I’ll be watching Cesar Millan’s new show, Cesar 911

I’m a fan of Cesar Millan.

His original Dog Whisperer show was popular in 2007 when I adopted my dog Ace, and Millan’s “calm, assertive” methods really reinforced what already came natural to me.

His books and TV show really encouraged me to follow through with rules and consistent exercise for my young dog.

Millan is also a big reason why I started a dog running business. He helped me realize the importance of exercise for dogs, and how damaging it is for dogs when they have no outlet for their energy.

It’s strange to me how so many dog lovers consider Millan’s methods “harsh” or “controversial.” I think it’s very telling about where we are as a society.

Woman walking her black Lab mix

Calling Millan’s methods “abusive” is disrespectful to the dogs out there who truly are abused every day. We do not need to worry about a celebrity dog trainer’s clients. Good grief.

Millan is someone who has made an incredible difference in the world for thousands of dogs and their families. He has helped dogs keep their homes. He has helped restore the image of pitbull dogs. He has helped rehabilitate dogs that would’ve otherwise been killed.

How could I criticize that?

Millan has a new show out Friday March 7 called Cesar 911. It will air on Nat GEO Wild. Check your local listings for air time.

I plan to record and watch the first episode where Millan helps a black Lab mix that neighbors believe should be killed due to aggression. The trailer video is below.

How about you?

Are you a fan of Cesar Millan?

27 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. Alice on March 6, 2014

    I enjoy Cesar very much. He helped me a lot with my first dog (which was 2 years ago). I could never find that spot on Sadie’s neck that would turn her around but I did learn that I HAD to be the
    leader and I could not be passive about it. I think he is very important to the new methods of how dogs are trained. I watch all his shows and will watch he new one.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 6, 2014

      Good to hear! He helped me a lot with my dog Ace as well. I’m very introverted, and the “calm but assertive” leadership really connected with me. I find it very important to be calm around dogs so they can also learn to be calm. You don’t have to be the largest or the strongest or the loudest to be in charge.

  2. slimdoggy on March 6, 2014

    Thanks for the heads up. I watched his show for years and have read his books and admit to mixed feelings. I never viewed what he did as being abusive – I thought it was strict, but never abusive. I’ll be honest, I was surprised when we joined this community and I saw how much hate there was for him. I use positive training methods with my dogs and they work for me, but I have Labs and they are pretty easy going. We did have a foster a few years ago who was very aggressive. I told the rescue we should reach out to Cesar because I knew the dog could be helped, just not by me (i had two seniors, one of them blind and he was going after them all the time). I had to return him to the rescue and I think they put him down. I know Cesar could have helped him. I’m watching, I may not do everything he suggests, but I always learn something.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 7, 2014

      I use positive reinforcement for my dog while also using the leadership techniques Cesar uses. My dog is also very easy going, so using a “tsh” or a “hey” to stop certain behaviors works really well. Works great for my cats, too.

      Sorry to hear of your foster dog. The rescue I worked with in Fargo also killed some of its aggressive dogs. I can’t blame them for that, although I felt it was wrong. Someone like Millan could’ve helped those dogs. Of course, resources are limited.

  3. jan on March 6, 2014

    I don’r get the Nat. Geog. channel so my first experience with CM were DVD’s sent to me for review. I was totally impressed but when I wrote a favorable review I got a lot of hostile comments about how abusive and outdated his methods are.

    I haven’t seen it in any subsequent books or DVD’s. I think there is an element of jealousy at work for his success. At any rate when he can turn dogs from little monsters terrorizing the humans into happy dogs fitting into happy families, I will continue to be a fan.

    Every dog is different and every dog deserves an approach that works

  4. Rebekah on March 6, 2014

    I didn’t know he had a new show. I will have to check it out.

  5. Jessicavy on March 6, 2014

    “Calling Millan’s methods “abusive” is disrespectful to the dogs out there who truly are abused every day. ”

    This! I agree. I had mixed feelings about the Dog Whisperer show, but it had nothing to do with not liking Cesar’s methods. I just didn’t like how the editors seemed to spend more time having someone voice over cheesy puns than have Cesar explain what he was actually doing and what viewers could be doing to improve their own problems. It also annoyed me when they threw in all the gratuitous celebrity cases. I hate the “this celebrity used this *insert method/product/trainer here* so it must work” mentality of marketing. I find it hard to read a book if they can’t go three pages without mentioning how much they helped Oprah.

    That being said, I am now kinda looking forward to this show! I hope it’s edited and directed better than the Dog Whisperer. I’ll probably get around to watching it regardless, because I watched the Dog Whisperer anyways.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 6, 2014

      Oh gosh, everything you just said is so true! The Dog Whisperer was so cheesy, especially the first episodes. I totally get what you’re saying.

  6. nancyspoint on March 7, 2014

    I didn’t know about this new show. I’ll try to remember to record it. I appreciate what Cesar Milan has contributed to the dog training world. As in all cases, a viewer or reader must pick and choose what works for her own situation. No one trainer has all the answers for every dog and dog owner for heavens sake. I hope you’ll be writing about some of your thoughts about Milan’s new show.

  7. Jill W on March 7, 2014

    I just caught the end of Cesar’s new show. I think anyone who calls Cesar’s methods “abusive” probably shouldn’t have dogs because they don’t understand what he’s doing at all! As other commenters say, no one trainer has all the answers for every dog, but Cesar’s methods seem to work well for most in my experience, particularly for the more hard-headed breeds (and there are some!). I have used them and they work well for me so far.

  8. Shelbeeray on March 10, 2014

    I enjoy Cesar. I did, unfortunately buy the Illusion collar, which is a choke collar. That wasn’t something I am thrilled with, but otherwise, I have learned a lot from him….and I’m not good at any of it! LOL I also find Dr. Stanley Coren’s writings to be invaluable, especially, How to Speak Dog.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 11, 2014

      This is the first time I’ve heard from someone who bought the Illusion collar. I’ve never actually seen one. I guess I won’t be recommending one any time soon. 🙂

  9. Chris on March 12, 2014

    I’ve never heard this drivel about Cesar being abusive–but anyway, yes, I will look for the new show and thoroughly enjoyed his previous show and instructions in various situations. I wish I had all his expertise and could save myself from the craziness of my newest Labradoodle foster!
    Loosing it:(

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 13, 2014

      I got a message from someone yesterday that said she can no longer read my blog because I’ve endorsed Cesar.

      I agree, if she is offended by a dog trainer who has helped thousands of dogs, this is not the web site for her.

  10. Kimberly Gauthier on March 12, 2014

    I am a HUGE fan of Cesar Millan and would love love love to meet him someday. His story astounds me and I have such a problem with the critics, but I keep my thoughts to myself, because I know it doesn’t matter. Instead, I will continue to wave the CM flag – because I adore him and what he’s done to save dogs.

  11. weliveinaflat on March 13, 2014

    Life is a mixed bag of tricks and so is he I guess. There were episodes where he has forcefully driven a dog beyond threshold and that is something that one shouldn’t be proud of and he does use coke collars. I’m not sure if his methods changed to be less forceful due to viewer feedback along the way, but I have seen some episodes where the dog is positively reinforced rather than forced to do something.

    I did watch a fair bit of Cesar Milan when we were thinking of adopting Donna. We had no experience with dogs and that show gave us an immersion into how bad all sorts of dogs can make your life become 😛 So we got an idea of what we may get ourselves into.

    It helped a lot that I did a lot of research on my own and discovered positive training methods though.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 13, 2014

      Ha! Yes, good points. The show really does show you how bad some dogs can end up! I’m so glad you’ve found the perfect dog for you and that you’ve found a way to train her that works well for you. She seems to be doing really well.

      I don’t think Cesar’s methods have changed, but I do think his shows have made a point to show less of the forceful techniques and more positive reinforcement because that’s what people want to see.

      Sometimes I push dogs over their threshold too, and I know some will disagree with me on that decision. A simple example is when a dog is scared of stairs. I just make the dog walk up and down the stairs with me a few times, with lots of praise. Problem solved in five minutes. The dog gets over his fear. We move on. It seems less stressful for some dogs than to spend a few days slowly taking a step at a time, tentatively taking treats. But that’s just me.

  12. Chris on March 17, 2014

    I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I find these discussions so interesting, I had to chime in.

    I admit right off the top I have only watched snippets of Cesar Millans shows. I more often wind
    up watching clips of videos someone is using to reinforce their dog training belief, or to criticize
    his methods. From what little I have seen, I must admit, almost none of it rings true for me.
    For me, when I am trying to determine the usefulness of a training method, it has to ring true
    to my observations. From my observations, dogs simply do not think the way Ceasar Milan
    believes that they do.

    Doesn’t mean he is a bad person, I just don’t agree with his conclusions, or his ideas as far as I have
    watched. That only puts him in a very long line of trainers, and behaviorists that I simply do not
    understand how they arrived at their conclusions about why dogs do what they do.

    Why dogs do what they do is a question humans, I believe, have failed to answer . After 10’s of
    thousands of years, you would think we would know more, not just think we know, but really
    know what goes on in the mind of a dog.
    I say this everyday, the more I know about dogs, the less I know about dogs.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on March 17, 2014

      Hi Chris. You’re right about that, how you’d think we would know more about dogs after living with them for so long! Great discussion.

  13. Renchan Li on March 21, 2014

    I appreciate Lindsay’s saying in “… Millan is someone who has made an incredible difference in the world for thousands of dogs and their families. He has helped dogs keep their homes. He has helped restore the image of pitbull dogs. He has helped rehabilitate dogs that would’ve otherwise been killed.” This positive thinking approach is an angle of view that I feel could apply to many issues in my life.

    I bought Cesar Millan’s book “How to Raise The Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond” when I adopted my first dog (a 1.5 years old female Rottweiler then) last year. I haven’t finished reading the book; and currently only consult this book when I need some information about dogs. I only have access to the TV programs that are available via antenna, thus I won’t be able to watch the National Geographic channel for the show; I would definitely be benefited from watching this mentioned TV show since seeing how Cesar Millan trains the dogs is a more effective learning for me than reading a book.

    It is an unfortunate thing that I have been observing in various incidents lately that people, that often don’t have a thorough understanding to a situation, jump on an opinion painting someone as abusive to the dogs. I wish that people could spend more time in understanding an incident before starting a negative comment.

  14. Jean Salas on March 22, 2014

    I need 911 help!! My husband rescued a 70 lb. Pit bull 1 1/2 yrs ago! He is so attached to this dog! The dog is crazy for him! Frank walks the dog 6+ times a day. It has kept him busy and friendly with the neighbors (my husband)!! The dogs name is Lucky and the one big problem we have is he is very aggressive and strong! My hubby is 74 and I’m afraid this is asking for trouble!! Please help us Cesar!! Thanks for your consideration. Sincerely, Jean Salas

  15. Debra Carmichael on July 8, 2014

    Watching Cesar do everything he can do day in and day out and shows that he is the best dog trainer I have ever seen. He continues to give each and every animal he meets the best he has, to train and correct their problems. He is a constant winner in my book.

  16. Elena on March 17, 2016

    Thanks for posting this! It’s unbelievable how misunderstood Cesar is…So many people trash him, especially “positive only” trainers, but where are the thousands of dogs that THEY’VE helped? Where is their rehabilitation center? Where is their pack of 40 dogs faithfully and peacefully following them? Unless you have actual experience–and actual results–with the most difficult dog behaviors, your Cesar criticisms are garbage.

  17. Tish on March 20, 2016

    I have probably watched almost all of Cesar Milans shows and read several of his books. I have also watched a fair amount of Ian Dunbar. In his book, Cesar’s Way, he states that the only thing that all dog trainers agree on is that everyone else is wrong. Sounds like raising children, to me! Obviously, there are many ways that work. I am unable to imitate Ceasar’s techniques as much as I wish I could. His intuitive skill is just magical. Ian Dunbar, who Cesar disagrees with regarding verbal training, completely respects him as a trainer. Ceasar says, you have to be who YOU are, first. I can see what Ian Dunbar does, therefore I can follow his instructions easier. I simply sit in awe with Cesar. Both men have been criticized for being too ‘rough’ with aggressive dogs. Completely rediculous. They are in the moment, and their restraint is what impresses me. And their incredible love of dogs…all of them!