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Cesar Millan Review - What's Good + What's Bad

What's Good

  • Familiar to many from his Dog Whisperer television show on National Geographic
  • The real deal - well regarded by his peers and someone who offers realistic
    advice to dog owners. He's the trainer who can rehabilitate a troubled dog
  • His techniques have stood the test of time - because they work!
  • Warns that placing unrealistic expectations on a dog is going to make the owner
    and the dog unhappy
  • Stresses the need for exercise (old saying: a tired dog is a good dog) as well
    as discipline and affection. Get the three of these right, and you'll have a great
    canine companion

What's Bad

  • His ability is innate. He describes how he has always been able to communicate and control dogs, even before he had a philosophy about dog training
  • You're not Cesar Millan. He does things like running and feeding his dogs in packs that can be tricky for average owners
  • Often takes unruly dogs back to his facility where they are rehabilitated. Then he takes them back to their owners - with mixed results as he describes in the one of the books below
  • He's too honest for the animal rights activists. The dogs-are-furry-people adherents can't stand him (maybe this is really a 'What's Good')

WARNING: The illusion collar that Mr. Millan sells is NOT designed or intended for Toy breeds especially those with 'pushed in' faces or brachycephalic breeds. His website acknowledges that. Tugging too hard on one of these (or any other collar) in a Pug, Pekinese or similar small dog could damage their necks and even cause serious eye injury.

Here are my recommendations. Four paws are best; one paw is worst.

Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems

Although the book's subtitle states 'correcting common dog problems,' this is not a how-to manual. It's philosophy and canine psychology
more than practical steps.

The chapters on him and the famous people
he's dealt with, such as Oprah Winfrey, may or
may not appeal to you.

Recommendation: One paw. Long on philosophy, short on specific guidance.

Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar's Way to Transform Your Dog . . . and Your Life

This is better. Not as much about him and more how-to advice along with lots and lots of philosophy.

You don't need both his first book (Cesar's Way) and this one as they duplicate one another. This is the better one.

Recommendation: Two paws. Better guidance but not step-by-step.

Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: The Ultimate Episode Guide

My favorite of the books.

This summarizes each episode of the TV show and goes back to tell you how the owners and dogs made out.

Mr. Millan is honest; some situations did not work out and the owner got rid of the dog. How many
of the hysterical dogs-are-people trainers ever dare acknowledge failures?

If you watched the show, you'll enjoy this. It brings back the episodes while providing guidance on what Mr. Millan did to train or correct the dog.

Recommendation: Four paws. Even if you didn't watch the shows, you can get great tips from this books.

Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan: The Complete Second Season

Excellent DVD. The producers and Mr. Millan had it down by now and the episodes are typical of bad dog behavior.

Every owner should be able to find something in here that helps him or her be a better leader to their dog.

Recommendation: Three paws. I would have gone higher if this DVD had been formatted for a TV screen. Instead National Geographic left it as the widescreen movie format.


Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan - The Complete First Season

The show that made him a star. Justifiably.

The episodes are wonderful and if you missed it on National Geographic, you'll understand why he's not a millionaire dog trainer (and you're not).

Funny outtakes and auditions of dogs and their owners. You'll understand why Mr. Millan says, "I rehabilitate dogs; I train owners."

Recommendation: Four paws. Formatted for TV screens and has closed captions. Very typical dog problems. Mr. Millan's performance, however, did get better as the seasons progressed.

Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: The Complete Third Season

Mr. Millan's performance in front of the camera is
at his best by now and he elaborates more on the techniques he's using.

I don't like this one as well as Season Two however. The producers tried to add interest by sending him out to more locations but the dog problems aren't any more representative of typical dog and their owners than the first two seasons.

Recommendation: Two paws. Nice but still widescreen format instead of being formatted for TV screen. No captions for hearing impaired this time. Have no idea why National Geographic would release a DVD without that.

These are not all of Mr .Millan's products. I'm not reviewing them because 1) they keep growing! and 2) I didn't see anything new after these. It's same information - great information though it is - repackaged for new sales.

Buy whatever format appeals to you.

Cesar Millan's Critics: Of course none of this could be jealousy over his success, right?

Some people claim his techniques are out-of-date and we now know so much more about dog psychology now.

The out-of-date claim reinforces the fact that his approach has been around a long time. His techniques work and have for years. Lassie and Rin Tin Tin never attended a clicker class!

It's funny how after the 'enlightenment' that the critics claim has happened in the canine world that there is such an explosion of dog training books, tools, training aids and even drugs for dogs (doggy Prozac).

One last thing about all the knowledge we supposedly have. I subscribe to Tufts
and Cornell University Veterinary Schools newsletters for dog owners. They both
get asked questions such as 'why does my dog eat grass?' Know what the most common answer is to those questions - 'we don't really know why a dog does

They're dogs, not people and if you persist in treating them as such, you'll be depressed, and the dog will be unruly.

Be a good owner which also includes being a realistic owner. Learn from Mr. Millan.

For even more savings, use this Amazon.com link:
At least 70% off dog supplies

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