Nick's Journal
2008-09-29 19:51:52 (UTC)

I have a new dog!!!

i am so ueber-excited...i finally have another dog in my
life! after about 2 weeks of searching and over a month of
searching online, we finally found the perfect dog. he is a
german shepherd/lab mix, 3 months old. he is the most
mellow, sweetest dog in the world. aside from my ecstacy of
owning another dog, i have to say that i want to propose to
cesar milan.

he is the most astounding person i have ever seen work. you
know, there are just some people who are lucky enough to
figure out what they are good at...well cesar milan is the
michael phelps of dog-training.
there are a lot of critiques of cesar's methods...but what
you have to realize about these critiques is that about 90%
of the dog-owners out there are absolutely crazy.
they are usually people who crave affection and have no
means of attaining it except through animals. these people
charge cesar with driving out the need for affection in the
canine/human relationship. even worse, some accuse him of

as to the first charge it is purely an effect of of
misinterpretation. as is the case with most geniuses,
cesar's ways are misinterpreted. because his dog-training
doesn't focus exclusively on cuddling and affection it is
presumed to neglect it entirely.
but in actuality his methods are far from relegating
affection into the far reaches of the relationship, only to
be recalled when "the time is right." rather, cesar makes
the good point that this constant need of affection is
actually a very selfishly motivated impulse. normally these
people want the dog so that someone validates them and then
overly coddle them.
even worse, this over-affectionate behavior leads to people
personifying animals (i am guilty as charged on this, but i
would like to think i do it purely to get a laugh in my own
crazed mind).

cesar makes the good point that we have to put ourselves in
the dog's shoes. what are dog packs normally like? well
the primary and most glaring difference between constant
affection and the dog pack is that sometimes poeple allow
their affections to take over and refuse to be domminant.
i don't agree with cesar that dogs are "looking for you to
become a pack leader."
while most dogs are calm and submissive (as ours thankfully
is) there are a number that wouldn't mind challenging you
every step of the way.
i think the better characterization is that there HAS TO BE
a pack leader and that even the most submissive dog will
(grudingly) feel obliged to fill that role if you do not.
so there is where lies a fundamental point of misinterpretation.
people don't understand that dogs NEED the pack leader and
don't give a fuck who its going to be. the resulting point
from this is that, unless you want to make your life into a
living hell, you better step up.

and as to the charges of cruelyt, these are simply
unfounded. i don't see anything cesar does as cruel. his
touching the dog and hissing "ssht!" is far from true
physically cruel contact (like truly hitting them). the
other charge of course is that his behavior is threatening.
well, yes and no. it seems axiomatic that, in a bout to
establish dominacne the submissive one must feel SOME sort
of threat that makes him comply. as cesar so aptly puts it,
"dogs don't reason."
but the real question is whether this "threatening" goes
into the level of abuse and i say it does not.
i think this mostly because the "threat" is (and should only
be) present for the spur of time that the animal is acting
in an offensive manner.
it would be like saying that you have a "threatening"
relationship with a child if you warn him there are
consequences to an ill action.
so threatening i see as a matter of degree, if used
sparingly and to establish a healthy relationship i see it
as a necessary component.

of course the horrible part to all htis is that i now see
(a) how many unruly dogs there are and (b) how many fucking
crazy people have dogs.
as to (a) i'd say that 95% of the dogs out there are
"misbehaving" in the cesar milan sense of the word. they
lead their owners and simply exhibit dominating behavior.
as to (b), a lady yesterday, at the park, put her entire
mouth into our dog's mouth.
granted he is a cute ass puppy, but COME ON!!! how can you
do that?
most people have no clue what they are doing, are too
selfish to think that affection isn't the primary pillar of
the relationship, and therefore, refuse to give the dog what
it needs a pack leader.

but most criminal of all are those who return (or give up)
their dog because he is "too active." going to shelters is
a heart-breaking experience...after having gone for two
straight weekends i had enough. but to see those animals in
such a miserable state because they were held to be "too
active" makes me so pissed i can't even describe it.


anyhow. i am so, so, so happy with our new dog. he is just
the greatest thing to happen to me in a while and i really
can't wait to have em"bark" on another beautiful
relationship with him.