I want to address a few things concerning Cesar Millan.
He’s an actor. He’s not a dog trainer. He’s not a dog rehabilitater. He doesn’t know dog language. And he’s incredibly intelligent and charming.
His methods are outdated. Sorry, but this is a proven, scientific FACT. Dogs do not have a desire to dominate us. Look it up. Learn about the facts of the Dominance Theory. Don’t take someone else’s word for it, just look it up. If you’re interested, I can even provide you with at least ten separate scientific studies that DISPROVE the Dominance Theory. All of them are bookmarked on my computer.
His methods are abusive. One dog was even severely injured and his owner had to spend thousands of dollars for surgery. I heard that the dog actually died, but I’m not 100% positive.
Thanks to his non-disclosure agreement, there are very few people who actually come out and say that CM has failed. However, I have managed to gather some.
Cotton: A dog who had to have his teeth filed down because he CONTINUED to bite even after CM “rehabilitated” him.
Shadow: The rescue that adopted him out took him from the owners after witnessing the episode.
JonBee: Put to sleep.
Ligia Morris has come out after her Fila actually became aggressive after CM came in. She managed to rehabilitate him using positive reinforcement and clicker training. He now does herding work.
The numerous dogs he “replaces” in homes because they’re “too difficult for the owner.”
And there are, of course, more. When he calls a dog “calm submissive,” the only thing I see is a dog who’s showing a perfect example of learned helplessness. The dog is not came. S/he realizes that attempts to get out of a painful and traumatic experience are not helping, so s/he, in simple terms, gives up. I still see stress clearly in their bodies, but because they are no longer struggling, CM calls them calm submissive.
The term “learned helplessness” came from an experiment done on dogs. The dog is placed in an enclosure where he cannot escape, and then the floor is electrically charged. The dog tries to escape, can’t, and ends up giving up and laying down, despite the continuous shocks.
It’s an awful thing to have to go through. And the dogs who are “alpha rolled” go through it.
You can find more information out there, too. As I said, I have at least ten studies disproving the Dominance Theory in dogs. There are numerous books out there that focus on positive reinforcement. Lots more studies that focus on the Learning Theory and clicker training. There’s really an endless supply of information. All you have to do is look, or ask me and I’ll happily provide you with specific studies or books.