Monday, February 1, 2010

The Dog Whisperer: How to Raise the Perfect Dog

“How to Raise a Perfect Dog,” was, in my estimation, an interesting glimpse into Cesar Millan’s head.

(Also, I assume you knew that the title of the episode is also the title of his new book?)

I don’t know that it’s worth going into detail on the “plot” of the show, but even as a long-time dog owner (I literally had one in my home since the day I was born) I did learn a few things I thought were interesting.

In the episode, Millan is raising four puppies – a process that took several months to shoot, I’m sure, but which goes by in the usual Dog Whisperer hour. During that hour, I discovered:

When choosing puppies, Millan kept emphasizing that he wanted to select dogs with “medium energy,” as opposed to the most high-energy members of each litter. I must admit, after all of the “problem dogs” he’s worked with, this kind of felt like he was cheating a bit. Instead of proving how easily he can “fix” a tricky dog, he started with a major advantage.
Millan is very big on spaying and neutering, to the point where he got one of dogs fixed on the show. He stated he did it before doggy adolescence set it, which cuts down on bad behaviors and aggression. Which, again, felt like cheating.

The big lesson to take away from the episode was this: Give yourself every advantage when it comes to raising a dog.

Cesar Millan is very, very, very good at handling dogs. And yet, he still chooses to make the dog-raising process as easy as possible for himself.

If Millan, who knows so much more about dogs than I do, thinks it’s best to get a medium-energy dog, and get it fixed, who am I to argue?

And what say you, Millan-followers? What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned from Millan?

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