Monday, May 20, 2013

The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan

If you haven't watched The Dog Whisperer on National Geographic Channel, you're missing out! You should definitely watch Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer and Leader of the Pack) and his methods before you bring a new canine family member home. Here are the top ten things that I have learned watching Cesar's techniques and learning through his extensive knowledge.
10.) People psychology does not work for dog psychology. We analyze everything and rationalize. Dogs live in the moment.
9.) Myth exposed: a wagging tail does not necessarily mean a happy doggy. It can also be over-excitement which can lead to undesirable behavior.
8.) Take a deep breath! Find the ability within yourself to be calm and assertive, until you find balance within how can you find the balance for anyone else?
7.) Definitely set rules, boundaries, and limitations.
6.) Exercise is crucial! If your canine companion does not exert enough energy, it will bottle up inside of them and then unwanted behaviors, such as shredding or tearing things up, will be the outcome. One of the main things Cesar demonstrates is walking with your dog(s). This is a pack behavior and they can understand the importance of being in their pack.

5.) Find your authoritative signature. Cesar's is a sound "tsch" usually with a snap from his fingers. This snaps the dogs from what they are doing and the goal is for the dog to then focus on Cesar.
4.) You can't show weakness and be a pack leader. If you do not lead, then either the dominant dog will take the position, or your more submissive dogs could become confused and exhibit signs of anxiety or being confused (unwanted behavior).
3.) If your dog is barking don't pull them back, this excites them more and will aggravate the situation further. If you have a dominant possessive dog that is 'guarding' you (i.e. people can't get close to you without the dog barking and attempting to bite). Remove your dog, put them down on the floor, this tells them it is a behavior you do not agree with.
2.) You need love and patience when attempting to train or 'deal with' a dog. Try to keep a calm demeanor, dogs read energy.
1.) Cesar rehabilitates dogs, but he trains their humans. Most of the time there are issues with the owners and it resonates through miscommunication from owner to pet. Think of people trying to communicate that are speaking different languages and there are no universal body language.
This makes me think of how my point my finger when I am cross. Training our new puppy A'ella, I was pointing my finger at her and telling her that we were just outside and there is no reason that she relieved herself on our carpet - again. Being a puppy, everything goes into their mouths, because they are learning and teething (just like babies). So, naturally to her, she wanted to nibble on my finger.
Don't attempt to work with certain animals without professional help or training. The reason Cesar makes it look so easy is because he has years of experience. He knows the pack linguistics and dog behavior. He can deal with an aggressive dog by claiming something - I wouldn't necessarily attempt the technique if you haven't watched his program, read his books, or understand the concepts.
Even though I have been around animals my entire life, I still have to watch Cesar's show all the time to remind myself of what I need to do, and what I could be doing wrong. When we decided to foster dogs, I had the desire to home dogs that had been in a shelter, to give them a better chance of finding their forever homes.
Until next time or the next... dream ~ K.E.Nowinsky