Everything you know about dogs—from their behavior to how you care for and love them—may just be wrong.
Consider this: You think dogs show happiness and love when they get jumpy around you? Wrong, it’s disrespect.
This is just one of the many misconceptions on dog psychology, and exactly the reason why Cesar Millan, also known as the Dog Whisperer, is touring the world. Millan is on a mission to change the way humans think about these furry, affectionate creatures.
And he is currently in the country for the Manila leg of his live lectures that will be held today at the Eastwood Central Plaza in Libis, Quezon City.
“I believe it is my responsibility to share to the world my knowledge about dogs. I want to change how humans think about dogs,” Millan said at a news conference at the Eastwood Richmonde Hotel on Monday.
As a young Mexican, Millan was surrounded with dogs. Taught by his grandfather early on about dogs, he learned to be affectionate but firm when it came to disciplining his canine friends.
It was when the television series Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan aired on National Geographic that Millan became a dog authority. Though the series ended in 2012, replays continue to give relevant information and insights about human-dog relationships.
This month, Millan returns on screen with his newest show called Cesar to the Rescue at NatGeo Wild. But before the premiere, he went on a worldwide tour to conduct seminars with people of different races.
According to him, the biggest challenge in achieving a healthy and balanced relationship is not the dogs but the humans themselves.
“It’s how complex humans are. They are stubborn, fearful, in denial or unparticipative. If you take the owner away, the dog and I are OK,” he said. “Dogs just want to have a harmonious relationship with humans.”
For starters, Millan said, “A dog’s world is one of instinct, perceived through nose, eyes and ears in that order. The human world is one of intellect, emotion and spirit. It can be difficult for these two worlds to communicate with each other.”
This miscommunication leads to bad habits around dogs. For example, Millan said, one common mistake that humans do when with dogs is to be excited.
“The reason why I always create a calm energy with dogs is to assert that I am an authority. When the dog gets excited around you, it means he’s already getting on top of you. You are not his owner, or pack leader, but his friend.”
“Energy is the most important thing with dogs, not words. It is the universal language.” Millan lamented that people adopt dogs for the wrong reasons.
“People adopt because they think [the dog is]cute, or they feel sorry [for the dog]. In
America, out of 10 dogs adopted, six are returned,” he said.
For Millan, preparing for dog adoption is a must.
Still, he encouraged everyone to adopt dogs.
“Six hundred million dogs die in a year because they are neglected, abandoned and disliked [sometimes]because they look weird. Dogs don’t do that to humans . . . We’re not as loving as we think we are,” he said.
“What I love about dogs is their honesty, integrity and loyalty.”
Millan said instead of showing affection, dog owners should give their pets “exercise, discipline and respect.”