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What the experts say about "The Dog Whisperer" (Cesar Millan)
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8584
    @SushiShiba - There IS (or at least was, I am not sure if "It's Me or the Dog" is still on) a show about positive reinforcement...

    Have you ever heard of Victoria Stillwell?

    https://positively.com/
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • No, I haven't! Took a quick gander... it's a shame that show isn't on anymore. It would've been a much better resource than CM. I remember a good couple years back there was another show about dog training... Brad something or other (??). I don't remember much of that show at all, though. The media has such power over what is shared to the public, and you'd hope that they would've used it for good... but I guess that doesn't make the money!

    Seeing as I have some spare time at work, I think I'll read up on Mrs. Stillwell :) Thanks for the info! It's fantastic how much information they've provided on their website.
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I ADORE Victoria Stilwell, her practices are very positive and based around building a bond with and understanding your dog - she also makes a clothing line that is dog-focused and positive training based. It's called "Positively" and since I am a dog-geek, I love it!
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  • +100 to Victoria Stilwell. Growing up, "It's me or the dog" was one of my favorite shows on Animal Planet before it got plagued with mockumentaries and staged tv shows.

    http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/its-me-or-dog/videos/
    http://www.veoh.com/list/c/imotd
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  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    One thing @jarviz

    CM uses Ecollars on dogs all the time, you see them used on the show....

    I have a 135lb Caucasian Ovcharka. I guarantee you he is stronger and potentially more human aggro/potential to cause severe harm then any of the dogs on CMs show. The big difference is I know my dog and did lots of training with him, all positive, and I don't put him in situations where I would have to try and do damage control. He is a very good boy, has great manners in public, and I control his interactions/limit contact as needed. I walk him on a standard no slip kennel lead.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
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    Post edited by lindsayt at 2015-02-13 02:04:01
  • jarvizjarviz
    Posts: 69
    @lindsayt Thanks for the reply. I did see him use it one time on the show with a dog who was super aggressive towards other dogs. I don't believe in E-collars either, but for that situation, I can understand why he decided to use it. He has strange dog who supposedly attacks other dogs, but he needs to see it in person to see just how bad the dog really is. So he has the E-collar on just for the other dog's safety, in case the dog does plan to go haywire. When he sees the dog attack, CM now knows how dog really acts, and from there he can begin the rehab process and knows what needs to be done. i ASSUME the E-collar does not go back on.

    The way I see it is there is already a super damaged dog, and in order for him to assess the dog, CM has to put the dog in specific situations to see how they act. Only when the dog gets out of hand does CM break out the dominant/submissive techniques. It's not like he hits the dog, or yanks on their collar just to get them off the couch. I've also never seen him use dominant or aggressive towards dogs that have anxiety/fear/nervousness issues.

    I'm not advocating or condoning his techniques. I just feel like he gets too much hate. Obviously, I don't believe in snapping at our dogs when we're training them to sit or stay, but I can see why CM does what he does when a dog suddenly snaps and attacks other dogs or people. I can't say what he does behind closed doors during his rehab sessions, but I don't feel like he is hitting, throwing, using e-collars, pinning dogs down, etc all the time. Just my 2 cents.
  • jarviz said:

    I don't believe in E-collars either, but for that situation, I can understand why he decided to use it.



    If you don't believe in them, then why is it ok to ever use them? Seems contradictory to me.

    My issue with him is that he continues to use techniques that are outdated and damaging. If there are other options, better options, why not use them?

  • jarvizjarviz
    Posts: 69
    I would never use it. I would never tell another person they should use it. Like I said, CM uses it JUST one time (I think) for the safety of the other dogs. Are there better options - yes. I just don't think it justifies all the "Wow i hate CM and he's the worst trainer in the world" mentality.


    My issue with him is that he continues to use techniques that are outdated and damaging. If there are other options, better options, why not use them?

    I concur, but all of the dogs in his pack seem normal and completely stable and never show fear/submission when he commands them. Like they are happy to be near him and they are just obedient. A dog that was tortured into being obedient I think would act differently around him. So he has to be doing something right.

  • You may not ever use it, or encourage others to, but by agreeing with his use of it kind of negates your original statement. And I imagine that if he's used it once, he'll use it again.

    The reason so many "hate" on him isn't the result of just his use of the e-collar; it's essentially a compounded effect of everything he's said and done over the past couple of years.

    I'm sure that his network wouldn't show the times where his dogs aren't behaving, lol. Wouldn't make for very good tv if a dog trainer can't get his dog to sit, lol. But I wouldn't doubt that his dogs are well behaved. However, how he got them to behave that way is what I have concerns about. They may be happy to see him, but for all we know, he has a pound of hot dogs strapped to his body. You dangle a donut in front of me and I'll be nice to you too!
  • @jarviz

    In all honesty, I cannot say I've read every post in this thread, but I think you might be using a huge generalization when saying we hate CM. Putting that blanket statement over us doesn't do anything to help the argument you are making.

    We hate the techniques that he uses and don't think he should be given the platform that he has because it can confuse people who earnestly want to help their dog instead of directing them to a professional trainer. You always have to remember that this is a TV show. They aren't going to show dogs in his pack (if any) that are still showing serious behavioural issues. It's up to us to give him that benefit of the doubt or not.

    But the thing is if knowingly put your dog in a stressful situation, or use an e-collar, or hit your dog, you can still have a good dog that doesn't have anxiety or aggression issues. None of us are saying that you can't, but the thing is, that does not justify the use of the e-collar or the alpha roll or whatever. Our argument is that they should never be used. Full stop.

    This is why we disagree with CM. This is why we criticize his platform to show people aversive techniques. If there was any other dog trainer as prolific as CM that did the same thing with his own tv show and all, I'm certain that the same things would be said and the only difference would be a name change. This isn't hate of a person, it's extreme disagreement with an outdated and unscientific school of thought/behaviour training that needs to be changed but isn't because it 'makes for a great tv show.'

    If you want to debate on if it's okay to use these things with your dog once or twice, I'm sure that will be more fruitful, but I think you are missing what exactly we are disagreeing with.

  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I agree with what @Justifiedgaines said and want to add that when other people that are not experienced with dogs try to attempt the techniques that they see on television, they can do much more harm than good.

    My issue is the fact that his techniques are repeated over and over (and more than likely incorrectly) by inexperienced owners that believe that they are doing the right thing because that worked for an expert on a show!
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    Post edited by Kira_Kira at 2015-02-13 12:43:14
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    In addition to what else had been said here I want to say that there is no reason to push any dog to "snap" just to "see what you are working with". Apart from making a good tv show.
    And the attacks don't just come out of the blue. The dogs display a lot of signs that they are uncomfortable, scared etc with the situation beforehand. But either he doesn't know how to read them or he choose to ignore them. Not sure what is worse.
  • I don't dislike CM because he uses e-collars. I strongly dislike him because I find his methods way too aggressive without much positive reinforcement at all. The tools will always be there, however it is up to the owner and trainer to use them properly and effectively.

    I will be honest that I have had to use an e-collar on my lab before and it saved her life by preventing her from running out into the street when she pulled and broke her leash after seeing a neighbor's cat. Nala is a special case, however, evaluated by both the three behaviorists and vet that has worked with her. She's is extremely hyperactive and impulsive where she will literally charge and bolt with no warning, the collar served as a tap on the shoulder to snap her out of that frenzy. It's also on the lowest setting where it's the small numbing sensation of when your leg falls asleep.

    Also, yes, I have actually worn the collar on my neck multiple times before making the call. Aversive training methods, to me, should be used in moderation and in conjunction with positive rewards.
    image
  • I've worked in the TV industry for a while (even worked at NatGeo Channel), and I can 100% guarantee you - they're not showing you everything he does. For every minute of final video you're looking at 10x that amount of footage, shot from this angle or that or using this approach or that or having him perform the task at least X amount of times to get the take they want. I bet you they probably had him do that stupid thing with the dog bowl 6 or 7 times before they got the take they wanted.

    They are not going to paint him in a negative light, because they need you to LIKE him. They need you to enjoy watching him. They need you to tune into his show and talk about him and use his techniques and drink the CM koolaid - it helps them sell advertisements and products. He is a product selling machine - that's what he's there for. And this is just my thought, but every time you endorse him or say yes, I loved that episode I'm going to do that at home - you're feeding into his success.

    A good producer and editor can make you believe whatever they want you to about CM, because that's what they're good at.

    A great example of this is granite countertops... (sorry if this digresses) Thanks to the HGTV channel, granite counter tops are now THE go to countertop for the majority of home buyers - they need and expect and will pay top dollar for granite countertops... doesn't matter that granite is porous, bacteria laden, chips, needs resealing every year (that no one does), is emitting radon into your home, etc... everyone WANTS granite. But you know why HGTV always uses granite? because it's the cheapest of the natural stone.

    CM is Nat Geo's version of granite.

    They picked him because he is compelling to watch on television. Is he the best? No. But he's effective, and he makes people tune in. So now everyone thinks they need to follow CM's training methods, because he was on TV. It's exactly why people keep buying into the granite countertops, because they saw them on TV.

    And I'll admit, I buy into it to... If the Property Brothers can Rehab a house so can I! Yeah, just a little dryway here and some paint! (Disclaimer: I should not be trusted with drywall or paint)


    CM is spit in my opinion - his methods are ridiculous. I do not hate him, but I sure as shit don't like him. I am for what I have found works (positive reinforcement training), and against what I have seen does not (goading dogs into aggression through stupidity for the sake of training and ecollars, because I have seen how horrible they can be).


    Just wanted to throw that out there.




    Post edited by lauratherose at 2015-02-13 16:38:24
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    jarviz said:

    The way I see it is there is already a super damaged dog, and in order for him to assess the dog, CM has to put the dog in specific situations to see how they act. Only when the dog gets out of hand does CM break out the dominant/submissive techniques.


    @jarviz, I don't think you are reading the info presented here fully. I've already covered this in my last response to you, so I'll keep this brief. Dogs do not use aggression to be mean, they use it because they are afraid or anxious. It is not a rational choice. (Of course there are always cases of true mental disorders, but that is beyond the scope of rehabilitative training.)

    You do not need to see a fearful dog's aggressive display to work on fixing it. Instead, you want to avoid pushing them to that point, and slowly show them that whatever triggers lead to that behavior are not worth reacting too. Refer to the link I posted on a dog's anxiety threshold. You cannot teach a dog anything if they are already over threshold. Putting them into this state on purpose is counterproductive.

    What Cesar does is suppression by intimidation. He pressures the dogs into hiding their problem. This does not address the cause of the problem, only the immediately visible effect. But what happens when you punish a dog for it's fear display, for example - growling? You end up with a dog who thinks that growling doesn't work, so he may next go for a bite. Cesar's methods do more harm than good.

    A couple related threads for you to read:
    Thank You For Growling!
    Let's discuss the role of dominance in the social hierarchy & training of domestic and wild canine
    Want to learn more about canine behavior and training?
    Books and resources on dog communication and canine body language
  • Hey guys,

    I don't know if anyone has been watching National Geographic still as I am right now, but I've just seen a commercial for a new special for Cesar's new special in Las Vegas which airs Friday and then the week after his show Cesar 911 comes out which I've never heard of. Anyone else seen this or going to watch it? I don't really like Cesar Millan or his outdated methods, but I'm curious to see if anyone else will watch it.
  • I'd rather watch the fireplace channel -_-
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Storminu said:

    Hey guys,

    I don't know if anyone has been watching National Geographic still as I am right now, but I've just seen a commercial for a new special for Cesar's new special in Las Vegas which airs Friday and then the week after his show Cesar 911 comes out which I've never heard of. Anyone else seen this or going to watch it? I don't really like Cesar Millan or his outdated methods, but I'm curious to see if anyone else will watch it.



    No.
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  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I will be enjoying alcoholic beverages on Friday with friends in town for a mountain biking event... Definitely not watching CM.

    We could watch and make it a drinking game... Take a drink every time we disagree with something he does or says. We'd be wasted!!! :))
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  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Kira_Kira said:

    I will be enjoying alcoholic beverages on Friday with friends in town for a mountain biking event... Definitely not watching CM.

    We could watch and make it a drinking game... Take a drink every time we disagree with something he does or says. We'd be wasted!!! :))



    Might just sell out the local beer store!

    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • The amount of drunk that would happen would be astounding.

    It'd be like playing a drinking game with Scandal - drink when someone says: gladiator, white hat, in the sun - you don't stay sober long.
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1244
    @jarvis- sorry there is no way to justify any of the 'methods' that CM uses. They are not necessary- why choose aversive when there is a better way- positive reinforcement?
    The size of the dog is irrelevant. If you have a large breed that acts like that- you need to pull your head into gear and work really hard with positive training and a behaviourist to set the dog up for success, not failure. I have a very dog reactive Shiba- and I know his boundaries. I can take him for walks and he is fine, he enjoys it. I do not put him in situations where he is stressed/uncomfortable- that would be selfish and not fair on him and other people/their dogs.
    So, if there is a dog that is behaving in the way you described, big or small, there is no excuse for putting that dog or anyone else's in that situation, especially if the owner has to rely on inflicting pain to control it. Back to the drawing board they need to go to have a training plan in place to set the dog up for success.

    It's so selfish of people that have been too lazy to train the dog properly to then think it's ok to take this dog out in public and put other people's dogs/kids at risk - then what happens is their dog gets hurt,has to be PTS because it's hurt someone else or it lives in a state of stress because the owner followed some BS on to that is ineffective and makes no sense.
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  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 645
    I just watched 'Cesar Millan: Viva Las Vegas' I like him & his shows.

    Much better then those A holes in 'wicked tuna' or some other catch fish, with ppl that where probably dropped on there head as a baby.

    Or the greedy 'Flipping (city)' talking down at each other, and there contractors; then ripping off a new homeowner.
    Post edited by knnwang at 2015-02-21 01:48:54
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Um yeah, that has nothing to do with dogs or how they are treated...
    "Common sense isn't so common"
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  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 645
    I know. It was funny. Was hoping for the 11 Ranchos songs since it was a Vages show.

    Some of his methods I do disagree with. What I did get out of his shows, (mostly the new ones, 2013 and up) the re confirmation: a lot of exercise, mental stimulation, and positive reinforcement. Puppies especially.

    I see him as a spokesman used by others. Like when he did that episode where they went up to Congress about breed specific legislation, pit bull or something.

    He "trains humans and rehabilitate dogs" is almost like anyone saying I'm a breeder and a dog trainer. Besides it's entertaining to watch him go in against a dog where everyone is saying things like: it's dangerous, it bites, have been abused, Michael Vick's dog, locked up for years, thinks it's a lap dog, lol. If I start seeing the show go with well adjusted dogs from the start and just playing, exercising, and having fun... I'll probably stop watching real quick (It's boring entertainment.)

    I only have Ratchet a shiba, whom I love to death. By no means am I an dog behavior expert (not my first science.) But I have hire many trainer/behavioral experts. Its a real turn off to watch a professional/expert make judgemental/Republican statements. But I get to fire said person, just like changing the channel.

    :)>-
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Thought I'd post this here as well...

    https://positively.com/victorias-blog/the-dog-aggression-epidemic/

    The CM's of the world are profiting from the misunderstanding and greed.
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 645
    I don't see any relation from that article & CM. But if I ever see him encourage dog breeding for profit . With puppies going into an environment they shouldn't be in, in the first place. I would be against him.
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    knnwang said:

    I don't see any relation from that article & CM. But if I ever see him encourage dog breeding for profit . With puppies going into an environment they shouldn't be in, in the first place. I would be against him.



    Sorry but if you don't see it, can't help you!

    I'm beginning to see why some are ignoring this topic!
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • tysaaantysaaan
    Posts: 122
    The relation is how people are misinformed, and it's because of people like CM.

    The reason I dislike him is because he tries giving off the impression that he has a secret and he is the dog "whisperer", when in reality it takes time and patience. CM preaches about this pack-leader mentality and uses negative reinforcement, which in the long run is not good, but for show reasons, the dog seems to instantly understand. The dogs may listen to him, but they listen out of fear.
  • On today's edition of why I hate people....

    The shiba inu facebook page is pretty awesome place for puppy spam.

    Unfortuantely alpha rolling a dog and throwing it on the ground are the recommended methods of training.

    I don't understand why in today's day and age, where 95% of the accumulated knowledge of mankind is available on your smart phone, people argue over factual information. Its okay to argue over opinions (for example, a male shiba is better than a female is an opinion), but arguing over facts (the author of dog dominance studies has recanted his original findings) is totally unacceptable. FFS.....

    Rant over.

  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8584
    Ahhh... Oh yes, the infamous Shiba Inu FB page... There are a lot of idiots that own Shibas, unfortunately. The cuteness factor and the "because Japan" draws in a lot of crazies. Puppy mills have just made it that much worse. I cringe for the poor dogs that these people own and treat so horribly. :(
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  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    If your talking about the shiba inu group I think your talking about omg I hate that group. >.< Took forever to get the admin to not allow selling of puppies!

    It was so annoying the amount of puppies being advertised.. one person blocked me she was clearly a miller.. she even made a fb group just for selling puppies on. omg. D:

    It's just no use arguing with these people. some are good people and learn, but others are just too stuck on dominance is best.

    Some crap they've said is nuts.. "shiba are like boomerangs they'll come back eventually." "My dog can be off leash because I'm the pack leader".. :I OK.
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  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I've also gotten in a few arguments with so-called "experts" because they own a Shiba...

    I've given up correcting and educating most of them because you just can't fix stupid.
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  • The original post was about resource guarding. This woman posted the following...

    "This happened when my son was little with our Migoto. I had hand fed her for 2 weeks, if she wanted food I gave it to her. After she stopped the aggression towards me, I would have my son (3 at the time) feed her a hand full here and there. After all that happened, I would pour her a bowl then give her a hand full first, then let her eat, taking a hand full here or there and giving it to her to show her I wasn't a threat. After about 3 moths of this, her food was always out for her to eat, she would just eat when she was hungry. my son could even take food out of her bowl at any time with no aggressive behavior. Females as a rule are more aggressive, and usually need to be alpha. If she is going after you, she doesn't see you as alpha. Your other dogs may, but she does not. As soon as that baby would have come after me, she would have had her scruff grabbed pulled out of her cage (den) and she would have been on her back on the floor with me on all fours above her (still holding her scruff) in a dominant stance. That is how I worked my shibas dominant alpha struggle out of her. Your little girl is looking to be pack leader. You let that happen, you are going to be in trouble with more than just her. Above all I hope she is fixed before her first heat, or it may get worse."

    the OP was actually bitten by her new rescue as the dog was resource guarding.

  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 645
    For some reason, I see a shiba doing its Shiba Scream if one was rolled over by a stranger (in my head).

    Edit: Otherwise it's not a true shiba.
    Post edited by knnwang at 2015-02-25 20:51:22
  • Yeah, the Shiba Inu FB page is a trainwreck. Alpha rolling is pretty mild compared to some of the stuff we've seen on there. And there were even people who owned puppy mills on their for awhile, posting photos of their puppies. (Seriously: one was an Amish puppy mill. I thought, I didn't even think the Amish used computers or were on FB, but it was super easy to google the person's name and there was all the information!)

    Akita world (also on FB) is the equivilent train wreck for Akitas.
  • Sometimes I think you should have to pass a training test to get a dog...
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Delete....was gonna get too far off topic with a response about the Amish.
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
    Post edited by Kobe1468 at 2015-02-26 00:04:01
  • tysaaantysaaan
    Posts: 122
    I didn't know what you meant when you were talking about the FB page but now I see what you mean. I logged on and saw a girl that has never bred before trying to breed her cream shiba?! She couldn't even spell breeding correctly and said "breading". I posted my thoughts towards them >.>

  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    I think she deleted it
    "Common sense isn't so common"
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  • @lindsayt, someone sent a link for "mini-shibas" whose parents are 14 lbs as well.

  • tysaaantysaaan
    Posts: 122
    Yeah, it was deleted. I'm glad though, I joined to talk to other owners and get feed of Shiba's on my FB and then I get that bs :/
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    @MoxyFruvous here is the thread with the most recent activity
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  • Another great article on Millan and why his methods are bad. This article is particularly good because it has lots of sources listed, and its a very detailed article debunking a lot of myths about dog behavior: http://www.irishdogs.ie/blogs/the-damage-of-the-dog-whisperer.html
  • I found this article hard to read. The references and all are good, but I feel like Rachael Garner, the author, turned off a lot of readers straight out the gate by bashing Cesar for who he was, and not what he teaches. Especially the first few sentences under Cesar's background... what does him being an immigrant have to do with anything? What does his ethnicity have to do with anything? Why did she include that information, and why did she put it in that paragraph?

    Garner also undermines herself when she refers to her her target audience as "uneducated lay-people".

    As a minority who didn't grow up in the country she currently resides in, it really makes me uncomfortable that his nationality and ethnicity are used as marks against him (or at least are syntax-ly placed in a way where it seems like that is what the author is saying).

    I know she's saying great stuff later in the meat of the article, but those first few paragraphs really coloured this article in a terrible light for me. As a writer, she violently distances herself from the people that she aims to inform to the point that it doesn't matter what she's saying, no one wants to hear it. Perhaps that is why the comments section is as opposed to the article as it is.

    Regardless, I don't have a facebook account and I am opposed to opening one up, does anyone know of another way to view the references? I can only see numbers, but not what those numbers actually reference.


  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    Overall, I think this is a very good article. I do agree that ethnicity should not have been brought up. There are people all around the world who object to CM's practices...no matter what ethnicity they may be.

    I think the "uneducated" remark should be replaced with 'misinformed', 'lazy', 'willfully ignorant'. There is SO much research out there debunking his methods. I've personally posted several on this forum. It's not hard to find.

    While I don't find fault in being a bit offended in the interpretation of the writers delivery, I'd question anybody who doesn't agree with the marrow of the article.

    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • I don't agree that his ethnicity and background are being used against him. It IS in fact relevant to him as a trainer, because the point is he has no educational background in canine behavior at all, and his only relevant experience is a brief stint as a vet tech. She says where he was a vet tech (Mazatlan) which IS relevant because it is shows his lack of experience. She's not tying his ethnicity into this in any way at all except to show what his experience is--ie it is tied to place, not ethnicity per se. But bottom line: just mentioning ethnicity or race is not problematic in and of itself. If this author used it to bash him that would be another thing entirely, but that doesn't happen in this article. I have read a very few articles that bashed Millan for being Mexican and for his original immigration status; this article does not do that, and certainly his educational background is relevant, because he's touted as an expert OVER those who really do have an educational background in canine behavior.

    And I can't see anything in which the author "violently distances herself" from anyone. I find the tone of the article quite measured, very much like a typical academic article (well, perhaps academic light). And I don't think the point is to convince the "uneducated layperson" anyway--this is written for a different audience, for an audience that actually might know something about canine behavior and want to read a reasoned and well-researched article. (And that kind of language, btw, is typical of academic articles).
  • I'm not saying that his educational background isn't relevant, but it certainly didn't need to be worded that way. It can be very ambiguous and kind of offensive depending on the person who reads it. Also seeing as this article was originally a Facebook post, it doesn't convince me that the author was too worried about how she used her language. That being said, from an editing point of view for a website, it would have made more sense to edit it to make sure it couldn't be easily interpreted in the way I initially did.

    The big thing with his ethnicity is that she could have taken that part out and still could have had just as strong of an argument. If she changed "uneducated lay-people" to something else, she could have had just as strong of an argument. Perhaps bash was a strong word on my part (since it could have been worse), but it did not seem positive when I read it.

    This reminds me of a Buzzfeed article that I read recently where it was a list of contemporary authors that you should be reading. Every author on that list was black, and in the comments people were upset because they felt misled by the title. But the question stands, why is it important that you know they are black? Why is important in this article that we know Cesar is Mexican or an immigrant? It isn't. It is important to know that he doesn't have a formal education, and that he has an insane platform where people will believe everything he says/does. But this ethnicity? No value. I would call this a micro-aggression (intentional or unintentional slights, snubs, or insults which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership).

    Sure, he worked in Mazatlan. But you could say "he had a brief stint as a vet tech in Mazatlan." If anyone wants to know where that is, they can google it. or you could say "he had a brief stint as a vet tech in Mazatlan, Mexico as a teenager."

    Also as someone who is also in academia (in chemistry, but still) I never see this type of language when referring to people even in the education section which is all people-people interactions. In chemistry academia and the tangential biology academia, it would be 100% unacceptable to use this sort of language, perhaps in behavioral science it's different. But this was really shocking to me as a scientist and researcher.

    Even if the point isn't to target the "uneducated lay-person," you can see who read this in the comments. And you can see people offended in the comments section.

    At the very least, don't turn off a certain group of people or refer to them this way. Then say "this article wasn't meant for you." It doesn't make it any more acceptable.

    Again, this was a Facebook post first, so maybe I shouldn't judge it as hard, but I feel like she tied her shoes together with her choice of words in this article when she didn't have to.

    But I agree, Kobe, the meat of the article is good. Also, can anyone access the facebook page to get the actual references? I am unable to do so.
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1587
    I think I'll stand by what I said...ethnicity didn't need to be mentioned. The authors points on his ineffective, old school and dangerous techniques should stand on their own.

    I've read many articles debunking his ways. None brought up his ethnicity, yet made it clear that he isn't formally trained and so forth.

    I don't think the author had any ill intentions...I just don't think it was necessary.

    Just as a note, I do agree that many scientific abstracts/articles don't always pay mind to the sensitivities of the 'average' reader. But as polarizing as CM is, it doesn't make much sense to use any wording that may offend. What's the point of writing it in the first place?(if your intent is to educate and inform).

    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • This was actually not a FB post. It was actually an academic paper--not for an academic journal, but for a class. The paper was turned into a FB page, not actually by the author, who had shared her paper, and then it got picked up and tied with photos she never put with it. (I know her slightly, actually, and she has a google doc link that includes the sources, but I don't have it right now--when I get it, I'll post it).

    I see your point and I don't think that we needed to know ethnicity. But let me be clear: I am Hispanic, and an academic, and I did not find it problematic, and as someone who has had racism directed at them, and who also studies issues of race, I am particularly sensitive and careful about this issue. It is not a microagression nor is it racist or anything else to simply mention ethnicity or race (and the argument that it is actually drives me crazy). There is nothing inherently wrong or racist in noticing racial/ethnic differences, and there is nothing wrong in noting he is Mexican. Unnecessary? Perhaps, given that pretty much everyone knows that. Certainly I didn't think the fact that he is an immigrant needs to be mentioned (but again, it is also clear and most people know that. She didn't say that he'd come here originally illegally, which I have seen in other articles on occasion, and that in particular is totally unnecessary).

    But that's all I'll say about this. If people don't like it, that's fine, but it has a lot of good arguments against Millan.

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