Tips For Dogs

Brad Pattison vs. Cesar Milan

Brad Pattison vs. Cesar Milan

Cesar Millen, the “dog whisperer” works mainly on the philosophy of using calm, confident energy, and this energy and body language can greatly influence a dog’s behavior. His basic concept, in order of importance, is that a dog needs 1. Exercise, 2. Discipline, 3. Love, in that order. Many problems can be solved by giving the dog more exercise in a structured environment. Not all problems, of course; and he is right; many owners do not give their dogs enough exercise and mental stimulation. It will work with any dog ‚Äč‚Äčregardless of the level of aggression. He also states in his book “Cesar’s Way” that many problems stem from the fact that people think of their dogs not as animals, dogs, breeds and names, but as people, they humanize their dogs too much. Growing up in Mexico, he didn’t see the problems that dogs have in America because Americans humanize their dogs when they should just let them be dogs and be treated as such.

Apparently his methods work as the dogs recover and he has shown the same owners again and again several years later; and the dog is still rehabilitated; contrary to what some will say, his methods create a ticking time bomb; if that were the case, he would have many of his own dogs that he rehabilitated and clients’ dogs revert to their previous dangerous and aggressive states.

The concept of being the leader of the pack and remaining calm and assertive at all times are obviously excellent guidelines to follow. Also, and again, contrary to what some have said, his methods are to get the dog to become aggressive, then have the alpha throw the dog and exercise his dominance over the dog; what he states is to correct the behavior at the slightest sign before they escalate into a “red zone,” or more problematic behavior. If the dog is overreactive to a particular stimulus, for example in the case of a Rottweiler who reacts strongly to all kinds of sounds, such as shopping carts, skateboards, etc., his methods are to desensitize the dog by exposing him to the particular stimulus and again until correct it with a light touch (and he emphasizes light touch, not hitting) until the dog stops reacting. It’s the same with his methods of leash training, of gently correcting the dog if he pulls forward; and to make sure that you are in the lead or the dog is next to you on the walk so that the dog does not overtake you as it will then think that it is the leader of the pack on the walk.

His methods seem spot on; but I will say that the alpha roll technique should not be used by anyone but a very experienced person; and may not be used at all; since (and he mentions this in his book) no one should throw an alpha aggressive dog (although he does so with apparent success); or you can injure yourself very easily, and this is a rule which you must follow to the end, as most dogs, if in an aggressive state, will not bear to be rolled; and will attack; there are some who say that the only time a dog will roll another on its back is right before it kills it. Dogs will willingly roll over on their backs with another dog around, but it must be voluntary.

The only other aspect of Cesar’s training is the use of “whatever tool the owner uses”; which is fine except when the tool is a collar. Prong collars are not comfortable for the dog; and this is just my opinion; but should not be used in most cases; for this disguises your dog’s obedience to you for the simple reason that he respects you as his leader; and instead controls through discomfort. Also, I would recommend any of the books, videos, etc. of Caesar; but use common sense and when he says a method should not be used without consulting a professional, then don’t use it. Just follow the basic concepts.

That’s one thing I’ll give Brad Pattison; in one episode when he was passing through the owner’s house as usual; he found a collar, mocked it and threw it away. Kudos to him for that. He also does not recommend choke collars or shock collars.

Surprisingly, his main concept is that dogs learn through body language; which turns out to be the same concept as Cesar Millan, although their methods are not similar in all respects.

If the dog is misbehaving, on the one hand, if he is not getting enough exercise, he will recommend more exercise, but he uses the navel technique. Tie a 6 foot leash around the waist and the other end attached to the dog. He will often recommend keeping the dog on this navel for 2 hours a day, which can be done while you do other things; such as preparing dinner, feeding the baby, etc. This is an excellent method that works well for all dog owners; the only thing is that he gets carried away by the activities you can still do while having a dog on the umbilical cavity; and once showed that he had a dog on his navel while mowing the lawn, he was pushing a lawnmower around with a dog tied to his waste; not good to do if there are children watching and they might try this themselves.

People comment that his personality is a bit rude; And that’s it; but in many cases the owners don’t take the situation seriously and need a rough treatment to kick their asses into gear so to speak. Sometimes he is a little unnecessarily rude, but there is usually a logical reason for his attitude towards the owners.

He really focuses on fixing the family situation that’s going on, which comes from his experience as a life coach, which is usually a nice touch. He seems to be very good at getting the owners’ dogs to obey him off-leash and learn to be in a situation where they won’t escape unless fenced in, which is very important; I don’t know how many times I’ve been to a dog park with my own dogs and seen other people’s dogs run out into the road, luckily they haven’t been run over, but the owner is behind them yelling for the dog who obviously isn’t listening to them and adjusting. This is another method he uses; tell owners not to talk to their dogs for 2 weeks; and use body language and energy instead (like Cesar Millan); because people tend to talk too much to their dogs, then when you need them to listen, they will tune you out.

He also condemns the use of food as a training tool and calls it a masking technique. It is true that excessive use of food or food only as a training reward will create a dog that does not listen 100% of the time if it is not interested in food at the time; or if he sees something that has a greater appeal to him, that food – another playful dog, a toy, a squirrel, etc. This seems to be a gray area. Many successful trainers do use food. I believe that there can be situations where the use of food is acceptable, which Cesar demonstrates on several occasions; for example, dogs that have excessive fear issues; or rewarding a dog for negative behavior (barking on stimulus) and if used as a reward rather than a bribe it works.

There is a risk that the dog will behave for the food and not for you; so be very careful to wean the dog off the food after a while. Some trainers overeat, and that’s wrong. There may be a time when for example you forgot to bring food etc. Reduce the reward to giving food every second time, then every third time, etc.; until the reward of food is replaced by affection.

Or you can use Brad’s advice and not use food at all; but I don’t think using food as a training tool is 100% wrong in every situation. People really overdo the healing training like I said and use it as a bribery tool rather than a reward.

In one show, a family has trouble with their dog, which rushes through the gate; in this show he grabbed the dog and raised his voice in several sentences to the dog; so those few instances where he uses this “training method” of raising his voice in long speeches to the dog do not seem appropriate or too professional, it is this type of instance that makes one wonder; but in general his other navel concepts – dogs learn from body language without talking too much to your dog; looks good.

So basically between the two; one of the main concepts that seems to be a common theme is using body language and energy to control your dog. Who has better methods? Well, that’s like comparing apples to oranges.

Personally, I will sometimes still use food to bond with my dog, not for training, but as an occasional reward. I tend to watch Dog Whisperer more than At the End of My Leash simply because it’s a bit more varied and seems gentler. (Obviously except in cases of extreme aggression when the dog rolls around etc; ). And I will never agree to the prong collars that Brad doesn’t recommend. Maybe I watch it more since Cesar has a more appealing personality and seems like a gentle soul. In any case, use common sense and whatever method works best for your dog. There are positive training tips and techniques you can learn from both. No, as they both advocate; let the dog rule the house, make sure you are the leader of the pack; but do so in a calm, assertive manner.

#Brad #Pattison #Cesar #Milan

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