César Millán is the same in person as on television: smiling, incombustible and inevitably affable and optimistic. THE REASON interviews him at his California ranch where he is filming the second season of the National Geographic show “Better Human, Better Dog,” which just premiered in August.
Where do you get that naturalness in front of the cameras?
It helped a lot that I grew up on a ranch with my grandparents, who died at the age of 105. That holds you back as a human being, that natural, simple and deep part that one lives… You realize that this type of people used spirituality, instinct, and love for the family. They are very important, especially now with the covid and this financial part that only affects humans, not animals. The human panics, he puts an emotional, spiritual, mental obstacle, and the dog lives with him. When I arrived in the United States, I realized that they didn’t have that natural nature of connection that I have coming from a third world country, from a low-income family, and that I had a better relationship with dogs than people with money, fame and power. That’s when I said, “I’m not going to train dogs, I’m going to train humans.” And I am very creative: those elements have helped me: my spiritual part, my instinctive part, my emotional part and my creative part.
What is the second season of “Better Human, Better Dog” going to offer us?
This is the first time I have a title where everyone is involved in this transformation, because you have to think like a better human, so that your dog is the dog it should be… The dog would have done perfectly without you . When you bring the dog into your house and you don’t have that knowledge, it’s like bringing children into the world without knowledge. The knowledge of your energy, of your house, of where you live… I am more than ever in this stage of my life, where I want the whole planet to understand whether or not you have dogs, you have to see your energy, and your shape of thinking, your actions, because those three things are what makes you human: your energy, your philosophy and your actions. I am more precise, where I have already been a father for 27 years and 24, I have two children; where I have already passed through mountains that collapse and I have climbed the Himalayas and Everest and I have returned down and I return up again. All of that helps you as a parent, as a teacher, as a human in this life. I relate very quickly with people and help them bring out that vulnerable part. What happens in the world is that the dog won the hearts of humans, so the human will listen to the dog because he loves him unconditionally. He is the only member in society who can change the world, simply because there is no intellectual barrier. The dog knows that you have something inside, you cannot hide it from him. They are three beings, to whom the human can never tell lies. I am a believer: God, your mother and the dog. They know you have something inside, and you have to get it out, otherwise the dog won’t connect. It’s not 90%, it’s 100%: You have to be 100% healthy spiritually and your mind has to be clear.
The holidays arrive and we abandon dogs, how can we solve it?
It is a reflection of how we treat ourselves. There are many humans on the street, a lot of poverty, a lot forgotten by people who have money. You have to change those habits. There are a lot of dogs in the street and I had never seen that in my life. We need to make a drastic change because our energy has to change. I’m talking about personal energy, that energy that doesn’t cost you anything. You have to bring that good energy: calm, trust, love and joy.
And what is the solution?
Well, grab a dog and he’ll teach you. If he doesn’t have those four qualities, the dog will fight, fear, or ignore you. When you change that, he’s going to come back to you.
How do you deal with criticism of your method?
They are criticisms from people who don’t really know what I do, because I work energy, then I educate the human being. The technique is really super flexible, but the most important thing is that I am focusing on educating the human before he has a dog. Focusing on the energy of the human and how you see the dog before you say what technique you want. I do shows that are transforming the world. They are looking for someone to attack. I can attack them, but I have a lot to do. I use thousands of techniques. I am the most creative person in the animal world.
Are there conflicting dogs?
That that the dog is conflictive is as if it could have decisions. No animal in this world wants conflict. The only one that creates conflict is the human. Animals simply create balance and harmony, and pass that information on to the next generation. We are the only ones who follow unstable leaders. The planet would be perfectly fine without the human. Nature does not need humans. The only one that creates conflict is the human. It is like saying that elephants or lions have conflicts: It is ridiculous, because for that an intelligence is required that only humans have. The human has the intelligence to create conflict: Wars, is conflict; poverty, is conflict; lack of health is a conflict created by us. There is no other species more conflictive than the human.
There is a trend to humanize dogs, is it dangerous?
Humanizing a dog is like telling you “behave like a giraffe”. Well, they are going to change your identity. You have your own identity and someone comes along and says change that and be something else.