• Hi all ,
    Im a very big "Dog Whisperer" fan and wanted to see if all the more experienced basenji owners have an opinion on how he handles his situations with dogs and if they can be applied to Bs as well or if a different tactic is needed.:o

  • I wouldn't do it..unless you want to make your dog "issues" worse.
    B's just don't handle harsh treatments…and they don't forget it when you use them.

  • What about it is harsh though? I dont see him neing forceful, physical ( besides his little shhhh that he does ).

  • Cesar Milan's methods are not in line with current understanding of learning theory and training. He uses aversives and flooding in his training and what may appear like a "positive change in the dog" is really a shut down, stressed out dog.

    There are many recommendations on this forum for good trainers who have books and DVDs that use current methods that are very successful with basenjis and dogs in general.

    Just a few are:
    Leslie McDevitt
    Susan Garrett
    Patricia McConnell
    Jean Donaldson
    Karen Pryor

    I would also recommend learning about canine body language so you can start to see signs of stress your dog.

    The Language of Dogs is a good video with lots of information.

    Check out http://www.dogwise.com

  • If you go back through some old threads you can find a lot of discussion about this topic. It only serves to make blood boil to rehash it again 🙂

  • uhm, yea, i thought i heard a can of worms open.

    i can't say much about CM. I am one of the last persons in the US without cable, so I haven't seen his show very often. What I did find interesting is that his show is billed as "educational" but the couple of shows I saw had "Do NOT try this at home" (or something similiar). Odd because the other dog show (the one with the English lady, Victoria something or other) does not have that disclaimer. Ask yourself why do CM techniques need such a disclaimer?

    Really there are many other better methods based in science. I don't know of anyone in higher levels of training that recommend him/his books/his methods. Now granted, most of these people are agility type people. People who have won huge competitions, have been to world competitions, etc. But agility is a sport where in order to make it big, your dog does have to perform consistantly and accurately in all sorts of new environments. You are not allowed to have the dog on leash, touch the dog or have any training aids while you are in the ring. I can guarentee that if you use compulsive methods of training you will not get as far as you would using more positive methods, especially with a basenji.

    here's a good place to start:

  • he is a very handsome man, and can make a decent television show. however, his training methods are very forceful and causes the dogs to be aversive. they are not performing a particular behavior because they want to please but because they want to avoid what you will do to them if they don't. this training won't last forever. eventually they'll get sick of it, or get other issues.

  • @agilebasenji:

    Odd because the other dog show (the one with the English lady, Victoria something or other) does not have that disclaimer. Ask yourself why do CM techniques need such a disclaimer?

    Victoria Stilwell; the show is called "It's Me or the Dog," and it plays on Animal Planet.

    I absolutely adore the show and watch it almost every weekend. We've used some of her techniques to train Paco and they've worked well.

  • IMO, Stilwell is more effective, because the dogs has to "get" it.

  • ^ agreed!!

  • Cesar is harsh when a dog is not obeying and is being 'strong'. He will push at the dog in the neck area with all of his fingers pointed. He will also pin the dog down - he says like the dog's mom would. And when walking a dog that is not walking on leash properly, he uses his feet to sneakily hit the dog's feet. Not my idea of great training.

  • I think both the mentioned television trainers have some things to offer, but both are far from ideal. Like most people said above, most of CM's techniques won't work well with a Basenji's personality. The one thing I have learned from watching CM is to pay attention to your dog's "state of mind" when you are trying to teach and correct behavior. If you have a scared dog or over excited dog, it will be hard for them to absorb anything. CM's basic rule of Exercise, Food, affection is a good general rule too. The first thing I do when I get home with Malu is take him on a nice long walk, then feed him. He responds well to it. CM and VS are both very strong proponents of walking/exercising your dog. This is especially important with Basenji's (from my limited experience). A tired Basenji is a good Basenji.

    The real issue is most the people on the show are horrible dog owners. They never put the time in to train the proper behaviors in the first place. They often never walk or properly exercise (both physicall and mentally) their dogs. Many dogs have been very minimally socialized with people and/or animals. its no wonder their dogs are so misbehaved!

  • I don't have television so my friend recorded some CM programmes on video for me. At first sight I said wow! - was very impressed by results. On watching more closely I realised that what he really does is 'break' the dog's spirit and i'm sure it would make a Basenji with problems even worse! Some ohis actions such as forcing a dog down on it's back would I'm sure result in returned aggression on a Basenji's part and in my opinion is downright cruel.

    I've just got back from a seminar by Dr Ian Dunbar whose methods are at the opposite end of the spectrum to Cesar's. He was actually asked his opinion of Cesar and said that they do meet socially but NEVER discuss dog training at these meetings because of their opposing views on that.

    Basenjis respond to positive reinforcement and when I've competed in obedience with mine I've always found that to give them loads of praise before giving the command gets immediate results.

  • @Patty:

    I've just got back from a seminar by Dr Ian Dunbar

    You are sooo lucky. I'm jealous.

  • I would love to see Dunbar too. 🙂

    Patty, you don't have television? Wow.

  • Yes, Ian Dunbar was amazing and he commanded my total interest for the two days. Most of his methods are ideal for a Basenji in my opinion and he was also vey knowledgeable about them which certainly did impress me because so many dog trainers I've heard, (including Cesar, thank goodness!) have very little experience of working with them.

    Debra - we gave up television when our first son was born (54 years ago!!!) as we made the decision that we wanted to raise our children naturally (just like we tried to raise our Basenjis!) and we thought television would waste valuable time when they could explore, read and learn so much without the influence of the media. Occasionally I hear of a programme that I would have loved to see but really don't miss having one. Sorry, off topic!

  • Everyone is saying what I would be saying… I stay far far far away from Caesar M. My parents used that same methodology (when I was a small child) on our first Basenji - she turned into a fearful, withdrawn dog who could never be around other dogs, had to be muzzled when people were in the house because she bit adults and children. I always regret her life because as much as we loved her and she loved us, she lived a much more pallid existence than a dog should have due to the fact she was improperly trained.

    I have trained my Basenji with only positive reinforcement methods, using a variety of cherry picked techniques - including clicker training. I'm happy to say I have a well adjusted bitch, who loves everyone, enjoys cats and dogs, and can be recalled with in 2 feet of live ducks. 😃 that's Basenji training. (**THANK YOU **Dr. B.F. Skinner, Karen Pryor, Dr. Dunbar, Jane Killion, Dr. Patricia McConnell and others… )

  • Patty, I know several people who got rid of their tvs. I couldn't. But I did limit my daughter's viewing. I frankly feel it can be good in many ways. But the folks who don't have them don't seem to suffer. 🙂

    Lauren, I don't care what they say about spite.. dogs do feel spite.

    Years ago a friend's husband had experience I challenge anyone to term something that fits better.

    He drove a delivery route at the time and when the weather was nice, often took their GSD with them. So one morning he got up, told her she could go bye bye. She was psyched! He goes down and realized it was raining so told her she couldn't go. Lynn and dog watched him leave. The dog went upstairs, carried down one of his shoes, placed it in the middle of the living room rug and pooped in it.

    Tell me, what is that if not spite?

  • I just love it when folk say Mr Milan can't be all bad as he says you need to feed, exercise and give a dog affection!!!!

    Jeepers! They are the MOST basic requirements for caring for any sentient beings - how Mr Milan can get any kudos for stating that is beyond me. I learnt that in nursery school when we had to look after the gerbils.

    It is also beyond me that anyone can be surprised that a dog given a well-balanced diet, is given appropriate daily exercise and human contact affection is more likely to be calm/relaxed/happy/receptive to human interaction than a dog that is fed poor diet, not exercised and ignored.

    Helena you made a wise decision to stop watching TV all those years ago, as it seems the majority of the Western world has lobotimised itself and lost the ability of 'common sense'.

    I would like to give a shout out to Jane Killon, Ian Dunbar, Ray Coppinger, Jean Donaldson, Susan Garrett, Lesley McDevitt and Kay Laurence who among my current favourite reads/DVDs when it comes to dog behaviour and/or training.

    Apologies, rant over…. I'm obviously in need of some exercise and the poor diet of 3 coffees per day is doing me no good!

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