All Hail Cesar

There are many dog wars that I simply don’t care much about. If you’re going to fight, you should probably fight for a cause that you have a stake in and if you are going to write persuasively, then you should probably pick a behavior you want to encourage.

For instance, I could not care less what you feed your dogs. For some reason this debate is one of the most intense in dogdom and all you need to do is say “b.a.r.f.” or “raw” in polite dog company and the room is guaranteed to heat up.

Another word that’s guaranteed to divide the room into opposing factions is “Cesar.”

I like Cesar in the same way I like Nathan Winograd. The men get results. Loads of bullshit have been spewed against them on ideological grounds, based on theories or on religion or feelings, and because they are men. But the proof is in the pudding and more people care about successful results than well meaning theories that fail.

Now, I don’t care if you like Cesar or not. I know how to get results with my dogs and I’m pretty good at getting the results I want out of your dogs when we meet in the dog park. Outside of that, I don’t really care if your dog ruins your house, barks non-stop, has food issues or is a mental wreck. Your problem, you deal with it, you probably created it in the first place.

So why am I writing about Cesar? Well, it seems that I have been dubbed worthy of the honor of pre-release copies of books and TV programs to review on this blog. I am now part of “the press.” Gosh, I feel like voting Democrat and joining a union now!

This is a very cool honor for a guy who just wanted to vent about dogs and didn’t send any feelers out looking for the honor. And I’ve always wanted to be a National Geographic photographer when I grow up, so getting a FedEx from them with goodies inside was a great Christmas delivery.

So what’s the first thing they’ve sent for my review? Cesar Millan takes on Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz and their dysfunctional bull dog.


No one should be surprised that these two idiots, famous only for being famous, have no clue about their dog. And unlike their music careers, they don’t have a legion of professional musicians and technicians who can make it look like they know what they’re doing with their dog like they have with their over-produced musak.

Much like her music career, Ashlee is a half assed dog owner. Hemingway, their bulldog, has had “some training” but they’ve “never really followed through with it.” You can’t Milli Vanilli your way through dog ownership, but Ashlee admits that “consistency is something we have an issue with.”

Her bipolar, suicidal, drop out, drugged up, tattooed, exhibitionist, freak of a husband isn’t much better (but that’s ok, he’s rich AND famous!). His biggest contribution to Cesar’s re-education program is nodding blankly and joking that no one can reproduce Cesar’s “shht” sound (kind of like how Ashlee can’t even reproduce her own music live).

Adding to this mess of a shotgun wedding, pregnancy denialsit household, is the addition of another bulldog puppy; since, you know, one unruly dog isn’t enough. The fact that Ashley picked up bull dog number 2 when she was hoped up on hormones from being a month or so pregnant is like icing on the dysfunctional cake.

Our two starlets called in Cesar because they are worried that they are going to get rid of the dog (like several of Pete’s friends have done, he says) because they just have to side with their future child over the dogs. But of course, do it for the children!

Remember, these are two twenty-somethings who are so immature and managed that they lie about actually doing their one percievalbe skill (music), they lie about being a couple, lie about being pregnant, lie about getting married, but we’re supposed to believe them when they say that they’re thinking carefully about being good parents to their future child.

Let’s do the math. Pregnant in Februrary. Married in May. New Puppy in June. Call in Cesar in September. Give birth to “Bronx Mowgli” in November. Appear on National Geographic Channel in December. It’s been a busy year of doing everything backwards for the dunderheads. Hopefully they will diseappear from the headlines and the airwaves forever.

As for Cesar, he solved the problem post haste. He put the dog on the treadmill to give it some exercise and relieve pent up energy, he gave the dog some structure and boundaries, and he cut off problem behaviors and waited the dog out on its obsessions.

A whole lot of controversy is pent up in whether you should touch the dogs and whether everything or anything has to do with “Dominance” and “Alpha” roles, etc. But I think this case is like many typical dog problems that are solved with something, anything. The only thing that doesn’t work is nothing. I don’t think anyone would need to get inside the dog’s head to solve these problems, they simply need to get out of their own self pity and self imposed victimhood and do the obvious.

If the dog has food issues, control their food and give structure to their feeding. If they are fearful of strangers, structure their encounters with strangers and socialize. If they are stubbo
rn, wait them out. The failure of so many people on these dog help shows is that they do nothing, and the worst ones actually encourage and reward the behavior.

If you want to catch Cesar giving the ignorant couple a lesson in parenthood, “The Dog Whisperer: Cricket and Hemingway and Rigby,” airs tomorrow, December 28, 2008 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

And if you want my evaluation copy of Cesar meets Ashlee Simpson on DVD, trade me something cool and doggy.

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.