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Cesar Millan (/ˈszər mɪˈlɑːn/;[4] born César Felipe Millán Favela, Spanish: [ˈsesar feˈlipe miˈʝan faˈβela]; August 27, 1969) is a Mexican-American dog behaviorist[5] with over 25 years of canine experience. He is widely known for his Emmy-nominated television series Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, which was produced from 2004 to 2012 and is broadcast in more than eighty countries worldwide.[6]

Cesar Millan
Cesar millan.jpg
Millan in 2007
Born César Felipe Millán Favela
(1969-08-27) August 27, 1969 (age 48)
Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Residence Santa Clarita, California, U.S.
Citizenship United States[1]
Occupation Dog trainer
Years active 2004 (2004)–present
Television Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, Dog Nation
Spouse(s) Ilusión Millan
(m. 1994; div. 2010)
Partner(s) Jahira Dar (2013 (2013)–present)[3]
Children 2

Millan is a New York Times best-selling author and has his own line of dog products and instructional DVDs. Prior to The Dog Whisperer series, Millan focused on rehabilitating severely aggressive dogs[7] and founded a rehab complex, the Dog Psychology Center,[8] in South Los Angeles (2002–2008).

In 2009,[9] the Dog Psychology Center moved to Santa Clarita, California.[10] Millan also opened an East Coast clinic at the Country Inn Pet Resort in Davie, Florida, near Fort Lauderdale.[11]

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.[9]

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.[12] The magazine ceased publication after its November/December 2014 issue.

With Ilusión Millan, his former wife, he founded the Millan Foundation – later renamed the Cesar Millan Foundation and currently called the Cesar Millan PACK Project.[13] The foundation was established to provide financial support to animal shelters and organizations engaged in the rescuing, rehabilitating, and re-homing of abused and abandoned animals, and to fund spay/neuter programs to help reduce dog overpopulation.[14] It aims to "improve the health, happiness, and harmony of dogs and people — while helping both species learn from and support each other."[15] Among other projects, the Foundation worked with Yale University to create a children's curriculum based on his work.[9]

Millan's methods have been criticized by the animal welfare charity RSPCA and by the broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh as being "cruel" and also "unnecessary".[16]


Early lifeEdit

César Millán Favela was born on August 27, 1969, to Felipe Millán Guillen and María Teresa Favela in rural Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico. Millan grew up working with animals on the farm in Sinaloa where his grandfather was a tenant farmer.[17] Because of his natural way with dogs, he was called el Perrero, "the dog herder".[17] The family later moved to Mazatlán.[18] Millan crossed the border into the United States without a visa when he was 21 years old and spoke no English.[17][19][20][21]


Millan's first job in the United States was at a dog grooming store. He later created the Pacific Point Canine Academy. Jada Pinkett Smith became one of Millan's first clients and supporters when he was working as a limousine driver,[6] providing him with an English tutor for a year.[18][19] Subsequently, Millan created the Dog Psychology Center, a two-acre (0.81 ha) facility in South Los Angeles, specializing in working with large breed dogs.[22]

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[23] and was broadcast in more than eighty countries worldwide during its run.[6] The final episode of the show was broadcast in the U.S. on September 15, 2012.[24]

In 2009, Cesar Millan launched Cesar’s Way magazine in the United States and Canada, for which he was the Editorial Director. The magazine combined advice from Millan along with articles about the relationship between dogs and humans.[citation needed] Cesar Millan's Leader of the Pack was an American documentary television series on the Nat Geo Wild channel which ran from January 5, 2013 to March 26, 2013. The next year, 2014, saw the premiere of Millan's new series, Cesar 911, on the Nat Geo WILD channel; in non-American markets, it’s known as Cesar to the Rescue. In 2015, he teamed up with children's television veterans Sid and Marty Krofft to create Mutt & Stuff, a preschool television show for the Nickelodeon channel. Millan's son Calvin stars on the series. In early 2017, Cesar and his older son Andre will appear in the all-new series Dog Nation,[25] premiering March 3.[26]

Dog training techniqueEdit

Millan's work focuses on handling a dog with what he calls "calm-assertive energy".[9] He believes that dog owners should establish their role as calm-assertive pack leaders.[19] According to Millan, dogs have three primary needs:[19] exercise, discipline and affection — in that order.[27] In other words, it is the owner's responsibility to fulfill the dog's energy level needs through challenging exercise; then to provide clearly communicated rules, boundaries and limitations; and finally, to provide affection.[28] According to Millan, a common pitfall for American dog owners is to give a great deal of affection with very little exercise and even less discipline.[28] He encourages owners to understand the 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.[17][29]

Millan's TV programs are centered on the rehabilitation of dogs while Millan concurrently educates the dog owners in his dog-handling philosophy. Conversations with owners typically revolve around 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),[19] while Millan demonstrates how owners can achieve and maintain a leadership role with their dogs. In some cases, Millan takes dogs with severe behavioral problems to his Dog Psychology Center for an extended period of more intensive rehabilitation. The programs are not intended as a dog training guide, and[23] each episode contains repeated warnings that viewers should not try the behavior modification techniques at home without the guidance of a professional.[19]

While working with a dog, Millan often uses vocal marks such as tsch,[30] gestures, and body language to communicate with dogs rather than speech or the dog's name. Cesar encourages owners to create their own unique sound that works for them.[29] He believes that dogs sense, understand, and respond to a person's energy more easily than their speech.[31]

Millan has said, "My goal in rehabilitating dogs and training people is to create balanced relationships between humans and canines."[11] In 2009, The New York Times attributed Millan's success to his personal sense of balance,[9] describing this as "a sort of über-balanced mien".[9]


According to a January 2007 article in the Indian scientific journal Current Science, some professional dog trainers find Millan's methods outdated, flawed and "unscientific and inhumane."[32] Millan's detractors say that what Millan calls "calm submission" is actually a state of helplessness that is the result of averse dog-training techniques.[32] A study in Applied Animal Behaviour Science said Millan has been influential in popularizing punitive techniques, but that bad behavior from dogs was caused by fear and anxiety, not a lack of the owner's alpha status.[33] Malcolm Gladwell, writing for The New Yorker said that critics were responding to a "highly edited" version of his approach on television, which exaggerates the frequency and intensity that he uses when he disciplines the dogs.[32][34]

In October 2012, Millan 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. Titchmarsh 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."[16][35] Metro UK described the interview as the first time that Titchmarsh has "deviated from his usual interview strategy – which runs the gamut from mild to wild sycophancy" and described him as "probably the only celeb Millan has failed to win over..."[36]

Personal lifeEdit

Millan became a permanent resident of the United States in 2000, became a United States citizen in 2009,[1] and lives in Los Angeles, California. He married Ilusión Wilson in 1994, with whom he had two sons, André (b. 1995) and Calvin (b. 2001).[citation needed]

In June 2010, Ilusión Millan filed for divorce, seeking primary physical custody of their children with visitation for Cesar, as well as spousal support.[37] In May 2010, after his dog Daddy died in February and his wife filed for divorce, Millan attempted suicide.[38] Since August 2010,[39] he has been in a relationship with Jahira Dar from the Dominican Republic.[40][41][42][43] They announced their engagement in April, 2016.[44]

Daddy and JuniorEdit

One of Millan's many dogs, Daddy, was an American Pit Bull Terrier integral to Millan's work and his television series, The Dog Whisperer.[45] 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.[46] Daddy's death came at age 16 in February 2010.[46] After the death of Daddy, Junior has now assumed Daddy's role and helps Cesar with rehabilitating dogs by using what Millan refers to as calm, assertive energy.[47]

In popular cultureEdit

Millan guest-starred as himself in Ghost Whisperer in Season 2, Episode 18, "Children of Ghosts". 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. A satirized version of Millan was portrayed in "Tsst", the May 3, 2006, episode of the Comedy Central animated series South Park. In the episode, Liane Cartman enlists Millan's help in applying his principles to her misbehaving son, Eric Cartman. The principles work, and Eric becomes completely reformed, but Liane fails to continue applying Millan's techniques, and Eric reverts to his old behavior. 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 dog fighting. Millan played himself in Beethoven's Big Break, which premiered in cinemas on December 30, 2008, and The Back-Up Plan, which was released April 23, 2010, in theaters.

Millan made a guest appearance as a judge on Episode 3 of the 10th season of American The Apprentice, presented clues in a category on the April 27, 2011 episode of Jeopardy![48] and as a chef's table guest in the Season 15 episode of Hell's Kitchen.



  • Cesar Millan's Mastering Leadership Series, Volume 1: People Training for Dogs (2005)
  • Cesar Millan's Mastering Leadership Series, Volume 2: Becoming a Pack Leader (2006)
  • Cesar Millan's Mastering Leadership Series, Volume 3: Your New Dog: First Day and Beyond (2007)
  • Cesar Millan's Mastering Leadership Series, Volume 4: Sit and Stay the Cesar Way (2008)
  • Cesar Millan's Mastering Leadership Series, Volume 5: Common Canine Misbehaviors (2009)
  • Cesar Millan's Mastering Leadership Series, Volume 6: Raising the Perfect Puppy (2010)
  • Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan – The Complete First Season (2006)
  • Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan – The Complete Second Season (2007)
  • Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan – The Complete Third Season (2008)
  • Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan – Celebrity Edition (2008)
  • Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan – The Complete Fourth Season, Volume 1 (2010)
  • Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan – The Complete Fourth Season, Volume 2 (2010)
  • Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan – Season 5 (2011)
  • Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan – Season 6 (2009)
  • Cesar Millan's Leader of the Pack (2013)
  • Cesar Millan: Love My Pit Bull (2014)
  • Essentials of Dog Behavior, Volume 1: Socialization (2014)
  • Essentials of Dog Behavior, Volume 2: The Language of Dogs (2015)
  • Cesar Millan: Viva Las Vegas (2015)
  • "Mutt & Stuff, Season 1" (2015)
  • "Mutt & Stuff, Season 2" (2016)


  1. ^ a b "'Dog Whisperer' Cesar Milan becomes U.S. citizen -". Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  2. ^ Lee, Ken (June 4, 2010). "Dog Whisperer Star Cesar Millan and Wife Split". People.
  3. ^ Millan, Cesar (April 25, 2016). "'My pack is complete!'". 
  4. ^ "Welcome to Cesar Millan's YouTube Channel!" on YouTube
  5. ^ Asthana, Anushka (March 19, 2006). "This week we want to know all about Cesar Millan". The Guardian. London. 
  6. ^ a b c Oldenburg, Ann (July 27, 2006). "Pack is back: A week of 'Whisperer'". USA Today. 
  7. ^ "Cesar Millan". The Charlie Rose Show. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. 
  8. ^ – The Dog Psychology Center: Evolution of a Dream
  9. ^ a b c d e f Wallace, Amy (October 11, 2009). "Whispering to Rottweilers, and to C.E.O.'s". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2010. 
  10. ^ Millan, Cesar. "The Location". Cesar's Way. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Millan, Cesar (2013). "Home / Training". Country Inn Pet Resort. Archived from the original on October 26, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 
  12. ^ Vranica, Suzanne (September 10, 2009). "'Dog Whisperer' Hopes to Lead Pack at Newsstand". The Wall Street Journal. 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]
  13. ^ - Cesar Millan PACK Project website
  14. ^ - Mutt-i-grees website
  15. ^ - Cesar Millan PACK Project at Cesar's Way
  16. ^ a b Dean, Will (October 26, 2012). "The Dog Whisperer gets mauled by Alan "The Housewife Charmer" Titchmarsh". The Independent. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c d Gladwell, Malcolm (May 22, 2006). "What the Dog Saw". The New Yorker. 
  18. ^ a b "Cesar Millan". Modern Dog Magazine, Mary-Jo Dionne. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f Patterson, John (May 16, 2009). "All heel for Cesar". The Age. Australia. 
  20. ^ Chasnoff, Brian (July 7, 2009). "Cesar Millan Q&A". San, The Creature Beat. Archived from the original on July 9, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Immigrant of the Day: Cesar Millan (Mexico)". Immigration Prof Blog. 
  22. ^ "DVD: The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan". The, May 5, 2006. 
  23. ^ a b Peters, Sharon L. (May 31, 2007). "The snarls don't faze trainer". USAtoday. 
  24. ^ Starr, Michael (September 15, 2012). "'Dog'gone Millan". New York Post. 
  25. ^ Jamieson, Amy (September 28, 2016). "First Look: Cesar Millan and His Son Andre Hit the Road Together to Save Animals in New Show Dog Nation". People Magazine. 
  26. ^ Millan, Cesar. "Cesar returns in March with Dog Nation". 
  27. ^ Johnson, Morieka V. (April 4, 2006). "Dog's best friend". AZ Central. Retrieved January 8, 2010. 
  28. ^ a b "The Dog Whisperer's Magic Touch". ABC, NHancy Weiner, July 31, 2006. 
  29. ^ a b Gilbert, Matthew (July 26, 2006). "The `Dog Whisperer' has a gift with canines – and humans". The Boston Globe, October 5, 2007. 
  30. ^ "How to 'Tsch!' [Video]"., Cesar Millan. 
  31. ^ "How to be calm and assertive". Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  32. ^ a b c Fraser, Stephen (January 19, 2007), "Ruff Treatment", Current Science, 92 (10): 8 
  33. ^ Herron, Meghan E.; Shofer, Frances S.; Reisner, Ilana R. (2009). "Survey of the use and outcome of confrontational and non-confrontational training methods in client-owned dogs showing undesired behaviors" (PDF). Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 117 (1-2): 47–54. doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2008.12.011. ISSN 0168-1591. 
  34. ^ The Dog Whisperer 
  35. ^ Nelson, Sara (October 25, 2012). "Alan Titchmarsh Brands Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan 'Barbaric'". Huffington Post. Retrieved September 2, 2013. (link includes video)
  36. ^ Williams, Andrew (April 22, 2014). "Dog whisperer Cesar Millan: Hollywood is full of predators". 
  37. ^ Carpenter, Wendy (April 20, 2012). "'Dog Whisperer' host finalizes divorce, must pay ex-wife $23,000 a month". Yahoo! News. 
  38. ^ "'Dog Whisperer' Cesar Millan attempted suicide". New York Post. November 15, 2012.
  39. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved 2015-01-29.  Tweet by casarmillan from August 13, 2013
  40. ^ Matthew Buchanan. "Celebrating 3 years together! #happyanniversary... • Cesar Millan". Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  41. ^ "Instagram". Instagram. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Leader of the pack". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  43. ^ "Who Is Cesar Millan?". Cesar's Way. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  44. ^ Lewis, Raha (April 25, 2016). "Cesar Millan Is Engaged to Jahira Dar: 'My Pack Is Complete!'". People. 
  45. ^ Lee, Jasen (April 27, 2008). "Top dawgs: Smart shopping for a trainer can lead to well-behaved pets". Deseret News. Retrieved January 8, 2010. 
  46. ^ a b "In Memoriam: Daddy the Pit Bull". Archived from the original on February 23, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  47. ^ "Cesar Millan's dog Daddy dead at 16". United Press International. February 22, 2010. 
  48. ^ "Jeopardy, Show #6138 – Wednesday, April 27, 2011". Archived from the original on August 25, 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2011. 

External linksEdit