Bestselling author Cesar Millan takes his principles of dog psychology a step further, showing you how to develop the calm-assertive energy of a successful pack leader and use it to improve your dog's life-and your own.
Filled with practical tips and techniques as well as real-life success stories from his clients (including the Grogan family, owners of Marley from Marley & Me) and his popular television show Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, Cesar helps you understand and read your dog's energy as well as your own so that you can move beyond just correcting behavioral issues and take your connection with your dog to the next level.
The principles of calm-assertive energy will help you become a better pack leader in every area of your life, improving your relationships with friends, family, and coworkers.
In addition, Cesar addresses several important issues for the first time, including what you need to know about the major dog behavior tools available and the difference between "personality" and "instability."
Ultimately, what emerges from Be the Pack Leader are both happier dogs and happier, more centered owners.
From the Hardcover edition.
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September 30, 2007
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Excerpt from Be the Pack Leader by Cesar Millan
"There was something I had never told him, that no one ever had. I wanted him to hear it before he went. 'Marley,' I said, 'You are a great dog.'"
- John Grogan, Marley and Me
How do you know that your dog is unstable? If you are like the majority of my clients, you just know. Your dog gets aggressive with other dogs on walks and at the dog parks. Or howls for hours when you leave the house. Or compulsively runs away. All this is puzzling to you, because the family dog from your childhood was perfect -- or that is the way that you remember him. In the amber glow of your memory, your beloved Blackie was mellow, obedient, and content to stay in the background. He was naturally social, and always got along with strange people and dogs. He fetched and returned the tennis ball, walked beside you to school, and never peed in the house. So why does your current dog dig up your garden? Why does he hide under the table when the garbage truck drives by? What in the world is up with him when he manically spins in circles when he gets excited? Of course, like most of my clients with unstable dogs, you simply accept that your dog was born with something missing -- or has some sort of mental disorder. Or, if your dog was adopted from a rescue organization, you create a story -- that he had such a traumatic experience in his past placements that he will never be able to forget the terrible abuse he suffered during those dark, lonely years before he met you. So of course, he will never be stable, and you should not complain, but instead, remain tolerant and feel really sorry for him when he pees all over your sofa whenever you turn the television on. How could you criticize him when he bites anyone who comes near his food dish, knowing what he's been through in his short but traumatic life? You decide you have to pay the price to live with an unstable dog, because of everything that happened to him before. You owe it to him.
They're All Great Dogs
The truth about dogs is, they don't feel bad about the past. They don't dwell on their bad memories. We are the only species that does that. Dogs live in the moment. If they feel safe and secure in the moment, then any past conditioned behavior can be reconditioned, provided we give our time, our patience -- and our consistency. Dogs move on -- often, very quickly. They -- like everything else of Mother Nature -- naturally want to return to balance. Too often, it is we, the humans, who are unknowingly preventing that balance from occurring.
We are human beings and one of the most beautiful things about our species is that we have empathy. When someone -- including an animal --who we care about is in distress, we feel bad for them. We hurt when they hurt. But in the animal world, hurt is a weak energy. Feeling sorry is a weak energy. The kindest thing we can do for our animals who have suffered in the past is to help them move forward into the present. In short, that uncontrollable, neurotic monster you are living with is just waiting for you to help guide him on the way to becoming one of the world's greatest dogs!
Marley & Me
John Grogan's book Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog hit the best-seller list in November of 2005 and, as of this writing, is still in the top ten. It's easy to see why -- this fun-to-read, touching tale of a lovable but out-of-control family Labrador, Marley, could easily be the life story of many of my clients dogs. Marley is usually destructive, rarely obedient, sometimes obsessive, and always unpredictable. He's even described on the book jacket as wondrously neurotic. To me, joining the words wondrous and neurotic is part of the reason that there are so many unstable dogs in America. Many people who love their dogs think that their pets' unhealthy issues are just "personality quirks." When author Grogan first published his tribute to the recently deceased Marley in the Philadelphia Inquirer, he initially thought that his former companion was one-of-a-kind - "the world's worst dog." He was soon flooded with letters and e-mails informing him that he was actually just one member of a giant "Bad Dog Club."
"My in-box resembled a television talk show," Grogan writes, 'Bad Dogs and the People Who Love Them,' with the willing victims lining up to proudly brag not about how wonderful their dogs were but about just how awful." Like many of my clients, however, all these well-meaning dog lovers may not understand that their dog isn't happy being "awful."
I was thrilled last year when the wonderful Grogan family actually became my clients.