Cesar Millan's 'The Dog Whisperer' Books Withdrawn by Pets At Home

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

Pets At Home, which describes itself as, “...the UK’s favourite specialist pet care retailer with over 365 stores across the UK,” has withdrawn from sale its range of books by dog trainer Cesar Millan, according to Dog World.

The following announcement was posted on the Pets at Home Facebook page, saying the decision had been “based on customer feedback.”


Based on customer feedback, we're removing the Cesar Milan range of books from our stores. The transition will take a few weeks, so you may still see these in some stores.


In a January 16, 2012, post on Pets Advisor, Cesar Milan’s life and career are reviewed, including the 2004 cable TV show that built into an empire of millions of books sold worldwide, along with videos and DVD’s,  Cesar’s website; the Millan Foundation; a Dog Psychology Center; and endorsements by celebrities and politicians. So what happened to topple The Dog Whisperer from his pedestal?

Maybe it’s in his own description of his “dominance theory”: “He says to handle your dog with “calm-assertive energy,” giving it plenty of exercise, clear boundaries and rules, and lots of affection when the time is right. Your dog is a dog, not a human, and is to be treated like one, Millan says. You need to put your dog in its place when it is aggressive, using force — finger jabs to the abdomen, “alpha rolls,” even choke collars — if required.”

A 2009 report in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior showed that asserting dominance over dogs actually increases aggression in those dogs. And The National Geographic cautioned viewers against following Millan’s methods, in a warning on screen during every episode of his show that read: “Do not attempt these techniques yourself without consulting a professional.” 

By January 15, 2012, a NY protester said, “Protests are being organized in Columbus and Akron, Ohio, where Cesar is performing,” she said. “There have been inquiries from as far away as Europe, where Cesar will be on tour after his US tour ends.”

Pets Advisor contends that, putting aside the controversy over his training techniques, Cesar has “done a lot of good for animal welfare… and in support of spay/neuter programs.”

He also submits that there are some points in Cesar’s basic philosophy which we should not discard along with his books--that you are responsible for your own dog’s behavior, that your pet needs lots of love and exercise, and that chaining dogs is awful.

So far, there have been no further comments by Pets at Home, and Dog World reports that they were as yet unable to reach Cesar Milan for comment.

Source: Dog World, Pets Adviser, Facebook