Cesar Millan

Born August 27th, 1969 in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, Cesar Filipe Millan grew up working with animals from an early age. He very soon proved to have an affinity with dogs that earned him the nickname el Perrero, “the dog boy.” He crossed the border into the US when he was 21 speaking no English and without a visa.


Over the years he worked as a limousine driver, dog groomer and probably a few other occupations to make ends meet.


I have been a big fan of his ever since I first saw his TV series that started back in 2004 going on until late 2012.


In 2009 he brought out his Cesar’s Way magazine in the US and Canada. With advice and articles on the relationship between dogs and humans it was a great success and an excellent reference tool for dog owners.


I know he has many critics both of himself as a person and of his methods, but from my own point of view as an owner of adopted dogs and still fostering for, Spanish Stray Dogs, I find that there is a place for his style of training.


A dog is for life


When you adopt, or foster, even when the centre has a past history of the dog you are taking on, it very often isn’t complete so you never know the full truth of the animals’ past. With some slowly and quietly is the way forward and others, without using a firm hand you will get nowhere.


Every dog is different and you need to assess them from the start to determine what is needed. I have had some that as stressed as they were at the rescue centre, within 24 hours of having them at my home they have been a completely different dog.


Dogs that were rescued off the streets seem to cope with life in a rescue centre far better than an owner surrendered dog, that has always known a family home and the love and security that brings.


Also when you have a dog from a pup and starting with a clean slate it is far easier to teach and train the animal with kindness and treats etc. It is far more difficult to deal with an animal that has been unfortunate enough to have started life with a bad owner.


I have 9 rescue dogs of my own at the present time and for the most part they all get along fine, but there are times when nothing but a firm hand will do and as Cesar Millan says you do need to be the pack leader as dogs after all are pack animals and it is what they understand.


I think also, that a lot of his critics are not allowing for the fact that for a TV program it is necessary to highly condense the training period shown to show the results from start to finish in an hour or so.


It highly distorts the training both in frequency and intensity. I think most people watching fully understand that things take weeks, even months to accomplish when dealing with animals.


I am not saying that other methods are wrong, for me it is a matter of applying whatever works best with a particular animal. All animals are individuals and should be treated as such.



On a final note if you are just at the stage of considering taking on a dog please think seriously of what dog is the right one for you. Not just by size, but by breed and temperament as well. Also seriously consider adopting an older dog especially if you are not able to give a young boisterous pup all the exercise it needs.


I would also ask that you adopt from a rescue centre, as there are many dogs in centres around the world that really do make wonderful pets given the chance.


They are there through no fault of their own, more often than not and many of them running out of time as not every centre operates a “NO KILL” policy unfortunately.




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