Animals have problems and some of them have gone through a lot of tough times before finding a loving home. Much like people, some of them have their issues. Before sitting down to watch this DVD set, I'd never before seen "Cesar Millan: Dog Whisperer", which gets to the root of the problem by simply watching the owner interact with their pet and/or taking in information about an incident and what happened afterwards. The guy isn't a psychic and doesn't likely have all the answers (some cases take more time), but he's obviously skilled and experienced at training dogs to break a cycle of poor behavior (or obsessive behavior) or work out behaviorial trouble that could be related to a past injury or other issue. Millan has a dog center in Los Angeles where nearly 40 abandoned dogs - some of them formerly tough - get along in a very calm manner with one another.
The second season brings more problematic pooches and also brings back one of the corniest title sequences possibly ever on TV (Millan walks out of what appears to be fog along with several of his dogs.) Once again, the episodes follow the same format: Millan sits down with the owners to chat about the problem, then goes about trying to come up with a solution for the dog's behavior, which occasionally involve Caesar's dogs serving as examples for the troubled dog.
Whereas the first season focused on a couple of pooches each episode, this season sees the episodes focusing on three or as many as four dogs. There are also two specials: "Power of the Pack" (focusing on special cases, as well as Caesar's rehab center) and the self-explanatory "Caesar's Toughest Cases". Two episodes also focus on dogs rescued during Hurricane Katrina.
Some of the pooch tales include an ultra-aggressive dog living in a house with a very displeased cat who looks like he wants no part of the correction process for the dog; Denise Richards's pug becomes a little too aggressive; a couple questions whether they can get married due to problems with their dogs (which doesn't seem like something they should not get married over, but whatever); a Rottweiler in another case attacks shopping carts; two aggressive Min Pins may ruin a home business; in one that everyone can relate to, a little bassett hound refuses to go where it doesn't want to, letting its owner literally drag it down the street; there's a poodle who keeps running in circles; there's a picky eater and a dog who seems to take every opportunity to stage another escape from the house.
These aren't all people at the end of their patience with their dog. They're people who really love their pet and are saddened by their inability get along well with their dog and don't want to have to give them up. While fun, the series can seem a little repetitive after a while (this isn't a series where you're going to sit and watch all four discs in one sitting) and the producers should change the corny opening. Still, some of the stories are interesting and it's often moving to see the owner no longer frustrated by having to try to figure out how to get through to their troubled pooch.
This set includes the first season (26 episodes) on 4 DVDs.
27. 2- 1 6 Jan 06 Brady, Bandit and Hootie
28. 2- 2 13 Jan 06 Sonny, Chocolate and Cinnamon, Boo
29. 2- 3 27 Jan 06 Buddy, Teddy, and Matilda
30. 2- 4 3 Feb 06 JonBee, Violet & Hudson and Buford
31. 2- 5 3 Feb 06 Isis, Tina, Nugget and Katrina Dogs
32. 2- 6 17 Feb 06 Buddy, Tiger & Roxy, and Booker
33. 2- 7 17 Feb 06 Duke, Lulu and Sparky
34. 2- 8 3 Mar 06 Chip, Lucy, Hank & Betty, and Leo
35. 2- 9 10 Mar 06 Spike, Jake & Nugget, and Wendell
36. 2-10 17 Mar 06 Pasha, Cosmo and Contessa
37. 2-11 24 Mar 06 Princess, Prada and Bearz
38. 2-12 31 Mar 06 Katrina Dogs Part 2, Major Jones and Josie
39. 2-13 7 Apr 06 Eppie, Lady and Snoopy
40. 2-14 21 Apr 06 Pups on Parole, Eton & Dolly
41. 2-15 28 Apr 06 Vicki & Taz, Punkin and Maddy
42. 2-16 30 Jul 06 Dax, Pete, Nixa, and Sugar and Snowflake
43. 2-17 31 Jul 06 Bikini, Fella, and Winston & Oliver
44. 2-18 1 Aug 06 Power of the Pack
45. 2-19 4 Aug 06 Greta & Hoss, Storm and Chula
46. 2-20 16 Oct 06 Cesar's Toughest Cases
VIDEO: "Dog Whisperer" is presented by Screen Media in 1.33:1 full-frame, the show's original aspect ratio. Aside from some minor shimmering at times, the presentation quality looked quite nice. Sharpness and detail were mostly very good, although there were a few somewhat softer moments at times.
Aside from the shimmering, there were really no issues to note - no edge enhancement, no pixelation and no wear or other concerns with the source material. Colors looked bright and vivid, with no smearing or other problems.
SOUND: The show's stereo soundtrack had no concerns, as dialogue, music and other sounds were crisp and never sounded distorted or otherwise problematic.
EXTRAS: Three "never before seen" stories ("Jada Pinkett Smith and the Rattlesnake" (Pinkett-Smith has known Caesar for 15 years), "Lotus Blossoms" and "The Return of Hootie"), Caesar's tips (a 4 minute featurette) and finally, a "making of" featurette. The 11-minute "making of" is a good overview of how the show works, starting with the owner sending in video of their problem pooch. There's also discussion of how Caesar approaches both pet and owner (and a producer notes that the nicest people often have the worst cases), as well as the fact that crew members (who've all been bitten) are often used to film examples of the dog's problem behavior. The doc ends with a discussion of editing the series and an overview of Caesar's work.
Final Thoughts: While it's not the kind of show you can watch in one sitting, I continue to find "Dog Whisperer" entertaining viewing in this second season. The DVD set provides fine audio/video quality and a few nice supplements. Recommended.