Cesar Millan of the Dog Whisperer has teamed up with TV legends Sid and Marty Croft for Nickelodeon's Mutt & Stuff – a children's show about dog training starring his son Calvin, 20 trained dogs and a handful of puppets.
I talked to Cesar and Calvin at this year's San Diego Comic-Con and they both told me how it's an honor to work with the Krofts on this project.
"It's a humbling experience and an honor to work with people who already paid their dues," Cesar said. He added that the teamup achieved a balanced approach. "When you talk about the Krofts you talk about imagination. How do you tell a story thru puppets? I'm more in the reality point of view."
"It's like creating a comic book with Stan Lee," Calvin gushed. "I just appreciate it every day. It would be wrong if you don't. Marty is funny. Sid loves to tell stories. I think that's pretty cool."Cesar Millan and Calvin Millan at San Diego Comic-Con
Cesar said that the inspiration for the show was his son Calvin, who three years ago at 13, told him that he would be a better dog trainer than his father and have his own TV show. "I have a son who is just as good as I am," he admitted. "I want him to teach kids how to be responsible and respectable to dogs."
The product of his son's challenge is a show Cesar calls "preventive." Cesar built his dog-centered business around rehabilitating owners who don't know how to treat dogs. The hope is that Mutt & Stuff will teach kids the right way at an early age before anything goes wrong.
Calvin is a bit more specific on what he actually does on the show. "For the exercising episode, I did a back handspring. There's going to be a lot of flips and tricks," he said. "The show is to help kids understand dogs. I can demonstrate how to teach a dog a trick, I explain the steps, almost like an informational video. It's like what my dad does but with puppies."
And the best thing about working on the show? Calvin said: "Nickelodeon has the coolest stuff ever... they have the best food!"
Mutt & Stuff premiered on July 10 and episodes are available online at Mutt & Stuff on Nickelodeon