The Dog Whisperer. How Cesar Millan Became The World’s Most Famous Dog Trainer

Early Life

cesar millan working with dogs.

Augusto Deoliveira was born in Brazil in 1984.1 He spent his childhood in the city of Santa Barbara. At the age of 19, Deoliveira decided to move to the United States to pursue new opportunities.

Career Beginnings

The Dog Daddy, whose real name is Augusto Deoliveira, worked at animal shelters in his early 20s to gain hands-on experience with dogs. According to a video on his YouTube channel, he started volunteering at shelters because he wanted to learn how to properly train dogs. The experience gave him valuable insights into dog psychology and behavior.

In the video “How The Dog Daddy Got Started In Dog Training.”, Deoliveira discusses working at a high-kill shelter in Los Angeles where he was tasked with evaluating dogs. He learned how to assess a dog’s temperament and behaviors, which later helped him develop his training techniques.

Working directly with rescue dogs and observing their reactions in the shelter environment laid the foundations for Deoliveira’s career as a professional dog trainer and content creator known as The Dog Daddy.

YouTube Channel

The Dog Daddy launched his YouTube channel in August 2011, originally posting dog training tips and advice videos. His channel quickly gained a large following due to his unique philosophy and approach to dog training.

Within the first year, The Dog Daddy’s channel hit 100,000 subscribers. By 2015, it had over 1 million subscribers. Today, the channel has over 3.38 million subscribers and 784 videos, cementing its status as one of the most popular dog training channels on YouTube.

According to The Dog Daddy’s YouTube page, his videos aim to provide dog owners with the skills and knowledge they need to properly train their dogs. His channel also gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at his training techniques and life as a professional dog trainer.

Philosophy and Training Style

Dog Daddy has said that his philosophy is to use a balanced approach to dog training, incorporating both positive reinforcement techniques and physical corrections as needed.1 However, his methods have come under scrutiny from some animal behaviorists and trainers who say that he relies too heavily on physical corrections and punishment, which can lead to increased anxiety and aggression in dogs.1

In particular, Dog Daddy has been criticized for using techniques like muzzle grabs, collar pops, alpha rolls, and electric shock collars in his training videos.1 Many modern dog trainers instead promote positive reinforcement and rewards-based training, avoiding physical punishment. They argue that play-based methods and establishing trust lead to better long-term behavior in dogs.

In response to the criticism, Dog Daddy has said that every dog is different and may require different training techniques. He maintains that his methods are safe and get results, but critics counter that there are risks of increased fear, anxiety and aggression from relying on punishment.1 The debate underscores larger divides around dog training philosophy and appropriate correction methods.

cesar millan using unique training techniques.

Popular Video Series

Zak George has several popular video series on his YouTube channel, including:

Dog Daddy Diaries – This series follows Zak and his family as they train their dogs Inertia and Vendetta. The videos provide an inside look at Zak’s day-to-day life and allow viewers to see his training philosophy in action with his own dogs. Some popular videos in this series include “How I Potty Trained My Puppy in 7 Days” and “Teaching My Dogs How to Swim in My Pool.”

Doggy Dictionary – Zak explains different dog training concepts and terminology in short, educational videos. Some examples are “How to Teach Your Dog to Come When Called” and “What is Clicker Training?” This is helpful for beginners looking to understand the basics.

Double Trouble – Zak works with dogs who have behavioral issues stemming from lack of training and exercise. Videos follow his training process with dogs that exhibit problems like excessive barking, leash pulling, or aggression. The series demonstrates how he troubleshoots and modifies behavior.


Dog Daddy is the author of two popular dog training books. In 2019, he published Dog Dad: How Animals Bring Out the Best in Us, which became a #1 Amazon bestseller. The book explores the lessons dogs teach us and how caring for a pet can make someone a better human. His second book, Dog Daddy’s Canine Physiology Bible: Understanding Your Dog’s Inner Workings, was published in 2022 and provides a comprehensive guide to canine anatomy, physiology, and behavior (Amazon link). Both of Dog Daddy’s books share his philosophies on dog training and caring for pets while providing practical advice for pet owners.

Awards and Honors

De Oliveira has received recognition for his work as a dog trainer and content creator. In 2020, he won the Shorty Award for Best YouTube Animal Channel for his popular channel The Dog Daddy. The Shorty Awards honor the best content creators and producers on social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more. Winning this award was a major accomplishment for De Oliveira, as the Shorty Awards are considered one of the most prestigious social media awards.

cesar millan winning awards.

According to the Shorty Awards website, “The Dog Daddy was awarded for his commitment to bettering the lives of dogs through high quality online video content. His channel captivates viewers while also teaching them how to properly train their dogs.” With over 2.5 million YouTube subscribers, The Dog Daddy channel features dog training tutorials, advice videos, vlogs, and more.

In addition to the Shorty Award, De Oliveira has also won the People’s Choice Award at the 2022 American Rescue Dog Show. This award allowed the public to vote for their favorite rescue dog trainer, and De Oliveira emerged as the winner. Throughout his career, he has earned praise for his unique dog training methods and ability to rehabilitate and train rescue dogs.

Charity Work

Dog Daddy is dedicated to giving back and supporting dog shelters and rescues. He partners with organizations across the country to promote pet adoption and donate his time and money. Some of the shelters Dog Daddy works closely with include the Agoura Animal Shelter, the NKLA Pet Adoption Center, and the East Valley Animal Shelter [1]. He films videos volunteering at these shelters to showcase adoptable dogs and encourage viewers to adopt [1].

At the shelters, Dog Daddy walks dogs, films adoption profiles, helps with bathing and grooming, and assists staff with daily operations. His hands-on volunteer work provides much-needed help to these non-profits. Dog Daddy also uses his platform to fundraise. He promotes charity streams where proceeds go to select shelter partners and highlights their Amazon Wishlists so fans can donate needed supplies [2].

Through his advocacy, Dog Daddy has helped many dogs find their forever homes. His charitable initiatives showcase his passion for animal welfare and desire to make a difference for dogs in need.

Television Shows

In addition to his popular YouTube channel and books, De Martino has made guest appearances on several television shows to discuss dog training and behavior. He has been featured on The Doctors, The Real, and The Rachael Ray Show, offering tips on how to train difficult dogs. De Martino has also appeared on local news segments in Los Angeles to provide commentary on dog-related stories. His growing fame as “The Dog Daddy” has made him a sought-after expert on television when producers want insights from a celebrity dog trainer.

These appearances have allowed De Martino to reach wider audiences beyond his social media following. By showcasing his training techniques on national television, he is able to spread his philosophy that any dog can be trained with the right methods. De Martino’s television spots also drive traffic back to his YouTube channel and website, further expanding his fanbase. As his brand recognition grows, fans tune in when he is a guest on talk shows or news programs. This cross-platform exposure has been beneficial for building De Martino’s public profile as a celebrity dog expert.

Personal Life

De Martino lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, daughter, and their dogs. He has a pitbull named Junior and a German shepherd named Canilla that are often featured in his videos and social media posts. According to de Martino’s Facebook page, he describes his family as “My beautiful Wife Veronica, My princess Ariana Isa, My boy Junior, My girl Canilla.”

De Martino emphasizes the importance of dogs in his family life. In an interview, he said “Dogs are not just pets, they’re family members.” He aims to train dogs using positive reinforcement methods not just for obedience, but also to strengthen the human-animal bond.

cesar millan with his family and dogs.

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