I REFUSE to Be the “Alpha”. What 4 weeks of Positive Reinforcement looks like with an Untrained Dog.

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33 Comments on “I REFUSE to Be the “Alpha”. What 4 weeks of Positive Reinforcement looks like with an Untrained Dog.”

  1. OK so you finally talked me into trying Barkbox. I got the super chewer for my GSD. He loves it so much I even got the add ons. You are right, they are high quality toys.

  2. I love Chop’s personality & looks!…it’s gotta be so tough to know you have to give him to another home. I woudn’t be able to do it at this point!! You have done amazing work with him in such a short time.

  3. We’ve got a 15 month old english bull terrier that started showing some leash reactivity a few months ago. I’ve enlisted the support of a behaviourist/trainer but seeing your videos taking a street dog to such a civilised gentleman with positive reinforcement and buckets of patience has given me the extra hope I needed to know that the hard work *will* pay off!

    1. Congratulations for getting a handle on this behavior quickly and enlisting the hel of a positive trainer! You’re doing the exact right thing.

    2. My border collie was afraid of the entire world when I adopted her. Following a lot of Zach’s methods she is now a confident angel! Good luck!

  4. I’ve been strung along with this series, I’ve just been wanting to know what led to the dog fight. Next episode I guess 🤷🏼‍♀️ better come out soon!

  5. I hope you and Bree had a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year’s Day. And I love your statement: “I REFUSE to be ALPHA”. Yep. I will always refuse to be alpha. I’ll be a leader, instead.

    1. This. But most people who see ‘I refuse to be an alpha’ will think it means you can’t correct any behaviour ever at all. A good leader shows you what is expected, but will tell you where you go wrong, too, and then how to change that. That is what Zak has been doing, with small corrections here and there, but certainly no ‘alpha roll’ or the use of prongs or shock collars.

  6. It’s really great to see you show an EXTREMELY reactive and sensitive dog. Very similar to our dog. Great to see what a realistic working distance for some dogs can be. Other shows have dogs greeting within minutes but we have been training our dog for years and a greeting with stranger dogs still seems out of the question. Great to see how much management is involved and how much work actually goes into counter conditioning episode by episode.

    1. you can do it! Believe in your dog and trust them. They will let you know which dogs they want to meet and which they would rather not. It’s been 2.5 years, but now my reactive dog has neighborhood dog friends. I always try to meet other dogs if their owners are willing. I believe in you and your dog too, you can do it. It’s also ok if your dog wants to be alone, as long as they are happy! Best of luck.

  7. I remember when you and Bre were wondering what “George” was preparing you for.. You really gotta wonder what Chop is prepping you for! Happy New Year!

  8. thankyou for helping dog parents find a kind way to help their reactive dog. We have had our Lucy for 5 years now and its taken every minute of that to get her to a point where I finally have confidence taking her out walking by other dogs. She checks in with me now, watches me like she is asking permission for everything she does. Love your videos and your treats!

    1. Glad things are working well for you and your dog. Thats how you know a dog feels safe around you and dont have to worry about anything because you can handle whatever comes your way👌

  9. I really want to know what harness Chop has on. It looks like the Reddy maroon harness, but it has 4 clips. I want the one Chop has for my dog.

  10. Thank you for continuing to promote positive reinforcement training. There’s sadly, still way too many people who get off to the “alpha” mentality. I’ve had rescue dogs since I was a kid, from all different situations and all different personalities. We worked with professional trainers on multiple occasions- all positive training. Its amazing to see how far they come- and how much fun working together can be for both us and our furry friends.

  11. It’s great to see Chop’s reactivity really improving. Dogs can be reactive from feeling threatened or insecure, and making harsh corrections will only make them feel more threatened or insecure. Obedience out of fear is not the goal and it’s great to see the benefits of positive reinforcement. Also loved the shoes 🙂

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