The Dog Whisperer's painful past – and the A-list celebrity who helped him learn English

By People Staff
Updated October 09, 2009 12:20 AM
Credit: Tracey Nearmy/EPA

He rehabilitates dogs, trains humans – and counts some of Hollywood’s most famous pet owners among his fans.

But did you know that Cesar Millan (a.k.a. the Dog Whisperer) is a big fan of beauty products?

With his hit National Geographic Channel show kicking off its sixth season Oct. 9 and his fourth book, How to Raise the Perfect Dog, in stores now, Millan, 40, has built an empire that includes a product line, a magazine and the nonprofit Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation. Here are more things you may not know about the man Jada Pinkett Smith calls an “extraordinary spirit”:

1. As a child he was teased about his love of dogs.
Growing up in Mexico, Millan was bullied and called “dog boy” because of his affinity for street creatures. The eternal optimist now sees a silver lining: “Maybe those people motivated me to get closer to dogs and move to America quicker,” he says. “I’m grateful now but, at that moment, it hurt.”

2. He may be the ultimate pack leader, but that doesn’t mean he’s too manly for beauty treatments.
“Cesar puts on facial masks more than I do,” reveals his wife of 15 years, Ilusion, 34, “and you can’t talk to him while he’s in ‘mask meditation!’ “Millan says his father, Felipe, is “the original metrosexual – I’ve never seen him not looking good.”

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