Thursday, June 15, 2006

Book 40: Cesar's Way

According to Cesar Millan most dogs in America do not suffer from neglect (though many do), but rather that they suffer from too much affection. It is an odd malady, but one that unbalances the dog. Dogs in America do not truly know what it is to be a dog because humans often treat them as little humans, toys, but not as a Dog.

Cesar's Way is specific: Exercise, Discipline, Affection. In that order. Dogs, like wolves, roam in packs. They need to be walking a lot. So the walk is the primary part in helping to balance a dog and it also works as discipline because it shows who the pack leader is. Cesar is also big on packs.

The entire book is based on this basic principle with examples of some of Cesar's famous clients (Oprah, Will Smith, etc). Cesar also tells his personal story of how he got to be where he is and why he believes the way he does. His love of dogs really comes through and because the principles he lays out are very basic, for general "issues" the walk and the exercise, discipline, affection (affection only when the dog is calm and has done something to earn it) is what everyone can use. The owner has to be 100% committed to being the leader always.

There are objections that the book is too simplistic and that the pack mentality is not realistic and that Cesar isn't letting owners love their dogs...but Cesar is trying to bring a new mentality: that the true needs of a dog is different than that of the owner and that meeting the owner's needs may not meet the dog's needs. With my dog, it has been helpful. My dog is getting much more exercise in the form of walks (and not just play) and he walks better than he ever has.

I'm convinced Cesar knows what he is talking about.

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