While Cesar encourages everyone to exercise their dog on a regular basis, he also reminds you to
keep in mind that a good pack leader maintains leadership even at the dog park. Here are 5 tips
Cesar has for dog owners who want to demonstrate good pack leadership.
1. Make sure your dog is spayed or neutered, has all her shots, and is in good health. Under no
circumstances should you bring a sick dog to a dog park!
2. Do not use the dog park as a substitute for the walk! If you drive to the park, leave your car a
block away and take your dog on a vigorous walk of at least thirty-five minutes to drain some of her
energy. Never take an over-excited dog to the park.
3. While at the park, don't "punch out" on your calm-assertive leadership. Be aware of your dog at
all times, and take responsibility for her behavior.
4. A calm-submissive dog will not attract another dog's aggression--but an excited dog, a weak,
timid dog, or an aggressive dog can become a fight-magnet.
5.Know your dog! If your dog has poor social skills, is overly fearful or is dog aggressive, or if you
have not yet established your calm-assertive leadership with your dog, find a more controlled way
to introduce her to the company of other dogs, such as "play dates" with one or two other dog
Dogs can become aggressive out of frustration and dominance. The frustration comes from a lack of
exercise, and the dominance comes from a lack of calm-assertive leadership.
When dealing with red zone dogs, I start by working with the owners, explaining how to establish
themselves as pack leaders and to understand the animal in their dog. This is a crucial part of
rehabilitating your dog: changing your behavior. If you revert to your old ways, so will your dog.
For many of these dogs, it is a lack of adequate exercise that is the root of the problem. Physical
activity burns the dog's excess energy and helps maintain his healthy state of mind. This is
important because, in order to talk to the mind, you need to remove the energy from the body.
5 Tips for Calming a Hyperactive Dog
Hyperactivity is a problem with many possible causes and solutions. Here are some simple
techniques you can try at home to work to calm your boisterous dog:
• Ignore the behavior! Dogs seek attention from you. By paying them that attention during
hyperactive outbursts, you’re reinforcing the very behavior that you're trying to eliminate.
The next time your dog is jumping or nipping at you in an overexcited way, give it a try --
no touch, no talk, no eye contact -- and see how you fare. You might be surprised how
quickly the dog settles down.
• Give your dog a job! Having a task to focus on can help tremendously. Hyperactivity can
come from psychological needs as easily as it can from physical needs. By giving your dog a
job to do, you are removing him from his state of hyperactivity and redirecting his energy
elsewhere. The task should have a clear beginning and end, and should never be considered
a replacement for physical exercise. Which brings us to…
• Go for a walk! If your dog has a lot of built-up energy, a really vigorous walk is another
excellent way to redirect it where YOU want it to go. Once you’ve burned that extra energy
away, your dog should be pleasantly exhausted and too tuckered out to jump and nip.
Without that frustration, he’ll find it much easier to relax.
• Check your own energy! Your dog is your mirror. Any energy you project, he will reflect
back. Are you in a calm assertive state of mind? Are you projecting a confident energy? Are
you stressing out over an argument, or burdened with the worries of the work week?
Nervous or anxious moods can translate into nervous or anxious body language or tones of
voice, and can affect the energy of your dog.
• Try out aromatherapy! Don’t forget that dogs experience the world primarily by scent!
Just as the smell of lavender is said to relax human beings, a soothing smell can also have a
very calming effect on your pet. Talk to your vet or consult a holistic professional to find out
what smells may work for your dog and which dispersal methods are the safest for him.
5 Tips for Handling Nuisance Barking
Remember, barking is natural! It's an important means of communication for dogs. But sometimes
problems can develop. As the pack leader, it's your job to step in and control excessive barking.
Correct and follow through! Tell your dog to stop barking using a look, a sound, or a physical
correction. But don't stop there. Your dog may pause and then go right back to what he was doing.
His body relaxed, but his brain was still on alert. Be patient. Wait until your dog completely submits
before you go back to what you were doing.
Make sure you are calm! Constant barking can be irritating, but you won't be able to correct the
problem if you are frustrated. Animals don't follow unbalanced leaders. In fact, your dog will mirror
your energy. If you're frustrated, he will be, too! And barking is a great release for that frustrated
energy. Take a moment to curb your own internal barking first.
Stake your claim! Is your dog barking over and over again at the same object, person, situation, or
place? Then you need to step up and claim that stimulus as your own. Use your body, your mind,
and your calm-assertive energy to create an invisible wall that your dog is not allowed to cross. Do
it with 100% dedication and focus, and the results may surprise you.
Give your dog more challenges! Excessive barking is often the result of pent-up energy. If this is
the case, the solution is simple: release that energy in more productive ways. Does your dog receive
a daily walk? Can you make the walk more challenging with a bicycle, a backpack, or by walking
on an incline? Can you provide more mental challenges, such as herding, agility training, or simple
obedience games? There are many, many ways to increase the challenges in your dog's life. Find
one that you enjoy that your dog can participate in safely.
Get professional help. When you brought this dog into your life, you made a commitment to
provide the care he needs. This includes calling in a canine professional to help him cope with a