I watched yesterday's episode of the Oprah show where she dedicated the entire episode to dogs - I had assumed, like I'm sure millions of other people had - that Cesar Millan was going to be on again, and I was wondering what kind of stuff he was going to say.
I'm not his biggest fan because I think his main technique that he uses is a technique called "flooding" - where you put a dog in a situation where he's terrified and uncomfortable and force him to get over his fear or die of fright right on the spot - and it's not a training method I agree with. I also think that his techniques can be miscontrued as bullying dogs - and that it gives people the authority to be mean and not give ANY love to their dogs or treat them humanely simply because he says that dogs don't need love in order to survive, and we here in the West give way too much love to our dogs and that's the main reason why we have such screwed up animals.
So I thought it was REALLY interesting that Oprah introduced the world yesterday to a new guru - a woman named Tamara who's written a book called "The Loved Dog" - and it's all about treating your dog like a family member - and Oprah said that she loved Tamara's ideals because she "thinks of her dogs as being like family members" - which is in stark contrast to Cesar's ideals - and it was almost like she was slapping him in the face. I was rather blown away, actually. The woman did everything but talk in baby talk to Oprah's dogs to be in contrast to Cesar. It was really awe inspiring.
I don't think that this Tamara person will become the celebrity like Cesar did because there's so many people who teach what she does a lot better than what she demonstrated yesterday - Ian Dunbar, Jean Donaldson, Pat Miller, Patricia McConnell, Suzanne Clothier - they all talk about the same things that Tamara talked about - but they actually talk about it so that you can understand it and apply it with your dogs. Yesterday, Tamara didn't seem to really have a full grasp of what positive training REALLY was about - I was actually horrified when in one segment she used a water bottle to squirt a puppy in the face when he was barking too much. I mean - how old school is that? Yuck. SO unnecessary. If you love your dog - you do NOT need to squirt him in the face with water to teach him something - unless you want to teach him that his owner has a very mean streak from time to time for no good reason at all.
So long story short - I'm very glad that Oprah has gotten off the Cesar band wagon - now if she'd only get ON the bsl band wagon, and puppy mill fight - we really MIGHT be able to do something about those things!