The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal - Every Episode Of “The Dog Whisperer” Ever
[Recent Entries][Archive][Friends][User Info]
Every Episode Of “The Dog Whisperer” Ever|
AGGRIEVED DOG OWNER: “Cesar! My dog is disemboweling mailmen!”
CESAR: “You are a failure at life. Your dog must be submeesive. Here. Stand near your dog like this.”
*Cesar strikes a pose*
*dog stops disemboweling mailmen*
VIEWERS: “…was that actually helpful for training my dog? I’m not sure.”
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/335199.html. You can comment here, or comment there; makes no never-mind by me.
which is why i don't watch that show, and i don't buy his wares.
and gee...my dog hasn't disemboweled a mailman *yet*. (she's still breathing, there may be a breath of a chance in there. i highly doubt it, but you never know.)
or maybe it's just because she has no front teefs and she's 8 years old. who knows. ;)
On the other hand, the cat equivalent show "My Cat from Hell" actually does give a lot of information in how to problem solve cat behaviors. Jackson Galaxy is cool as hell now in my book.
I don't get AP, so I didn't know this show exists. Thanks for mentioning it.
Dear Jackson; My cat is a dick.
My Cat from hell has really helped us with our cats. Jackson knows his kitties.
There's a Canadian show with this irascible guy who helps people with their dogs. He usually yells at the family to get their shit together and fixing the family dynamic helps the dog.
I think it's on AP as "In the Dog House"
I think I watched that for about 5 minutes once. Waste of bandwidth.
|Date:||September 27th, 2013 09:55 pm (UTC)|| |
How does one teach you, then, how you are not-leading the dog, than to demonstrate how to lead the dog? Its rather obvious to me, as a dog owner, that what he says is absolutely correct - the dog is misbehaving because he's not being led, and a change in attitude and relationship is what will solve the problem. Its like you don't even comprehend the paradigm of what he's talking about at all.
|Date:||September 27th, 2013 10:39 pm (UTC)|| |
It's not that Cesar is wrong; it's just that translating his magic to your own dog is more of a challenge than it appears on the show.
|Date:||September 28th, 2013 02:19 am (UTC)|| |
Actually it *is* that Cesar is wrong. Any time he mentions "dominance" or "pack structure", he's using discredited non-science, that doesn't necessarily even apply to wolves, and certainly not domestic dogs.
Perhaps. He certainly seems to get results, and some of the advice he's given us for Shasta has been genuinely helpful even if the roots are wrong.
|Date:||September 28th, 2013 02:36 am (UTC)|| |
He's also suffered multiple serious bites as a direct result of his own application of his teaching, and a wild disregard for obvious canine body language; if he can't even apply his own principles safely, how can one expect amateurs to do so?
And as a direct result of those sorts of outcomes, he actually increases the chance that a dog will get the boot (or the needle).
That said, not everything he teaches is wrong; I'm sure he hits on some operant-conditioning, positive-reinforcement training along the way. Just disregard his "humans eat first because they're pack leaders, and dogs aren't allowed on the bed because humans are pack leaders", and such claptrap.
I agree; even when his explanation of the reasoning behind the techniques is dubious, his stuff does work. But most of it boils down to common sense: give the dog a lot of exercise and interesting stuff to do, be consistent and follow through with rules, be patient and do praise and discipline every single time, be calm and authoritative and the dog will believe you, pay attention to the dog's state of mind. Kind of (exactly) like rearing children, actually.
Yeah, dogs are eusocial and human adaptive. They respond to the dom/sub play that some trainers espouse not because it matches their "natural" behaviors but because it gives them a predictable framework of interaction with a group of people they need to fit in with. Consistent and predictable social interactions that allow the dog to fit in to a group are what a dog needs, and lack of consistancy married with personality is at the root of most dog problems.Once a dog feels it is part of a family, it will generally behave the way it thinks you expet it to. (dogs have personality ranges and some have mental problems. the above is generally for average psyches without big mental problems. dogs out side the 2 middle quartiles need specialized treatment.)
|Date:||September 29th, 2013 03:44 am (UTC)|| |
Actually, most vets and techs I know refuse to have anything to do with his training practices, as they feel they are too cruel to the animal.
In fairness, he doesn't exactly make it easy. And it's not unique to him; most TV dog training shows I've seen have this problem. At best, there are some specific techniques shown with no real understanding of the concepts behind them (which leads cynical me to wonder if there are any such concepts).
|Date:||September 28th, 2013 02:20 am (UTC)|| |
Victoria Stilwell is an excellent counterexample, and *far* more deserving of praise than Cesar.
Whereas I respect her talents, but disliked her book. It seemed to have less actual help involved. Her approach of "dogs misbehave because they want something" is probably closer to the truth, but provided little of a useful framework for me.
|Date:||September 28th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)|| |
I haven't read her book(s), but I could provide a litany of excellent dog-training literature, as provided by my multiple-training-certification wife. :)
I'd be fascinated to have a dog trainer come and look at Shasta, honestly.
Fortunately, we have a former dog trainer friend of ours arriving in an hour to stay the weekend. :)
|Date:||September 28th, 2013 02:42 am (UTC)|| |
I disagree, and in fact had Ms. Stilwell firmly in mind when I made my comment. I'll assume, arguendo, that her techniques are in fact more scientifically (i.e., experimentally) based; you couldn't tell from what you see on T.V. While she throws terms like "science" around freely, I contend it's nearly impossible to discern the scientific principles from her presentation. Moreover, she makes no clear distinction between science, opinion, and analogy--a typical issue for T.V. dog personalities.
All that having been said, I used to both enjoy and benefit from watching her program. Until she started spending more time highlighting the special guest stars and whoring out to sponsors than actually training dogs.
|Date:||September 28th, 2013 04:48 am (UTC)|| |
Well, TV appearances aside -- I've only seen bits and pieces of Milan and Stilwell -- her technique is firmly rooted in the latest science of canine psychology, unlike his uncertified, unscientific fumbling.
See also: Ian Dunbar, Karen Pryor
Edited at 2013-09-28 04:50 am (UTC)
I think we may be in agreement, here. My point was not about the relative merits of the underlying techniques (on which I tend to agree with you(*)), but rather about the piss-poor way they are presented on television.
(*) With the major exception that one can reasonably glean from Millan the valuable lesson, "If you want your dog to change, you need to change." But, again, that's true of pretty much every TV dog trainer.
Yup. I don't know how you get across what to look for in a dog.
|Date:||September 28th, 2013 02:21 am (UTC)|| |
That's because Cesar's so-called paradigm is wrong. Any time he mentions "dominance" or "pack structure", he's using discredited non-science, that doesn't necessarily even apply to wolves, and certainly not domestic dogs.
Try "operant conditioning" instead.
|Date:||September 28th, 2013 08:16 am (UTC)|| |
There are things to be learned from him, even if his vocabulary is annoying to you and his philosophy carries extra baggage that is superfluous or even somewhat counterproductive. You could do much worse than to raise a dog Cesar's way.
|Date:||September 28th, 2013 10:50 am (UTC)|| |
It isn't simply an issue of "vocabulary", it's an issue of fundamental misunderstanding of how dogs think, act, react, and learn. I could learn a thing or two from Joe Schmoe on the street, too, but that doesn't mean I should follow his training when I can readily and easily access the methods of dozens or even hundreds of trainers who have actually bothered to learn modern, peer-reviewed, science-based methods.
Edited at 2013-09-28 10:51 am (UTC)
|Date:||September 28th, 2013 06:38 pm (UTC)|| |
Heh, I guess it comes down to opportunity at that point, doesn't it? Cesar as an adequate dog behaviorist and effective entertainer is so much more accessible to the average man purely by being on TV that the noise of his presence drowns out almost anything else.
I think we can agree on one thing at least... Cesar through his (even if somewhat misguided and incorrect) edutainment has effectively communicated to america that there *is* something wrong in america with how we think of dogs and there *are* solutions.
This is important perspective for people to have.
Seeing Cesar strike a pose wasn't helpful. Milan makes for great television... but he's an awful role model for dog training.
Dog training has moved on significantly since the 1980s - but Milan's methods are rooted quite firmly in that era. These days, most reputable dog trainers are using some kind of positive reinforcement system (clicker training, etc.). The harsh pack-dominance attitudes that Milan demonstrates and recommends are, at best, outdated. At worst, they're animal abuse.
The context for why I care: My mother is a dog trainer. She's not a professional, but after 30+ years in the sport, she's the kind of hobbyist who stopped accepting prizes at dog shows because she's run out of wall space, floor space, and cardboard boxes. She trains Belgian Tervurens, Belgian Shepherds, and Belgian Malinois (best known as a preferred police dog breed - certainly not pushovers).
She used some pack-dominance methods in the 80s, because everyone did. But as dog training methods evolved, she evolved, and as a result, her dogs are both more joyous and more obedient. What she didn't know in the 80s - what no one
in dog training knew - breaks her heart, and the heart of many others in the sport.
And Cesar Milan angers my mother and her friends in the sport because (presumably) he knows about positive reinforcement, but he just doesn't care.
More about Cesar Milan vs. positive reinforcement methods: http://beyondcesarmillan.weebly.com/dogs-in-danger.html
|Date:||September 28th, 2013 10:52 am (UTC)|| |
Hear, hear. :)
See, and I find that link completely unconvincing because of two arguments it rests on that I'm not sold on:
1) Cesar Millan isn't a scientist! He didn't even go to school!
2) Cesar is only popular because he's from Hollywood, from a TV show!
3) (subtext) Look at how dangerous his methods are! He has to have disclaimers on screen when he's working with the most dangerous, snappy dogs he could possibly find!
So this comes off as snobbery and envy, when I'm certain there's better arguments to be made. If the emphasis had been on "Here's a list of dogs who'd been hurt by Cesar's techniques," then I'd have bought it. As it is, I'm sad because I'm willing to believe that a lot of Cesar's techniques aren't good, but this seems to be soaked in astonishment that "Can anyone believe this horseshit when I know better?"
I left a comment, but I got a warning that it was marked as spam. :( It wasn't!
It happens. LJ's weird that way. Weird and slightly annoying, but it's better than the Russian spam I used to get clogged with.
Spammed again. I think it's because I included a link again. (Is it silly for me to alert you? I don't know if you would normally find this or not.)
O mankind! Say No God But Allah, Achieve Eternal Salvation
((( O mankind! Say No God But Allah, Achieve Eternal Salvation )))
" Laa ilaaha illallah " (There is none worthy of worship except Allah.)
( I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger )
( Introduction to Islam )