Dog Whisperer to give seminar in Atlanta

"El Perrero," better known in the U.S. as the Dog Whisperer, will share what he knows about working with canines in Atlanta this weekend during his only seminar in 2008.

Cesar Millan, star of the National Geographic Channel show "Dog Whisperer," earned the nickname "El Perrero," which translates as "The Dogman," as a child in Mexico due to his uncanny ability to attract canines. Millan has channeled that attraction into a mission to help the owners of what may appear to be problem dogs, but the 39-year-old California resident and dog behavior specialist said improving the animals' behavior is just a matter of training the owners, rather than training the dogs.

"My goal is to teach people you can change your state of mind," Millan said. "In every relationship somebody has to lead. Instinctually, someone has to lead the pack."

Millan said that someone needs to be the dog owner.

"I train people, I rehabilitate dogs," Millan said. "Rehabilitation is transformation."

Millan owns a 14-year-old pit bull, a 6-year-old Chihuahua, a 2-year-old Rottweiler, a 11/2-year-old Chihuahua/Yorkshire terrier mix and a 9-month-old pit bull.

Millan and his wife, Ilusion, have two sons, Andre, 14, and Calvin, 9, who have both helped their father rehabilitate dogs.

"In a way, the (dogs they rehabilitated) belong to them," Millan said. "(But) we're all one big pack."

Atlanta is the only city in which Millan will hold a seminar this year. The city was on the previous year's agenda and Millan wanted to fulfill that obligation.

Millan will also hold a free book signing at Costco store No. 188, 6350 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road in Atlanta, from 4 to 6 p.m. today.

New episodes of "Dog Whisperer" air at 8 p.m. every Friday on the National Geographic Channel. For more information on Millan, visit his Web site at www.cesarmillaninc.com.