Owner Profile: The Cesar Millan Wannabe.

6 Jul

Description: We all know them, none of us love them. That’s right- The Cesar Millan Wannabe (CMW). Whether you are a fan of CM or want him to burn in the lowest pit of hell, you have to admit this person is annoying.  Really, really, annoying. The entirety of their dog knowledge is gained from reading CM’s books and watching his program religiously.  Their own dog is usually terribly behaved and completely ignores CM’s most often used catchphrase “Tsst”.

His hero, his teacher, his man-crush.

Common Locations:  Dog parks, where they can impart their “knowledge” on innocent bystanders and demonstrate alpha rolls on unsuspecting dogs.  Trolling internet forums where they pick fights with anyone and everyone who will give them the time of day.

Even the dogs are doing it.

Wardrobe: “Be the Pack Leader” and “Leader of the Pack” t-shirts, rollerblades, fanny packs and dog packs strapped on each hip. Dogs are usually wearing cheap slip leashes, or more recently the Cesar Millan branded products.

Manny pack in so-so many ways.

Breeds Owned: Just about any breed can be owned by the CMW, but they do tend to enjoy having “power” over the larger more powerful breeds like Rotties, Pit bulls, and German Shepherds.

That’s a funny noise you’re making. Do you have food? I like food.

Skill Level: Very Very low, the CMW has never spoken to an actual trainer other than to tell them what they are doing is completely wrong.

Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica.

Catch Phrases: “TSST”, “You need to be calm submissive”, “No talk, no touch, no eye contact.”

Dogs can read, right?

Anecdotal Evidence:

BusyBee:  Volunteering at a local shelter, I’ve encountered more CMWs than I can count.  Recently while taking out a puppy with a potential adopter, it became remarkably clear that I was dealing with one of these types.   Within a few minutes of pointing and “tsssting” at the poor confused pup, he proclaimed “This dog won’t mind me.  I can fix that.  Just need to show her who is boss”.   When I pointed out that she responded much better to positive reinforcement (and promptly showed him how eager she was to please when she had some direction), he told me that he didn’t believe in bribing his dogs and that the dog only responded to me because I had known for a while (note: It was my first time meeting her as well).   After a few more minutes of him pointing and commanding the puppy to do things, he tried to force the puppy into a “sit” and got angry when I asked him to please not do that.  I said it was time to go back inside and he stomped away in a huff.  Needless to say, the CMW did not end up getting a dog from us.

A few more episodes and she’ll be ready for the obedience ring,

Potnoodle: My favorite CMW just happens to be a relative of mine. He seems to be fairly convinced dogs are born knowing that “tsst” and a claw hand means bad. His own dog, upon hearing the noise, would roll over on his back. When he visited my house, he tried it on my Australian Cattle Dog/Border Collie mix and she just stared at him like the idiot he was. He then attempted to tell me that the B, the mix, was clearly a red zone case and was challenging him with eye contact. I told him that we had a trainer and that maybe he needed to see one too.

Well you’re stupid. Next please.

Fang: There’s a local “trainer” (and I use the term loosely) who runs around pretending to be a combination of Cesar and Jesus. His concept of clicker training is truly a marvel. He has his own Youtube channel which I will sometimes watch for my own amusement. Unsurprisingly, he has an amazingly devoted following, who are equal parts frustrating and stupid.

I’m not being aggressive, just dominant.


17 Responses to “Owner Profile: The Cesar Millan Wannabe.”

  1. Pat F. July 6, 2013 at 1:35 am #

    Thought this was hilarious, especially the doggie photos.

  2. nasadogblog July 6, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    excellent read, as usual, still giggling… however, i am extremely disappointed that the Youtube channel name of Fang’s CMW was not revealed… such a tease!

    • TheDogSnobs July 6, 2013 at 2:32 am #

      Fang here. I would but… it’s highly localized and while our identities aren’t Clark Kent secret… if he backtracked and found out it was me since we’re personally acquainted in a small place things could get awkward.

      To give you an idea of the quality he does have a local cable access show too. It’s sponsored by a discount pet website so he’s always shilling something, Most notably the chicken treats that were recalled repeatedly.

  3. Rosemary Hoffman July 6, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    Here’s a link to the entire wonderful episode from the South Park site.

  4. kittyherder July 6, 2013 at 4:27 am #

    There is a special circle in hell for CM. That man is just plain dangerous.

  5. James July 6, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Wow, never knew so many people disliked Cesar Milan. I was never a Dog Whisperer Fan. We love Victoria Stilwell from “It’s Me Or The Dog”. And we have never used fear or coercion in training any of our dogs. It’s amazing how animals – including humans, respond to positive reinforcement and reward therapy as opposed to being beaten down.

    • pawsforpraise July 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

      James, there are legions of people who think that he’s the worst thing to hit dogs since Koehler. They’re in good company. Many legitimate, credentialed behaviorists seem to think he’s a hack, too.

      • Jennifer July 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

        Speaking as a trainer, I think his method is legit. Here’s the problem, though –

        Yes, his method is legit. For him. His shows are thirty minutes, sometimes an hour. What he’s doing comes instinctively to him, and that’s fine. The problem is that an hour isn’t enough time to fully explain what he’s doing, and it doesn’t replace the back-and-forth and personalized instruction you get when you meet with a qualified trainer. I don’t have a problem with Cesar – I have a problem with the fact that he has a TV show. Dog training isn’t something that should be on TV – especially because you’re dealing with DOG people, who are notoriously know-it-all.

        My methods are smack-dab in the middle of Cesar and Victoria. I use both pack-leader style methodology, and positive reinforcement techniques. My over-all issue with dog trainers in general is that they have a tendency to latch on to a specific trend of training, and then they /stop learning/. They never get any better. They will violently defend to the death their chosen methodology. They aren’t willing to listen, ask smart questions, or admit that their way isn’t perfect.

        I will immediately discredit any trainer who tells me I don’t have anything to teach them, or that they don’t have anything left to learn. There is ALWAYS something else to learn. That doesn’t mean I won’t learn things from them – I just take what they say with a grain of salt. I learned quickly that pointing out behavioral and psychological flaws in people’s training techniques becomes an annoying lecture for me, so I just let them talk, smile when they say something stupid, take away what I can, and move on.

        Cesar’s methods are best used in person, by Cesar, on severely aggressive dogs. Anyone trying to mimic Cesar is asking to get mauled. In the face. And they deserve it for being stupid.

  6. Nicole July 6, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    that’s hilarious. I definitely know a few of these… thanks for the laugh!!

  7. ladychaunceybarkington July 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    Hearing people call R+ bribery when they can’t even use the quadrant competently really shows how off their expertise. We need to learn much, much more from these people.

  8. Christine Vezina July 7, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    The most tedious part of dealing with a CMW on a professional level is that so many seem genuinely pleased with them selves for doing their homework and being knowledgeable. Getting better ideas in their head without crushing them is difficult and frustrating, and in the cases of your anecdotes, often impossible!

  9. Theresa July 9, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    Great article. . . . I always love to eavesdrop on the “Cesar says” pontificators at the dog park .”Cesar says you should never play tug with your dog . . .Cesar says you have to do the pack walk and don’t let your negative energy travel down the leash” .
    . . or the dog-owning friends who are woefully unobsessed with all things dogs or dog training (never attended a class) but have just discovered “the Dog Whisperer” and are excited to tell me all about it . . . One acquaintance feels it’s very important for his dog aggressive “Bug” to be held in position for having her butt sniffed by new dogs, to teach her submission? Not sure if he got that from Cesar, but I hear he watched every episode religiously . . .

  10. Theresa July 9, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    Potnoodle! I love the look on your ACD/BC mix (ooh, that sounds like a band, lol!) “Red zone? Mister, when I’ve raised hell you’ll know it!!”

    • Tam July 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      Herding Dog: I’ll let you know when you’ve impressed me. Wait for it.

  11. Kat, Holly & Bri July 9, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    Yup, I am a proud treat pusher. My dogs happily do what I ask, when I ask, without me needing to poke them in the neck.
    There truly is a special circle of hell for Mr. Millan…d

  12. Neil Hutchins inc. July 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    Reblogged this on Neil J Hutchins (Canine Education) Blog.

  13. Cat Lane November 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    Please please please do one of these on the raw feeder who is now a self appointed nutritionist and is giving (usually terrible) advice to everyone in the world (including real nutritionists). Please. I’ll send material if you like. This was hilarious!

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