Ceaser Millan is he a good guy or a bad guy?

I have been involved in dog training for over 55 years during which time I have used methods that I was taught in the Israeli Police and some which I invented for my own working systems.
All those involved in the UK  canine industry really have to thank the late Barbara Woodhouse who in the 1960s/70s introduced dog training with her famous phrase ‘Walkies’ and in my opinion Barbara a pioneer was a passive trainer. Prior to Barbara Woodhouse 90% of dogs were yard /garden dogs living outside in Kennels

During the eighties Roger Mugford a renowned Zoologist introduced the head collar called the ‘Halti’ which was a new method of controlling dogs to walk to heel similar to a horse Halter. Many in the industry including myself laughed at the idea of walking a dog on a head collar. Like everything in life there is progress  the Halti was  a new ethos into the canine training industry as a result more passive ways were introduced by John Rogerson, John Fisher, Annette Conn, Peter Neville and many others including myself where I introduced free socialisation.

Over the past 25 years there have been many new concepts and studies and as a result more positive reinforcement training has been used to educate people who have pets.  We now know through studies that dogs are not pack animals!  It has been proven that many of their genes are not that of a pack animal. There are no pack rules, we should raise dogs as we raise children, and our dogs should also go to a school. We do not use the word pack as a group of dogs is a collection, there is no hierarchy.

I have been aware of the type of training methods used by Ceaser Milan the Mexican from the USA who has many TV shows which includes using electric collars and tapping the dogs body with the foot which appears to people as if he is kicking the dog. Ceaser punches and uses spike collars if required. His system unfortunately like many trainers is now completely out of date and as he himself states he is self-taught which in my opinion is dangerous. In the The Mail on Sunday, Cesar robustly defends his methods. ‘I am not brutal or cruel to animals’ he insists. ‘My mission has always been to save dogs ‘ especially troubled and abandoned dogs. I have dedicated my life to this. My new TV series is all about saving shelter dogs and rehabilitating them so they can be adopted by good families.

Cesar insists he uses the more controversial techniques only on what he calls red-zone animals: aggressive and abandoned dogs who could never be re-homed without proper training.  He says he never hurts the animals, only touches them lightly. But he also says that spike chokers and electrical devices Ëœmay be helpful’ On his website, Cesar says that an electronic dog collar is the most successful at stopping unwanted barking, but says owners should seek expert advice before using them. He says: I use many techniques to rehabilitate dogs. In extreme cases by which I mean cases where I am the last resort before a dog is put down ‘ these tools may be helpful. But they are just one of many techniques’.

I would further comment that when I ran schools many owners would inform me that they had seen on the TV Ceaser perform some task which nly took a few minutes! I was asked ‘If Ceaser can do this in a few minutes ,why can’t we’? The answer was simple ‘Three minutes filming can take three hours or more!

I am from the old school and pleased that 25 years ago I took further various courses in London with John Fisher and Annette Conn and others and also attended many training schools in the UK and USA the result of which advanced and educated me to progress and use modern methods which includes using a head collar and never any punishment. It is sad that many that have retired from the Police Services as dog handlers do not address the issue that training and working with pet owners is a different ball game. Any form of  aggression used towards an aggressive animal results in a negative causing so many problems. Now another new approach is the Teddington Touch known as the TTouch which Sarah Fisher uses this can be seen on the Internet thisd certainly gives excellent results.

In conclusion lately a term being used in Spain is ‘ Force Free Training’ this expression stems from the USA and literally means passive training which most trainers have been using for years.

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