Cesar Millan: Who let the Dog (Whisperer) out?

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Cesar Millan may have finally met his match – and it’s not a tiny Chihuahua named Lola.

Although you can't tell from this photo, Cesar was signing my copy of his new book, "Cesar's Rules," when this photo was taken at Borders in Bridgewater, NJ, on Oct. 5./Book signing photos by Ava Gacser

Rather, it’s Lola’s owner, “Deal or No Deal” host Howie Mandel. And you’ll see exactly how Cesar handles Howie when “The Dog Whisperer” returns for a new season at 8 p.m. Friday on National Geographic Channel.

But during a signing on Oct. 5 at Borders in Bridgewater, NJ, for his latest book, “Cesar’s Rules: Your Way to Train a Well-Behaved Dog,” Cesar hinted that it was Howie – who has spoken publicly about his obsessive-compulsive disorder – who was the real handful.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“This Howie Mandel guy, who jumped the border from Canada to the United States – I’m not the only one,” the Mexican immigrant joked, was “stubborn.”

“I wanted to strangle him,” Cesar said with a laugh. “I did lose my calm, assertive state.”

The notorious dog trainer’s good sense of humor was in full force while speaking about the episode and answering several pre-selected questions from fans, some of whom traveled from out of state to meet him. His talk was peppered with jokes and impressions of his clients – both owners and dogs (his high-pitched bark is impressive and extremely annoying!).

Cesar has a good rapport with people and a knack for relating to them as well as he does dogs.

He isn”t willing to accept explanations, such as the owners are always at work, as the reason why a dog is on a “furniture diet,” as he put it.

“Everybody works, that’s not an excuse,” he said.

Cesar explained that it is his job to “convince humans that even 5 minutes of quality time and boundaries is better than nothing.

“The dog is the outcome of being in sync or not being in sync,” he added.

Alas, the only dog in attendance at Cesar's book signing was this stuffed one.

A strong proponent of pit bulls, Cesar said, “Banning pit bulls is not going to solve the problem. It’s like getting rid of all the Mexicans.”

He also said it’s important to focus on your tone of voice when communicating with your pet.

“It’s not what I say, it’s how I say it,” he said. “With dogs you can’t fool them.”

I think a little bit of his “tsst!” sound goes a long way on dogs. It also works well on disobedient children like Cartman. Take a look:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Cesar was visibly choked up when a fan asked how to handle a dog that is acting out following the death of another pet.

“Just thinking about that reminds me of Daddy,” Cesar said, referring to his beloved pit bull (from New Jersey) who died in February.

Cesar inherited Daddy, a cancer survivor, from Newark rapper Redman. This photo brings me to tears instantly.

“If a dog receives a lot of sorrow – weak energy (from its owners) – he’s going to feel a target to other dogs,” Cesar explained. “Other dogs are going to sense that this dog is in a weak moment… It’s a survival mechanism (to act aggressive).”

Exercise, discipline and affection are the three key areas Cesar said owners should incorporate into their dogs’ lives. Unlike humans, dogs don’t have tools to vent or numb their frustrations.

“Dogs can’t smoke or drink,” Cesar pointed out. If they could, “I think there would be a lot of dogs smoking in America.”


  1. avagacser said,

    December 6, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks, Noreen! It was fun talking with you that day. I still can’t believe more people didn’t come to meet Cesar. Keep in touch!

  2. Noreen McCarthy said,

    November 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Hi Ava, your blog is great, very well written and entertaining! I met you at the book signing and thought you were a very intellegent person and reading your blog brought back all the fun my daughter and I had on out NJ road trip to meet Cesar. Best of luck.

  3. avagacser said,

    October 6, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks, Pam!

  4. Pam said,

    October 6, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Great blog. I love Cesar! Sorry I missed the book signing, but your blog made me feel as though I was there. Thanks!

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