One on One With Cesar Millan
We had a chance to chat with the National Geographic Channel’s dog-groomer-turned-dog-trainer-turned-celeb-dog-trainer-turned-author Cesar Millan also known as “The Dog Whisperer.” Below is an excerpt of that interview.
What made you decide to write a book on puppies?
What I did with this book is I made sure I brought four different breeds with the same level of energy. I brought four medium-level energy puppies, who are different breeds.Â I have a chapter that says ‘How Not to Raise Marley’, even though Marley had a successful book and a successful movie, people donâ€™t want that behavior.Â So, how do I avoid that?Â Not everybody is going to have a best seller after they have a dog like that, so how can you prevent from having a dog like that?Â If you watch the movie or read the book about Marley, you get to see how they work.Â They went in there with the right state of mind â€¦ and we’re not going to react out of emotions.Â We are going to â€¦ and do research and â€¦, but they didn’t.Â They immediately fell in love with a dog that came and lay down at their shoes, and at the end, they saw that this dog, who seemed to be calm, was more interested â€¦ and eventually he just went into who he really wasâ€”a very high-level energy Labrador.
Going back to writing about your book, can you explain what the experience is like and maybe compare it to what it is like, filming your TV show?
Well, you know,Â I have raised many dogs in my life and I never experienced aggression when you raise a dog properly, and when you fulfill their needs properly, which, it contradicts my show, you know, because I actually run a business that deals with unstable dogs.
So, in a way this book is going to throw me out of business because, if we’ve learned to fulfill the dog properly at an early age, where childhood is only from birth to eight months, and then the blueprint or the foundation of this dog is about how to relate to the world; how to relate with children; how to relate with a grownup–everything that you want, in the future, for him to relate and how it looks, like it’s best if we do this at an early age, and at the same time the human has to learn not to nurture insecurity.
Is there any particular reason why you chose toÂ have three of the four puppies from your book from breeders, rather than a shelter?
Well, I do â€¦ yes, the Labrador came from a rescue organization, my pack is from a rescue organization. Â At the same time, I want to make sure that America and the people in the world understand that this is where you can get dogs from. Â As a professional, I want to make sure people understand sources, and choices.
Now breedersâ€”also we were very particular in choosing the breeder, because some breeders don’t have good integrity. Â Right?Â I’m talking about breeders who actually are veryâ€”they don’t do it for the money. Â When you wait that long to find the right male or the right female for youâ€”you donâ€™t do it for the money–you do it for the integrity of the breed, so it’s a big differenceâ€”back yard breeders and brand new breeders versus people who have been doing it for 60 or 40 years. Â It’s a big differenceâ€”a very small group of people who have great integrity. Â Then, of course, there’s the rescue of â€¦ that’s where we focus the most, you know, â€¦ there are 4 million dogs in shelters.
Please, make sure you go to a shelter, and if you think that a pure bred dog is better than a mutt, then think twice. Â You know what I mean? Â Because the intensity of a pure bred dog, if you are not ready, it intensifies your life.
How do you feel about Los Angeles making spay and neuter mandatory?
I’m pro-balance, so when it comes to be too extreme about something, and then we totally, I mean, I am a brand new American, and in America, itâ€™s all about choices, but at the same time we have to make sure that those people who have the ability to breed, they have an amazing level of integrity. Â I think extreme â€¦ has to be â€¦ it doesn’t really solve the problem because the people who do not agree with it are going toÂ (voice their opinion) but if you can motivate the people to be part of the decision, I think that’s the best way to go. Â Do you know what I mean?
That’s the goal. Thatâ€™s my goal, to help people really make a conscious decision to spay. Â All my dogs are spayed or neutered, so itâ€™s very important to me as I am pro balance I donâ€™t want to be in the left, I donâ€™t want to be in the right. I just, you know, because it becomes extreme and I donâ€™t want to be a part of that state of mind.