by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

I am not a dog trainer, but I live with one and therefore know a good number of them. Since you mentioned Cesar Millan, I would like to mention that he is basically reviled in the animal behavior community.  His training methods are almost completely aversive and punishment based.  Scientific research has shown positive training techniques to be more effective and have fewer side effects.  Clicker training looks like the marine animal training you would see at Sea World.

The trainers I know do consider Cesar more skilled in his techniques than the other punishment trainers on TV.  But most of what he says is hokum.  For example, dominance as popularly understood is a myth. Some good criticisms of his technique can be found here, here, and here.  And this article on Ian Dunbar's lure-reward training covers some of the issues with Millan.

Cesar Milan is frustrating in his own right, but also seems part of a larger phenomenon where good science gets lost to good TV.

He did manage to tame Cartman.

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