From bullying Chihuahuas to timid great Danes, Cesar Millan has an uncanny gift for communicating with man’s best friends.
Cesar Millan the “Dog Whisperer” a retrospective…
Whether you know him as Cesar Millan or the Dog Whisperer, he is unquestionably one of the most sought after canine behavioral experts in the nation. And for those unfamiliar with the popular program he had on National Geographic Channel (NGC), rest assured his reputation is richly deserved.
Mr. Millan is the star of NGC’s aptly titled “Dog Whisperer” which aired until the fall of 2012. Each one hour episode had him venturing into the homes of troubled dogs and their frustrated owners, where he inevitably must train the entire household. As longtime viewers of the program know, many dog owners, in their desire to give their pets love and affection, fail to establish a leadership role, and thereby unwittingly encourage canine acting out.
The transformations that regularly ensue under Mr. Millan’s guidance are nothing short of remarkable. Aggressive, frightened, lazy, compulsive, and jealous dogs-some with issues dating back years-become models ol obedient behavior.
Mr Millan’s unique talent has earned him both the nickname Dr. Phil for dogs and the attention of dog-loving celebrities. Shortly after “Dog Whisperer” debuted in September 2004, Oprah Winfrey had him on her show to help with her dog, Sophie. Other entertainers who have sought his counsel include Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Vin Diesel, Nicolas Cage, Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Duff, and Daisy Fuentes. He had also appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Live with Regis & Kelly.”
Born in Culiacan, Mexico, Mr Millan developed his rapport with dogs while growing up on his grandfather’s ranch Wanting to become a dog trainer, he emigrated to the United States, taking a job as a dog groomer. Noticing his uncanny ability with dogs, clients quickly began enlisting his help with their wayward pooches.
His Dog Psychology Center in Los Angeles Mr Millan receives as many as 100 calls a week from owners of dysfunctional doggies. Central to his approach is his “Power of the Pack” method, in which he rehabilitates dogs by socializing them in large groups. Mr. Millan’s wife, Illusion, and two sons, Cesar Andre and Calvin Christian, often help him at the center.
His best selling book, Cesar’s Wag, an instructional DVD, “People Training for Dogs,” and a DVD box set of the first season of “Dog Whisperer” are sold in stores and on his website. He also helps run Products With Purpose, an adjunct company that sells related apparel and other items.
He recently sat down for a brief interview.
When did you realize that your unique rapport with dogs could become the basis of a career?
Ever since I was a small boy I dreamt of becoming the best dog trainer in the world. I grew up on a farm in Mexico, and when it came to understanding and communicating with animals, my grandfather taught me to never go against Mother Nature. I took this to heart, and apply it to my work with dogs every day.
I feel incredibly blessed by all the success and all that has happened to me. At the same time I view it as a testament to the power of perseverance. I had a dream- a crystal clear goal and I set all my heart and soul and energy into making that dream a reality. I always tell my sons that if you truly set your mind to something and give it 100 percent dedication, you can make it happen. So in that regard I think my story is just a lesson that anyone no matter what their background can reach a goal if they truly believe in it.
Are you as famous in Mexico or in other countries?
That is a good question! I would guess no, but in Toronto they loved the show. My book was well received as well.
How many dogs do you personally own?
We personally own seven dogs, but at the Dog Psychology Center, we usually host anywhere between 30 and 50 at any given time.
Do you have a favorite breed, and if so what is it?
I don’t have a favorite breed. I love all kinds of dogs. ln fact, at the center we have more breeds than I can count. People usually ask me this question because they are looking for advice on what type of breed makes a good family pet. The answer has less to do with the breed and much more to do with the lifestyle of the family Active breeds such as hunting dogs and herding dogs require more intensive physical challenges, which is to say exercise, to stay physically and mentally content. I cannot stress enough how important it is to match the level of a dog’s energy- regardless of the breed-to your lifestyle. And no matter what dog you pick, you need to be the leader from day one.