I confess it: I love The Dog Whisperer, on many levels.
First, the dog psychology Cesar Millan uses is absolutely practical, useful, and right on the money. We’ve taken our basically good but nervous dog Josie and helped her be more secure, calm, and obedient in only a few days using Millan’s simple, common-sense method.
It is amazing how repetitive the show gets while remaining entirely watchable. I can now predict exactly what he’ll do or recommend on every episode, with the same sparkling results every damn time. The people always overindulge their dog, let it run the house, and substitute affection for discipline in a way the dog does not understand. The dog thinks that its neurotic behavior (whether aggression or nervous anxiety) is a good thing when the people use love and affection to try to calm it down, and in five minutes Millan takes the dog for a walk and gets it obedient and calm, even if it takes him getting bitten a time or two to do it.
I also enjoy the show because Millan is such an entertaining little macho powerhouse. I don’t think I could stomach him if he were only macho, though. He actually does seem to care about the owners and analyzes and treats them like a good therapist while smirking his “seen it all” smile as they think their situation with their dog is entirely unique and out-of-control while he knows it’s just another typical owner not giving the dog enough exercise or discipline.
Moreover, Millan and his dog pack definitely have a literal and symbolic “animal magnetism” that is engrossing to watch, and I definitely find myself attracted to him and his human-dog worldview.
I really want to see the South Park episode with Millan disciplining Eric Cartman and my Dog Whisperer life will be full! The excerpts I saw on YouTube were hysterical!
Meanwhile, how about a Cat Whisperer to get our fluffy monsters to stop clawing the furniture!