Why I don’t care for Cesar Milan

This post has been building for a while….so sorry if it turns into a rant.

Now, before I get started, I’m not saying that all of what CM teaches is bad.  Its not.  SOME of his techniques, used on SOME dogs are quite effective.  He occasionally makes good points.  The problem is that a fair bit of what he DOES, is NOT a good thing.

One of the message boards I frequent is specifically for the owners, breeders, and other folks who enjoy, mastiffs and mastiff type breeds.

We have a member with a severely human aggressive Cane Corso.  And before someone states that’s a repetitive statement, no actually, its not.  But this dog was mistreated as a youngster and so now will only tolerate her new owner.  And she appears to have actually bonded with her new owner, something that is fairly amazing considering her back ground.  Her aggression towards other humans appears to be mostly fear based, and she has some other fear issues with a variety of things.  Her owner has been slowly working to get her to tolerate cars, for example, in hopes that if he can get her to tolerate cars without being drugged to the gills then maybe he can expand the realm of whats possible.  He’s had trouble finding a trainer who’s got experience with fear reactive LARGE dogs.  But he IS making progress.  Its slow.  But it helps that his sole goal is to simply have her not lunging at strangers if they get to close.  He doesn’t need her to be a love bug, he just wants her tolerant.

We have another member who’s a big CM fan.  And so this CM fan wanders through the thread where the above  guy is posting on his progress, and tells him that he just needs to alpha roll his dog to show her who’s boss and all will be fine.  I managed to refrain from hitting the roof, but did advise him that alpha rolling a human aggressive dog was a really bad idea….

And see, that’s my first problem with CM.  And alot of other trainers to be honest.  Alpha rolling, as defined by these folks, is forcing the dog onto his side or stomach in response to bad behavior.  Its based on some rather outdated understandings of how wolves work in packs.

Unfortunately that is NOT what a real alpha roll is.  A real alpha roll the “dominant” dog does not in anyway force the “submissive” dog to submit.  The “submissive” dog rolls himself over, showing his belly in an apology.  Its an “ooops, I didn’t mean it, sorry!” offered voluntarily by the “submissive” dog.  All that forcing your dog onto his side or back does is show you’re a bigger bully than he is.  Now yes, with some dogs, they do calm down when you do that, if that’s what your dog does that cool, consider yourself lucky.  But many dogs do NOT calm down when that is done to them, they infact consider it a challenge that must be met.  Or in the case of an already fearful dog it can result in the dog becoming fearful of their owner who just proved them-self to be a big bully, and when the dog has already shown a tendency towards fear aggression……

My 2nd problem with CM, is shown in this video:

And since I’m to lazy to type out all that’s wrong please read here where someone else said it better than I would anyway.  Suffice to say that this isn’t the only time CM has badly mis-read a dog’s body language, it just doesn’t always end up in a bite.

My 3rd problem with CM:

First he’s showing a perfect example of how NOT to use a choke collar.  He never releases it fully, the dog is constantly struggling because CM is constantly restricting the dog’s airflow and jerking on his neck.  Then, he kicks the dog, more than once, to elicit a response from the dog.  Watch his feet closely, he likes to use the foot furthest from the dog to do it, kicking behind him into the dog’s gut.  And then when the dog reacts he chokes him some more.  And then he chokes the dog until the dog collapses.  His excuse: the dog was fighting me, he was trying to bite me.  You know what?  Every single living thing on this planet would fight and bite if someone dropped a noose around its neck and cut off the air supply.  If you or I choked our dogs to unconsciousness and the animal cruelty folks found out we’d be up on charges in a heart beat.  But its CM, he was training the dog, it’s ok.

There….hopefully I have it out of my system so now I can go be polite to the CM fan on the message board instead of telling them just what I think of their animal abusing god…..oh wait, maybe not.