Self-Referential

Pssssst! There is no past or future…

By July 11, 2007 4 Comments

Cesar Millan was not a name I was familiar with, although I had heard people talk about The Dog Whisperer.  This TV show is a take off on the "Horse Whisperer,"  a movie about a guy who could work with troubled horses by simply getting intimate with them.  The Dog Whisperer guy does the same thing, more or less, supposedly with dogs instead of horses.

Actually, if you watch a few episodes you’ll notice that Cesar Millan doesn’t work so much on the dogs.  He "fixes" the humans who own the dogs.  He has an intense gaze, and he starts by asking a lot of probing questions.  Then he begins to work on changing the pet owner’s unwholesome state of mind. 

"Oh, the dog was rescued from a horrible life?  And that’s why you indulge him and let him control you?"  "Well," he says matter of factly, "this dog doesn’t live in the past.  It lives in the here and now."

The Dog Whisperer teaches people that animals understand elemental communication best of all.  They will allow themselves to be ‘managed’ only by someone who first establishes dominance.   A leader establishes dominance and is firm, without being rough or abusive.  To have maximum influence a Leader has to know how to work from the present moment. 

If you haven’t watched ‘The Dog Whisperer’ I highly recommend it.  The basic message is enticing and yet also elusive; in other words, it’s easy to see it applied to other people.   The question is how do you apply that lesson to your own life?

4 Comments

  • dd says:

    I think his approach works great with animals and children. The problem with kids is that we humans grow up and so many of them still want someone else to be in charge, to be responsible for the big decisions, to blame with things go awry. We need a human whisperer who can help parents guide their teens toward a responsible adulthood!

  • Sarah says:

    I love that show. He may seem controlling at first, but once you establish what is permissable and what isn’t, it’s almost like everyone’s on cruise control. He doesn’t have to correct his dogs constantly, because they “know” what to do. It makes animals calmer and happier. Kids are often the same way. Something John Rosemond (who many think of as a controlling parenting expert)said stuck me like a bolt of lightning when I had small children – “In any family someone has to be in charge. And that person had better be an adult”. I was in charge…big decisions belonged to me- eureka!My kids have grown up to be easy going, engaging and thoughtful because in large part they knew what to expect from Mom and Dad. Maybe they would have turned out the same regardless, but it’s been a lot easier on me.

  • Steve says:

    I read his book. The only thing I was able to implement was that I walk out the door before the dog, who doesn’t seem to mind and walks in front the rest of the time.

  • Ernie says:

    Hey Peter, I don’t know if you’ve seen the show so maybe I didn’t describe it well enough. Then again maybe you think that Cesar is overly controlling or something.