Achieving Balance and Harmony


A Destructive Akita, a Non-Eating Newfoundland, and an Escaping Shiba Inu

Season 2 | Episode 14 | Greta & Hoss, Storm, and Chula

Can Cesar help Hoss, a young Akita, control his aggression and save his family's house from being destroyed? Newfoundland Storm won’t eat. After numerous trips to the vet and no solid answers, the family is calling in Cesar.

Two-year old Shiba Inu, Chula, has a knack for bolting out open doors. With the help of a new GPS-based tool and some good old calm-assertive energy, Cesar sets out to make Chula more of a homebody.


Approaching a Lost Dog: Global Pet Finder

If I see a dog that is acting like he may have run away, the first thing I do is study his mental state. If he is in a frantic state-of-mind, I’ll follow along on the other side of the street, without trying to catch him at first.

But if he seems lost or tired and just looking for direction, I will try to get near him, without making eye contact, and create a space for him. He will become curious and, most likely, approach me. Remember, staying calm is key. Sudden moves could cause the dog to become fearful, nervous, or tense. He is in unfamiliar territory, and he doesn’t know or trust you.

Can Dogs be Picky Eaters? (Storm)

Storm, the Newfoundland, was the world’s pickiest eater—and a prime example of a dog that wasn’t being challenged enough. Just like humans, animals need a purpose in life. It’s programmed in their DNA to want to work for food and water. But because Storm was living a life with constant room service, even when he hadn’t ordered it, he’d lost the desire to do what regular dogs do–go after the food!

I do want to stress that there are some times when a dog’s lack of appetite is a red flag for physical problems. If your dog’s appetite changes suddenly, especially if the condition continues for a few days, please contact your veterinarian. If the doctor runs tests and finds there’s nothing medically wrong with the dog, then it’s time to look at other aspects of his relationship with food. Here’s a tip: A really strenuous rollerblade session first thing in the morning will make most dogs eager to wolf down a hearty breakfast!

Take Back Your Couch: Greta and Hoss

Leadership and hierarchy are natural in the animal world. Their places in the pack start to become established as soon as it enters the world. So it amazes me when I have clients who give up some of their comforts of home to the dog! The client will say, “Oh, that’s Baxter’s couch” or “My husband and I can’t even see each other in our bed because the dogs take up all the room in the middle.” Wait a minute! You paid for your house! You go to work to pay for that couch and that bed, and yet you can’t use it because it “belongs” to the dog? Something’s very wrong there. If this describes you, then it’s time to take back your own home.

Once again, it all comes back to establishing a leadership position. You must feel in your bones that you are the pack leader in the house, and project that calm-assertive energy. If you assert true leadership, your dog will not be sad, or hate you, or resent you, even if you take back the place on the sofa. But you have to really mean it. Having a leader is hardwired into your dog’s brain – that’s what he both needs and wants. Take advantage of that and go ahead, sit on your couch again!

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