The Things that are Cesar’s

November 4, 2010 at 5:48 AM | Posted in Dogs | 2 Comments
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It is such a great feeling to learn something new – something you do – try it and have it work.

Becoming a Pack Leader

I  recently watched Cesar Millan’s “Becoming a Pack Leader” show on DVD. I had read about him in Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw and was intrigued by him. The world of dogs is all new to me but still, I thought that, while not a dog whisperer like Millan, not yet, I had a certain touch, at least with a certain Granddog.

Cesar sets us straight right from the start. When we think of a dog, this is the correct order of thought:

  1. Animal
  2. Species (dog)
  3. Breed
  4. Name or personality.

Many people get this backwards, as I have.

In the same way that I was ripping my rotator cuff further apart by my supposedly medicinal stretching, I was walking Dolly like a wimpy ‘follower’. So, Mr. Millan instructed me to hold the leash closely but not tightly. I was to lead my dog and not let her in front of me. This was the exact opposite of what I was doing – or should I say, what I was letting happen. Just the day before this 14 lb dog dragged me under trees and bushes at her whim.

Granddog in Halloween finery

So, I tried it and it worked. Yes, unused to my newfound manliness, she pulled and then strained harder but I was determined. By the time we finished our 45 minute walk, the time Cesar suggested, she was just behind me, contentedly following me, the newly crowned Pack Leader.

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