Love-Seperating Pups, an Aggressive German Shepherd, and a Loud-Mouthed Sheltie
Season 2 | Episode 9 | Spike, Jake & Nugget, and Wendell
Cesar steps in to save a marriage as Patricia and Tyler's dogs don't quite get along. Then, Cesar confronts a family's German Shepherd that's so aggressive, the German Shepherd rescue center wouldn't take him back. And finally, Jake is a loud-mouthed Sheltie that barks at everything, especially during car trips.
As a teacher, Jake's owner can handle a classroom full of seventh graders and eighth graders, but her own home is out of control. Find out if Cesar can teach these dogs a few new tricks.
Yes, You CAN Train Your Dog
To me, animals are windows into their owners. Because they love their dogs so much, they open up to me because they believe that I can help them. Once they relax and speak honestly, their body language clues me in to how I need to work with them. For example, when people say to me, “I don’t think I can do it,” that says to me that they don’t trust themselves.
If they don’t trust themselves and lack confidence, I promise you, their animals know it. My role is to gently remind them, “Look, you CAN do this.” So if a client is having problems, I’ll try a certain exercise that helps to empower them and turn around their negative beliefs.
As far as dog rehabilitation is concerned, I train from the animal’s perspective, which is to live in the moment. In other words, it’s easy to solve problems or make things happen quickly if you quit obsessing about what’s already passed. I try and help people practice that, and once they’ve gotten a taste of success, they know they can continue to make strides on their own.
A Pack Leader’s Work is Never Done
Like Megan Traver, who you’ll meet in the “School for Shelties” segment, many of my clients are successful people who excel at very difficult jobs. Megan is a junior high school teacher who is able to transform whole classrooms of hormone-ridden, pre-teens into calm and submissive students everyday. I don’t know about you, but I am in awe of that! Yet when Megan comes home, she is unable to handle her two little shelties. What’s up with that?
When people come home from a long day at work, they tend to want to be done being the authority figures. They have spent the day using their physical and psychological energy to the fullest and are usually exhausted. All they want is to relax and fulfilling their own emotional and spiritual needs. And who better to share the soft side of themselves with than the animals who unconditionally loves them?
There lies the problem. I remind my clients, there’s no time clock to punch at the end of the day when it comes to being your dog’s pack leader. Despite your own mental state, your dog still has his needs – exercise first, discipline second, and lastly, affection. No matter how tired we are at the end of the day, we can’t put our own needs ahead of our dog’s time and time again and expect them to be balanced and stable.
There are no “Bad Breeds,” Just Bad Owners
Remember, human beings domesticated dogs, so we must take responsibility for understanding how even the most powerful breeds can use all their best inherited traits and live peaceful, balanced lives. I don’t believe power breed equals “bad breed,” though to read the news sometimes, you’d think there were gangs of these “evil” dogs out there, roaming around, chomping at the bit to do something horrible to us.
Cane Corsos, Presa Canarios, Bull Mastiffs, “pit bulls”, Rottweilers, and German shepherds. All of these power breeds have inherited certain genetic traits, abilities, and needs, but none have the innate instinct to kill a human being. On the rare occasion there is an attack, it is usually the result of too much negative energy or frustration stored in a very powerful, high-energy body. And all too often, that negative energy or frustration is triggered by abuse or neglect.
We must learn to stop labeling these power breeds as aggressive or mean and instead educate ourselves about their powerful natures and how to best channel their energy. When you make the decision to own one of these dogs, you must immediately become a committed pack leader, dedicated to their physical and mental well-being. If you can not channel their natural energy, it can melt into layers of frustration, which can lead the animal to become depressed or aggressive.
Once again, the needs of all dogs must be fulfilled on a daily basis, but especially for power breeds. This is done through spaying or neutering, and of course, through daily exercise, rules, boundaries, and limitations.