Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition

Ages: 13 - 16Producer: Litton Entertainment

p>The series features host Cesar Millan as he helps families treat their canine’s behavioral problems. Aggression, anxiety, herd dogs who take their jobs too seriously, puppies who resist being house-broken, rescue dogs overcoming trauma. Millan is a self-taught dog trainer and bills himself as a canine-behaviorist. With a string of television series, books, public speaking events, and social media posts, he is commonly referred to as the “dog whisperer.” Here, Millan visits people with troubled pets and, with his insights and understanding of dogs, pinpoints the source of the problem and suggests a course of training and treatment. The stories document the dogs’ transformations, as well as provide tips to help people achieve balanced relationships with their canine companions. In fact, in the program’s title sequence, Millan’s voice is heard saying, “I rehabilitate dogs. I train people.”

In one episode, a dog has a fear of hot air balloons, and another gobbles up any food it can find around the house. In another episode, Millan visits a salon stylist whose French bulldog suddenly became over-aggressive with salon customers and other animals. Millan uses leashes, exercise, and sound triggers to redirect the dog’s aggressive energy. In yet another episode, a rescue dog is riddled with anxieties and spends most of her time cowering behind the couch. These sequences are well-produced, with capable camera work and polished, but not overly obtrusive, editing. Millan comes off as confident and reassuring. “Factoids” about dogs frequently pop up on the screen, although the sources for the information are not noted; and additional graphics caution pet owners not to use any of the methods demonstrated without first consulting a professional.

The dog owners featured in the episodes are earnest and seem to genuinely want what’s best for their pets, and all episodes, not surprisingly, end with scenes of better-behaved dogs and happier humans. Viewers may need to watch a couple of episodes of this series to decide for themselves if Millan and his methods are for them.

Gina Catanzarite ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster’s Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.