One of my guilty pleasures is ‘The Apprentice.’ This week the teams were tasked with running a doggy day care. One of the judges was Cesar Milan. I have never seen Cesar Milan nor watched any of his shows. I have heard rumblings in the rescue world that some of his techniques are questionable and may not be effective.
With all this in mind I was reserving judgement to see what his contribution would be on the show. Sadly, he did not disappoint. He told some of the apprentice wannabes that you should never touch a dog once it starts to eat its food. Huh? Last time I checked you should be able to touch a dog at any time (well, with the exception of startling them when they are asleep). Around here, all of our dogs are taught almost immediately that we control the food. If we want to fish it out of their mouths they will let us. Allowing a dog this kind of control is contrary to the humans being the leaders.
In our house, all of the dogs know who is in control. They know that the humans are the source of all things. We have very few rules in our house. The main one is that dog on dog aggression will not be tolerated and that those who are capable will do their business outside. Because we exercise control over the dogs we don’t need to enforce much else. Plus, the dogs are way happier because they know what to expect.
As I said above, I have no idea what else Cesar Milan has to say. I would be afraid to see what else he has to say. Being able to take food away from a dog while it is eating is fundamental to human control. Dogs need rules and boundaries. If there is a power vacuum in a pack someone will step into fill it. If you have more than one dog, you’ve got a pack and you need to ensure that you are providing leadership to your dogs. Everyone will be happier and healthier for it.