"Tsht!" This sound will make dog lovers all over Hong Kong prick up their ears and start salivating. It's the sound celebrity dog-psychology expert Cesar Millan makes when he wants to snap a dog out of the mindset it is in and stop unwanted behaviour. Whether the dog is frantically chasing prams or bicycles - or just as frantically trying to get away from them - Millan, with a quick "tsht" and by projecting his "calm, assertive energy", will soon have the pooch walking happily next to its owner.
Except … it's the owner that's the problem, not the dog, which is just responding instinctively to the lack of leadership from humans who should be in charge but are instead allowing their pet to control their lives. As can be seen in almost every episode of his wildly successful television show, Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan (available on DVD), letting a pet be the "pack leader" can have devastating effects on every aspect of an owner's life.
Now Millan is coming to Hong Kong, for a one-off performance to educate the city's owners on how to treat their dogs like dogs and not little fluffy humans. It's his first show in Hong Kong and, he says, it will be different from the TV programmes, as on stage he'll have the opportunity to talk his techniques in detail.
"I hope the audience will come away with a better sense of why we need to treat dogs humanely," he says. "I do talk about people who adopt dogs for the wrong reason and why it's so important to find the right dog and be fully prepared to care for it for the rest of its life."
Cesar Millan Live in Hong Kong will take place next Sunday at 7pm, at the AsiaWorld-Expo. Tickets are available from hkticketing.com.