Cesar Milan, on the Dog Whisperer, confronted a battling pack of two pugs and a Chihuahua mix, who would frequently fight, making their owners home a living hell of tiny, fighting, snarling, biting dogs. Cesar immediately diagnosed that the problem was the owners, who were giving unequal love to their pets, favoring the pug who was the most demonstrative. He said that a pack leader has to be equal in his or her affection or the others go nuts, or words to that effect.
If one of the dogs resisted too much, Milan made a sound, “Sssst,” which told the dog to obey this human and usually calmed the dog.
After watching several Dog Whisperer programs in which Milan used the same “Sssst” sound to calm them, I tried it on my wife, Grace. She did not calm down in reaction to the sound. In fact, at times, she got more excited. Dear Cesar Milan: am I creating the wrong sound?
Holding the pugs’ collars and sitting with them, he kept them at equal lengths from him. The Chihuahua mix, which always joined the fights last and which merely bit the ears of the most aggressive dog, was attempting to return equality to this pack of miniatures. Milan said that, if the Chihuahua mix were bigger, he would be putting the pug on its back in a completely submissive pose. Being small, the Chihuahua mix did the best he could and bit the pug’s ear.
The Dog Whisperer is a fascinating series, more so now that we have a dog of our own. An earlier program concentrated on ill-behaved Chihuahuas. One pretty female owner just sat there when her Chihuahua leaped out of her lap and bit her son, after which the owner continued petting (and rewarding) her dog. Milan declared that he couldn’t solve the problem of the attacking Chihuahua if the owner refused to exercise any discipline.
Cesar Milan seemed quite right in his analysis and response, but the owners are always the ones who are wrong and who need the training on The Dog Whisperer. Maybe humans need a series in which the dogs are wrong.
"When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem."