Pack of Lies

I found this article on the New York Times opinion page from 2006 on how Cesar Millan has set dog training back 40 years. While my policy is to never criticize any individual, I do view the ‘Dog Whisperer’ as a detriment to the field causing humane issues for animals that need to be addressed. Also, it’s bite prevention week, and in my experience, I have seen many serious bites to well meaning dog owners who have tried to mimic Mr. Millan’s methods.

Mr. Millan brings his pastiche of animal behaviorism and pop psychology into millions of homes a week. He’s a charming, one-man wrecking ball directed at 40 years of progress in understanding and shaping dog behavior and in developing nonpunitive, reward-based training programs, which have led to seeing each dog as an individual, to understand what motivates it, what frightens it and what its talents and limitations are. Building on strengths and working around and through weaknesses, these trainers and specialists in animal behavior often work wonders with their dogs, but it takes time.

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