Although The Dog Whisperer, starring dog trainer Cesar Milan, is not as popular as it once was, many people still ascribe to Milan’s training methods which he showcased on the program. The Dog Whisperer program often featured dogs who were considered troublemakers or even beyond help—such as dogs who might have to be put down if their behavior couldn’t be fixed. The show has not been without its controversies—many people disagree with some of the methods used in the show—but there are still many good things to be learned from The Dog Whisperer. The following are some of the more significant things that can be learned from the show.
It's important to be a good pack leader
Being a pack leader to a dog means setting solid boundaries for a dog (such as ‘good manners,’ aka not jumping on people or furniture) and applying structure and training to make sure the dog doesn't act out. These boundaries are sometimes ignored by modern dog owners, who essentially spoil their dogs and let them do whatever they want--not only is this bad for people, who at best may be annoyed with a dog that jumps all over them and at worst may find themselves victim of an attack, it is also bad for the dogs emotional wellbeing.
It's important to remember a dog's needs
People have certain needs they expect their dogs to fulfill, such as companionship or protection. But dogs have their own needs, as well. The Dog Whisperer put a special emphasis on remembering that dog's needs must be fulfilled in order for the dogs to be happy and in order for them to behave. One need that many people overlook is the need for consistent exercise; many people believe that a short walk or simply letting their dog into the yard is consistent with fulfilling their exercise need. However, this is not true—most dogs, especially energetic breeds, need more physical activity for their energetic needs to be met.
It’s important to remember that dogs can be retrained
An old dog can certainly learn new tricks. The show challenges the assumption that dogs can’t unlearn bad habits or learn good habits to replace them. The Dog Whisperer isn’t afraid to handle cases where the dogs are not young puppies, showing that dogs of all ages and backgrounds can usually be retrained with knowledge, patience, and a lot of practice.