Most People Are on MOUNT STUPID When It Comes to Training Dogs.

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42 Comments on “Most People Are on MOUNT STUPID When It Comes to Training Dogs.”

  1. I just got my first puppy I’m raising myself a few months ago and I definitely feel down a lot more. Currently a 5 month old Golden Retriever male. Getting a puppy was NOT what I expected it would be. But I started binging your videos after we got him and it’s been much better! Just dreading the adolescent stage. Thank you for the great content! Focusing on love and respect is the best way to do it!

    1. I have a 5 month old foxhound mix and lots of ups and downs. We are getting there but also dreading adolescence. Most of my friends have older dogs and remember the puppy phase with rose colored glasses – they all had calm perfect puppies 😂

    2. Oh yes, I dread the adolescent stage with my puppy is well, she is also almost 5 months and seems to be getting more difficult the older and more confident she becomes.

  2. High maintenance dog owner over here! 🙋‍♀️Dog parks didn’t work for us either and that’s ok!!! My GSD was kind of annoying to other dogs, and also picked on smaller dogs! So, we stopped going. He does MUCH better with me on a long lead in a field for exercise! One of my favorite tips is “a tired puppy is a good puppy”. He also stays on a leash when inside with me. Always. That’s how I manage him for success. And he is very exhausting for me. Once or twice a month, he goes to doggie day camp because I need a break from him. He LOVES it there and wears himself out running up and down their huge kennels. It’s a way for him to SAFELY interact with dogs!! Try it!!! It’s life saver!!!!

    1. @Rachel Crossen My doggie day care keeps all dogs separate. In individual kennels. But! The kennels are huge, and long. So they run up and down and play and bark at the neighboring kennels. It’s hilarious. And safe. And he LOVES LOVES it. He comes home exhausted! Just another outlet for him to change scenery.

  3. Hi! I’m a first-time dog owner and I have regretted getting my dog almost every day for 5 months since we got him. The regret moments do get further between as more time passes and we both learn. Having a big dog with a big voice was a drastic change from having cats all my life. I had to adjust to the neediness, noise, and activity, learn a new communication style, build a relationship with him, figure out a food allergy, treat him for a parasite, panic about a tick he had when we got him, and deal with a host of behavioral needs (live with cats, reactivity, and resource guarding). It was very hard, very demanding, and often leaves me feeling like a bad guardian. But the more time goes by and the more Zak George perspective I get, the easier it gets with us. Deep breaths and hang in there for a wild ride.

    1. What kind of dog is he? I have a lab and he noisy and requires lots of exercise or else he is needy lol. Mental exercise is the best way I’ve found to wear him out so he just sleeps. I love fetch because it requires mental and physical activity. It teaches come when called at first. If can teach your dog to go get something and bring it back to. I am currently teaching my dog scent training. At first I’d just “hide”his tennis ball by making him stay and going into a room and putting the ball on the floor where it’s obviously easy for him to spot as soon as he goes into the room. Then I’d make it harder and harder as he succeeds and he has to use his nose and brain to think about where the smells from the tennis ball is coming from He loves it and the more tired he is mentally the more quiet and calm he is you could hide normal toys as well. He could stay in his crate while you hide it and then you can let him out and help him find the toy by going into the room together and if he doesn’t see it right away then pointing at the toy and when he finds it get super excited lol. I like to have my dog place and then he has to stay while I go around the corner out of sight and hide the toy and I come back and he has to wait to be released but each of those things took time to teach at first he could be contained while you hide it unless he can stay without seeing you

    2. Ah yes, my puppy was (is?) also a resource guarder and I am a first time dog owner – that really can be some heartbreak, right?
      Happy to hear that you guys are getting a stronger and stronger bond. Keep up the good work!

  4. I have fallen into the valley of despair! Lol. I thought I knew everything about dog training because I raised good dogs growing up. Now I have a difficult dog and have found so many different training methods during my search for knowledge on the subject. I have found that I like your training style the best. I have learned so much from you and others, and I’m still learning. Your advice has helped me to get good results out of our training opportunities.

    1. Another same here. I am on my tenth dog (often had more than one at a time). I have had my current dog since she was eight weeks old and she is now 16 mths. Nothing in my past repertoire worked with her. Learning and moving out of despair finally! This channel has been helpful all along working with this dog. 🦮

    2. @M L Oh but imagine what a good dog trainer you will become! Your tenth dog is a challenge – but you will be so proud when you and her are really good “partners” at the end and you will look back on all the different dogs you had and what worked with them and will have a lot of expierience to look back on. What breed do you have?

  5. I took in a senior pekingese in 2015 and the state he was in and the behaviors he had really made us clash the first few months. He stressed me out and he couldn’t trust me for a good while so that rough patch I had days I just hated facing his issues but I knew how to fix them and that moving to a new home and life takes time to adjust so I hung in there and we became such buddies. The following year he went blind and I helped him navigate things so despite the tough start I became the person he trusted the most. He didn’t have many years left but the years I had him were happy ones. 💜 Grouch to love bug. ^^

    1. 👆👆⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️ *CONGRATULATIONS* *KINDLY* *MESSAGE* *ME* *ON* *MY* *TELEGRAM* *channel* *LET* *DISCUSSED* *ON* *How* *to* *GET* *Your* *DoG* *trainer* *DIARY*

  6. This was so helpful. Slightly discouraging to realize I’ve been on mount stupid in dog training and so many other aspects of life, but I’d much rather be discouraged than ignorant, so thank you both for sharing this!

    I recently (less than willingly) acquired a very cute Gordon-doodle puppy named Lola after a significant amount of pressure from my wife and two small children. Discovering this channel and especially this video has been a life-saver! It has been very hard attempting to train Lola with a 5 and 8 year old wanting so badly to “help”, and a spouse who believes training is unnecessary and boundary setting is abusive.

    The odds are against me, but your videos and your Pupford training program give me so much hope. I really do want this to work out well for my whole family (two AND four-legged members).

    1. @Kludgy Brains I agree. Lack of boundary setting in our kids has made raising them very tricky. I’m hoping to avoid those issues in dog training. Having an untrained dog is awful.

    2. 👆👆⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️ *CONGRATULATIONS* *KINDLY* *MESSAGE* *ME* *ON* *MY* *TELEGRAM* *channel* *LET* *DISCUSSED* *ON* *How* *to* *GET* *Your* *DoG* *trainer* *DIARY*

  7. I love my puppy more than anything in the whole world. I struggled a little emotionally when I first adopted him. It was mostly from physical exhaustion and mental exhaustion from constantly troubleshooting as we built our communication and learned how to live together. I had fostered puppies before, so I was expecting and prepared to feel some “puppy blues” and I just saw it as part of the process. Emotions don’t have to be labeled as “good” or “bad”. Feeling sad about a new puppy or a new baby or any big life change is perfectly normal, and there is no need to label it as good or bad. It’s just something that happens. For me, the puppy blues passed pretty quickly because I allowed myself to feel and process them. My puppy is 7 months now and he truly is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

    1. 👆👆⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️ *CONGRATULATIONS* *KINDLY* *MESSAGE* *ME* *ON* *MY* *TELEGRAM* *channel* *LET* *DISCUSSED* *ON* *How* *to* *GET* *Your* *DoG* *trainer* *DIARY*

  8. so, you touched on being exhausted, stressed, full of regret, burned out, etc with a new dog/puppy. Next time you do a Q/A can you talk about What to do when you feel that way? How do you (or better yet Bree who’s more fresh to the feeling) do when you feel this way?

    I think many of us feel like a bad pet parent if we feel this way, but even worse if we say “take a break” from our dog, or from training.

    1. I am just speaking for myself here obviously but it has become imperative that I take a break from all things dog sometimes. Sometimes these can be just short 20 minute breaks and other time longer breaks. For example have someone else take your dog for a walk, look into dog day care or dog day boarding, or maybe even take a weekend to get away and hire a sitter. Yes I still feel guilty. However afterwards I am more refreshed and have a ‘can do’ attitude to be able to focus on the task at hand so in the end it is helpful to my dog. Remember to be in the headspace to care for them properly you have to care for you. Burnout is real and it can creep up on you quickly. As for training I also try to prioritize. We can’t teach everything at once and if a certain aspect of training is frustrating you or your dog maybe it is best to just let it be for awhile and come back to it later.

  9. I feel famous since my question was addressed in your video! 😂 For anyone who heard my question about being totally overwhelmed with a new puppy, I just want to say that my pup is about to turn 2 years old in December and he is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Zak and Bree are so right about the puppy stage and not necessarily getting the dog you expect. My dog and I managed to power through with a lot of help from Zak’s videos and things are great now. I’m really glad I brought up this topic because it seems to have resonated with so many of you and that was my hope: that anyone struggling with this would feel less alone. 💜

    1. Thank you so much for bringing up the question – I have my puppy now for almost 3 months and the first 2 months I had her were really hard – finding out via the internet that other people feel the same and there is even such a thing as so-called “puppy blues” really helped me.

  10. I cried so much when I got my puppy, I couldn’t see my way out of the “mistake” , I thought about returning him but I was embarrassed cause everyone loved him so much, and then I started comparing him to all the perfect floppy, cuddly, sleepy dogs people (and social media) kept telling me about and I got into the mindset that I was doing everything wrong, I shouldn’t have gotten a heeler cause he deserves a better life (someone with kettle and fields) and every opportunity was a training opportunity, we were both so tired and I missed out on a lot of the puppy phase
    But 1.5 years later and we much better, he is so loving and smart and loud and goofy, I still get overwhelmed sometimes when I think I’m not doing enough but I don’t know what life would look like without him anymore

    1. This comment is very inspirational to me. I have a cavapoo puppy who is very high energy and I am still trying my best to train him. He is getting better but very slowly. Wish me luck! I wish you luck with your dog too

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  11. Hey Zak. I have a German Spitz who always finds ways to “outsmart” my training which is based on your videos. For example, he really understands “No” and knows he’s not supposed to do that, but for example last week we were at the country residence, he was interested in tomatoes growing in the front yard, I told him no so he stayed far from them. few hours later, I found him hiding in the back yard eating a tomato he “stole” from the front yard and hiding to eat it, it makes for a wonderful story when the family is gathered, but I was wondering how to get him to behave well even if I’m not there. Also, he knows that I like calm behavior, so he “pretends” to sleep under my desk when I’m working and peeks occasionally to see if I noticed, I love it that he tries, but I would also like for him to behave similarly when I’m absent. He doesn’t care what my wife thinks of him when I’m away 😛

  12. I wanted a medium dog. I was told the pup I chose would be about a 20-25lb dog. Here we are at 40lbs , and I have been overwhelmed many times and thought I made a big mistake getting her. I have had her in obedience classes and watch videos galore. It’s helping slowly. I’m glad to see I’m not alone based on these comments!

  13. I see a lot of comments about overwhelm and want to share my two cents that I learned. My puppy is DRIVEY she’s a rescue with all the kinds of high drive dogs. There were times I would cry bc I really thought I knew a lot. But something that always stuck with me that my mom said in the context of raising a baby/toddler is get yourself into a right headspace. If you need to put the baby in the crib or somewhere safe for a few minutes so you can get back to a space of patience or clarity for not only yourself but for the baby – then give the space to do that. the same goes for a puppy. Put them in their crate, let them cry, and remove yourself from the situation for a little bit until you can think clearly again. We don’t have to keep pushing on if we need a minute. Give yourself the time to recoup if you are overwhelmed and come back with clarity. I can’t tell you how many times I put a Kong of PB in the crate so mine could hang out when I would feel overwhelmed. The progress is the big focus – not the end goal. Dogs are life long learners like us humans. Times of needing some space won’t hinder a dog’s progress! It doesn’t mean you’re giving up it means you care enough to make the puppy your priority by getting some space for a bit of time!

  14. I feel like this is such a HUGE topic among owners that needs to be addressed ❤ I feel it’s a lot like postpartum depression, something people are thankfully talking about more openly now, “Post-pet” depression is something so many people feel too. I bet so many pets get sent to shelters because of it.

    I felt that way when adopting both my pets but our puppy was significantly more draining. We adopted her during the hardest time in our lives and made the same mistake most probably do that “a puppy would help” us de-stress 😅🤦‍♀️ (yes.. I know..) We weren’t looking, she just kinda came into our life and we said “sure”. We see now she found us, but the road hasn’t been easy 😅💕

    For a long time I felt I regretted our decision. Much like you said Zac, I didn’t regret HER- we loved her so deeply, it was that I regretted bringing her into a difficult environment and for the strain it put on us when we were already so drained. I felt so ashamed and guilty to her, ourselves, and to everyone who had to “deal with her” when we just couldn’t. She deserved better, and it tore me apart knowing we were failing her and she was pushing us past our limits.

    I knew I wanted to train her properly and thankfully did so much research before and during her puppyhood (I still do). But that didn’t mean I was prepared. I’m not a trainer, and the amount of indecisiveness, confusion and lack of confidence that comes with “not knowing if you’re doing it right” can be an added stress that makes everything harder. Every puppy is different, so while some results are copy paste, others are just a bit skewed so you ask yourself again “am I doing okay?”

    Please address this more as I feel it’s therapeutic to know it’s okay and you’re not alone ❤ it also gives you more confidence knowing YOU’RE not perfect, and neither is your puppy. ❤🐶🫂❤


  15. About regretting getting a dog. 5 days after getting Freyja I was so overwhelmed and literally crying. The craziness, biting, peeing, outbursts while walking when she tried to rip our clothes apart, and probably a lot more that I now don’t even remember. It was just too much. So I googled it. I googled what to do if I regret getting a dog (or something like that, don’t remember the exact wording). And I found a blog, that answered this question exactly. It said that it is totally normal and it will pass. That having a new puppy (for the first time even) is crazy and often very hard. And that they felt the same way with their dog. Thinking of if they should return it and how to cope with having to tell everyone that knew of your new puppy that you didn’t have them anymore if you do that. It’s a horrible feeling. But it will pass. The blog also said to take a lot of pictures, cause puppy days won’t last forever and you’ll want the pictures.

    So I relaxed a bit, made an instagram account for Freyja and kept at it. It did pass, didn’t even take long. And I love her with all my heart, would never give her away. Even though she’s pretty problematic with her anxiety and being scared of certain things, so it’s not easy with her, not at all. But she is MY dog and will be that always. She’s 3 years old now and the best doggo! And the pictures, especially puppy ones, are SOOOOOOOOO cute to look at.

  16. I got a spaniel puppy expecting an easy baby girl – and in some ways I did, in others I truly had to ask myself “have I caused an irreversible mistake? I can’t do this.” I persevered and she is a wonderful, well adjusted dog. But it’s certainly often very, very hard.

  17. We definitely have had some tough moments, and I had to reframe my mindset and expectations to get through it. He was not what I had expected, and yet I love him so much, more than anything. He is over two years old now, and things are slowly improving, but i changed expectations (he doesn’t love meeting new dogs and new people, so no dog off leash areas, no outdoor seating areas, highly managed public outings at all times). He is allowed to have his own personality, even if that’s not what I was expecting when I got him, and I’ll continue to work with him to make both of our lives easier and less stressful over time. Accepting him for who he is has been a huge part of reducing the amount of sadness and regret I had been feeling, as well as recognizing all of the great things about him!

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  18. I’m so sorry for having followed to the top of Mt. Stupid with other “Professional Celebrity Dog Trainers” in the past – only to the detriment of my previous dog. Now, I’m so grateful to have fallen into the Valley of Despair thanks to Zak, and Bree, and other like-minded dog training professionals that I’m now marching steadily on the Road to Enlightenment!! Thank you Zak & Bree for all your dedication.

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  19. During the pandemic, we lost our two 15yo Silkie Terriers who were our little soulmates. Since then we’ve adopted two 8 week old puppies from our shelter ( they are a year apart in age). We are both older and had forgotten how physically and emotionally exhausting it is. We definitely questioned our decision at times. It helped so much to have people like Zak and Bree to turn to for help. You are both amazing and so realistic about puppies. Our new fur babies are now 1yo and 2yo and have learned so much thanks to your videos. Wouldn’t have been able to do it if not for your help😊😊

  20. So nice to hear the TV show mentioned. I was a fan of the show, loved seeing the children working with their dogs, being such great teams and learning new skills together. You were great in Who Let The Dogs Out, and voice-over Rik Mayall, who sadly passed away in 2014, added his own flair to the show. Trick training is so underrated, when it can be so benificial to the bond you can have with your dog, and giving them the mental and physical exercise they need.

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