Cesar’s Rules: Your Way to Train a Well-Behaved Dog

August 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Puppy Training Reference

Cesar’s Rules: Your Way to Train a Well-Behaved Dog

The training book you’ve been waiting for from the bestselling author and star of National Geographic Channel’s Dog Whisperer
 
Your dog just doesn’t seem to listen. You’ve been through obedience training, but he still can’t seem to master the most basic commands. And nothing you do seems to prevent him from misbehaving. “Clients usually come to me when their dogs are ruining their lives, not when they won’t sit,” says Cesar. “But everywhere I go, people are telling me t

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3 Responses to “Cesar’s Rules: Your Way to Train a Well-Behaved Dog”
  1. a reader says:
    108 of 110 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Lots of options for dog owners to use!, October 13, 2010
    By 
    a reader (FL, USA) –

    With “Cesar’s Rules”, Cesar Millan has provided a ton of information to dog owners about the history of dog training, various approaches to dog training, and how dogs have contributed to humans as working animals. Oh, and there’s some dog training info, too!

    The book starts off with some background on Cesar. It quickly moves into background and thoughts from many other trainers. This is probably my favorite part of the book (as a professional animal trainer) as I love reading about the other trainers’ backgrounds and methods. I also love that Cesar reaches out to many styles of trainers, including those who may disagree with his methods. Throughout the book, Cesar is highly respectful of each trainer’s methods, even when he points out that he chooses another method. I also have to admit (and this is my scientific background coming out) that I am thrilled that Bob Bailey was interviewed for this book. So much of modern training comes from the decades of data and thousands of animals that Bob and the Brelands (graduate students of BF Skinner himself) worked with, and yet I meet so many trainers who have never heard of them. Bias aside, I think the variety and quality of trainers interviewed is top-notch, which bodes well for later chapters.

    I think Cesar gives a very excellent and fair presentation on the use of rewards and punishments in training, allowing each person to have their say. Even when he presents his position, he seems to simply present it as his method, and not The One True Way. Very professional, and I admire him for that.

    There are a few chapters that give dog owners some broad ideas for training, and then one final chapter which gives information for training a few behaviors. For each behavior, there are a variety of methods, allowing every owner to choose the method he or she is most comfortable with. This is great, because I know of some people who are comfortable using one method to get a sit, but can’t get a down using that same method. If they switch methods, they can get a great down. It’s great that Cesar provides SO many options.

    Lastly, the book ends with a little chapter on how dogs help us with herding, scent work, protection, etc. It feels a little off-topic, but it’s a nice way to wrap up rather than just ending cold on training plans.

    While there are some things Cesar and I disagree on 🙂 I have only 3 moderate complaints about the book. First, I dislike that Cesar labels “balanced” training as being based on both modern “positive” training and “traditional” training. It implies that anyone who doesn’t do both is an “imbalanced” trainer. I think it’s clear from his interview with Dr. Ian Dunbar (who would be thrown under the category of modern/positive) that he would not consider Dr. Dunbar or his dogs imbalanced, so why stick with this label? Second, I’m surprised that his walk training section includes a choke collar rather than a prong collar. He does an excellent job referring to the American Humane Association guidelines for the use of the electric collar. If he did the same with choke collars, he would have reported that they are not recommended for use. Alternatively, prong collars are “conditionally recommended” for certain training conditions. Furthermore, it is my experience that both traditional and modern/”positive” trainers, as a whole, view prong collars more favorably than choke collars. I wish he explained this choice better. Finally, I wish this book would give guidelines to pet owners for choosing a dog trainer, especially when he’s telling his readers to use a professional trainer when using certain training tools. On the upside, it does give links to the APDT and IACP, two professional dog training organizations. Both provide links for finding dog professionals, and the APDT also gives guidelines for choosing a professional.

    Beyond that, let’s face it. Some “positive” trainers are not going to be satisfied with this book, as Cesar and some other trainers are still recommending the use of punishment in this book. Some traditional trainers and old Cesar fans will probably call him a sell-out for making this book, which tries to have professionals representing all types of dog training. I say phooey to both groups of people. This is a great book both for professionals, who should be working together to better the lives of dogs, and dog owners, not all of whom will be able to effectively use just one particular type of training. Well done, Cesar. Well done.

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  2. Rita Celeste says:
    33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    THANKS!, October 24, 2010
    By 

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    Okay, living on a farm, previous titles like ‘Cesar’s Way’ and ‘Be The Pack Leader’ didn’t have that much advice I would be able to use. This book however had things about training off-leash. It had ways to teach dogs words and phase out treats. Lets face it, the best dogs we ever had were the dogs we had as children. We had time for them, they followed us everywhere, they did it all out of love cause we couldn’t sneak that darn many treats to them! A pitbull mix adopted me. She just followed my car home, hung around and tried to follow my car off every time I tried to go anywhere. So I had to take her to town or put her on a chain so I could go. I wanted desperately to phase out the chain and the leash. The information in this book on when is the right time to use an e-collar was huge for me. I now trust my dad to use his e-collar to help me get her to stop following my car. Also she chased a few animals, cats, chickens, and a horse! So far she has stopped as asked and all the animals remain accounted for. Still, I am relieved that if she does develop a problem, there is a good chance it can be fixed and she can live freely here. People can bash me all day for my choice to try to improve her quality of life with the e-collar. If you don’t live in the city, your dog lives outdoors, you feel ridiculous leading your dog around the farm on a leash, this book actually has stuff for you too!

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  3. Tallen says:
    13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Wonderful book for all owners, November 3, 2010
    By 
    Tallen

    Wow! This book is just another great one in Cesar’s series. Cesar’s philosophy of “all ways are good that don’t harm the dog” is truly shown here as he spends time with and learns from some of the very trainers that have publicly criticized him! This is such a great resource for those that want a well behaved/mannered dog as well as a dog that knows obedience commands. They truly do go hand in hand and now Cesar, along with the many trainers he interviewed and spent time with, tell you how you can have that dog!

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