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Dogs in Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico

Dogs of Ajijic

Many of us have dogs in Ajijic. We have dogs because we love animals and because we love their company, their unconditional love and their willingness to protect us. Few of us, however, really know what our dogs need to live a happy and balanced life. The other day as I was happily channel surfing I came upon “The Dog Whisperer” on the National Geographic Channel. I was immediately drawn in by Cesar Millan’s calm and assertive way of handling dogs without yelling at them but quietly letting them know with authority what was required of them. I subsequently borrowed a book from my friend that she had bought in Canada and one of my daughter’s and myself set about learning everything we could from this wonderful man from Mexico who now lives in Los Angles. He has as few basic rules. He rehabilitates dogs and he trains their owners. First you have to look at your dog as an animal, then a dog, then the breed and then the name. Every dog wants a pack leader to follow to be in a happy and balanced state but if no pack leader steps up they will fill this void although it does not make them or their owners happy. The ideal state for a pack leader (which should be you) is calm/assertive and the ideal state for your dog should be calm/submissive. He teaches you how to attain this peaceful balance so everyone in your home is happy. The most important thing is exercise for your dog. This does not mean him/her dragging you along behind the leash but walking beside you on a short leash in a calm and happy state. You go out the door first to establish who is the pack leader and on “The Dog Whisperer”, in his books and on his website, Cesar Millan takes you carefully through each step to acquire the position of pack leader without bloodshed. The next thing your dog requires every day is discipline. This does mean you take a switch to him/her on a daily basis but that he learns rules, boundaries and limitations both with you and other dogs. Lastly, when he is exercised and has learned his lessons for the day comes affection. Evidently, this order is very important in helping to create a happy, calm/submissive dog which is their ultimate state. He also teaches us how to approach a new dog. Of course, it is not at all like we have been approaching new dogs with our hand out for them to smell. When you first approach a new dog there should be no talk, no touch and no eye contact. Let the new dog come to you out of curiosity once he/she is comfortable that you are not invading their space. If you are having some difficulty with your family pet it could be because another animal in your family which was the pack leader has passed away leaving all other dogs in your house without a pack leader to follow. This will create sadness and confusion and it is important that you take this opportunity to step up as pack leader to maintain the balance in your home. The name of Cesar’s book is “Cesar’s Way” by Cesar Millan and his web site is: We have learned so much about helping our dogs become calm, happy and balanced dogs and we continue to learn every day. I certainly wish we had had this vital information when we first came to Mexico 16 years ago and had our first dogs. It is never too soon to teach your dog the proper behavior which will make you and him/her so much happier and relaxed. Cesar will teach you everything he has learned over his life of rehabilitating dogs and he has become one of the most respected dog trainers in the world. His techniques are easy to learn and daily practice will help you transform into a successful pack leader. His methods will not only make your dog a happy and balanced they will also teach you how to have a happier more balanced life yourself.

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