I think I’ve mentioned to a few folks that I was fortunate to be able to see Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer in Staten Island over the weekend. This event was sponsored by the Staten Island Council for Animal Welfare. There were over 600 people there!
Firstly, let me say that Cesar does a great job keeping people focused and tuned in. He is constantly stopping and getting your attention with statements like “You see it?” or “Are you with me?”
It took me a while to comment on this seminar, mostly because of all the info that was chucked at me in three hours. A lot of what he had to say, I had heard already or already practiced. Much of his info is very similar to what I learned in my years training with the Volhard Motivational Method.
However, this I did take away from it:
In order for our dogs to be happy, we need to be sure that they are fullfilled as dogs.
What we think of as fullfillment is not necessarily what dogs think of as fullfillment (I had this bit, but I wanted to include it to cover the next bit)
Dogs should be viewed as critters in this order:
Animal, Species, Breed, Name
and that their needs should be satisfied in the same order:
Animal: needs to work for food and water
Species-Dog: Migration and freedom (walking)
Breed: Basically defined as how they mate and play. After you’ve walked your dog (takes care of Animal and Species IF your dog sees you as a pack leader), you fulfill the Breed. Labs and Goldens retrieve; Herding dogs herd (or chase frisbees). Bullmastiffs are a working guard dog so we go play in the backyard.
Name: This is for the Human (everytime he said “human” all I could think of were ferengi!) The Name is nothing more than what we call our Dog and it means nothing to them. That we give our dogs their personality becuase of the name we associate with them. He also suggests that if we call our dogs name when they are fighting (ex: Sugar! Stop it! ) that the name has the association of the fight… interesting thought.
I have my own opinion on what a name means to a dog, especially since, while communicating with them, more than one has requested a different name. Here is my theory on this.
Names have energy. We, as Humans (there go those ferengi again) have an association with names. For example, ChaDich’s name means “He who carries my sword” in Klingon. When ChaDich was a puppy, he didn’t want to be called ChaDich. It was too grown up. It is my belief that it wasn’t the word, but the energy that we put behind it that was not desired. We called ChaDich “Charlie” until he felt he could handle the energy of the word ChaDich.
Overall, I was very please with the seminar. I few logistical things could have been handled better. The room wasn’t ready, the treadmill was not working, and the questions at the end should have been prescreened. Instead they put a microphone at the end of the runway and people were encourage to get in line to ask questions. Hello…. 600 people! All of which, I’m sure, had the same questions, but they were different becuase they were about THEIR dogs.
My one real complaint/concern is that Cesar doesn’t mention that modifying how you perceive your dog will correct many behavior issues but not the medical ones. It is my opinion that all behavior issues should be addressed by a vet first! Oh, and if your dog has medical issues, please check with your vet before you walk them for an hour.
What I found really entertaining was that according to Cesar, dogs and children run this county because we do not give them rules, boundaries and limitations. The dog in front is the pack leader. So, everydog in the White House has owned Air Force One, the White House and the Government.
To buy Cesar’s DVD please visit his website.