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?”