I had a session with Cesar Milan's right hand man!

I had a session with Cesar's right hand man and I learned so much! He was wonderful and it's solving a lot of problems that we've been dealing with for months.

Cesar's Way : The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems (Hardcover), by Cesar Millan, Melissa Jo Peltier

Cesar's Way : The Natural, Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Correcting All Common Dog Problems [ABRIDGED] (Audio CD), by Cesar Millan (Narrator), Melissa Jo Peltier

Cesar Millan's DVDs
People Training for Dogs, Cesar Millan's personal DVD!!

Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan - The Complete First Season (2004) DVD Box Set

Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan - Aggression (2004)
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan - Volume 1 (2004)
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan - Volume 2 (2004)
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan - Stories from Cesar's Way (2004)
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Tell us more! I am so curious. :!: :!:
Yes indeed, DO TELL!!!!
My pooch Kona gets a little excited when he sees other dogs walking by and starts going crazy. He has the tendency to bark or lunge which is a no no. Cesar's guy, Linn Boyke said he's trying to dominate both my husband and I. He taught us that we really have to be the leader of the pack. Starting with the walk. He calls it the 5 step approach. From the sit-stay being the step 0 and gradually by the 5th step, you should be able to let go of the leash and have him walk right next to you. So slowly but surely, we're still at step one, which I'm only letting a 2-inch clearance on the lead. If Kona pulls, I put him back to step 0, the sit-stay. Today, which is two days after our session, we passed by another dog, and he didn't even try and pull forward. However, he's still lunging at runners at night because he can't see very well when it's dark. Who can? One step at a time. Linn constantly reminded us that I always need to be in a calm assertive state. If we're calm, our dogs will be calm. Taking deep breaths during our walk really helps me relax. And he also stressed the order of exercise-discipline-affection. Affection is last because Kona has to earn it. Same with food, and even water on the walk. Because food and water tastes better when it's earned!!!! I hope this helps. Linn told me Cesar will be on Oprah for two shows this coming season. Cesar and Linn will also be teaching a training course for trainers in 2006 focusing on Cesar's technique.

Very cool. I'm a big fan of Cesar's calm assertive approach. Keep us posted as the training progresses. . . I'm very interested. Can you describe the 5 steps or would you be giving away trade secrets?
Hi FlowerMonkey,
I just wanted to say Hi. I used to live in Mission Viejo and worked in Aliso Viejo. My parents live in Laguna Woods and my sister in Laguna Hills.
I visit the area a lot with my sheepdog :D and my kids If you ever want to socialize your dog with another Sheepdog let me know :D

The five steps are a simple gradual process. Step 0 is the sit-stay. Step 5 is earned freedom. All the steps are the gradual clearance you allow between you and your pooch. I'll try and break this down a little more...

Step 0 is sit-stay. Step 1 is starting the walk with very short lead, for me it's about 2 inches of lead between me and Kona. Take your first step, and if your pooch starts to walk in front of you, go back to 0. Linn says you teach a child A-B-C-D and so forth. So if your child says "A, B, C, F," you have to go back to the beginning of A. Don't move from A until he's got A down. Then proceed to B, and if he goes ahead of you again, go all the way back to A. Same thing with the steps. 0 is sit-stay. Now walk, which is step 1, if he pulls ahead, go back to 0. Once he learns not to walk ahead on step 1, proceed to 2. 2 is simply letting a little more lead, giving him a little more freedom between you and the lead. Again if he walks ahead, go back to 0. Step 3 is a little more lead, Step 4 is the end of the lead, and finally Step 5, you should be able to drop the lead and he should be able to follow you or walk at your side. Again, without the lead, if he walks ahead, pick up the lead, and take him back down to 0. Linn pointed out that for the first 2 weeks, or depending on how fast your dog learns, you'll stay at 0 and 1 for a very long time. You might even only walk 20 feet for the whole hour just to try and get from 0 to 1. It's okay. It's all about being patient. I hope that is a little more clearer.

0 should always be calm submissive. The idea is to get him to completely depend on you that nothing bad will happen to him. A dog, cat, skateboarder, or whatever kinds of distractions should be able to walk by and he should be able stay at 0 before you take him to 1. Linn used a slip lead, but a gentle leader works better. If he lunges, simply pull upwards on the lead until he sits back down and immediate release any tension. If you watch Cesar's show, never once does he say "sit, stay, laydown" It's all physical communication. Because if you are calm assertive, the pulling upward with the lead will always communicate to him as sit. Let's say for example that you're calm and say "sit," and when you're mad and say "sit." To a dog, it doesn't sounds like the same command eventhough it is. Dogs in a wild pack communicate physically first before growling or barking. If you watch his nose, mouth, ears, etc, it says a lot.

Everything should be earned. Including food. We use to just leave kibble out, but now we put it out in the morning and at night. If he walks away from it, he loses it. Same situation if he was in a wild pack. So apply that to his freedom. His freedom to be able to walk without a leash should be earned. And by that, you apply the 5 step process. I know what you see on the show is Cesar walking the dogs. But to even get to that process, the steps is a good approach to train him to not walk ahead.

Anyway, I hope this is helpful. Linn told us don't be afraid to put my dog to work. For me, he suggested to get a doggy backpack so he can carry his own water, and poopy bags. Or call a local ranch and exercise him by herding. That was actually in one of the episodes. A tired dog is more willing to submit than a hyperactive one. Remember to relax and breathe!!!!!!!
Thanks for all of the info Flowermonkey (I LOVE YOUR NAME! I have quite the picture in my mind! :lol: )! I think that even though our trainer had us get the prong collar, I really would like to try the gentle leader! I'm not sure of the size? I've been reading The Dog Listener by Jan Fennel and it sounds as if all the same rules apply! I would really like to try a more gentle approach to GG, especially since verbal commands are lost on him anyway (he is deaf) I just really hate the way the collar looks and well I'm starting to change my mind on it, it just doesn't seem right! I guess I just want to try everything to make our communication as painless as possible! OBVIOUSLY! :oops:

Do you know when he is going to be on Oprah? That's so exciting!

Colleen and Gucci George=>Mommy is starting to use something called Amichein Bonding on me! It's all over! :evil: She's figured it out....*sigh* so much for being the leader, though little does she know this is COMPLETELY lost on "natty-cat" and I personally think she will be the ruler of the pack ALWAYS! :twisted:
Flowermonkey, thanks for sharing your knowledge
on the Milan technique. He's amazing! Its nice
your dog is learning the lessons and doing well! :D

Sir Gucci's mom- Premier products just came out with
an easy walk harness. Looks interesting. I'd like to
find an alternate to the pinch collar too!


Good luck!
I've begun working Maggie and Barney with a gentleman who uses basically the same approach. Tuesday a week ago was our first lesson; since yesterday I've been walking them both (separately) with the leash draped over my right shoulder and both hands free. They stick to me like glue. I like his philosophy; he says in the pack the leader doesn't use treats; he uses body language. And it works. I was amazed. Now what am I going to do with all those home made dog biscuits? Hmmm... I wonder how they taste with milk and suger in the morning... or maybe with jelly on them. :D
I'm glad you all found Cesar's technique helpful. It's such a touchy subject on the doggie boards. This is actually one of the first boards I've visited that does not bash on Cesar's technique. As far as treating your dog, I was told to wait at least until he has successfully accomplished 99% of the goals. I never really got the treat thing, though I love treating my "kids." I was told by one trainer to distract your pooch with a treat if he is lunging at someone. That makes no sense to me. Cesar says you are only nurturing that bad behavior. So true!
Wow! I find it so disheartening that people aren't EMBRACING these techniques! I've always felt uncomfortable with some of the "old school" training methods and have felt like this is information I've been searching for, for years is finally here! I think the saddest example of this was in a book I recently read. The trainer was teaching a class, using these techniques and an owner of a Rottweiler punched his dog in the face! 8O When the trainer went over to him (trying to remain calm :x ) the guy explained that this is the only way he learns and he's a big dog and can "take it"! :cry: It's so awful! The trainer reported his actions to Animal Cruelty...for the record! :clappurple:

I can never understand why some people feel the need to do these types of things to dogs? I honestly feel that every new dog owner should get a training manual from one of these "Dog Whisper" trainers! I don't know about anyone else, but all this information just seems so simple and I wonder why we've never used these techniques before!

I'm so glad, FlowerMonkey, that you have found a forum that shares your views, and hope that in the future it would be the opposite reaction on forums out there! :!:

I have purchased a "Anti-pull harness" this morning and plan on using that instead of the prong collar! It will probably take some time, but I know that both GG and I will be happier for it! :D

Colleen and Gucci George=>The new collar is MUCH more handsome than that metal thing! I'm going to be the envy of all dogs in the neighborhood! If mommy can get it on my wiggly body that is! :twisted:
We had a sub for puppy class one time. She was yanking the leads so hard these poor dogs were literally lifted off their feet. She walked over to take Tuc's lead from Paige, (INTERVENTION TIME!) i walked over, handed her my copy of The Dog Whisperer, and politely told her if i saw her do that to another dog i was gonna put a collar on her and yank her around the ring. :evil:
"Re: I had a session with Cesar Milan's right hand man!"

My experience w. Linn Boyke could not have been more different than yours. I am glad that you were happy, but I'd like to offer my experience.

This summer ('06) I sought the services of Linn Boyke after doing some research including reading you post. I was inspired and hopeful as our appointment date approached, but our experience was drastically different than your both in tone and in content.

My husband and I drove our two dogs in separate cars (dog aggression was our main problem) to Linn's center in Van Nuys. Our $300 two hour session was spent listening to Linn talk, and watch our dogs crated, for the entire time. The only reason I got any leash time w. one of the dogs was because I pushed for it as he was telling us his next appointment had arrived. This was such poor management of his time and our money.

I found Linn's teaching style to be domnineering and at times demeaning, and I'm not referring to his interactions with the dogs(!) After introductions we let him know that we had done our homework (read the book ;Cesar's Way, watched tapes of the 'Dog Whisperer') and were ready to learn. He asked a few superficial questions about the dogs (age, breed, etc) then proceeded to talk for two hours. We had to ask for a break. I found him to be knowlegeable, but very opinionated to the point of being close minded and myopic. He took very little time to learn about our dogs and what we'd done in the past. I didn't feel like he listened to us or that we got individualized attention. He verbalized erroneous assumption that we had committed many of the classic blunders that bad pet owners made. We hadn't. Even when I said so he didn't change his course. It was as if he was programmed.

A couple of times I asked clarification questions and the tone in which he responded was as if I'd challenged his authority! Another time I was observing my dog. We were into hour two of his lecture when one of my dogs stirred in her crate (the first time she'd been in a crate) and I looked at her. Although he never told me what I'd done wrong, he chided me and questioned why I was looking at her. He spoke in a patronizing tone and said I "didn't have to watch her" and that "she's OK'. This was said as if I was fretting over her. I wasn't.

I fully expected him to be assertive with our dogs, but was very put off that he was 'alpha-ing' us w.o cause. We had arrived eager to learn and get our hands dirty, but we just felt like we were getting overloaded with talk. Our willingness to learn was getting killed off with each passing minute. This was not at all what I expected.

We went there to get a second opinion because we were facing the painful decision of re-homing one of our dogs. We arrived as hopeful eager learners and walked away feeling very shortchanged, confused, (mistreated) and left to draw many of our own conclusions about what to do.

Best wishes to all readers seeking help for serious problems.
I know how frustrating it is when there is turmoil in the pack. We had a dog aggressive sheepie-mix for several years... we made it work but we could never really relax. Gates were used to keep peace in the home.

We had another aggression problem in our pack early this year. We had three problem-children that were involved... our blind sheepie that was demonstrating aggression and some adolescent behavior... our crabby 7 year old Schip-mix that thinks she has to get involved in everything but doesn't like her space invaded... and our newest sheepie-rescue that is overly exuberant, knew no limits and never took anything seriously. Definately an unstable combination.

There was a very important thing I learned earlier this year that changed everything and that is to watch the dogs' body language and make a correction BEFORE a fight breaks out. If we would see our blind sheepie tensing up, we would pull her away from the group so the confrontation was avoided. And she is now the last dog out the door a play time because the excitement/confussion would start a fight and she'd attack the closest dog (except for the Schip-mix). If I saw my 7 year old focusing too intensely on the new addition, I'd give her a poke with my hand to break the focus and redirect her attention. We haven't had a fight in several months.

Also, by stepping back and reevaluating the situation, we think one problem might have been a steroid eye drop our blind sheepie was on for serveral months. We think they caused aggression. Once we made some changes on how we were handling them and removed the eye drops, they got so they would actually play together or at least tolerate each other. The blind sheepie and the sheepie-rescue now play wonderfully together ... though our other two sheepies still refuse to play with her. The blind sheepie and the Schip-mix don't play a lot but they are morning buddies. And the sheepie-rescue has learned some respect for the Schip-mix and in turn she hasn't drawn blood or challenged the sheepie-rescue.

I hope you can find a solution to the aggression problem you're facing. I know how difficult this can be when two dogs simply don't like each other.

Just a side note but I think it's facinating how my pack is often more attentive to a hand signal compared to a verbal command. I can sometimes say sit and NO one listens but if I raise my flat palm up they'll sit. Less talk, more visuals using body language is the direction I'm heading.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. We continue to work closely with a great trainer whom we've had now for several years (This is not the trainer I wrote about in the prev. post. We sought him out, in somewhat of a desperation mode, to get a 'second opinion')
The services of our 'long-time' trainer originally began four years ago when our elder dog developed a serious phobia and was literally shredding (closed) doors and door frames on a daily basis. Originally thought to be sep.anxiety, it was later observed first hand that she was profoundly phobic of loud sounds like fireworks. Anyway, long story short as if that wasn't enough to live with, it was about a year later that mild aggression between that dog and our much younger dog began. I too am learning how to identify those early warning signs and redirect before any fur starts flying, so to speak. I know what you mean about not being able to 'relax'.
The recent fight was anything but mild and was far worse than any previous show of aggression. It was a full blown attack. It forced us to separate the dogs w.in our home. The fight occured in our home during the climax of the nearby aerial fireworks show on the Fourth---in hindsight there's no mystery where the arousal factor came from, but it still shocks me as to how much more vicious this fight was. It left the senior dog badly injured and now, months later, still visibly afraid of the other dog. (The dog who attacked has no traces of aggression. This is a major factor in deciding to try to gradually rehabilitate them rather than rehome the younger one.)
So as of the Fourth we too live with gates in the house and are patiently working towards reuniting them. Even if we can get our elder dog to accept the other, we have been advised by several trainers that they still should never be left unsupervised due, among other things, to the vast difference in their age (13+ v.s. 6 yrs old) and the gradual declining physical condition of the elder dog.
This experiencehas brought on an unexpected lifestyle change. But everyone, including my 9 year old daughter, agrees that we're going to accept this rehabilitation process as long term project. It's a balancing act when it comes to the sacrifices made to maintain the quality of life for everyone involved.

I know that a lot of people simply rehome one of the dogs. Looking back, maybe we should have rehomed our younger dog. Sigh... For about 4 1/2 years we made it work and it did take effort and gates. We had only one major attack... a few others resulted in a puncture wound on the ear.

If people have not seen an outright attack, it is very scary. Our problem was usually just inside the house... except for the worst attack. My BC-mix was rolled over on her back as submissive and my sheepie-mix attacked her and couldn't be called off. Thankfully I had a plastic broom rake in my hands... the only way I could stop the attack was to hit my sheepie-mix with it to break the focus. My BC had several bite marks, one requiring 3 stitches.

Looking back I wonder if her cancer had been causing problems when the worst attack took place. She had undiagnosed kidney tumors. After we lost her to cancer, it was like our BC-mix blossomed into the dog she could be. She became happier, more sure of herself.

Have you asked the vet about a medication that might help? When we had aggression with my Schipperke-mix we put her on a trial of Chomicalm for about 4 months (it's actually for anxiety but this was part of our Schip's problem). But we still had to be on our toes until they learned each other's limits.

If you know there are going to be loud noises that can set off your older dog, you might ask your vet for a mild sedative that you can give maybe 1/2 hour before. Like if you know a storm is headed through or if fireworks are planned. Maybe it would help your older dog to relax.

Wishing you the best in this tough situation,
I felt compelled to respond to the couple who had an unfavorable report on Linn. If you really want to change your situation between your two dogs, you should stick with Linn. Just in reading your description of your visit , I noticed a couple of things that can hopefully help you . I went to Linn in total desperation and his sessions are to this day invaluable to me. My dog is the beneficiary and so am I. The biggest and hardest lesson is that YOU need to make changes . If you approach it thinking " I am smart" , "I've read books, watched videos".. you are closing yourself off to the whole experience from the beginning. Whatever you did in the past with your dogs does not matter, if it worked , you would not still be looking for help. Second, it would not do you any good to see Linn gain control of your two dogs , you need his knowledge and experience to be able to do what he does at that level! I went to Linn with a very headstrong , mouthy (as in big biter!) German Shepherd male. I am a very strong , opinionated person and I needed someone like Linn who drills the message into your head because he knows it! I found his demeanor to be very calm and direct. The only time I felt inept was when he pointed out that I was doing something stupid. Plain and simple. You have move past that point , it is about your relationship with your pets , not your ego.
You may not like what you hear, but if you really listen to Linn and follow what he says ( and keep it up!) you will become a happy , calm, dog owner. I wish you luck with both of your pets. Please don't quit on them.
It's been months of hard work, patience and positive reinforcement. I'm pleased to report that the situation with our two dogs has improved significantly. We've upgraded from a need for total separation (indoors/outdoors) to the dogs being able to be together in the house (still separated by baby gates) The one who was attacked still is 'on guard' but no longer goes into a panic when she sees the other. They've had several instances of accidental contact when a door or gate was pushed open. None of these breaches have resulted in any fights, but we remain vigilant. For the elder dogs safety (she's nearly 14 yrs. old) we'll never leave the two unsupervised.

To answer your question regarding medications. Yes we have tried medications and have had success in treating the sound phobia problem. (Linn Boyke expressed very strong opinions against the effectiveness of any meds. I chose not to get into a debate with him since I already had observed it's positive effects first hand.) The dog w. the sound phobia has been on Chlomicon and xanax for several years. the combination reduced the triggers/panic attacks by 90%. Hearing loss has also contibuted to the improved situation.
In 2004 I consulted Dr. Karen Overall (MA, VMD, PhD) She recommended a behavior mod. program and added the alprazolam (xanax) to the Clomipramine regime we already had been using for about two years.
Among the helpful pieces of advice she provided was the caution against my further use of the medication acepromazine (which we were using every year on the Fourth of July) because she said 'ace' makes "animals more sensitve to sound. Its categorized as a dissasociative agent so it doesn't stop the animal from perceiving anxiety, only from acting on it' In otherwords the dog may look calm because they can't release their anxiety (via barking, running, etc.) and yet they are still suffering on the inside.
I can say that the clomipramine (clomicalm) and xanax have worked because of the dog's improved response to hearing the sounds of Fireworks we have on a training CD. I used the CD as a training tool to desensitize the dog. Two years ago just hearing 3 seconds of the sounds sent the dog into a panic, now she can tolerate it without losing control. The sound phobia extended to thunderstorms and now the few we've had are practically a non issue.
The most ironic and maddening aspect of the 'big fight' was that it took place on the very first Fourth of July in FOUR years that the sound phobic dog was triggering with the sound of every firecracker.
But that now even that seems long ago and the progress we've made and the lessons it's taught me have been quite a journey.
I don't check this site often, but to find your posts and words of encouragement gratifying.
Your concern and empathy have been appreciated.
Hi VY --

I wanted to thank you for the update. I am really glad to hear that things are improving.


Val (also vy!)
As positive reinforcement trainer I am glad to hear this update. So many people truely believe that "fixing" a dog's behavior can be done in a short period of time, with some simple changes. Most of the time this approach merely hides the problem, and it re-surfaces later.

The underlying issue must be understood, analysed and then a plan worked on for months, sometimes years, depending on the problem.

It takes time, patience, and the will to succeed to overcome serious behavioral problems and a well-educated solid, good trainer who you trust and work with is irreplaceable.

Kudos to you for putting the effort into doing it right.
:clappurple: :clappurple:
Oh... I am so happy for you and your dogs. Having been through some of this it's wonderful to hear when things are going good. And what a great story about NOT giving up on them... I know it's taken a lot of work on your part to desensitize the one and keeping them separated... you have to keep constant vigil and that's never easy. This is a beautiful example of what can be accomplished when someone is truly dedicated to safely keeping their dogs in the home. Thanks so much for the update.
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