|Born||César Millán Favela
August 27, 1969
Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico
|Residence||Santa Clarita, California, U.S.|
|Known for||Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan|
|Spouse(s)||Ilusión Millan (1994–2010; filed for divorce)|
Cesar Millan, (born César Millán Favela; August 27, 1969) is a Mexican American dog trainer. A self-taught expert, he is widely known for his television series Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, broadcast in more than eighty countries worldwide from 2004 to 2012. Prior to The Dog Whisperer series, Millan focused on rehabilitating especially aggressive dogs and founded the Dog Psychology Center in South Los Angeles (2002–2008) — under construction in a new Los Angeles location as of late 2009.
Millan's first three books, including Cesar's Way, all became New York Times best sellers, have cumulatively sold two million copies in the United States, and are available in 14 other countries. In 2009, in conjunction with IMG, Millan introduced a monthly magazine also titled Cesar's Way — with The Wall Street Journal reporting at that time that half of American consumers recognized Millan. With Ilusión Millan, his former wife, he founded the Cesar and Ilusión Millan Foundation – since renamed the Millan Foundation. He is working with Yale University to create a children's curriculum based on his work.
Millan's most important tool in both his success with dogs and business has sometimes been attributed to a personal sense of balance. The New York Times said that he "lives in the now and maintains a sort of über-balanced mien".
Born in 1969 to Felipe Millán Guillen and María Teresa Favela in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico, Millan grew up working with animals on his grandfather's Sinaloa farm. Because of his natural way with dogs, he was called el Perrero, "the dog boy". The family later moved to Mazatlán, and there – at age 13, on their way to his judo competition and standing in front of a large statue – Millan declared to his mother he would one day be the best dog trainer in the world.
Millan crossed the border into the US without a visa when he was 21 years old, spoke no English, and knew no one in the USA. He first worked in a dog grooming store, working with the most aggressive dogs — later creating the Pacific Point Canine Academy and developing a following. Jada Pinkett Smith became one of Millan's first clients and supporters – when he was working as a limousine driver — providing him with an English tutor for a year. Subsequently, Millan created the Dog Psychology Center, a 2-acre (8,100 m2) facility in South Los Angeles—specializing in working with large breed dogs.
Millan became a permanent resident of the U.S. in 2000, became a U.S. citizen in 2009, and lives in Santa Clarita, California. He married Ilusión Wilson in 1994, with whom he had two sons, André (b. 1995) and Calvin (b. 2001).
In June 2010, Millan announced his divorce. His wife, Ilusión Millan, filed for divorce, seeking primary physical custody of their children with visitation for Cesar, as well as spousal support. The divorce agreement stipulates that Millan pay his ex-wife a single payment of US$400,000, a monthly spousal payment of US$23,000 and US$10,000 for monthly child support, and that the parties respect specific confidentiality terms. In May 2010, after his dog Daddy died in February and his wife filed for divorce in March, Millan attempted suicide.
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan
In 2002, after a profile in the Los Angeles Times, Millan worked with MPH Entertainment, Inc. developing a television pilot for Dog Whisperer, a reality television series that follows Millan as he works in the field of dog rehabilitation. The series premiered on September 13, 2004 on the National Geographic Channel subsequently moving to the Nat Geo WILD channel. The show would become National Geographic's No. 1 show during its first season. The show is alternately styled as Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan or The Dog Whisperer, outside the USA, and was broadcast in more than eighty countries worldwide during its run. The show broadcast its final episode in the fall of 2012, and was replaced in January 2013 by another series hosted by Millan, Cesar Millan's Leader of the Pack.
The program demonstrates Cesar Millan's application of his philosophy that healthy, balanced dogs require strong 'pack leadership' from their owners, specifically in the form of exercise, discipline and affection (in that order), with Millan demonstrating how owners can achieve and maintain a leadership role with their dogs. The program highlights Millan at work rehabilitating dogs, and is not intended as a dog training guide. Each episode contains repeated warnings that viewers should not try some of the behavior modification techniques at home.
Millan's book Cesar's Way debuted with the show's second season, becoming a bestseller. Millan works with a broad spectrum of individuals, including celebrities Oprah Winfrey, Nicolas Cage, Will Smith, and Vin Diesel.
Cesar's Way magazine
In 2009, Cesar Millan launched Cesar’s Way magazine in the USA and Canada, for which he is the Editorial Director. The magazine combines advice from Cesar along with articles about the relationship between dogs and humans. Cesar’s Way is the number one selling dog magazine at newsstand in North America. In Spring 2012 a South African edition of the magazine was launched.
Millan's work focuses on handling a dog with what he calls "calm-assertive energy", which ought to transfer from the owner to the dog. He approaches dog behavior by teaching dog owners to understand the natural needs and responses of a dog, to understand that dogs are pack animals, to assist owners in establishing their role as calm-assertive pack leaders.
Millan prioritizes fulfilling and balancing a dog's primary needs: exercise, discipline and affection—in that order. In other words, it is the owner's responsibility to fulfill the dog's energy level through challenging exercise; to provide clearly communicated rules, boundaries and limitations for the dog's behavior; and to give the dog affection at the right time. Millan encourages owners to give affection, but to give affection when the dog is in a balanced state of mind, not when the dog is fearful, anxious, avoidant or excited — when the affection itself can reinforce imbalance. According to Millan, a common pitfall for dog owners is to give a great deal of affection with very little discipline and even less exercise.
Millan emphasizes the importance of walking a dog, not only for the dog's exercise, but for the owner and dog to bond—with the dog ultimately recognizing the owner as its leader. He also encourages owners to watch their dog for subtle cues in the dog's posture, movement and facial expression—to eliminate poor behavior before it arises or escalates. And he encourages owners to understand the profound effect their own attitudes, internal emotions and physical postures have on a dog's behavior, counseling owners to hold strong posture (i.e. shoulders high and chest forward) and to project energy that is calm-assertive.
Millan also stresses that owners identify their dog in a hierarchy of three levels:
- most important, as a dog with canine rather than human needs.
- as a particular breed of dog — for example, a Boxer-Rottweiler mix — with a breed-specific energy level and behavioral instinct.
- and as their individual dog, e.g., "Bella".
Millan uses vocal marks, e.g., tsch or tsst sounds, while working with a dog (rather than words, especially the dog's name), and he encourages owners to create their own unique sound that works for them.
Millan stresses that when meeting a new dog, making eye contact, speaking, and touching it are to be avoided, in favor of letting the dog approach on its own terms.
One of Millan's many dogs, Daddy, was an American Pit Bull Terrier integral to Millan's work and his television series, Dog Whisperer. Daddy was known for his calm temperament, tolerance for smaller dogs and capacity for empathy. Prior to Daddy's death in February 2010 at age 16, Millan selected another pit bull puppy, Junior, as Daddy's protégé — to apprentice with Daddy and learn his temperament.
Daddy Jr. (Junior)
Millan later selected another pit bull puppy, Junior, as Daddy's protégé — to apprentice, learn his temperament and prepare to assume Daddy's role after his death. At the time of Daddy's death at age 16 in February 2010, Millan noted, "he represented what my grandfather taught me, never work against Mother Nature." After the death of Daddy, Junior has now assumed Daddy's role and helps Cesar with rehabilitating dogs by using calm, assertive energy.
In 2007, Cesar and Ilusión Millan created the Cesar and Ilusión Millan Foundation: "a national, non-profit foundation designed to aid and support the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of abused and abandoned dogs." Together they have also founded the Shelter Stars program to provide education materials to new dog adopters, The foundation has since been renamed the Millan Foundation.
Millan has supported other projects, including K-9 Connection, for at-risk teens; Pups on Parole, a program for inmates; the Pets911 project, which works to "effect social change in this country by providing a free public service that will one day ensure an environment where all animals are valued companions and have lifetime, loving homes"; and the It Gets Better project supporting at-risk LGBT youth. His 2006 seminar tour donated a portion of the proceeds to the hosting rescue groups.
Media and guest appearances
Millan has been featured twice on The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as on ABC World News Tonight (2002), CBS-TV (2001), Channel 7 News (May 2005), CNN (April 2006), Creative Arts Emmys 2006 (August 2006), Entertainment Insider (December 2004), Good Day Live (February 2005), Good Morning America With Diane Sawyer (September 2004), KTLA-TV (2002), Last Call with Carson Daly (November 2006), Martha Stewart Show (April 2006), Megan Mullally Show (November 2006), Nightline (July 2006), NBC-TV (2001), Today Show (April 2006), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (February 2005), The View (July 2006), WUSA-TV 9 News (April 2006), season 4 of the Emmy Award winning reality show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.
Millan guest-starred as himself in Ghost Whisperer in Season 2, Episode 18, "Children of Ghost". In the episode, Melinda (Jennifer Love Hewitt) seeks out Millan for advice on how to help "Homer", Ghost Whisperer's Ghost Dog (from Season 1), cross over into the light.
Millan played himself in "The Finger in the Nest", the September 17, 2008, episode of Bones, helping the lead characters to determine if a location was used for dogfighting. Millan played himself in Beethoven's Big Break which premiered in cinemas on December 30, 2008, and the The Back-Up Plan, which was released April 23, 2010 in theaters.
In 2006, Millan's original publicists, Makeda Smith and Foster Corder, sued Millan, alleging copyright infringement, breach of contract and breach of confidential relationship, later settling out of court.[dead link] Also in 2006, Floyd Suarez sued Millan, alleging that his dog had been injured while on a treadmill at the Dog Psychology Center, and eventually settled out of court.[dead link]
In 2006, Jean Donaldson, the San Francisco SPCA director of The Academy for Dog Trainers, criticized Millan for physically confronting aggressive dogs and using choke chains for fearful dogs. This criticism was published by the American Humane Association, which asked National Geographic to stop airing Dog Whisperer.
In November 2009, Millan invited the American Humane Association to the set of Dog Whisperer, at which time, according to Millan, "they changed their state of mind about what is cruel". The association announced in February 2010 that despite "sharp differences of view in the past" and some lingering areas of disagreement, they shared many areas of interest with Millan. They also invited him that month to participate in a symposium on humane dog training "to discuss issues of concern".
In October 2012, Cesar appeared on The Alan Titchmarsh Show. Titchmarsh called his methods 'cruel' and 'unnecessary', citing a video in which, Titchmarsh said, Millan punched a dog in the throat. Millan called it a touch, not a punch and Titchmarsh replied "Having watched a lot of boxing matches it looked like something Henry Cooper would deliver." Titchmarsh also read out an RSPCA statement saying that "Adverse training techniques which have been seen to be used by Cesar Millan can cause pain and fear for dogs and may worsen their behavioural problems."
Bibliographies and DVDs
- Cesar Millan; Melissa Jo Peltier (March 2007). Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-307-33797-9. OCLC 62134773.
- Cesar Millan; Melissa Jo Peltier (March 2007). Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar's Way to Transform Your Dog . . . and Your Life. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-307-38167-5.
- Cesar Millan; Melissa Jo Peltier (March 2008). A Member of the Family: Cesar Millan's Guide to a Lifetime of Fulfillment with Your Dog. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-307-40891-4.
- Cesar Millan; Melissa Jo Peltier (2009). How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-307-46129-2.
- Cesar Millan; Melissa Jo Peltier (2010). Cesar's Rules: Your Way to Train a Well-Behaved Dog. New York: Crown Archetype. ISBN 978-0-307-71686-6.
- Cesar Millan (2013). Cesar Millan's Short Guide to a Happy Dog: 98 Essential Tips and Techniques. Washington, D.C.: National Geography Society. ISBN 978-1-4262-1190-4.
- 2005, the Humane Society of the United States Genesis Award Committee presented Millan with a Special Commendation for his work in rehabilitating animals.
- 2007, Millan was awarded the Michael Landon Award for Inspiration to Youth Through Television. Young Artists Awards.org
- 2006, 2007 and 2009, Millan's TV show, Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Program.
- 2006, Millan and his wife, Ilusión, were awarded honorary membership of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP).
- 2008, The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan won the award for TV Best Variety or Reality Show at the 23rd Annual Imagine Awards.
- 2008, Cesar Millan was recognized as a "Treasure of Los Angeles" for his contributions to the City of Los Angeles.
- 2010, Millan's TV show, Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Animal Show.
- 2013, Bogotá Humana, a development plan of the City of Bogotá, Colombia, presented Cesar Millán with a tribute and the keys to the city. Gustavo Petro, the Mayor of Bogotá, also recognized Cesar Millán's efforts of protecting the canines worldwide and made him the symbol of animal rights for Bogotá.
- Asthana, Anushka (March 19, 2006). "This week we want to know all about Cesar Millan". The Guardian (London).
- "Pack is back: A week of 'Whisperer'". USA Today, Ann Oldenburg, 8/1/2006. August 1, 2006. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
- "Cesar Millan". The Charlie Rose Show.
- Cesar Millan – Dog Psychology Center
- "Whispering to Rottweilers, and to C.E.O.’s". The New York Times, Amy Wallace, October 10, 2009. October 11, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
- "'Dog Whisperer' Hopes to Lead Pack at Newsstand". The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2009, Suzanne Vranica. September 10, 2009. "Almost half of USA's consumers already know who he is, and consumers' awareness of Mr. Millan has grown 12% since May 2008, according to Davie-Brown, an Omnicom Group company that tracks the appeal of celebrities."[dead link]
- "What the Dog Saw". The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell, May 22, 2006.
- "Cesar Millan". Modern Dog Magazine, Mary-Jo Dionne,.
- Patterson, John (May 16, 2009). "All heel for Cesar". The Age (Australia).
- "Cesar Millan Q&A". San Antonio.com, The Creature Beat, Brian Chasnoff, July 7, 2009.
- "Immigrant of the Day: Cesar Millan (Mexico)". Immigration Prof Blog.
- "DVD: The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan". The Chortler.com, May 5, 2006.
- "A Personal Message from Cesar and Ilusion Millan". Cesarsway.com, June 4, 2010.
- Dog Whisperer Star Cesar Millan and Wife Split – Breakups, Dog Whisperer : People.com
- "‘Dog Whisperer’ host finalizes divorce, must pay ex-wife $23,000 a month". Yahoo News, Wendy Carpenter, April 20, 2012.
- New York Post
- "The snarls don't faze trainer". USAtoday, Sharon L. Peters, May 31, 2007. May 31, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
- New York Times Bestsellers List dated August 6, 2006
- "Cesar's Way Magazine". Facebook. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- "Cesar's Way Magazine launched in South Africa". Cape Province Dog Club. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- Johnson, Morieka V. (April 4, 2006). "Dog's best friend". AZ Central. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
- "The Dog Whisperer's Magic Touch". ABC, NHancy Weiner, July 31, 2006.
- Gilbert, Matthew (July 26, 2006). "The `Dog Whisperer' has a gift with canines – and humans". The Boston Globe, October 5, 2007.
- Millan, Cesar (October 5, 2007). "Ask the Dog Whisperer". The Washington Post, October 5, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
- Lee, Jasen (April 27, 2008). "Top dawgs: Smart shopping for a trainer can lead to well-behaved pets". Deseret News. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
- "Daddy". Ceser's Way. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
- "In Memoriam: Daddy the Pit Bull". Retrieved February 21, 2010.
- "Cesar Millan's dog Daddy dead at 16". United Press International. February 22, 2010.
- Millan Foundation
- "Cesar's way" approved as public school textbook. cesarmillaninc.com, Features. See also K9 Connection. Last retrieved March 6, 2009.
- Millan, Cesar (April 24, 2006). "Rehab Behind Bars: Pups on Parole". National Geographic. Retrieved November 26, 2009.
- Pets911.com Q&A with Cesar!. Cesar Millan, Inc. Newsletter, January 2006 Issue, January 1, 2006. Last retrieved March 6, 2009.
- About www.pets911.com
- "The Dog Whisperer Rescues Nate"
- "The Dog Whisperer Helps Oprah and Stedman"
- "IMDb: Full cast and crew for ″The Apprentice″, Episode #10.3 (2010)"
- "Jeopardy, Show #6138 – Wednesday, April 27, 2011". Jeopardy.com. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
- "Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan Sued". ClickPress. April 29, 2006
- WKTV website (Defunct prior to 1/10)[dead link]
- "'Dog Whisperer' sued by his TV producer". MSNBC/Associated Press. May 9, 2006. Last retrieved March 6, 2009.
- CBS2.com website (Page Not Found: 1/10)[dead link]
- Blauvelt, R (2006). "Dog Whisperer Training Approach More Harmful Than Helpful" (pdf). SpokAnimal C.A.R.E. 23 (3): 1–2.
- "Cesar Millan talks about UK tour". BBC, November 27, 2009. November 27, 2009.
- American Humane Association (February 12, 2010). "American Humane Association Convenes Humane Dog Training Symposium". Retrieved 2011-10-11.
- "American Humane Association Convenes Humane Dog Training Symposium". American Humane Association. February 12, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-27.
- Nelson, Sara (2012-10-25). "Alan Titchmarsh Brands Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan 'Barbaric'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2 September 2013.(link includes video)
- Dean, Will (26 October 2012). "The Dog Whisperer gets mauled by Alan "The Housewife Charmer" Titchmarsh". The Independent. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "The 14th Annual Treasures of Los Angeles". Tadashi Collection.
- Full List of People's Choice Awards 2010 Winners – The Hollywood Gossip
- Alcalde Gustavo Petro entregó reconocimiento a Cesar Millan 'El encantador de perros' – Bogotá Humana Ya
- Biography Today, Vol. 15 (3): pp. 73–83
- Millan, Cesar and Peltier, Melissa Jo (2006), Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems, Harmony Books, New York, ISBN 0-307-33733-2.
- Millan, Cesar and Peltier, Melissa Jo (2007), Be the Pack Leader, Harmony Books, New York, ISBN
- Official website
- The Millan Foundation
- The Dog Whisperer at NationalGeographic.com
- Cesar Millan Kids
- What the Dog Saw, Malcolm Gladwell, May 22, 2006
- Coming Back to the Pack, Devin Gordon, October 9, 2007
- Whispering to Rottweilers, and to C.E.O.’s , Amy Wallace, October 10, 2009
- Cesar Millan talks about UK tour, BBC, 27 November 2009
- "The Dog Whisperer Should Just Shut Up" Esquire (magazine)
- The Dog Whisperer is really the People Whisperer, CBS, October 3, 2010