Cesar Millan (@cesarmillan) is the internationally renowned master dog trainer known best as the Dog Whisperer, founder of the Dog Psychology Center, and best-selling author of Lessons From the Pack: Stories of the Dogs Who Changed My Life.
[Featured image by Ryan Hartford]

What We Discuss with Cesar Millan:

  • How Cesar Millan went from impoverished Sinaloan kid to homeless immigrant to world-famous Dog Whisperer.
  • What we can learn about communicating with dogs by understanding the priority of their senses compared to our own.
  • Why the key to correcting an “untrainable” dog is usually reprogramming the human in charge.
  • Why the rich, famous, and powerful often find animal companionship so much more grounding than time with even their closest human friends.
  • Why human beings are the only species on the planet that will follow an unstable leader who does not represent the greater good.
  • And much more…

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Cesar Millan's Lessons From the Pack: Stories of the Dogs Who Changed My Life by Cesar MillanDog Whisperer Cesar Millan lives on a beautiful ranch in Santa Clarita, California surrounded by an array of animal life that would make Doctor Dolittle jealous. So when we got the invitation to interview him in this idyllic wonderland, of course we jumped at the opportunity.

In this episode, we explore Cesar’s journey from one of the most dangerous parts of Mexico to being homeless on the streets of L.A. to worldwide fame as the man we’ve come to see as having damned-near supernatural powers when it comes to training dogs and, of course, their human companions. Listen, learn, and enjoy!

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More About This Show

It can be tricky enough to master communication with other members of your own species. Introduce a dog to the equation and, if you don’t understand a few basic ground rules, man’s best friend won’t be very friendly to you at all. But you can’t blame the dog — they see the world by a different set of priorities than humans.

The order in which a dog gets to know another dog is through scent, sight, and sound — at odds with how humans get acquainted, which is first by sound, then by sight, then (usually only if we’re really intimate or stuck too long on public transportation) by smell. Our inclination is to read another human by what they say and what they look like. Dogs rely more on instinct for a very good reason.

“When dogs are born, they’re born with their nose open,” says Cesar Millan, the famous Dog Whisperer himself. “15 days later, they open the eyes. 21 days later, they open the ears.”

This insight should help explain why getting into a dog’s space before they’ve had the chance to sniff you out might earn you a nervous side-eye, a warning growl, or an angry nip at your outstretched — and thoroughly unwelcome — hand. You need to gain their trust, and that will only happen if you respect the way they make sense of the world.

Looking at Cesar today, you might not guess that, as an impoverished kid growing up in Sinaloa, Mexico, he made sense of the world in a way that luckier kids from more fortunate communities wouldn’t understand. When the only adults he saw making reasonable money were drug dealers, it seemed like a viable career opportunity to the young Cesar.

“I was working since I was six,” says Cesar, “but when I was 10 years old, I told my mom: ‘Mom, when I grow up, I’m going to be a drug dealer!’ She slapped me across the face and said, ‘If you want to kill me, that’s what you do.’ I didn’t know. That was not the reason — I just wanted to make enough money! So she changed my mind.”

Cesar’s ambitions didn’t stay directionless for long. Watching reruns of classic Hollywood television programs starring dogs like Lassie and Rin Tin Tin helped him rethink the course of his future, which earned him a slap-free seal of approval from his mother.

“When I was 13 years old, I told my mom, ‘Mom, you think I could be the best dog trainer in the world?’ She turned around and said, ‘You can be whatever you want!'”

As long as that “whatever” didn’t turn him into an outlaw. As you’ll learn by listening to this episode in its entirety, the journey wouldn’t be an easy one — but it would result in a life that continues to yield rewards beyond young Cesar’s wildest dreams.


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