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Episode 207 - Raging Pit Bull

"When I meet Roxy, she seems to be a red zone dog, but could it be her family’s fearful reaction to her aggression that’s causing the problem? In order to get her out of that zone, I’m going to have to teach the family how to trust and not be fearful — but are they up to the task? Next up, I’ll have to teach a woman how to overcome her fear of correcting her dog before his bad behavior gets them both put out on the street."


Q&A with Cesar

My dog hunts other dogs on the walk just like Roxy. What am I doing wrong, Cesar?

Are you trusting your dog, or expecting the negative behavior? If you’re anxious or fearful on the walk, then your dog will be, too. The leash is a line of direct communication between your energy and your dog’s behavior. If there is a tense human on one end of the leash, there will be a misbehaving dog on the other. Pay attention to how you react when you see another dog coming on the walk, then learn to maintain a calm, assertive state. Expectation equals outcome. Remember: you can only have a positive outcome if you only have positive expectations.

I loved it how Cesar desensitized Caper to the skating board. Can I do the same with my dog regarding regular noises in my building? My neighbors have being complaining, and like Leann I’m afraid to be kicked out.

Like Leann, you have to learn not to be afraid to correct your dog. To a dog, a correction is not punishment. It’s being told what behavior you expect, and it’s what your dog wants from you. Find the correction — redirection or blocking — that works for your dog, then apply it consistently when she reacts to noises. If these are noises your neighbors make, enlist their help. Set up a time when they make the noises and you work with the dog. Not only will it help your dog, but it will show your neighbors you’re working on the problem.

Leann said her dog is scared at times. Mine too! Very often actually. How can I fix this, Cesar?

Fearful dogs especially need calm, assertive Pack Leaders. By taking on that role, their humans earn their trust and help them find the confidence necessary to stop reacting in flight or avoidance mode, and move to a calm, submissive surrender state. Another very important thing to remember is this: Do not give affection to calm down a fearful dog. This will only reinforce the fearful behavior. Instead, practice no touch, no talk, no eye contact when your dog is being fearful. By not drawing attention to that state, you will teach your dog there is no reason to be afraid.

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How to Watch

TV: "Cesar 911" appears in the U.S.A. on Nat Geo WILD. Check local listings.

Watch "Cesar 911" the day after air, via authentication through a cable provider, on TV-VOD and TVE platforms which include, iOS handsets and tablets, Android handsets, Apple TV, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Samsung Connected TVs and Roku.

Computer: Stream "Cesar 911" approximately 30 days after air at no cost on Hulu.

International: "Cesar 911" will premiere internationally in May. Please visit our schedule page for more information.