Thursday, December 14, 2006

Are You The Pack Leader?


If you have a dog in your house, or if you have friends or family members that have dogs, or if you come across dogs in your work, then you should know about Cesar Millan.

Cesar is a true entrepreneur.

He was born and raised in Mexico, came to America and bootstrapped his own business for training and rehabilitating dogs in Los Angeles at his Dog Psychology Center. His clientele grew to include celebrities with troubled canines (or was it really troubled celebrities?), and he eventually caught the attention of the folks in TV (we are talking about Hollywood, after all, very near the place that I grew up!).

The National Geographic Channel picked him up in 2004 and ran a series of Cesar doing what he does best. Cesar rehabilitates dogs and trains people. He is The Dog Whisperer.

I only learned about the show a couple months ago. And... The show is great!

I've had dogs in my home for most of my life. I learned a ton of what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong by watching the show. You should watch it too! Here's the blog.

Malcolm Gladwell, of Tipping Point and Blink fame, wrote a great piece for New Yorker magazine on Cesar titled What the Dog Saw. Then followed up with this blog article, which got a lot of great discussion.

The New York Times follows up with an Op-Ed piece written by Mark Derr. Apparently, Mr. Derr is not a fan of Cesar's approach of being the Pack Leader (being "calm and assertive" with your pet; treating it as a dog expects to be treated and not like it is a human baby) and closes with the following point:
Veterinary behaviorists, having found that many aggressive dogs suffer from low levels of serotonin, have had success in treating such dogs with fluoxetine (the drug better known as Prozac).

Yeah. Drugs will solve the problem! Give me a break. I don't think Mr. Derr has actually watched the show. I'm amazed that the New York Times even ran this. Well, if you read the bio for Mr. Derr, you see that he is pushing a book and chooses to do it by creating conflict-generated buzz. Thanks, but I'll pass on the book, Mr. Derr.

However, if you want to check out Cesar's stuff on Amazon, try:


Being the Pack Leader of your startup is a whole different matter. Do not try these techniques on your software developers.

Happy Holidays!

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