Dog Whisperer to President Obama: 'Be a Pack Leader'

Cesar Millan advises the First Family on its canine addition, Bo.

President Obama may be the leader of the political pack, but it will take work to make sure he holds that title inside the White House with the new First Puppy, Bo.

So says dog behavior expert Cesar Millan (a.k.a. The Dog Whisperer), who has some words of advice for Obama, 47, his wife Michelle, 45, and daughters Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, who unofficially announced their adoption of the Portuguese Water Dog puppy on Sunday.

“When I watch President Obama speak, it’s clear that calm, assertive energy is something that comes naturally to him,” Millan tells PEOPLE Pets. “But often men and women who are leaders in the workplace don’t apply this ‘pack leader’ frame of mind with their dogs. That’s how problems develop.

“It isn’t just the President who has to set rules, boundaries and limitations for the dog,” adds Cesar, who with wife Ilusion has two sons, Calvin, 10, and Andre, 14. “Michelle and the kids have to be pack leaders, too!

“The best piece of advice I can give the Obama family is wisdom passed down from my grandfather: Never work against Mother Nature,” says Millan. “Fulfill your dog’s inborn needs – exercise, discipline, affection, in that order – and you will have the foundation for a balanced human-canine relationship.”

Millan, 39, whose National Geographic Channel series enters its fifth season this fall, applauded the Obamas’ decision to take time to find the right breed and pooch.

“I was impressed to hear that Malia had done her research in advance,” he says. Since the oldest Obama daughter has dog allergies, the family had to take care to choose a hypoallergenic breed that wouldn’t irritate Malia too much.

For more of Millan’s tips on raising happy, healthy dogs, click here.

See Our Complete Obama Dog Coverage
Meet the Obamas’ First Pup: Bo!
Memo to the Obamas: All You Need To Know About Portuguese Water Dogs
Photo Special: Our Gallery of Presidential Pets

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