Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cesar Millan's advice for dog owners in flats

Cesar Millan bringing Mango, the rehabilitated dog, for his first swim in seven years. (Yahoo! photo)
The "Dog Whisperer" has worked his magic once again.
This time, Cesar Millan, famed dog behavioural expert, successfully coaxed an aggressive dog into taking its first walk and bath in seven years.
The star of the popular TV show "Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan" visited Animal Lovers League (ALL) shelter in Pasir Ris on Monday, where he did a quick workshop and live demonstration to teach volunteers how to handle common behavioural problems in dogs.
That was when he was alerted to the case of Mango, a nine-year-old dog, which had been too frightened to leave its kennel since it was left at the doorstep of ALL seven years ago.
Volunteers recounted how when they tried to take it for a walk or shower, Mango would react aggressively, threatening to bite anyone who got too close. Eventually, the volunteers backed off completely, not wanting to agitate him further.
"Mango learnt that if he puts up a fight and he shows the most vicious face, people will stop. So he learnt how to control people. But people need to learn that before they see peace, they're going to see this kind of behaviour. That's what I taught the volunteers — that all this is ok," Millan explained.
He then continued to say that Mango's problem also stemmed from his refusal to be leashed. To help Mango get used to a leash, Millan patiently presented him with a leash, putting it close to him and allowing the dog to feel it. When Mango finally calmed down, Millan put on the leash and led Mango out of the kennel, to the amazement of the volunteers.
"To me, it's an honour to take the dog out and show Singapore to Mango in one day," said an excited Millan. "A Mexican guy showing a Singaporean dog what Singapore looks like, and in rollerblades too!"
Christine Bernadette, volunteer coordinator at ALL, expressed how happy she felt for Mango, saying that he "looked so happy" touching grass and getting wet for the first time.
Millan who emphasises the importance of "exercise, discipline and affection", also advised dog owners who live in apartments to walk their dogs more since the space constraints prevents them from getting sufficient exercise.
Catch "Dog Whisperer" every Wednesday, 10pm on National Geographic Channel.