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Cesar Millan an equine guru??

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  • Cesar Millan an equine guru??

    Horses and dogs seem to go together. I'm sure many of you have watched the "Dog Whisperer". Have you all made a similar connection to Cesar Millan's canine philosophy and horses? I am sure Cesar Millan could make a mint in the horse industry if he wanted to. I am probably not the only horse person to make the connection between his canine training and our equine training methods. Certainly, dogs are predators and horses are prey, but the training methods regarding the animal psyche are connected. The common theme lies in being aware of your surroundings and having the timing to be able to make a correction at the first signs of distraction and then LET GO! so that the animal has the chance to understand the correction. Being a "calm and asserive pack leader" has credibility in the equine world as well as the canine world. I could go on, but I am more interested in all of your thoughts.
    "Pigs and horses are mortal enemies." K. Perkins

  • #2
    I only get the chance to watch the show sporadically (no cable in my house)... but I really like what I do get to see. I actually remember one episode where the dog owner was a horse person. He was able to connect with the owner the similarities in training techniques. It was very cool to watch.

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    • #3
      I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees this! I'm a big fan of Cesar and always think about this too.

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      • #4
        I thought I heard/read at some point that he and Parelli were going to do a show together... they were looking for dogs and horses that had problems with each other. Agressive towards each other and such...

        I am a huge fan of Cesar.
        We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
        www.dleestudio.com

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        • #5
          I love Cesar, I think he does a fantastic job with dogs, and I think he could do a fantastic job with horses. It seems to me that if you have determined how to be the alpha with a species like a dog (who can obviously be strong, aggressive, and very ADD) you can transfer it to many different animals. It would be very interesting to watch him work with a horse.
          It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.

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          • #6
            I like the fact that he's no-nonsense and is quite blunt about placing the blame where it belongs: directly on the owners.

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            • #7
              There is a definite parallel!

              I too love Cesar (watch his show whenever possible, and strongly urge my "dog clients" to watch him; I'm an obedience trainer with PetsMart.) His points are very logical, and his philosophy extremely useful for training herd and pack mammals, period! (I actually find that I *instinctively* do a lot of what he does with the dogs, as well as with the people in my dog classes. And it echoes what I do with my own horse *and* my student's horses--though my training does tend to be much more "reward based", and I use praise more than he does, on the whole...)

              It really is all about being the "leader" (of the pack/herd), and Cesar is right: 99.9% of the time, the owners/trainers/"pet parents" are to blame for their animals' behavior issues.

              (It's great when the people "get it" though, finally. Very gratifying to see, and I especially love it because the animal is always the one who benefits the most. )
              "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

              "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

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              • #8
                Cesar is what the Buddhists call a Bodisatva, one who dies and returns to earth to just do good deeds. His philosophy can be applied to almost anything. We hardly miss a show
                RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

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                • #9
                  guru?

                  Everytime I watch his show I see him using excessive force to "train." I personally don't believe that kicking a dog in the head repeatedly to get it's attention is necessary. Positive reinforcement goes a long way to train dogs and horses. Let the flaming begin...

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                  • #10
                    I think he does fabulous work HOWEVER I have 2 points of contention.

                    1. is the show format. I KNOW there are people out the who watch the show and then try it on their or someone else's dog. It just a normal end result. But many of the dogs featured and the reform process to 'fix' these issues are actual complex. It requires people to know what the heck they are doing. For example: Betty Sue has a mutt. Mutt has an aggression problem. Betty watches the show and catches an episode of a dog with a similar issue. Betty thinks she can do that with her dog. So she gives it a whirl but because the show was not specific enough on dealing with said issue and there may have been other factors that show editors clipped out in order to pack said episode in 30 minutes, Betty ends up stressing the dog out and making issues worse. So if Cesar wants to HELP dog owners, he needs to be a wee bit more specific. Turn the show into a 'clinic'/lesson. Oh and we all don't have dog helpers so what's a person to do then.

                    2. If the dog is screwed up (mentally, training, whatever) there is a point of no return. Sometimes it's just better to put the dog down. Why? Because not all dogs are in perfect world situations. This pertains to aggressive biting dogs. I saw a show where two rotties were getting to the aggressive biting stage. Well you can put those 2 dogs into the perfect training world but still- if the owner loses control (environment situation) or maybe has to give up dogs and they end up in another inexperienced owner situation- agression IS going to return. This is a no win situation for the dogs or the poor adult or god forbid child who is inevitably going to be near the dogs at the wrong time. So Cesar gives these folks a false sense of hope for some desperate owners where the best idea- although saddest idea- should be to just put the aggressive dogs to sleep.

                    The only correlation I see between dog training and horse training is: that both species can be and need to be trained and that voice training is beneficial. Not seeing much correlation between methods though. I mean you could I guess use treats to train you horse but I wouldn't. Nor would I lunge my dog- lol.

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                    • #11
                      We love to watch the show, but it usually results in our Westie barking at the TV! Maybe we need Cesar to help us with barking so we can watch his show!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by maxdog View Post
                        Everytime I watch his show I see him using excessive force to "train." I personally don't believe that kicking a dog in the head repeatedly to get it's attention is necessary. Positive reinforcement goes a long way to train dogs and horses. Let the flaming begin...
                        Um, I must have missed that episode because I have NEVER seen him kick a dog in the head. Can you please cite which episode/dog that was. I would like to see it before I can make any comment.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by maxdog View Post
                          Everytime I watch his show I see him using excessive force to "train." I personally don't believe that kicking a dog in the head repeatedly to get it's attention is necessary. Positive reinforcement goes a long way to train dogs and horses. Let the flaming begin...
                          I have heard this criticism of Cesar before and resolved to be mindful of it when watching the shows, which we do quite frequently at our house. I have never seen him "kick" a dog in the head. I have seen him use his heel to briefly touch/poke at the back end of a dog (usually a dog who has more severe aggression or dominance issues) while walking the dog in order to get its attention diverted from whatever stimulus was making it ramp up. If this is what you are describing, then using the phrase "repeatedly kicking a dog in the head" does not fairly describe what he's doing.

                          As to people trying his methods at home without expert supervision, each show has multiple warnings about NOT trying this at home without the guidance of a professional. No matter how many times you warn some people, they will go ahead and try it anyway because of their own hubris or disregard (think of cautions to not let kids operate 4-wheelers, etc. and all the other warnings we see in our daily lives) sometimes with an adverse outcome. Can't really tag Cesar or his show with responsibility for that when they are doing what they reasonably can to educate people about the risks of trying out the methods without the assistance of a dog training professional.

                          Just my 2 cents.
                          Last edited by It'sintheMomBag; Jan. 17, 2009, 09:56 AM. Reason: Obsessive proofreader

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by maxdog View Post
                            Everytime I watch his show I see him using excessive force to "train." I personally don't believe that kicking a dog in the head repeatedly to get it's attention is necessary. Positive reinforcement goes a long way to train dogs and horses. Let the flaming begin...
                            We rarely miss a show and I have yet to see this. Tapping a dog with a foot to get his attention is very different from "kicking a dog in the head repeatedly" There is no flaming involved, you must be watching a different show.
                            RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                            "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

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                            • #15
                              Many people don't like Cesar since he puts affection down the list from exercise and discipline. We all know dogs that can use a lot more exercise to contain their exhuberance and thus their poor behavior!
                              Dogs are pack animals that respect the pack leader and horses are herd animals that respect the herd leader so we need to maintain the role with both animals in order to acheive our goals with them.
                              I have also heard him say that some dogs cannot be rehabilitated and should be put down and he has in his own pack, dogs that are not suitable to going back to thier owners so he has kept them. He ahs the skills and patience to keep those dogs under control and out of trouble, not all of us could do the same.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by copper1 View Post
                                Many people don't like Cesar since he puts affection down the list from exercise and discipline. We all know dogs that can use a lot more exercise to contain their exhuberance and thus their poor behavior!
                                Dogs are pack animals that respect the pack leader and horses are herd animals that respect the herd leader so we need to maintain the role with both animals in order to acheive our goals with them.
                                I have also heard him say that some dogs cannot be rehabilitated and should be put down and he has in his own pack, dogs that are not suitable to going back to thier owners so he has kept them. He ahs the skills and patience to keep those dogs under control and out of trouble, not all of us could do the same.

                                I agree. I think the thing he is most opposed to is irresponsible owners that put down "problem dogs". My current Rottie is just 2....I got her at 10 weeks old when her "owners" decided to put her down since they wanted a Shitzu instead of a Rottie.

                                There is a beagle puppy (about 10 weeks old) looking for a home whose owners abandoned him at doggie daycare because they decided they wanted a bigger dog.

                                People buy a large active strong breed who have NEVER had a dog....or worse, rescue such a dog without the skills to take on such a rescue (who is going to be tougher)...and then are surprised when the dog starts having issues. Or a little fufu dog that never has had anysort of training....and are surprised when little fufu picks fights with bigger dogs getting little fufu hurt.

                                He isn't afraid to tell people they are the problem.....taking on a dog they shouldn't have, not doing what a responsible dog owner should do. Positive reinforcement is good...but it doesn't work for all dogs and all issues. I watch that show....and am shocked by some of the absolute lack of common sense that some people have.
                                ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                                • #17
                                  Here comes another flame-worthy comment:

                                  The GOOD natural horsemanship people, meaning the ones who are not nutballs or exploitative greedy jerks, generally follow the same principles that Cesar follows: understand how the animal is hard-wired, understand how that particular species structures itself and keeps order in the wild, and then use it for the good of the animal. And to Cesar Milan's credit, he openly admits that that's all he's doing and that it takes extensive training *in the presence of a professional* before it can be safely replicated by an amateur and that it doesn't require any kind of special gadget. If only all of our NH practitioners operated that way.

                                  However, Cesar also openly acknowledges that horses and dogs are different. Yes, they share the desire for a calm and assertive pack leader, but the way that pack leader responds to an unbalanced subordinate is not the same. Cesar, who grew up around horses, has alluded to this on the show.
                                  Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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                                  • #18
                                    jn4jenny - would just say that the GOOD nh people are just good horsemen to begin with. Good horsemen have always worked with the horse and shaped it from the horse's own inclinations. Good horsemanship solves 90% of the problem; the remaining 10% might indeed benefit from the advice of a good nh, or some sort of specialist. You don't need fancy hoola hoops and lead ropes; you also have to realistic about what you want from the horse --is it a fantasy to make up for the loneliness in your life (which we all suffer from in greater/lesser degrees) or are you acting in the best interests of the animal, with its natural limitations and talents?

                                    I love watching Cesar b/c it's nice to see a realistic approach to animals, and it underscores the realistic relationship you have to have with them -- vs. treating them like a stuffed toy...

                                    And agree with Super STB -- a little printed disclaimer at the bottom of the TV screen doesn't offset the ellipses of the show. Like, how much repetition -- like, a ton of it, people!! -- is needed to replace an ingrained behavior; like using sharp! jerks on the leash to get the attn; making the animal somewhat fatigued for compliance. Not against any of this, but these are tools for the expert who know how much is the right amount. Not tools for someone who's style is to be sweet on their pet... And, at the end of the day, how much the person needs to be disciplined with themselves to make the dog a success.

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                                    • #19
                                      What always cracks me up is a certain dog food ad they run, often during his show. It shows a woman with a golden retriever that jumps up on her to the point of knocking her off balance and runs rampant like a wild thing, while she says something along the lines of "oh, my sweet doggie - it's the special dog food that gives him this wonderful energy..."

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                                      • #20
                                        Cyberbay and Jn4Jenny -- great posts. Very well said.

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