Famous dog trainer Cesar Millan is hoping that his idea of living in harmony with dogs can begin with little children and therefore stresses the mission of the foundation that bears his name.
The Mexican who became a TV star with his “Dog Whisperer” program describes the Cesar Millan Foundation as “one of those things you leave to the world.”
“I established a relationship with Yale University and together with my foundation we drew up a curriculum that is giving some 1,600 schools in the United States classes of instinctive understanding and compassion toward animals,” he told Efe on a visit to Miami.
The 2-year-old project, which focuses on primary school kids, got started with the aid of actress Jada Pinkett Smith, who was the person who paid his English classes for a year “when I showed my interest in doing a radio or television program.”
According to Millan, it’s easier to teach children because “they don’t see a pitbull as a pitbull, just as a dog,” so you’re not instilling prejudices in them against particular breeds.
Because “when you grow up and get these ideas, what it does is make you afraid” of certain breeds because you see them as dangerous.
Millan says that humans need to be educated about animals to establish a healthy, happy coexistence.
That’s what he has been doing from the time he was a boy in Sinaloa, Mexico, where he grew up on a ranch and later used everything he learned there on a TV show that won him fame as the Hollywood celebrities’ dog trainer.
That got started after opening his Dog Psychology Center in the mid-1990s for the purpose of rehabilitating mean canines, giving special attention to “powerful breeds” like pitbulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Dobermans.
Though “Dog Whisperer” is broadcast in more than 100 countries on NatGeo television, he still wants it to reach more people in Spanish.
He made his mother a promise he would address that concern and eventually did so in Spain.
“When she saw the show with my voice dubbed, that wasn’t me. So I promised to do a show in Spanish so she could hear my real voice,” he recalls.
In Spain he films a show that he describes as “really strong,” but one that boasts an unmistakable “Latino and Spanish flavor.”
“We helped Spaniards realize little things they didn’t know and that they suddenly realized as a nation” about behavior that bonds with dogs or that mistreats and turns them away.
After his visit to Miami, the Mexican flew back to his 43-hectare (106-acre) ranch in California, which he intends to fit out so he can “bring people there and teach them to raise dogs right.”