Cesar Milan aggression video

Analysis of aggression/appeasement

Cesar is dealing with a dog who guards her food. He does this by challenging her in an attempt to elicit submissive behaviour. Some stills taken from the video show the dog making many calming and appeasement signals, which Cesar Milan ignores and responds by increasing threats, which lead to the dog biting. She can be seen rapidly alternating between calming signals and distance increasing behaviours.

Finally, Cesar says “I didn’t see that coming”.

For a video of an interesting interview on British television, in which the interviewer challenges Cesar about his treatment of dogs, go to this link: interview of Cesar Milan.

Some of Cesar’s stated ideas are good – for example he says he tries to get the dog owner to have a calm attitude, so the dog’s attitude and behaviour follow. I believe this is an important insight – but how does it square with punching, confronting, kicking and driving the dog to aggression? Is this communicating calm self-assurance? I don’t think so.


6 comments on “Cesar Milan aggression video

  1. There are many Cesar Dog Trainers in my neighborhood that have no dog training skills but have watched the “Dog Whisper” TV show and copying the methods. Many of the dogs on his show are less aggressive than they appear. The dogs are agitated to a higher state of aggression than is normal to impress viewers. Cesar is old school.

    We adopted a Boxer two years ago and discovered he is very dog aggressive but amazingly friendly with ALL people including children. Scars on Rocky indicate he may have been fought. We know he was submitted to a local county animal control unit after being picked up by a county sheriff.

    Rocky my Boxer has seen trainers continually for the time he has been with us. We recently had an offer from a HSUS person to train Rocky. He used a choker leash similar to a belt that was cloth and 1/2 inch wide. He would not feed a dog for several days. He would not allow the dog to relieve its self on walks. He seemed surprised when I objected to his methods.

    I believe Cesar is hurting dogs by the methods he demonstrates on TV.


  2. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied
    on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence
    on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something
    enlightening to read?

    • Sorry you feel that way. There is a lot of writing on my website. The exciting thing now is that we have the technology to take videos of dog’s behaviour and body language and show it frame by frame, so we can see things that we would miss in real time. Video that looks like an aggressive dog biting a person turns out to show an aggressive person confronting the dog who persistently offers calming signals. That’s an important insight.

  3. I do not drop a comment, however after reading
    through a great deal of responses on this page Cesar Milan aggression video | Kaye’s Dog Training Courses. I do have a couple of questions for you if you do not mind. Is it simply me or does it give the impression like a few of the comments look as if they are left by brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting at other sites, I’d like to keep up with you.

    Would you list of every one of your public pages like your twitter feed,
    Facebook page or linkedin profile?

    • Dear handy red, I’m not sure how much of your comment is genuine and how much is provocation, but none of us here are brain dead. We can apply our minds to analysing the signals a dog is giving and we can point out that a famous dog whisperer is not reading the signs. If he had read the signs, the aggression would never have happened.

  4. Hi Emma

    I suspect he is not into Calming Signals. He would understand totally submissive body language but not things like a head turn or an eye blink or a micro-second tongue lick. When that happened he said “I’m sure that’s not submission” so he misread her. Her message was “I don’t want to challenge you so please back off.” His interpretation was “She hasn’t given in totally yet, so I have to challenge her further.” A complete miscommunication.

    I wonder whether the owners had tried to take food away from her – following that dangerous advice that you have to take food away from the dog to prove that you can take food away from the dog. That would have triggered food guarding. All they have to do is follow the principle of “approach to give, not to take” and the problem is solved remarkably quickly.


    On 26/10/2012, at 5:33 PM, emma bartram wrote:


    Interesting isn’t it? I think, as you said the other day, you can always take something away from each trainer or experience. Why he felt the need to challenge this dog after she clearly gave in quite early is beyond me. If these people have children then it would simply be a matter of prevention not necessarily cure…

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