Let me start by saying when I first watched your show I was impressed. Your ability to help problem dogs and their owners resonated with me because that is my life's work. Your timing is excellent and I think I could put it to good use with a clicker in your hand. I soon fell out of love after watching a seminar of yours the same day I watched a Turid Rugaas DVD on body language and Sue Sternburg's Bite-O_Meter. Every stress and warning sign they spoke of I saw on your program and I was very confused. I knew from a young age that positive training is better and faster but what you did looked like magic. I learned about the arguments against dominance theory and punishment based training, along with the proven science behind positive training. TV is the only magic involved in your program. Your passion for what you do is evident and I don't think you love your dogs any differently than the way that I love mine. That is why it is my wish that you see them for what they truly are, wonderful, unique, and totally their own species. I am not a pack leader Mr Millan and I encourage you to let that go too.
I don't hate you Mr Millan, as my many in my profession do. I want to teach you, I want you to cross over and become a phenomenal force for force free training. Like so many others before you. I know you can do it too. I am a positive reinforcement trainer and I walk the walk. I promise to use TAG teaching to reward the behavior I like while setting you up to succeed by having you train a dog off leash. I'd let you start with Yuna, shes very forgiving of novice trainer mistakes. She doesn't have any behavior problems, even though I start everyday with affection. Affection also occurs during her exercise, which doesn't come in the form of endless walks but rather in a conditioning trick routine all of which she has learned without me laying hands on her. Discipline isn't really necessary since she is in control of herself, which again was taught without touches or pssts. We could take her on a walk, we'll use a jogging leash so you're not tempted to jerk on her and you can see how letting the dog sniff and explore is more beneficial that a forced march. She wont pull you, but she'll use as much of the leash as you give her. Yuna is a supremely confident dog, other dogs flock to her at a dog park and follow her wherever she may go. She does not need to prove anything because she is in control, she would be an example of a "dominant" dog. Not the dogs that posture, growl, and lunge.
Nitro would have been what you consider "red zone". My little ten pound monster. Six months ago when I adopted him he would whirl and bark when anything moved. From other dogs to leaves blowing across the ground. A consistent application of counter conditioning and becoming the most lovable and exciting thing around has changed that. He did just show me that bicycles are a challenge, I welcome you to watch me work him and see that positive reinforcement does in fact work on aggression. When we went to visit him at the rescue he was so fearful that we almost didn't take him home but my heart is louder than my head. The rescue that had him followed your methodology and within a week of leaving them he blossomed. He is shaping up to be everything I wanted and more. He is just enough challenge and all heart. I think he could teach you a lot.
I too work with aggressive dogs. I am a last hope for many. Many of those people have gone to trainers that use similar methods to yours. You see, the most dangerous byproduct of your training is suppression. Can you explain to me how touching, tapping, and psstsing changes a dog's behavior? It works by punishing the unwanted behavior. In that moment the dog is more afraid of what you might do than the trigger they are facing. There are several problems that are now created. You see, the dog still feels the same way about the trigger if not worse. Whether it was fear, frustration, or insecurity now the threat of "touches" looms above them. Suppression is dangerous, the dog understands that if he barks or growls you will touch them again and that you will escalate and become more dangerous. But the trigger is still uncomfortable, you have done nothing to change how the dog feels or made a positive association. Now we have a dog that will bite without warning because growling or barking will cause you to become scary. My methods work, they work in the real world and they last a lifetime. There is no need to lay hands on dogs to change their behavior. Touching an animal is a privileged Mr. Millan, not a right.
Dogs are not wolves. Let me repeat that for you, dogs are not wolves. They have been on a separate path for thousands of years. To say that dogs think and act like wolves is an insult to them. It is the same as comparing chimp and human behavior, am I throwing my feces at you Mr Millan? No, and not because a country separates us but because I again, believe in rewarding behavior I like and creating positive associations. Furthermore, wolves do not practice dominance in the way you believe. They are a family unit, there is a mother, a father, offspring about a year old, and pups. Wolves do not fight for dominance, when they are old enough they go off and form their own packs. Young wolves do not fight with their parents for breeding rights to their parents. You've said that dogs do not follow the most lovable leader and there I have to disagree with you as well. I'm the pied piper; whenever I go, dogs follow, with or without food. Why? Because I'm the most fun and exciting thing around, they never know what I'm going to do next. In feral dog populations dogs do not live in packs rather they hang out in ones and twos. They choose to spend their time with the dogs they enjoy not the ones that are snappy or pushy. I want my dog to want to be near me, spend time with me, and provide the type of companionship only a dog can provide.
Many experts have already told you that your methods are outdated and there are better more effective ways of obtaining calm relaxed behavior from our dogs. Why on earth would you listen to a random trainer in Wisconsin? Well Mr Millan I'm here to tell you that I am the future of dog training. I am not quite thirty and I will be training dogs long after you have left this world. I also couldn't help but notice in a recent video that caused quite a stir that your reflexes aren't what they used to be. Switching to positive reinforcement is much less wear on the body. In fact despite the numerous aggression cases I have worked I've never been bitten and that is a point of pride for me. Plus there is no physical altercations, ever. I know you love dogs Mr. Millan and I admire your ability to empower people and that is what I want to do for you. I want to empower you to become a cross over trainer. You could positively influence the dog owning population. It takes a big man to admit when he is wrong. I'm asking you to swallow your pride and start the excellent adventure into the world of positive training. Consider this an open invitation to come learn anytime. I will teach you with compassion and praise and you will become a better person and an amazing trainer. We do the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time, please Cesar, expand your knowledge and do what is right for the dogs we are so passionate about.
Incredible training, incredible dogs.