Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Defending a good man

In my two years of Vizsla ownership I have heard many times disagreements that respected dog owners have with Cesar Millan.

Today and yesterday on the Yahoo group VizslaTalk, there was a drive to have a petition signed against a vendor using him as their spokesman.

Cesar's Way was one of the first "how to understand my Vizsla" books that I read, and I truly enjoyed it.

Tonight I opened the book again and went to the foreword by Martin Deeley - President, International Association of Canine Professionals (at the time of the publication of the book).

His opening paragraph hit home with me then and still does.

"Today, even though we have more books, more help, more training gadgets, and definitely more treats, there are more badly behaved dogs than ever before. We have the means to help us achieve well-behaved dogs, yet we lack sufficient understanding of our dogs' natures. While most of us are well-intentioned and loving dog owners, this lack of understanding can create many common dog problems. Put simply, dogs are not small humans. They do not think like humans, act like humans, or see the world in the same way as humans. Dogs are dogs, and we need to respect them as dogs. We do them a huge disservice by treating them like humans and thus create many of the bad behaviors we see today."

This is the part I loved:

"From the first moment I saw Cesar Millan work with dogs on his show Dog Whisperer, I knew he understood this concept. He is a unique man who is not afraid to be politically incorrect, who talks about leadership with dogs and is not afraid to give and show a correction when a dog requires it."

I'm sure there are methods he uses that Chloe and Bailey will never need to see because they are well-mannered and, I hope, well-trained dogs. But knowledge that works is what I was and am after. His advice, for the most part, rings true for me.

Long post for which I apologize.

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