Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New York Times Article on Cesar Milan "The Dog Whisperer"

The New York Times Has an Article From The Dog Whisperer a Howl Of Truimph. about Cesar Millan the Mexican-born host of National Geographics show The Dog Whisperer.

I thought this show sounded goofy/new age at first, but now I am hooked on it. Most dog people will appreciate it.

Millan fixes some real psychotic dogs and the people who own them. He has a pack of 40 dogs, including pitbulls and chihuahas, all hanging out together.

Interesting fact, he crossed the border mojado - but he is legal now. Self-made guy started working at a pet grooming place, eventually started his own business and now has a highly rated TV show.

And he takes care of his business too, turning himself into a brand

"This is not a flash-in-the-pan sort of thing," said Jim Milio, one of the three founders of MPH Entertainment, which produces Mr. Millan's show along with Emery/Sumner Productions, and who has helped to guide Mr. Millan's efforts to build an ambitious business enterprise. "This is not one year and he's gone. We're making him into a long-lasting brand," with more books and videos and dog-training aids and, well, who knows?

It was thanks to the efforts of his producers, for example, that Mr. Millan kept all the home video and foreign syndication rights to his television show. That has allowed him to create, in addition to the 10-hour complete collections, which retails for nearly $50, several shorter collections that will be widely available for less than $10 each. Wal-Mart and Sam's Club are expected to feature them at the front of their stores.

Milan basically says: act and think like you are boss, (projecting the calm and "assertive" energy) make dog submit -- heel or lie down, wait till animal is relaxed, then lead it to do stuff you want it to do, do over and over again.

It isn't about fancy tricks, it is about getting fido to quit yapping at the mailman and the other dogs at home.
The energy flow stuff, sounds silly but makes sense, reality is that dogs pick up quickly on body language showing fear, nerves,hostility -- and they will most likely not obey you.

Working with Americans and their dogs, he said, "I was surprised and a little confused by what I saw." Where he grew up, in Culiacan, Sinaloa, in Northwest Mexico, "everybody walks dogs," Mr. Millan said during a recent visit to New York. "But where I am from, the dog is always behind. Here the dog is always in front. I thought maybe you guys were doing it right and we were doing it wrong. Because to me America is the country where everybody is always doing it right. I thought you knew and we were wrong."

He quickly discovered: no. Americans were letting the dogs, rather than the humans, be the pack leaders, in almost every respect. "Americans work against Mother Nature, and that's why dogs don't listen to the general population of America," he said. "Why are dogs growing up on a farm much happier than a dog living in the city? Because on a farm, it gets to be a dog. And in the city they become a child, they become a husband, they become a soul mate. They become something the human wants before they are willing to do what is best for them."

"It's like cowboys," he said. "They grow up around the horse and the cow; they are not afraid of them. You can be a huge dog lover, you can have a passion for it, but that doesn't mean you can develop the strong assertive state of mind that is required to be around hard-core cases. These cases I work with, they are coming after me........What makes you become a pack leader is being in a calm, assertive state 100 percent of the time."