‘Dog Whisperer’ is a show that’s gripped many of us over the years. However, it seems the untold truth of the series and the man behind it all – Cesar Millan – goes to show there is a lot more to training dogs than meets the eye.
Plenty of people have climbed their way to fame for all kinds of reasons. However, Cesar Millan had something different to his name: he is now one of the most famous dog trainers of all time. That doesn’t mean that things have always been easy for the star. He first rose to fame in ‘Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan,’ where the star of the show showcased his talents for turning even the most problematic dogs into a family’s best friend. It seemed Cesar had an answer for just about every issue we face with our four-legged friends, but that doesn’t mean everyone is impressed with how he gets results.
The documentary series first hit our screens in September 2004 and ran for nine seasons before it came to an end in 2012. In that time, Cesar Millan found himself the talk of the town as several people spoke out against how he trains dogs, with some even going as far as to accuse the trainer of animal abuse. It was a bold statement to make, but one that thousands of people have made throughout the years. It appears there is a lot more to Cesar Millan than the man we see on our screens.
Cesar Millan was accused of animal abuse in Cesar 911
Cesar Millan is the face of several TV shows, training books, and DVDs for dog owners. The documentary reality series ‘Cesar 911’ is one of the many on the list as it saw the dog trainer rush to people’s aid to try and help train their four-legged friend before it was too late. Sadly, it was an episode of the show that saw Cesar get accused of animal abuse.
In fact, things quickly escalated to the point the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control was called in to investigate the claims as they believed a pig had been put in harm’s way during one of Cesar’s training sessions. Being a part of the show meant there was plenty of footage of the entire event.
National Geographic Channel defended Cesar Millan’s actions in the episode
The video in question featured Cesar Milan working with a French bulldog-terrier mix called Simon, who was causing his family issues by attacking the animals on the farm, including the pot-bellied pigs. It appeared that Cesar thought it would be a good idea to introduce the two, perhaps to assess the severity of the situation?
Whatever the case, the National Geographic Channel released a teaser clip of the episode that seemed to show someone holding one of the pig’s rear legs in the air while Simon runs in. Many fans couldn’t believe it when Simon nipped the pig’s ear, especially as Cesar was supposed to be there to heal the situation – not make it worse. The National Geographic Channel was quick to defend everything.
Many people immediately called for Cesar Millan’s show to be canceled
It might be no surprise that several people called for Cesar Millan’s show ‘Cesar 911’ to be pulled from the air. Many couldn’t believe what they were seeing, let alone the aftermath of it all with the investigation from Animal Care and Control. Complaints started to roll in as soon as the episode hit the air, and they didn’t end there.
Someone working on the case even confessed that they were looking into Cesar’s Dog Psychology Center in Santa Clarita as they needed to cover every angle to ensure there was no animal abuse taking place behind closed doors. At the time, the officers could have applied for a search warrant, but it seems things never went that far in the investigation.
National Geographic Channel claims all the animals were safe
Just because several fans complained about the episode didn’t mean that Cesar Millan had to worry about his time on the National Geographic Channel. It seemed the network had the trainer’s back as a spokesperson confessed the footage didn’t show “the full context of the encounter.” That was just the beginning. They continued to add that Cesar uses a “safe and controlled environment” at his training center.
The network believed that Simon was no exception and said that Cesar allegedly “took precautions,” including keeping Simon on a long leash to assess his behavior before releasing the dog to interact with the pig. The National Geographic Channel even stated the pig was “tended to immediately” and healed quickly with “no lasting signs of distress.”
Several dog owners have called Cesar’s training methods outdated
It didn’t take long for people to start talking about ‘Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan,’ especially as many disagreed with the way the star of the show trained dogs. The most common theory used in Cesar’s show is asserting dominance over a dog and treating them as a part of the pack instead of a member of the family.
Although the idea makes sense to a lot of people on paper, not everyone is convinced by the statement. In fact, just two years after ‘Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan’ hit the air, the network was plagued by complaints about how the trainer treated several animals on the show. Some even went as far as to say the training methods were outdated.
Others feel that Cesar Millan uses cruel methods to train dogs
It’s one thing to complain about the way that Cesar Millan trains the dogs; it’s another to accuse the trainer of being cruel. Sadly, that has been the case for the trainer throughout the years, as several dog owners and associations have used that label to describe several methods used by the star. A common approach uses a jabbing motion to stop a dog’s behavior.
While several people have spoken out against this practice, Cesar says that he uses “minimum force” while dealing with any dog and that “my way is not the only way.” In short, it seems Cesar is trying to tell others they can use different training methods, but could that mean he doesn’t have faith in his own teachings?
A dog expert has accused Cesar of doing nothing but making good TV
Mark Derr is one of the many people who have spoken out against Cesar Millan and his training methods. The dog excerpt wrote a piece called ‘Pack of Lies’ for the New York Times in 2006, where he spoke about the supposed “outdated” and “laughable” teachings shown on ‘Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan.’
He even went as far as to say that most professionals would speak out against Cesar if they had the cache and that he was merely doing certain things to “make for good television.” All of this was finished by stating professional animal behaviorists have “learned about normal and abnormal behaviors in dogs,” something Mark believes Cesar didn’t show in any episodes of his series or training manuals.
The American Humane Association shared its views on Cesar’s training methods
Things took another turn for Cesar Millan when the American Humane Association got involved with the accusations of animal abuse. In 2006, they apparently sent a letter to the National Geographic Channel outlining their concerns about it all. Here, the AHA called Cesar’s methods “cruel” and “inhuman” and even went as far as to call for ‘Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan’ to get the chop.
They weren’t alone. The Animal Behavior Clinic found in Massachusetts also sent their own letter to the network as they claimed that Cesar’s methods “set training back 20 years.” It seemed that several associations had plenty to say about it all – and none of it was praising the work that Cesar Millan had been doing in the last few years.
The National Geographic Channel had to add a warning to Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan
The National Geographic Channel faced a lot of backlash thanks to ‘Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan,’ and it seemed that it didn’t take long for the network to come up with what it thought was the perfect solution. All it needed to do was add a warning at the beginning of each episode that stated no one should try Cesar’s training techniques “without consulting a professional.”
While it looked like the answer to the problem, all it did was stir the pot even more as people began to wonder how much faith the network had in the star of the show. In fact, people began to argue that Cesar’s methods weren’t worthwhile or safe if dog owners needed to reach out for extra advice.
A producer from Dog Whisperer took Cesar Millan to court in 2006
It appeared as though 2006 was a troubling year for Cesar Millan as things went from bad to worse. It all started with several letters from various associations calling for ‘Dog Whisperer’ to be canceled before the public began to share their own opinions on it all. However, the situation escalated later that year as a producer, Flody Suarez, working on the show, took Cesar to court.
They claimed that his dog, Gator, had been left struggling to breathe, covered in bruises, and was left bleeding after using a collar and was overworked at Cesar’s Dog Psychology Center. Flody stated that he had forked out over $25,000 on various medical bills for Gator and was looking for compensation. The case was settled the following year.
He was in court the same week thanks to his former publicist
Who would have thought that Cesar Millan would become such a regular in court? Not only that but the dog trainer was taken to court within eight days, thanks to two separate cases. As well as having to defend himself against accusations made by his producer, Cesar was also battling his former publicist in a brand new case.
Makeda Smith and her partner Foster Corder stated they were the ones that came up with the name ‘Dog Whisperer’ during a conversation with Cesar. However, they were less than impressed when they saw the show, and they were given no recognition for the name. In the end, Makeda and Foster took the National Geographic Channel to court as they tried to sue for $5 million in damages.
A nurse claimed that she was attacked by a dog trained by Cesar Millan
It appeared that things quietened down for Cesar Millan over the years. That was until 2015. Cesar had been working at his Dog Psychology Center for many years and seen plenty of four-legged patients come and go in that time. Sadly, it seemed one of the dogs that Cesar had trained might not have been ready to leave as Gus allegedly attacked a nurse six days after his training program.
The center claims that Gus’ owner removed the dog against their concerns and said they would never knowingly or willingly release a dangerous dog into the world. However, the owner supposedly fell behind on payments, leading to the attack on the nurse who allegedly suffered “deep muscle and tendon lacerations” and “disfiguring open wounds.”
It’s said that Cesar Millan might not treat his staff the best
Of all the things that have emerged about Cesar Millan in the last few years, it seems everything to do with his dog training and show are always at the top of the list. Things took a turn once again in 2014 when Adriana Barns, an employee at the Dog Psychology Center, filed a complaint about the working conditions within the premises.
TMZ reports that Adriana was forced to work long shifts without taking a break, was “trampled by a llama,” and “was bitten 5-6 times by dogs.” That was just the beginning, as Adriana continued to add that she was supposedly fired on the spot when she tried to open up about her feelings to Cesar. No one ever discovered the truth.
Cesar Millan believes he always had a natural talent for working with dogs
It’s no secret that some people can be pretty cruel. Unfortunately, it seems that was the case for Cesar Millan during his childhood. He grew up in northwestern Mexico on his grandfather’s farm, where Cesar claims that he quickly learned how to work with a host of different animals. However, there was something about his relationship with dogs.
Cesar states that he had a “natural way with dogs” from a young age and would often find himself getting followed by other pets and strays in the area. It might be no surprise that the other kids in town started to notice. Sadly, this led to Cesar getting teased and bullied by the others as they called him “El Perrero,” which loosely translates to the “Dirty Dog Boy.”
He decided to become the best dog trainer on the planet as a teenager
Although he was constantly teased by everyone else in town, it seemed that nothing would bring Cesar Millan down as the youngster continued to work with dogs in the area. It appeared they were drawn to Cesar, even though he had never given them a reason to be by his side throughout the day.
Thankfully, the youngster decided to ignore all the bullying and focus on his unique relationship with dogs. It’s said that Cesar was highly inspired by the likes of ‘The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin’ and ‘Lassie’ as he set his sights on Hollywood. At just 13 years old, Cesar already knew that he wanted to be the best dog trainer on the planet – and earn a ticket out of Mexico.
The trainer once had dreams of becoming a dealer in illegal substances
One thing that many people don’t know is that Cesar Millan didn’t always plan on becoming a dog trainer. Sure, he knew what he wanted to do at 13 years old, but that wasn’t always his first choice. It turns out that Cesar always wanted to be a vet. However, he knew that his family lived in poverty, and there was no way he would ever be able to pay for the degree.
Instead of letting this keep him down, it’s said that Cesar decided to dream about becoming a narcotics dealer as he thought they were “role models” in town. He might have been ten years old at the time, but Cesar believed it was the best way to help his family get back on their feet.
Cesar Millan wanted to move to the US when he was 21 years old
Cesar Millan was just 21 years old on December 23, 1991, when he told his mother about his grand dreams to head to the US. He wanted to leave immediately, and his mom quickly realized there was no way that she could talk Cesar out of his ultimate goal. It’s said that Cesar’s parents wanted to help their son in any way they could, even if it meant funding the entire trip.
His father emptied all of his life savings of $100 and gave it to Cesar in the hopes the youngster could make his dreams come true. Cesar packed up everything he could carry and headed to a Tijuana bus station, where he instantly began to look for ways to make it across the border.
He eventually paid his way into the States – illegally
Just because he had some money to his name and dreams that filled his head didn’t mean things would be easy for Cesar Millan. He started to watch local coyotajes, professionals who have learned how to smuggle people into the US, and various other groups from a distance in the hopes of learning the ropes.
During this time, Cesar saw a group of people try to cross a flooded canal, only for several of them to get swept away to their passing. Cesar then spent two weeks walking the length of the fence until he spotted a fresh hole – and a man guarding it. The youngster learned he would have to pay his way through the hole, so handed over all $100 and finally crossed into the States.
Using all of his money meant that Cesar Millan was homeless to start
It might be no surprise that handing over every dime of his money meant that Cesar Millan was pretty stuck when he finally found himself in the US. The youngster had no friends, no money, and not much of a grip on English, meaning he struggled to find somewhere to live. To top it off, Cesar also had no idea how to get started in his new life.
To start, Cesar was forced to live on the streets of San Diego as he slept under a freeway. Here, he lived off convenience store hot dogs as two cost just 99 cents. This meant that to survive, all Cesar had to do was find $1 a day and hope that something would change.
Working with dogs gave Cesar Millan a chance to start a new life
Believe it or not, but the first English sentence Cesar picked up was “Do you have an application for work?” It might have been a tough start, but it was a road that Cesar was willing to take as he worked his way to the top. Thankfully, his determination paid off as the youngster eventually found part-time work at a local dog groomer.
It seemed the owners were impressed with how well Cesar could handle the larger, aggressive dogs they had always had to turn away and thought he would be the perfect fit. Cesar quickly moved to Inglewood and set about making his own dog walking service. It might have been illegal, but Cesar started to walk large groups of dogs off the leash without any issue.
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith helped fund Cesar’s turning point
He might have been walking dogs, but it seemed this was enough to introduce Cesar Millan to some of the most prominent names in Hollywood. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith were just two on the list. It appeared that people were in awe of how Cesar could control a large pack of dogs on his own without relying on leashes or other training aids.
It wasn’t long before Will and Jada were so impressed that they decided to fund a year of English lessons for their dog walker, giving him the chance to learn everything about the new language. This was a huge moment for Cesar as it opened several doors of opportunity – and was the start of an incredible friendship.
Cesar Millan quickly earned a reputation for himself and landed his show
It appeared that working as a dog walker was all Cesar Millan needed to start an impressive business for himself. In fact, people began to talk about the next best dog trainer in the area, meaning Cesar quickly had enough to fund his Dog Psychology Center in Los Angeles. His reputation as a dog whisperer was one thing; his ability to work with difficult dogs was another.
All the attention landed Cesar a profile in the 2002 edition of the L.A. Times and brought even more people to his door. It paved the way for ‘Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan’ as National Geographic Channel producers wanted to get an inside look into how the dog trainer used his magic.
Daddy the American pit bull used to live with rapper Redman
One of the most famous faces to come from ‘Dog Whisperer’ wasn’t actually Cesar Millan – it was his dog, Daddy. The American pit bull became a huge face for the breed as Cesar proved how it’s not the breed that can be dangerous: it’s how they are raised. As well as doing great things for pit bulls everywhere, Daddy helped showcase Cesar’s training methods.
While Daddy made a name for himself as an incredibly calm dog, not many people know that he used to have a different owner. That’s right; he belonged to rapper Redman until he was four months old. It’s said that Redman didn’t have time to care for his dog as he was constantly touring or recording and was recommended to Cesar through a friend.
Losing Daddy was the first in a string of devastating events
Daddy grew to become a huge part of Cesar Millan’s life and his show, ‘Dog Whisperer.’ Sadly, it seemed that things weren’t meant to last as Daddy was diagnosed with cancer and had to endure several rounds of chemotherapy to try and battle the illness. Although everyone seemed to do everything they could, the pit bull eventually lost his fight in 2010.
Amazingly, Daddy was 16 years old and was surrounded by his friends and carers as he lost his life. It might be no surprise that losing Daddy took a considerable toll on Cesar’s life as he lost his best friend and sidekick. As if that wasn’t enough, it seems that saying goodbye to his pet was the first of many bad things to come.
A divorce made Cesar Millan realize he was financially trapped
The second of many blows in Cesar’s life came just one month after losing Daddy as his wife, Ilusion, filed for a divorce. The pair had been married for 16 years, but that was just the start of another downward spiral, as the divorce meant that Cesar had to take a look at his finances. It was only then that the dog trainer realized things might not be so great.
Searching through his contract led Cesar to realize that he only owned the rights to the “t-shirts and touring” that came with ‘Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan.’ This meant that he had little to show for his fame, and Cesar described the realization as “the biggest shock in the world.”
All the pressure led Cesar Millan to try and take his own life
It appeared as though things couldn’t get worse for Cesar Millan as his entire life came crumbling down. He lost the dog he’d loved for the last 16 years, his wife he’d been married to for the same amount of time, and realized that he had little to show for the incredible career he built for himself in the last few years.
Eventually, Cesar felt as though he had nowhere left to turn. Tragically, this led the dog trainer to a dark place in his life, but Cesar didn’t open up about the emotions until two years later, in 2012. Here, Cesar confessed that he tried to take his own life after losing his “source of calmness” when Daddy passed away.
His sons found Cesar before it was too late
Sources claim that Cesar Millan had been suffering from depression for many weeks before trying to take his own life. Although the dog trainer believed he was doing the right thing at the time, he now looks back and realizes how lucky he is to still be here today – and he has his sons to thank for the second chance.
Apparently, they found Cesar unconscious in his home and rushed the trainer to the hospital, where he was given instant medical help. Cesar later recalled that he woke up in a ward full of people who all spoke about how much they loved his show. Thankfully, Cesar has since been praised for being so open about his feelings and the battle he experienced with his mental health.
The dog trainer used his training methods to bounce back
Cesar Millan has since been pretty open about his battle with depression and trying to take his own life, something that has earned him plenty of fans throughout the years. However, he had a unique method to get his life back on track. Cesar has spent many years perfecting his training methods and decided to apply them to his own life.
That’s right; Cesar admitted he didn’t want to use medication and instead built a rehabilitation schedule for himself. He used the idea of a pack life to come up with an exercise, discipline, and affection routine. It seems that Cesar was onto something as the dog trainer bounced back stronger than ever after several months of recovery and working on himself.
Jahira Dar helped Cesar Millan get his life back on track
Although his first marriage ended in a divorce, it seems that Cesar Milan has been able to rebuild the pieces of his love life ever since. He met and fell for Jahira Dar shortly after the news of his divorce and now praises Jahira as one of the main reasons he could get his life back on track. Jahira was even there to help Cesar through the cancellation of ‘Dog Whisperer.’
It seems the feeling is mutual as Cesar got down on one knee while the pair vacationed in Greece. They are yet to walk down the aisle. However, the dog trainer seems to be more than happy with his new sidekick as he wrote, “My pack is now complete!” when sharing the news on his website.
Junior has also helped Cesar Millan find purpose once again
Losing Daddy was one of the first things that led Cesar Millan down such a dark path in his life. Although the dog trainer will probably never forget his best friend of 16 years, he has found a way to deal with the grief – and he comes in the form of Junior. That’s right; Cesar now has a new four-legged friend in his life.
It turns out that Junior joined the family when Daddy was still here as he instantly became his apprentice as Cesar hoped Junior would one day step in to take Daddy’s role. The plan worked as Junior picked up everything he needed along the way and has continued to train ever since. Now, it seems the pair have a great relationship.
He has appeared in a host of Hollywood shows and movies
It turns out that Cesar Millan might be more of a pack leader than many of us realized, as the dog trainer has made a host of Hollywood cameos in the last few years. Yes, Cesar can do more than help get our four-legged friends under control and welcome them as a part of the family; he can act, too.
One of his most notable appearances came when Cesar appeared alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt in ‘Ghost Whisperer.’ Here, Cesar played himself as he helped the lead character guide her ghost dog across to the other side. The trainer has also played himself in two films, the 2008 family movie ‘Beethoven’s Big Break’ and the 2010 romantic comedy ‘The Back-Up Plan.’
Cesar Millan’s sons have both gone into the family dog training business
It’s pretty common for family members to join the family business and pick up the reins. It seems that Cesar’s sons are no exception. Although the trainer broke away from his family in Mexico and started a new life in the US, he has built an impressive empire for himself in that time. His eldest, Andre, is now 26 years old.
The pair have traveled the States as a part of Cesar’s show ‘Dog Nation’ that sees them search out the most inspirational dog-related stories. Cesar’s youngest, Calvin, is 20 and also has his own dog show, ‘Mutt and Stuff,’ that airs on Nick Jr. The series is based on a dog training school where Calvin helps others with his giant mascot dog, Stuff.
He has worked with several celebrities, including Kim Kardashian
Being one of the most famous dog trainers across the US means that Cesar Milan has worked with some pretty famous faces throughout the years. In fact, he has more than just Will and Jada Pinkett Smith in his contacts as the dog trainer has also worked with Kim Kardashian. The star bought a Pomeranian, Sushi, and was in desperate need of some help.
It turns out that Kim wanted the dog to be a friend for her daughter, North, but they couldn’t get Sushi’s barking under control. As if that’s not enough, it turns out that Cesar has also worked with the likes of Hugh Hefner and Kelsey Grammer, to name just a few celebrity clients from his time on the scene.
Cesar Millan has spoken out about his thoughts on millennials
It seems that just about everyone has an opinion on other generations. Cesar Millan is no exception. The dog trainer was asked about his feelings on millennials when talking to the Daily Mail, and he didn’t hold back on his opinions. It seems that Cesar believes millennials are using dogs as a replacement for having children, and he’s not alone in his thoughts.
However, Cesar went one step further when he said, “They need to recover the ability to connect,” in reference to how he believes millennials are too caught up with technology to pay attention to animals, let alone humans. Cesar didn’t rule out welcoming a four-legged friend altogether as he recommends people foster before they adopt a new animal.
He now has a successful product line under his belt
It might be no surprise that Cesar Milan has branched out into several business veneers throughout his time at the top. Although he has become a controversial dog trainer, many look at Cesar whenever they have an issue with their four-legged friend, and it seems he tapped into that market with his own line of products. Now, Cesar has a host of books and training DVDs on the market.
That’s not all. The brand, called Cesar’s Way, also features playtime toys, grooming items, muzzles, and leashes, to name just a few things on offer. It seems that Cesar wants to spread his knowledge far and wide as he hopes to teach everyone everything they need to know about how to care for their dog.