How Cesar Millan Teaches Us To Be Better Pet Parents
Years of experience have taught dog trainer Cesar Millan that sometimes the human is the one who really needs to be trained.
Cesar Millan is a world-renowned dog trainer — and for good reason. Over the years, Cesar has trained and rehabilitated thousands of dogs. But while Cesar has earned a reputation as an expert dog trainer, he doesn’t always get the credit he deserves for training humans, too. When Cesar meets aggressive or dangerous dogs, he often finds that the dogs aren’t actually mean or violent by nature. Instead, the dogs are typically responding to their owners’ fear, nervousness, or lack of leadership. So in order to rehabilitate the dogs, Cesar actually has to train the dog owners.
In his training sessions, Cesar emphasizes the need to become a strong pack leader that your dog can look up to and trust. But more often than not, Cesar encounters weak owners who are afraid of their dogs’ bad behavior or who don’t know how to properly interpret their dogs’ body language. Mr. Millan has shown dog owners all over the world how to exude the confidence, authority, and calmness that it takes to show your pup who is really in charge.
Let’s take a look at how Cesar Millan has trained the humans on past episodes of “Cesar 911.” If you pay close attention, you may notice some patterns regarding confidence and leadership. (Spoiler: these pet parents need a lot more of it!)
Tasi Vs. The Horses
As Tasi’s owner George says, “Being on the back of a 1,200-pound animal with a dog lunging at its throat was a disaster waiting to happen.” Luckily, Cesar arrived to intervene before anything too bad could happen. After watching Tasi’s aggressive and frantic behavior around the horses, Cesar realizes that Tasi isn’t actually the problem. The culprit is Tasi’s other owner, Marri.
While George is able to stay calm and stern during Tasi’s outbursts, Marri panics. She’s so afraid of her dog’s behavior that it makes her nervous around her pup. Tasi can sense that her owner is tense, so the dog attacks the horses because she believes Marri needs her protection. In short, Marri’s anxiety prevents her from communicating with Tasi correctly.
As an experienced animal trainer, Cesar knows that Tasi won’t make any progress until Marri can overcome her fear. He helps Marri do just that by having her walk a horse and Tasi at the same time. Despite her initial hesitation, Marri is able to keep Tasi calm and walk her dog and horse together. For this once terrified dog mom, this was a big step towards rehabilitating her relationship with her dog and improving Tasi’s overall behavior.
A Lesson In Confidence
As a fully grown Great Dane, Junior is a huge dog. In fact, male Great Danes can weigh up to 200 pounds! But while this breed is typically described as a gentle giant, Junior’s outbursts are proving to be too much for his owners, Leslie and Si, to handle. Since Junior has already inflicted a severe dog bite on another person and dragged Leslie to the ground, Cesar decides to keep Junior for his family’s protection until they prove they can control him.
But once again, the real problem isn’t Junior. It’s actually his pet parents. Leslie and Si have very little confidence around their dog and are smothering him with too much affection. Because of their lack of leadership, Junior doesn’t trust his owners and thinks he needs to protect them, thus prompting his vicious attacks. Since Cesar doesn’t seem to be getting through to Leslie and Si on his own, he calls in his toughest dog trainer, a former marine named Linn, to teach the mother and son a lesson in confidence.
After two weeks of working with Linn, Cesar is pleased to see that both Si and Leslie are much more confident around their dog. Instead of asking if she’s doing something wrong while on the verge of tears, Leslie is able to confidently control Junior. And once Junior sees that she is in charge, he no longer feels the need to attack others to protect her. This clip ends on a happy note because Cesar feels that Leslie and Si have made enough progress for Junior to return home.
Becoming The Pack Leader
Time and time again, Cesar has demonstrated how important it is to become the pack leader. This is why he prioritizes leadership and calm, assertive energy in his training methods. Dogs are extremely sensitive to the emotions of their owners, and react accordingly. But Ron, who owns a German Shepherd named Savannah, doesn’t realize how his tense energy is impacting his dog.
Ron is good at physically restraining Savannah, but under the surface, he is terrified that she will get into a dog fight or bite somebody. But while Ron is strong enough to hold his German Shepherd back when she lunges to attack, he can’t gain control of her mind until he learns how to communicate with her properly. Cesar sums it up perfectly when he tells Ron that “you can’t correct her if you don’t correct yourself.”
Ultimately, Ron needs to learn to become the pack leader, and Cesar invites Ron to his dog psychology center to learn how to do just that. Once Ron is able to assert himself as a capable leader, Savannah won’t feel like she needs to lash out to protect him. Cesar starts by teaching Ron simple exercises, such as how to make Savannah give him space. But then he really ups the ante by making Ron go outside of his comfort zone to lead a pack walk with the other dogs at the dog psychology center.
When Ron is walking Cesar’s pack, he is focusing on so many other dogs that he can’t think about what Savannah might be doing. Now that he isn’t overthinking, Ron’s confidence grows exponentially during the pack walk. By the end of the walk, Cesar is able to tether Savannah to another dog without incident. Thus, Ron’s fear of Savannah getting into a dog fight is no more and Ron learns the true meaning of leadership.
The Key Takeaway
Did you notice a pattern as you watched the examples from “Cesar 911?” Although these dogs seem like they might be bad to the bone, the real problem was their owners didn’t know how to be leaders or how to communicate with their dogs. In every scenario, Cesar had to teach the humans how to be the calm, confident, and assertive leaders that their dogs needed. So not only should Cesar Millan be celebrated for all the dogs he’s rehabilitated, but the work he’s done to help dog owners become better pet parents for their fur babies should also be commended.