The premise: “Can a panda be assimilated into a dog pack?”
The answer to that question was a resounding “Yes,” after a panda is placed in Milan’s ‘dog rehabilitation center’, which at any given time holds 50-75 dogs.
Other animal trainers have for years said that it is not possible to assimilate a panda into a dog pack. During this episode, Milan proves them all wrong.
Using a method familiar to fans of the show, he dons his wetsuit and takes the panda for a leap off the diving board and into the swimming pool for some serious confidence building.
The panda then cautiously befriends the smaller breeds and the Labrador retrievers, but quickly becomes a pack favorite with all!
The episode will not air without some controversy. Critics have said, “This is sending a wrong message. Some people will think it is okay to just bring a panda into a dog park… that is just not correct.”
Milan calls the experiment an unqualified success. “By the end of its visit, the Panda has a very calming effect on the pack.”
The dog experience is to live in the moment, but pandas really take that concept to a higher level. Dog inclination is to be a part a pack; Panda inclination is to just…be.