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The Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan Talks Canines, Kids, and Finding Balance

How does an internationally renowned dog trainer and author stay healthy?

When you're with dogs, it's clear that you are the one in charge. Who is the pack leader in your household?

My wife.

What have dogs taught you about raising your two sons?

With both dogs and children, you often teach by the patterns you set. If every morning you sit right down to breakfast without having exercised, you are teaching that the reward comes before the work. In this country, people often forget to be grateful. They feel entitled. I want my sons to respect our humble beginnings, to be balanced boys, not unstable men. We have enough of those.

What's your best health habit? Your worst?

My best health habit is probably meditation. I take time to focus myself several times a day. It helps me to stay balanced for what my day throws at me -- an aggressive dog, meetings, a frustrated owner, whatever. My worst habit is probably eating a big meal after 6 p.m.

Do you have a personal health philosophy? If so, what is it?

My personal health philosophy is the same philosophy that I use with dogs: Never work against Mother Nature. I really believe in organic food and natural treatments. Of course, traditional medicine is important as well, but sometimes the root of the problem is your diet or your exercise routine. Paying attention to your mental, emotional, and spiritual health can help your physical health. They are all connected.

Dogs need a balanced, centered life in order to thrive. So do people. How do you balance work and family?

I love what I do, so it is not really a job.

You recently turned 40. That's a milestone, even if it's not in dog years. How do you feel about getting older?

I don't think about it. My stamina today is exactly the same as it was when I jumped the border in 1990. And you have to have a lot of stamina to get across.

How -- and how often -- do you break away from the pack? What do you like to do when you are by yourself?

Like dogs, I'm a pack animal. If I'm not with my canine pack, I'm with my human pack -- or even better, with both species! To me, that's ideal, being with my dogs and my family. When it's just me and the dogs, I like to take walks around my ranch in Santa Clarita. I really enjoy being out with the dogs in nature. And when it's just me? I love to plant trees. We have 43 acres, and for me to get on a John Deere and to get down and dirty -- it reminds me of home. I can be out there forever, completely relaxed.

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