May 11, 2006

Dominance and dogs

The bloggers at The Bark are upset with Cesar Millan's school of dog training.

Millan, who bills himself as "The Dog Whisperer" is too focused on achieving dominance through physical force, the Bark-ers say.

The battle in the "comments" column has already begun.

Disclaimer: I've never watched Millan's TV show. Nor, to move to the other camp, have I ever used a clicker to train dogs either. Most of my dogs have been retrievers, and training them means encouraging them to do what they are bred to do--but to bring the bumper or duck to me, damnit.

This morning's behavior issue, however, involved coming outside and finding the Chessie eating the gut pile of a . . . rabbit? I don't think he killed whatever it was himself, since "dogs probably evolved as semi-solitary scavengers in the vicinity of human settlements." That's our Jack, all right.

UPDATE: The June 5, 2006 New Yorker carries a more sympathetic portrait of Millan by Malcolm Gladwell, who himself is interviewed here. Gladwell interviews some dance teachers, who comment on Millan's command of body language compared to the hapless dog owners'.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tenho un cão chamado Pateta.É um cão que não gosta de clausura.Adora a companhia de pessoas.Costumo leva-lo ao rio comigo e por vezes ele mergulha nas águas do rio para caçar rãs.
Em termos de guarda não há melhor.Na rua não faz mal a ninguem mas no que diz respeito à defesa da casa ele torna-se completamente diferente.