Cesar Millan subscribes to the mantra that “There are no bad dogs, just bad people.”
As the original host of the hit TV series “Dog Whisperer,” he’s seen first hand the truth in that statement. Fans will witness it, too, Millan says, when he makes an appearance with a few pups—untrained pound dogs—at the Chandler Center for the Arts on Saturday, March 7.
“The only thing that’s wrong with the (pound) dog is that he was abandoned by a human,” Millan says. “At one point, he was a puppy and everybody loved him. Then he grew up and nobody wanted him.”
Through humor, Millan teaches doggy parents how to handle problems with their furry friends. With all the problems in the world, he says, the “one thing we can eradicate is having a problem with dogs.”
The key to having well-behaved dogs is discipline. Millan says it’s a common misunderstanding that owners shouldn’t spoil their dogs.
“Of course spoil your dog,” he says emphatically. “But let it work for it. I’m not saying do not buy dog toys, do not give your dog a birthday party.”
Dogs—like owners—need to understand the benefits of working for goodies. For example, Super Bowl contenders are disciplined in their workouts.
“There’s no Super Bowl without exercise discipline,” he says. “There’s no great team without a team leader, which is the coach, and then there’s Tom Brady.”
If dogs are not disciplined, they take control of the household.
“Dominance is exhibited by urination, to remind which scent is in the house,” Millan explains. “He uses his urine. People love dogs but they don’t understand them. I teach people to have great outcomes.”
And those outcomes can be absorbed not only by canine lovers, but cat people as well.
“You don’t even have to have a dog to come and watch my show,” Millan says. “There are four kinds of people—dog lovers, people who are afraid of dogs, people who don’t like dogs and people who abuse the dogs. My concert is for everybody because everybody will benefit.”
The live experience is what allows people to “really get it,” Millan explains.
“The TV makes you a fan,” he says. “Once you see it live, it makes you a believer. You’re a witness. You see me changing a dog from one hand to another hand.
“I explain things in a more detailed manner—obviously much funnier. I have a platform. I’m on stage. I’m alive. I have that direction with the audience. It’s an organic feeling that television can’t give you. Like it or not, the live experience is a great way of communicating.”
Millan is now the star of “Cesar 911” on NatGeo Wild. He travels to different neighborhoods using his expertise to bring balance to dogs and the community. At his personal appearances like the one at the Chandler Center for the Arts, Millan says he is able to expound on theories he touches on in his show.
“Obviously, people love the live transformations,” he says. “We definitely bring dogs on stage; dogs that belong to that part of the country. Many times we use shelter dogs so people can see they’re not broken.”
His goal in any medium is to help the United States and the world understand that there’s no such thing as problems with dogs.
“We don’t have an understanding about how to raise a dog properly and the commitment that it takes. Thirteen years is a long time commitment. Most people want a perfect dog, but they don’t want to act as a perfect human. How can you ask for perfection when you don’t give the same?”
Cesar Millan Live!, Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Avenue, Chandler, 480.782.2674, chandlercenter.org, Saturday, March 7, 7:30 p.m., $48-$125