Animal Advocates

Is Cesar Milan Being Unfairly Judged? You Decide

While many animal lovers are outraged after an episode of Cesar Millan’s NatGeo television show, Cesar 911, wherein a dog, with a known history of attacking and killing pigs, was allowed off-leash in close proximity to several of them, ultimately resulting in a bloody scene and injured pigs (see the full story and video here), an equal number of people are stepping up in support of Cesar Millan and his training methods.

Many have said Milan made an honest mistake, that putting an animal in danger is out of character for the self-proclaimed “Dog Whisperer,” and that he’s being unfairly judged for this “one-time incident.”

Take a look at the videos below and decide for yourself.

Cesar Milan and Holly:

What happened to Holly, the food-aggressive Labrador? Holly was NOT “rehabilitated” by Millan’s training methods and was eventually surrendered by her family to Milan’s Dog Psychology Center. Despite the very clear, very obvious signals that she was uncomfortable, an incredible amount of warning she gave before biting, Millan continued antagonizing the dog. Holly will now always be labeled a biter and a dangerous dog. It is unclear whether she remains at the DPC today or whether she was eventually euthanized as some have reported.

Cesar Milan & Shadow:

Original video of this episode, like many other episodes of Millan’s shows, has been removed from public view. The video above with commentary from trained and educated animal behaviorists explains exactly what happened. It is very hard to watch.

So, what happened to Shadow after his training session with Millan was over? Shadow’s owner reported that her dog was traumatized by the events that day. He became more aggressive, eventually biting her. Shadow was returned to the rescue from which he was adopted where rescuers discovered that the dog had been kicked, choked, alpha-rolled, dominated, and, as many would agree, abused by Millan for more than an hour before he finally bit back.

Although dominance-based, “pack-leader” style training was once considered an effective method of obedience training, modern, science and evidence-based trainers say Millan’s methods turn dogs into ticking time bombs:

Supporters of the controversial trainer repeatedly argue that Millan would never intentionally put an animal in danger, that he’s helped thousands of dogs with his methods.

In fact, Millan has done a lot of good for dogs including advocating for Pit Bulls in the fight against breed specific legislation, speaking out and educating the public about puppy mills, and promoting spay and neuter to prevent pet overpopulation. But, so have a lot of others that don’t claim to be dog trainers.

However, if the self-taught trainer’s methods are so effective and appropriate for every dog, why then does NatGeo make a very clear disclaimer at the beginning and several times throughout each episode of his shows to “not try this at home?”

 

 

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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Stefanie O'Brien

    Mar 18, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Great Youtube video by Pawfessor Gage Dog Training about selecting a dog trainer.
    https://youtu.be/swHldtdCn9s

  2. Rosemarie Roberts

    Mar 14, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    I totally disapprove of Cesar Milan’s method of training. I always did!!!!!

  3. Sherrill

    Mar 14, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    It was an accident. What is shown on TV doesn’t represent the entire process or the show would go on for hours. Caesar may have expedited the training because of filming. He certainly did not cause this intentionally. Critics need to get a grip. These are animals, not 15 year old humans. I hope he will take more precautions and more time with some of these dangerous cases. Frankly, I didn’t understand why this dog wasn’t removed from the farm environment and placed in a more appropriate environment and rehabbed for his new home. If they really valued their pigs and other animals, I thought the owners were nuts to even try to keep this dog. No one can be there 24/7, and I personally would never trust the dog again. Caesar does so much good and his methods are so humane compared to other trainers I have heard about, I would never condemn his for this incident.

  4. Bonny

    Mar 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    This training excerise on this husky wasnt done right with that leash that choked him,and he keeps pulling it upward i dont think he realized at the time what he was doing wrong,but yes he has done good with other dogs,i watched him on tv today it was a rerun but he did good without harming the dogs any ill admit he needed more time with the dog to get to know it better not rush into doing what happened to this scared dog who was trying to protect its self,

  5. Pete,Van

    Mar 12, 2016 at 8:40 am

    All dogs act differently to training, In have had dogs for 30 years,proper training with proper rewards is the way to go.
    I adopted 2 seven year old dogs last year,the sanctuary said they had a habit of peeing on everything, I spent the first 5 days taking them out every 2 hours then rewarding them when they went outside ( not treats, just patting them and speaking in a positive voice). Haven’t had any problems. Aggressive ,bullying tacticics are something I don’t like or agree with,you can get the same or better results with love.

  6. Gravel Gerty

    Mar 12, 2016 at 1:28 am

    I would love to see this scammer shut down completely. My aunt used to love watching his show because he was so ‘reward based’ and didn’t use violence or force with the dogs. One afternoon, we were watching and he kicked a dog so hard I thought I could hear it’s ribs breaking. My aunt could not believe what she had just witnessed. Needless to say, that’s the last time she ever watched the show, and she had me sending emails to Nat. Geo Wild trying to get him off the air, way back, about 15 years ago. The only reason she’s not still doing it is because she passed away 10 years ago. I can honestly say that I hate this man and the methods he uses too mistreat these beautiful animals. I think I’m also beginning to understand why he and his wife got divorced. Maybe she was about to turn him into the powers that would do something??? Who really knows, but I wish someone with some power at Nat. Geo would grow a pair of balls, and get “dominant” on Mr. Milan, and fire his dishonest ass right off television!

  7. CORINE

    Mar 12, 2016 at 12:23 am

    I have watched these video’s and read the articles and was was totally unaware of these methods he uses. I definitely think it’s abusive and he goes way over the threshold. I would never apply these methods unless possibly in a life or death situation. First he antagonizes the dog to get a certain reaction and them uses extreme punishment when the dog reacts ! Like the husky he was walking on a leash and the dog complying til Caesar KICKED the in the belly or ribs! The dog then reacted and got punished. Chocking a dog out and kicking are not good training methods. These are not dumb brutes…they are intelligent beings who will react to the way they are treated……Just as People do !

    • Cricket Bowser

      Mar 15, 2016 at 4:56 am

      I totally agree with you. What kind of person would stand for that man mistreating their pet in their face?
      An associate of mine accompanied me to the very to help me with my 3 dogs. I had two, she had one. She snatch the lead on the one she had,. Before I knew it I’d kicked her in her bark. Still don’t feel bad about it. I old her don’t ever try to rule over my babies & she knew how I was before that happened.
      I’m really glad he wasn’t with my babies, cause it would have been owner abuse or attack on the dog whisperer!
      I don’t play when it comes to my babies & will call the police on you if you mistreating yours.

  8. Angela

    Mar 11, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    I used to like watching his videos! This made me sick watching that poor husky!!! I agree with the non supporters, there are better ways to train dogs, not through violent traumatizing acts. I will never support this man or watch his shows!!!!

  9. kathy bowden

    Mar 11, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    I would rather work with Victoria Stilwell than him. Several years ago I watch a video of him disciplining a dog by choking him so bad that the dog passed out.

  10. Charli

    Mar 11, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    As a canine behavior specialist and trainer, I have to say that the amount of people standing up for him have about as much education regarding dogs as Cesar Milan does. If you keep up with the scientific evolution of dogs you know that his methods are extremely outdated and dangerous.
    Years ago people beat their children, spanked their children, withheld dinner and a ton of other unthinkable punishments. But thankfully with the scientific evolution of humans, they have found that these methods give the appearance of “correcting” the unwanted behaviors and create a myriad of deep emotional repercussions.
    So to all of you Cesar fans – because after all it’s just a guy on tv pretending to be a professional – do some research on positive reinforcement methods. You’ll be surprised how wrong you are and how dangerous he is to the welfare of all of these dogs that he’s laid his hands on.
    By the way – keep in mind that what you see on tv is only a smidgen of what really goes on behind closed doors 🙁

    • Rm

      Mar 12, 2016 at 10:49 am

      Ha..ha! Years ago, when horrible parents spanked their children, those children wouldn’t school shootings were unheard off, nor the killing of one’s parents. It is the permissive, lazy attitude that doesn’t recognize that each child is different as each dog is different and so methods of proper discipline are varied. One should keep an open mind and use what is appropriate to train children and animals. People love to give themselves fancy titles to impress. The dog whisperer didn’t give himself that title. He accepted it when called that by so many. Because of his methods, my pack and me avoided being attacked twice by loose pitbulls, once by a couple of mastiffs that were charging us, and once one unidentified breed that was loose trying to intimidate us on our walk. – I figured that a lot of trainers would be jealous of Cesar Millan’s success and the money he made by trying to help people and their dogs, and so it turns out to be. Shame on all of you, who so self-righteously claim your method is the only right one and are quick to judge and condemn a man that has had much success with dogs. They say his training is a time bomb..? Well, all the dogs I have rescued and reconditioned by his (and other methods when appropriate), have lived out their lives in my care, happy and healthy, never biting anyone, though some had been quite vicious when I got them.

      • MeeMee Craig

        Mar 16, 2016 at 2:17 am

        Agree 100%. I have seen Cesar Millan gain control of dogs that were in red zone and he did it within minutes. I would like to see some of these Victoria Stilwell types do that with a cookie!!

      • Naguro

        Mar 17, 2016 at 3:42 pm

        Do you seriously think school shootings just magically didn’t happen because kids were spanked? Or maybe it’s because school shootings have become more prominent as Americans become a nation filled with gun fetishism and corrupt media presence?

        For ever child that has been spanked there are hundreds and thousands that have developed serious physical and psychiatric problems from spanking. You don’t spank your spouse, your coworker or anyone else when they do soemthing wrong so why spank your child, who is especially more prone to getting hurt from being spanked?

        The same goes for dogs, there is no such thing as “some” dogs needing dominance training and others don’t. Dominance training by itself is outdated and flawed, much like spanking your child. You are more likely to inhibit negative behavoirs or make the negative behaviors worse via dominace training. Your dog is not a wolf, it is not trying to dominante you; in fact even wolves do not employ the same garbage methods Cesar does on each other.

        Cesar has been banned from the UK as his methods are considered outdated animal cruelty; I can only hope for the same in America.

      • C. H. Graham

        Mar 21, 2016 at 3:49 pm

        I agree with you. Many of these self proclaimed professional dog trainers never had to deal with a real dedicated spoiled dog…Cesar has.. and so have I.. with both horses and dogs.I am just a nobody.. I dont proclaim anything. I have spent a great deal of my life reschooling spoiled horses.. Horse that would otherwise been put down as they were damaged so badly both physical and psychologically by humans they trusted no one. Sometimes harsher methods have to be used.. Not beating etc.. You need to regain trust and a connection in order to gain any ground.. Dogs are not much different ( some are very damaged)..and it is people who do these things. Sometimes you have to push a dog so far to find his breaking point and watch what and how the reaction is.. then you begin to work on the problem.. I was hurt very bad and had to be hospitalized
        and almost died because a horse who was so badly spoiled and hated humans almost killed me

    • Dee

      Mar 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      Charli, “If you keep up with the scientific evolution of dogs”, “But thankfully with the scientific evolution of humans”…..you seriously did not go there? You might want to educate yourself before posting asinine comments in the future.
      And Cesar Milan is not ‘pretending’ to be a professional, he ‘is’ a professional….invest in a dictionary.

  11. Gloria White

    Mar 11, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I could cry at the abuse that I see here. There are many methods that are out there when it comes to training dogs and I don’t agree that just because something works, that it is okay to do it. A question to ask is this, “Have you ever seen Cesar actually train a dog to do anything?” Training based on positive reinforcement and training that is based on a relationship between owner and dog is what is most important. It takes time and patience – not force and pain. As a professional dog trainer, I abhor what I see in these videos. There is no evidence of training.

  12. Julie Noel Devlin

    Mar 11, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    He may be defending himself or frustrated with his own fame. It is true so I have to say he should retire

  13. Donna Alexander

    Mar 11, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Keep following this man and putting your animals into his hands you mindless zombies. In the end if you do not stand up to animal cruelty more and more animals are injured, put down, or are terrorized by this man. Oh, when will people wake up?!

  14. Monica

    Mar 11, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    I support ceasar.I don’t think he’s mistreating animals.

  15. Diane

    Mar 11, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    IT IS AMAZING THAT CESAR HASN’T SUED YOU FOR DEFORMATION OF CHARACTER.
    I THINK HE IS ABOVE THIS AS I T ISN’T WIRTG HIS TIME FOR PETTY EVEN MEAN ACCUSATIONS. I HAVE SPENT A LIFE TIME RESCUING DOGS AND HORSES. MANY BECAUSE PEOPLE LIKE YOU. YOU CONDEMNE SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY REHABILITATED DOGS WHO OTHER TRAINERS SAID TO PUT DOWN!!!
    Have you EVER watched a mother dog disapline her rambunctious pup? SHE BITES IT IN THE NECK IMMEDIATELY, WITHIN 3 SECONDS, similar to Cesar imatates the same to unruly dogs! What happens? The dog rethinks, with it’s CANINE BRAIN, “OH I GUESS MY “PACK LEADER” AS IN THE WOLF (CANINE) FAMILY, DOESN’T WANT ME TI DO THIS! This is replicating NATURE. These now SCIENTIFIC METHODS ARE FOR A DOGS? THEY MAY WORK ON VERY SUBMISSIVE EASY GOING DOGS. DOGS WHO ARE MORE DOMINANT THEN THEIR HUMAN .. THAT IS THE RECIPE FOR TROUBLE OR INJURIES!!!

    • Gravel Gerty

      Mar 12, 2016 at 1:37 am

      Diane, I certainly hope you are a better animal rescuer than you prove yourself to be at the basic skill of spelling. You sound very uneducated and even a bit delayed. You cannot back up your accusations with proof, so you use cap lock to “shout louder”? How childish. Anyone who resorts to those tactics doesn’t have the skill to properly rescue themselves, certainly not a segment of animals who are sick, stressed, and otherwise needing more help than you are able to give. You talk about dominance like you know what it means, much like Mr. Milan. Both of you are mistaking a fear response (of him and his shoddy methods) for his behaving dominantly. I think you are a joke.

  16. darlene mcpheeters

    Mar 11, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    hang in there Cesar , I’d like to have seen what they would have done , until then they have no right to say anything

    • Brandy Arnold

      Mar 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      What would I have done… well, for starters, the dog would have been handsomely rewarded and reinforced when he remained calm around the pigs while on leash. Second, I would have made sure there was a safety barrier between the known pig killer and the pigs – either a fence or a muzzle – before letting him off leash. Third, at the very first sign of agitation, I would have removed the dog from the situation and worked more slowly to introduce him.

  17. L Allen

    Mar 11, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Milan has no training skills, only cruel methods attacking dogs. He recently hanged a Husky. Such pseudo macho misuse of a dog proves Milan is the one with a vicious temperament.
    Get this ugly person off TV and try him for years of cruelty.

  18. alicia

    Mar 11, 2016 at 11:24 am

    I do not agree to mistread a dog in such a dangerous way that you can kill him there are a lot of better ways

  19. Marta Young

    Mar 11, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Many have said Milan made an honest mistake, that putting an animal in danger is out of character for the self-proclaimed “Dog Whisperer,” and that he’s being unfairly judged for this “one-time incident.”

    I could understand if he had set this up with the dog muzzled -or- he had placed the dog back onto a leash after the first time the dog took off after the pigs. Then it could be brushed off as an ‘honest mistake’. However, this was neither a safe nor well controlled set up. The pig was clearly restrained until the dog was in its vicinity, presumably for the ‘entertainment purposes’ of the show. This is animal baiting. In any other forum, with a different face attached to the incident, these same supporters would be crying out in defense of the animals. He may not intend to harm the animals, but his training techniques are outdated and his notions of how dogs think and why they react the way they do have been disproven by multiple scientific studies. Its time to stop the dissemination of this misinformation, for the good of dogs and the people they live with.

  20. Eleanor Minturn

    Mar 11, 2016 at 10:03 am

    I support Cesar. It was a very interesting video. It is good to see that there are times when training goes wrong.
    If Cesar had not tried, the dog would have been put down.

    • Kristine

      Mar 11, 2016 at 11:00 am

      If cesar have not tried the owner would have gone to a more positive trainer and the dog would not have been set up for failure and would NOT have bit the poor pig!!!!

      He caused it! He is a menace in dog training and it is time he is stopped and removed from TV and all media.

      • Jean

        Mar 11, 2016 at 4:24 pm

        He has rehabilitated many many dogs. If he hadn’t done what he does their would be more dogs put down. I have seen trainers come to him for help, so he must be doing something right. He also WORKS with a lot of trainers from around the country. All I know the methods he uses has worked with my dog.

        • Kristine

          Mar 12, 2016 at 7:53 am

          He has not rehabilitated anything.
          All he does is bully and abuse dogs in the name of training and entertainment. He suppressed the behaviour temporarily for the dogs to become ticking time bombs. Once he’s gone the behaviour in most dogs came back and become worse too.
          But by then the cameras are gone so the general public doesn’t see it.

    • Kiley Baricevic

      Mar 11, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      I totally agree we all have done stupid things while trying to train our dogs because there is no clear way there is no one way to do it.

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