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Nat Geo WILD Launches New Series LEADER OF THE PACK Tonight

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There are too many dogs in the world withouT Loving homes. Each year, millions of dogs across the world are abandoned due to seemingly insurmountable behavior issues, leaving them destined for lifelong incarceration or even euthanasia. What's a difficult dog to do? Luckily, now one very special human is looking out for them. A man known around the world for his incredible ability to rehabilitate dogs and train the humans who want to love them. A man with a remarkable instinct for understanding dogs.

That man is world-renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan, who is combating the global issue of canine abandonment and giving "unadoptable" dogs a second chance at life in his new Nat Geo WILD series Cesar Millan's LEADER OF THE PACK, premiering tonight, January 5, 2013, at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. But Millan's biggest challenge may be training the candidates who are vying for a chance to give these dogs a new lease on life.

Following the wild success of his long-running series DOG WHISPERER, Millan's new show takes him to the beautiful country of Spain, where each week he transfers extreme canine cases to his new Dog Psychology Center in Miraflores, just outside of Madrid. In each episode, three candidates from either the U.K., Italy and the Netherlands compete for the chance to adopt one special pup, with their dog skills put to the test in a series of special Cesar Millan canine challenges. Meanwhile, Millan employs his "exercise, discipline and affection" method to overcome hurdles with dogs that are particularly skittish or aggressive to painstakingly rehabilitate each one and prepare them for adoption.

"DOG WHISPERER had a passion, but LEADER OF THE PACK has a mission," says Millan. "Now I am combining my passion with my lifelong mission to prevent the deaths of so many innocent dogs. My goal with this show is to awaken the world to how many dogs are euthanized in one year, how we kill them and how the world really treats what we call man's best friend. By recognizing what is really happening around the world, we can save the lives of millions of dogs by respecting their love."

To raise awareness about rescuing, rehabilitation and rehoming, Millan will go through a journey to show the difficult situation of rescued dogs and to demonstrate that it's not about the breed, age, size or the backstory of the dog; it's about the human who handles the dog.

"I don't believe any dog is hopeless," adds Millan. "Many people around the world adopt or purchase a dog they are not prepared for and make the unfortunate decision to abandon them. I'm excited to give some of these animals a new lease on life. By applying rehabilitation methods and instincts, through Leader of the Pack I can find the right match and provide happiness, as well as a more fulfilling life, for both the human and dog."

The potential owners vary from families or couples to a single person, but they all share one passion - they want to become the Leader of the Pack. The selection of the candidates is based on research on their backgrounds, homes, hobbies and lifestyles. Once at the center in Spain, Millan evaluates each potential adoptee through a series of assessments designed to gauge their canine compatibility - and identify any red flags - before choosing the dog's best match. The new "leader of the pack" will take the rehabilitated dog home to be safely introduced as the newest member of the family.

Among the dogs viewers will meet in the first three episodes are Jet, a black Labrador crossbreed that needs to learn basic manners and control his puppylike behavior; Brigadiere, a timid mix-breed shelter dog that resorts to biting when he is afraid; and Harry, a 7-year-old basset hound whose owner passed away and whose poor social skills have made it hard to find him a home.

Through the series and through his new book, Cesar Millan'S SHORT GUIDE TO A HAPPY DOG (available January 1, 2013), Millan's followers will learn how to find a compatible dog for their family and maybe one day become a leader of pack too.

Premiere episodes include:

Cesar Millan's LEADER OF THE PACK: JET POWER Premieres Saturday, January 5, 2013, at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT In the premiere episode, Cesar Millan takes on a big, strong black Labrador crossbreed named Jet that is so unruly he scares away possible adopters at the shelter. Jet travels to Spain, where hopeful contenders will learn how to teach him some basic manners and control his puppylike behavior. Kasper and Rachel are a young couple with previous experience rescuing dogs. They are looking for a canine companion to take on wilderness adventures. Glenn and Karen, a lounge singer and pub manager, respectively, recently married and have two daughters. They think a dog would complete their pack and want to make a good impression on Cesar. Jenni is a single woman with dozens of animals: four dogs, 11 cats, two horses, five sheep and 31 chickens. She lives surrounded by acres of woodlands in an environment where almost all of the animals move freely as they wish, even in the house. Cesar evaluates how the candidates approach and leash the excitable Jet and how they handle his obsession with toys before determining which is best suited to become Jet's new pack leader.

Cesar Millan's LEADER OF THE PACK: LOVE AT FIRST BITE Premieres Saturday, January 12, 2013, at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT Brigadiere is a mixed-breed dog that has been in a shelter for six months. He's timid, insecure and fearful of people. Just coaxing him out of his kennel can be a struggle. He was wandering the streets when a woman found him and wanted to keep him, but he tried to bite her. Brigadiere doesn't trust people and needs a leader who has real patience and understanding. Janne and her daughter Sofie already have three dogs, and lost their fourth earlier in the year. They want to adopt again to refill their pack. Ursula, an art professor, and Massimo, an art dealer, have two dogs already as well, but have never rescued a dog and are eager to do so. Finally, Renato grew up with dogs, but his wife Karin has never had one before. Karin loves a new challenge, though, and feels that as a couple they are ready to be good owners to a rescue dog. Cesar watches as the candidates practice "no touch, no talk, no eye contact" with Brigadiere, and observes as the candidates try to pet and brush Brigadiere, before deciding which candidate is the best match for the highly fearful dog.

Cesar Millan's LEADER OF THE PACK: WHEN HARRY MET CESAR Premieres Saturday, January 19, 2013, at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT Harry is an unlucky basset hound that was sent to a shelter when his owner passed away. At age 7, Harry is an older dog set in his ways, and his poor social skills have made it hard to find him a home. Cesar may be his last hope. Uzma and Lionel are psychotherapists and consider themselves human whisperers. Uzma admits to being fearful of dogs because of a bad experience as a child, but she is willing to overcome her fears to adopt a companion. Next, Daniela, a part-time dog groomer, and Mike, an ex-army captain, already have two rescue greyhounds and feel up to the challenges of a third rescue. Finally, the third candidates to meet Harry are sisters Abbey and Alice, and Alice's boyfriend Krystoff. They all live together in a big farmhouse and want to use a team approach to care for Harry. Cesar first asks the candidates to put a leash on Harry and introduce him to other dogs, and then they must walk Harry on leash in potentially stressful situations as he acclimates to the new task. After reviewing their differing approaches, Cesar must decide which candidate is the best to see Harry through his golden years.

Cesar Millan's LEADER OF THE PACK: MILES TO GO premieres Saturday, January 26, 2013, at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT Miles is a scrappy stray mutt often seen roaming around the streets near garbage cans, looking for his next meal. He has developed some bad habits, in particular food aggression. After a quick assessment, Cesar determines that Miles needs to learn some basic manners so that he doesn't literally bite the hand that feeds him. Candidates in this episode include Jan and her partner Marco, who live in the countryside and want to rescue a dog they can take on long walks. Lorenzo and his fiancée Anna already have one dog but are eager to adopt a second. Husband and wife Paul and Elizabeth and their family have already rescued one dog and also want to adopt a second to round out their family. Cesar first challenges the candidates to approach Miles calmly and return him to his kennel as smoothly as possible, before moving on to touching and grooming him in a way that does not cause him discomfort or alarm. The candidates who impress Cesar move one step closer to taking Miles home for good.

New York Times best-selling author Cesar Millan is one of the most sought-after specialists working in the field of dog rehabilitation. With more than 20 years of experience working with canines, Millan has been called "a Dr. Phil for dogs," and for good reason. He amazingly rehabilitates aggressive, scared, lazy, compulsive and jealous dogs, as well as the families who are usually in the dark about how their own behavior contributes to their dogs' quirky traits.

LEADER OF THE PACK is produced for Nat Geo WILD by POWWOW Media Partners. For POWWOW, Marcela Campos and Leo Lavazza are series producers and Gregory Vanger is executive producer. For Nat Geo WILD, executive producer is Jenny Apostol, senior vice president of development and production is Janet Han Vissering, and executive vice president and general manager is Geoff Daniels.

NAT GEO WILD

For more than 30 years, National Geographic has been the leader in wildlife programming. The networks Nat Geo WILD and Nat Geo WILD HD, launched in 2010, offer intimate encounters with nature's ferocious fighters and gentle creatures of land, sea and air that draw upon the cutting-edge work of the many explorers, filmmakers and scientists of the National Geographic Society. Part of the National Geographic Channels US, based in Washington, D.C., the networks are a joint venture between National Geographic and FOX Cable Networks. In 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) debuted, and 10 years later, Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with Nat Geo WILD currently available in 56 million U.S. homes. Globally, Nat Geo WILD is available in more than 100 million homes in 90 countries and 28 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeowild.com.


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