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 this show sometimes features aggressive dogs who bite or attempt to attack other dogs. Also, although some of the show's methods for dealing with troubled dogs may look easy, they shouldn't be attempted by untrained people, especially kids. Warnings appear on the screen to discourage regular folks from trying some of the expert's approaches, but parents may want to reinforce that message to younger viewers.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Cesar Millan runs the Dog Psychology Center in Los Angeles, where he rehabilitates troubled and dangerous canines. Millan travels to dog owners' homes to find solutions to their various doggie dilemmas. After listening to the owners describe their dog's issues, Millan is able to pinpoint the problem and almost instantly make some impressive changes in the dog's behavior. His philosophy is based on the idea that a dog's behavior problem is really a problem with its owner's behavior.
Is it any good?
The Dog Whisperer is a pleasure to watch for the whole family, and dog owners especially will find helpful information in the series. Millan is charming and highly skilled with both dogs and people, which explains the media's fascination with him. Since his methods are really very simple, and dogs' problems not terribly varied, the show's content can eventually start to feel a little repetitive. But Millan tries to mix it up, and some episodes step outside the framework, as when Millan visits a women's prison and teaches the inmates how to train dogs using his methods.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about pets. Would any of the methods described work for their dogs? What about for other pets? What kinds of changes would your family need to make to change your dog's iffy behaviors? Why do families think Millan is so successful with animals? How can his methods for dealing with dogs translate into dealing with people?
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