Achieving Balance and Harmony


Bassett Hound Rivalry, an Aggressive Dingo Mix, and an Over-Protective Poodle

Season 3 | Episode 6 | Sophie & Riley, Aussi, and Sasha, Bebe, & Lulu

A couple of adopted basset hounds have a bad case of sibling rivalry over food, treats and their owners' attention. A dingo mix from Australia hasn't adjusted to her new life in California, and takes it out on other dogs. An overly protective poodle has it in for a pair of new puppies. Can Cesar help these troubled pets?


Dueling Basset Hounds

There is a misconception that when dogs fight, you must only discipline the one that started it. But we could notice the fight twenty seconds after it started and have no idea from the energy of the dogs who started it.

Dogs move through states of mind and emotions much quicker than people, so my personal philosophy is to always discipline the dog with the highest level of intensity at that moment. The dog that started the conflict may have submitted right after the fight began. And, by going after the dog with the highest level of energy, you control the pack; they learn that a certain level of intensity is never acceptable to the leader.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to create a fight-free environment. Do this by learning to read your dog’s body language and energy, and assessing and correcting the situation before the fur starts to fly.

Vet Dog

People often ask me how to handle big and powerful dogs. Powerful breeds can indeed be dangerous in the wrong hands, and I always recommend people call in a professional to help them assess and get control of their particular situations. Often though, it’s not necessarily the size or breed of a dog when it comes to physical control. It’s all a leadership game.

My friend Jada Pinkett Smith is a 100-pound woman who controls a pack of four 100+ pound Rottweilers all at the same time. It’s not her physical strength that commands respect, it’s her psychological strength and the power of her intention.

My client Betty McVay has beaten cancer twice, and it was that determination and inner strength that we channeled in helping her achieve a leadership role with her beloved dingo-mix, Aussi, a dog much more physically powerful than she is.

Mental strength is uniquely human and the key to controlling animals that are more physically powerful than us. Once you get the hang of it, the power of our minds and our energy are better than any leash or collar.

Fab Five

It makes no sense to put a group of dogs together in a home and immediately expect them to be “friends.” I’ve been called in to help a lot of households where a small pack of two, three, or four dogs weren’t getting along and causing fights.

Usually, the owners have missed all the warning signs of this type of aggression. It tends to begin with nervousness, tension, dominance, insecurity, or anxiety from one or more members of the pack.

The best solution for this type of situation is to insist on calm-submissive behavior from all your dogs before you introduce them to each other. As pack leader, you must be the one in charge and directly address the trouble makers before their aggression goes from one to ten.

If the situation has already escalated, which is when I’m called in, sometimes you have to temporarily separate the unbalanced dog or dogs from the others to prevent an attack. In this segment, I’ll show you how I helped this family reintroduce their combating canines, but before you try it with your own dogs, make sure to consult a professional!

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