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Anyone who has ever had a dog or a TV, and many who have neither have heard of Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. For those of you from a planet other than Earth, firstly "greetings". Secondly, the dog trainer Cesar Millan is this astonishing Mexican guy who can get dogs to do whatever he wants with just intentional body language. It is almost that simple. Millan uses the concept of becoming the "Pack Leader" or "Alpha Dog" by adopting the canine behavioural traits of that role. He uses this principle for the basis of his dog training.
Cesar Millan Be the Pack Leader is Millan's second book, Cesar's Way following the influential TV series on the channels National Geographic and Sky 3 across the globe. Cesar's Way was a mainly biographical account of his journey into dog training, whereas Be the Pack Leader serves as a more practical guide. The main principle of Millan's work is so simple and effective, it works very well as television. However because it is so amazing to watch, it has the element of a magic show and sometimes the practical uses could be lost in applying the techniques to your own life. This is where the book can help, by providing the background information.
On TV, The Dog Whisperer shows how anyone, regardless of their size or strength can become the master of any breed or temperament of dog, regardless of their history. He says that dogs live "in the moment" and if you do the same, you can transform negative behaviour with instant results. Whilst Millan's approach is that of positive reinforcement, he does not suggest the use of food as reward, and does use punishment as a way of forming discipline, though never violent force, which he says is counter-productive and harmful. He says that the dog's greatest reward is to be treated as a dog, not a human, and so to exhibit its natural behaviour. In the wild, any dog with "issues" would not be tolerated, as this kind of behaviour would not be felt as natural. Milan says that it is human beings who have given the dogs their issues. We need to shed our human problems and issues in order to become calm assertive pack leaders.
This is all very well, but how the heck do you do that? You may well ask. The man is no doubt some kind of a twenty first century genius, a maverick and a trail blazer. With any luck his books can reveal some of the magic. Sometimes the simplest solutions can seem like magic, because human beings tend to over-complicate things. Be the Pack Leader starts off by identifying the problem, then provides information about the behavioural needs of the different breed groups. This is important when considering the energy needs of your dog, and why they do what they do. The chapter 'Transforming Energy into Action' is what Dog Whispering is all about. It explains the simple rule that your dog mirrors your own energy, so this is where to start when training your dog. If you become the pack leader, you will have your dog's undivided attention, and it will also transform your own life. No wonder this guy is popular, he is trying to change the world from the dogs up. Cesar Millan has a website that can be used alongside with this book: www.cesarsway.com
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