'Dog Whisperer' says canines are easier to train than lawmakers

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ITK caught up with Millan, 40, as he visited longtime pal Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) at the Longworth House Office Building last week. The man’s best friend pro was in town shooting a special on pitbulls, airing next year on the Nat Geo Wild channel, and lobbying against breed specific legislation targeting pitbulls.

It’s a cause close to Millan’s heart, whose beloved pitbull and service dog, Junior, rarely leaves his side. “There’s legislation that’s passing at the local levels banning the breed,” says Millan. “Honestly, I think if we pass this law nationwide it’s just going to intensify our anger and our fear [of pitbulls].”

Saying pitbulls have “the worst PR on the planet,” Millan contends, “It’s not the breed, it’s the human behind the dog. So we need to put that responsibility behind us. Pitbulls are not born aggressive.”

Cardenas echoed Millan’s views, saying, “It’s a law that’s completely based on ignorance.”

Millan admits he’s not so sure he’d be able to work the same magic he has with canine companions on the nation’s fractured Congress, saying, “A dog wants two things in life: balance and harmony. That’s all he wants. How he achieves it is by following his pack leader. And the pack leader role is to fulfill the needs of his pack.”

To that, Cardenas cracked, “Now if we can do that in Congress, we’ve got it made. But we’re not there yet.”

Cardenas says he teamed up with Millan years ago after his wife, Norma, saw the dog guru’s television show and insisted her hubby work on animal legislation with him.

And they’re a few perks to having Millan as a buddy.

“We have a chocolate lab and Cesar helped us with the chocolate lab,” Cardenas says. “And Norma wouldn’t trust me with the dog, so Cesar spent time teaching Norma how to work with our lab. And Coco is [now] the most coolest, calmest dog we’ve ever had.”

The House freshman, 50, says he’d like to have Millan make a return visit to Capitol Hill to talk to some of his colleagues about his stance against breed specific legislation. Cardenas also has a few other plans for a furry addition to his Longworth digs: “I would love to have a mascot and Cesar’s offered to help me get one, but we need to make sure that my office is ready, pet-friendly and pet-ready, to handle that responsibility.”