Wednesday, December 5, 2012

So much to catch up on - we'll start with Cesar Millan Live

I haven't written a blog post in almost 2 months! I think that's the longest I've ever gone not writing anything. 2012 has been the worst year of my life, no doubt about it - I've slept the whole year away - my thyroid has stopped working and I've recently had to start taking insulin for my diabetes - but that has nothing to do with Cesar Millan.

He was in town yesterday - finishing off his cross Canada tour - so I went against the grain amongst all the people I know and actually went to his show.

A few of the positive local dog trainers put on a concurrent event called "No disclosure" that everyone I know went to - giving people another option other than Cesar - where people could learn about and have their dog training questions answered for free which was an awesome thing to do - they held it at Dalhousie University and I heard they had a wonderful turnout.

I however went to Cesar's show - I was saying that I went there to "bear witness" - what it was was a "love in" for the people who went there - at the end of the evening when Cesar was finishing up the people in the audience actually starting yelling "WE LOVE YOU CESAR!!" Can you imagine 6,000 Canadians yelling that to a 5 foot man? I wanted to cry - he had really whipped the crowd up into quite a frenzy by that point.

The show that Cesar actually put on last night really wasn't a talk about dog training - he came out at the beginning like a rock star - with flashing lights, loud music and a whole bunch of fan fare - and it just got more exciting from there.

We never learned any tips really on how to train our dogs - but we did learn that in order to live a happy life we need to get in touch with our inner happiness and we need to be content with ourselves.

We also learned that Cesar has a new show starting up on Nat Geo Wild where he went to Europe for 6 months and rescued dogs - and three people per episode had to compete for a rescued dog - and at the end of the episode - one person got to take that rescued dog home. It's going to be very exciting and we all were shown several clips from the upcoming new series - and we all should look out for it.

We also learned that Cesar is a much more sensitive man than he used to be - in 2010 he was on top of the world, and then Daddy died - which almost killed him, which we can all relate to - but then a couple months later his wife asked him for a divorce - which then really threw him for a spiral - and soon after he attempted suicide. He only went public with this last month when a one hour biopic about him was shown on Nat Geo Wild - but going through that has really shown him things and made him the man he is today.

He has a passion in life - which is telling people the importance of spaying and neutering animals - and also about the rescuing animals. It is now his mission in life now to save animals across the world - he said that 4-6 million dogs across America are killed every year - but 600 million are killed around the world - and he wants to help stop that.

So that is really interesting.

How can you put down a man who says that he's made it his mission in life to preach the spaying and neutering of animals and to facilitate the rescuing of animals?

We have come upon quite a conundrum.

During the evening though, it was quite interesting - because while he was talking he said that he only came upon 3 actual aggressive dogs in his whole career - and one of them was a dog named Holly - and he asked the crowd what they thought the breed was - I knew immediately what dog it was because that is a very famous dog in the world of Cesar Millan dog cases - and he said it was a labrador retriever.

He was trying to show the crowd that pit bull dogs were not an aggressive dog I think - but really, he was exposing himself to the crowd for his bad habits - and he actually showed the 3 minute clip of when Holly bit him.

I'm going to show the 6 minute clip with the dog trainer breaking down all the things he does wrong.

Here it is -

When he was talking - he said that it took him 9 minutes to take Holly to "submit" - he also said that Holly is part of his "pack" now - because the owners had grown too fearful of her - so Holly now belongs to him.

So - after watching him for 2 hours - he is magnetic - he talked about growing up in Mexico - and then coming to America, and his life and how he trains dogs and rehabilitates them - I would love to hang out with him - but I wouldn't want him to train any of my dogs - because even when he's talking with such fervour about how he wants to save dogs and all that junk - he then goes into a diatribe about how he doesn't kick dogs - it's just a "touch" to distract and wake them up.

I sense that he has changed his techniques a little bit over the years - maybe he has softened up a bit - he talked about how in his travels for his tv show he learned things like that in Puerto Rico dogs are thrown off a bridge to kill them as a type of euthanasia, and that in Spain dogs are hanged as a form of euthanasia - I think those things have really opened his eyes to the world of suffering that dogs have to go through - and he really wants to make change in the world.

But I don't know that his core beliefs have changed - that dogs need to be dominated, that they need to be put down and alpha rolled, and stared down, and have permission in order to do anything.

I have written blog posts over the years about Cesar where I talked about the fact that Cesar has said that dogs don't need love, that the main technique that he uses - flooding - is not an appropriate training technique for most types of dogs and why communication is so much better than domination.

Cesar comes off as really touchy-feely, I really hope that his budding altruistic tendencies will cross over to his rehabilitation work and he will embrace a more positive take in how he looks at his relationship with the dogs he deals with.

He obviously has a lot of love inside his body - I really hope that he can start giving it to the sentient beings that he has dedicated his life to.


  1. What concerns me is that he is in the presence of dogs more than most people and if he has not recognized that dogs are sentient beings that are to be related to and not dominated, then at what point would you expect that to realization to kick in? It's a shame really,as he has such charisma and some things right, but because he has so much fundamentally wrong (domination)in the long run he will most likely do more to make dogs lives miserable than he will ever do to make them better. People like this can actually be more dangerous to their cause. By the way...sorry to hear you have been having such a rough time. Here's hoping things will shift for the better for you soon.

  2. Anonymous10:04 AM

    awesome post as usualy Joan..Some newspaper really should hire you for free lancing...

  3. Thanks for posting the full video for a bit of context Joan.