Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dog Whisper, I AM NOT

When our friends were here from California they introduced us to the Dog Whisper. I had seen the show title while channel surfing but never taken the time to watch it. I don't know thoughts of Dr. Doolittle and mind reading. This is so NOT what the show is about. The show is amazing!
We ended up watching 2 hours worth of Cesar (show host) correct the behavior of dogs and their human companions. Aggressive fighters, yippers, lethargic dog, fearful of vet and pulling. These were some of the dog behaviors we saw in those two hours.
I think I have mentioned here before that I am less than thrilled about our dog and her irritating behaviors. While I know she is blatenly stubborn with me, she can obey (mostly dad.) My favorite line of the show was "All this time we thought it was the dogs, but it is US!" Through inconsistency, yelling, our own fears, lack of discipline or lack of authority, we allow these behaviors. And I am guilty as charged.
Cesar is amazing in how quickly he establishes authority and corrects these behaviors. So amazing that is appears he has special powers. Really I think he is a highly observant man . He is extremely knowledgeable. He can train a person without condemning and he gets results. He totally and complete expects these dogs to respond. I think he only prays the humans will respond as well.
He has some philosophies that totally make sense. You can check them out here. He also has some great techniques. The one that I have started using is the sshhh. Distracting for the misbehavior and getting her attention. It works. He also advocates walking your dog. Since we have a back yard where she can run and play, we have not been talking walks with our dog. When we go camping we walk all over that place and she loves it. So I decided I was going to try and walk Kasi on a more regular basis. I started today. One of his biggest points is that as the human we are the pack leader. We must assume this role and let the dog follow our lead. Every time I have ever walked my dog she has led the way and pretty much dragged me to where she wanted to go. Today I took on the challenge of getting her to FOLLOW me. Yikes. It was one very slow walk as she would push ahead I put her back behind. I think I may have a sore wrist tomorrow with all the tugging. We practiced sitting. And I expected her to stay quiet when we passed the dogs in our neighbor. Sitting and distracting with the Sshhh, did work.
I have to say that it is going to be A LOT of work in retraining myself and my dog. It is going to require consistency on my part. And the expectation that she can and will obey.

So I may not be the Dog Whisper but I am trying to learn a few things from him to make our pack a happy pack.

Check out his site to learn more,


Vicki said...

I love that guy! I have his book. We did training w/ our dogs that reminded me of his ways, and two VERY effective tools for dog walking (and the "heel" command) are choke chains or pinch collars. Our dogs are powerful enough that they require the latter, but it only "hurts" them if they pull away from us. Also, pull the leash "across" your body and not "back", b/c that makes them pay attention to you, not get defensive. Pull up when you want her to sit. :) Good times. We had an AMAZING trainer.

Mindy Richmond said...

I don't know much about dogs, but it sounds like some of those philosophies would work with kids too! Maybe not the pinch collars...

Irritable Mother said...

I'm with Mindy - know of any child whisperers???