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View Poll Results: What are your opinions of the Dog Whisperer?

84. You may not vote on this poll
  • I have watched his show and totally agree with his methods

    61 72.62%
  • I have watched his show and totally disagree with his methods

    17 20.24%
  • I have never watched his show but have heard of him and agree with his methods

    2 2.38%
  • I have never watched his show but have heard of him and disagree with his methods

    2 2.38%
  • Who now???

    2 2.38%
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Thread: Dog Whisperer

  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran abuja's Avatar
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    Dog Whisperer

    I'm hoping to get a dog come winter, and have become very recently an avid follower of the Dog Whisperer. Can I get some opinions?
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  2. #2
    Registered User spygirl's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Whisperer

    I agree with SOME of his methods, not all. Every dog is different, so every training program is going to be different. Maybe in some microscopic way, but the program will be different.

    I AGREE with the fact that Americans tend to treat their dogs too much like people. They are not humans. They do not process thought like humans. Period. This is how you should train. You are the pack leader as the human, not the dog.

    I AGREE with the fact that you must be a strong leader when training dogs. Especially (most of the time) with working breeds. You must never give up. Bad behaviors can be fixed. But you need to teach the dog how to fix bad behaviors.

    I DISAGREE with the fact that he tends to use a lot of dominance with every single dog. Yes, it gets the job done BUT I think sometimes it's too much. Sometimes a softer touch is more effective.

    I AGREE with the fact that dogs need correction. They do learn from this.

    Point is, read and research lots of different trainers and their style. Patricia McConnell is just one off the top of my head. Learn about the different tools used for training and when it is appropriate to use them.

    When I train, I tend to use a blend of several styles. I think that's a serious issue with some of today's big name trainers. They tend to stick to their own style and refuse to try anything else.

    I also strongly encourage people to attend group training classes. The experience is usually very positive for dogs and if you can train a dog with a group, then you can train a dog anywhere.

    Hope that helps some. And good luck with finding a dog!
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  4. #3
    Don't Push My Buttons JLC's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Whisperer

    I haven't watched any of his shows, but I have read a book or two by him. And I agree with's not an all-or-nothing sort of decision to make. Some of his principles about dog behavior and society are sound...but his methods are often questionable.

    Another trainer you can watch on Animal Planet is Victoria Stillwell (It's Me or the Dog). She has the same principles as Caesar, but uses an entirely different method for training. I much, much prefer her methods. But there may be times when Caesar's more dominant/aggressive style would be more productive. As spygirl says, every dog is different. But in the long-run, I think Caesar's methods have far more risks of causing permanent damage to a dog...whereas Stillwell's methods won't damage, they just might not be as effective with some dogs.
    -- Judy

  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran Spaniard's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Whisperer

    I think Caesar has a great way of approaching the issues he encounters on his show. I've watched a lot of his episodes and I've never seen anything that made me question his methods.

    When it comes down to it I think he has a great understanding of the primal needs of dogs and how to correct common day issues by addressing those needs.

    Here is an episode on puppy mills that you can watch on Hulu. It shows some of the more patient techniques that Ceasar uses which don't involve the "Alpha" presence.
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  7. #5
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    Re: Dog Whisperer

    I agree with 90% of Ceaser's show. He does take different approaches for different dogs, but he is always the alpha, even if he's not aggressively dominant.

    The main thing I agree with on his shows is that he teaches the owners to behave properly with their dogs. If they don't change how they act towards the dog, the dog doesn't behave how they want it to. You don't train dogs, you train owners. Also you can teach a dog 100 tricks to do on command, and it doesn't mean your dog is trained, nor that you are doing it right.

    The entire "furkid" movement of making a dog into a person, rather than appreciating it for being a dog has always irked me. Dogs are not kids. Dogs shouldn't be treated as if they are human. Yes, you'll get individual dogs that adjust, but mainly they are much mroe happy as valued pets, rather than damaged humans.
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  9. #6
    Registered User Maize411's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Whisperer

    I agree with everything he describes! I even have his DVD box :0)
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  10. #7
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    Re: Dog Whisperer

    I do not agree with 95% of what he does - perhaps his theory is sound, but his methods leave a lot to be desired. Most dogs don't need to be "dominated", and as someone who assists with public obedience classes I've seen how Cesar's "methods" have trickled down to novice owners who have no business mimicking him. I can't tell you how many times people come in and talk about how they've tried Cesar's methods... I feel bad for many of those poor dogs, they do not deserve or need the things their owners do to them in the same of Cesar. After an 8 week course with US, and the dog is easily controlled without resorting to "dog whisperer" tactics - and the dog is actually happy to be be working for the owner.

    I am not a purely positive trainer - every dog learns differently - but IMO very few dogs truly learn from what Cesar puts them through. Flooding gets quick results, but what kind of a relationship do you build with a dog through flooding? Not a good one, that's for sure.

  11. #8
    BPnet Veteran frankykeno's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Whisperer

    I'm definitely on the fence about his methods (I was once an avid fan actually). While I do like his ideas about pack dynamics, about being a strong leader for your dog and treating your dog as a dog, I'm not always impressed with his methods. Granted we only do see snippets of whatever work he does with the dog so that's got to be taken into consideration.

    Personally I've recently begun using a very simple training concept - NILIF - nothing in life is free - with both my dogs and I can't believe how easy it is and the nice results we are seeing from it's consistent use. Basically it just encourages the dog to work for what it wants. If Bella or Marrok want to be patted for instance, they must be in a sit position. Anything else and it's a no go - no attention for hyper behaviours, pawing, climbing on us, etc. Only calm sitting gets the attention they want. Same with going out for a walk. If they want out, they have to sit quietly to have their walking collars/leashes put on. They might also get a very firm NO for unacceptable behaviours or a sharp leash correction depending on the circumstances.

    I think doing dominance rolling for certain dogs would cause a worse reaction than the behaviour you are trying to correct. It might work on some dogs but I think it's dangerous to think it works on all dogs or by just anyone doing it.

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  13. #9
    BPnet Veteran catawhat75's Avatar
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    Re: Dog Whisperer

    Quote Originally Posted by frankykeno View Post
    I think doing dominance rolling for certain dogs would cause a worse reaction than the behaviour you are trying to correct. It might work on some dogs but I think it's dangerous to think it works on all dogs or by just anyone doing it.

    Should NOT be done by 99% of people! I am right in line with Spygirls post, very well said.
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    Re: Dog Whisperer

    I haven't watched the show in a while because the people he is training irritate me. If they would use a little common sense and basic training they wouldn't need to call Caesar in the first place. Did you see the episode where the Lady got upset because he called her dog a *gasp* "dog"?

    Victoria Stillwell is okay but one thing that bothers me is no matter what the problem is, she won't allow the dog on the bed anymore. I am sorry but whether the dog sleeps with you or not has absolutely no bearing on behavior.

    Clicker training is gaining popularity too but I don't agree with it because I have seen dogs that are clicker trained and if that annoying clicker is not there the dogs seem to forget their training and you shouldn't need to carry something with you to have a well-behaved dog.

    I approach each dog differently, like my agility sheltie Mira, you get exited and praise her and she is happy, but her full sister Hana from a previous litter will get scared if you get act too happy and excited when she does what you want. I volunteer at an animal shelter, and do some of their grooming, some dogs I have to be dominant with while others you have to be gentle and encouraging. Then there are the ones you look at and go 'uh no, I am not opening the cage'.

    The biggest thing is starting the training right away and don't let bad behaviors pass because '(s)he's a puppy' or '(s)he's just adjusting to her/his new home' the little behaviors now are the big problems later, and younger/newer dogs tend to be easier to train because they don't know what to expect from you and how much they can get away with. Correcting behavior the first time will get better results than correcting it the fifth time. I have seen lots of little dogs with biting/aggression problems because when they were puppies they didn't cause damage or the owners thought it was cute and then the dogs are set in their ways when the people realize its a problem. Spending time on training, positive praise, and an occasional treat work pretty well, and if you don't have much experience with training a dog a competent trainer should be able to help you. Don't be afraid to shop around and ask questions, How long have they been training dogs? Do any of their dogs have obedience titles? See if you can watch a class. You want a trainer that is not afraid of telling you that you are doing something wrong. Some trainers will be afraid lose business and those that are in retail chain may worry that they will get in trouble with the boss. IMHO sometimes trainers will back off just to keep you coming back and paying, a good trainer will sometimes be blunt but the people need to know if they are messing up.
    I got lucky that I have a great trainer that is close, my best friend has been training with them for years and I started going there when I got Mira.

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