Reality TV and Cesar Millan

Reality TV has become so popular over the last 20 years. We seem to relish the conflict and cheer when a bad guy gets booted off and the good guy prevails. But we all know in the back of our minds that even though reality tv doesn’t usually use actors but real people, the reality that you see on the screen isn’t necessarily what happened in real life behind the screen.

It is important to keep this very thing in mind when you watch the popular Cesar 911. We don’t know how many takes and editing it took for a dog to stop lunging at a neighbor. We don’t know how long a dog was trained at the Dog Psychology Center. And even though it seems like Millan has “fixed” a dog in about ten minutes, the reality is dogs don’t learn that quickly. Dogs in a lot of ways learn like us, in small, slow and deliberate steps not in one trial as we see on tv. And in those odd times when a dog does learn in one trial, many times it is unlikely that we could change the habit or a behavior permanently without good solid training.

As a trainer, I have seen many clients who claim to have tried the things that they see on Cesar 911 and they end up calling me because the techniques they saw didn’t work. Almost everyone tries the "tsst!!" to no avail. One thing I like about Cesar 911 is that people are putting training in the forefront of their minds realizing how important it is whether it is Cesar's way or my own. I hope you will come back to reality and let me help you work with you and your dog.