Thank you Cesar Millan !!

Discussion in 'KiKi's & Poochies' started by snaffle, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. snaffle

    snaffle Guest

    I used a Cesar Millan technique today.

    I have a Canadian Bred Poodle.. that had a questionable temperament when he was first bought as a puppy.

    the guys in the family have worked with him and changed most of his fearful and quirky disposition.

    Over the past couple of years, the owners are only bringing him for a shave down twice a year. This is not best of that dog. He gets so matted, it is a bit harder to remove the coat... with that long of time between appts... he 'forgets' that I am an ok person.

    He came today... 4 months since the last grooming.
    His nails were very long and I quicked 2 of them.
    I had him muzzled for the nails.. thank heavens.
    He went berzerk... trying to bite me ( most likely a fear and not an attack thing)

    I could not get control of him.. so I did the Cesar thing.. and laid him flat out on the grooming table... holding him down
    (he was really fighting me.. peed all over etc)
    until he gave in. Cesar doesnt talk to them while doing this..
    but I got the feeling from the dog's eyes.. that he needed and wanted to hear my command... not understanding what I was doing.

    I repeated "stop it" over and over ...
    and he finally went to the submissive stage!!

    I held him down for a few more moments...

    When I allowed him to get up..
    oh my gosh!! The change in him was extreme!!
    He was no longer worried about my picking up his feet and trimming his nails.

    Even after I put him in the crate, and went to bring him out again..
    he was so much better than earlier this morning.

    If I had not learned the Cesar way..
    I would have laid him out flat on the table..
    but I would have used my "killing and stern voice" :eek:
    and spoke nasty things to him.
  2. djangology

    djangology New Member

    Just a thought... If I were paying for grooming services and discovered that someone had manhandled my dog in an uncalled for display of dominance to the point that my dog became frightened enough to urinate, I'd be ANGRY.

    I mean, I think it's bad enough when people do that sort of thing to their own dogs, but to one that belongs to someone else?

    I mean, sure... I don't care for Cesar Milan. I don't like choking dogs out- yes, cutting off oxygen makes the dog calm down technically, but in my book, that's not a valid training option. I think alpha rolls are outdated and not really based on canine behavior (the submissive dog offers it's belly- the dominant dog doesn't flip it). Leaving dogs unattended on a treadmill is a bad idea. Leaving dogs unattended on a treadmill on a choke chain is a worse idea- okay, granted, that was his staff that he trained, but still.

    Granted, his suggestions of more exercise and calm confidence are great, but lots of dog trainers have been preaching that for decades and... well, it's common sense.

    I've no doubt Mr. Milan has more experience than me, but at the same time, there's a hell of a lot of other professionals who condemn his words and action.

    This is a letter written by a veterinary behaviorist at Purdue University regarding Mr. Milan:

    From several experts in the field:

    Dr. Nicholas Dodman - Professor and Head, Section of Animal Behavior
    Director of Behavior Clinic, Tufts University - Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
    "Cesar Millan's methods are based on flooding and punishment. The results, though immediate, will be only transitory. His methods are misguided, outmoded, in some cases dangerous, and often inhumane. You would not want to be a dog under his sphere of influence. The sad thing is that the public does not recognize the error of his ways. My college thinks it is a travesty. We've written to National Geographic Channel and told them they have put dog training back 20 years."

    Jean Donaldson, The San Francisco SPCA-Director of The Academy for Dog Trainers
    "Practices such as physically confronting aggressive dogs and using of choke collars for fearful dogs are outrageous by even the most diluted dog training standards. A profession that has been making steady gains in its professionalism, technical sophistication and humane standards has been greatly set back. I have long been deeply troubled by the popularity of Mr. Millan as so many will emulate him. To co-opt a word like 'whispering' for arcane, violent and technically unsound practice is unconscionable."

    Dr. Suzanne Hetts, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist
    Co-owner of Animal Behavior Associates, Inc., Littleton, CO
    "A number of qualified professionals have voiced concern for the welfare of pet dogs that experience the strong corrections administered by Mr. Millan. My concerns are based on his inappropriateness, inaccurate statements, and complete fabrications of explanations for dog behavior. His ideas, especially those about "dominance", are completely disconnected from the sciences of ethology and animal learning, which are our best hope for understanding and training our dogs and meeting their behavioral needs. Many of the techniques he encourages the public to try are dangerous, and not good for dogs or our relationships with them ."

  3. Shadimac

    Shadimac New Member

    I partially have to agree with Djangology. I wouldn't want people manhandling my dog, especially without me being present. In fact, I would be pissed if I found out, and would end my visits. The groomers where I work are instructed to call the owner to come pick up the dog if there is a dog that is showing potential to injure a person or itself. They are not trainers, and it is not their job to train the dog. If the dog is needing to be groomed and cannot be desensitized properly, then it needs to go to a vet for sedation.

    I am a firm believer in positive reinforcement training myself, although, I do think Cesar is not completely wrong in his methods either, but I don't believe non-professional dog trainers should be using his techniques on dogs. He has saved a lot pit bulls from euthanasia, which is commendable.

    I did find the Purdue letter rather interesting, as I have not read that yet. Thanks for showing that Djangology. I wish he would have offered more to back up his statements though, to make his argument more valid. There were a few statements in there that I felt were too generalized. I suppose if he went into too much detail though it could have ended up as a book. It was excellently written otherwise.
  4. Mass

    Mass Senior Member and Masscaster

    There are some of his methods that I agree with and a lot that I do not. Like with most trainers I've seen, I pull the ideas that I like from them and disregard the ones I don't agree with.
  5. Morganfan608

    Morganfan608 New Member

    .......glad you were able to get poodlepoo groomed w.o. being lunch. ;D I know Snaffle as a 'quiet' person, the type of person who treats animals w/love and respect......different bites for different likes.....he must have 'needed' something.
  6. snaffle

    snaffle Guest

    Very interesting that the 'old' way of training was to beat a dog into submission..
    and the Cesar Milan way does not enforce any force..
    What is forceful about his applying a couple fingers to a dog.. in a NON forceful way ...that represents another dog putting it's teeth on the naughty dog?

    Perhaps my post sounded like I body slammed the dog..
    no I did not body slam the dog...
    to make him lay down on my grooming table in a submissive way.
    This dog was reacting out of fear... fear biters are often the worst dogs.

    At no time was the dog injured... or hurt...

    I wont ask what experience you have had in dealing with dogs...
    having a household pet .. is much different that dealing with LOTS of dogs.. from different households.

    The same thing applies to horses. An undisciplined horse can be a dangerous animal.. yet there are many horse owners who feel that a horse is merely a large stuffed animal.

    This dog ... would have bitten and broken the skin.. resulting in a lot of problems.. for the owner.. for the dog... I would have had to contact animal control.. who would have had to file a report with the police etc etc.
    after which the dog would have been labeled a vicious dog.
    I would have demanded.. yes demanded that the dog be quarantined for 10 days.. rabies vacc or not.

    If you would have been here, you would have been amazed at the difference in that little dog after his 'coming to Jesus" class. If you would have been here.. trust me.. you would NOT have even touched that dog. mass would have.. morganfan would have.. because they have had experience with dogs other than their own little house pets.

    He wagged his tail... and was happy to come out of the crate when I asked him.. and happy to be on my grooming table..

    Before I groom ANY dog.. the owner and I have a discussion ...
    and they know I have a one bite policy...
    one bite and you're out!! (I have only been bitten once in my 20 years of grooming)
    My clients are the best... they always.. ALWAYS tell me to do whatever I have to if their dog is bad.

    If a dog owner only babies their dog and never trains or disciplines it.. I do not want that dog in my grooming shop.

    During my discussion with the owner.. I learned that this dog has been progressively showing more and more aggression at home towards visitors.
    The owners response? "He is getting old"
    um.. no he is only 7 years old.

    The owners are doing NOTHING to correct this behavior.

    next time the dog is scheduled for a and shadimac..
    I will notify you and you can come and show me what YOU would do...

    he will be here in June. You will of course have to promise me that you will not hurt the dog.. ;D
  7. AppyGSP

    AppyGSP Senior Member

    I like him and most of his methods, and don't care what anyone else thinks... Opinions are our rights to have.

    I'm glad you made progress with your dog. Good for you!
  8. ihave3

    ihave3 New Member

    I like him to. I am glad you didn't become lunch snaffle.
  9. snaffle

    snaffle Guest

    thanks appy...

    Just as with horse trainers.. there are some things I like or dont like in Cesar's methods..
    what works for some dogs.. doesnt work for others..

    I know I give the impression that I am a nasty bossy person with the dogs.. but actually I am not...

    I have many dogs come for grooming.. AND boarding..
    that can not go anywhere else..

    for some reason.. they enjoy their stay here. ;) Many owners have told me that if their dog couldnt stay here while they are on vacation..

    they simply would not go on their trip.
  10. djangology

    djangology New Member

    His little hiss&pinch thing is mildly stupid, though not particularly damaging.

    Cesar Milan suggests forcibly shoving the dog onto it's back. He also suggests (and demonstrates, on his television show) lifting a dog's front end off the ground until partial asphyxiation is achieved. If this isn't forcible, I'm not sure what is. His methods often use flooding to the point that the dog shuts down.

    If you can achieve the same results without force, pain, or fear, why wouldn't you do it the nicer way?!
    You're not asking, but you did insinuate that I've merely had a household pet, so I'm going to correct that thought. Yes, I have two personal dogs- three as of Monday. My husband and I have also fostered 40+ dogs in our home, both for private breed rescues and local shelters (everything from feral basenjis, to great danes that would have liked to eat me, to litters of brittany spaniel puppies).

    My personal basenji is trained for agility. I work through aggression with my ACD on a daily basis.

    I've worked as a vet tech. I've also taught obedience classes for the last several years, both large group classes as well as in-home private behavioral consultations. I groomed dogs for a while as well. Not only that, but I spent several years working for an area humane society, providing grooming, medical care, training, socialization, and basic handling for the thousands of dogs (and cats) that came through our doors. These were animals of all sizes, ages, breeds, origins, and temperaments, of course.

    If you continue to question my credentials/experience, I'd be happy to provide a list of behavioral seminars and educational clinics I've attended throughout the US as well. I will admit that I've only read Mr. Milan's books and sat through a few episodes.

    So... no. My experience isn't limited to my own "little house pets" (as you so kindly phrased it). :)

    Truthfully, I think the responsible thing would be to be working with the dog all along- over the years that you've had them as clients. I know you don't see the dog regularly, but clearly the owners are at least somewhat emotionally invested in the dog. It's super easy to give them instructions on how to desensitize their dog over time, or to say, "Look. I can't continue to groom him unless you bring him to see me a little more often," so that you can start to desensitize him and help him figure out appropriate behavior.

    If the dog is already fearful, I can't see how creating a situation that frightened him into urinating would creating a positive association with grooming.

    If the dog is truly that much of a bite hazard, keep it muzzled. If you're worried that the nylon muzzle will fail, invest in a leather muzzle or a basket muzzle.

    You don't have a lot of good options at the moment, and I acknowledge that- the dog's behavior will continue to escalate unless the owners actually start taking responsibility for their dog's behavior. Perhaps you could refer them to a trainer or behaviorist in their area, otherwise their poodle may end up dumped a shelter for biting the owners one too many times. If you enjoy their business, perhaps you could offer to show them how to use treats to make nail clipping something the dog tolerates.

    I know a few people who have had success using mild tranquilizers to help the dog have a positive experience with traumatic experiences (not that a trip to the groomer is traumatic in general, but for this dog, it clearly is). I know I've used DAP and rescue remedy for animals that have been traumatized, with varying degrees of success. Perhaps even just something as simple as suggesting that the owner makes sure the dog is good and tired before dropping it off with you will make enough of a difference.

    Subjecting a fearful dog to a fear-inducing experience (such as being pinned til urinating) generally doesn't get you very far.

    My ACD was horrendous for nail trimmings for a long time, until I took the time to clicker-train her into accepting it. I can now sit on the floor next to her and hold her paw in my hand and just clip away- no fear, scare tactics, or urination necessary... the clicker and treats are no longer necessary.

    It is possible to handle these issues without fear, force, or pain. Heaven help the person who uses any of those three tactics on my dogs.

    I've no doubt that you're an animal lover- why else would you get into grooming? :) That said, as a fellow animal lover, I know I regularly look for more pleasant ways to interact with the animals I so enjoy. I'd rather spend some extra time and do things less efficiently and less stressfully than take shortcuts.

  11. snaffle

    snaffle Guest

    dj thank you for telling me what your experience in dogs is!! Great to know... that when you speak you ARE speaking from personal experience! :D

    I have told the owners several times over the past few years that the dog needs to come more than a few times a year .. so he remembers me and gets used to the routine..
    as their children get older.. and they both work.. it has become more difficult for them. I am now contacting them every 3 1/2 months... so they will make an appointment within a 4 month period.. my threat is to add an extra fee if they stretch it out... ;)

    Now that this has happened.. I know they will take me more seriously.

    Laying a dog down until it becomes submissive..
    is something I was told about years ago by a dog show handler/groomer.
    He told me about an akita that was terrible while on the grooming table..
    this guy.. layed the dog down.. and held it down.. using his own mouth on the dogs neck.. :p

    he said the transformation was tremendous.
    I dont think I ever want to go to that extreme..(I would rather use my hand to hold the dog down ;))

    I have layed a small dog down only one other time.. and had good results.

    When this dog peed all over ... it told me how stressed he was..
    but since I had already begun to lay him down.. I felt I MUST finish..
    from the look in his eyes... watching me..
    I DID talk to him.. Cesar does not speak to them... but my esp told me the dog wanted to hear my command.. and when I repeated.. 'stop it...stop it... stop it.."
    I truly think it helped him.

    As I said.. I could not believe the transformation in that little dog. He is 7 years old.. and this is the first visit where he has wagged his tail at me.
    In fact..I always leave a leash on him .. while in the crate ... and always have to give him small tugs.. and a command in order for him to walk out of the crate.

    I did not have to do that after our "cesar session"
    when I opened the crate.. (I did this 3 times later that day)
    I didnt even have to speak to him.. he wagged his tail and walked out to me.

    yes.. I am amazed. at his transformation.
  12. syndiego

    syndiego New Member

    My foster dog, Hunter, has been showing aggressive behavior to my male Rottie, Quincy. Quincy, is a big old fluff bunny, and for a time was tolerating Hunter's positioning for dominance. A few of the things Hunter would do. Lip curling, circling Quincy, trying to hump Quincy.

    This was a gradual thing. As Hunter has become more comfortable in the house, and more attached to me, (he's treating me as his property, much like a toy or rawhide), it slowly escalated.

    Shame on me, because I watch Cesar all the time, but because Hunter is smaller than Quincy, and Quincy was putting up with him, I didn't take it seriously. But finally, Quincy had had enough, and he retaliated, and I had to break up a fight.

    So I asked myself, what would Cesar do? I had to re-establish myself as pack-leader, and it took several times of "biting" Hunter with my two fingers, and one or two times of laying him down. No, dominant dogs do not "lay down" other dogs, but we have hands, and use the tools at our disposal to get the point across. And, where did I miss the part about "choking" or "cutting off air"? I just held him down.

    Things are getting better, but I have to be vigilant. I won't even allow a "lip". Now, mostly I just do the "shhh", and the response I get from Hunter is "Yes M'am"

    I found the phrase "positive punishment" in the article linked interesting. I really don't have a problem with that, and in some cases, "positive re-inforcement" is not an option. When bad behavior is happening, one needs to create a distraction and stop the behavior. Positive training relies on rewarding "good" behavior, and I'm all about that, but is not really applicable in these situations.

    Another light bulb that went off for me, when Hunter was going after Quincy, I'd call him to me. He'd come, and I'd praise him, and give him hugs and scritchies. I was rewarding the BAD behavior. I've backed off on giving Hunter so much attention, which is another thing I learned from Cesar. I had been giving him more attention than the others, because he is a rescue, and I felt "sorry" for him. I created a situation where I was giving him the power, and having a dominant personality to begin with, he took it and took over the pack.

    Having watched Cesar really helped me. As with any trainer, one needs to learn to apply the things that make sense, and drop what doesn't. How he trains resonates with me. It may not for everyone, and that's fine.

    As far as Snaffle applying a training method to a client's dog, I support it. Why should she put herself in jeopardy over an untrained or uncooperative dog? The owner's should have been working with the dog, and now it comes down to Snaffle having to do the training. Parallel this to a farrier having to deal with an unruly or fearful horse. I think it is up to us as owners to train our own animals, and not put professionals in that situation.
  13. Shadimac

    Shadimac New Member

    Snaffle, although my dog training experiences are not as impressive as Djangology's, I have gone to many obedience classes, as well as positive reinforcement seminars. I used to be a dog bather, I used to have my own pet sitting business. I have successfully trained many exotic and domestic animals using positive reinforcement techniques, including dogs. Dog training, is not my career, and I won't pretend it to be, but I work with all types of dogs every day at my current place of employment and training animals is a passion of mine so I try to stay up to date on new methods and techniques. I'm not an expert, but I do have plenty of experience, and my reply was simply an opinion. I would not want somebody using techniques on my dog that I didn't approve of, or know about.

    I don't hate Cesar Milan by any means, I just PREFER positive reinforcement. He has some good points, and there are good results. I'm sure something did have to be done with the dog that you were grooming, but like I said, at my place of employment, when the dogs get to that point, the groomers are instructed to call the owners. To each his own, I suppose.

    I'm glad to dog was in a better state of mind after you worked with her. The results were good, its just the means to the result I'm not sure I agree with, and I would not want somebody doing that to my dog without me there.

    Anyways, I hope you and your client are able to work things out for the best of the dog. Best of luck.

    I think the choking and cutting off of air they are referring to is his use of the choke method when training on the leash. Its the quick pull and release to grab their attention. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  14. snaffle

    snaffle Guest

    sydniego... I think many of us have done the same thing as you..
    praised a dog.. not reallizing that our timing was incorrect and we were enforcing the behavior we were trying to keep away from.

    you give some very good points..
    when the dog or any dog reacts in an agressive way...
    I dont feel it is best to stop the grooming... put the dog in a crate and call the owners to pick it up..
    at least not when there is something I can do to correct the situation.

    I have only sent one dog home with out being groomed ..
    a part chow.. that I never did get a hand on...
    his owners had told me he may be a problem..
    and they knew I would not put myself in danger if the dog showed aggresssion.

    I have always been able to calm the dog down..
    but not this time.. I felt there was just something more going on with the dog..
    besides his reaction to a nail quick getting snipped. My conversation with the owner proved me right later.

    I have had a couple dogs come here.. that were refused by other groomers..
    Rescue remedy.. in a spritz bottle had done wonders.. but the poodle was already worked up.. so I figured it wouldnt help at all.

    shadimac I can understand your concern about the practice of laying the dog flat out on the grooming table..
    I was pretty shocked the first time I heard about it.. and it was years before I ever had to do that myself.

    It would not have worked out to have had the owners here to witness the dog being layed down. They were both at work.. and that would have been a bad decision on my part to call one of them to leave work to come here..
    also.. I have my routine and it would not have worked out either to wait until the owner came by after work.. for me to finish the groom. Besides.. I would have had to put the dog back in the crate.. which would have shown the dog that HE won.
  15. TwistedWire

    TwistedWire Guest

    Holding a dog down is a lot different than choking it, IMNSHO.

    I support it.

    Wasn't it just on Grey's Anatomy where they talked about all-over pressure doing something to the nervous system to calm the person down? TV or not, makes sense to me.
  16. Shadimac

    Shadimac New Member

    There is truth to that all-over pressure thing calming animals down, but its a specific cage that is made to do that, called a Squeeze cage, or a squeeze chute. It's a common practice used in zoos during medical procedures and slaughter houses to keep the animals calm. It would not be practical for a groomer to use this, as they could not groom with the animal in the cage. It actually is an pressure squeezing all parts of the animal to the point where they are immobile. The example on Grey's Anatomy was a bad one, because she could still move, it was just like 2 hugs. A dog being held down on the table is only having parts of his body restricted, not all of them, so the result is actually not the same.
  17. snaffle

    snaffle Guest

    I have just finished reading Cesars first book and am into the 2nd book.

    Perhaps I misunderstood an earlier post and remark about the use of the collar,
    placing it up on the neck behind the ears.. and giving the snap and release method as a way to get the dogs attention and lead it where you want it to go.

    In the book, (and experienced dog trainers will know this too) it is explained that the most control over the dog will happen when the collar is up on the neck and behind the ears... not lower on the neck, and the quick snap and release of the collar is not done to hurt the dog or cut off his air way.. it is done to get the dogs attention.

    If you watch the dog shows.. you will see the collar placed high on the neck also.. and often the quick snap and release.

    If done correctly there is no pain inflicted to the dog.
  18. Shadimac

    Shadimac New Member

    I seem to have missed this statement the first time I read this, and I have to say my piece. The thing is, I have actually dropped a farrier because they "reprimanded" my horse, because he thought my horse wasn't being worked with properly. This particular farrier was a friend, but he was very gruff around horses. My horse shifted his weight slightly, and got slammed hard in the shoulder with the rasp. After that, he was nervous around farriers for a long time, and thankfully my next farrier was very patient and willing to work with us, instead of taking things into his own hands. I understand sometimes farriers do help with the training, because the owner is neglectful to do their part, or perhaps ignorant, but one person's methods of training are another persons form a abuse, so it should always be to the owner's consent. If the owners are not training their animals, the animals need to be trained by a professional trainer. It should not be the farrier's job, or the groomer's.
  19. Mass

    Mass Senior Member and Masscaster

    It sounds to me like she had the owners support.

    I know where I work, we have to be able to discipline the dogs, to SOME extent. A lot of them come in with little or no training at all. If it is too bad, we will require they get training before they come back. We need a controlled environment for safety. I, personally, have had a sprained hip, bloody nose, split lip and claw marks on my back, bleeding. That can't happen. Methods I use are more of what energy I'm putting out and "herding".If I am too wound up, they will be too. Calm is key.
  20. snaffle

    snaffle Guest

    mass you are so right on...

    dogs coming to anyone.. vet.. groomer.. massage therapist.. trainers.. handlers..
    should be disciplined and trained to a point.

    It frustrates me when boarders come in..
    I used to tell the owners I take the dog on walks to relieve themselves at least 4 times per day... as long as they can walk on a leash.

    It is surprising how many dog owners.. think their dog is trained to walk on a leash.. when actually the dog does not!!
    They come to this conclusion because the dog isnt pulling back and choking itself!

    My arm has almost been ripped off.. I have almost tripped over dogs that ran back and forth and then behind me..

    I now tell owners that when I walk their dog to potty.. if I have to give the dog lessons on how to walk on a leash, it is extra $$$.

    money sure talks!!

    and as mass said.. no one.. farrier, groomer... vet.. should have to be put in danger because an owner has a weird sense of "broke" or "trained"