Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dog Whispers Heard In Ojai

Cesar Milan with Daddy, a regular on Milan’s National Geographic show, “Dog Whisperer.”

By Sondra Murphy
An Upper Ojai couple got help from television’s “Dog Whisperer” in training their dogs to assist them with their cattle ranch. The dog behaviorist came to Black Mountain Ranch Thursday to help Ellen and Richard Gilleland work with three border collies named Mickey, Maggie and Mollie, as well as a German shepherd named Barney.
Ellen Gilleland attended one of Cesar Milan’s seminars last autumn. At the end of the seminar, people were given cards to submit questions to Milan. Gilleland asked if he would be interested in coming to teach her dogs to herd cattle. Two weeks ago, Gilleland heard from the show that Milan would like to take her up on her offer while filming a segment of “Dog Whisperer.”
The Gillelands’ dogs range in age from 2 to 4 years and are smart, as their breeds are known to be. The ranch keeps 150 head of Limousin cattle on 3,700 acres, grazing in the spring. “We bring them down to the ranch in the summer once they eat everything up north,” said Gilleland. “It would be nice if the dogs could help herd them.”
Five of the ranch’s cattle were used for the session and Gilleland said that their border collies took to the training very well. “Maggie, Mollie and Mickey did better than we thought they would, having not worked cattle before.” She said that the border collies quickly began following the lead herd dogs.
The German shepherd was less cooperative. “Barney absolutely has the instinct to chase them, rather than herd them,” Gilleland said. They suspected beforehand that Barney would be less inclined for the task, but they wanted to give him a chance.
Milan brought Daddy along: his favorite pit bull companion and poster dog for his calm and assertive approach. Milan also complimented the Gillelands on their dogs being so well behaved. “Cesar’s an amazing person. He has a special gift to be able to communicate with dogs the way he does,” said Gilleland. “He really enjoyed himself and it was a new experience for him to work with herding animals.”
Gilleland said that more training would be required before the border collies could assist them in cattle herding, as she is aware of the risk of injury. “We haven’t really decided yet if we will have further training,” she said.
“Dog Whisperer” airs on the National Geographic Channel on Fridays at 8 p.m. The Gilleland episode is expected to air this summer.


Anonymous said...

That guy's a fraud.

Anonymous said...

Prove it.

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is why they would have some guy come who deals with problem dogs? If they wanted someone to train their dogs to herd cattle, get someone who has experience in that area. Duh!

Anonymous said...

Cesar is great and hardly a fraud like the lady in the OVN who is a "psychic" pet trainer... Now THAT's a joke!!!

Furry Herbalist said...

Cesar is not a fraud, just a dog trainer using techniques used my countless dog trainers over the decades. He just happens to be a charismatic guy who was in the right place at the right time and knew the right people to get a television show and Bam! he's a "super star who can do anything". Sorry, Barbara Woodhouse was turning out properly behaved dogs twenty years ago.

As for the Pet Psychic, Laura Stinchfield regularly leaves my customers amazed at the factual information she provides about their pets.

If you chose to not believe in non-verbal communication, that is your choice, but I will leave you with some Paul McCartney lyrics:

"Because he spoke to fish in the creek, because he tried to tell them that the animals could speak, they drove him out into the rain. Some people even said that the boy from the country was insane. But who knows, perhaps they do. How do you know they don't just because they've never spoken to you..."

B Dawson

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment B