Nate, Emma and Henry

Decorator Nate Berkus has helped countless people bring beauty and tranquility into their homes. Yet, despite being a design expert, he has a very big problem at home.

Nate's dogs, Henry and Emma, are misbehaving in a big way. Emma barks constantly, especially when someone's at the door or when Nate's cell phone rings. Meanwhile, Henry has aggressive tendencies, attacking other dogs and people. On one occasion, Henry even bit Ilya, the engineer in Nate's apartment building.

Nate's dogs have a bad reputation in their neighborhood. And worse, he says he worries that Henry will get into a nasty fight with the wrong dog.
Cesar to the rescue

On his National Geographic Channel show, the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan transforms misbehaving dogs by retraining their owners. Cesar says the problems with Emma and Henry actually originate with Nate. Cesar says Nate becomes nervous that Emma and Henry will misbehave, and the dogs sense that he is not in control—he is not the leader of the pack.

To compensate for the lack of a leader, Henry asserts himself by barking and biting. When Nate tries to calm Henry down, he does it incorrectly. Cesar says Nate is nurturing bad behavior. "You're saying 'It's okay to be dominant and obsessive in front of me,'" he tells Nate.

Instead, Cesar explains, Nate needs to show his dogs that he's in charge. Dogs, like people, are more social when they don't feel nervous, Cesar says. Nate must learn not to reward Henry's nervous bad behavior, but rather to reward his submissive good behavior. "You have to set rules, boundaries and limitations in order for them not to become a ticking bomb," Cesar says.
Testing Henry and Emma

With a bit of coaching from Cesar, Nate is ready to be the new leader of the pack, but will Emma and Henry make the grade?

Can Nate keep them from being aggressive when someone comes to the door? Will Emma bark when a phone rings? How will Henry react when he sees Ilya?

Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks? After just a few short hours with Cesar, Emma and Henry are behaving like well-mannered pups!
Nate Berkus, pack leader

Henry and Emma are ready for their biggest challenge...facing Henry's archenemy, Scooter. Cesar immediately integrates Scooter into the pack. "The closer they get, the more friendly they become," he says. Cesar walks with Henry, Emma and Scooter without any barking or fighting.

Now it's Nate's turn...and all three dogs are totally under control. "I'm being the pack leader," he says, holding the leashes of Scooter, Henry and Emma.

"And what does it take to be a pack leader?" Cesar asks.

"The knowledge that you are the pack leader," Nate responds. "To live in the now."

"And what energy are you?" Cesar asks.

"Completely confident," Nate says.
Cesar Millan

Cesar now has a best-selling book, Cesar's Way, in which he gives dog owners his best canine advice, from what dog is best for you and your family to establishing yourself as pack leader.

Cesar says that dog owners tend to make one mistake in training their dogs over all others. "Most people practice affection, affection, affection,'" he says. "What I teach people to do is exercise, discipline and then affection.'"
Teaching Sophie new tricks

Sure, Cesar can turn around a dog and its owner in the short term...but will the change last?

In May 2005, Oprah first turned to Cesar for help. Sophie—Oprah's "problem child"—howled whenever Oprah or Stedman left the house, and she did not get along with other dogs. One lesson with Cesar later, and Sophie was like a new dog!

Then, in September 2005, Oprah and Stedman added three golden retriever puppies—Luke, Layla and Gracie—to their pack. To be on the safe side, Oprah and Stedman asked Cesar to come back to help with the introductions.
The happy pack

You might not recognize Luke, Layla and Gracie. They're nearly a year old now, and hardly look like those new puppies anymore.

With Cesar's lessons and Oprah and Stedman's newfound positive energy, this extended canine family still gets along famously.
FROM: The Dog Whisperer Rescues Nate
Published on May 22, 2006


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