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Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition is a family-friendly series in much the same vein as the celebrated dog trainer's first show, The Dog Whisperer. Each episode moves quickly through two families' issues with dogs' difficult behavior, which tends to oversimplify the matters themselves but still offers plenty of intriguing insight on both the problems and the solutions. You will see some potentially threatening behavior such as dogs nipping, growling, and jumping at people, which makes the animals' turnaround under Millan's care all the more impressive. There's always something to learn from the host's impressive gift -- particularly if you have a dog -- but be sure to remind kids that training and behavioral rehabilitation isn't something they should tackle without adult supervision.
What's the story?
In DOG WHISPERER WITH CESAR MILLAN: FAMILY EDITION, training expert Cesar Millan works with families to rehabilitate problematic family pets. Each episode features the stories of two families whose dogs' behavior makes peaceful coexistence a challenge. After observing the animals' tendencies and explaining the psychology behind it, Millan shows the family members some simple techniques they can use to encourage positive behavior and discourage the negative.
Is it any good?
Much like in his original TV endeavor, Millan's intent here is to facilitate strong relationships between people and their pets by way of proven training processes that keep all parties safe and happy. His magnetic personality quickly wins over the people he works with, and his obvious mastery of his trade works wonders with the canines involved. It truly is remarkable what he's able to achieve in short amounts of time (often the elapsed time is shown in a corner on the screen) with previously problematic dogs.
Because he works with animals of all different breeds, sizes, and unique troubles, it's hard to predict what you'll see in any given episode. For most viewers, this isn't a problem, but if your little ones are sensitive to aggressive animal behavior, they might fret over seeing the "before" video clips. That aside, this is a family-friendly series centered on a self-made, successful professional whose work makes a real difference in the lives of people and animals, all of which are great reasons to tune in.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Millan's tactics. How does his knowledge of animal behavior help him decide what tactics will work? Are punishments or physical dominance part of his methods? What does "positive reinforcement" mean?
How are the families' lives transformed by Millan's involvement with their pets? What satisfaction do you think he gets from the work he does? Is it important to love the job you do?
Do you think any of Millan's techniques would work with your family's pet? Are other animals as conducive to training as dogs are? Why is responsible pet care important to their health and to yours? How frequently do you learn something from the TV shows you watch?
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