Book Brief: Lessons From the Pack

dog book cesar millan

Lessons From the Pack lessons from the pack book review
Cesar Millan & Melissa Jo Peltier
2017, National Geographic Partners

The Idea

In this book, celebrated dog behaviorist Cesar Millan shares his story and the eight major lessons he has learned from dogs. Part autobiography and part life value book, “Lessons from the Pack”s, is interspersed with celebrity client insights and childhood stories to reveal the lessons we can all learn from our four-legged friends.

Recommended For

Someone looking for an inspirational self-help book, but doesn’t want the heavy lifting required from true self-help gurus.

The Pros

The story flows well. There is a formula to each chapter (shares a few stories, outline how dogs express or engage in each action, tells a few more stories and provides a human lesson at the end of the chapter). The stories are told in a chronological order, so even if you get lost on the lesson, you don’t get lost on the underlying story, which also makes it an easy read. Millan’s creative take offers a fresh perspective on how we can better ourselves when we learn from those around us.

The Cons

I am a skeptic. I wonder about the true intentions of this book. As I read it, I could hear the National Geographic Partners back room conversations in my head:

“Cesar, your fans haven’t heard from you recently. You should write a book.”

“But, I’ve already written a book about dog behavior.”

“True. Let’s see… the top selling books are self-help books and the pet market is exploding, so write a book that ties those two things together. We’ll have a blockbuster!”

Another con was that there were too many stories crammed into each chapter. Stories of his own self-discovery, anecdotes about famous clients, random quotes used to separate sections and celebrity files became distracting from the lesson each chapter was attempting to teach.

My Take

This book was worth the library borrow, but it’s not a must-own book. Millan’s ability to understand dogs is amazing and had me staring at my dog, wondering what she was thinking, where she would fit into a larger pack and how she could teach me more about respect, freedom, confidence, authenticity, forgiveness, wisdom, resilience and acceptance.

If you aspire to be the person your dog thinks you are, then it’s worth a read.

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