Image from Dog Whisperer "Cesar's Worst Bite" (otherwise known as "Cesar doesn't know anything about dog body language".) This article is about a new(?) show "Doggie Nightmares." (Gordon Ramsay is not pleased.)
I wanted to give this new show a chance. Apparently Cesar's new mission is to save shelter dogs and is trying to "teach" new owners how to choose a new dog and deal with typical shelter dog issues so they aren't returned. Seems like a great idea! Right?
Well, his first bit of advice is to ignore size and breed in favor of figuring out the "spirit" of the animal.
Seriously? I'm all for trying to gauge the temperment of a dog, but breed and size have a HUGE impact on what your dog will need, space and energy wise (not to mention cost of food and health issues associated with breeds!). This is especially important to mention because the family Cesar is working with has a four year old and a two year old. The four year old wants his own dog to take care of because he's ready for that commitment. Suuuure. The family chooses what appears to be a Chihuahua mix.
(I want to mention that I dislike it when dog rescues judge families who have children. Every decent person deserves a dog. But, I like to think that the families actually do a smidgen of research before bringing a dog home.)
The first thing THIS family does is let the dog walk freely in the house to "greet the cat", who he immediately chases. Quelle Surprise! A dog chasing a cat! The father tries to wrestle the dog into submission and gets bitten. (Video here, start at 00:50)
Then, we see a scene of the four year old ALONE WITH THE DOG trying to pick up and man handle the little poor thing. Dog again reacts and bites again.
Cesar manages to "fix" the first cat chasing problem with the seemingly obvious suggestion of keeping the dog on a lead and under supervision. Anyone who is introducing animals should know this already. HE DOES NOT HOWEVER SCOLD THE FAMILY FOR LETTING THEIR CHILD ALONE WITH A DOG UNSUPERVISED.
I am still frothing at the mouth. He let the audience know the child was in the wrong, but they did nothing to address how dangerous this situation is for child and dog. Letting a child pick up and drop a Chihuahua sized dog can seriously do damage. Not to mention that the dog can be blamed or biting a child and put down. This family did not seem like they were prepared at ALL for having a new dog. They mentioned several times that they wanted a transition as easy as possible with the mother saying, "I don't have time to keep an eye on everything."
Saving dogs from shelters is a great mission, but this show has such poor information it is probably doing more harm than good.
NEXT UP: "I CAN'T LIVE WITH A DOG WHO PEES EVERYWHERE" says the lady who hasn't even tried to potty train a new shelter dog. URGH. Oh Ceasar thanks so much for suggesting a crate! What a novel idea!
At least both families "kept" the dogs after a two week trial period? I wonder how long that will last...