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Episode 203 - Caged and Confused


"It takes a village — or an office. In this case, I visit a veterinary hospital and will need to enlist every person there as part of the pack, teaching them the power of working together in order to rehabilitate an overexcited dog. Then, I drop in on a real housewife of Bel Air and her husband, who can’t control their standard poodles. I’m going to have to show them the pitfalls of giving dogs nothing but affection."

 
 

Q&A with Cesar

Cesar, my dogs bark and jump against the gate, like Opal. How should I handle this when there are two dogs?

Associate the gate with calm, submissive energy. Take your dogs on a long walk to drain excess energy, then have them sit calmly by the gate. You can also have them do tricks for rewards there. If either gives a sign they’re going to start barking or jumping, correct them until they return to a calm, submissive state.
 
When you have two dogs that are misbehaving, you have to focus on the dog instigating it, which is usually the most dominant dog. You can rehabilitate both dogs by rehabilitating the instigator first. The other dog, being the follower, will learn from them.

I too have been pulled in every direction on the walk. Cesar told Judy that she needs to project leader energy when walking her dogs. Could Cesar share a few tips on how to accomplish that?

Imagine the perfect walk, then put yourself into a relaxed state using techniques like slow breathing or visualization. Some people like affirmations: “We will have the perfect walk today.” It helps to think of someone you admire as a calm leader, then imagining you are them and carrying yourself the way they would.

Do not be reactive on the walk. If you see someone with a dog, relax and ignore them. Otherwise, your dog might sense a threat. Instead, continue to imagine that nothing bad is going to happen if you and your dog walk past that other dog.

My dog steals food all the time worse than those poodles. He even eats off the kitchen counter! How can I set boundaries when I’m not around?

By setting them when you are around. Do not feed your dog when the humans are eating, and not in the same room. The dog eats after, and isn’t allowed to approach the table. Take control of the food bowl and the feeding ritual and train your dog to not approach the bowl until you give permission. Some people also like to put something on the counter, like a stack of paperback books, that will fall harmlessly but loudly if the dog jumps up, teaching them to avoid the area, but if you work on the first steps, you won’t need that.

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