On Dogs, Cesar and Reading About New Subjects
Friday, July 1, 2011Posted by Melissa (Avid Reader)
Until four months ago I’d never seen an episode of the Dog Whisperer. I’d heard of him and to be honest, he seemed a bit silly. Then we got a puppy and I became a convert. I’m not saying his methods are flawless, but some of them are pretty amazing. So I decided to check out his books as well.
That’s what happens when you’re a reader and you start something new in your life, you read books about it. Whether it’s buying a house, knitting or childbirth, we readers tend to want more information about the subject and we inevitably turn to books. So here are reviews of two of his books.
The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems
by Cesar Milan
In his first book, Cesar shares stories about his childhood in Mexico and his first experiences in America. The book is packed with tips, but it’s also part memoir, which made it easy to dive into. It also helped explain the reason why he trains dogs the way he does. Learning the thought process behind his methods was perhaps the most valuable thing in the book.
Cesar had no money when he came to America and he couldn’t speak a word of English. He worked at a dog grooming salon, and then cleaning limos long before he was the “dog whisperer.” One of his very first clients was Jada Pinkett Smith and she helped him grow his business and learn English. Once he established his dog psychology center he was truly able pursue his dream of helping rehabilitate dogs and train people in how to correctly care for their own dogs.
A few things that really helped me:
1) Nose, eyes, ears – If you want your dog to obey you, appeal to their senses in this order. Don’t yell commands at them, use bully sticks and other treats to show them where you want them to go, etc.
2) Calm and assertive behavior – Your attitude affects your dog. It you’re acting crazy, so will they. If they don’t respect your authority, they won’t obey you.
3) You dog is not a human. Simple, right? But it’s not, because we treat our dogs like our babies sometimes. Just remembering that my dog is in fact a dog, makes it much easier to train him and teach him what he is and isn’t allowed to do. He will not get his feelings hurt if you don’t allow him to do something.
4) It you’re trying to overcome a phobia or obsession in your dog, tire them out before attempting anything. When they’re worn out they’re more likely to be relaxed and accept changes.
5) The answer to almost any problem: Walks! If you’re going to try something new/if they’re being destructive/if you’re moving or traveling or going to a dog park, no matter what the problem is, the first answer is always to take them on a long walk.
How to Raise the Perfect Dog:
Through Puppyhood and Beyond
by Cesar Milan
Dogs begin learning about your authority from the first moment that they meet you. In this book, Cesar walks people through the process of preparing for your puppy, picking out a dog, introducing your new puppy to your home and setting boundaries.
Cesar recommends picking a dog with the lower energy level than you have, so you’ll always be able to give your dog enough time and attention. You also need to make sure your home and life is ready for a dog before you commit to raising one.
I would highly recommend reading the books BEFORE you get a dog. There are so many important tips that I would have liked to know before we brought out dog home. It turns out we did most things right, but there are some things we would have done differently. The books are incredibly helpful no matter what stage you are in with your dog (especially Cesar’s Way), but would be most beneficial for soon-to-be owners.