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Cesar Millan’s Dog Training Methodology and the Halo Collar

Cesar Millan knows dogs. Affectionately known as “The Dog Whisperer,” Cesar has starred in TV shows and written multiple New York Times best selling books about dog obedience training and rehabilitation. 

Throughout his lifetime of experience working with dogs, Cesar has learned a lot about their psychology. He understands that their brains work differently than human brains, so they cannot simply be treated like human children. 

In light of this knowledge, Cesar has developed a way of interacting with and training dogs that is consistent with their instincts and natural capacity to learn. Cesar has partnered with Halo on our mission to make the world a safer place for dogs, and his training methodology was baked into every aspect of the Halo Collar – from the training modules to the way the collar’s Feedback works.

Keep reading to learn more about how dogs learn differently than humans, and how that wisdom was leveraged in creating the Halo Collar Wireless GPS Dog Fence.

 

How dogs learn differently than humans

“Learning a little bit about dog psychology can make training a lot easier” – expert dog trainer Heather Mickelson

Simply put, human beings learn through memories of the past; we remember what has worked and what hasn’t. We are generally aware of our past experiences – through trial and error – and draw on those experiences to make informed decisions in the present. 

Dogs, on the other hand, learn through their associative memory. That is, they easily learn the relationship between two things that are experienced at the same time.

In contrast to humans, dogs are always living in the present moment. For example: If you are walking your dog while in a bad mood, anxious, tugging on the leash or arguing with your dog to “finish their business” faster – you have begun to create a negative association with you, the leash and the walk – whether you realize it or not. 

The next time you get a leash out prior to walking, they will not remember the exact circumstances surrounding the previous walk, but they will remember feeling negative emotions on a walk because dogs feel our energy. After repeating an example such as the one given, the negative association is being reinforced while simultaneously showing the dog that you are not someone to trust and respect.

The same phenomenon can occur in examples of positive associations too. If your dog learns that a certain ‘good’ behavior will result in them receiving a treat, then you can be sure that they will make a strong instinctive association between those two events (producing the good behavior and receiving a treat). 

The Halo Collar and Wireless Dog Fence is a precise tool that will communicate with your dog at exactly the right time, allowing them to seamlessly form the associations they need to keep them safely within their designated boundaries.

Halo uses associative feedback to teach your dog to respond to prompts from the Halo Collar. Just like your dog reacts to someone ringing the doorbell, they will also learn how to respond to the escalating ‘keep away’ prompts and the ‘come home’ Return Whistle from Halo.

As Heather Mickelson says, “This training will work with any dog, any breed, no matter how stubborn you think your dog is.”

With a little time and patience, you will be enjoying a whole new level of communication and freedom with your pup that’ll last a lifetime.

 

How Halo works with your dog’s natural instincts

Dogs instinctively follow the lead of their Pack leader. You are your dog’s Pack leader, and the Halo Collar is an extension of you and your leadership.

Guidance aimed at dogs needs to be clear, concise, and consistent. Rules, boundaries, and limitations help to keep your dog safe and give you peace of mind. Because your dog understands what is expected of them, you are providing them with the freedom to just be a dog and enjoy life.

Cesar recognizes that a dog’s sense of smell is the most important tool they use to learn. They use their nose first, then their eyes, then their ears. As you go through Cesar’s in-app Halo Training Program, you will notice that Halo uses the curiosity created by the nose to help your dog learn. This method will allow them to create the right associations to understand what is expected of them and keep them safe. 

You will help your dog to make positive associations with their Halo Collar. Once your pup is comfortable with their collar, you will begin to train them to respond to the collar’s communication. 

Eventually, your dog will learn to associate collar feedback with returning to safety. Once this association is firmly entrenched in their associative memory, it will be like clockwork. No matter where their focus is during a given moment, if they receive feedback from their Halo Collar, they will instinctively know exactly what to do. 

If your dog can learn to respond appropriately to feedback prompts when they are fixated on a high-value food item or high-intensity distraction, then they can also respond appropriately to those same feedback prompts if they become distracted by something out in your yard or wherever else you take them. 

While these principles apply to all dogs, the way each dog responds to the stimuli will vary greatly, depending on both the nature and intensity of the stimuli. That is why Halo offers a variety of prompts to keep your pup contained, including sounds, vibrations, and static feedback. 

There is an entire section of training dedicated to helping you determine which feedback prompts your pup will respond to most reliably. This way, you can fully customize your pup’s prompts so that your Halo Collar is offering them the best protection possible.

 

A dog training program that actually works

“Once your dog completes the Halo training, these lessons become instinctual by nature, and they form lifelong habits” – Heather Mickelson

The Halo System is only as effective as the training program that teaches you and your pup how to use it. Luckily, Cesar Millan eats, sleeps, and breathes effective dog communication!

Every aspect of the training process is meticulously thought out. Halo training begins indoors – where the stakes are low. Your dog will learn how to behave first, and then the training will take them outside once they understand how to react to the collar’s communication.

Cesar emphasizes how important it is to “Practice the activities that nurture your dog’s instincts: exercise, discipline, and affection.” 

Halo Pet Training allows you to do all of those things. That is why Halo is better than any other wireless dog fences. “Exercise addresses the body, discipline addresses the mind, and affection addresses the heart.”

“The Dog Whisperer” knows how important it is to provide your dog with the opportunity to expel

their excess energy through structured activities that include both mental and physical exercise.

These activities are essential to your dog’s physical and mental health and help them to be relaxed and focused before you begin training. Halo Training includes instructions that specifically teach you how to engage with your dog – using structured enrichment activities – before training to achieve more effective and efficient results. 

One of the core tenets of Cesar’s dog training program is setting clear “rules, boundaries, and limitations” to provide structure for your dog.

  • Rules are standard boundaries that you set for your dog, like not pulling on the leash or barking at guests
  • Boundaries are borders that represent where your dog can or cannot go, like staying in the yard, or keeping away from the stove
  • Limitations help limit the length or intensity of an activity, like calming down or coming inside

Providing your dog with this structure is part of your responsibility as a Pack leader. Your dog will instinctively appreciate you for making things natural, and easier, for them by setting clear expectations.

“By helping our dogs to stay within a chosen fenced area, we’re teaching them how to be respectful,” Cesar says. “In return, they’re gonna come back [to safety]. Therefore, they’re practicing trust.” 

They trust you, and you helped them learn how to use the Halo Collar, so they will instinctively trust the collar. The fact that the collar’s feedback works perfectly with their instincts makes it all the more practical. 

Cesar tells us that “Trust, respect, and love are the pillars of any relationship.” 

Once you and your pup complete the Halo Training Program, you will have formed a bond rich with trust, respect, and love that will last you a lifetime.

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