The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, is a famous self-taught dog trainer with a long-running reality television series working with problem dogs. While there were many owners happy with his methods and techniques, the celebrity occasionally created an outcry from others who disagreed with the way he handled animals.
So, what happened with Cesar Millan and his Dog Psychology Center? Why was The Dog Whisperer cancelled? Get all the details below surrounding this disputed self-proclaimed dog trainer and his questionable techniques.
How Did “The Dog Whisperer” With Cesar Millan Begin?
From his early childhood in Sinaloa, Mexico, Cesar was labeled the ‘Dog Boy’ to everyone who knew him. He enjoyed the company of the canines on his grandfather’s ranch and was captivated by the wild dogs on the property.
By the time he reached his teen years, Cesar was inspired to be an animal trainer in Hollywood, so he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams. Starting out working for both a limousine company and a dog grooming business, he quickly started a dog training business from his van.
Cesar was famous for handling dogs who were hard to groom due to behavioral problems or issues. Consequently, his natural talent for tackling these problematic animals helped him grow his business and eventually expand to open his own dog training facility.
This move was the first step in his evolution to opening the Dog Psychology Center for rehabilitating aggressive dogs. His expertise and success quickly spread through word of mouth as he tackled many dogs belonging to professionals in the entertainment industry. Although he specialized in large, aggressive dogs, he soon came to handle canines of all sizes and breeds.
This popularity grew among Los Angeles residents, and he developed a pilot for his show, The Dog Whisperer, in 2002. Its first episode hit the airwaves on September 13, 2004, and it successfully ran for nine seasons.
Related: What Is a Dog Whisperer?
What Was “The Dog Whisperer” Show About?
Each episode of The Dog Whisperer was set up in documentary fashion, including interviews with distraught dog owners regarding their pets. In addition, the format helped to showcase Cesar’s many techniques and behavior modification methods to tackle issues with aggressive and problem dogs.
In his nine seasons on the air, Cesar would provide helpful tips, use hands-on methods, and educate owners on dog behavior and how to be the pack leader of their home. His belief in training people and rehabilitating the dog are the foundations of his methods, which he still uses today. So why was The Dog Whisperer cancelled?
The show’s trouble began as many animal activists believed that his dominance and submission tactics create anxiety and fear rather than compliance in the dogs. Therefore, the immediate results dog owners saw in their pets would be short-lived. According to some pet lovers, the dogs have even more problems after the training sessions from this self-proclaimed dog groomer turned professional trainer.
So, what happened to The Dog Whisperer? Naturally, as his popularity grew, so did the number of individuals who disagreed with his methods and techniques. These animal activists were not afraid to voice their concerns and evoke change by appealing to anyone who would listen.
When Was “The Dog Whisperer” Cancelled?
The final episode of the television series, The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, aired on September 15, 2012.
While there may not be a definitive answer as to the question of why was The Dog Whisperer cancelled, many speculate it is a combination of several compounding elements. Some more notable circumstances that did not bring a positive view to Cesar and his methods include:
- The Dog Whisperer tragedy with a Young Gymnast and Queen Latifa’s dog
- The Cesar Millan scandal for animal cruelty on an episode of Cesar 911
- The Cesar Milan controversy surrounding his German dog-training test
- Other battles about dogs under his care
The Dog Whisperer Tragedy With a Young Gymnast and Queen Latifa’s Dog
A previous lawsuit involving Cesar Millan and a young gymnast, Lidia Matiss, states that Cesar’s dog, Junior, bit the gymnast’s legs. While visiting her mother, who worked at the office, Junior was wandering around off-leash before the bite occurred.
As an upcoming gymnast, she could no longer compete since she sustained from this dog belonging to Millan. However, Cesar claims that Matiss was negligent while on the property and was fully aware, rendering him not responsible.
During the discoveries, Matiss also revealed that the same dog belonging to Cesar has a history of severe issues towards people and animals. One instance she recalls surrounds the passing of a dog in his care that belonged to Queen Latifa, who he was training at the time.
While handling and training two of her pets, the claims state that Junior hurt one of her dogs by mauling it, while Cesar covered it up.
Matiss’ mother worked under Millan during that time and stated that Cesar instructed staff to explain that the dog passed from issues from being hit by a car. Millan denies these allegations and misleading information of the instance to this day.
Both these lawsuits were settled out of court and sealed without further information.
The Cesar Millan Scandal for Animal Cruelty on an Episode of Cesar 911
Another televised series with the famed Dog Whisperer was Cesar 911, which aired from 2014 to 2016. This show covered Cesar tackling unruly canines in neighborhoods after receiving calls from concerned residents for help.
The scandalous episode in question involved a French Bulldog Terrier mix and a pig as part of his comprehensive training methods to help the dog coexist with other animals. The dog was known to previously harm pigs that lived on the property with him.
Unfortunately, during the training session, the dog bit the pig’s ear, much to the uproar of animal activists and other concerned viewers. Although, many individuals present at the time claim that the bite looked worse than it really was.
Some individuals claimed that Millan presented the pig to the dog for bait and entertainment purposes. This spurred a growing petition with change.org containing over 14,000 signatures asking for Nat Geo to cancel his show.
As a result, there was a formal investigation into animal cruelty concerns, and Millan cooperated fully, understanding the need for an inquiry. In the end, the investigators determined that there was no indication that he deliberately put the pig or dog in harm’s way, and everyone there acted appropriately and professionally.
In addition, the pig did not sustain any permanent injuries, and both animals are currently living together without further problems. So, the court later dropped the charges.
The Cesar Millan Controversy Surrounding His German Dog-Training Test
In 2014, a German news source reported that Cesar Millan submitted an urgent application to participate in a hands-on training show in Hanover, Germany.
Germany is the only nation in the world that requires meeting a specific testing requirement to protect the dog-training profession. Therefore, an individual has to pass the exam to call themselves a professional trainer and legally practice there.
Although he completed the test with an interpreter, he did not pass the country’s requirements, disallowing him from interacting with any dogs professionally. As a result, the show continued without the live demonstrations of what Germany considers inhumane and ineffective methods on dogs.
Other Issues Surrounding Dogs Under His Care
Cesar Millan is no stranger to legal issues regarding his training methods and canine care. Some concerns from previous customers profess their pets developed anxiety disorders and behavioral issues after receiving training from the famed Dog Whisperer in Los Angeles.
A producer, Flody Suarez, claimed his dog was left with severe issues after overtraining, leaving the pet with bruising, bleeding, and gasping for breath. His $25,000 vet bills were settled with Millan a year after the issue occurred.
Another instance involves a Florida nurse, Alison Bitney, who received disfiguring injuries from a dog that Cesar prematurely released from his Dog Psychology Center. The vicious and dog bit her, making it necessary for her to receive reconstructive surgery afterward.
So, after all these legal issues, did the Dog Whisperer go to jail? No, he was either found not responsible for any allegations or settled any open lawsuits with the plaintiffs. So, was The Dog Whisperer cancelled after all of these instances? In part, his original television series was canceled, but he reappeared with alternative programming for interested viewers.
Conclusion: Why Was “The Dog Whisperer” Cancelled?
Even with his controversial dog training techniques, some animal owners still believe that he has value in his methods and can effectively help many canines.
Although his original television series, The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, is no longer on the air, the now-celebrity has participated in several television specials and documentaries. His latest project, Cesar Millan: Better Human, Better Dog, is ongoing through NatGeo.
Of course, there are many ways to find past episodes and his old TV series online by searching for Cesar Millan and his work. He also has published books and magazines for those looking for his advice in print rather than watching someone’s experience on television.
The chances of Cesar Millan disappearing from the public eye are slim, even with all the controversy surrounding him. He continues to attend live shows, appear on television, participate in interviews, and appear in printed materials and DVDs. His two sons are also involved in his work with animals and continue his work to help educate humans and aid in awareness of dog behaviors.
If you find this guide, “Why Was “the Dog Whisperer” Cancelled,” helpful, you can check out these other dog-related content from our team:
- Why Does My Dog Push His Food With His Nose?
- Why is My Dog So Cuddly All of a Sudden?
- Why Does My Dog Bite My Cat’s Neck?
You can learn more about Cesar Milan by watching “The Untold Truth Of The Dog Whisperer” down below:
Dr. Sabrina Kong graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in England in 2016 and has been working at a small animal clinic in Northern California since then. She grew up in the Bay Area and got her bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She also became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner through a program at the University of Tennessee.
When she isn’t in the clinic taking care of her four-legged patients, she enjoys traveling and trying new foods with her friends and her three-legged dog, Apollo. She adopted Apollo from her clinic when he was a puppy with numerous health issues. Dr. Kong truly cares about taking care of animals.