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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do any of you guys watch <span style="font-style: italic">The Dog Whisperer</span>?

What do you think about his techniques? I have heard good and bad opinions...
 

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Originally Posted By: Quinn&Grayson have heard good and bad opinions...
My approach is that which I apply to a lot of things ... take what you like and leave the rest. There were a couple of his methods which I tried with my Maggie - one being the sound he makes to get a dog's attention (have no clue how to duplicate it in writing). I would use it when we were walking and she would get her mind set on something nasty. It worked pretty good. The rest were not my style. I think what really turned me away from watching his show was when he was called in to help a family with a beagle -- the complaint being that the dog howled too much. The goal was to get the beagle to stop howling. I would have preferred that the family rehome the beagle with someone who could appreciate the beagle's natural behaviors!
 

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I'm kinda like Judy - use what I like and what works then leave the rest. I do the same with Victoria Stilwell - the lady dog trainer from England. What I think is the most useful from Cesar Millan that I know works for us, is that I remain calm and assertive. It has helped me immensly when I walk the Beaglebratz - especially Shiloh B. I still don't feel comfortable walking both Beaglebratz together (I tried that one time and we didn't even make it out of the front yard before Shiloh B. took over, followed by Shasta B. - I ended up losing my balance and fell down which pretty much cinched it for Shiloh B. getting away. But with the calm/assertiveness that I maintain now (plus the no-slip collar I found - not Cesar's) Shiloh B. doesn't stand a chance (not to say he hasn't tried). One thing I don't do that Cesar touts is putting the dog on his back. I totally agree you do need to let the dog know that you are the alpha of the pack (after all, Beagles are pack animals) but there are other ways to teach this.
 

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I agree with Kim, Judy and Janna - there are some things he does that I do think work (I know exactly the noise you mean Judy - I have successfully used it to keep Buzz from launching himself at us when we are sitting on the sofa, but Marc hates the noise and then we get into an argument about the noise and so whatever...). He has also had a couple of cases of terrorized/freaked out dogs and some of his techniques there have been somewhat effective on Popcorn. But whenever there are beagles on the show (I have seen both the howling beagle episode and the sniffing beagle episode and I think one other that I can't quite remember exactly right now) I get frustrated because I feel that he is trying to correct behaviour which is just natural for a beagle and isn't even that problematic. I really just don't think he gets beagles...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That makes sense. I can't believe a family wanted him to correct a beagle's sniffing!! That's just absurd. Now, I think it's kind of important that dogs control their vocalizations. I don't want my dog barking at everything in the world - people, other animals, etc. I can't stand dogs who bark just to hear themselves bark, so I don't know exactly what the howling beagle's issue was (if he howled uncontrollably or what), but I see what you're saying about him trying to correct an animal's natural behavior. Besides, isn't his show for training dogs with serious behavioral issues? I've just heard wonderful things about him...but I just am a little hesitant about using a television program on fixing dog problems, you know? I've heard more bad than good things about the alpha roll, and almost everything I've read says that Cesar Millan has been bitten quite a few times for doing that....It seems more people are against it.

--Steph
 

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I also disagree with the Alpha Roll. What I have always done to my dogs when I am trying to correct certain behaviors is to get down to their level and grab them firmly by the scruff of their neck, and then say the command, ie no or leave it. Somewhere I read that momma dogs correct their puppies by grabbing them this way.

The one thing I would LOVE to master though, is the calm assertive thing while taking them for a walk. Daisy the beagle is ok on a walk, but my shepherd/hound mix is somewhat difficult. She pulls. She's gotten better with a Martingale type collar and more consistency, but still not a pleasure to walk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah. I've tried just holding the leash tightly by my side, so Quinn can decide if she wants to be choked or not....
 

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Always aim to walk with a loose leash - holding the leash tightly and taut can create resistance in the dog and they are more likely to pull.

Think about when you see police dogs being trained, the handler always pulls back on the leash and it gives a signal to the dog to get worked up and lunge, they pull back on the leash to encourage the dog to pull forward.

I hold the leash in my right hand across my body, with the slack in my left hand. I keep it loose so there is slack in it and if Daisy runs to the end of it and it becomes tight, I turn quickly on my heel so she is forced to turn around and follow me, the dog will learn that tension in the leash means they won't get where they want to go.

Tight leashes can create tension and resistance in the dog
 

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with the training method we use, the dog should NEVER feel a tight leash, they are taught to stay close enough that the leash stays slack.

in fact, they stay so close, and the leash so slack, they and i end up tripping on it a lot.

that is, when they are on a leash.
C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the advice! It's difficult to get them to puppy training classes with the inconsistency in my schedule of being around them. With me only being here for a month, I can't really get them in a class without leaving halfway through.

I've read about the changing direction when they pull on the leashes. It seems tough with beagle puppies because their noses lead them like no other dog I've seen before! Our puppies will spend almost the entire walk with their noses to the ground, as I'm sure you're all familiar with.


--Steph
 

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When you are walking and to encourage the pup to turn when you change directions, bend over a little (I have to watch this cause even a simple move like that can throw me off) anyway, a nice smelly treat and voice encouragement should help your pup follow you.
 

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To make both me and Maggie feel satisfied after a walk, on the first half of the walk, I moved Maggie along at my pace, using the halter to control her along with a let's walk in a firm voice. Then, on the second half of the walk, I would let her sniff her way back home.
 

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On walks, we let Tucker sniff a bit when we first start, then do some serious walking. Every once in a while we give him a SNIFF command to let him know it is ok to sniff for a bit. Then we tell hime to walk. We know fairly well what type of things he will want to sniff so he stays happy with the routine. He has certain places where he likes to sniff his p-mail so we always stop in those places.
 

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I enjoy watching Cesar Milan. He certainly works wonders with most dogs but his methods dont seem to suit beagles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Interesting that his methods don't suit beagles....I wonder why?

Our puppies sniff everywhere and tug at the leash, following their noses the whole way. We tried the changing direction every time they tug, and we end up pacing back and forth. HAHA The original method was to keep them on a tight, short leash at our side and slightly behind us...but that doesn't seem to be a good idea...
 

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A lot of what he does is just common sense, and he is really training the owner most of the time! I have used a few techniques on my kids over the years. His book is very good, it tells you all about how he knows what he knows. I also like Its the Dog or Me, she was my hero when it came to getting Molly to pee outside.
 
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