Achieving Balance and Harmony


An Aggressive New Great Dane Addition and a Los Angeles' Animal Control Ride-a-long

Season 4 | Episode 5 | Hudson & Orchid, and LA Animal Control

Two years ago, Cesar Millan brokered peace between two great Danes, Violet and Hudson. After Violet passed away this year, Orchid, another Great Dane, joined the family and aggressively moved in on Hudson's territory. Next, Cesar helps the city of Los Angeles' Animal Control department with its aggressive new pet ownership program by riding along with one of its officers.


The Ride Along

I’m often asked, how do you keep a dog safe while you wait for animal control to arrive? Well, the first thing to assess is the dog’s energy and state of mind. Is the dog in a submissive state? Is the dog in an avoidance or flight state? If so, you’re probably safe playing Good Samaritan. And in such cases, one obvious way of keeping the dog around is by offering food, but make sure you don’t offer a large amount, because after he eats, he will probably walk away. If you can give small pieces without getting too close, that will keep him in one place.

Another strategy is to ask for cooperation from others. Ask two or three people to calmly surround the dog, but remember, everybody has to maintain the same level of calm-assertiveness and the same distance from the dog. You don’t want to scare him – you just want him to know that he can’t move from that spot.

Now if the dog seems aggressive, don’t approach him by yourself. You could be putting both you and the dog in a very dangerous situation. In that case, just stay calm and try to keep tabs on him until professionals arrive.

Dane Déjà Vu

Dogs grieve the death of a companion, just as humans do. They are social animals, and a loss of a pack member is a very big deal for them. They may seem depressed or lethargic, and not have much appetite. However, in their natural state, dogs pass through the grieving period quickly and return to balance.

The problem is humans are often not as adept at the grieving process, at least from a dog’s point of view. And when animals live with us, we can unintentionally prolong their grief and reactions to it because they follow our lead emotionally and instinctually. So when a client loses a dog, I always advise them to wait before bringing a new dog into the family – not based on the dog’s readiness, but on their own.

If you need a year to grieve, then don’t get a new dog for a year. If you need three months, then wait three months. Remember, your dog is following your lead and how long the grief remains in the home isn’t his choice, it’s yours.

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