We counted ANY tiny speck of change as a huge victory and held tightly to it wanting that to be a glimmer of hope for their future and our sanity.
We believe wholeheartedly that, for whatever reason, once we began implementing things Cesar Millan taught on his show the sun began to shine again for us. We had people experienced in dog training and in rescued dogs tell us the dogs were hopeless. In fact, one person who took in rescues told us his dogs would not assist with socializing our dogs, but because our dogs were so fearful that his dogs would simply kill our dogs as to put them out of their misery–OMG! So, that wasn’t an option and a never ending reminder that we were on our own. Dumping them off at a shelter was also not an option. We took them and decided they were ours to responsibly deal with. Depressing as it was, fustrating as it became. They were ours to figure out how to deal with and Cesar’s techniques saved our sanity, our dogs, and probably our home and property. Nobody else out there was able to.
We became slaves to one of us always having to stay with the dogs at first or they would eat a sofa, a wicker chair, books, shoes, glasses, the molding around the windows, a carpet section, and part of the wall. No over night or trips away as a family or for my husband and I. Forget about vacations, as we did try that once not long after we got the dogs while a friend would come by repeatedly through out the day to let them in, out, and feed/water them. That’s a story for another time and that never happened again. We didnt have to go through all of that if we had known about proven loving appropriate techniques and some of that behavior was due to them not getting enough excersise. In a nut shell, most of that was our fault. A year later and after we began LISTENING and FOLLOWING Cesar Millan’s philosophies & techniques, life got better for all of us. Absolutely NOTHING about his techniques are, at any time, mean or cruel, at all, so, I don’t know why some people, to include dog trainers, turn up their noses when hearing we absolutely are grateful for Cesar and how he is the only person that was able to make a positive change for our dogs, to include our over all quality of life. The only thing I can think of is other people must be jealous that he became so successful with his knowledge. I don’t even care why others have a problem with Cesar Millan. In reality that isn’t my problem or Cesar’s problem. It’s that individual’s problem. Hell, I don’t even know Mr. Millan, haven’t met him, but facts are facts. Results are results.
Fast forward to over a year after we have had these formerly mentally damaged dogs AND a short time after using a lot of Cesar’s techniques. The dogs are also much bigger and stronger. As long as we do not stop to talk to or interact with strangers, BY MYSELF I can walk BOTH dogs at the same time IN PUBLIC WHERE PEOPLE, CARS, KIDS, BIKES, LEAF BLOWERS, LAWN MOWERS, OTHER DOGS, STRANGERS, & NOISE OCCUR ALONG THE WALK (our own “gauntlet”)….and with no fear pooping or fear peeing from the dogs. They behave. Each of us can walk either dog. Our teenager can walk either dog. We do enjoyable family dog walking daily (unless the weather is really bad).
There are no nightmares to deal with as we walk them. This is because we listened to Cesar Millan, we watched his show regularly, we taped his shows, we re-watched them, we re-watched some episodes over and over.
Sometimes the blonde dog simply hits the dirt (lays down in a flash if she gets a fright). We don’t play into it, however, so she gets right back up and we continue walking. The brown dog, if scared, tries to walk or pull in the opposite direction. Even if these may SEEM like serious problems we are still having, they are not and do not happen regularly. Plus, we can deal with it when it does. It hasn’t been a problem for me, so far, if I walk both dogs by myself.
Our dogs LOVE walks and going to the dog parks. They absolutely LOVE other animals and making doggie friends. Our dogs are so very kind to other dogs.
We still have some work to do with them. They are still afraid of strangers, still jump afar if caught off guard, will not deal with adults or kids they do not know specifically getting next to them or us when walking them, but even that is slowly but surely being worked on, yet, compared to how they initially were, the dogs are so much better, which means progress becomes less grueling. They have had SEVERE ANNOYING NERVOUS BARKING ISSUES seeing dogs or people walk past their yard or while looking out our house windows. Even that is becoming less annoying. I simply state, “No bark” or “claim” the windows when they do it. There is no screaming or shouting for them to “Shut up!! SHUUUUT UUUP!!!!! STOP IT!!!! STOOOP!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SHUT UP!!!!” It’s all peaceful, sane, and civilized. I claim the window and they know to leave the area. If they continue to bark outside after one of us have told them, “No bark!”, usually they stop but if not, as they do not always listen, we simply tell them, “inside” and they go right inside.
More recently, we have begun teaching them how fun it is to play in the water. At first they wanted no part of such things, especially the blonde one. She wouldn’t even step NEAR a lake or pool. However, both have realized the water is fun, refreshing, and not scary while one of us are in it with them or if they make another kind doggie friend who happens to be playing in the water. They can actually swim! The brown one freaked out the first time she went into the water for about 3 seconds then realized she could swim. The blonde dog, previously, would have NEVER set her foot even near water.
Gone are those pathetic and depressing days where they were terrified of the wind, of stairs, of the thought of one of us actually TOUCHING THEM…oh, and thank GOD, crapping out of fear seems to have left the building.
We still have to help them get over a fear of strangers, which we are doing, best as we can. We haven’t had a lot of time to be watching Mr. Millan’s shows, yet, we record them and we will be soon watching more episodes of his former, “Dog Whisperer” show and his “Cesar 911” episodes.
The Whisperer episodes with “Rosco”, “Viper”, and “Baby Girl” were dealing with intelligent dogs with severe fear issues, but all of his shows offer very helpful insight. We can have food setting out or on the patio and the dogs won’t wait for an opportunity to snag it off of the plate and run with it. Sure, if we left it on a plate then left the house, I imagine most dogs would, but our dogs have good manners with us where food is involved. We learned that approach from a different episode. Many people had issues properly taking their dog/s for a walk, so, many of those issues he addressed, over and over for people like us, I guess. Regardless, following his instructions once they are properly implemented, works. Sometimes INSTANTLY.
We hope to one day put our dogs on a leash and attach it to our bikes. That’s a bit sketchy for us, for now. I can see them taking off with us, full doggie warp speed, and sending us hurling 10 feet into the air with road rash from crashing, possibly worse, so, for now, we are just thankful to Cesar sharing his knowledge for the ton of progress we have obtained.
Our dogs LOVE TO PLAY with each other, other dogs, and us, but for now, only us. We’ll work to improve that.
People can come over now and the dogs don’t crap all through the house. The dogs leave the area once they see that strangers are not causing any problems in their dwelling with their human owners. We are fairly certain if an unwanted person entered the home they would both go after that person and make a great deal of loud barking and howling noise. The dogs seem to watch our reactions when strangers visit. Once they notice a visitor is welcomed they go off to another area, but not too far.
They come up to me for attention, tummy rubs, or for petting. They have started doing that with my husband and they enjoy sitting or laying specifically near our daughter while still too skiddish to get right next to her most of the time unless she has a treat, but they are fine with her walking either one of them on a leash.
We are so thankful that our quality of life has DRASTICALLY not only improved for us, but for our dogs. Yes, we have more to do, but in comparison to what life was previously like, night and day. We had nobody else out there able or with the right knowledge to help us. All we do know, for a fact, is that Cesar Millan saved us and our dogs. It’s a big deal to us.