(Originally published September 16, 2008)
It's bad enough that Cesar Millan and National Geographic have set dog training back a gazillion years with their show "The Dog Whisperer": a regressive show wrapped in New Age packaging. (Newsflash: adopting a mantra of "calm, assertive energy" is the not sole answer to solving a dog's problems.) Worse is that the NG channel has to paste a "Do Not Try This At Home" disclaimer at the top of every episode.
Now, we've got something that we apparently can try at home: Sessions with Cesar, which a press release describes as "a new online dog coaching course [and] interactive program, which is based on the philosophy of America's most beloved dog behaviorist, [and] is the first of its kind to help dog owners establish a more fulfilling and balanced relationship with their pets."
Oh joy. Alpha rolls with online coaching? Psychological flooding prompted by a cybervoice? All for only $129? I'm so there ...
... Especially now that I've read "the Disclaimers and Warnings" section, which takes up a full third of the Terms of Service. Among the provisions of that section: "we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any Content on or provided in connection with the Service. IMG, Cesar Millan, Ilusion Millan and Cesar Millan, Inc. (collectively the “Released Parties”), and its and their affiliates, consultants, associates, and other users may also provide advice as part of the Content on the Service (“Advice”). You agree that such Advice is provided for your informational purposes only, and that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with the use of any Advice, including any reliance on the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of such information or content." IOW, if my online coach, Cesar, tells me to alpha-roll my dog, and my dog expresses her displeasure by biting me, it's my fault.
Wow. Now I really feel confident.