Monday, February 8, 2010

The Dog Whisperer: Emily and Nicky

One of the great things about shows on channels like National Geographic is that they know when they have a hit, and they run with it.

Currently on Friday nights, they’re running up to two hours worth of “The Dog Whisperer,” and they’ve even gone so far as to stick two early half-hour episodes together to make a full hour.

In this case, the episode(s) in question followed two different dogs, Emily and Nicky, who both showed aggression towards other dogs. Both were also in Millan’s “Red Zone,” – which is the point at which a dog “wants to kill another dog.”

I can see why these two stories were put together thematically, as they both emphasized some of the same lessons, came to some of the same conclusions, and followed similar story arcs. To wit.

First, we met the dogs. Both were aggressive towards other dogs, and in the Red Zone.

In both cases, Millan suggested a stay at his dog psychology center, in order to integrate the dogs with other dogs.

In both cases, things seemed pretty much okay when Millan was walking the dogs around, but they tended to fall apart when the original owners took hold of the dog’s leash.

And finally, after their stay, both dogs seemed much less aggressive, and the owners had a tearful moment as their dog came back.

But here’s what I learned:

Owners need to remember to be calm and assertive.
Dogs, in their turn, must learn to be calm and submissive.
Owners, in general, need to make sure their dog learns to integrate with other dogs as soon as possible.

What have you learned from The Dog Whisperer?

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