Going to the Dogs

November 23, 2009
Don't try this at home.

Don't try this at home.

As a new dog owner, I’ve had countless recommendations from friends and Animal Planet connoisseurs in the past seven months. “You have to watch ‘The Dog Whisperer,’ ” they say. “Cesar Millan is the greatest!”

I’ve resisted mightily. I can’t be tied down to another TV show – after all, “Lost” and “24” return in January, and I will not be distracted.

Yesterday I noticed that the New York Times is now trumpeting the power of the Whisperer. America’s newspaper seems to have hopped on Cesar’s bandwagon, exposing the power of his skills and how transferrable they are beyond the canine class to – human children. Cesar does it by creating a hierarchical structure that lets a dog – and now a child – know where he/she ranks in the family pecking order.

Now, I’m all for acting like the alpha dog and using “calm-assertive energy” with my puppy. But aside from the accident I stumbled upon near my kitchen door this morning, I haven’t needed Cesar’s guidance to train little Oliver. We’ve done just fine on our own, thank you very much.

In any case, if you have a kid or two, check out the article for some interesting tips.