The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Cesar Millan, “The Dog Whisperer,” Made Headlines When a Dog Appeared on His Show Attacking a Pig: Officials Visited Millan’s Dog Training Center

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Cesar Millan, “The Dog Whisperer,” Made Headlines When a Dog Appeared on His Show Attacking a Pig: Officials Visited Millan’s Dog Training Center

Cesar Millan, “The Dog Whisperer,” made headlines when a dog appeared on his show attacking a pig. According to TMZ, an investigation is underway by LA County Animal Control. Officials visited Millan’s dog training center in Santa Clarita, California. Millan was not present, but has been given 24 hours to respond. The call was due to a barrage of complaints flooding in when Millan’s show, Cesar 911, featured the dog attacking and injuring a pig during a training session.

Millan is staunchly defended by NatGeoWild, which airs the show on its channel. But dog trainers all over the country are saying they have been trying to get the message across about Millan’s methods for the past decade.

According to NBC Los Angeles, professional dog trainer Laura Nativo has helped organize a petition calling for the cancellation of Millan’s show. Close to 10,000 people have signed it so far.

Other trainers have echoed these sentiments for years, according to an article by author and internationally acclaimed trainer Jean Donaldson on

According to Donaldson, Lisa Laney Patrona, a certified professional dog trainer and a graduate of the Companion Animal Sciences Institute, wrote a letter to National Geographic prior to the airing of The Dog Whisperer.

“The intended program depicts aversive and abusive training methods – treatment for some serious anxiety and fear based issues – being administered by an individual with no formal education whatsoever in canine behavioral sciences. The ‘results’ that are shown are more than likely not long lasting changes, but the result of learned helplessness, or fatigue, neither of which impact behavior to any significant long term degree – at least not in a good way. For those of us who are pioneering the effort to end the ignorance that drives the cruel treatment administered upon our canine companions, it is disappointing to see that this programming will reach the masses – especially on the NatGeo Channel. The ignorance that this program perpetuates will give equally ignorant people the green light to subject their dogs to abuse. In turn these dogs will react even more defensively, will bite more people – and end up dead.”

In a 2006 article in the New York Times, Mark Derr called Milan’s program a “pack of lies.” He points out the sexist angle of Millan’s training.

“Women are the worst offenders in his world. In one of the outtakes included in the four-DVD set of the first season of Dog Whisperer, Mr. Millan explains that a woman is ‘the only species that is wired different from the rest.’ And a ‘woman always applies affection before discipline,’ he says. ‘Man applies discipline then affection, so we’re more psychological than emotional. All animals follow dominant leaders; they don’t follow lovable leaders.'”

In a 2011 blog article by the Huffington Post titled “First Do No Harm,” Law and Order actor and “dog worshiper” Richard Belzer calls out National Geographic for sponsoring Millan.

“The fact that the Dog Whisperer has been nominated for an Emmy should give serious pause to all those in the business who are about to vote for the awards. Dog owners and dog lovers would be disturbingly misled if Mr. Millan and his program are honored in such a high-profile way.”

Chiming in with countless other statements, Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a professor and the head of Animal Behavior at Tufts University, wrote, “Cesar Millan’s methods are based on flooding and punishment. The results, though immediate, will be only transitory. His methods are misguided, outmoded, in some cases dangerous, and often inhumane. You would not want to be a dog under his sphere of influence. The sad thing is that the public does not recognize the error of his ways. My college thinks it is a travesty. We’ve written to National Geographic Channel and told them they have put dog training back 20 years.”

The recent episode where the pig was attacked is not the first time that animal professionals have waved the red flag about Millan. The question is, will National Geographic finally take notice?

In a report by Fox News, Cesar Millan stated that the public’s reaction to the pig incident was overblown.

“I do have a large group of fans and a small group of people who don’t agree with me. They are taking this the wrong way and blowing it way out of proportion.”

Watch the pig-biting incident in this video by Inside Edition.


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