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ABOUT CESAR MILLAN:
Humane Association - "Dog Whisperer Training Approach
More Harmful Than Helpful"
York Times/Mark Derr - "Pack of Lies"
Esquire Magazine/Curtis Pesmen - "Misguided Expert of the Year"
Luescher, DVM, Veterinary Behaviorist, Animal Behavior Clinic, Purdue
of "Cesar's Way" from Pat Miller of The Bark Magazine
Owens, the Original Dog Whisperer - "A Bone To Pick?"
Linder - "Dog Owners Want To Bury Cesar?"
TODAY - "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan Sued by TV Producer
- "A 'Tough Love' Dog Whisperer Spurs Some Yelps"
Dale - "Dog Whisperer Makes a Lousy Role-Model For Dog Owners"
Anti-Cesar Millan -- Ian Dunbar's been succeeding for 25 years with
lure-reward dog training; how come he's been usurped by the flashy,
aggressive TV host?
Concerns Regarding Child Safety on National Geographic's Dog Whisperer
the BLOG of RICHARD BELZER: "FIRST DO NO HARM"
QUOTES FROM EXPERTS:
World-renowned dog trainers, behaviorists and veterinarians had
all warned National Geographic that Millan’s methods had the
potential for disaster. Below are quotes from noted experts:
Dr. Nicholas Dodman - Professor and Head, Section of Animal
Director of Behavior Clinic, Tufts University - Cummings School
of Veterinary Medicine
“Cesar Millan's methods are based on flooding and punishment.
The results, though immediate, will be only transitory. His methods
are misguided, outmoded, in some cases dangerous, and often inhumane.
You would not want to be a dog under his sphere of influence. The
sad thing is that the public does not recognize the error of his
ways. My college thinks it is a travesty. We’ve written to
National Geographic Channel and told them they have put dog training
back 20 years.
Jean Donaldson, The San Francisco SPCA-Director of The Academy
for Dog Trainers
“Practices such as physically confronting aggressive dogs
and using of choke collars for fearful dogs are outrageous by even
the most diluted dog training standards. A profession that
has been making steady gains in its professionalism, technical sophistication
and humane standards has been greatly set back. I have long
been deeply troubled by the popularity of Mr. Millan as so many
will emulate him. To co-opt a word like ‘whispering’
for arcane, violent and technically unsound practice is unconscionable.”
Dr. Suzanne Hetts, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist
Co-owner of Animal Behavior Associates, Inc., Littleton, CO
"A number of qualified professionals have voiced concern for
the welfare of pet dogs that experience the strong corrections administered
by Mr. Millan. My concerns are based on his inappropriateness, inaccurate
statements, and complete fabrications of explanations for dog behavior.
His ideas, especially those about “dominance”, are completely
disconnected from the sciences of ethology and animal learning,
which are our best hope for understanding and training our dogs
and meeting their behavioral needs. Many of the techniques he encourages
the public to try are dangerous, and not good for dogs or our relationships
with them ."
Vyolet Michaels, CTC, CPDT (Certified Dog Trainer and Behavior Counselor)
Owner of Urban Dawgs, LLC of Red Bank, NJ
"Cesar Millan employs outdated methods that are dangerous
and inhumane. Using a choke chain and treadmill to treat fear of
strangers and dogs is completely inappropriate. Hopefully the National
Geographic Channel will listen to the scientific community and discontinue
production of The Dog Whisperer."
Janis Bradley, Instructor at The San Franciso SPCA Academy
for Dog Trainers
Author of the book, "Dogs Bite"
"On his TV show, the main method Millan uses for aggression
is aversives (leash jerks, kicks, snaps of the hand against the
neck, and restraint, among others) applied non contingently. The
aversives are non contingent because they are so frequent that they're
not connected to any particular behavior on the part of the dog—the
dog gets popped pretty much constantly. This results in a state
called learned helplessness, which means the animal hunkers down
and tries to do as little as possible. This is what Millan calls
"calm submission." It's exactly the same thing you see in a rat
in a Skinner box that is subjected to intermittent shocks it can
do nothing to avoid. This can happen quite fast, by the way, shall
we say in ten minutes? The dangers to the dog are obvious, ranging
from chronic stress to exacerbating the aggression, i.e., some dogs
fight back when attacked. This latter is the simplest reason that
aversives are a bad idea in treating aggression. Even used technically
correctly as positive punishment for specific behaviors like growling
and snarling, aversives do nothing to change the underlying fear
or hostility, so the best you can hope for, in the words of famed
vet and behaviorist, Ian Dunbar, is "removing the ticker from the
time bomb." Thus such methods substantially increase the risk to
humans of getting bitten."
Excerpt of letter from Lisa Laney, Dip. DTBC, CPDT, CBC
to National Geographic before airing “The Dog Whisperer”:
“The intended program depicts aversive and abusive training
methods - treatment for some serious anxiety and fear based issues
- being administered by an individual with no formal education whatsoever
in canine behavioral sciences. The "results" that are
shown are more than likely not long lasting changes, but the result
of learned helplessness, or fatigue, neither of which impact behavior
to any significant long term degree - at least not in a good way.
For those of us who are pioneering the effort to end the ignorance
that drives the cruel treatment administered upon our canine companions,
it is disappointing to see that this programming will reach the
masses - especially on the NG Channel. The ignorance that this program
perpetuates will give equally ignorant people the green light to
subject their dogs to abuse. In turn these dogs will react even
more defensively, will bite more people - and end up dead.”
"I have serious concerns because his methods are often intimidating
rather than motivating. On TV, the dogs do comply but often they're
being forced to - you can tell by their body language: tail down,
mouth closed, ears back, eyes dilated... I argue that motivating
leadership is far more effective than leading through intimidation."
Steve Dale is the author of the twice weekly syndicated newspaper
column “My Pet World” (Tribune Media Services). He's
also the host of syndicated radio programs Steve Dale's Pet World,
The Pet Minute with Steve Dale; and Pet Central, at WGN Radio, Chicago.
Steve is a contributing editor at USA Weekend, special correspondent/columnist
Dog World and editor-in-chief of PawPrints (a newsletter for veterinarians).
His books include “American Zoos” and “DogGone
Chicago.” Steve's appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show; National
Geographic Explorer; Pets Part of the Family on PBS; several Animal
Planet Shows; Fox News Channel, and Balance TV (Canada). He was
a regular on WGN-TV Chicago. Touted as reaching more pet owners
than any other pet journalist, Steve’s a frequent guest expert
on radio shows all over America and Canada; he’s been quoted
in dozens of newspaper and magazine stories, including the Los Angeles
Times, USA Today, and Redbook. He's certified as a Behavior
Consultant by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants,
and the recipient of many awards including the prestigious AVMA