A Fearful Lab Mix and a Powerful Pack of K9 Sniffers
Season 4 | Episode 3 | Luna and K9 Sniffers
Meet Luna, a Lab mix, who has extreme fear of dog parks, walks, and noises at home. It's time for Cesar to step in, but has this case gone too far, even for the Dog Whisperer? Next, Cesar heads to Florida to meet a pack of dogs that spends its days carefully keeping the port of Miami free of drugs, explosives, and dangerous chemicals. Can Cesar help these K9 sniffers learn to play together as well as they work together?
Lost and Lonely Luna
Without a doubt, fearful dogs are more difficult to rehabilitate than aggressive dogs. A red-zone aggression case often takes me no more than thirty minutes to make a difference, but a fearful dog can sometimes take me two months. Why? It’s a self-esteem issue. A lot of times, when a dog is afraid to confront a situation, they are lacking in self-esteem. In other words, they don’t believe they can trust themselves to handle the situation. And it’s a vicious cycle because the more they run away from the situation, the more it conditions the brain to flee or avoid.
Now we've all seen how dogs tend to greet each other. And it's easy for a little dog to become overwhelmed when a bigger dog comes over to say hello. Can you blame a Chihuahua for becoming a little frantic if say, an English Mastiff is towering over him? The Chihuahua doesn't immediately know that the mastiff won't hurt him. He just sees this massive amount of energy coming towards him.
But since that's dogs' nature in how they greet each other and you can't change that, I try and help the little ones gain confidence with they meet other dogs.
Energy is energy, regardless of the state of mind, so when I work with an insecure little dog, I do have a tendency to grab hold of him or her, in order to have absolute control right away. This way, the rest of the pack can smell the dog without the little dog acting out and I can gauge the kind of reaction the little dog might have.
Once they're done sniffing, I place the dog on the ground and create a big enough personal space, so the other dogs feel that I "own" this little dog - my energy will reflect that. And I'll let them know when it's okay for them to come back over.