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Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems Hardcover – April 4, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 1,378 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fans of the National Geographic Channel's The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan will be grateful for Cesar's Way, an accessible guide to help new and current dog owners better understand the needs of their beloved pets. If you are not yet a fan, try to catch a couple of episodes of the remarkable show--you will be amazed, impressed, and motivated to create a healthier, more fulfilling relationship with your dog. In Cesar's Way, Cesar explains that dogs are not complicated, and despite what various owners think--not human. They rely on three key elements in their lives: exercise, discipline, and affection (in that order). "Problem dogs" can be attributed to "problem owners," owners who don't understand and misinterpret their dog's behavior. Cesar's Way is really a training program for dog owners, with chapters devoted to understanding the "power of the pack," taking responsibility for "how we screw up our dogs," and learning how to manage aggression. Cesar's book (a must-have for new and old dog owners) moves beyond basic obedience school techniques, and teaches owners how to change unwanted behavior by better understanding their "best friends." --Daphne Durham

Exclusive Video from Cesar Millan

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Watch Cesar in action in this clip of The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, courtesy of the National Geographic Channel. Or, tune in on Friday nights, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Cesar Millan's Top 5 Tips for Going to the Dog Park

1. Make sure your dog is spayed or neutered, has all her shots, and is in good health. Under no circumstances should you bring a sick dog to a dog park!

2. Do not use the dog park as a substitute for the walk! If you drive to the park, leave your car a block away and take your dog on a vigorous walk of at least thirty-five minutes to drain some of her energy. Never take an over-excited dog to the park.

3. While at the park, don't "punch out" on your calm-assertive leadership. Be aware of your dog at all times, and take responsibility for her behavior.

4. A calm-submissive dog will not attract another dog's aggression--but an excited dog, a weak, timid dog, or an aggressive dog can become a fight-magnet.

5. Know your dog! If your dog has poor social skills, is overly fearful or is dog aggressive, or if you have not yet established your calm-assertive leadership with your dog, find a more controlled way to introduce her to the company of other dogs, such as "play dates" with one or two other dog owners.


Icon to dog owners all over the world... The man is a dog wizard, a genius Anne Shooter, Daily Mail '[Millan is] serene and mesmerizing ... He deserves a cape and mask'. New York Times [Cesar] arrives amid canine chaos and leaves behind peace. Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (April 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307337332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307337337
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,378 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've had dogs all my life, but this book gave me a whole new perspective.

Cesar Millan's methods are based on the behavior of dogs living within packs. Packs are organised to the extent that there are pack leaders and followers. Instinctively, dogs need packs for survival, so they naturally follow the strongest and most stable dog and weed out weak, unstable dogs who threaten the effectiveness of the pack. When dogs are removed from their natural state, their pack instincts must be compensated or they become unstable.

The root of most dog problems that Millan is asked to correct originate not with the dogs, but with their owners who often view their dogs as furry little people. Even those dog owners who recognise that dogs are not people, use human psychology on their dogs. This often takes the form of affection and is often given to soothe the dog when it is acting stressed. But, affection given at the wrong time, when the dog is stressed, rewards the dog's behavior and makes matters worse.

Millan has several formulas that he applies to different situations. If you accept that dogs are pack animals, it all makes sense. If you want to control your dog, you have to become the pack leader. As pack leader, you cannot be unstable. You must be calm and assertive or the dog will dismiss you as the leader, though he might be fearful. As pack leader, you need to give the dog what he needs: exercise (dogs roam all day), discipline (packs are organised and the leader sets the rules, boundaries, and limitations) and affection, in that order. People often mess-up their dogs by giving affection and not much else. This results in the dog assuming, in it's mind, the role of pack leader. Every pack needs a leader and if you are not it, the dog will be.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful reference book and makes for good reading as well. I bought the book to give as a gift to a young couple whose dog needs some behavior modification. I planned to quickly scan through it to get an idea of its contents, wrap it up, and give it away. However, I ended up reading it word for word and will add it to our library! (I can think of several dog owners and parents who could use the concepts in this book for raising both dogs and children. I'll probably end up buying several copies as gifts.)

I notice that one reviewer complained about the frequent reference to the pack leader concept Cesar writes about. Perhaps that reader is unaware that in a reference book clarification in the form of repetition is needed for those who are looking up only one or two segments at a time, such as "Rules, Boundaries, and Limitations," or "Dominance Aggression." I found Cesar's personal history and anecdotal material about him and others (Oprah Winfrey has a whole section on the relationship between her and her dog, Sophie) very interesting and enlightening. The book is clearly and concisely written. It is easy to see that Melissa Jo Peltier's writing abilities were very helpful to Cesar.

Cesar was born in Culiacan, Mexico, and came here in 1990. He is now applying for U.S. citizenship. He has quite a story to tell about his childhood and his special relationship with dogs from the time he was a small boy. When he came here he noticed with dismay that American dogs had a number of "issues" related primarily to the fact that we Americans view our dogs as "four-legged humans" instead of dogs (animals). Our dogs need us to be calm-assertive pack leaders and to provide them with exercise, discipline and affection in that order.
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Format: Audio CD
I have read the negative reviews of all the "spoiled-sports" who disagree with Cesar Millan's philosophy of the dog-human relationship. I feel they are merely jealous of the fact that he has become a "media idol" in the dog-training arena and is now pulling in the big bucks.

As a dog rescuer who has taken in and re-homed over a thousand dogs over the past 10 years, I just wish Cesar had been around back when I first became so deeply involved in "pack mentality." I'm sure that I could have made some better decisions, saved even more dogs' lives, and dealt more effectively with some behavior issues.

Of course, time breeds experience, and by the time I first saw Cesar on the National Geographic Channel last year, I realized to my great pleasure that many of the things I had learned and was now utilizing myself were based on the very premise Cesar promotes.

Cesar's philosophy is based on common sense: humans are human and dogs are dogs. Most dog owners become oblivious to any common sense they may have possessed prior to adding a dog to the household when they bring their "new baby" home.

There is nothing wrong with a "calm and assertive" approach with dogs, and nothing equally wrong with the dog being "calm and submissive." This does not mean that you will have a frightened dog that will submissively urinate, cower in the corner or become a fear-biter.

As the supposedly more intelligent and sensitive being, you have to approach your relationship with your dog in a common sense manner and tempered with consideration for the natural temperament of the particular dog. But I do share and support the premise that dogs are much happier when they know that their human is the one "in charge.
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