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The Dog Whisperer comes to Canada

We’ve all seen those dog owners that treat their pets like a child: the dog is so spoiled it eats, dresses and smells better than its owner; its ill-behaved and usually barks and snaps at anyone (or thing) that gets too close; and worst of all, the owner finds all of this behaviour adorable. Cesar Millan, dog behaviour guru and star of the National Geographic Channel’s The Dog Whisperer, says this needs to stop. Last week, he brought this message to the Red Robinson Show Theatre.

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Cesar Millan dances, sings, barks, and trains dogs

by Sonja Szlovicsak (Outgoing Editor-in-Chief)
Email: cascade.chief@ufv.ca

We’ve all seen those dog owners that treat their pets like a child: the dog is so spoiled it eats, dresses and smells better than its owner; its ill-behaved and usually barks and snaps at anyone (or thing) that gets too close; and worst of all, the owner finds all of this behaviour adorable. Cesar Millan, dog behaviour guru and star of the National Geographic Channel’s The Dog Whisperer, says this needs to stop. Last week, he brought this message to the Red Robinson Show Theatre.

Millan has been touring across Canada, bringing his doggie know-how to Canadians. Shockingly, Millan’s shows have been selling out, despite high ticket prices and multiple shows in each city. He’s just that good.

As soon as the show began, Millan started cracking jokes. While there were the obvious dog jokes, and a cat impression, there were plenty of jokes at Millan’s own expense. The show began with him explaining that he jumped the border from Mexico to the United States. “It’s very common where I come from,” he joked.

Millan spent most of the show trying to show just how ridiculous people get around dogs. A camera was setup on stage so the audience could get a “dog’s view” of people. Millan would pretend the camera was a dog, and would start shouting at it, or running up to it saying “Awww, can I pet your dog?” After about ten minutes of this, you can’t help but squirm with embarrassment at how ridiculous we all act around dogs. Whether we’re talking to a dog in a high pitched voice, are overly excited to see a dog, or walking up and sticking our hands out for a dog to smell, we look like idiots. “Who invented this?” Millan mused as he stuck his hand out for the “dog” to smell. “Dogs can smell you from way over there… Search and Rescue dogs don’t need you to hold your hand out so they can find you.”

Between the jokes and animal impressions, Millan kept emphasizing that dog lovers love all dogs, and not just the friendly breeds. This was obviously in response to breed bans that have been taking place in Canada. Pit bulls have been banned in Ontario, and tend to get bad attention in the media. Millan used to have a pit bull named Daddy that would work with him. Daddy passed away earlier this year.

By far the best part of the show was when Millan tried to work with “problem” dogs on stage. Unfortunately, as soon as the dogs got near the Dog Whisperer, all their behavioural problems evaporated. The only dog that wasn’t behaving was a puppy that barked every time the audience laughed. While this was obviously frustrating for Millan, it just goes to show that he really does have a gift with dogs – it’s not just TV magic.

Speaking of TV magic, during the intermission, the audience was treated to the South Park episode “Tsst.” Cesar Millan travels to South Park to train Eric Cartman with his signature Dog Whisperer technique. There aren’t too many celebrities that would show their fans spoof videos of their work – but then again, not too many celebrities have Millan’s dedicated fans.

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