Dog whisperer???

I have been looking through some older threads and have noticed a trend of many of you saying that you dont think the Dog Whisperer's techniques are appropriate for basenjis. Just wondering what the rationale for that is? 😕

In a nutshell, because the dog whisperer uses force…and Basenjis, in general don't do well with force.

There is you read more threads in the training section, I think you will find more indept explanations.

I prefer positive reinforcement methods for all dogs, and particularly for dogs that are independant thinkers.

This always confuses me. I don't see his methods as force at ALL. Not remotely. Can you explain what you mean. He uses energy,attitude, and distraction, not force. He seldom even touches the dogs, and when he does it is just a slight touch. I understand that it is not a reward training, but I don't see the only methods as reward and force, or positive and negative.

He does use a positive/reward method, IMO, but the reward is peace and affection, not cookies.

When I think of "force" training, I think of those trainers of the past who would encourage people to throw the dogs to the ground, hold the neck tight, and have a stare down, or the rolled up newspaper, etc. Not sounds and body language.

Uh, I am talking about the methods I have seen on TV where he jerks a reactive dog's neck with a pinch collar when it barks at other dogs, and uses his foot to kick the dog's behind to get it's attention on him (kick around the back of his own, and dog's body). Where he uses his fingers to poke a dog who is in a down stay on its side to remind him who is in charge. You can also use force without every laying a finger on a dog, thru body language and leash handling.

IMO, the things you list above as force training are abuse, not to mention ineffective, and certainly damaging to the relationship between dog and owner. Cesar absolutely uses force, as in there is no alternative but compliance. The dog doesn't choose…if the dog wants the pressure of the correction to stop, he must comply. He does not use a reward method. Saying good dog, and giving a dog a scritch after you yanked him all over the room is not a positive/reward method<shrug>

Peace is not a reward...it is the absence of pressure (physical or mental). Technically that is negative reinforcement (you take away something from the equation to make the behavior happen more....you apply pressure on neck with collar until dog stops barking, you release pressure, dog learns that stopping barking makes pressure stop)

With the exception of the bit about operant conditioning (which is universally excepted learning theory)...this is all my observation, my opinion and my thoughts on why I discourage people with Basenjis from following the teachings of CM. Someone asked, I answered. Everyone can train their dogs (or not) however they wish...and they will live with the outcome of their training methods. I prefer to do no harm when I train my own dogs, or other people's dogs. Once again, you and I will have to agree to disagree on this topic, I guess.</shrug>

Thought provoking answers,,,,,,,,BTW,,,,,,,,,,last night my son recorded an episode of South Park (we usually dont watch this show but he insisted!!!) and it was hillarious,,,,,,,,,it was about how one of the kids moms had Ceasar come to her house to help train her son,,,,,,,if you have a DVR you should definately record this – language is a bit vulgar but this one was really funny!!!

@JazzysMom:

This always confuses me. I don't see his methods as force at ALL. Not remotely. Can you explain what you mean. He uses energy,attitude, and distraction, not force. He seldom even touches the dogs, and when he does it is just a slight touch. I understand that it is not a reward training, but I don't see the only methods as reward and force, or positive and negative.

He does use a positive/reward method, IMO, but the reward is peace and affection, not cookies.

When I think of "force" training, I think of those trainers of the past who would encourage people to throw the dogs to the ground, hold the neck tight, and have a stare down, or the rolled up newspaper, etc. Not sounds and body language.

Just to add to Andrea's response on "peace and affection" if you really listen to him, he does not like "affection" and doesn't think it is necessary in a dog's life…

Better for me is the show on Animal Planet called "Its me or the dog" (I think that is the one, there are two, but both are pretty much right on)... it is well done with proven positive training methods... IMO

I agree Pat, the Animal Planet British shows "it's me or…" and also "barking mad" are much more appropriate training strategies for problematic dogs.

As I have said before...a lot of Cesar's opinons and theories I find myself in agreement with...particularly about owners taking responsibility for setting boundaries with their dogs, and not treating dogs like little humans. But I find his techniques for aggressive or fearful dogs barbaric.

@Quercus:

I agree Pat, the Animal Planet British shows "it's me or…" and also "barking mad" are much more appropriate training strategies for problematic dogs.

As I have said before...a lot of Cesar's opinons and theories I find myself in agreement with...particularly about owners taking responsibility for setting boundaries with their dogs, and not treating dogs like little humans. But I find his techniques for aggressive or fearful dogs barbaric.

That is the one, thanks, Barking Mad…. they are great shows... and I agree the idea of setting boundaries and taking responsibility are correct it is the excution of those that bother me... All of us would like to put our emotions in line with our dogs... but they are not humans and do not have human emotions, as much as we would like to think they do....
The two British shows are much more down to earth with real solutions.... and real situations.

I agree jazzy's mom when people say he is to harsh I'm just like whaaaaaat??? His formula also says 50% exercise 25% discipline and 25% affection. I think the guy is awesome, I have had so many great results with my basenji and his training methods. I like the way he uses energy and body language and I think a big part of of the "reward" is exercise when it comes to CM. I have learned sooo much from his show and am totally hooked. I just cant stress enough how far my dog has come from the day I brought him home and I owe alote of his happiness to Cesar's ways. He's a well rounded calm easy B. I personally think his formula is perfect for my dog he adores the exercise we give him long walks, hiking, 4-5 days a week @ the dog park, dog beaches and so on.< He always says that should be #1 in a dogs life mental and physical stimulation.
Cesar is so cool!

His methods work for my dogs as well…not just the B's.
The "poke" is really just a touch, as is the "kick". I NEVER strike my dogs
in any way.

One of my sisters has been training horses and dogs for .... well, geez, as long as I can remember {she's about 12 yrs older than I}... and has always used positive training. She's the one who turned me on to Cesar.

As for him not thinking dogs need affection, I disagree. He believes they need affection at the appropriate times, but he is very affectionate with his dogs, and encourages affection toward those he trains once they are in a calm state of mind.

But, as has been said, this really is a case of agree to disagree. And that's okay,too.

Yes he does teach 25% affection but only after exercise and discipline. My boss @ the grooming salon I used to work for turned me on to Cesar. She sent us all to the seminar as sort of a bonus. It was in Beverly Hills and quite interesting the lady in the seat behind me had two Basenji's and we were chatting away sharing pic's and such. Some people even drove from Northern California for it!

I do not have cable so have only seen a few of Ceasar's shows but all of the ones I saw he used force. When I got my first basenji clicker training was only just starting out in dog training and most of the local trainers that offered "reward" training still used the older force methods but with rewards for getting it right. Nicky never really liked training, he was very shut down by it. When we got our second basenji it was easier to find a clicker trainer and Rally loves training she lights up and always has at the opportunity to work. When I needed to a trainer for Rio I ended up having to find yet another trainer and it was with her that I really hit the jackpot finding someone who not only has instilled a love of working in my young dogs but even got Nicky excited about training. He wants to go to "work", he loves being my demo dog and I know this is because of positive reinforcement training. I still cringe when I see force methods used on dogs because I know how deeply unhappy it made Nicky but I also know that it wasn't until I saw how truly joyful Rally was about training that I understood how deeply it had affected Nicky.

I've watched the show and yah he sure does have a way with dogs….but has anyone ever seen him work with a Basenji? Ummm I don't think so. His training methods may work with most breeds but we are dealing with a whole different kind of dog. I use some of Cesar's training techniques and other dog trainer techniques. IMO you should customize your training style for what best fits your life and your dog. He will be in my city next month. They are selling tickets. Maybe I'll go and see what he has to say. 🙂

Our local Sunday paper features a column by a dog trainer named John Ross. He always talks about making a noise towards your dog that he spells "Nhaaaa." Kind of like a low growl. He says that this is to imitate the sound a mother dog will make towards her puppy when correcting it. My brother always made that sound when Senji lived with them, and it always made him submissive.

I have used Cesar's "Shh…" meathod on my Mali and she responds great.

When she's doing something bad I just step towards her and very forcefully make the "shhh.." sound and she knows to stop.

I guess it just depends on your Basenji really...

I love the show "Its Me or The Dog" totally good methods IMO & she uses rewards for good behavior & no rewards for unwanted behavior. This is different from punishment for unwanted behavior. There's no tugging or pulling or touching…she uses sounds to get the dogs attention like an EH EH in a loud voice. My dogs do respond to that...now they know that EH EH means don't go near the window (they like to watch dogs go by & then go crazy!).

You know, I watched that show for the first time this weekend after hearing about it here, and now I really don't get it.

There was a small, aggressive dog that wanted to attack every dog it saw at parks, etc. The solution was to take the dog to a park, and walk it rapidly toward another dog and then turn quickly w/out a sound to the dog, and begin to walk back in the opposite direction. The result was that the little dog was jerked around and dragged – while it was still trying to turn to get to the other dog -- along behind the walker. First the instructor did it a few times, then the owner.

How is that NOT rough training? How is that NOT tugging or pulling?

I guess we all see in these methods what we expect to see. As I've said before when it's been said that Cesar Milan "pokes" or "kicks" the dogs that these are just gentle touches -- there's not hard poke, just a touch the neck; no kick, just a touch w/the foot -- which are methods I use w/my own dogs.
I certainly saw punishment and pulling w/the lady from "It's me or the dog", but apparently others view that differently as well.

Again, this really is an "agree to disagree" moment because I really do not understand....

@JazzysMom:

You know, I watched that show for the first time this weekend after hearing about it here, and now I really don't get it.

There was a small, aggressive dog that wanted to attack every dog it saw at parks, etc. The solution was to take the dog to a park, and walk it rapidly toward another dog and then turn quickly w/out a sound to the dog, and begin to walk back in the opposite direction. The result was that the little dog was jerked around and dragged – while it was still trying to turn to get to the other dog -- along behind the walker. First the instructor did it a few times, then the owner.

How is that NOT rough training? How is that NOT tugging or pulling?

I guess we all see in these methods what we expect to see. As I've said before when it's been said that Cesar Milan "pokes" or "kicks" the dogs that these are just gentle touches -- there's not hard poke, just a touch the neck; no kick, just a touch w/the foot -- which are methods I use w/my own dogs.
I certainly saw punishment and pulling w/the lady from "It's me or the dog", but apparently others view that differently as well.

Again, this really is an "agree to disagree" moment because I really do not understand....

Was the dog wearing a pinch collar? I don't know, I haven't seen this episode. Could be the difference that the dog was yanking itself on the end of the leash, and handler was walking briskly away. The difference may be the human yanking the dog vs. the dog yanking the dog, again, I don't know since I didn't see it. You are right…most people see what they want to see....

I watched one epsiode of CM...I slowed down the TIVO to watch him swing his right leg around behind his left leg, and the dog on his left to kick it in the butt. It wasn't a touch with the foot. It was a swift kick. No one could have seen it without slowing it down...

You can justify it all you want. A HUGE body of trainers and animal professionals disagree with CM's methods (particularly for aggressive and fearful dogs). A large number of TV watchers and pet owners feel he has the right idea....Again, I prefer to do no harm when training my dogs, or my clients...IOW, I don't want to make problems that I will have to fix later...

As a personal anecdote, I can tell you that I used techniques nearly identical to CM's (they aren't new at all) when we started having problems with Ivy six years ago. Her growling, snapping and biting got worse, and morphed from toward other dogs to towards people. I wish I knew then, what I know now...I would never have used those methods with a fearful/agressive dog.

We'll all have to agree to disagree-I think everyone and every dog has certain temperments. These temperments are 'transferred' to each dog and human. eg I had a client who had a pitbull who was afraid to walk it on the street-she was fearful this transferred to the dog who had issues with anything that moved. After training HER the dog was a pleasant animal to walk and virtually ignored everything else, including the G Shepherd who wanted to take the pit's head off. Every type of training has a person who believes it is for them and their dog. Agressive training does no one any good-either dog or human. However, I believe some of his methods are of use to certain temperments of dogs. I don't believe his methods are that bad for DOMESTICATED dogs. Unfortunately, Basenji's are independent thinkers and don't do well with this type of training. I would never 'kick' or 'poke' any dog-you just never know what may happen. I find I use many methods-depending on the type of dog and situation-EH EH works fine with a lot of dogs-but not every dog. I find that sometimes CM goes overboard and pushes the dogs too hard. Again, this is MY OPINION. And I usually get shot at for expressing it. As I've said before, you only see what's on the screen-not behind the scenes. And, it makes you wonder.

@vstripe:

I agree jazzy's mom when people say he is to harsh I'm just like whaaaaaat??? His formula also says 50% exercise 25% discipline and 25% affection. I think the guy is awesome, I have had so many great results with my basenji and his training methods.

I totally agree with Jazzysmom and vstripe here. I think Cesar is absolutely amazing and I adore him. 🙂

Has anyone seen the tv show Supernanny? Each show focuses on a family whose kids are out of control and completely disrespect their parents. Bribing the kids with candy and toys (becoming a treat dispenser) may garner temporary obedience but it does not teach a child respect. Supernanny Jo goes in and observes then she teaches the parents how to gain control over their children. When a kid is throwing a tantrum or whatever, it has to sit in the "naughty chair" or a "naughty spot" until it calms down. No one hits the kids or yells at them but if they move the parents pick them up and put them back in the "naughty chair". The parents calm energy and body language teaches the child that the parent is in control. It doesn't take long for the child's behavior to improve. Once the children understand who is in charge, then their behavior can further be improved using positve reinforcement.

Cesar does pretty much the same thing with out of control dogs. He teaches the owners how to gain their dog's respect then once that is established the owner's can follow up with positive reinforcement training.

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