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Old 07-16-2008, 11:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cesar Millan

So, I dont know how many of you out there watch the "Dog Whisperer", but for those of you who do, I want to ask a question. I was watching an episode on my way to New York *thank you Jet Blue* and I saw that when he was with his "pack" of dogs, if one was acting out, he would sort of hit it, not like punch it closed fist, but sorta slap it open handed. Now I know the whole "Tssst" thing from southpark but this was more of a stern NO followed by a slap to the side. Is this normal? Or is that just a stupid way of tryin to be dominant?
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cesar Millan

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Is this normal? Or is that just a stupid way of tryin to be dominant?
Depends on who you ask. *I'd say the latter, but more people seem to actually like Cesar Millan.

As far as learning science goes, this is an example of positive punishment - something unpleasant that the dog will work to avoid, intended to decrease the recurrence of the behavior in the future (the "tssst" and the kicks (sorry, "foot-taps") he uses fall into this category, as well). *It's not "normal" canine behavior - hand (paw) 'smacking' is only used in play; occasionally in dominance posturing one dog will lay their paw over another's shoulders, though often this, too, is a play behavior - but smacking is a fairly common ("normal" is debatable) human behavior.
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cesar Millan

Well I was told never to actually hit my dog. Why would an expert trainer do it? Unless he isnt actually hitting but "tapping"? shall I say.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm sure he would call it "tapping"; the point is that if he's using it to stop a behavior, it must be aversive to the dog (otherwise it won't work to stop the behavior).
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cesar Millan

I've not seen him slap but maybe "poke" or "tap" like Neemster said. A slap is more of an swinging opened handed smack... or how ever some one else would like to define it. I think he's stated it's suppose to get their attention off of what they are fixated on at the time. He's also stated it's much like a "snap"... when a dog snaps at another to put them in their place. Which I have seen my own dogs do. Nikki loves to make sure Odin knows she is the boss and when he is getting out of hand. Cesar Milan is for some and not for others... due to training techniques and he's almost always a heated subject to most... and extremely debatable.

I give him kudos for saving the lives of dogs who's owners had thought it was time for them to be put to sleep and he'd completely turn them around. Amazingly it's normally the people he ends up training and not the dogs... except for those who've gotten so far from the idea that they aren't king/queen of the castle.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I am in NO way a highly educated person when it comes to discipline, but I would think of this technique as a "distraction"

With my two if they are acting out or acting nutso when walking, the tap with the foot gets them back focused on me. *its just a touch on their side and it gets their attention. *They look at you like "what? *I was JUST checking out the wind, leaves, other dogs everything else BUT you" *haha. *

I think some of Ceasar's techniques are overboard, but they all work for him. *Or seem to on the show.

Anywho.. * thats just my two cents.

Carry on! *
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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That is aggression by him to his dog. *Like begets like. *Any use of aggression like that increases your chances of creating agression in your dog. *Think of it as you are more rearing a canine child. *Would you treat your own child like that? *What would he learn from that. *Ceasar is totally old school aggressive type training. *He has made millions with his t.v. show and training devices. *To me it is like those new reality shows, although not really as real as it appears. *Most dog problems are created by uninformed dog owners. *Nice books to check out for dog training the positive way are "Mothers Knows Best" (geared for puppy owners and include lots of great info besides training but works for all) by Carole Benjamin, "Why Does My Dog Pull" & "Calming Signals" by Turid Rugass , and if you really are interested in dog speak "Bones Would Rain From The Sky" by Suzanne Clothier.

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Old 07-17-2008, 07:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cesar Millan

I watch it on foxtel sometimes, and I've always thought he's a bit heavy handed with his dogs
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The OP stated an open-handed smack, rather than a tap. *If he's pairing it with a "No", it's more than an attention-getter or distractor; just as a snap from another dog is more than that. *(A snap from another dog is preceded by several increasing levels of warnings, however, while in most cases a smack from a human is not.) *Cesar may not realize this, as he's not been educated in learning science; however the result is what determines whether something is aversive, not the intent behind it. *(For instance, some dogs love the taste of Bitter Apple; while this is meant to be an aversive to stop the dog from chewing, if the dog loves the taste the produce will not prevent chewing and so does not work as an aversive.)

Another book recommendation would be "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell, PhD.
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cesar Millan

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Originally Posted by bingasmom\";p=\&quot View Post
I am in NO way a highly educated person when it comes to discipline, but I would think of this technique as a "distraction"
I agree...I also think that anyone who's method works so consistantly for so many dogs can't possibly be that bad. *I know we hear "the dogs go back to how they were before as soon as Cesar leaves" sometimes, but that is of not fault of the dog, it just has to do with the owners not being consistant (I can't believe how daft some of the people on that show are...people who should just not have pets). *I'm amazed how Cesar can stay so calm and friendly with some of the idiots on that show sometimes!! haha.

With the "smack", he calls it a "bite", he's attempting to emulate what an alpha dog in a wild pack would do to a pack member if they steped out of line by doing whatever "bad" thing they're doing. *He usually keeps it to the neck area, and I generally see him using all of his fingers in more of a poking motion rather then an actual open handed smack...

I think anyone who has the ability to keep that many dogs together, most of which were ex "red zone cases", has to be doing something right.
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