrier is scared of just about everything. Can Cesar help?
Submissive urination isn’t a housebreaking issue; it’s actually a behavioral problem.When dogs are extremely submissive, shy, overwhelmed or insecure, it is easy for them to get overexcited to the point where they can’t control their bladders.
The best way to deal with this problem is pinpointing when the dog gets most excited, for example, when you get home from work at the end of the day, and follow these rules: No touch, no talk, and no eye contact during the initial meeting, and to let them approach you as opposed to you approaching them
Bigger doesn’t always mean more trouble when it comes to bad dogs! The biggest barks and bites often come from the little breeds, a fact that many people tend to disregard. The key is recognizing the dog as energy. Dogs that are excited, nervous, tense, excessively dominant, or aggressive can all create problems, no matter the size. And that can give you a better insight on which dog is causing behavioral problems.
A widow is left with a combative pack of dogs,a Shar-Pei/Dobie drools excessively on car rides, and a Rottie-mix returns for a refresher course.
Gavin is a winsome Labrador retriever and a decorated K-9 explosive sniffing agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Together with his handler, ATF Special Agent L.A. Bykowsky, Gavin has worked everything from Super Bowls to NASCAR events, to war zones. But in, 2005, following a 45 day stint in Iraq and two hurricanes that threatened L.A.’s home on the Florida coast, the formerly fearless Gavin started exhibiting severe symptoms of terror and began to shut down.After the storms, L.A. and her husband found Gavin trembling and crouching behind furniture. A Fourth of July fireworks display caused Gavin to run away and cower in a neighbor’s shower stall. Gavin is not only scared of storms and fireworks, he’s terrified of any loud noise, including the smoke detector. L.A.’s home is now a “house of horrors” for Gavin. Because of his aversion to loud sounds, Gavin is now retired from his ATF duties. L.A. wants Gavin to recover his old, heroic self and be able to enjoy his retirement. She calls in Cesar to rehabilitate him, using some new and very creative tactics.
Cesar visits Caryn Lebduska’s vast horse ranch, where 3 year old Rottweiler Buffy is causing all kinds of trouble. Will Cesar succeeding in roping in a new Rottie?
Next, Cody, a Yorkshire terrier, has congenital retinal atrophy and has gone completely blind in both eyes. His disorientation as a result has turned owner Olivia’s life upside down. Will Cesar give Cody insight to a more pleasant life? Finally, can Cesar help ease a Peek-a-Poo’s aggression issues?
Attack of the Peek-a-Poo
A dog is constantly reacting to the energy in its environment. If the energy coming from you is the anticipation of bad behavior, then that is what your dog will give back to you. You are creating the negative situation in your mind before it even happens.
In the case of Chloe, the owner is anticipating that her dog will try to bite her or misbehave. She already is giving off a negative energy, so the dog reads this as, “She’s feeling bad about this situation. I should put my guard up.”
Instead, use the power of intention to your advantage. The key is to think and visualize what you want-and celebrate it as it happens. Train your brain to do this around your dog, cat, horse, and even other humans. Whatever the species, you will see the effect your positive energy has on others: they’ll be at ease like you!
Wound-Up Round-Up Rottie
Horses and dogs both require balance, but I don’t hear of many “bad horses” from horse owners. In my experience, I find that “horse people” respect their horses as horses. They love them, but give rewards after work and exercise. But, when it comes to their dog, they do everything backwards. They say that they don’t want a wild 1,000-pound animal coming after them, but an untamed 80-pound dog can harm you, too.
In this case, the owner didn’t have the time to exercise her dog, so the dog never got any challenge. She just wanted something to do. The dog was able to follow direction well, but it only gets better with adequate exercise. The trick is to do what a horse owner does with a horse: project calm-assertive energy; follow exercise, discipline, and then affection. It’s the same. If you fulfill your dogs’ needs, they give you what you want: a calm, submissive state of mind.
A Lack of Vision
When dogs ask for direction, our answers should be given through discipline. And by discipline, I don’t mean simply giving corrections. Discipline maintains order and lets a dog know his position within a pack. It is what allows the dog to feel safe.
Some people are reluctant to discipline a dog with a physical handicap. Dogs don’t feel sorry about themselves, so we shouldn’t either! It’s okay to provide discipline; it is what your dog needs. Take your dog’s particular disability into account and find a safe way to provide a correction.
If a dog is in an anxious state, the pack leader needs to step in and tell the dog to calm down. In this particular case, the dog is healthy; he just can’t see. Using the physical touch isn’t going to hurt him. By using physical touch to discipline, the owner is able to remind the dog of his rules, boundaries, and limitations. Remember, a physically disabled dog still has the same basic needs as a healthy dog.
Even after obedience classes, a beagle is too hot-tempered to handle. Jennifer Lee Pryor is fostering some rescue dogs — and her own pups resent the newcomers.
Rescue Me, Rescue You
Many people have conversations with their dogs, trying to reason with them. Then they get frustrated and angry when their dogs don’t “listen.” What we forget is that we are communicating with our dogs all the time, even if it’s not with words. Even when we are asleep, dogs are in tune with our rhythms; they know whether we are having a bad dream, a good dream, or an anxious dream. The communication we need to pay attention to is not the verbal part; it’s the energy behind it and the outcome of it. You say, “You want to go for a walk?” but you also show them the door, the leash, the natural outcome of these words.
In a dog’s mind, they don’t understand the words, but they understand that every time the human goes into this state, this means we are going to the park. As long as you are alive, you are talking with your dogs. They don’t know what you’re saying or what language you are speaking, but they absolutely know the energy you are projecting. That’s why it’s much more important to be aware of your energy with your dog, not what words you are saying.
Breed isn’t destiny for every dog, but sometimes, a dog’s frustration or anxiety is expressed through breed-related behavior. The more purebred the dog, the more likely could happen. When the owners do not fulfill the breed side of a dog by helping him to utilize his innate abilities, then he is going to use those breed characteristics to control the environment and the humans who live with him.
In the case of Gizmo the beagle, his owner knew what beagles were supposed to do, but she didn’t know how to control his beagle behavior so it expressed itself in a positive way.
My method for this is to introduce the dog to beagle-type activities, but activities which I control. I don’t take him away from sniffing the ground; I tell him when to sniff the ground. I don’t take him away from howling, I tell him what he’s supposed to howl for. I don’t work against the nature of the genetics of the animal, I make sure that he sees me as the one who begins the game and ends the game. Eventually we have to bring him back into the dog side of himself (not the breed side), because the dog is the social side of him, where the follower is. It’s the dog side that allows a dog to interact happily with animals of his own and other species.
First, native New Yorker Peter Spano is at the end of his leash dealing with dog-aggressive Lab-Greyhound mix Curly. Can Cesar teach Curly to get along with other dogs, or does he have another plan in mind?
Then, Rhodesian Ridgeback/Boxer mix Baxter has managed to stump six dog trainers in six and a half years. He has no canine social skills, and his owner hopes that, with Cesar’s help, she will find the key to getting him under control.
Nightmare in Central Park
How do you know if you are the wrong person for your dog?
Too many times in my work, I come across a case in which despite best intentions, the match between the dog and its human just doesn’t fit. This is why I always suggest that people look at the energy level of the dog before choosing a breed. Never adopt a dog whose energy level is higher than yours.
Researching the breed and understanding the responsibility involved in owning a dog is most important. I have never seen a dog-human relationship go well when it’s an “impulse buy.”
Remember, a dog realizes how much knowledge you have from day one and if you’re not up for the job, your new pet will know. You’ll soon create a fight, flight, or avoidance instinct in your dog and he won’t follow a leader with unstable energy.
As the “Dog Whisperer,” Cesar Millan has come across as many troubled owners as he has dogs. In this special episode, Cesar revisits some of the incredible stories of the past four years and shares his reactions to the changes in the lives of these special packs.
First, Cesar drops in on the Land of Oz to help Eden Espinosa of Broadway’s Wicked quell the backstage drama with her obstinate Yorkshire Terrier Owen. Then, the Redemptorist brothers at Holy Redeemer College in Washington, D.C. need Cesar to redeem their aggressive guard dog, German Shepherd Jerry.Finally, Derek and Stephanie Clay can’t persuade rescued Shepherd mix Rocky to stop crying. Cesar is called in to put a cork in this never-ending case of whine.
When a dog is transported to a new home which lacks a strong pack leader, it can lead to fear and insecurity. Jerry the German Shepherd had been adopted by an order of monks who once he arrived, were expecting him to project guarding behavior and were confused when he did not. Jerry’s insecurity by the lack of direction in his new home resulted in him running away from the monastery. By running away, Jerry may have been trying to find a place where he could return to a normal state-of-mind.
After Jerry was found and returned to the monks, the dog sensed that they still didn’t know what to do with him, which made him even more insecure and his resulting behavior was misinterpreted as aggression. But Jerry’s instincts were telling him, “Okay, nobody’s going to protect me, I have to protect myself.”
Remember, if you become fearful in front of an insecure dog, you are displaying a weaker energy than him. That gives him leverage over you. What you need to do instead is get back to the basics. Focus on the walk and projecting calm-assertive energy. This is the most important part of establishing yourself as a pack leader with a new dog.
A whining dog can be seen in three different ways. The first two reasons are normal reactions; he may sense something unusual that needs your attention, like carbon monoxide or smoke, or he’s hurt, in which case, you would want to seek immediate medical attention from your vet.
But psychological whining is usually caused by anxiety and reinforced by owners. Because often when a dog whines, he receives attention. So, he has learned to manipulate that human reaction.
To correct this problem, you can either ignore the behavior or redirect the whining. Remember what I always say: Exercise, discipline, affection, in that order. And a tired dog is a less anxious dog. So grab the leash and give him a good, brisk, walk. You’ll soon see the difference in his state of mind.
A Shiba Inu named Marley needs help with aggression, and a Wire Fox Terrier hunts an unlikey prey: the riding lawnmower.
The best way to approach a dog with an unfamiliar object is to utilize whatever motivates him and that can be through affection, food, or going to the door with the leash. Make him relate the unfamiliar object to a positive experience, while he is calm and submissive and without making him feel trapped.
Flight Attendants Dog
Marleys adoption was one of the riskiest because he was taken in sight unseen, something that I rarely, if ever, recommend. And because he acted like a feral dog, Marley didnt trust humans. Its almost like rescuing an African wild dog, coyote, or a dingo. These animals are unpredictable and lack traits that domestic dogs possess.
So, the first thing I knew Marley needed was a walk a LONG walk. This first step in his becoming a pet will show a bit of who he is and help him act more like a domestic dog.
Grouchy Malamute Shadow gets a soothing visit from Cesar. Also in this episode: Cesar drops in on The Happy Dog dog walking service to offer owner Suzy Godsey some practical advice on calming her canine charges.
Doubt of a Shadow
When a dog barks or charges another dog, a lot of people immediately think, My dog is red zone aggressive. Thats not always the case. There is a difference between aggression and dominance.
Dominance involves physical touch, such as a bite on the neck, but not to the point of puncturing the skin. A dominant state of mind has a limit. Its easier for me to stop a dog when he is in a dominant state or to break up an escalation fueled by dominance.
When a dog is in an aggressive state, theyre going for the kill. Its a state of mind that is blind; they cant hear or feel. The dog is so focused on injuring the other dog that everything else just goes away. The only way to stop that behavior is to get their attention at the same intensity as their aggression.
Cesar and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
People are always asking me for help, so I know that if I give them a piece of my knowledge, theyre going to use it. As a dog walker, dog whisperer, dog trainer, or any kind of dog professional, you can give your client the tools to understand the importance of following through so they can see why its best to follow my mantra of exercise, discipline and affection.
My goal is to make sure that the owner understands that its not the dog its them. Once they take responsibility for whats around them, theyll start to see results. But I dont always do the talking. I like to listen to people, hear their story, and get a feel for where they are coming from. From there, we can find a common ground. When I leave a client, I have to trust that I was able to get them as far as I could. With humans you can only help them get to a certain state. They have to find the motivation to follow through.
Cesar attempts to curb the anti-social behavior and food-driven tantrums of Sasha, a German Sheppard/ Corgi, and Angler, a blind chocolate Lab.
Jackie Walker bought the chocolate Lab Angler as a mate for her other Lab Summer. But after about a month, Jackie noticed that Angler was blind, a condition which the vet seemed to think occurred during birth. Even though he is blind, Angler is able navigate around the house without any problems. Everything seems picture perfect, but Angler exhibits strange behavior around food. He tries to bite his hindquarters and attack his tail, sending him into a cyclonic pattern. This always happens in the middle and at the end of his meals. Jackie suspects its because Angler thinks something is after his food. Angler hasn’t bitten anyone yet, but it is a concern that he might miss his tail and get Jackie’s hand instead. Cesar arrives with a plan to end this food driven tantrum, but can he show Angler the way?
Leasa and Craig Eisele had very different upbringings when it came to dogs. Leasa never had a dog, but always wanted one of her own and Craig grew up with dogs, but was never really crazy about them. Two years ago, they picked up Sasha from the pound. Though he is willing to support Leasa, Craig feels that Sasha is Leasa’s responsibility. Sasha, a German shepherd/Corgi mix was given rules, boundaries, and limitations from the very beginning. She is perfect in the house, but outside she began showing aggression towards other dogs. She doesn’t seem to understand how to interact with them and snarls and tries to bite the other dog’s neck or face without warning. The Eiseles are at a loss of what to do now. Craig and Leasa would like Cesar to show them what they have done right and where they have gone wrong. But first, Cesar must convince Craig that in order to have a successful pack, both owners must be on board as pack leaders.
Dan and Mary’s bulldog Buster is so aggressive they can’t bathe her, administer eye drops, or clean her face without fear of attack. Then a one year-old Beagle/Terrier mix has a fear of trash cans, and a Lab mix Lacey is afraid of the outdoors.
I sometimes come across people who seem to overlook the simplest solutions to overcoming their dog’s issues. Now when you’re watching the show, its easy to judge someone else, but when I arrive at a client’s home, I never judge them or make them feel wrong. I simply believe these people are lacking information.
Most people aren’t used to seeing the subtle behaviors that can easily escalate into major behavioral problems. But everything in the animal world counts: the way they move, the way they breathe, the energy they project and their body language.
Trash Can Dog
There are several ways to help a dog who is fearful of an object or place. You can use positive reinforcement, exposure-some people call it “flooding” -or a combination of the two. But any strategy should be based on professional advice, what you know about your own dog, and your intuition.
This is how I rehabilitate dogs, but I’m also open to new ideas. If one way isnt working, I dont grit my teeth and say, “You’re gonna do it, dang it!”, I am open to adapting or changing strategies. With Sadie, I was able to use a combination of exposure and positive reinforcement, because she seemed to be telling me two things: “My fear is not that intense,” and “I expect to be rewarded for my courage.”
We should always be open to different ideas when helping dogs, but it’s most important to remember to always be in a calm assertive state. If your energy is negative, angry, frustrated, fearful, desperate, pitying, you can have the best intentions, but you will be doing more harm than good.
Often, there are warning signs that a dog gives before her behavior escalates into full-blown aggression. But if an owner fails to calmly and assertively stop the escalation at the early warning stage, it’s often too late because the dog now sees the owner coming at her with a weaker state of mind, becoming more powerful at each encounter. This results in a cycle of aggression.
If you are uncomfortable or unsure about how to correct during the early warning signals your dog gives you, or if you are already in such a cycle, contact a professional for help.
When new home owners find an abused pit bull, they are not prepared for the issues that come along with him. This traumatized dog lunges and bites when meeting new people, and his owners just can’t control him. Also in this episode, foster dog Rufus, a young Rottweiler/Shar-Pei mix, frightens away potential adopters with his aggressive behavior.
Rescue Rufus 911
People often confuse insecure dogs with aggressive dogs. An insecure dog’s actions can be similar to an aggressive dog — growling, lunging, showing teeth — but while insecurity is a behavioral issue, aggression is the result of an issue.
Dogs aren’t born aggressive; they become aggressive when insecurity, fear, anxiety, tension, or hyperactivity get out of control. With all dogs that I’ve worked with, aggression is the outcome, the explosion, the manifestation of something the dog doesn’t want anymore. I’ve found that almost every dog that trained to be calm-submissive has the potential to become aggressive. That’s why I try and educate people to prevent aggression rather than have them call me in when the dog is already a “red-zone” case.
Human Aggressive Buddy
When it comes to using corrections to rehabilitate a dog or to initiate certain proper behavior, I can’t stress enough how important precise timing is to the process.
First of all, corrections must come within a fraction of a second of the unwanted behavior. Dogs are excellent “associative learners,” meaning they quickly put together cause and effect when taking in new information, but they also live in the moment. If a dog pulls on the leash when you leave the house, you can’t wait to get to the street corner to correct him.
The other part of timing is to make sure your corrections are not coming too often and too quickly. If you’re doing too many corrections at once, you’re not giving the dog’s brain enough time to absorb the communication and come up with the answer. When he’s not allowed to complete the process, he can become numb to the correction and get frustrated or irritated.
Most importantly, you need to be balanced and calm-assertive at all times during the correction process. The dog needs to know that you are there to create trust and respect.
Ridgeback/Boxer mix Chipper’s hyper attitude has developed into a severe aggression problem. Then, the owners of pet boutique “OffLeash” call in Cesar to help with their two aggressive whippets Rudy and Monte who bark and lunge at dog visitors.
Pet Shop Boys
I’m pleased that more workplaces are allowing dogs. Dogs are pack animals, so they want to be where the action is. The problem is not every owner has a balanced dog.
The first step to running a successful, dog-friendly workplace is evaluation. How many dogs are in the building and how do they behave? Number two, evaluate those dogs with their handlers, then make a list of the behaviors that might exist. Next, find the dog that is the most balanced and use that dog as an “ambassador” for the new dogs. In other words, make him a role model to show the other dogs the ideal energy and behavior.
Remember, just because a place is “dog friendly” doesn’t mean it is “dog knowledgeable.
Just because you can’t make it to Los Angeles to visit my Dog Psychology Center doesn’t mean you can’t adapt our methods to help your dog become balanced.
Your house and your neighborhood can become your own dog psychology center if you apply rules, boundaries, and limitations; employ helpful tools like a treadmill, backpack, or rollerblades, or call on the services of other balanced dogs to create a pack.
From a dog’s point of view, every day, every moment, and every place they are is an opportunity to return to a balanced state. It’s our responsibility to keep our animals balanced and stable for the benefit of our society and for the benefit of the animal, so use what you have available and start today.
Meet Shelley and her devil chihuahua Peanut! She recently moved in with her mother, sister, brother-in-law, and their two children, as well as two dogs and a cat — and Peanut doesn’t get along with anyone! Can Cesar restore the peace in this household?
And next, Wes Murphy left his high-paying corporate job to follow his heart and start a pet grooming business. Cesar helps him with some of his more troublesome canine clients.
The Devil Dog
Pack leadership must involve the entire family. Every member of your human pack should be aware of the same rules, boundaries, and limitations. Your dog needs to recognize that all the humans are higher up on the dominance ladder than he is.
One member of your family may already be a clear pack leader, but that does not mean that the dog will share the same respect for the rest of the family. Each of you needs to earn it.
In other words, just because the dog obeys Mom and Sister does not mean he will obey Dad and Grandma. The most effective way to do this is to have a family meeting to make sure everyone understands what is expected of the dog. The “rules of the house” must be held up as law at all times by everyone. Remember that inconsistent leadership will lead to an unpredictable and unstable dog.
Bad Hair Days
When taking your dog to the groomers, take a moment and try to see the experience through her eyes. Dogs don’t know they’re going there to look good. They see beauty from the inside, not the outside. When a dog has a bad experience at the groomers, it is because she went in there fearful, anxious, and against her will.
When those emotions are present for a dog, she will associate everything that happens at the groomers as negative. We want to change that experience for the dog, so that going to the groomers becomes like going to a day spa for a human, where the dog associates the experience with relaxation, massage, and affection. If we can change the context in which a dog goes to the groomers, we can actually make it a joyful experience; an experience that a dog loves.
Changing that context begins with making sure a dog is relaxed before going to the groomers. Take your dog for a long walk before you go, and a shorter walk around the block once you get to the groomers. This will tired him out and make him more relaxed.
Of course, you need to find groomers who understand dog psychology and provide a safe environment and patient environment. Pay attention to the groomer’s techniques. If they’re trying to rush a dog through an experience she isn’t ready for, that can create tension and anxiety. It’s best to wait until the dog is in a calm-submissive state, then reward with a cookie, affection and a massage. That’s the ideal time to start grooming.
Brian and Patricia see the potential for sweetness in their highly-intelligent Border Collie, but they are at a loss when it comes to controlling Mateo’s pungent personality. Cesar heads out to herd in this Collie crisis. Next: all James wanted was a guard dog to protect his home, but now his German shepherd Ali is the biggest threat to this peace officer’s peace of mind. Can Cesar stop Ali from picking fights?
How do you encourage strangers who are afraid of your dog to act confident around your dog? Three commands: No Touch. No Talk. No Eye Contact. This helps to build confidence in the fearful person and the dog. If you feel at peace, you feel relaxed; if you’re relaxed you can work on your confidence.
I don’t encourage people to touch my dog, I encourage people to be around my dog. Now, if my dog misbehaves, I tell people, “Don’t worry about it, I’ve got him under control.” You must do that too. People often have to see it to believe it. That’s the way you are going to convince a fearful person, “Ah your dog isn’t that bad.” Once he sees that your dog behaves perfectly fine with you, then that person will have confidence around your dog.
Not So Home Sweet Home
Humans experience a wide range of emotions – frustration, anxiety, insecurity – all of which can affect your dog’s behavior. So before you blame the dog, ask yourself whether he could be reacting to your unbalanced energy!
If you are the one who’s causing the problem, cool off in another room or ask someone in your pack for help. Find a quiet place to regain neutral, calm-assertive energy, which will help both you and your dog.
At two years old, Jake is so aggressive towards women that his owner Dana is unable to do the laundry since she has to pass Jake to get to the washer and dryer. Can Cesar remove the stains from this aggressive laundry dog?
Also meet Kona who is a pro at jumping over the backyard fence and enjoying strolls around the neighborhood on her own. Cesar shows up to keep this fugitive out of harm’s way!
Don’t Fence Me In
When a dog is constantly trying to run away, or escape your yard, it can mean the dog is bored or frustrated. The backyard becomes his jail, and it’s natural to want to escape. Once he is free, he does what dogs do naturally: Walk, sniff, and explore whats on the other side of the fence. The dog has found something to do that will satisfy his needs.
Dogs who become escape artists are naturally active types. You cant leave them without an activity. If you do, they will find one on their own! The answer is more exercise. If your dog wants to roam the streets, let him roam the streets, but in a healthy way – on a leash!
Jake in Exile
It’s very important that your dog understand your rules, boundaries, and limitations, especially when you have to protect yourself. In the animal world, claiming space is a very basic concept, but even the simplest movements can give your dog the upper hand.
Claiming space is the act of using your calm-assertive energy, mind and body, to “own” whatever it is you want control over, and to establish the bubble of space around you that only you can say who enters and who doesn’t. Once you have asserted yourself and the area you’ve claimed as yours, the dog will respond to the behavioral rules that you set there.
Consider how sheepdogs do it: They stand firm and upright, with confidence, and move toward and around the sheep, maintaining eye contact and telling the sheep where to go. You can do the same. The inner dialogue is important, because what you are communicating in your mind will show through in your posture and movement. In essence you are saying “This is my space; you go over there.”
Cesar is called in to help Bravo TV personality Kathy Griffin with her two rowdy rescue pups. The star of “My Life on the D List” cant control her dogs, even with the help of her assistants. Can Cesar break their cycle of aggression and misbehavior? Also in this episode: Cesar is enlisted to civilize a hostile Doberman mix for a couple and their new six month-old baby, and animal communicator Susan Hill calls for back-up when her “words” don’t get through to her panicked Pinscher.
Professional Realtor Ernesto Robles presents Cesar with a new breed of problem: his four children are hounding him to buy a puppy, but Ernesto is terrified of dogs and has been his entire life! Ernesto wants to know how it feels to walk on the street without this fear, and he also wants to provide his wife and children with a four-legged companion. Will his cynophobia be dog-gone , or will Ernesto remain a scaredy-cat?
Daschund Lotus is not living up to his tranquil name. After owners Julie and Chari adopted him, Lotus became very territorial over Julie. His aggression has even sent Chari to the hospital. Cesar is called in to bring some peace back into this off balanced home.
Then, Cesar makes a house call to see Joey, a German Shepard who has become territorial over the second story of his owner’s home.
Justin Ternes and Monica Hoover’s battling pit-bulls, Sandi and Trinity, are driving the once happy family to extremes to keep them separated. Can Cesar bring peace to this not-so-civil war?
Conrad and Cristina are at a loss when it comes to their tenacious , four year-old deaf Boxer named Maggie. Maggie’s unruly behavior can’t be controlled with voice commands, and the stress she puts on the home has the potential to aggravate Cristina’s Multiple Sclerosis. Will Cesar find the panacea for their failure to communicate? Also in this episode: Cesar is approached by the dedicated volunteers at the Orange County Humane Society to step in on behalf of Apollo, a male-aggresive Rottweiler whose days are numbered. Can their hard work grant Apollo a pardon?
First up, Anita Brandenburg’s Chocolate Lab Beau is a top notch service dog but for one major problem: he is terrified of the bus, Anita’s only means of transportation! Cesar travels to Long Beach to help Beau with his travel anxiety and boost Anita’s self-esteem in the process. Then, husband and wife Jeff Pecot and Karen Fflolkes-Pecot have different views on disciplining their four Maltese. Can Cesar mediate this marital rift between Jeff, Karen, and their four great white terrors?
Noelle’s Doberman/Lab mix Caesar and Pit Bull Squatty have become unmanageable on the walk since the tragic passing of her husband Danny. Between Caesar’s nightmare walks and Squatty’s separation anxiety when Caesar is away, Noelle is reaching the end of her rope. Can our Cesar teach her Caesar a thing or two about balance and soothe Squatty’s troubled nerves?
French Bulldog Bozley has had rules, boundaries, and limitations from day one, but that hasn’t stopped him from developing a tenacious form of aggression! Owners Nidia & Sean Tatalovich have called in Cesar to give this Frenchie a lesson in hospitality. Next up, not even careful research could prepare Regina and Steve Risseeuw for their terrified Vizla, Ginger. Can Cesar help this dog on the run?
In four seasons, Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan has grown into a cultural phenomenon. Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan celebrates its 100th episode with a grand reunion of many of the past guests — and their dogs — all in one place at one time.
A Chihuahua mix terrorizes eight year old mastiff Harley and dominates the rest of the house. Cesar is called in to restore the balance of power and mend this odd couple’s relationship. Cesar is called in to help a pit bull outgrow his puppy ways.
Bliss and Jason are afraid of being bit by their aggressive English bulldog/Lab mix, Argy. Cesar prescribes Argy some pack therapy. A cocker spaniel, Patches, has a life-threatening appetite for paper products.
Cesar comes to help a Labrador mix with dog aggression and a Jack Russell terrier and a Queensland heeler whose formerly cordial relationship has become hostile.