The Dog Whisperer
I love The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan! He is a wonderfully charismatic and fun dog psychologist.
His show comes on Friday nights on the National Geographic Channel. All the episodes are more or less the same:
(i) meet neurotic dog
(ii) meet Cesar, who fixes the problem
(iii) everyone lives happily ever after
However, despite the repetitive pattern of the show, I still love watching it. The dogs are always cute and it's satisfying to see them rehabilitate.
Cesar is not a dog trainer; he's a dog psychologist. In fact he spends most of his efforts training the humans rather than the dog. His methods are not without opposition, but anyone in the public eye always has dissenters. In any case, I believe in his methods, as do many other dog trainers in the world. (He didn't discover the methods, but is instrumental in publicizing it.) I am excited about learning to be a calm, assertive pack leader with my new puppy, especially since the Shiba Inu is one of the more dominant dog breeds.
The biggest benefit to truly learning these methods is that it lets one deal with any dog. Hence, it would allow more people to effectively deal with their dogs' behavioral problems and (in theory) lead to fewer euthanized dogs. Many of the dogs in Cesar's pack have had traumatic and abusive pasts; he can deal with all of them when no one else can. It is wonderful to see so many of them rehabilitated and living in peace with other canines. Perhaps the next dog Yun & I get (that is, after we are a bit more experienced in raising a dog), we will adopt one from an animal shelter.
(Funny isn't it that I'm thinking about our next dog, when we haven't even gotten our first one yet.)