The Dog Whisperer

Common Sense Media says

Doggie therapy that's fun for the whole family.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The importance of responsible dog ownership practices is emphasized here.

Positive role models

Cesar Millan’s methods are respectful of both dogs and humans.

Violence & scariness

Some aggressive doggie behavior -- biting, loud barking, etc. Nothing too scary.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

Millan drives a bright red Jeep to visit clients. Sometimes he introduces branded technology into his training.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Cast:Cesar Millan
Networks:NatGeoWild, National Geographic Channel
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Science and nature
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD

This review of The Dog Whisperer was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byerin32 December 19, 2008


Ceaser is amazing! The idiots from doggie daycare should have him come in and sort them out. If every dog owner in the world had just a portion of the talent the dog whisperer does then the canine/human relationship would be a very successful one indeed! I recommend this show to absolutely everyone
Teen, 14 years old Written byChaos7 January 29, 2011
I have to agree with zinfandog, another use who reviewed this show.. Ceasar is constantly hurting the dogs. While it isn't noticeable at first, he does hit, kick, and use shock collars in his training methods. Like I said, you may not see it onscreen, but many people who have studied his methods say that he does indeed abuse the dogs. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byzinfandog April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

The Snake Oil Salesman of Dog Training

"I've never seen Cesar hurt a dog" is a common response by his fans, however he has hit, kicked, and strung dogs by their collars. He has used shock collars he has forced dogs to endure significant fear and stress. To the average television viewer, they are too hypnotized by the accent and dramatic music, not to mention the man explaining that what he is doing is not hurting the dog (while he hits the dog again). Rene Descartes assured his audiences that animals did not feel pain while he dissected live and conscious dogs and cats. Wake up people. This is not training. It's not even dog "psychology". It's old-school jerk the dog methods that resulted in the euthanasia of too many dogs.


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