The Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan Talks Canines, Kids, and Finding Balance
How does an internationally renowned dog trainer and author stay healthy?
Cesar Millan, the self-taught dog trainer whose television series The Dog
Whisperer has made him famous around the world, is now juggling his TV show
with writing best-selling books, creating DVDs, publishing a magazine, founding
non-profit organizations, even appearing in movies. And he has a wife and two
children. WebMD the Magazine caught up with the busy dog trainer and
asked him about his health habits, his family, and what he's learned about
humans by working with dogs.
You have a cameo in the upcoming Jennifer Lopez movie, 'The Back-up Plan,' opening April 23, playing yourself at a signing for your latest book, 'How To Raise the Perfect Dog.' The first issue of your new magazine hit newsstands last fall. Films, books, magazines, all in addition to your hit show, 'Dog Whisperer.' What's been the biggest challenge in working in all these media?
I've played myself a few times now -- on Bones, Ghost
Whisperer, Beethoven, and now The Back-up Plan with Jennifer
Lopez -- and it's always such a big compliment. The biggest challenge is to
make it sound real, even though you are doing the same scene over and over
again. But each time is an opportunity to make it better, and I think it came
out well in the end. Cesar's Way magazine has been a really exciting
endeavor for my wife, Ilusion, and me. It's another way we can reach dog owners
who are struggling with behavior issues and continue to inspire people to
become pack leaders.
You've been the Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel since 2000. During that time, have you learned more about dogs or about people?
I've learned a lot about both species. Every case is an opportunity to
expand my knowledge. I really believe in keeping myself open to learning
something new, and my goal is to teach something new to the people I am working
Walking the dog is good exercise for both of you. What else do you do to keep in shape?
Dogs stretch as soon as they wake up. So do I.
Stretching is a real pleasure. I stretch, then I take the pack for a walk.
I get the benefit of that. It helps me to be in shape.
What's the biggest mistake dog owners make with their pooches?
The biggest mistake I encounter is humans who don't fulfill the dog's needs
as an animal. Instead, they treat the dog like a human. They shower him with
affection, but don't provide physical or mental stimulation. These dogs are
bored, so they find other outlets for their pent-up energy: barking, chewing,
and other unwanted behaviors. Affection is wonderful -- everyone loves sharing
affection with their pet -- but it should be saved until after
exercise and discipline has been accomplished.