The Dog Whisperer: Dog expert Cesar Millan coming to town for IdeaFestival

| September 22, 2011
Cesar Millan

courtesy photo
Cesar Millan

For seven years, Cesar Millan has taught humans how to interact with dogs on his hit National Geographic Channel TV show, “The Dog Whisperer.” But when it comes to his knowledge and expertise on canine rehabilitation, Millan doesn’t credit himself as the best teacher.

On Friday, Sept. 23, Millan will come to the IdeaFestival to present his innovative techniques in dog rehabilitation. There he will discuss ideas on communicating with canines and explain why dogs are actually the best teachers of all.

Millan is just one of several speakers who will come to Louisville during the IdeaFestival, which brings together a diverse group of thinkers from around the world to explore and celebrate innovation, imagination and cutting-edge ideas.

Cesar Millan

courtesy photo
Cesar Millan

When it comes to ideas about dog training, Millan has proven he knows a thing or two about the canine species, and that knowledge has translated into a wealth of understanding about the human species as well. By coming to the IdeaFestival to demonstrate the same tactics viewers witness on his show, he believes the lessons he teaches will resonate even better with the audience.

“If you watch the show, I always train people and rehabilitate dogs,” Millan said. “The live experience (helps with) the understanding. Often on TV, when you see a dog misbehaving, a lot of people think it’s acting or editing. The element of belief goes out the window.”

One of Millan’s theories on dog rehabilitation involves the dog’s environment. For example, according to Millan, dogs living in Los Angeles are very different from those in New York and ones here in Louisville.
“If you ever study New Yorkers and people from L.A., L.A. is like, let me sugar coat something,” Millan said. “New York is to the point. That’s actually better for the dog; you treat (the relationship) as a business. The most successful relationship we often have is the business relationship. It’s more structured and to the point. You don’t get rewards in business without working. In personal relationships, everyone wants the reward without the effort.”

It’s this business relationship that Millan teaches pet owners, including some of his celebrity clientele, such as Oprah Winfrey, Nicolas Cage, Will Smith and Vin Diesel. Whether they’re blockbuster action heroes or ordinary people living in the suburbs, Millan applies the same principles when helping clients develop a positive demeanor with their dog.

“Dogs don’t know they live with a celebrity,” Millan explained. “The dogs don’t care about the beauty. For the dog it’s just how does she (or he) feel? Whether the person has a structure or not.”

Millan also emphasizes the importance of listening when it comes to rehabilitating your dog.

“There is no book that is going to tell you how to treat this dog,” Millan said. “The dog is going to tell you how to treat him. Every dog is like a book. My grandfather told me never work against Mother Nature. Always listen to an animal tell you how he feels.”

Millan will explain the basics of listening to a dog in a book he is currently writing. Millan’s first three books, including “Cesar’s Way,” became New York Times best sellers and cumulatively sold 2 million copies in the United States. With his success in both television and print, it appears a lot of Americans are looking for help in developing better relationships with their pets. And learning to listen to a dog not only helps pet owners develop better relationships with their dog, but also better relationships with each other.

“A dog is a great listener,” Millan said. “If we all become as good of listeners as a dog, we can solve world problems. We have a teacher right there next to us, and we don’t want to listen. America was once the leader of the pack. Not anymore. They need to go back to the basics. It’s all about world transformation. If we learn to behave completely different with our dogs, it’s going to ripple into different areas.”

Millan will present at the IdeaFestival from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23. For information on the IdeaFestival, visit

Contact writer Ashley Anderson at

The 2011 IdeaFestival

Date: Wednesday-Saturday, Sept. 21-24
Location: The Kentucky Center, 501 W. Main St.

Some of this year’s speakers include:

  • Aneesh Chopra, the U.S. chief technology officer.
  • Aubrey de Grey, a scientist, editor and co-author of “Ending Aging.”
  • Elizabeth Scharpf, founder of the global Sustainable Health Enterprises.
  • Leonard Mlodinow, physicist and co-author with Stephen Hawking of “The Grand Design.”
  • Philosopher and democracy advocate Chris Phillips.
  • Sheril Kirshenbaum, a scientist and author of “The Science of Kissing.”
  • Human perception psychologist and author Daniel Simons.
  • Tim Donaghy, a former NBA referee whose gambling addiction sent him to prison.
  • Ruby Lerner, founding president of Creative Capital.


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About the Author (Author Profile)

Ashley Anderson

Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).

Comments (1)

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  1. Gman says:

    I have been hearing about how dog socialization is important for puppies, and IT’S TRUE! My dog learns from other dogs much better but the behavior wears off so he needs regular doses of being with other dogs. I have been watching The Dog Whisperer since this season started and when I heard that DirecTV was taking away National Geographic from their subscribers I was flabbergasted. I for one wouldn’t stand for it and although my DISH Network employee account assures me I’ll have FOX channels for years to come I bet DirecTV customers would like the same peace of mind. If I were in that situation I would switch ASAP so I don’t miss my favorite shows.