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1 Beaverton Pets- Dog Training
1 Hawthorne Pets- Dogs General

Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems

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Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems Cover

 

 

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Chapter 2: If We Could Talk to Animals

What is the communication style you use with your dog? Do you implore him to come to you, while he refuses, continuing to run down the street after a neighborhood squirrel? When your dog steals your favorite slipper, do you talk baby talk to him to try to get it back? Do you scream at the top of your lungs for your dog to get off the furniture, while he just sits there, staring at you as if youre crazy? If any of these sounds like you, I know youre aware that the techniques youre using arent working. You understand that you cant “reason” with a dog, but you simply dont know any other way to communicate with him. Im here to tell you that theres a much better way.

Remember the story of Dr. Dolittle, the man who was able to speak and understand the language of any animal he happened to meet? From the Hugh Lofting books to the 1928 silent film, to the thirties radio series, to the 1967 movie musical and seventies cartoons, to the blockbuster Eddie Murphy comedies, this wonderful tale and its main character have appealed to children and adults generation after generation. Just think of the countless worlds that would be unlocked if we saw things as animals see them. Imagine looking down at the earth through the eyes of a soaring bird, moving through life in three dimensions like a whale, or “seeing” the world through sound waves, the way bats do. Who hasnt dreamed of such thrilling possibilities? The attraction of the Dr. Dolittle story is that it brings animals to life, in big-screen living color.

What would you say if I told you that Doctor Dolittles secret was more than just creative fiction?

Perhaps youre imagining this secret from a human perspective.

Youre wondering if Im telling you that theres a verbal way to talk to your dog, perhaps with the use of a phrase book that translates your language into his. What would his language look like, sound like, you wonder? Would it include the words sit, stay, come, and heel? Would you have to shout the translations, or could you whisper them? Would you have to learn how to whimper and bark? Sniff your pets behind? And how would your dog answer you back? How would you translate what he was saying? As you can see, creating a dog-to-human phrase book—the way, say, an English-to-Spanish phrase book is created—would be a very complicated effort indeed.

Wouldnt it be simpler if there was a universal language that every species could understand? “Impossible,” you say. “Even human beings dont all speak the same language!” True, but that hasnt kept people from trying to find a common language for centuries. In the ancient world, all the higher-class, educated people learned Greek. That way, they could all read and understand the most important documents. In the Christian era, anybody who was anybody knew how to read and write Latin.

Today, English is at the top of the language food chain. I learned this the hard way when I first arrived in America fourteen years ago. Believe me, if youre not born speaking it, English is a monster of a language to learn from scratch—yet everyone from the Chinese to the Russians now accept it as the international language of business. Humans have sought other ways to breach the language barrier. No matter what language you speak, if youre blind, you can use Braille. If youre deaf, you can understand any other deaf person using International Sign Language. Mathematics and computer languages cross many linguistic borders and allow humans of different tongues to converse easily with one another, thanks to the power of technology.

If humans can succeed in designing these collective languages, cant we create a way to converse with the other species on the planet? Isnt there a language we can learn that means the same thing to every creature?

Good news! Im happy to report that the universal language of Doctor Dolittle already exists. And humans didnt invent it. Its a language all animals speak without even knowing it, including the human animal. Whats more, all animals are actually born knowing this language instinctually. Even human beings are born fluent in this universal tongue, but we tend to forget it because we are trained from childhood to believe that words are the only way to communicate. The irony is, even though we dont think we know the language anymore, we are actually speaking it all the time. Unknowingly, we are broadcasting in this tongue 24-7! Other species of animals can still understand us, even though we may not have a clue how to understand them. They read us loud and clear, even when were unaware that were communicating!

This truly universal, interspecies language is called energy.

Energy in the Wild

How can energy be a language? Let me give you some examples. In the wild, different animal species intermingle effortlessly. Take the African savannah or a jungle, for instance. At a watering hole in a jungle, you might see monkeys and birds in the trees, or on a savannah, different plant eaters, such as zebras or gazelles, wandering around, happily drinking out of the same crystal-clear pond. All is peaceful, despite the many different species sharing the same space. How do they all get along so smoothly?

How about a less exotic example? In your own backyard you may have squirrels, birds, rabbits, even foxes, all happily coexisting. Theres no trouble until you rev up your lawnmower.

Why? Because all these animals are communicating with the same relaxed, balanced, non-confrontational energy. Every animal knows that all the other animals are just hanging out, doing their own thing—drinking water, foraging for food, relaxing, grooming one another. Everybodys feeling mellow and no ones attacking anyone else. Unlike us, they dont have to ask one another how theyre feeling. The energy they are projecting tells them everything they need to know. In that sense, they are speaking to one another, all the time.

Now that youve got this peaceful vision in your mind, imagine this: Suddenly, a new animal enters your backyard, or approaches our imaginary jungle waterhole, projecting a completely different energy. This new energy could be something as minor as one squirrel trying to plunder anothers stash, or a gazelle jockeying another gazelle for a better drinking position at the oasis. It could also be as serious as a hungry predator seeking to subdue its next prey. Ever notice how a whole group of peaceful animals can turn scared or defensive in an instant, sometimes even before a predator has shown itself on the scene? They probably got a whiff of its scent—but its also probable that they sensed the energy the predator was projecting.

Whats always amazing to me about the animal kingdom is that even if a predator is near, all the other animals can usually tell if its safe to stay around it or not. Imagine being introduced to a man you knew to be a serial killer. Would you be able to relax in his presence? Of course not! But if you were another kind of animal on this planet, you would probably be able to sense whether the serial killer was on the prowl or simply kicking back. Animals immediately recognize when a predator is projecting a hunting energy, sometimes even before they spot the predator itself. As humans, we are so often blind to these nuances in animal energy—we think a tiger is dangerous at all times, when, really, if hes just eaten a three hundred-pound deer, hes probably more tired than treacherous. The moment his tummy gets empty, however, hes a different animal—all instinct, all survival energy. Even your backyard squirrel will pick up on this subtle difference. Yet we humans tend to be blind to what, in the animal kingdom, is pretty much a flashing red light.

Heres an example of animal energy that folks who live in the American South can probably relate to. On a sunny day in Florida, Louisiana, or the Carolinas, youll see giant alligators sunning their leathery bodies on the banks of swamps—all over expensive, exclusive golf courses! Meanwhile, golfers are teeing off a few feet away. Herons and cranes and turtles are happily sunning themselves right next to these terrifying reptiles. Eightypound old ladies are walking their teacup-size dogs on footpaths just inches from the alligators swamp. Whats going on here? Its simple. The other animals—from the turtles to the teacup Chihuahuas—are aware, on an instinctual level, that these fearsome predators arent in a hunting mode at the moment. One thing you can be sure of—when the same big creatures tummy starts to rumble and his energy shifts into hunting mode, the rest of the animals will be gone in the blink of an eye. Except maybe the golfers. But they are one of the strangest species in nature, and even modern science hasnt figured them out yet.

Energy in Humans

When it comes to energy, we humans have much more in common with animals than we usually like to admit. Imagine one of the most ruthless jungles in the human world—the high school cafeteria. Picture it as a watering hole where different species—in this case, the cliques of jocks, nerds, and stoners—peacefully intermingle. Then a bully “accidentally” bumps into a smaller guys food tray. The energy released by that interaction will ripple right through the entire room. Ask your teenager if this isnt true. And exactly as in the animal kingdom, this energy shift doesnt even have to be as blatant as a shove. Lets say the little guy in the cafeteria is having a bad day. Hes failed two tests in a row and is in a weak state of mind. He happens to look up and accidentally catch the eye of the bully. Maybe the bully was just minding his own business, but as soon as he picks up on the weaker guys diminished energy, the whole dynamic between them changes in a split second. In the animal kingdom, thats called survival of the fittest.

Lets take this concept beyond the school lunchroom and think about our society as whole. Right or wrong, we in America expect our leaders to project a dominant, powerful energy, like that of a Bill Clinton or a Ronald Reagan. Some powerful leaders project a charismatic energy that infects and energizes everyone around them—consider Tony Robbins. Martin Luther King, Jr., projected an energy that was what I call “calm-assertive”—the ideal energy for a leader. Though Gandhi was also a leader, his energy was of a more compassionate nature.

Its interesting to note that Homo sapiens is the only species on the planet that will follow a wise, kind, compassionate, or lovable leader. Humans will even follow an unstable leader, but thats another book in itself! As difficult as it may be for us to understand, in the animal kingdom, a Fidel Castro would win out as leader over a Mother Teresa any day. In the animal world, there is no morality, no right and wrong. Conversely, animals never cheat or lie their way to power—they cant. Other animals would figure them out in a heartbeat. Natures leaders must project the most obvious and uncontestable strength. In the animal kingdom, there are only rules, routines, and rituals—based on survival of the strongest, not of the smartest or fairest.

Ever hear of “the smell of fear”? Thats not just an expression. Animals sense vibrations of energy, but smell is their next strongest sense—and in a dog, energy and scent seem to be deeply connected. In fact, dogs empty their anal glands when they are afraid, emitting a smell thats distinctive not only to other dogs but to most animals (including us). A dogs sense of smell is connected to the limbic system, the part of the brain responsible for emotion. In his book The Dogs Mind, Dr. Bruce Fogle cites studies from the 1970s that showed that dogs can detect butyric acid—one of the components of human perspiration—at up to a million times lower concentration than we can.1 Think of lie detector sensors that can pick up minute changes in the perspiration on a persons hands when she is being deceptive. In essence, your dog is a living, breathing “lie detector”!

Do dogs actually physically “smell” fear in us? They certainly can sense it instantly. Countless joggers and mail carriers relate this harrowing experience—running or walking past a house and causing the dog there to bark, growl, or even charge the fence or gate. Now, this could be a dog that has adopted the role of protector of the house and takes that role very seriously—and too many mail carriers and joggers have the scars to show how powerful, aggressive dogs—what I call red-zone dogs—get out of control. (Red-zone dogs are serious business, and Ill address them in depth in a later chapter.)

For the purposes of understanding how dogs sense emotional states, imagine this as you walk by a house with a red-zone dog in it: Perhaps the barking dog has a secret. He may be more afraid of you than you are of him! Once you freeze up in terror, however, the balance of power instantly changes. Does the dog pick up on your energy shift through his “sixth sense”? Or does he smell some change in your body or brain chemistry? Science hasnt spelled it all out in laymans terms as of yet, but in my opinion, its a combination of both. I can be sure of this from decades of close observation: you cannot “bluff” a dog the way you might be able to bluff a drunken poker buddy. Once you shift into the emotion of fear, that dog instantly knows he has an advantage over you. You are projecting a weak energy. And if the dog gets out, you are much more likely to be rushed or bitten than if you had tuned out the barking and simply gone on with your day. In the natural world, the weak get weeded out quickly. Theres no right or wrong about it—its just the way life on earth has worked for millions of years.

Energy and Emotion

The most important thing to understand about energy is that its a language of emotion. Of course you never have to tell an animal that youre sad, or tired, or excited, or relaxed, because that animal already knows exactly how youre feeling. Think back on some of the beautiful stories youve read in publications like Readers Digest and People magazine—stories of pets who have comforted, even saved, their sick, depressed, or grieving owners. These stories often include comments like “it was almost as if he knew what his owner was going through.” Im here to assure you that, yes, these animals do know exactly what their owners are feeling. A French study concluded that dogs may actually also use their sense of smell to help distinguish between human emotional states.2 Im not a scientist, but after a lifetime of being around dogs, my opinion is that, without question, dogs can sense even the most subtle changes in the energy and emotions of the humans around them. Of course animals cant always comprehend the context of our issues; they cant distinguish whether were heartbroken over a divorce or losing a job or misplacing a wallet, because those very human situations mean nothing to them. However, such situations create emotions—and those emotions are universal. Sick and sad are sick and sad, no matter what your species.

Animals arent in tune only with other animals—they seem to be able to read the energy of the earth as well. History is full of anecdotal tales of dogs who have appeared to “predict” earthquakes or cats who have hidden in the cellar for hours before a tornado. In 2004, a half day before Hurricane Charley hit the coast of Florida, fourteen electronically tagged blacktip sharks who had never before left their home territory off Sarasota suddenly headed off for deeper waters. And think of the terrible Southeast Asian tsunami of that same year.3 According to eyewitnesses, an hour before the wave hit the coast, captive elephants for tourist “elephant rides” in Indonesia started wailing and even broke their chains in order to flee to higher ground. All over the region, zoo animals fled into their shelters and refused to come out, dogs would not go outdoors, and hundreds of wild animals at the Yala National Park, in Sri Lanka—leopards, tigers, elephants, wild boar, deer, water buffalo, and monkeys—also escaped to safe ground.4 These are some of the miracles of Mother Nature that continue to astound me: they are a brilliant illustration of the powerful language of energy at work.

One of the most important things to remember is that all the animals around you—especially the pets with whom you share your life—are reading your energy every moment of the day. Sure, you can say anything that pops into your mind, but your energy cannot and does not lie. You can scream at your dog to stay off the sofa until your face is blue, but if you arent projecting the energy of a leader—if, down deep inside, you know youre going to let him on the sofa if he begs you long enough—hes going to know what your real bottom line is. That dog is going to sit on the sofa as long as he damn well pleases. He already knows you are not going to follow through on your screaming. Because dogs often perceive loud vocalizing by humans in an excited, emotional state as a sign of instability, hell be either unaffected by your tantrum or confused and frightened by it. He certainly wont relate it to your rules about the couch!

The Calm-Assertive Personality

Now that you understand the powerful “language” of energy, my next job is to help you understand how to harness it to foster better communication between you and your dog. It takes a dog only a few seconds to determine what kind of energy you are projecting, so it is important that you be consistent. With your dog, you want to project what I call “calm-assertive” energy at all times. A calm-assertive leader is relaxed but always confident that he or she is in control.

Now, the word assertive has gotten an unfair bad rap lately. Maybe its because it is so similar to the word aggressive, but their meanings are worlds apart. Think of people in popular culture. No matter what side of his politics you adhere to, youve got to admit that Bill OReilly is angry-aggressive. He yells “Shut up!,” interrupts, and tries to get his way through bullying. In most everyday situations, being angry-aggressive can work against you—its simply not an energy-efficient way to get things done, and its really not good for your blood pressure. An angryaggressive dog would not make a good pack leader because the other dogs would perceive him as unstable.

I havent come across many people who are “calm-aggressive” in my job, though I suppose you could describe the villains in James Bond movies that way—theyre always plotting to blow up the world without breaking a sweat or spilling their martinis. In any case, “calm-aggressive” is not an energy state thats natural to the nonhuman creatures in the animal kingdom.

But calm-assertive personalities? They are the leaders of the animal world. In our human landscape, they are few and far between, but they are almost always the most powerful, impressive, and successful people on the block. Oprah Winfrey—the number one role model for my own professional behavior—is the epitome of calm-assertive energy. She is relaxed, eventempered, but undeniably powerful, and always in charge. People everywhere respond to her magnetic energy, which has made her one of the most influential—and one of the wealthiest—women in the world.

Oprahs relationship with one of her dogs, Sophie, is another story. Like many of the powerful people who hire me to help them with their dogs, Oprah had some issues in sharing her vaunted calm-assertiveness with Sophie. In the years that Ive been helping people and their dogs, Ive observed that many type A powerbrokers—directors, studio heads, movie stars, doctors, lawyers, architects—have no trouble being dominant and in control in their jobs, but the moment they arrive home, they let their dogs walk all over them. These people often see their life with their pet as the only area where they can let their softer side show. This is all incredibly therapeutic for the human, but it can be psychologically damaging for the animal. Your dog needs a pack leader more than he needs a buddy. But if youre looking for a role model in calm-assertive energy, turn your channel to The Oprah Winfrey Show and watch her interact with her guests and her audience. Thats the kind of energy you should be aiming for when you interact with your dog, cat, boss, or your kids!

Fake It Till You Make It

What if youre not naturally a calm-assertive person? How do you react when a problem pops up? Are you panicky and excitable, or defensive and aggressive? Do you tend to handle problems as if they were a personal assault upon you? Its true that energy doesnt lie, but energy and power can be focused and controlled. Biofeedback, meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques are excellent for learning about how to better control the energy you project. Spending eight years in intensive judo training as a boy made controlling my mental energy second nature for me. If youre high-strung, anxious, or overly emotional—dead giveaways when animals are reading your energy—such techniques can make a big difference in how you relate to your pets. Learning to harness the power of the calm-assertive energy within you will also have a positive impact on your own mental health—and on your relationships with the humans in your lives. I guarantee it.

I often counsel my clients to use their imaginations and employ visualization techniques when they feel “stuck” in trying to project the right energy to their dogs. There are a lot of wonderful self-help, psychology, and philosophy books available to help you learn to harness the power of your mind to change your behavior. Some of the authors who have most influenced me are Dr. Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Phil McGraw. Acting techniques such as those pioneered by Konstantin Stanislavski and Lee Strasberg are also excellent tools for transforming the way you relate in the world.

In the first season of my National Geographic Channel show, Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, I came across a case that offered an excellent example of how we can use our powers of visualization to instantly transform our energy and our relationships with our dogs.

Sharon and her husband, Brendan, had rescued Julius, a sweet, lovable pit bull/Dalmatian mix, who, unfortunately, came to them afraid of his own shadow. Whenever they took him out for walks, he would tremble all over and walk with his tail between his legs, and would bolt for the safety of their house the moment he got a chance. When guests came over, he would freeze up and cower under the furniture. When I worked with the couple, I noticed that Sharon became extremely anxious and frightened whenever Julius acted afraid or pulled on his leash during walks. She was so worried about Julius that she would try to comfort him with words, and when he wasnt comforted, she would just throw her hands up in helplessness. It was clear to me that Julius was picking up on Sharons fearful energy, which was greatly intensifying his own fear.

When Sharon told me she was an actress, however, I realized that she had a powerful tool at her disposal that she wasnt taking advantage of. The best actors learn to dig deep inside themselves, to use the power of thought, feeling, and imagination to transform themselves into different characters and to switch instantly from one emotional state to another. I asked Sharon to reach into the same “tool kit” she drew upon when she performed onstage or in a film and concentrate on a very simple acting exercise: to think of a character she identified as being calm and assertive. Because of her training, Sharon immediately understood what I was asking her to do. Without hesitation she answered, “Cleopatra.” I then suggested that she “become” Cleopatra every time she walked Julius.

It was thrilling for me to watch her the first time she gave that acting exercise a try! While walking Julius, Sharon began to imagine that she actually was Cleopatra. Right before my eyes, her posture became straighter and her chest higher. She raised her head and gazed imperiously around her, as if she were the queen of all she surveyed. Thanks to the same acting abilities shed spent a lifetime honing, suddenly she was aware of her power and her beauty, and she naturally expected everyone—especially her dog—to obey her every wish! Of course, Julius had never gone to acting class, but because he picked up on her energy shift, he had no choice but to become Sharons “scene partner” in her Cleopatra fantasy. The change in that cowering pit bull/Dalmatian was immediate. Once he realized he was walking with a “queen,” he instantly became more relaxed and less fearful. After all, what dog would be afraid with the allpowerful Cleopatra holding his leash?

Julius and his owners have worked hard and come a long way. It took many months of dedicated daily practice, but a year later, Julius is totally secure on their walks, and now even welcomes strangers into their home—all thanks to the power of calmassertive leadership, and with a little help from Cleopatra.

Calm-Submissive Energy

The proper energy for a follower in a dog pack is called calmsubmissive energy. This is the healthiest energy for your dog to project in his relationship with you. When people come to the Dog Psychology Center and watch my pack in action, they are often astounded at how mellow a group of forty to fifty dogs can be 90 percent of the time. Thats because my pack is made up of calm-submissive, mentally balanced dogs.

The word submissive carries with it negative connotations, just as the word assertive does. Submissive doesnt mean pushover. It doesnt mean you have to make your dog into a zombie or a slave. It simply means relaxed and receptive. Its the energy of a group of well-behaved students in a classroom, or of a church congregation. When I give my dog-behavior seminars, I always thank my audience for being in a calm-submissive state—that is, open-minded and able to converse easily with one another. When I learned how to be calm-submissive to my wife, it improved my marriage 100 percent!

For dogs and humans to truly communicate, the dog must project a calm-submissive energy before a human can get him to obey her. (As dog owners, we dont ever want to be perceived as the submissive ones.) Even when a dog is doing search and rescue, hes not assertive—hes active-submissive. Though that search-and-rescue dog is meant to be out in front of the handler, scratching excitedly at piles of rubble, the handler will first sit the dog down and wait until he is in a submissive state of mind, and only then will give him the signal to begin the search. Dogs who work with handicapped people also must be the submissive ones in the relationship, even if their owners are blind or confined to wheelchairs. The animals are there to help people, not the other way around.

Body Language

Your dog is constantly observing you, reading your energy. He is also reading your body language. Dogs use body language as another means of communicating with one another, but its important to remember that their body language is also a function of the energy theyre projecting. Remember the example of Sharon and Julius, where simply thinking about being Cleopatra inspired Sharon to stand up taller and prouder? The energy fed the body language, and in turn, the body language reinforced the energy. The two are always interconnected.

You can learn to interpret your dogs body language by the visual clues he or she gives you, but its important to remember that different energy can determine the context of a posture. Its like those pesky words called homonyms in English—words that sound exactly the same but mean different things. Like read and red, or flee and flea. For the non-native English speaker, it takes a little while to learn how to distinguish between such words. But of course, it all comes down to context. How a word is used is what determines its meaning. Its the same with dogs and body language. A dog with his ears back may be signaling calm submission, which is the appropriate energy for a follower in a pack. Or, he may be signaling that he is afraid. One dog mounting another may signal dominance, or it may simply be play behavior. The energy always creates the context.

May I Sniff You?

As I mention earlier, scent can also function as a language for dogs. Your dogs nose—millions of times more sensitive than yours—provides him with a huge amount of important information about his environment and the other animals in it. In nature, a dogs anal scent is his “name.” When two dogs meet, theyll sniff each others behinds as a way of introduction. Since they dont have phone books, dogs can tell other dogs where they live and where theyve roamed by urinating on a “signpost”—a bush, a tree, a rock, or a pole. When a female is in heat, shell deposit her scent through urine all throughout her territory, placing a kind of personal ad for the male dogs in the neighborhood5—who may show up on her owners doorstep the following morning, without her poor human owner knowing how in the world they got “invited.” Through scent, dogs can also find out if another dog is sick or what kind of food it has been eating. As in the studies of dogs and their ability to “sniff” out emotional changes in humans, scientists have for many years been trying to understand the miraculous power of a dogs nose to discern all sorts of subtle information. In September 2004, the British Medical Journal published the results of a Cambridge University study that proved that dogs could “sniff out” bladder cancer in urine samples at least 41 percent of the time.6 For years, there had been anecdotal evidence of such miraculous feats, but now science is actively working to research how dogs can help detect diseases at much earlier stages than even some high-tech equipment can detect it.

You know those whole-body CT scan machines, where you lie down for a few moments and supposedly get a complete diagnosis of all your bodily systems? Thats pretty much what dogs do when they first meet you. They use their noses to give you a whole-body scan, check you out, find out where youve been and what youve been doing lately. In dog etiquette, youre supposed to let them do it. At my Dog Psychology Center, when a new dog enters the packs territory, it is only polite for him to remain still while everybody in the pack comes up and smells him. If the dog stands quietly, allowing the others to finish sniffing, he will be accepted more easily into the pack. If he moves away, the other dogs will chase him around until theyre done sniffing. A sign that a dog is antisocial toward other dogs is that he is uncomfortable or aggressive about being sniffed. Thats a dog that hasnt learned any manners—like a human who wont shake hands upon introduction. When a person enters the gate of my center and walks through the dog pack, the dogs will do the same thing to her. Many people find it intimidating—or just plain terrifying—to have a pack of forty very scary-looking dogs descend on them and start sniffing away. A person shouldnt look at or touch the dogs during this process, but the dogs should be allowed to surround that person and smell her. Thats the only way they can become comfortable with a new animal of any species—by learning to distinguish her by her scent. Im not “Cesar” to my dogs. Im their pack leader, which is Cesars scent and energy.

While smelling you is a way for your dog to recognize you, projecting the correct energy is the key to becoming your dogs pack leader. Well go deeper into the pack leader concept—it is the cornerstone of your healthy relationship with your dog. But first, its important to remember that your dog doesnt see the world the same way you do. Once you learn to experience your dog as an animal first, and not as a four-legged human, you will be better able to understand his “language” of energy—and truly “hear” what he is saying to you.

From the Hardcover edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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E OR trainer, January 22, 2012 (view all comments by E OR trainer)
His quick fixes won't work for most families with problem dogs. Yank 'em jerk 'em training, aversive type training is damaging to the dogs and their owners. If people teach their dogs the wrong things, then how can the problem be solved by punishing the dog? His so-called trained submission actually indicates the dog shutting down. The dog can't produce a behavior that is praised, he can't "win", he can't be right, he can only lose, so he simply quits offering any behavior and shuts down. People want the magic wand, they don't want to really learn how to train a dog, it's much easier to hit them, shake them, jerk on them or kick them, than it is to reinforce proper behavior. Unfortunately, the dogs are still the ones who end up in the shelter. Further, these same people may be trying to teach their children in the same manner.
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cynthia-anderson, November 23, 2007 (view all comments by cynthia-anderson)
Cesar's Way focuses on explaining the many elements of problem dog behaviors, how they occur, and most importantly, the solutions which can be used to quickly change the undesired behavior.

For the last year, I carried this book around to reference when I needed guidance - or just to open randomly and read to become inspired to try to do more.

The WONDERFUL index at the back has all the different areas listed as well as environments, situations, even about health, illness and dying of beloved pets, which helped me tremendously as I lost first one then another of my dogs to viscious cancers.

I did a video of 10 examples of how I have used Cesar's information and techniques to change problem dog behaviors of rescues I have helped
( www.youtube.com/cjanderson ) because not only the inspiration and commitment of the Millan Foundation to help eliminate dogs from being abandoned as hopeless, but because the information inhis books and materials enabled me to step forward and do more for dogs no one else could help!

There is also a 2300 member Yahoo email list to help those who get his books to apply his approaches to their uniques situations and circumstances.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307337979
Author:
Millan, Cesar
Publisher:
Three Rivers Press (CA)
With:
Peltier, Melissa Jo
Author:
Peltier, Melissa Jo
Author:
Cesar Millan with Melissa Jo Peltier
Subject:
Dogs - General
Subject:
Dogs - Training
Subject:
General-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20070931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW PHOTOS THROUGHOUT
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
7.64x5.94x.69 in. .52 lbs.

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Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems Used Trade Paper
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$5.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Three Rivers Press (CA) - English 9780307337979 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this definitive and accessible guide, Millan, star of National Geographic Channels hit show "The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan," reveals what dogs truly need to live a happy and fulfilled life.
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