Tuesday, 25 June 2013

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).

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