Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Not Your Average Cesar Salad


This is not about bashing Cesar. I'm not analyzing his training methods or doing a comparative between his methods and Victoria Stilwell, or any other behavioral or training method.
This is about making choices about the dogs we have in our lives.
I've got some questions I'd like some input on that I think are thought provoking--none of them have to do with choosing an approach to dog training.
If you hate him so much you just can't keep your opinion to yourself, please go to one of the 800,000 sites, blogs, links, discussion threads, etc. that debate his techniques ad nauseum, vent until you feel better, then please come back here and join the discussion.I value your opinion on these questions and would love your input.

My hoped for discussion is about the owners, trainers and instructors of Weber Training Stable
(, Jim And Joy, and their dogs.

I suggest watching all of Part 1 and 2. If nothing else, here's some bits and pieces that I feel are relevant.

Part 1: Watch the father, Jim, talking to Cesar, starting at 2:30. Look at Cesar's reaction.I feel completely understands the father's desire to shoot the dog. I said understands, which does not necessarily mean condones. At 3:33 look at Cesar's WTF? reaction to the wife's (Joy) reaction to the situation.

At 4:30 you get a taste of the dogs in action and how Joy and Jim handle them. At 7:00 he evaluates the situation. (No mention made by Joy of Rotts behavior before Bulldog started showing aggression. Going after horses and other dogs is learned behavior).

At 9:09 Joy states the dog is like one of her children. At 9:20 she asks, would you get rid of one of your children to keep your husband happy?

Part 2: At 3:02 watch how the dog goes after the horse while wearing a muzzle.. At 4:22 I feel like Cesar is having another WTF? moment. "You have the dog in the back with the baby inside?"

Here are the questions that came to my mind.

1. Do you guys want me to hold my thoughts until after we discuss this? I'm giving my gut reactions to this situation, but I haven't truly thought this through yet. I promise to behave, as long as the comments are about the discussion and not Cesar's training methods.

2. Does the father have a valid point when he says he wants to destroy the dog?

I would have shot the dog after my child was hospitalized. If my husband, a blood relative or one of you had put my child in the hospital I'd be loading my 12 gauge.

3. Should this couple own these dogs?

These are not typical barn dogs. I feel that for this couple, or maybe it's just Joy, these are "Ego Dogs." They were not chosen for the jobs they are bred for, they were chosen for the status the owner felt they gave her.This is so unfair to the dogs. That alone tells me they don't have the knowledge to handle them.
4. What differences do you see in the behavior of the two dogs? The Rott seems to be a happy idiot and nothing more. The bulldog scares the crap out of me.

5. Does Joy's statement that the dog is like one of her children tell you she loves dogs, or she is a sociopathic control freak?
 She asks, would you get rid of one of your children to keep your husband happy? The fact that she sees the situation this way gives me chills. It has nothing to do with making her husband happy, it has everything to do with allowing her son to live with a dog who has grabbed him by the throat.
Let's give it to her, and pretend the bulldog is one of her kids.

6.  If one of your children attacked another of your children, once, so aggressively he was hospitalized, and another time put a knife to his throat, would you keep that child in the house?
I would remove the murderous little shit and place him in a psychiatric facility. Then I would go take some intensive parenting classes.

7. Would you take your horse to this facility for training, or let your children take lessons from this couple?

8. How do you feel about the dog and the child sharing the back seat of the car?
I wanted to call social services.
My dogs, Charlie and Brockle, have a love/hate relationship. Periodically, Charlie pushes Brockle too far, Brockle gets mad and bites Charlie. Although it's only one bite, he draws blood.
Twice, Brockle bit Charlie so severely he scalped him. I mean actually scalped him.
Both times they were together in the back seat of the car.
It became very clear, very fast, that the close confinement was creating enough stress to create a huge problem between my guys. Charlie was the loser both times.
He survived and Brockle now has a gate between him and Charlie when we're in the car.

9. Do you think the child is safe now?

10. If not, do you think any training method can make this situation safe?

Now I have a question about the show itself. NOT THE TRAINING METHODS!!!

In Cesar's early years he would tell people, honestly, how he read their situation.
He would tell them if he felt the dog was a danger, or if they didn't have the temperament to handle their dog.
With this new program, it seems to have gone out the window.
It appeared to me he was, well, horrified by the behavior of the bulldog. Excuse me, let me make that the behavior of the owners.
I saw unease, distaste, incredulity, fear (for the child) and frustration cross his face, yet he never said anything. In the old days, he would have offered to take the dog and then given Jim and Joy a mild mannered, gentle Pit bull they could handle. In a case like this, he would give them a severe lecture about always putting children before dogs. I've seen him do it more than once.
Now, nothing was said
Why do you think this is happening?

Okay. Go.

In all fairness, I just found this update.

Does this change your perspective?

I have to think about it a little.


  1. I saw this episode and had the same exact reaction to every incident you mentioned. Sometimes I feel that Cesar changed after his the mental health issues he had a while back (wife left, depression, attemped suicide). It's almost like he doesn't have the balls anymore to tell people what he really thinks like he did in the old days. Lost confidence maybe? Or maybe it really is just about the almighty dollar and he's just doing what he needs to to keep the network happy and keep a show on the air. Either way, I was bummed he didn't tell Joy off. And I was horrified at the danger that woman is putting her innocent trusting little boy in. I'm sorry, but she's an idiot.

  2. I truly wonder if it's NatGeoWild keeping him on a tighter leash. I'm hoping the off camera work was a little more forthright.
    I think the ratings would have been stellar if he had gone off on her.

  3. Possibly, there is so much editing to reality TV. Maybe they are just trying to portray him differently than they used to.

  4. Not sure if this is relevant, but do those dogs seem a bit chubby to anyone else? Or are they just that muscular? haven't finished the video yet, but will soon

  5. Oh my god. Seriously? Wtf?

    First of all: Who owns a horse training business and wouldn't want to shoot on sight a dog ATTACKING a horse. Chasing? Barking at? One thing. PHYSICALLY ATTACKING? No. Nonononono. No.

    Second: Totally an ego move owning those dogs. Plus, they have breeding stallions? See my above comment. Now I wonder how competent this woman is in handling horses. From what I saw? Not very.

    Third: If my dog attacked anyone like that, he'd be separated and I would immediately seek help. If he attacked anyone in my family, he'd be separated forever and wearing a muzzle. I would consider putting him down. No questions. Dogs do not decide to attack to kill unless something has seriously gone astray.

    Fourth: I haven't watched any new Caesar, but I'm disappointed if he isn't still telling owners how they are wrong. That's what I loved, his "it's your fault" approach. It's true. Most of the time, it is the owner's fault. Either they are the wrong fit for the dog, or are oblivious to dog body language, or just plain dumb.

  6. I don't have the ability to watch video right now and am not familiar with Cesar's show, but HELLO we do not keep dogs that attack humans. NOPE.

    I can't even fathom a way to make that ok.

  7. Okay, we have established that everything we watched is so so wrong and that woman is an idiot. They have no business owning dogs like that. I don't see how they even still have a horse training business. Really, I can't see how they still have the baby after they allowed him to be attacked TWICE?

    So, why is this happening and why isn't he calling them out anymore? I believe it's because of all of the animal rights b.s. that's being shoved down our throats. People are equal to dogs(or insert any animal here). You couldn't shoot the dog, because that would be murder. All of those shows anthropomorphize all animals. It didn't used to be like that. Don't get me wrong. I treat my animals very well and I jokingly call my dog my child. I realize that he is a DOG though, and wouldn't ever put him above my husband.

    That's my two cents anyway. I only watched the first episode, but found it hilarious that she was relieved when Cesar took the dog. Really?

  8. Okay, I watched the whole episode. The Rottweiler does just seem to be a big goof, but the Bulldog is actively aggressive. Definitely not the dogs I would have chosen for a ranch like this, and it would put me off keeping horses there or riding there (as does the owners' attitude, especially the woman's). Dog biting the child? I probably would have put the dog down or given it away (to someone responsible and able to deal with the dog), because I don't think I could trust that dog after something like that. And three times this dog hurt this child (or tried to hurt; I wasn't sure)!
    I am interested to see how the bulldog's behaviour escalated to this point. I think Caesar had a good point when he said that the dog wasn't used to being corrected.
    Also, maybe the dogs' diet is exacerbating their behaviour? Just a thought. They are definitley too chubby. That dog cart in part 3 might be good for the bulldog because it's exercise and gives him a proper job to do.

  9. I haven't watched Cesar in a while, but I remember him telling owners that they have to realize the dog is a dog and not a human. That is what makes the situation dangerous.

    I wouldn't keep a horse at a barn where those dogs had access to my horse. I wouldn't keep a dog that put any child in the hospital, even if I had to shoot it. I would't let that woman touch my horse, her judgement is suspect.

    Go ahead Mugs and say what you think.

  10. I think that Joy is possibly a psychopath. I have long felt that the professional side of the horse world attracts them. Symptoms: Uncaring, shallow emotions, irresponsible, insincere, overconfident, narrow focus, selfish, inability to plan the future, irritable and aggressive, with a propensity towards violence (
    Of course I didn't see enough of her to know this for a fact, but I've worked with both clients and trainers that were very much like her.
    She was willing to endanger her child, her clients, her marriage and
    her horses in order to have control over the situation, even if it was only her professed love for her dog.
    A horse trainer, of all people, should understand that the way to keep your dog safe is to keep him from harming livestock and people.
    I would love to hear a back story on this.


  11. I agree with most of what's been said above: dangerous bull dog, idiot woman, not taking my horse there.
    But one other thing that caught my eye-- the part of the training with the e-collar. I don't know, are there collars that only "vibrate" for correction, as apposed to a shock collar? And, as someone else mentioned, the editing makes it appear that only on time correction (with "vibration") was enough to solve the horse-chasing. I find that hard to believe. And then, back at the DPC (!), the collar was seemingly useless in the dogfight situation. Maybe it was just vibration...

  12. My head hurts from watching the 3 episodes.

    Why, why, WHY would you even want a dog in the middle of a round pen? Yeah, I was for the show but WTH...

    Both the husband's and wife's thinking is bit the kid 2 times and almost ate him the 3rd time...once should have been enough. The husband needs to grow some bit my kid and you won't deal with it...hit the door!

    And what's with all the studs? Even Cesar was dealing with a stud. Course, I wonder why these horses never kicked the dogs...maybe if they got there bell rung a couple of times...

    I also wonder how they discipline their kid? If their dogs are any indication...sigh.

    Don't know much about Cesar or his issues but if he can do some good..who cares how he gets its

    No way would I bring any horse or kid to this ranch.

    EERK on the kid in the back seat with the dogs...I'm really not worried about the Rott doing something but the bull dog...WTH

    No, the kid isn't safe because these goofball parents will fall off the wagon and the

  13. This view doesn't gain me many friends in the dog world, but I see nothing wrong with euthing a hazardous animal if they aren't able to be rehabbed/you're not capable of rehabbing them/you can't find someone competent and permanent to rehab them. They're not humans; they don't have dreams for the future. And, realistically, there are countless dogs being euthed in shelters every day who would make wonderful pets without being a hazard to others.

  14. Evensong - We're not talking about training methods here.
    Becky Bean had an excellent observation last night. We were talking about the finished result, when the dog was trained.
    "I don't see a calm, submissive dog, I see a newly controlled, angry dog."
    The dog had already shown handler aggression when he is triggered. He has proven how irritable he is.
    He has bitten the boy three times. Three times. I really, truly think this is child endangerment.
    The owners have proven they have little control over the dogs. I guess that's all I've got.

  15. Jay- I would euth the dog. Period. He has a proven track record of out of control aggression. Who could I give him to with a clear conscience?
    Absolutely nobody.
    Maybe Cesar didn't offer to trade because he didn't want him.

  16. These people, ESPECIALLY Joy, CANNOT handle the bulldog. Frankly, they can't handle the harmless, kinda dopey rottie (hey! lets play! moms yelling, this is fun, ill do this more!) If they don't know how to seriously train him around the barn not to be an idiot/liability, then don't bring him to the barn. All it takes is for him to trample a little kid running around, or spook a horse into a fence, or chase one with a rider on it (God forbid) for them to be in so much trouble, they will never dig themselves out. I think it is hugely irresponsible of them to let this behavior continue like it is ok, and I would only visit there once. NEVER take lessons from them, or board. If that is how they train their dogs, how well can they honestly train horses?

    The dogs are fat, and I am sure they don't dedicate time in their day to exercise them (not just let them run around, but you know that). That alone would do wonders for their temperaments, I think.

    The bulldog- he is aggressive. not fear, not defensive, he is actively showing aggression, over and over again. I would never trust a dog like that around my kids, and you bet your ass the second one decided to attack any kid, they'd be either SEVERELY restricted (depending on the reason) or gone. This dog has tried to KILL their kid, and she's worried about making it happy? Hell no. If I was the husband, I would be considering divorce, not the other way around. I am as much a dog lover as the next person (maybe more, my guy is spoiled) but they are DOGS. not humans, not kids.

    On the human behavior side, I think you could be right about Joy. she does seem to have tendencies, and without knowing her or much about her, just the way she is willing to put her kid in harm's way because she is stubborn and doesn't want to get rid of the dog is horrendous. I know I would never trust my animals or my kids or myself in her hands, safety-wise. And I used to love Cesar, how he called people on their crap. You have a spaniel and you don't walk it? there's your problem, idiot. I can't fix it unless you help, type of thing. I really hope he hasn't gone soft, although this episode does make it seem like he had. I too remember him offering a calmer, more suitable dog in the place of a highly aggressive one on previous episodes.

    Basically? These people are fish climbing a tree when it comes to these dogs: a total failure, that doesn't make sense. And I don't think things will really change, I didn't see a huge difference in Joy (who seemed to be the dominant personality of the two adults), so it will probably go back to the way it was. One can hope, but I am not holding my breath.

  17. Oh- and this particular dog (bulldog)? Would have been put down ages ago, if I owned it. I firmly believe if you can't take care of a dog properly yourself, find someone you trust to give it a PERMANENT home. If you can't, the best thing to do is euth. It is fast, relatively painless, and best for the animal. Sometimes you gotta do something that sucks to protect yourself and the animal at hand.

  18. I'm also wondering, is this a criminal act? Keeping a dog that has attacked this child three times?

  19. I found an update.
    I feel better.
    I think.
    What do you think?
    The dog tied to the saddle set my teeth on edge, but that comes under stupid, not psychopathic.

  20. Good god....dogs running loose and trying to attack horses during breeding? (That, or the stud that Joy was trying to lead jumped a random mare)....dogs attacking clients, chasing horses, attacking each other. So wrong on every level.

    The other thing that stood out was the fact that none of the horses looked halter broke-all of them have a rope over the nose. (No wonder, given the atmosphere of the barn). Lots of pacing and stall walking in the background.
    No way, no how would I have a horse in training with these people. If I was with CPS, the kid would be out of the house NOW.


  21. Have to say I agree with Mugs/Ceasar, the Rotty seems to just have too much energy and thinks chasing horses is fun (because it is! for him at least). The bulldog has a bit more going on. I don't think I can make a call on whether or not the bulldog can be rehabilitated though, just not enough there. On thing I can say for sure though, if he'd attacked/bitten a person in aggression, especially a child, I would immediately be seeking help not waiting to see what happened. I probably wouldn't jump to euthanizing right away, but that would be a wake-up call that this was beyond my abilities and I needed outside help. (I'd hope I'd notice before that...)

    I can understand wanting to stand by an animal, and I'm generally of the opinion that my animals are with me for life and I need to take care of them. This would be a difficult situation for me. However, I can guarantee that a dog that chases and attacks horses would not be allowed to roam freely with horses or other animals. I'd build him a nice, big, secure dog run to stay in while I was working with the horses. It seems like that alone might have solved a lot of problems, or at least kept them from escalating while the dog was worked with in more controlled situations. (I get that it's hard to manage two big dogs and a horse at the same time. So separating the dogs from the horse area just seems like common sense.)


  22. i know absolutely nothing about training dogs - but i have a pretty strong sense of self preservation and all my little alarms were going off saying: remove the dog and you remove the problem! keep it simple right?

    all i do know is that i would NEVER take a horse anywhere near that facility. Ever. that's just dangerous and so unnecessary...

  23. I do think the parents should be held criminally accountable for anything after the first bite that that dog gave to the son.

    I would have done something to fix or already euthanized the dog just because of his behavior around horses. I certainly would not take an animal that behaved like that to the barn, ever, period.

    I think these people are the luckiest people in the whole world, that no one has sued them, and that the dog hasn't done more serious damage.

    When it comes down to it, she put the dog, who chases her livestock and affects her livelihood, above the safety of her child. I hope she is a psychopath, because at least that would be a reason for such idiocy.

  24. Bif - I agree. I think keeping the dog in the home might be criminal.

    I wonder if CPS has seen this video.

  25. Agree with all of the above, plus what judge in his right mind would let this woman keep the child with that bulldog given his history. Let the woman have her dogs since she lives them more than her chid. This scenario is a bad bad accident, or worse, waiting to happen.

  26. My first reaction to watching the videos...OMG! What are the dogs doing running loose and why doesn't that bulldog have a broken jaw yet?
    So here's my opinions on your questions.
    1. I really appreciate your insight on what you post, so comment away.
    2. Absolutely, I totally agree with the dad, dogs life doesn't even come close to equaling the sons life.
    3. I wouldn't consider this couple capable of managing any type of mastiff/bully dog. I'm hard pressed to come up with a breed I'd suggest for them.
    4. Totally agree with your assessment regarding the two dogs' temperaments.
    5. Joy is an idiot. Unfortunately I think she'll cause a serious accident (as in loss of someone's life) before she opens her eyes. And even then...
    6. I would hope that I would have the common sense to see that something was amiss and get my child some help long before he attacked someone.
    7. HELL NO!!!
    8. Dumb and dumber. If they continue it will only be a matter of time before #5 happens.
    9. See answer to #7.
    10. See answer to #9. No matter how much training is put into this dog I don't think he could ever be considered trustworthy.
    I no longer have satellite tv so haven't seen any of the later shows but I agree that Cesar is more subdued and cautious with his comments, which is too bad. I happen to like the way he works with dogs.

  27. The thing that stuck out to me was how she responded about the dog being her child... if that's the case, then she needs to regularly put the dog in the same room as an unstable, emotionally damaged, aggressive grizzly bear....

    But no worries. The grizzly bear is doing much better, and is in a calm, submissive state most of the time. The dog should be fine.

  28. My first thought when starting to watch the video was that I would never ride at her facility nor keep a horse there. When it got to the part about the child being severely injured THREE times, I couldn't believe that the dog was still alive. I have been a fan of Cesar's methods for years and have wondered what happened to his new shows. He would correct anyone immediately for treating their dog as a human, no matter whether you were Joe Schmo or a movie star. He would've classified the bulldog as a red zone dog immediately and stated so. I miss that part in his current shows. I think it's great that the dogs are better, however, I believe the bulldog should be rehomed. NO WAY that I could have my little kid at face level with the dog that had put him in the hospital, no matter how well behaved the dog appeared to be now. There are people that have the personality and training to handle such dogs.... not me...and not those two people. I'm saddened that the husband gave in. I'm also puzzled that the Child Protective Agency in that area was not called or involved. I think that Mugs is right; there are a lot of "crazy" people in the horse business.

  29. I have only one comment. Why am I seeing NO praise when the dogs do the RIGHT thing?

  30. I train horses down the street from this woman. She does mostly Morgans. I have a Morgan in training right now that the owner is trying to sell. She actually called me the other day and said "Well I was considering sending him down to Joy Weber's place to see if she could sell him faster, but then I saw this episode of Cesar Milan's show....." The horse is still at my place. Makes you wonder what they were thinking, not only keeping those dogs, but then going on TV with them.

  31. Sorry, Mugs, I wasn't clear about my thoughts about te *show*. Wasn't commenting on the use of the e-collar, so much as the editing around it. Was Nat Geo worried about including that part? (Much as others have commented on the new, "kinder" Cesar.)
    The other thing was, as others have noted, reality TV is all about action! A barn I worked at a loooong time ago agreed to let a Hollywood production company film horse/stable scenes for a Robert Wagner/Natalie Wood movie. They brought in a bunch of horses and started chasing them around the arena. Got everybody else all riled up, too. Boss kicked 'em out! Same idea with a couple of friends who actually did the "Wife Swap" show: what shown on reality shows isn't really reality at all. Seems like a whole lot of this CM episode was, not so much staged, as exaggerated for the camera. I'd like to think nobody's that clueless.

  32. Interesting episode.
    As a vet I have seen a number of owners equally divorced from the reality of their "furkid's" aggression.

    I've owned/trained Rottweilers for over 30 years. I've also owned/trained 3 American Bulldogs during the last 15 years. I like these breeds. The Rottie in this show has such a soft temperament that he responded to very mild verbal correction and actually fled the round pen in the second part when the bulldog was being corrected for breaking his stay to chase a horse. In my opinion, this dog is so mild mannered only an incredibly clueless dog owner would be unable to fix his issues with a single round of obedience classes.

    Also in my opinion, the bulldog is pretty typical of a Johnson type male AB raised with absolutely no guidance or training whatsoever. High prey drive, high dog aggression, and showing dominance aggression to the child. The collar Cesar is using on him is definitely an e-collar, probably on high "stim" and was obviously used to train the dog well before the filmed interaction with the horse. If the owners can continue to use the collar properly, they may be able to control the dog around horses, but it will do nothing to protect their son.
    The bites the child suffered look like discipline bites - a single forceful bite administered by the dog when the child annoyed him - not an all out attack. But the bulldog still feels he can bite the boy when he wants to. And if the child were to scream and struggle during such a bite, the dog could flip into prey drive and end up killing the boy. It was really irresponsible of Cesar to suggest that teaching the dog to pull the kid in a cart, and having the boy give the dog water would in any way alter the bulldog's dominance aggression.

  33. Boy howdy. This series of videos set my WTH going full speed.

    1. Why did CPS not remove this child after the second bite?
    2. Were the doctors at the hospital not reporting the dog bites to the city/county?
    3. Who in their right mind — or wrong mind — would set foot on this property, let alone leave their horse in the care of these nutsos?
    4. Why didn't the husband grab the kid after the first bite and say we're outta here until the bull dog is gone?
    5. What the heck was Cesar thinking in returning the bull dog to the family, regardless of the training received at Cesar's DPC?
    6. This woman has demonstrated that she doesn't know a thing about dog training. I'm sorry, but a brief interlude with Cesar showing her how to 'handle' the dog, doesn't mean THE WOMAN'S BEHAVIOR has changed. She is a self-centered idiot who has gelded her husband.
    7. The bottom line is that she kept the bull dog after THREE attacks on her young son, the last one an attack to the child's throat.

    I'm appalled by this woman's behavior, by her husband's wussiness, and that the dog is still on the premises.

  34. Obviously Joy is the problem. I would have shot the dog after the first time it bit the kid. It's a liability. It looked like Cesar agreed with the Dad about shooting the dog too when the Dad was telling how the dog bit the kid. That lady better be careful about the D word. If a judge heard and saw a recording of this show, the Dad would get custody of the kid if she values that dog more than the child's life. She's a narcissist. It's all about how she didn't get the dogs to just dump them when they do something wrong, no matter what the wrong is. No matter what the breed of dog, it would come up with some behavior problem with a owner like her.

  35. Mugs, I agree with you completely re. this woman's behavior. She has set herself up in a power struggle with her marriage where she needs to be right, needs to be in control. She would rather be right than keep her son safe, and hospitalization has proven her quite wrong...yet the lesson still doesn't stick. The husband is running a far distant fifth place (if that) behind the EGO, Bulldog, Rottie, Horses, and then, maybe, husband. Near as I can see, the son doesn't rate at all.

    As for keeping a horse there, NO WAY IN HELL. Joy the Trainer cannot even lead a horse safely - she allows her dogs to taunt them and put their safety in jeopardy.. (But she gets to be Right by keeping the dog with her). In Part One, Husband says they have "about 30" horses on 7.5 acres.Whaaaattt? Thirty horses on seven acres??? (Pardon me, but isn't that a little like how hoarders are made? Too many horses, then a business fails, or job loss...and breeding?)

    On Follow up Vid. #4, Joy the Trainer says she has 40 horses. She admits "I couldn't see the forest for the trees because it was me". OK, lack of insight. Could this also be the lack of insight that causes you to tie the dogs to your saddle like you were going on a field trial? And then say you are using dogs to train horses?

    Psychopath or Narcissist?
    Tomato - Tomahto?

    Psychopath symptoms: Uncaring, shallow emotions, irresponsible, insincere, overconfident, narrow focus, selfish, inability to plan the future

    Narcissist: Exaggerated sense of self-importance; preoccupation with fantasies (achievement,power, brilliance, ideal love); require excessive admiration; sense of entitlement; selfishly takes advantages of others, lack empathy

    Spot on, as usual, Mugs.
    Amy in Ohio

  36. Wow. I don't watch that show, and I'm amazed they aired it. It's completely irresponsible to in any way suggest that THESE dogs with THESE people in THIS situation can ever be 'fixed'. So much wrongness ...

    These dogs have been allowed to practice behaviour that is dangerous. At this point, the behaviours are entrenched and super rewarding for the dogs. The owners had a choice to either manage the dogs (which they didn't do) or train behaviours they do want (which they are incapable of doing). A good trainer with skills and time could turn these dogs around, but honestly, I can't see the point. They would never be 100% safe. And why would a good trainer be bothered to spend time and resources on dogs like this when there are SO MANY dogs being euthanised for no reason. I'd euth these in a heartbeat. Not their fault, not ideal, not fair, the dogs are the result of irresponsible owners. But big powerful dogs that have never been taught safe behaviour and have been allowed to repeatedly practice decidedly unsafe behaviour are just a liability.

    This couple should definitely not own these dogs, probably not in any circumstances, but definitely not in the facility they run, with a small child. If they truly loved the dogs, they'd have taken steps long before to make them safe. I wouldn't let my kid, my horse, or my dog within a 100 miles of this place.

  37. EvenSong- Ah. Now I understand, and agree. It seems like the e-collar training was limited to the "after."
    MaryDVM - I think this is what's bothering me. Old Cesar would have told those people they were fools and taken the dog. Politely of course, but he would have done it. Now, he gives them a cart. My feeling was he was creating a way to keep the child a safe distance from the dog, and keep the parents paying attention.

  38. Amy in Ohio~ Thank you for picking apart my use of Narcissist. I wasn't aware that Psychopath was the word of the day on this blog.

  39. Did anyone notice in the 4th video the bulldog had the E-collar on him? Makes me wonder if it's on him 24/7?

    Do these idjit really know how to properly use the E-collar and are they dependent on it if the dog goes off on the son again?

  40. Holy Cow * There is no way that the bully will ever be safe around that kid !!!! If the boy's (No - not if - WHEN} parents become complacent and trusting of that d++m dog = he'll nail that boy again. I am appalled that CPS didn't step in after the first and definitely after the second attack! The picture of the boy in the bed after the third attack is proof of parental neglect. Let the dog live ? Maybe, but only with an experienced adult only household, by himself waay out in the country somewhere where innocent people cannot interact with him.

  41. That woman is selfish and bullheaded. Even with the dog problems "solved" she is going to get someone hurt. Why does she have dogs running around loose while trying to breed in the first place. Trip over a dog - let go of the stallion - get the mare handler hurt....DUH


    Yup,this woman's got some issues...

  43. I watched to about 11:00, because the dramatization of the "training" bothers me.
    The discussion was interesting. I am in agreement with aspects of everyone.
    The father is absolutely correct in feeling that another attack CAN NOT be allowed the chance to happen. Given the degree of aggression shown, euthanasia is a valid option, and as a vet I would not hesitate to euthanize that dog for them were they to ask.
    I think the point the wife raises about committing to these dogs when you take them into your family is also valid. Where she is failing is in not taking some other RESPONSIBLE action to prevent further problems. She is not doing anything other than talking to prevent the Gunny from injuring a horse, person, or her child (again). That is very wrong, both in terms of the chances of ever salvaging the dog's behaviour, and in terms of her responsibility to the rest of the world as a dog owner to control her dog.
    What I think of her moral character would depend on how she reacted to be told that.

    And yes, both dogs are very fat.

  44. Skittle - Loaded Gunny's face book page tells me Joy feels she saved her dog and was right. I hope, for her son's sake she is.
    This is such a loaded situation.
    Children are live wires, erratic, jittery, jumpy and unpredictable. They're supposed to be.
    They also can stress a dog by their very existence.
    She has made it easy to follow their progress.

  45. Ok, to add now that I've also read the questions posed to us LOL.

    2. Absolutely, and most likely taht is the only truly safe solution.

    3. I think from what I watched they can probably be taught to manage the basically nice Rott. I do not think they are committed enough to manage Gunny safely.

    4. Agreed.

    5. I'm willing to watch Joy's reaction to guidance about managing the dogs. I love the quote "Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity". I think the commitment to the dog she is expressing is a valid viewpoint. I'm not sure I'm ready to call her a sociopath yet, though quite likely obstinate and dumb.

    6. I'd be keeping the kids physically separated, most likely not in the same house, until I could get some professional help.

    7. Not a chance. Neither dog should be unrestrained around horses after doing any of the things shown in the video ONCE.

    8. Not a chance. I would never be comfortable with Gunny unrestrained around any child ever again.

    9. No.

    10.There may be ways to reduce the dog's aggression, but would always have to manage the safety of the situation through use of failsafes such as baby gates/doors/basket muzzles/drag leashes, but I don't believe Gunny can be changed enough by any training to be trusted loose with the child again.

    I think telling the owners off would have benefitted the entertainment value of the show. I do not think it would have improved the receptiveness of the owners to his advice. Which is why I don't tell the majority of people what I really think of them, either. I think when your job is providing advice to the public you have to keep your eye on the prize - getting them to do the right thing, not getting them to realize they are stupid.

  46. I saw this episode, and was totally flabbergasted too; I like Caesar despite the fact he is a human being with all the foibles that come therein.

    From the perspective of my hubby who knows absolutely nothing about horses, he was very confused about why the dogs had to be around when she was working with the horses - doesn't she have a pen or at least a crate somewhere?

    I'd be very nervous dropping off my horse anywhere that had loose, uncontrolled dogs. I've seen a million perfect safe, reliable farm dogs, I can pick out the nutty ones quick, and if the owner doesn't even make an attempt to control them. . . Hasta la vista, baby.

    Me and my hubby fight all the time about training our dogs. We have a rescue whose a bit of a handful. The core of our arguements is always TRAINING vs MANAGEMANT.

    In any given situation, I always want to give the dog a chance to act correctly, praise good behaviour, reprimand bad behaviour - to try and control his responses and modify his behaviour..

    My husband is all about the management, he limits all interactions to prevent the possibility of bad behaviour.

    I keep saying that the dog'll never get better unless he has the opportunity to improve, he says that opportunities are earned by good behaviour. . .

    In any case, our dog has never had the opportunity to become a liability to anything, not even himself.

    We were both astonished by the woman, who was not interested in TRAINING or MANAGING her dog. We both agreed that we would have put that dog down. A life is a life is a life, and all that but euthenasia is hardly the worst ending in the world. I just couldn't deal with the liability he presents, and I don't have it in me to build and maintain a maximum security doggy prison.

  47. Both of them refer to the child as "his" not theirs. I had to keep watching to confirm that she is the "mother" of the child.

  48. Sure, she's made it easy to follow the progress on both dogs, since she's made pages for each of them, until something goes wrong. Then she'll either stop updating them or take them down entirely in hopes the whole thing just goes away. I feel sorry for her kid and these dogs. She's set them all up for failure in a way that's going to hurt very badly.

  49. Honestly, I think this is a case of 'a little knowledge is a dangerous thing'. They could not handle the dogs at all in the beginning and now with a little training, they think they have a handle on the dogs. If they were so completely unable to read and handle the dogs in the beginning, how on earth are they going to read when some real, different danger is about to explode into reality? People like that scare me.

  50. I watched this first thing this morning.. took a few hours to get over the headache :)

    I think she caused the issues with both dogs.. neither should have been allowed access to the horses at a "professional" barn..

    They had the bulldog since a puppy.. has it had ZERO training?! Wouldn't a horse trainer at least pretend that she could train a dog?

    Sorry.. more amazed that they have added yet another "big dog" to the family in the followup..

    I would not consider her for any type of training.. and yet, more people know their names and their farm names than ever could possibly have prior to the show.. how unfair is that? They probably GOT clients from this exposure!

    I would take the Rottie in a heart beat.. just saying

  51. I have not watched the episodes, but think I get a good flavor of them from the comments. I am fully on the "dog is not a person" wagon, but for folks that are, why not consider the situation as if the dog were a person? Essentially, this woman has a roommate in her house, carrying knives, that has assaulted and battered her child 3x. What would happen to that person? The courts don't look kindly on people that go after children, or people who abet those who abuse their children. This dog is getting a bigger pass than a person would, because it's a DOG, not a person. It boggles the mind.

  52. Watched all three segments. Here are my thoughts.

    1. Either way is fine. I like to hear your final conclusions as well as your thought processes.

    2. I think the father has a valid point. The bottom line is that the dog is not suitable around children and I don't think it can be trusted around livestock. Not all animals fit those criteria, and they are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Personally, I wouldn't find it worthwhile to keep the dog and it would be very difficult to find a suitable home for it.

    3. I don't think this couple should own these dogs, especially the bulldog. I don't trust that they will recognize if things start going bad again. They had already begun to circumvent Cesar's recommendations by the third segment.

    4. The Rottweiler seems like a happy, dopey, herding-type dog that likes to rile up livestock. The bulldog seems like a very focused, driven dog with a lot of aggression, which makes him unsuitable for the environment he's in. I wouldn't ever own such a dog. Some would. These people shouldn't.

    5. Joy's statement is extremely troubling. "Family" is beside the point. The point is that her kid deserves to be protected from harm, whether from a dog that has demonstrated aggressive behavior or from abusive humans.

    6. I would remove anyone or anything that demonstrated aggressiveness or instability like you describe. Abuse is not something that should be ignored or explained away because someone is family, or church, or whatever.

    7. I wouldn't send a horse to these people for training. I don't have children, but I wouldn't seek lessons from them. The wife, in particular, doesn't seem inclined to listen to the needs and concerns of others, and I don't think either of them are very perceptive.

    8. I feel frightened for the kid that they let the dog share the backseat with him. It's an unnecessary risk, and if the dog snaps again, the kid'll be the one to pay the price. The dog should have been restrained in the cargo compartment. It is plenty spacious in a rig like that, so there's really no excuse for him to be next to the kid.

    9. I do not feel that the child is safe now. I don't think his safety is a big priority of theirs. A few things raised red flags. One was when they ignored Cesar pointing out the brake and other functions of the dog cart. Another is that they glossed over the events prior to the kid getting bitten. What happened exactly? Were they allowing the child to harass the dog, to mess with his food, or something like that? I wonder if they weren't taking precautions to protect a little kid that doesn't know any better than to pick, pull, pinch, and generally get into everything. They vaguely say, "Something happened, and the dog bit the kid." I know the dog is aggressive, but there's more to it than that.

    10. I think the dog has too much innate aggression for any training method to render him completely safe. The best course of action would be good training, paired with restraint and separation until the child gets old enough to understand he should leave that dog alone. I also think the parents need to face the reality that their dog needs careful management. I noticed that they added reins to the dog cart setup and allowed their 3-year-old to wave and flap the reins around, which visibly irritated the dog. They also allowed both of them to ride in the backseat of the SUV. These things are unwise.

    Regarding Cesar's approach, I have seen him speak more candidly about owners' shortcomings. However, a blunt approach can be counterproductive, especially when trying to effect change in a psychopath or narcissist. A blunt approach would have offended her ego, and such people cannot be wrong.

    It's possible that Cesar saw everything all of us saw, and offered the best possible advice from his perspective and experience.

  53. The fact that they named their dogs "Loaded Gunny" and "Ballistic Bastion" speaks volumes ...

    And you give these monikers access to your child?!

  54. Watching the first two parts made me sick to my stomach. Dog attacks a child? Dog is euthanized. Period. Then I know for SURE that no other child would ever be injured by it. I kind of got the feeling that the kid is the husbands, and she married into that. Unless she is truly a sociopath, I do not see how a woman could EVER let her own child be attacked by a dog and take the dog's side. EVER. I find (and this could just be me) that it is women who do not have children that make a dog their 'child' and give that dog rights that only belong to a child. (a human one!) NOT EVERY WOMAN WITHOUT CHILDREN IS LIKE THIS< ONLY SOME!!!!! :) Just clarifying :) I would never keep my horse at a place with dogs like this. It is a tiny, whispery line between grabbing it's tail and grabbing it's hock/hamstring. That is a death knell for a horse, and for what? For a dog's enjoyment? Just crazy. The whole episode is crazy. Cesar even said he wanted to drive away, and it wasn't because of the dogs. It was because of the whole situation. Ugh, sick to my stomach.

  55. Becky Bean puts it in perspective...

  56. I have little experience with horses, more with dogs, and I damn sure wouldn't take lessons at a barn where the dog could potentially attack my school horse!

    Also, I love my dogs. Anyone who threatens to harm my dogs gets to see a very different side of me. But if my dog bit me, my partner, a friend, or another pet in the house severely enough to require hospitalization, and there was no some incredible provocation (and I mean INCREDIBLE), then the biter would get euthanized. The one thing I won't tolerate is a family pet that is dangerously aggressive to the family.

    I wish Cesar would've gone off on Joy. I too suspect the network is muzzling him a bit.

  57. I understand that Cesar might have been taking a "get more flies with honey" approach to dealing with this couple, but I wish at some point he had warned them to never let their guard down and never assume that the dog was "fixed". It would also have been good to see him say that not all dogs can be fixed and that putting an aggressive dog down need not be a marriage destroyer. I guess I worry that the take away messages for most viewers are that all dogs can be rehabilitated, someone who loves dogs would never be ok with euthanizing a dog even if it is dangerous, and you just need your baby to establish a dominance relationship with your aggressive dog.

  58. I think César is good at reading people as well as dogs and muzzled himself to achieve, not the best outcome, but the least bad one that he could, given the wife's personality. I agree with your points Mugs probably will be ok with the rotti, the bulldog scares me too.

  59. ok, first some observations.
    If you have a horse business, why would you ever even get a dog bred to attack and kill livestock? Why would you have any loose dogs in the area when you are working, and especially breeding horses? Why would you ever lead a stud past mares with just a halter?
    I do give bonus points for the kid wearing a helmet, but what happens if the dog takes off with the kid in the cart??
    1.either, I think it will be a long discussion anyway!
    2. Yes, too bad she has his balls in a vice, otherwise the situation would be taken care of.
    3.No. they need to get something that will just lay on the porch and sleep, and bark at the mailman.
    4. The Rott is a big puppy, he needed training and exercise. The Bulldog is alpha, aggressive, and not controllable without the shock collar. They do not have control of this dog. He is smart, and the minute their guard is down he will attack. Cesar knew this when the dog was grabbing the leash in the pool. Notice he didn't get too close to the dog, he was pulling from a distance. The leash was control, and the dog was grabbing it and pulling back.
    5. the child should be taken away from them. NOTHING should be more important than the child's safety. No job, dog or relationship is more important.
    6. No
    7. H*ll no!
    8. It made me feel could they be so clueless and uncaring of the child's welfare?
    9. No
    10. No, they only have the illusion of control. That dog is biding it's time.


  61. the link above is to a Vet Behavior site. It is about when/how you decide to euthanize a pet. The comments are very interesting, and relate somewhat to the woman who won't euth the bulldog.

  62. I understand her attitude in not wanting to put the dog down after the bite. My pets are family and I would try an awful lot before giving up on them. That said, if e the dog was really a risk to the child and couldn't be fixed, I would accept that putting it to sleep would be the best outcome for all concerned. The show didn't have child and dog together until right near the end, so I would hope that after the third?!? bite they did stop leaving the dog unrestrained around the kid.

    I am pretty shocked that a horse trainer let the dog get that bad. It's not all the same skills, but many of the principles (be calm, achieve desired behaviour, repeat, invest time in training, know when to involve someone who knows more than you) are absolutely transferable and don't appear to have been applied at all in this case. Part of me wants to give them the benefit of the doubt and say they tried other things before Cesar that just didn't work, but if that was the case I would expect the dogs restrained at the farm so clients weren't getting thrown off, and around the child so he wasn't getting bit.

    I think both dogs will probably be ok now, as it looks like the owners are following up on the training. However, that wouldn't be enough to make me ever disregard sensible precautions like restraint or muzzling. That dog is giant and a dog that could damage a kid that quickly should never be left unrestrained around one. The bit with them together in the car had me thinking someone still needs to rehome the child.

    I agree telling them off might be better TV but don't think it would have helped the situation at all. A piece to camera about how pts would be a valid option in this case would have been good though, as would a really strong warning that the dog is better but not fixed and still shouldn't be alone with the child.

  63. I hate it when you guys take what I write out of context.
    "I saw unease, distaste, incredulity, fear (for the child) and frustration cross his face, yet he never said anything. In the old days, he would have offered to take the dog and then given Jim and Joy a mild mannered, gentle Pit bull they could handle. In a case like this, he would give them a severe lecture about always putting children before dogs. I've seen him do it more than once.
    Now, nothing was said."

  64. I agree with most of what is being said. The woman's disregard for her child is worriesome at very the least.

    Still something just doesn't sit right with me. I think most of the people here believe in doing whatever is needed to make life with our pets and horses work. We have experienced how much of a difference training can make and that is why we rarely give up on an animal, at the very least not without having tried it all..

    This woman or her husband contacted Cesar as a last resort, that takes courage.. I have watched many Cesar episodes and the thing I noticed is he only switches the dog is when the owners aren't willing to do the work needed. This woman clearly wasn't ever open to a switch like that and she did put in the work. Also the way I see it, the dog saw both the horses and the child as prey, when his perception of them changed he stopped hunting them. Same thing happened with my dog and our cats..

    I sure hope I'm right and to be honest I don't know if I would take the risk with the stakes being a defenseless three year old..

  65. Honestly? That dog nearly KILLED her child and she doesn't even care.

    The husband should file for divorce and fight for custody of that little boy. His mother is a nutcase who refuses to keep him safe.

    I love animals, but dogs who nearly kill people should be humanely euthanized. I don't even have children, but I just cannot understand the mindset that it's okay to endanger an innocent child's life for the sake of an aggressive dog.

    - Jessie

  66. This episode made me want to throw things at the tv! Something about that woman is just 'off'. The complete lack of concern for her child was stunning. Her husband's refusal to man up, take the kid out of that situation and put his foot down with his wife was equally stunning. If one parent is being an oblivious arse, it's up to the other parent to step up and ensure the child's safety.

    That bulldog has issues. I don't think it's very well bred, for a start. It's certainly not breed standard! I have a male Johnson (desexed). He's a handful, but it's stubbornness not aggression. I have no problems with him around my horses, cats, other dogs or child. Chickens are another story, but we're working on that.

    There's no way on this green earth that I would take a horse to, have lessons with, or buy a horse from these people. They show zero professionalism, skill or common sense.

  67. I'm leaning toward the network muzzling CM. There was an episode about a great dane and a teen with panic attacks who loved the dog but couldn't get the training down. Caesar is clearly frustrated but doesn't really hammer the owners. In an interview segment he says something to the effect of not knowing what to do while VERY surreptitiously wiping his eye. Stuck in my head cause it was so out of character there have been way more emotional episodes before. However if he felt like the dog was in the wrong home and couldn't say anything it would make more sense.