Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar’s Way to Transform Your Dog . . . and Your Life Reviews

August 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Puppy Training Reference

Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar’s Way to Transform Your Dog . . . and Your Life

The New York Times bestseller!

Be the Pack Leader is Cesar Millan’s guide for taking your relationship with your dog to a higher level. By developing the skills necessary to become the calm-assertive owner your dog needs in order for him to live a balanced, fulfilled life, you’ll improve your dog’s behavior and your own life as well.

Be the Pack Leader is filled with practical tips and techniques, including:

• How to use calm-assertive energy in relating to your dog

List Price: $ 14.00

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3 Responses to “Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar’s Way to Transform Your Dog . . . and Your Life Reviews”
  1. Brett Corkins says:
    256 of 275 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Gotta love Cesar…, October 25, 2007
    Brett Corkins (Hutchinson, KS) –

    My reason for buying this book was pretty shallow. I love the Dog Whisperer and was about to get a dog of my own. Not wanting a dog that acted out of line, I figured reading this would be a nice start.

    I was right.

    If you’ve seen Cesar’s show on the National Geographic Channel, you basically know, in a sense, what to expect. What I didn’t expect was how much his philosophy of ‘calm-assertive’ energy played into being a better person as a whole. The whole ‘calm-assertive’ thing, as skeptical as I was, actually works too. I always thought Cesar knew what he was talking about but using his methods with my new addition actually works wonders.

    Lets not forget the guidlines he so adamantly preaches…
    1. Exercise
    2. Discipline
    3. Affection
    “In that order!”

    What really makes me laugh, and even like the book more, is that it’s so clearly Cesar. Listen to him talk on his show sometime, then read Be The Pack Leader. It reads EXACTLY like he sounds.

    Strewn about are ‘Success Stories.’ I really enjoyed them. More than anything it just solidifies how much Cesar’s approach works in rehabilitating dogs. Without Cesar even coming to help out these ordinary people transformed their dogs–and more times than not–themselves.

    If you’re like me and wanted this book simply to learn how to deal with new dogs, Appendix-A Quick Reference Guide To Becoming A Better Pack Leader, at the back of the book is going to be your bible. It sure was mine the first couple of weeks.

    Overall, even if you have a perfectly behaved dog–or don’t even have one–Be The Pack Leader is a terrific, fast, read. Everything is very straight-forward and to the point and is chalk full of amazing tips on transforming your dog. Highly recommended.

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  2. Byron Fike "blf40" says:
    145 of 162 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Exercise, Discipline, Affection, February 1, 2008
    Byron Fike “blf40” (Houston, TX USA) –

    All I really want to do is walk my dogs without them pulling on their leashes. Cesar makes it look so easy and, unfortunately, his book does not give me the magic, step-by-step formula that will instantly transform my dogs into perfect little walking machines. Alas!

    On the positive side (and surely more realistic), the book gives wonderful insights into how to communicate so that your dog understands what you want. His threefold formula of exercise, discipline, and affection is simple and effective. My two little dogs (1 yr. old puppies actually) are happy to get a morning and evening walk, have boundaries at mealtimes and limits on where they can go in the house and what they can do, and , of course, get lots of affection.

    If you want a step-by-step manual don’t buy the book. Milan states up front that he is NOT a dog trainer. However, if you want an interesting read that helps you understand how your dog learns best, I’d recommend buying it.

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  3. citywulf says:
    194 of 220 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A Better Book than Cesar’s Way, November 10, 2007
    citywulf (Atlanta, Georgia USA) –

    Cesar Millan truly loves dogs and wants to make their lives better by teaching us how to interact with them in instinctual ways that they will understand and by showing us how to fulfill their true needs. His repeated reminder that dogs should not be humanized cannot be emphasized enough, nor his mantra of calm-assertive behavior (which excludes both pampering and hostility in equal measure). Anyone who has worked with groups of dogs at liberty knows the truth behind the words – dogs respect the one who carries him/herself with confidence and remains consistent and fair.

    I also greatly admire that Mr. Millan has sought out professionals in behavior and positive reinforcement to increase his understanding. A willingness to continue one’s education and expand one’s knowledge is exceptional and commendable.

    I hope he continues his quest for knowledge, because it still comes up short in some areas. His unfailing belief in “alpha always first” has been largely undermined by recent study. In several packs, members other than the alpha lead the hunt – a smart leader knows when to defer to superior skills. Wolves on the way to a hunt may disperse and regroup along the way – sniffing, playing, marking, and enjoying – until they are closer to their prey. Helen Thayer observed wolves switching off the lead position, sharing the arduous job of breaking trail through snow. Leadership is about guidance and good decisions, not about absolutes; therefore I cringe when he insists that the only “correct” way to walk a dog is to keep her behind or beside you, using “high collaring” or compulsion to do so. The correct way is whatever the leader decides, and if I want to defer to my dog to lead me out of the woods, that’s my decision (and a smart one, given our relative navigation skills). I really don’t care whether she is ahead, beside, or behind me, so long as she is not pulling and is paying attention.

    He also continues to insist that positive reinforcement is fine for training behaviors, but ineffective for rehabilitation. Sadly, it appears he has only encountered trainers who don’t properly implement the proven, effective method of counter-conditioning (pairing the trigger of a dog’s fear or aggression with positive experiences to alter the association). CC does not involve simply throwing food or comfort at a dog who is already aggressing or reacting. Dogs are worked sub-threshold (at the level that does not set them off) and gradually worked closer and closer to the trigger. It is very nuanced, and can take a long time, but it certainly works when done correctly and is a valid option for people wanting to avoid physical methods. However, it certainly can and should be paired with “calm-assertive energy” in the handler, as so many of these problems are fear-based, and the dog can benefit from the handler’s energy/attitude.

    Sadly, this book, like its predecessor (this book being much better-organized and thought out than the original), will probably be demonized without justification. Mr. Millan so clearly emphasizes that all things are to be done in a calm, controlled, fair and pain-free manner that he simply cannot be compared to the compulsion trainers of the dark, not-so-distant past. He likewise advises that each person answer to his/her own conscious, particularly in deciding what “tools” to use. He makes far too many good points to place this book into the “bad” category, and I hope trainers who do not agree with his methods will read the book before vilifying it.

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