The Dog Whisperer
Just curious if any of you watch Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer. I am totally in love with this guy and what he does. I have to admit I am as guilty as everybody on his show. When my Kuvasz, Grieco, was alive I used to walk him religiously along with my german shorthaired pointer, Apache. When I lost Grieco to rheumatoid arthritis of the hips I stopped walking Apache. Of course it wasn't fair to Apache. Poor puppy, just existed. The only time he went out was to go to the vet. He started barking as soon as I left for work in the morning and barked non-stop till I got home.
Well watching Cesar and how he uses dog psychology and not training I decided to try some of his methods on Apache. Ever since Grieco died this dog was absolutely not walkable. If he would see another person or animal he went ballistic. I think my arms are three inches longer with the pulling he would do. And the barking. He would yelp so loud when he would see anything move (even a plastic bag blowing) people would come running out of their houses thinking a dog just got hit by a car.
I started with a choke collar at first, but had to upgrade to a pronged collar. I put Apache in a sit position and made him wait till I went out the door first. Cesar said the way you go out the door sets the scene as to how the walk will go. If you exit the door first you become the dominant "alpha" pack leader and the dog is submissive to you. If the dog goes out the door first he is the dominant "alpha" pack leader and he is going to control the walk. (In the past he would pull me out the door) This was the magic I was looking for. Once we got out the door I put him in sit/wait position again till I closed and locked the door. Then I put him in sit/wait position again while I opened and went through the gate first. We had a few problems at first (started last Thursday), but it has gradually gotten better. I took him on an hour walk last night and we had three kids run out in front of him and he just stopped and looked at them. He whined a little at first but once I made the correction he stopped. We met a huge (I mean huge saint bernard) and he just looked at him whined (till I made the correction) and on we went. We had bikes come up behind us and it didn't even phase him. I can even walk him in the park now where there are lots of dogs on and off the leash. I feel so bad that I ignored him after Grieco died, but am going to make it up to him now. It's nice to have a walking pal now that is always ready to go when I am. I don't have to wait for my sister now. I just leash up and go.
We had the cable guy come over to upgrade our receivers and my son couldn't believe the difference in him. Usually when I have someone over I have to tranquilize him , or board him, or I can't even talk to the individual doing the work. He barks so loud I can't even hear what they are saying. I can't say he was an angel, but compared to what he was before I took the "alpha" pack leader position back he seemed like one to me. He is quiet all day now when I am at work too.
Cesar is truly a gift to the dog world. I will be forever grateful to him, and his show.