How to turn your dog into a lovable pooch

Dog whisperer Cesar Millan is back in Singapore with a new show. In a 15-minute phone interview, he gives us five illuminating facts about our canine companions - and about humans, too.

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Singaporeans may be better dog owners, ’cos we’re really, really good at following rules.

“One thing that Singaporeans have - that the rest of the world doesn’t - is the understanding of certain rules. Like throwing trash. The world throws a lot of trash on the floor, but Singaporeans don’t. Singaporeans follow rules, which is a big advantage when it comes to dogs. When I give people the rules [to be better dog owners], Singaporeans follow them. My basic formula is to give exercise, discipline and affection. Exercise keeps the dog’s body calm and discipline is for its mind. If you can follow the formula, nobody in Singapore will have problems.”

Dogs on social media make the world a better place.
“Seeing dogs on social media makes people happy. It creates conversation. Even if your dog is ugly, people talk, and that’s good. Like Grumpy Cat. The whole world talks about Grumpy Cat. It’s not a moment of religion, politics or racism — it’s just, let’s talk about this cat. When you put an animal on social media, it unites people and makes them human. We’re not just talking about ourselves, or about fashion, which is more selfish. Everyone agrees, whichever part of the world you’re in.

Want people to like your pooch? Put a backpack on him.
“Asia is not as dog-friendly as Europe and the US, where it’s like if someone tells you your dog has no rights, you can call the police! Here in America, it’s almost like racism if someone tells you your dog is not welcome. What you can do for your dog to get him more accepted in Singapore is to get him a backpack or a costume. When they see a dog dressed up, they accept them because he looks funny and makes them laugh. Sometimes, you have to change the psychology of the human based on what they see, in order to change their minds.

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