Our post yesterday showing the Doritos Super Bowl commercial with the dog and the shock collar drew a lot of comments against these devices. The turnaround at the end of the commercial may have amused many, but the idea of shock collars did not.
Today we present a new video, showing what appears to be Cesar Millan somewhat surreptitiously using a shock collar to make a dog “behave” around a cat. It’s torturous to watch as the dog screams out and eventually becomes fearful and submissive. Since the video does not show the context of what Cesar is doing, maybe he has explained that this is a last-ditch desperate measure. But if the text at the top of this video is true — that the viewing audience is never told that a shock collar is being used — it’s even more heinous. It looks like Cesar is using his mental powers and small corrections with this leash and “SHH” sounds to make the dog behave when he’s actually using painful and frightening electricity. (Could the “SHH” sound actually be the sound of zapping?”)
When did The Dog Whisperer become The Dog Shocker?
I am far from a training guru, so I’d love to hear from some trainers or anyone else about what could be going on. If you saw the complete show, did Millan explain what he was doing? In this video, it really looks like he’s just sneaking the shocks, but that just can’t be the case — can it? The owner must have known what he was up to. And she just sat there, unflinching…
And how about the woman’s comment at the end? “It’s been a lesson for me to learn how to relate to one that wants to dominate me.” OK, so apparently she’ll be using shock collars on her bosses and beaus from now on. I’d like to see Part 2.
Update (two hours after we posted the above article): Thank you, Dogsters, for coming through with great additional info on “The Dog Whisperer.” Annie and Professional Dog Trainer Mom pointed us toward another video from his show.
At the end, the dog is, indeed, a changed dog. Trainers, including Annie, have come forth accusing Millan of nearly asphyxiating the dog. “Actually, the dog is almost unconscious due to asphyxiation after being strangled,” she writes. Jake’s Mom points out that “…stupidest of all: when the dog is lying on the ground, Cesar points to the dogs penis and states that the dog is still in an ‘excited state.’ Actually, ask any vet, theyll tell you that can also occur when the dog is near death.”
Yikes! Really? I was just hoping he’d used his powers of dominant thought and gentle but firm hand on the dog. That’s what it looks like to the untrained eye. Cutting off oxygen doesn’t seem to jibe with being a dog whisperer…(In fairness, a couple of commenters mentioned that the dog was to be euthanized if he couldn’t improve. I supposed a near-death experience is better than a death experience. I’m not convinced this was the only way get results, but I’m not a trainer.)
Have any Dogsters been helped by Millan? He seems to be beloved throughout the nation, and when I’ve seen him in action at other times (admittedly, on less than a handful of occasions) he appeared to be a kind, affable man. It’s shocking to see this “side” of his training.
Further update: Please check out comments from “Just the facts” and “ala” in the Comments section for well-thought-out views on these techniques and the videos. These aren’t rebuttals, per se, but they’re informative posts worth a read.
(I apologize at the outset to our friends outside the US. It seems that most National Geographic videos are unviewable in many other countries. That’s a shame…)