"The Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan weighed in on the recent incidents with President Joe Biden's dog, Major this week. The dog training expert and former reality TV host called into Fox News Primetime on Tuesday during a discussion of Major's second nipping incident. Millan feels that it is unfair to blame Major for his reaction to unfamiliar stress.
Major Biden caused a minor injury to someone at the White House back in March — reportedly nipping their hand without breaking the skin. Last week, the rescued German Shepard reportedly nipped at another person while out on a walk across the White House lawn. Both people got medical attention "out of an abundance of caution," and were proclaimed safe and healthy. Millan said that this is not at all uncommon for a dog of Major's age, breed and intelligence and that the whole story should be illustrative for dog owners thinking of introducing their pets to new people or places.
"Animals do react from the energy in the environment, but this is a perfect example of not having a safety protocol to introduce dogs into the White House, right?" Millan said. "So, it's the same protocol for any house. It's just accidents happen because there is no safe protocol. So we can't blame the dog. That's the first thing we have to understand is, we can't blame the dog. We have to take full responsibility of how to introduce a dog into an environment first, and then introduce the dog to new people so he gains the trust, the respect and the love. Then you have harmony."
Fox News host Mark Steyn proposed a few simple culprits for Major's behavior to Millan — suggesting that there might be too many new people around, or that the unfamiliar staffers walking the dog are making him feel unsafe. Millan shot down these ideas, saying that it is actually a good thing for dogs to be socialized with lots of people at once.
"That makes him more social," Millan explained. "He has more friends. This is a big opportunity here. If everybody understands the same thing and practices the same behavior, everybody's going to be Major's best friend."
Millan — a big proponent of animal rescue and rehabilitation — also shot down the theory that some trauma in the adoptee's past might be his problem. He said: "We all have issues. We all come with issues. After 20 years of age, people have issues. So, a rescue dog is a dog that had issues and they were placed into a shelter. It doesn't mean he can't go back to normal, you know? So, back to normal means, the human gives exercise, mental stimulation and affection. Body, mind, heart. That returns him back to normal. A normal that people didn't give. So rescue dog doesn't mean they are broken. Rescue dog means they had a human prior to them that didn't know how to fulfill the life of a dog."
Millan made a name for himself on his Emmy-nominated TV show Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, which rain for eight years on National Geographic. He has hosted other shows since and has also written books and produced instructional DVDs about dog training and dog rehabilitation. In addition to TV appearances like this one, Millan continues to help clients through his website, "Cesar's Way."