Monday, March 14, 2016

Know-Nothings Freaking Out About Cesar Millan

People spread bullshit faster than Ted Cruz driving a 250-horsepower Trump spreader.

The latest general freak out among the know-nothings is about an episode of Cesar Millan's television show where a stock-aggressive Boston-terrier cross nipped a pig in the ear.

Oh.  My. God. 

Yeah, I know. Folks eat bacon in the morning, yawn at a million pit bulls a year being killed in shelters, support a government that bombs civilians, and demand cuts to basic services to the poor, and then a pig gets its ear nipped by a dog that is being trained to stop killing livestock, and it's a general freak out.

Get a freaking grip, people. Get a freaking grip.

You DO know that pigs routinely kill and eat their own offspring, right?

You DO know that the universal and law-approved method of "training" a stock-worrying dog is to shoot the dog dead, right?  Yes, the law salutes that.  No due-process; just a farmer's bullet through the brain. Same law, all over the world.

Whenever anyone gets too self-righteous
in the world of animal training and behavior modification, you can be sure their stance has very little to do with animal welfare, and a great deal to do with their need to feed their own ego.

People need to feel important, and one way to do that is to scream outrage over this or that. They hyperventilate, wanting YOU to know that they know better, and they are the experts, and why won't anyone in the world recognize their expertise and Author-itah?  It's all so frustrating for them!

Meanwhile, the folks who actually rehabilitate dogs do that.

They are not throwing feces with a keyboard; they are saving and transforming canine lives on a daily basis, and they are making the world a better place for it.

Meanwhile the opinions of the people and dogs whose lives are immeasurably improved by real dog rehabilitators are summarily dismisses by the critics. For these people, the dogs are not the experts, and the owners are just an inconvenience. They are the experts! They are the ones who are smart -- just ask them. They use all the good words.  They are going to to make dog training great again.


Packleader said...

This is the world's biggest game of "gotcha." The voices crying out for Cesar to be banned from TV or prosecuted seem ecstatic to have finally got evidence (in their opinion) of what they've been saying about Cesar Milan for a decade.

Stoutheartedhounds said...

I've commented on this incident before in other places, so I'll briefly repeat what I've said here. I am not outraged by this incident, not in the least. I am however, disappointed at the approach that Mr. Millan took in dealing with this case. I'm no dog trainer, but had this client come to me asking for help with this situation I would have told her right off the bat that this is a battle not worth fighting. A dog with a history of killing other animals can never be trusted not to do that again, ever. Plain and simple. So for someone like Mr. Millan to agree to "fix" this dog is problematic to say the least. With respect to the way he went about trying to fix this dog, I think he was foolish and careless. Perhaps I'm not getting the whole picture because of editing and other such things, but it appears to me that he attempted to move the training along much too quickly. He went from having the dog controlled on a leash to being completely out of control off leash. Why didn't he attempt to use a muzzle, or an e-collar first? Why did he think it was a good idea to go from 100% control to 0% control in the space of a few minutes, or even an hour with a dog who had a history of killing pigs?

jeffrey thurston said...

Well said... all American meat eaters and leather wearers should go to a slaughterhouse at least once (my Dad took me when I was 12- John Morrell's in Sioux Falls SD). Reality is so much harsher than our pussified American elite culture accepts...

PBurns said...

Dogs with a history of biting, and even killing, other animals are routinely trained to NOT do that again. It's actually not too tough a lift, and is done all the time. My favorite example is the trainer who took in a dog that had repeatedly bitten other people in the face. That dog now escorts that trainer's young son around the yard.

My own dogs are confirmed killers of a variety of a wide variety of things, but when we are not hunting on farms, they simmer down and know the difference. They walk the local parks leash-free and without chasing squirrels.

E-collar training (just very light signaling taps) has made it much easier to train dogs by sending very well-timed signals to dogs. Once a dog knows what is permitted, and if the signals are consistent, things straighten up. But yes, it IS training.

Dogs really are not binary beasts with simple "Yes" and "No" settings. They are fully sentient and can be taught both to generalize, and to differentiate.

George Cockrell said...

While I don't think is was the best way to do things, the bottom line is that both creatures are still breathing. If nothing was done, one or both might not be alive. Pig death by dog, dog, death by bullet or needle.

Happy Hound Dog Training said...

I haven't seen the whole video but just from watching the clip I really don't have any issue with anything Cesar did.

Karen Carroll said...

Yes, like the chicken killing dog on the neighbors property. But back home, leaving the owners chickens alone. I knew of a dog like that.

geonni banner said...

I thought Mr. Milan's handling of this dog/situation was less than stellar. And I have no problem with the idea of shooting dogs that attack or worry livestock or even other dogs.

I don't think there was any reason to even have a segment like this one. I think Cesar should simply have told the woman to choose - either that dog and no pigs or, have all the pigs you want and place or put down the pig worrier.

I lived on a farm. I've helped kill and butcher pigs, chickens and a steer or two. I used to cull my pigeon flock regularly for yummy squab dinners. I don't eat pigs, chickens,(or any poultry)anymore. I don't avoid them because I think it's wrong to kill them, I just hate the way they a raised, for the most part.

As for pigs eating their own young, so will many species - especially under stressful conditions. Furthermore, since humans can't seem to stop breeding like rats, we might well end up doing the same thing when we've eaten the planet down to uninterrupted desert.

Donald McCaig said...

Dear Patrick,

Cesar Milan is a brilliant pet dog trainer who assumes his methods are appropriate in three species contexts where working dog trainers have proven strategies. I imagine that when the cameras stopped rolling, Cesar (or his producer) put an ecollar on the dog. Simple. That's why they were invented.

Donald McCaig

Simba said...

He should have had a muzzle, or an e-collar, on the dog. Hell, a good stout stick might have been something at least.

He didn't read the dog's rising excitement and get it under control in time.

I've read his books, I enjoyed them. I was brought up in the belief that a beating with a belt was more humane for a dog than being shot for chasing livestock, so I'm not coming from a click-and-treat perspective. But this just showed a lack of respect for the stock.

Garnet said...

I think the whole incident could have been prevented with a little more caution or a basket muzzle - there are ones that fit dogs with short faces.

However, in the end, I think cries for Milan to be prosecuted are completely misguided. I doubt anyone wanted the pig to get hurt, and mistakes happen to the best of us. Meanwhile, thousands of pigs and other livestock have been castrated (or branded in the case of cattle) without anesthesia since this whole incident, and I assume that's worse than having an ear nipped.

I really don't see how one pig being bitten by a dog justifies this extreme response. Hell, there are people out there who have badly brutalized children that do not get this level of condemnation.