Mastering Leadership with Your Dog

Cesar Milan

I was recently contacted by Cesar Milan’s publisist and asked if I would be interested in reviewing Cesar’s new DVD set “Mastering Leadership with Your Dog” and posting my thoughts here on Whole Dog News Blog. I was quite interested in doing so as I had heard both good and bad things about Cesar and wanted to see and learn more for myself.

This is a three DVD set which takes you from acquiring a new puppy (either from a breeder, shelter or breed rescue) through to working with a dog you may have in your home currently that has some problems you want to work on with the dog.

I have to admit, I was impressed with Cesar’s beliefs about dogs as he does believe they are DOGS, not furry little toys or children in dog clothing. He appears to appreciate and love dogs as dogs! He also points out that living with dogs and treating them as any other species then dogs is what is causing so many of the behavior problems we are seeing today! Maybe Cesar can get this point across to others, I sure hope so!

Cesar makes the point through out all the DVD’s the vital importance of being “Calm & Assertive” with our dogs. Of being the pack leader so our dogs don’t have to try to be…

Cesar does an excellent job of showing us how dogs think and how different it is from the way human’s think. He shows us what the dog thinks and how it reacts to us from the dog’s point of view. This is something every dog owner/lover should know! This is something I totally agree with, we need to learn how to relate to dogs as it meets THEIR needs NOT necessarily as it meets OUR needs!

I was also quite impressed and thrilled to see him talk through out about the dog’s breed NOT being what makes up the dog. He really spoke out breed specific thoughts being total un-truth. He also spoke of the importance of how to pick the right dog for you and your lifestyle in great detail and depth.

I also loved how Cesar spoke of the importance of exercise for the dog. Not just to keep him fit and healthy physically but just as important… emotionally and mentally!

I found Cesar and I agreed on almost every level and HIGHLY recommend this DVD set to ALL dog owners/lovers!

With that being said though, I was not in agreement on a few things Cesar touched on as far as the importance of vaccinations and spaying/neutering. While these are controversial subjects I believe it may be possible that Cesar has just not researched these out for himself.


Here are LOTS of articles and links on the true dangers of vaccinations and over-vaccinating our pets:


I understand that the majority of the human population believe there is a pet over-population problem in America and why everyone shouts “Please spay and neuter your pets” however, the truth and facts are evident that spaying and neutering (especially before the dog is mature) have their own unique and deadly side effects. You read more about these facts HERE as well as several other veterinarian’s sites.

Finding a puppy/dog:

I did appreciate the fact that Cesar explained that you do not HAVE to get your next puppy or dog from a shelter and if you do, how to find the right one and how to train it. However, his links for finding a breeder in your area left a little to be desired.

If you are looking for specific breed of puppy/dog, the best resource is to visit that specific breed’s parent AKC website, i.e. if you are looking for a Golden Retriever, check out the Golden Retriever Club Of America or say you are looking for a Poodle, then you would look up The Poodle Club Of America, etc. The breed clubs always have a list of either small local breed clubs in your area you can contact or some parent clubs even have a list of breeders that have signed their code of ethics and known to be reputable breeders.

Of course, if you are looking for a Naturally Reared puppy/dog that has not been fed processed, commerical diets, has not been over-vaccinated (if vaccinated at all) and raised from parents that were naturally reared for less health issues then please check out and then contact The Natural Rearing Breeders Association to help you locate a healthy, naturally reared puppy or adult.


While Cesar did not discuss diet much, there were several shots of him feeding his dogs kibble mixed with canned food. YIKES! Those who are regular readers and come here for more information and education on health for your dogs KNOW how bad and even dangerous the feeding of commercial, processed pet foods can be. If you don’t, here is a link that will take you to lots of articles and other links on the subject:

With these few little issues aside, Cesar Milan’s DVD set, Master Leadership with Your Dog is Excellent and is not intended to be about natural health so, with these issues in mind, Chase gives it 4 Paws when it comes to truly learning how to master leadership and have a relation with your dog as the canine she/he is!

If you would like to pick up your own copy of Mastering Leadership you can go to: AND, we will be giving away one set during our upcoming Animal Talk Naturally Radio Show’s Special Christmas show, “A Season of Giving”, December 17, 2008 at 2:30 PM Eastern LIVE on BlogTalk Radio!
To find out more about this special show, you can go to


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  3. Many CPDT trainers do not like Cesar’s methods as they have caused injury and death to some dogs.

    While his methods work, there are other ways of helping challenged dogs learn to fit into society without the use of fear or intimidation. Many trainers recognize that dogs need to be treated with respect and that flooding is not necessary in order to help a dog with problems.

    I would refer dog owners to Dr. Ian Dunbar’s methods. He is a DVM with a Ph.D. in dog behavioral sciences. His work is geared towards keeping dogs out of shelters and his writing style is such that the lay community can readily grasp his ideas. He keeps things simple and his training approach is elegantly simple.

    Anyone that cares about canines will appreciate Dunbar’s approach to dogs and training. For more information, his e-newsletter is loaded with valuable information.

  4. I love Cesar. There are people who find his ‘flooding’ methods controversial, but this is a person who has such respect and love for dogs, I believe when he performs certain corrective actions, he always is integrating the respect he has for the animal. He is highly experienced and NEVER endorses taking on risky behavior modification without the help of an experienced trainer.

    I love how he promotes loving dogs because they are dogs, not furry babies.

    To speak to the fact that Cesar feeds kibble and promotes vaccines…well, I guess nobody is perfect 😉 I try and focus on the fact that he has given so many dogs who would have otherwise been euthanized a second chance.

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