‘Cesar’s Way’ is not an “Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems” as the subtitle claims. It is, however, a treatise that explains Cesar’s “way”; Millan’s philosophy about why dogs have problems that need to be corrected in the first place.
Cesar believes that dogs are pack members driven only by instinct, not family members – reducing the human/canine bond to leader and follower. It’s a philosophy at odds with the current culture of pet owners who see dogs as part of the family; sometimes even surrogate children. According to Millan, this warped view of the human/canine relationship lays the groundwork for failure.
Millan’s guide to understanding and correcting a dog’s “issues” seems simultaneously simplistic and impossible. His answer to everything is to first walk your dog for four hours a day – a task that the majority of dog owners would find impossible to work into their daily routine, rendering the “solution” neither helpful nor realistic.
Cesar’s steps for a successful relationship with a dog are exercise, discipline, and affection – in that order. It makes his techniques come across as cold and clinical, taking only instinct into consideration, which may do a great disservice to dogs. The coevolution of dogs with humans has provided a foundation for developing richly emotional bonds with our dogs, well beyond the boundaries of instinct.
This book is fine if you are looking for an explanation of Cesar’s philosophy and the experiences that led him to embrace it. It is not a helpful guide for the average pet owner.
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