Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Favorite Reads: Cesar's Way

My Favorite Reads is hosted by At Home With Books.

Each week I am featuring one of my favorite reads from the past. June is Pet Adoption Month. Please don't get a pet from a breeder, but instead from a rescue group or local shelter.

Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems by Cesar Millan

Summary (from the publisher):
“I rehabilitate dogs. I train people.” —Cesar Millan

There are at least 68 million dogs in America, and their owners lavish billions of dollars on them every year. So why do so many pampered pets have problems? In this definitive and accessible guide, Cesar Millan—star of National Geographic Channel’s hit show Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan—reveals what dogs truly need to live a happy and fulfilled life.

From his appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show to his roster of celebrity clients to his reality television series, Cesar Millan is America’s most sought-after dog-behavior expert. But Cesar is not a trainer in the traditional sense—his expertise lies in his unique ability to comprehend dog psychology. Tracing his own amazing journey from a clay-walled farm in Mexico to the celebrity palaces of Los Angeles, Cesar recounts how he learned what makes dogs tick. In Cesar’s Way, he shares this wisdom, laying the groundwork for you to have stronger, more satisfying relationships with your canine companions.

Cesar’s formula for a contented and balanced dog seems impossibly simple: exercise, discipline, and affection, in that order. Taking readers through the basics of dog psychology and behavior, Cesar shares the inside details of some of his most fascinating cases, using them to illustrate how common behavior issues develop and, more important, how they can be corrected.

Whether you’re having issues with your dog or just want to make a good bond even stronger, this book will give you a deeper appreciation of how your dog sees the world, and it will help make your relationship with your beloved pet a richer and more rewarding one.

Learn what goes on inside your dog’s mind and develop a positive, fulfilling relationship with your best friend

Why I chose this book:
okay, I don't even like dogs. I don't have a dog, have NO intention of getting a dog. But I think Cesar is brilliant. And I think his techniques also work well on people. I especially love his emphasis on how dogs aren't people - they're dogs. And they're happier when we treat them that way. They're also happier when we give them rules. His life story is also inspirational, where he came to this country illegally, not knowing a word of English, and has worked his way up to an incredible position, by doing what he loves. If only everyone were so lucky! But it wasn't luck as much as it was recognizing a gift, and then a lot of very hard work.
I currently use his techniques in my everyday life, rewarding people for good behavior, and ignoring them when they act out. If only I could be in a state of calm dominance all the time. I am trying.


Alyce said...

I've seen this book around, and I desperately need to read it. :) I love what you said about the techniques being applicable to animals and humans. I'll be requesting this one via paperbackswap asap.

Carin said...

I have to admit that I much prefer Victoria Stillwell to Cesar Milan. I think his methods work on certain dogs, but breeds are different so it would follow that not all breeds would respond well to his methods. I actually tried some of his methods and sent my rescue dog to a trainer that used the same methods as Cesar Milan. It not only didn't work, but caused even more aggression in my dog. After 9.5 years of trying to work with him, we finally put him to sleep because he was biting both me and my husband, attacking other dogs, and attempted to attack a child in our neighborhood. I loved my dog, but I think that death is not necessarily the worst thing for a dog. I never felt this way until I realized that for almost 10 years my dog had hijacked my life--couldn't have people over to the house, couldn't answer the doorbell when it rang, etc.

I go to a trainer now that uses positive reinforcement like Victoria Stillwell does and I much prefer it. I think you have to find what works best for you (I know Milan's methods work really well for some people I know). I have two whippets (which I did get from someone who bred their dogs--one is a rehome to us though, the other we bought from them) and both respond very well to positive reinforcement training. (Note: The one that was rehomed with us was previously trained at a place that didn't use positive reinforcement and in my opinion, he has some resulting behavioral problems from it that we are having to work on).

Carin Siegfried said...

But Other Carin, do Victoria's training techniques work on people? Because that's who I have to train!

But seriously, good for you with really trying to work with the difficult dogs. Yes, some are irredemable. 10 years is a huge amount of time to devote to a biter! You are a saint.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

If you are not a dog owner and loved this book, it must be amazing. Sounds like a book worth checking out.

Here's my favorite this week:


Carin said...

I have to say that in a correction-off between Cesar Milan and Victoria Stilwell, I think she might actually win. She has that stern, "Don't Question Me" kind of look to her! Her show is, It's Me or the Dog, and I have to say, part of why I like her is that she claims to have never been bitten by a dog while Cesar Milan I've seen get bloodied a few times on his show.

I think you could definitely get some verbal queues from her to put your human in his/her place! Haha!