Man on a mission

Whether revered or vilified, there’s no denying that Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan is in a league of his own. The pets team caught up with him on his recent visit to Singapore to promote Cesar's Recruit: Asia.
By Justina Tan
Published on Thursday, 09 March 2017

Cesar Millan is possibly the world’s most famous dog behaviourist-trainer—or people-trainer and dog-rehabilitator as he likes to call himself. While the 48-year-old Mexican-American amassed a legion of ardent fans globally over the Dog Whisperer’s eight-year run from 2004 to 2012, he also drew a fair share of detractors who panned his methods. However, there may be more to Cesar than mere showmanship. When we meet him in the flesh, his passion for helping paw-rents and their furkids translates off-screen. 

With the release of his latest reality show, paw-rents in the region can look forward to their very own “dog whisperer”. The show sees Cesar making his way through Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, and Taiwan to find a worthy protege to propagate his highly effective dog-rehabilitating trifecta of exercise, discipline and affection in Asia.  We meet with Cesar and Singapore’s Cesar’s Recruit: Asia representative, Ethan Loke, to find out more.

Since Dog Whisperer started in the U.S., why find a protege in Asia instead of America? 

The Asian culture has so much spiritual and energy-based influence, such as traditional Chinese medicine, martial arts, yin and yang, karma and good luck. In the dog world, energy is everything. Energy can affect a dog—no different from how your energy can affect everyone around you. 

What were the most memorable moments of Cesar’s Recruit: Asia?

All the recruits have a genuine heart and love—there is no selfishness and no envy in the show. Even if they weren’t progressing to the next stage, they would cheer for the ones who were. This show is not about fame. It’s about being part of a movement to educate their country, their people, and their dogs. 

What traits are you looking out for in your recruit?

My recruit needs to have a certain level of people skills and to love what he or she is doing more than money. In this profession, you need to be able to follow as well as to lead. I’m looking for someone who has the instinctual ability to know when to be a follower and when to be a leader.

For the full interview where Cesar talks about his training methods, Ethan Loke shares with us about his experiences on the show, and for more, flip to pg 30 of our Feb/Mar 2017 issue!