Ipswich: Regent-bound dog whisperer Millan is leader of the pack
He’s trained dogs owned by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Scarlett Johansson, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Nicolas Cage. Now world famous dog whisperer Cesar Millan is looking to train you.
“If a dog can give a seminar this is how he would start it, ‘life is simple, you guys [humans] make life complicated. Let me show you what we want from you. Number one, you have to understand calmness. Number two, you have to give us a plan and help us execute it. Our mind is actually collaborating with you’.”
The modern world makes us question our gut feelings, says the TV star and writer. New tour Trust Your Instincts sees him share his secrets on how to how to get back in touch with them to build happier, healthier relationships between us and our four-legged friends.
This includes how to read your dog’s body language to stop and resolve remedial problems, how you can tune into your canine companion’s instincts and energy, understanding how their instinctual world impacts their behaviour, identifying triggers and learning to recognise what true aggression is.
“Everybody wants an obedient dog; how you achieve it is the key. A dog’s world is one of instincts – this world is very different from the human world, which is fast-paced, full of stress and ultimately creates unbalance in dogs. The instinctual world is one of energy, harmony and calmness,” says Millan.
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“My new seminar tour will give dog owners the tools to recognize how to create an environment of balance and calmness for their dogs. This will prevent and resolve every day problems. I hope that through understanding the world dogs live in, people will transform their dogs and maybe a bit of themselves at the same time.”
Born and raised in Mexico, he crossed into to America to pursue his dream of becoming the greatest dog trainer in the world.
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Spending a while homeless, he became known as the dog-man. Actress Pinkett-Smith heard about him, asking if he would help with her dog’s behavioural problems. After her glowing recommendation, he became a dog walker and behavioural expert for celebrity clients.
Through years of observation, awareness and firsthand experience, Millan developed his own formulas to keep dogs balanced, calm, and submissive; re-training their owners as well to better understand how to see the world through their eyes.
He’s had success around the world, but he recalls almost meeting his match in the shape of a Jack Russell here in England.
“Eery time a visitor would come the dog would bark the whole entire time. When I was waiting outside to do my interview, this dog was barking for two to three hours. I said ‘wow, this dog has a lot of stamina’. When you shoot the show outside America you don’t have that much time. I really felt like ‘oh my God, we’re just going to waste these people’s time; I don’t think we’re going to be able to pull it through’.”
A lavender oil infused bandana eventually calmed the situation, and the dog, down.
“Aggression I can deal with, but a dog that was just barking his head off for hours I never experienced it. Normally a dog barks for like half an hour, get tired and then they come back and bark. This one he never took a break... never.”
Millan is returing to TV soon with new Nat Geo Wild show, Leader of the Pack, which looks at the millions of dogs that die across the world each year.
“In America, four-five million die every year, in the world it’s 600m. I said ‘let’s do a show where we can actually rescue a dog, rehabilitate it and then find it a home.
“You’re going to see how the dog ended up that way in the first place. We find them in trash cans, holes, tied up almost dying... the abuse and abandonment a human does to man’s best friend. We say we love dogs but this is how we treat them?”
As reported in the Ipswich Star last year, Ipswich Borough Council bosses will monitor Millan’s show before he appears at the Regent on April 17.
It follows an appearance on the Alan Titchmarsh TV chat show during which it was claimed he uses “electric shocks and spikes on collars” in what Titchmarsh described as “barbaric treatment” to train dogs.
Millan hit back at the widespread criticism in an interview with a national newspaper, saying: “I am not brutal or cruel to animals. My mission has always been to save dogs - especially troubled and abandoned dogs. I’ve dedicated my life to this. My new TV series is all about saving shelter dogs and rehabilitating them so they can be adopted by good families.”
He insists he only uses the more controversial techniques on what he calls “red-zone” animals – aggressive and abandoned dogs who could not be re-homed without training.
An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “This is part of a world tour and as a responsible authority we shall be monitoring the shows, particularly in the UK, before the scheduled date in Ipswich.”