Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Leader of the Pack Episode Review - Mojo... the big baby!

Blog two of the night... this one killed me a little bit inside.

Mojo is a stunning, strapping big GSD boy. He is 2, he is an owner hand in from people who had him from 9 weeks old and couldn't hack the adolescent stage, failed to train or socialise him.

The hype at the start of the show is that Mojo is horribly dangerously dog aggressive and dominant, oooooh he's so dominant DOMINANT in massive letters, mega dominant boy this. Very dangerous.

Oh, and he is entire but we don't get told that till later on, shh its a secret.

He has been in rescue 4 months and in that time he appears to have just dragged folk around and yelled at other dogs. We get a smashing 'here's what NOT to do' clip, not that its labelled as that, of the rescue facing him off against another male dog, hes doing the very typical GSD lungey bark bark look at all my teefs behavior here. He stops almost immediately the other dog is heading away from him...

My opinion is that Mojo has not learned any manners, hes all hot air and bluster though, he wants to be friendly but he doesn't know how, hes all full of hormones and he is a massive MASSIVE baby, very sensitive, eager to please, curious etc...

Don't get me wrong, handled wrongly, set up to fail and Mojo quite probably would do some serious harm, but he'd be SO easy to deal with, hes totally food motivated, quick to learn and super super sensitive to his handler.

At some point in the hand over/assessment thing, the rescue rep. says something I am not sure how to translate. She is discussing how he has humped other males (Cesar immediately declares him dominant) and then that he bites - I actually think she means he redirects onto a handler, not that he has bitten other dogs, but I can't be sure.

Cesar then as part of the assessment, takes him roller blading, where Mojo is expected to pull Cesar along, just from a collar or slip leash, not a harness, and Cesar says this is so he can evaluate Mojo's energy levels...

On his return he takes him STRAIGHT into a pen full of bitches and its clear the real reason for the roller blading is to ensure Mojo is exhausted before the intro is done, as he doesn't want to introduce him to males due to him being entire.

I find it odd that he decides, without actually mentioning this, to introduce him to the bitches he has previously declared very 'soft', the big brown galgo, a tan and white collie x type and a couple of others...

He takes Mojo in on the lead and stands around whilst the bitches practically mob him and Mojo doesn't look too happy, hes trying to follow the bitches and Cesar says he is intimidating them... so he lets Mojo off to carry on pushing the tan and white bitch, getting up in her face and he is licking at her (quite obvious that he is puppyish and has no clue how to behave), she eventually starts to do little polite snaps which he ignores, he is trying to appease but he is being pushy.

The nice soft galgo marches in and snaps at him and he doesn't retaliate at all but he clearly doesn't understand either.

Cesar states he must be neutered... but again this is not done until AFTER the decision on who wins is made!

Cesar then takes him and basically picks him up and throws him in the pool - nice. Voice over rambles on about dominance.

I have a feeling that there was a lot of 'rehab' done that we didn't see, with  male dogs - if there was NOT then Cesar is actually more stupid and a bigger risk taker than even I thought. My personal thinking here is that he then did a lot of work with Mojo around male dogs, jabbing and tsssting him for looking at them etc and generally teaching him to fear Cesar more than anything else and not to DARE do anything to another male.

The reason I think that is two fold, firstly the later footage shows Mojo very cringy and appeasing to Cesar which he wasn't earlier on. Secondly.... well, read on... I cannot believe he would do this without knowing the likely outcome!

Now we meet the candidates, and first its Katrein who has two dogs, Bento and Ziggy, both older males.
Bearing in mind we are to believe that Mojo is dangerous and has never met males without issue, you'll understand why I was shocked and disbelieve this, as Cesar has K walk her two dogs straight up to the fence and then into Mojo's paddock.
Cesar gives Mojo a good jab in the neck as he approaches the gate, and then Katrein does the same quite harshly - Cesar is quite impressed by this of course.

Mojo is quite shocked as he has done nothing wrong, but you can clearly see that he is used to this from Cesar at this point. Cesar then follows them all around and jabs Mojo whenever he sniffs one of the other dogs - again this is NOT something you'd do if you were not sure of the behaviour that would follow.

Cesar makes a point of telling K not to jab him in the neck but to get him in the ribs where he will feel it, and at one point demonstrates this quite forcefully when Mojo is standing away from the other dogs minding his own business!

K then has a go at walking Mojo on his own without her two dogs.

Now its the turn of Epke and Sebastien - he is scared of big dogs so is sent into Mojo's paddock first and walks in ignoring him, crouches down and Mojo eventually heads over to say hi, which he does nicely.

Then Epke goes in which we don't see but shes in there and Seb is outside, THEN, Cesar goes in and for absolutely no reason I can see, starts demonstrating how Epke should pet and touch Mojo, which involves making a claw hand and grabbing chunks of skin and fur over his spine and quarters and neck.

Mojo clearly looks distressed by this but bless the boy, he doesn't object even though it is evidently painful and very uncomfortable and confusing. Epke follows Cesars instructions and they both do this until Mojo sinks down and 'submits', ie, Cesar forces him over onto his side and pins him.

They are told they need to do this with big powerful breeds so that the dog doesn't think he is in charge. They lap this up like it is gospel, so if anyone copies that with an unknown GSD and gets their face ripped off, please sue Millan!

Next they walk him and Sebastien walks around giving crappy corrections with the slip lead which are generally ineffective.

Next up we have Sandra and her mum Annie and their old entire male, Rico.

Remember, Mojo is supposed to be really aggressive and dangerous with males, particularly entire males...

Again Rico is brought straight up to the pen, stopping five feet out for a second and then up to the fence where they stare at one another and then theres some barking.

Cesar opens the door and forces Mojo to back off as they get into the pen.

He follows Mojo around making him back off and then he picks Rico up and presents him butt first to Mojo, Rico growls and gives him whale eye whilst Mojo sniffs him. Apparently this is to keep Rico safe as he is very small and older, and this will make Mojo think that Rico is dominant.

Sandra then goes in and has a go at forcing Mojo away, then she leashes Mojo and takes him for a walk with Rico.

Then her mum Annie has a go and Cesar says she is too calm and relaxed!

Epke and Seb are kicked out. I still don't really care why!

Final challenge:

Annie and Sandra have to show what they can do with Rico and then with Mojo, on the obstacle/agility course.

Rico does some tricks and sings, if lured with food.  Sandra lures Mojo around the obstacles with food, hes mainly locked onto the food and not really aware what he is doing. Off lead later on with Rico, Mojo sniffs him and Rico freezes up - I am not at all convinced that Mojo thinks Rico is dominant at all!

Next Katrien does the same thing and whilst Cesar has Mojo standing there with K's dogs around, he does some tsssting and jerking the leash to stop Mojo from saying hi or looking at them.

K lures Mojo around the course with food - this time Mojo is TOTALLY blind to the course itself, nearly falling over the steps, and biting K's fingers for the food. He hasn't a clue what he is doing and Cesar does not seem to point out or be aware that this luring is not actually correct use of food rewards. There is a lot of shhhhhht and tssst going on and Mojo doesn't look comfortable or confident about what he is doing.

Then he is allowed off to play with the dogs whereupon he chases Bento around like a lunatic and Bento has to turn and stare at him to stop him (which he does, he is learning). Cesar proclaims that Bento is in charge... and then Bento flops down and offers Mojo his belly, cuz he is so dominant over Mojo of course...

Obligatory chat with the rescue lady where only the bits Cesar likes make the cut.

Sandra and Annie win and Rico looks thrilled, not. In the follow up it turns out that both Rico AND Mojo have been neutered before Mojo moved in (and its only 2 weeks later apparently) and they look ok but we don't see much, just them flat out on the floor or Mojo chasing a ball down the garden.

So, again another problem over stated, and not actually dealt with. Mojo quite probably still does not know how to interact with other dogs properly, as we do not see any of this.

Hopefully he isn't being jabbed and clawed and pinned, but we don't know, Sandra seems to be quite masculine and tough and a huge Cesar fan, so it's anyones guess as to what Mojo's lot is now. Poor boy.

Leader of the Pack Episode review - Mambo the terrier

Sorry for the delay on this folks, bad week or so, totally lost track of where I was at, so you get two blogs tonight!

First one is Mambo, a little JRT type job, 8 years old and apparently he has been given too much affection so has become aggressive to other dogs and dominant.

Okay then - what I am seeing is a dog who appears to have little impulse control and he hasn't learned how to communicate with other dogs appropriately.

The voice over tells us immediately we see Mambo that he is dominant and has issues with other dogs and that Cesar needs to assess his dominance... By the way, sick bags may be found in the drawer on the left.. do help yourselves.

Cesars first step in his evaluation is to take him in with his 'hard' confident bitch Leda - she's on a lead and Mambo goes straight for her butt, which she sits on and generally tries to avoid him getting at - when this fails and shes allowed off the lead, she chases him around, she looks worried until she is allowed to bully him, when the roles change and he looks worried.

This is apparently a fine success, we move on and Cesar brings in other bitches, particularly a soft greyhound/galgo bitch, which Mambo totally ignores  but interestingly, Leda, our supposedly tough dominant (hes called her that in other shows) confident bitch solicits the galgo's attention, mouth licking and grovelling to her...

Junior comes in and Mambo sniffs his butt and nothing untoward happens.

So, he isn't dog aggressive off lead - he is lacking impulse control and manners. I don't doubt that on lead if handled wrong he could get snappy and defensive, but his intentions are not 'kill everyone I see' in any way.

Our candidates this week are Marlon and Wendy, The Bruggink Family and Gina and Dana.

Gina and Dana currently have cats having lost their previous dog at 12, and they are up for the first challenge.

The challenge is to get Mambo out of the car and go and see some dogs on lead. They have food and can use a leash.

Dana uses food to get Mambo out, which Cesar comments on in a way that sounds like hes going to be negative because shes given Mambo food when he is excited, but its cut and edited so I think they changed their mind on that.. don't know. Odd.

Gina does the same thing - they both walk him on a short slip leash around some leashed dogs and Gina is hesitant with Mambo, so Cesar shows her the TSST and jerk and marches Mambo about. They don't actually introduce him to any dogs and I am not sure what the challenge really was.

Wendy and Marlon do the same - he's been pushed into agreeing to a dog and actually has some fear of small animals. Cesar professes he will help but the chat he has is not remotely useful or enlightening. Marlon sees Mambo chewing the blanket in the crate in the car and thinks this means he is aggressive.

Wendy gets him out, there is a lot of pushing him back in but she seems to not be doing this quite the way Cesar would, not sharp/hard enough, he says shes negotiating with him. Mambo looks confused and stressed. Cesar demonstrates some finger pointing and  Tsssting to make mambo sit.

Once out of the car, Marlon has the lead quite tight and Mambo starts choking, Cesar says stuff about tension (though not specifically tension on the LEAD) and readjusts but also gives Mambo a correction and a TSST for apparently nothing.

There is a lot of talk about submission and calming but  what is actually demonstrated is suppressing unwanted behaviour.

Next are the Bruggink family, Mum, three girls and Dad.

They have never owned a dog but do appear to have a lot of other small animals and horses.

Same challenge as before, get Mambo out of the car and walk him about near some dogs. Some discussion about gaining trust and respect - almost immediately, Mambo barks at Hank who is a pretty big gruff guy.

Cesar helpfully tells us that Mambos yappy high pitched bark means he ISN'T telling Hank to go away (Hank thinks he is, good boy Hank I agree), because if he meant that he'd have a low gruff bark. Note here, Mambo is a very small high pitched dog, I actually don't think he CAN bark in a low, deep tone!

Anyway, Hank gets him out of the crate but faffs and Mambo runs away from him into the car, despite the fact that Hank has food.... refer to my previous point that Hank thinks Mambo is worried about him - I agree.

The wife comes over and she does it fine, gets Mambo out and he is twirling on the leash and pulls over toward Leda and the galgo and some other dogs all on leads. Leda has a bit of a pop at him but notably, all the OTHER dogs, handled by Cesars staff, are also pulling, up on hind legs and lunging at Mambo.... ho hum!

Wendy and Marlon are kicked out - I forget why, I don't really care.

Now, Cesar introduces a halti or gentle leader head collar - can't remember which and he changes his mind which it is throughout the rest of the show.

The Brugginks are up now, we get a screen cap telling us that obedience can result in a calm submissive state in your dog. Ok.

The girls take turns to walk Mambo. The first one asks for a sit, lifts up on the headcollar and shoves his butt down - when she moves off again she does a classic Cesar kick in the ribs move which Cesar notes and compliments. Catch em young eh Cesar...

The other two girls do basically the same, minus the foot kick, but also neither of them ask for a sit, they just shove his butt down and we get a few seconds of footage of Mambo just being paraded about, shut down, ignoring the handlers almost entirely. Yay.

Hank has a go next, note at this point although Cesar has explained the headcollar a bit, he has NOT explained that they should be careful with it in anyway or what the risks might be.

As a result, Hank walks along with the leash too short for tiny Mambo and he has to walk with his head on one side being pulled up by Hank.

Cesar DOES notice this, excellent observation Cesar... now, does he do anything about it??

No. He points it out to the girls and Mum, and laughs, repeatedly, and does a hilarious little impression of poor Mambo with his head pulled to one side. At no point does he bother informing Hank who hasn't noticed, that Mambo is uncomfortable. No, because its funny, so lets not bother.

Next the girls take Mambo to Cesars doggy paddling pool and force him in using the headcollar. Cesar forces him to sit saying this will teach him to relax, and then holds him whilst he swims, and then puts the headcollar back on at the end of the pool and pulls him around making him slip over a few times.

Fairly predictably, Mambo looks damn stressed and uncomfortable with all of this.

Next Gina and Dana have a go. Again he is on the halti and again Cesar doesn't bother to explain that care ought to be taken.

We are told that obedience will make a dog submissive, and that giving a dog a job to do makes him a follower which makes him submissive. (What about guide dogs Cesar??)

Obedience actually appears to be dragging him around on the halti, past other dogs - Dana keeps giving him little corrections with it, they are not particularly harsh but I know I'd hate to have my face constantly jerked about.

Next is the pointless chat with the rescue representative, who says she likes both people but worries bout the Brugginks small animals, but then Dana and Gina have cats too so...

So far, Mambo's supposed issues actually haven't been addressed. He is still rude and doesn't know how to behave nicely with other dogs, he still has no impulse control either.

Cesar comes in to make the decision, bringing Mambo back on the slip lead with him forging ahead and pulling.... oooooookay.

Dana and Gina win and the follow up 5 weeks later (but they have only had him 18 days) is quite positive - One of them (I forget which, sorry) says she has rushed him a bit but now realises she can't do that and her expectations were not fair. They are using food rewards, puzzle toys, tug toys etc to train and play. They have rules for visitors pinned to the outside of their front door so people know how to behave (calmly, ignore him until he is calm before greeting etc).

He still has pretty huge issues with their cats which was 100% predictable, and they are still using a headcollar to walk him. No idea about his other dog issues, they don't mention it at all.

This one was pretty classic Cesar to be honest - over exaggerate the initial problem, and then completely gloss over it and ignore it - he hasn't DONE anything here except slap a headcollar on the dog and find him a new home, there is no training, no 'rehabilitation' at all. If Gina and Dana keep Mambo and make a success of this it will be down to their hard work, and nothing Cesar has actually done bar give them the dog (and I understand it is the rescues final decision anyway, not his).

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Leader of the Pack Episode Review - Janna the Malinois

Here we are again, somewhat late this week because its been a shitty week where I've had a load of work, felt like crap and then someone went and died. Oh and I spent half the week not knowing what day it actually was!

So, I only got round to poisoning my eyes with this weeks episode, last night!

Poor Janna is a Belgian Malinois seemingly in a world filled with total fools. I feel like that sometimes too.

Shes super high energy, needs a job, bored off her tits and has a pushy nature with other bitches.

She also self-mutilates.. they say.

Here we get a fantastic Cesar fuck-up, he clearly states that such problems are ALWAYS neurological.. and then a milisecond later the voice over tells us that Janna has been checked by a vet and the problem is not neurological, it is behavioural. Snort!

Actually what she does is flank suck - they tried to make out on the show that shes really biting into herself and doing damage, she isn't, and its very clear to see that there is no damage.

She does have a damaged nipple which shes obviously worried at - given shes having pretty severe phantom pregnancies, I would hazard a guess shes had mastitis and has worried at a sore infected nipple.

Despite pointing out the  phantom pregnancy, and showing us a clip of her frantically trying to nest in cupboards and on soft furnishings, digging so hard shes actually made her paws bleed.... the rescue shes come from have not thought to spay her. Nor does she get spayed before the rehoming process starts (you'll be glad to know she DOES get spayed before she goes to her new people but it would have been a damn sight more sensible to spay her before the assessment!).

So,  the premise is that Janna's self harming is the reason she needs a new home - it isn't. The reason is that shes an active high octane breed living with an old lady, who had to return her to the rescue.

 That's not to say that flank sucking isn't a worrying symptom - it is, but its a symptom of an animal who hasn't enough to do, has far too many hormones whizzing about and as self harming behaviours go, Janna's level of flank sucking is not massively serious. She's clearly not lost any fur, the fur isn't discoloured, shes got no scarring or open wounds. Animals who are serious self harmers will have all the above!

I am thinking they had to pad this show out a little, as at the beginning there is a weird section that's never been included before, where Cesar stops to chat to a lady who is presumably an employee, checking over a dog on a table. They discuss vaccinations and how its possible to over vaccinate and one can blood test to check for immunity. This is just skated over and no real  useful information is actually given.

Cesar takes Janna round some agility jumps, he uses a chuckit and ball to lure her and then reward her - nice, but this is the last we will see of any reward!

Cesar introduces Janna to the pack - as per usual, theres some TSST and jerking and kicking as he brings her in and lets her off lead. The other dogs are interested but not overly so, Janna pointedly ignores them which Cesar tells us is because shes confident - it isn't, at one point she actively seeks comfort/protection from the people and shes clearly pretending the other dogs are not even there, even when one tries to hump her.
My personal feeling here is she is not great with other dogs and in a group situation shes avoiding confrontation rather than actively happy.

Now we meet the candidates - Gill, Sven and Kylian - Sven is disabled and uses a cane to walk, Kylian is around 10 years old and they haven't had a dog since Gill's old collie/shepherd mix died some years ago.

Craig and Evita and their dog Noah, who they say is an American Stafford but shes clearly a mix - shes on a harness and collar with a double lead and they admit they have some issues with control.

Wendy and Brian and their old shepherd mix Rosa who has the manners of a saint.

Craig and Evita are up first and Cesar wants to deal with Noah's behaviour - Evita shows how she walks Noah, with a few ineffective collar jerks (on a very broad flat leather collar). Cesar is not impressed with her handling or her assertion that Noah is insecure, he say's shes dominant and takes over.

He puts his thin slip lead on her, and almost immediately takes her to the pack pen door, kicking, TSSTing and jerking. We get a screen caption that tells us really usefully:

"A 'TSSCH" sound accompanied by a correction with the leash can become a useful tool when walking a dog"

This however seems to be increasing Noahs reactivity and hes having to jerk her, lift her off her front feet and causes her to make a choking sound. She has her ears tightly back, and is panting heavily.

Then she is taken away, and no attempt is made to introduce Noah to Janna (which suggests to me that Cesar knows damn well, Janna is dog aggressive and so is Noah).

Janna is brought out to them on a thin slip leash, she is let off lead and seems a bit nervous. Then we cut to her lying down and she starts to flank bite. Cesar asks what they'd do to stop it and Evita immediately gets down to Janna's level, and puts her hand between Janna's mouth and her flank, pushing her head away.

This is yet another example of where Cesar allows people to take risks with their safety, some dogs WOULD have redirected aggressively at an intervention like this and I don't actually think Cesar knows enough to tell which would and which wouldn't.

He demonstrates his method, jabbing Janna in the ribs on the opposite side to that which she is biting, but its quite clear he has to jab pretty hard and when Craig and Evita try it, they have to jab her really hard to achieve the same results.

Next up are Gill Sven and Kylian.

Janna is brought out to them, now she is wearing a thin prong collar instead of the slip leash - this is not mentioned at ANY stage, nor is it mentioned that care should be taken with this device or what the potential outcomes are if they are not careful with it (personally I think it shouldn't be used at all of course!).

For those Cesar fans who state he never uses such things, or that he only uses them when the owners use them first... Janna has no owners, Cesar chose to use this collar, here is a photo!

Cesar asks Sven to go first and hes a little hesistant, clearly has no idea about the collar so gives Janna plenty of little tugs on it to keep her with him.

Cesar takes over (and takes Svens stick off him too, with very little warning!) and does a rather grim pretence of being disabled to demonstrate how he can make Janna go wherever - of course she complies as in the prong collar, shes got no choice.

Next the little boy Kylian has a go, again, tugging Janna all over the place. In each clip we see the prong collar moving position on the dogs neck, and again, no mention is made of it.

Finally it is Wendy, Brian and Rosa's turn.

Rosa is lovely, they have trained her with food and toys and she has a good repertoire of tricks and useful behaviours, shes really well behaved and clearly has a good bond with her people.

She's almost immediately introduced to Janna in a smallish pen.

Rosa is not hugely impressed and mainly ignores Janna. Janna on the other hand rudely shoves her nose up Rosa's bottom (impressive as Rosa is a big girl and shes SAT on her bottom at the time), and then starts some very pushy mouth licking, ear sniffing/licking behaviour.

This tells ME that Janna doesn't really know the rules of adult dog interaction. This behaviour is very puppyish, but it lacks the innocence of a pup soliciting attention from an adult, as a pup would NOT have stuffed its nose up another dogs jacksie whilst the dog was sat down.

Cesars evaluation is that they want to be friends. I disagree pretty strongly, Janna is insecure and pushy, she wants to know where she stands and shes going to push Rosa until she finds out exactly what the score is.

Rosa is not interested in this young bitch at all, she'd rather be somewhere else but shes too damn polite to say so... for a while.

Eventually, Rosa does politely tell Janna to fuck off, its a really reserved growl/snap as Janna again barges and shoves her about.

Janna however, reacts really badly, she turns and REALLY goes for Rosa, throwing a paw over her shoulder as she bites at her neck and throat, she keeps going for her and has to be pulled off by Cesar, who then scruffs her, and then pins her down.

Whilst Cesar then discusses what happens the camera shows us, slightly out of focus, Janna STILL bugging Rosa and Rosa very clearly looking away, moving away, turning her head away, yawning and lip licking. Rosa wants NO conflict, Janna either does not understand, or does not care and really WANTS a reaction.

Cesar however decides that actually this is not aggression (WHAT?) this is actually a dominance ritual.

We cut to another round of flank biting, but notably now the jab to the side doesn't work on its own and Cesar has to give her a good jerk with the slip leash as well before she will stop. I'd put money on her learning to redirect if this carries on.

Fairly predictably, Craig and Evita are chucked out at this stage as Noah and Janna are clearly going to be a horribly bad idea together - so much so that even Cesar hasn't suggested introducing them. (Oh.. and I thought Cesar could cure everything, he never has failures you know... mm!)

Final challenges -

Wendy and Brian and Rosa.

Cesar has Janna on a short slip, whilst in the back of the big paddock several dogs are doing the agility jumps.
Janna is twirling and jumping and squealing and really, not under control and Cesar has to kick her a few times.
He tells us that she is excited and she wants to do agility and this is why she is behaving this way, that she is not interested in the other dogs.

Personally, I'd disagree, its a bit telling the way her eyes and face track the other dogs as they  move!

Cesar blathers on about Janna needing a job and thus Wendy and Brian must be prepared for that... ok so far.. and then he insists they make Rosa do it.

Now Rosa is a heavy set 10 year old shepherd mix, shes really well trained and she can do some of the lower level stuff but Wendy  particularly is really NOT keen to force Rosa to do some of this stuff because shes got some old injuries and its risky, and potentially painful for her.

Cesar is really unhappy about this and bullies them into making Rosa do a dog walk - so he makes them FORCE a clearly scared Rosa up the dog walk (she wimpers at one point) a couple of times and declare her really happy about it (pinned back ears, heavy panting, tense, curled up body all suggest otherwise).

Next they take Janna, on lead, around the jumps - shes on the thin slip lead and at almost every jump she gets a good jerk in the neck. You can see Janna getting less and less keen on jumping because of this.

Throughout this, Rosa and Janna ignore one another completely.

Gill, Sven and Kylian have their final challenge now.

Janna is back in the prong collar, again no mention is made.

Bit more flank biting which Cesar stops with the prong collar and then we gloss over that and cut to Cesar jumping her on the prong collar.

Then Gill takes her round and again, lots and lots of accidental jabs on that prong collar, each time she jumps, as she lands she gets a good hard jerk to the neck and shes becoming more and more reluctant to jump, and more and more confused as to whats expected of her as there is no encouragement, and no reward at all.

Sven has a go and he drags her over a couple of fences then Cesar decides Janna should jump on a big table, so Sven runs her at it, but because he is not encouraging her to look up, she just runs under the table and around Sven.

She looks really confused and scared now, shes got NO idea what they want from her and almost every attempt at anything just results in a correction from that collar.

Cesar makes little Kylian stand on the table and call her and between them, they practically haul her up by the neck a couple of times.

Theres a brief discussion with the rescue rep, but Cesar mainly talks over her, or her real responses are cut as its very disjointed, he asks questions but doesn't wait for the answers etc.

Final decision, Sven Gill and Kylian win.

Six weeks later, Janna is spayed. There is no mention of the self harming behaviour that was supposedly SO serious, and clearly no evidence of it on Janna's body.

There is no prong collar in sight, there MAY be a spray or e-collar unit on in some shots but I really can't be sure at all and I'm erring towards it just being a bulky clip on her nylon collar.

Sadly she is now being walked on the type of anti-pull harness that has thin cords running under the armpits - these do cause pain, and also muscle damage :( .

So to conclude - Cesar has done nothing to sort out Janna, except have her spayed which the rescue should have done anyway, and Cesar certainly should have done BEFORE assessing and introducing to potential rehomers.
She is strong, and high energy, and pulls on the lead, which he addressed using the slip and the prong collar, and the new owners address using an anti-pull harness.
Yes, she now has a home, but I am not 100% convinced she will stay in it if the family really do use Cesars methods long term.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Leader of the Pack episode review - Amigo the Greyhound

Hey hey everybody - and a special hi to my secret stalkers who I met on Monday at dog-club, you know who you are! :)

So this weeks Tssssst Fest features the delightfully stripey Amigo, a brindle 'greyhound' (I think galgo actually, hes a lot finer and pointier than a typical UK racing greyhound).

Apparently, Amigo's problem is that he is SUPER dog aggressive, according to the representative of Animal In Need, hes an 8 or a 9 and we do get a voice over early on about 'Red Zone'.. yay, the amazing Red Zone...

The opening scenes do indeed show Amigo lunging and twirling on the lead and apparently, he has bitten an 8 week old puppy and wouldn't let go, and he's redirected onto someones leg in the past as well, these may have been the same incident.

So, hes super dog aggressive and really dangerous and 'red zone' - oh but he lives with another greyhound.

He was adopted from Spain to somewhere else (I missed that) and the lady who took him on hadn't actually met him or his greyhound friend before taking him on.... she returned him to Animal In Need in Spain for this aggression.

Once he arrives at Cesars Dog Torture erm I mean Psychology Centre in Spain, note here he is wearing a martingale style hound collar and a harness - this is the last time he is wearing something safe and comfortable.

Without any muzzle on him, Cesar almost immediately has an assistant walk a strange dog head on at Amigo - they let the dogs get dangerously close and Amigo could have bitten the other dog - he is lunging and twirling and really frustrated and really wants to get to that dog...

Cesar does the old routine, tsst, kick, jab, prod - each time he jabs in the side, Amigo yelps and looks round at Cesar, I can see how Amigo could very quickly redirect if this carries on, unless of course Cesar does something even more scary. We won't see that though of course.

By now Amigo is clearly quite wary of Cesar, as Cesar is punishing any and all attempts to look at the other dog or approach it.

Now Cesar introduces him to the pack and here its damn obvious, Cesar already knows that this dog is NOT dog aggressive - the pack is large, but its mainly sighthounds and fairly solid medium sized dogs, there are at least 8 dogs in there.

Cesar walks Amigo in on the lead and stands near the door whilst all the dogs crowd him - Amigo stands there looking a bit trapped but theres no reaction and soon his tail is wagging in a fairly relaxed way despite the fact he is also tense and panting a bit.

Cesar lets him off the harness but dangerously, leaves the martingale collar on which has an extra long leather loop hanging off it - I am cringing in horror as I have an image of one of those delicate sighthound paws getting stuck in that loop, either Amigos or one of the other three sighthounds in the pen!
At the end of this scene, Cesar just walks away from Amigo, leaving him in the pen full of dogs - suggesting that actually at this point, Amigo already knows these dogs, or, Cesar knows damn well that Amigo is not dog aggressive and nothing is going to kick off. Otherwise this is a damn stupid risk to take!

It is blatantly obvious at this point if it wasn't before - this is not a dog aggressive dog. He lives with a dog, he has shown no fear of other dogs, he is frustrated and he wants to play and he has not learned how to greet appropriately.

In addition he has quite possibly made a mistake in the past (predatory drift anyone?) with a puppy, mistaking it for prey - this CAN happen, and particularly with male dogs who are often utterly horrified and confused by tiny puppies. Of course, we only have the previous owners word for it that he attacked and wouldn't let go, he might have just nipped a pushy puppy and scared the owner - we will never know.

We meet the candidates:

Anya and her two daughters and their dog Herbie, a GSD.

Sevillio - single guy, I didn't catch where from but hes a chilled out kind guy, very quiet and relaxed.

Dagmar and Daniele - again I missed where from. Shes had dogs before, hes a cat person.

First Challenge - meet Amigo.

Anya and family go first and they have their GSD boy Herbie. They admit that Herbie has some issues, pulls on lead, growls if they pet other dogs.

The screen caption tells us: "Dogs that are overly possessive often show dominance as well"

Mm, that was a useful piece of B.S. In fact, dogs that are very possessive are usually insecure and anxious and fear losing their valued resources - a dominant animal is confident and has no such insecurities. If of course, dominance wrt people, existed. It does not.

They describe Herbie as being their pack leader and he's also pulled so hard he's broken Mum Anya's wrist in the past.

I don't need to tell you.... they won't win.

They take Herbie to meet Amigo, first through the bars of the pen and then straight in. Amigo sniffs Herbie and walks away. Once in the pen, they let Herbie off the leash (again, there's no muzzles here and we are told both dogs are dog aggressive...) Herbie barges over and sniffs Amigo's boy bits - Amigo does nothing, sniffs back and the two dogs part totally disinterested.

Oddly, Herbie is wearing a weird bandanna - its not a folded triangle like I am used to seeing, its a flat, wide band, in addition to his normal collar and I am wondering if its hiding either a prong collar or a shock unit. I don't know, it could be for decoration, I really have no idea but it looks odd in addition to his collar, and his flea collar..

Next, Sevillio meets Amigo.

Hes calm and quiet and Amigo seems to like him - Sev puts the lead on him ok (calls him over to put it on rather than approaching him) and they go for a walk.

Here Cesar talks a load of stuff about how Sev is allowing Amigo to walk in front and how thats no good, he must lead, and Cesar demonstrates by taking Amigo on a very short leash and holding him practically behind his back. Interesting to note, Amigo is nice and relaxed with Sevillio, and not so with Cesar.

Finally, Dagmar and Daniele meet Amigo.

They go in the pen and almost immediately fuck up because whilst dithering in the doorway asking Cesar if they can let Amigo out, he slips out (very slowly, there's no barging around).
Cesar tells them off for this and Amigo goes back in his pen, they are told to choose a leash and so they choose..... oh you guessed it, the thin black slip leash. Nice.... on a thin sighthound neck, cringe cringe!

Now they practice going in and out of the gate and Dagmar is better at hoiking the slip leash up under Amigos ears, she is more assertive than Daniele.

For some reason in this test, unlike the other two candidates, Cesar allows his pack to dash into the big paddock and run right up to Amigo... Amigo doesn't bat an eyelid, but then, he's been living with this pack for we don't know how long, and hes been getting corrections and kicks from Cesar for we don't know how long. As we saw when Cesar just walked off and left him in the pen with the pack though, we already know Cesar knows he isn't dog aggressive.

Anya and family and Herbie are out on the grounds that they can't actually control Herbie now.

Final Challenge: Rabbits and Dogs in Public...

Sevillio is first up, and Cesar has a pen with some white rabbits in it to see how Sevillio copes with Amigo's prey drive.

With Amigo on the slip leash, ears up seeing the rabbits, Sev walks him past and just avoids them, in fact if its not obvious that Sev is avoiding and not punishing, we get a screen caption that tells us:

"To address Amigo's excitement, Sevillio chooses avoidance over physical correction with the leash".

Amigo is mainly ignoring Sev at this point and pulling at the rabbits but he is pretty calm. Cesar tells him off though because hes not taught Amigo to ignore rabbits (hes also not wound Amigo up into a leaping lunging frenzy either but hey, you know...)

Next they go into town and Amigo has various dogs walked at him head on - he looks at a few, the slip leash is now up under his ears and its choking him, we actually get a close up of him yarking and Cesar comments on it, because its Sev's fault for not correcting him apparently (nothing to do with the cheese wire slip leash that will NOT loosen, nono).

Dagmar and Daniele face the same challenge. Daniele is confident, but he gives no corrections and again this is wrongity wrong - Dagmar does it and shes not correcting properly, her timing is out and Amigo isn't really paying attention.

We get a nice screen caption here too: " A correction with the leash could refocus Amigo's attention and lower his excitement".

Oh what I'd give for there to be a screen cap that says 'A correction with the leash could damage Amigo's trachea and vertebrae, cause him to redirect aggressively onto his handler and cause fearful associations with the trigger for the correction, ie, the other dog."

Not going to happen is it!

Cesar inevitably has to demonstrate how this should be done and he takes Amigo and he gives him a quick TSST and a kick in the flank. The second click of the fingers and TSST has Amigo sitting, ears back and looking as tragic as only a fucking worried Greyhound can, he slides into a down and Cesar throws the lead at him, and steps away..

Given that only minutes ago, Amigo wanted to get himself a nice fluffy bunny tea, I can only conclude that Amigo has some damn fine reasons to shut down in the presence of Millan and fluffy bunnies. The reaction to the flank kick and the TSSST and the click are evidently conditioned, his face is so worried and he can't even remember the bunnies exist he is so focused on Cesar and what he might do next with his nasty little kicky feet and jabby fingers and collar corrections....

They go out in public, same deal, TSST yank, kick etc.

Dagmar and Daniele win, because apparently lovely calm Sevillio is not a pack leader, because he wouldn't give corrections.

Now, we get the 5 week catch up - yay, theres lovely Amigo lazing on the sofa. Nice.

But what about this dog aggression problem, which of course is really a frustration/lack of greeting manners and self control problem - surely Cesar has fixed this.....

No. Because Dagmar and Daniele are actually walking Amigo on a fucking prong collar.

Yes, you read that right - that fine skinned, long, skinny necked sighthound, who is known to lunge into his collar, who was walked on a hound collar and harness for saftey - is wearing a prong collar.

Fabtastic marvelous splendid job there Cesar - how long before these people rehome Amigo because hes become worse on the prong collar or redirected onto them? Who knows.

In the end shots I think I can see some sore spots on the underside of Amigos neck, but they could just as easily be spots on his coat, I really don't know but I did notice them.

All in all, another sucky show - I wish Sevillio had won, he was kind and calm.