Achieving Balance and Harmony


"Leader of the Pack" Episode 7: Once Bitten

Many dogs are bred as working dogs, but problems arise when those dogs are not given a task. This is a story of a distressed dog without a job and without a home. Her name is Janna. A four year old female Belgian Malinois that was picked up as a stray and re-homed three years ago, she was brought her back to the shelter in Holland after the death of her elderly owner.

Highly stressed because of her return to incarceration and lack of purpose, she has developed an abnormal self-mutilation behavior, biting herself until she bleeds. Janna needs an owner who can satisfy her needs and give her a purpose in life. She’s brought to Miraflores so Cesar can help her achieve this.

After evaluating Janna in the agility field with the pack, it becomes clear to Cesar that herself-mutilation is not a neurological problem. The lack of purpose in life for such an active working breed can lead to this kind of behavior. Janna needs a job!

Cesar Millan meets three candidates who have come to Spain to offer Janna a home. The first ones to meet her in the kennel are couple in their early 20s, Wendy and Brian. They already have a sweet old rescue dog, Rosa, a German shepherd mix that had her share of issues when she was adopted, but has slowly overcome them with Wendy and Brian’s help. She is now a very balanced dog and could be a great influence on Janna.

The next Candidates to meet Janna are Craig, Evita and their problematic pit bull Noa. The meeting with Janna is delayed because Cesar discovers that Noa has some serious excitement issues. Evita is a dog trainer and seems to have plenty of knowledge about dogs, but her own pet is not yet under control. Cesar decides it may be better to meet Janna without Noa. Evita handles Janna easily, correcting her strange behavior and teaching her some basic obedience tricks.

The last candidates to meet Janna are Gill, Sven, and Kylian, a Belgian family that has been through some tough experiences in their lives. Sven, the father, was involved in an industrial accident and suffers from chronic pain and depression. Now they want to adopt a rescue dog in the hopes of reigniting the happy family unit they used to have. The family likes Janna right away — she reminds them of their former dog Guismo, and they feel very touched by Janna’s story. Cesar has them walk Janna one by one and is impressed at how Janna adapts to each family member and their energies.

It will take a special family to help Janna recover from her emotional wounds and give her a new purpose in life. Which family will Cesar choose?

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