My Dog’s First Time at a Dog Park Could Have Gone Better!

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101 Comments on “My Dog’s First Time at a Dog Park Could Have Gone Better!”

    1. @tama yeager gibson Uhh a dog that loves you defiantly doesn’t always want to please you my puppy lives me he follows me everywhere always begs for attrition lays down on my lap all that stuff but does she want to please me all the time nope defiantly not he acts up on purpose he just runs around stealing shoes and I know he knows he knows hes being naughty because he like prances away in a hehe way so yea

    2. Roblox gaming. The reason is in the title. She tried to bite, he picked her up and coddled her, reinforcing to her that what she did was right.

    1. Alana Peters define balanced training? Negative reinforcement/punishment. Not sure where you’re going with your comment, please elaborate…

    2. Jacqueline Arbuthnot naw i prefer to inform the people he is scamming. Trainers like him are financial vampires that keep you on the line for months or even years to fix problems like leash pulling

    3. Captain Clueless balanced training utilizes all four quadrants of operant conditioning which is positive reinforcement, positive punishment, negative reinforcement, and negative punishment. For the most part in balanced training you are rewarding dogs but you still have corrections like a low level e collar stim (no not electrocuting the dog ecollars do not produce heat or electricity) or a correction with a check chain or a pinch collar.

    4. @Dylan Rodrigues Here I was thinking I was the only one who noticed that. Well said. This being said, I have seen this behavior from both sides: positive only or balanced training channels are full of those videos who make you keep coming to their channel over and over again because they do not really want to teach you dog training, otherwise, you would not have to come back.

    5. @Dylan Rodrigues I have to disagree with you on this one, e-collars do produce electricity. The stim sensation is in fact electric current passing on/through the skin of the dog. This current comes from the voltage difference between the two pins of the e-collar when you press on the button. Full disclosure here, I am not against e-collar, I own one and I use it every day. I am just trying to clarify the situation.

  1. Inertia isnt aggressive, she is insecure and reactive. Its a common issue in young working-line herding breeds. Ive seen it a million times. These types are slow to mature and are hypersensitive/reactive to nearly everything. Rough handling will exasperate any problem they are already having. Genetics play a strong part in your dogs behavior. Inertia’s temperament is great for a farm dog but not so great for a city dog. She’ll get it eventually lol. Anyone with any experience with these kinds of dogs knows that for 6 months, inertia is extremely responsive given all the activity. My more drivey cattle dogs were a terror at 6 months in comparison. Zak’s just got one with some extra zest lol

    1. @Logan M
      exactly this point. I raised 4 dogs now. 3 pits, but got a rhodesian ridgeback rescue. Thats the moment in my young life that i realized training pits is completely different than training a rhodesian ridgeback. I could train pits all day long, temperment, kids, stressful situations…etc….But i couldnt just pick up a farm/hearding dog and train it perfectly. Id be very clueless without research.

    2. @Stanley Wheeler out of that rant.. you never mentioned one single point as to training technique. You just said “your dog runs around your land” I don’t think that is training. just a FYI

  2. Everyone is reacting negatively to Inertia’s nipping. But no one is comparing that to how she was pretty well behaved by the other dogs. I think it’s just that the other dog ran into her.

    1. You are right about the other dog straight up in her face. kinda saw that coming. Her reaction was because she was insecure. she did warn the other dog… Dogs need to trust in their owners to handle the situations so they don’t have to.

    2. Jaret Donald Patterson Maybe Zak should look up Grisha Stewart’s BAT protocol. This video will be used to show people how NOT to train a dog 😂

    3. Jaret Donald Patterson there a re a few ways he could do general obedience around areas with a large group of dogs without letting her interact with them. With dogs like inertia you have to teach them to ignore things around them and he hasnt done that he has taught her to be on edge and to be watching everything because he puts her in situations like this.

  3. Zak is always getting such a hard time in comments whenever he puts up a video with intertia .. 😅 it’s been an interesting video to watch! I also have a 6 months old puppy and he is not a fan of the dog park but he is still the most social and confident pup you could imagine in any other setting.. so I don’t think it is fair to say that if a dog isn’t enjoying the dog park it is because they haven’t been socialised.. that being said I think the Dutch shepherd was behaving just fine and also been really patient letting her snap multiple times. Anyway, love following inertia’s journey throughout the ups and downs!

    1. Actually the shepherd was being very rude for a dog, got right in her face. That is a challenging behavior and inertia was not ok with it. That shepherd will likely have the same reaction from other dogs as well.

  4. Thank you for showing the video exactly as it is. I know some people are giving you a hard time about her nipping, but I appreciate that you’re showing us how to handle a shy dog. Too many videos only show perfect puppies and perfect interactions.

  5. I work at a doggy daycare and I like to compare dogs to people. Some people like parties and meeting everyone, while some just like to be with close friends and are more introverted. Lots of people seem to think their dog should like EVERY dog and don’t understand why they don’t get along with some. But people don’t always like every person they meet, so of course dogs would be the same way. I don’t blame Inertia for not liking those more rambunctious pups running right into her lol

    She’s growing up beautifully though! 😭 Good luck with her training in the future!

    1. I say it’s 99,9% the owners fault all their feelings and anxiety goes to their dogs. I have been working with animals for 35 years. Yes all dogs dont need to like ALL dogs… BUT THEY should RESPECT other dogs and learn to read their bodylanguage. If they wanna have space they should get space… if they wanna play… they can choose that….

    2. Dog daycare worker here too.We know this situation and Cannot understand why owners get mad when we tell them that their pup is not suitable for a daycare enviroment since it needs specific friends and does better in small groups. Same here with Inhertia, you can see what kind of dog energy she is comfortable with and is good that he is finding that even though he made some errors while doing it lol

    3. That’s right. I realized that too. I was so focused on making my dog like every dog we meet on the streets, but it’s just wrong. Not every dog likes playing with others. My dog is pretty shy and prefers to be around people she knows and dogs that are quieter and leave her alone

    4. So true. This is why I put my pup in a small in-home doggy daycare with just a few dogs at a time. She is much more of a people dog and gets too stressed out by the extroverted/rambunctious pups. She prefers gentle play with a select few doggy friends and to sit back and observe all the action rather than take part. But it took me a while to learn that she does not have to like and play with all dogs. Glad I never forced the issue. She knows how to respect other pup’s boundaries which is what I care about the most!

    5. Dogs and people are not at all comparable socially for one thing scientific study has proven dogs prefer people to other dogs. Dogs are also family animals they prefer to be with their family unit. You do not see wolves visiting other wolf packs

    1. @Keith Locke – my dog is also very well behaved around dogs. She can be anything from super patient with a little pup hanging from her ear lol to telling off a young brat quite briskly. She will also tell any dog coming on too strong and barging into her without being polite that that is not okey. Which is totally fine with me.

      Now, that is not what I saw Zak’s dog do. She did not tell the GSD – “hey, respect my personal space, okey?” She is probably too young for that. Instead her insecurity made her react a little aggressive toward the GSD. If Inertia would have been mine what I would have done is first of all not allow that big dog come on that strong. I don’t see the GSD as being aggressive at all – but a little too big and excited for her, simply put. Just watch how he immediately steps back when Inertia lashes out at him – totally without aggression. Now I would have stepped in front of the GSD to show my dog that if anything unpleasant happens, I will get in the middle and protect you. So that you don’t have to. After that I would have quickly turned to my dog – who snapped at the other dog – and with simple body language calmly tell her “hey, that is not okey”. And expect her to show some submission to that correction (ears back etc). After that I would have stayed with the other dog, maybe ask the owner if we could please put a leash on both dogs until they are both calm. And THEN leave. Never ever just pull my dog away.

      Particularly with a naturally reactive and a bit nervous dog like Inertia, I would personally be very adamant to always be the one who decides which dogs she would socialize with and “say hello to”. That way you build confidence in an insecure dog. I also have a general rule with my own dog, who is very confident with all dog interactions, that she is free to “handle” any possible conflict say at the dog park. Since I know she does it in a 100% balanced way. How do I evaluate if her reaction to another dog is balanced? By studying the counter reaction in the other dog! That said I also have a rule that if she feels that any dog is a little “too much” for her – too big, too abbrasive etc – she can always come to me and if she’s with me I never let any dog near us. Unless, of course, it is in a calm, controlled setting, and the other dog is someone I know, and/or is very calm and polite.

    2. With all the editing in this video, you still see him as open and honest?
      I mean, think about it. Why does he edit out some parts of the video? Maybe he messed up and didn’t want to show it. You can’t know that. Plus a decent dog trainer wouldn’t let this happen to begin with.

  6. I think that wasnt as bad as people think. That spooked her, a dog bigger than her ramming into her so hard. It was inertia telling them “i dont like that. “. My boy, a tiny dog, will correct something he doesnt like but no teeth. Just a stern bark. Inertia will eventually learn how to correct in a way thats appropriate.

    1. @er3ctilereptile but leashed dogs are more nervous. Rather than forcing her into a confined area meeting all the dogs at once, you need open space and meet some new dogs who settle, then go to the more challenging location later.

  7. Reactive dogs are extremely challenging, it doesn’t matter what is “wrong” with the dog, it’s whether you’re willing to work on it
    I guarantee Zak will transform that dog in the months even years to come

    1. My own Ruby a really reactive dog. She even had a warning at the shelter to have 2 people handle her. They said she might be unteachable. Year and n a Half later she got 2nd place in a trick dog contest and the very next year she took first. She will also do a lot of things for me. Like mix my dirt for my cucumber, garlic and asparagus plants i am growing indoors right now. She did a great job mixing the the eggshell got video of it too. You ya will check it out.

    2. she’s not even “reactive”. she reacted to a big dog running into her and slightly shoving. she’s 6 months old I’d say she reacted normally.

    3. Blurr7face that was a reaction of a dog who was nervous and insecure because she was put into a situation she wasn’t ready for. she shouldn’t have been in situation where she felt the need to react that way. she IS a reactive dog, she reacts to things with fear and even aggression because she’s being pushed too far too fast without any steps back for her to catch up and learn. that interaction should not have occurred

    4. swiggity swooty I am a dog trainer. It is my job to understand dogs, and I dedicate a grand chunk of my free time to studying their behavior and body language. This includes differences in behavior among certain breed groups. Albeit I would no longer so readily label her as reactive(tho she has a high possibility of becoming reactive if she continues to be thrown into situations she’s not ready for), I still 100% can tell that this dog is extremely nervous and fearful.

      She is not confident in herself and is showing clear signs of being fearful of the dogs around her. Again, she was not ready to be in a dog park yet and Zak really should have been able to see that from before they had even made it to the gates. She was showing clear signs of distress and was unable to refocus on Zak because she was so distracted by her concern about the other dogs. This “training” session should have stayed at a point far enough away from the dog park that Inertia would be able to refocus her attention on her handler. She should have never been allowed near the border of the park, let alone inside.

      She was reacting out of fear and insecurity. She was already *WAY* over threshold, and the other dog(s)being so pushy caused her to react with her teeth. She wasn’t herding, that was not herding instinct, that was pure nerves and panic. She was trying to get him out of her face because she was afraid of him, and because her owner allowed her to remain in a high-stress situation without paying any real attention to her body language that screamed she would rather be anywhere else.

      She does not need more face-to-face introductions, she needs gradual exposure in order to build up a neutrality about other dogs. Starting far enough away from the dog park that she can see the dogs but not be distracted by them, and *slowly* working up to the point where she can comfortably focus on zak *next to* the park. Notice how I didn’t say *in* the dog park. Inertia is not a dog park dog, she does not desire playful interaction with large groups of strange dogs. Taking her to a dog park would be setting her up to fail and react poorly, and it should be avoided. She needs to learn that other dogs being around her is not something to be worried about, and that she can rely on her handler to make sure she’s not in a dangerous situation. She needs neutrality, and she she needs confidence, she does not need to love other dogs.

      And if Zak wants to sign her up for herding classes, then cool I guess! But that would have nothing to do with this particular situation, as her reaction had nothing to do with wanting to “herd” the other dog.

    1. It actually is as hard as training/raising a child in some cases. Of course not when the child gets older but when you are talking about very young children and young dogs like puppies, it is alike if not the same. That’s my personal opinion and you have your opinion

    2. Juneau the Service Dog no we are not. You have your opinions and I have mine but that’s not nice to say and it’s no true either. If you think that, why may I ask are you watching this?

    3. @Charlotte Green ik it’s your opinion but comparing a child to a dog is like completly different, you’ll always have problems with chidren for years and years, while yes it will happen with a dog, I highly doubt as often, that is if you train it, plus children or humans are gonna be more rebellious and more likely to get hurt

  8. From reading these comments I’m surprised to find 95% of ZG’s audience are professional dog trainers with snappy opinions! None of these key board warrior dog experts have ever had a dog act spontaneously? Every one in the comments is Dr Dolittle. I’m am aghast. I thought animals are sentient beings who sometimes act differently. how wrong I am!

    1. James Purdew. The answer is in your post. To quote” I thought animals are sentient beings who sometimes act differently” . This is exactly where good training comes in. If your dog goes to bite another dog you don’t pick it up and coddle it. This reinforces to the dog that it’s action was right. Do you really think that’s good training.

  9. The fact of the matter is that he’s filming real-life experiences. I’ve saw many dogs at the dog park that face the same issue and I’m happy he’s addressing it. Some of you commenting don’t even see how your dog responds to other before going to the park and the same thing happens. No one was harmed and they learned from it. Your dog is going to encounter stressful situations and you work together to make them as comfortable and normalize to that particular issue as possible.

    1. @RobBCactive There is a difference between Cesear Millan and Zak George. Cesar just gets in the dog’s head, and ours at that, and tries to stop behaviors but some of it helps. I just think zak does a better job at actually training them faster and teaching them those things before all the things that Cesar tries to stop even occur.

  10. I think Zak is being given way too hard a time for this. As a professional and an owner he would never put her in a dangerous situation. No he wasn’t going to go in but once Inertia settled and seemed curious, he changed his mind. So what? Don’t we all do that?
    Inertia acted appropriately to the dog which bumped her, she told him she didn’t like him that close and was warning him to give her some space. That’s exactly what she should do, and the dog also responded appropriately to her behaviour. Zak removed her to stop the behaviour from escalating.
    Give him a break, he knows what he’s doing. Not every encounter is filmed, and from what has been filmed you can see she has been socialised in nearly every setting possible.

    1. @Nadia Durocher I kind of disagree a bit with you on this one. When I got my dog, I knew absolutely nothing about dog or dog training. To make the matter worse, I certainly did not get the right breed of dog for a completely inexperienced dog owner. My dog is a German Shepherd mix with a Belgian Malinois. At this point, it is safe to say that I was a complete idiot and this was not the right dog for me. This being said, a friend gave me Zak’s book and told me to watch as many videos on his channel I can. I did. I watch hours of Zak video and the first thing that sticks was: “never use any kind of aversive methods; especially things like e-collar or prong collar”. I am skipping a lot of details but, in summary, my lack of experience combined with my refusal to ever use any aversive caused a lot of problems: leash pulling, leash reactivity, nipping at me (which is fine), nipping at my kids (which is not fine), making my wife face plant on a walk while the dog was wearing a harness, etc. I did all the training classes, even some with a balanced trainer but I refuse to use any aversive, all of this because Zak convinced me it was not needed.
      The issue I have is that dog trainers from both sides seem to have a hard time acknowledging that both methods might work just fine. At the end of the day, it depends on your skills, your time, your financial resources, the size of your backyard, and, also your dog.

    2. Exactly. And the thing is he was showing all the behaviors and trying to identify the behaviors that he will need to focus on and this was helpful for me because with a new pup I was experiencing some of the issues he was showing us dogs do and how to address them. The video was very valuable for me! and he did great it was a real-life experience that dog owners have not a training video that tells you what to do but once the dog learns the rules then you go out in public and it all goes out the window. Zak training helps me to train my dog in real-life situations which is what I prefer not training just in my home and yard but when we go out my dog forgets it all due to new environments.

    3. The situation was escalating because Inertia wouldn’t stop snapping. That is not an appropriate response, unlike the other dog who stopped immediately after the first warning. Not saying this reflects badly on the trainer or his methods, only that she did not act like a well-socialized dog in this particular situation.

  11. My god, man. Do not listen to the “controversy”. Inertia had a very fearful but natural reaction which will be addressed promptly. Nobody expects you to be perfect. You pushed her tolerance a bit, which is fine. She reacted unfavorably and that’s fine too. It’s like with the resource guarding incident. Keep calm man, you are doing just fine.

    1. He should have at least introduce him to outside dogs I got my dog same time as zack then I’m training it as Search dog we didn’t have socializing class just straight training search and my dogs doing fine in class we lessen dog playing because when we off elash the dog we don’t want them going t each other

    1. I think the best way to have gone in to this, especially after hearing Zak say “this is her first time at a dog park” and “this is her first time off leash in such a big open space” was to walk her ON leash around the outer perimeter of the park, profusely giving her treats for remaining focused on him as her trainer and “pack leader,” showing her that even in this situation, you stay focused on me and I an showing you that this is a calm and positive environment to be in. After walking inertia around the perimeter until she was calm and focused on him, then you can enter the park, still ON leash and walk inside the park ON leash doing the same thing, treating profusely and making sure inertia remains focused on you, the trainer and leader. Instead, Zak just sat her right outside, where she was visibly nervous and unsure, and NOT listening to him outside, as she just watched and her anxiety built up. If she is not listening to you outside then that’s what tells you she is not ready to go inside to play with the other dogs yet. Also when training a dog, you should give firm, meaningful commands like, SIT, STAY, in a firm tone but I’ve noticed in Zaks videos including this one that he speaks in a high pitched inquisitive tone like “can you give me a sit? No? Okay.” 🤷🏽‍♀️ Even Zak has said it before… if you ask for a SIT, or any other command, then you should expect and wait for the dog to sit. If she was too nervous or scared to obey and give you the sit, then back away from the fear stimuli until you can gain her attention and she’s listening to you again.

      No hate on Zak. I too, appreciate him sharing this because we ALL make mistakes and now I am able to learn from his mistakes in handling this situation and hopefully he can too. 💪🏽💙

    2. What I am struggling to understand is why take Inertia to a dog park at all? I fully understand when normal people bring their dog to a dog park: for many of them, this is the only place they have to let their dog run off-leash safely and the only place they might have to let their dog plays with other dogs. On the other hand, as a dog trainer, you most likely know a lot of other people with dogs, even clients, you could simply set up play sessions between Inertia and other dogs you already know and also, already know their owners. It seems like an unnecessary risk to take. One time I took my dog to the dog parks and one person brought a dog that has resource guarding issues (the resource was a ball) and the owner brought the ball and was throwing it to his dog. When my dog started to run after the ball she got bitten on the side which almost started a full-on brawl. You cannot predict who is gonna be at the park. I am also struggling to understand why as a purely positive trainer you do not see another obvious problem with dog parks: It is not fine for the human to give the dog a correction if it does something wrong but it is fine to bring her to a dog park where she might be corrected by a random dog you do not know and that has a random owner you have never met? How does this make sense?

    3. @Lemsy Da’hournic he is a fake dog trainer sad but true…he can’t even train the aggresive gsd before he kept on giving the dog treats and do a lot of talking 😆

    1. @vildeeo I watched the video and couldn’t even complete it because the guy is definitely not a good source of information. He was taking the video details out of context and attempting to make Zak look bad and I don’t engage with untrustworthy people so I ceased watching. He made several comments about the part of Zak’s video with the dog biting at his pants leg like Zak said this is what you want NO Zak showed real-life experiences that dog owners have. Zak was seeking out and showing the real-life issues Iretia has that he has to focus on that are common for most pups and he showed his audience and was clear on what was good behavior and what wasn’t. This guy who critiques his video even changed some of the content. I advise people not to watch it, it has no value! Real Talk as a new dog owner!

    2. @vildeeo I watched the video and couldn’t even complete it because the guy is definitely not a good source of information. He was taking the video details out of context and attempting to make Zak look bad and I don’t engage with untrustworthy people so I ceased watching. He made several comments about the part of Zak’s video with the dog biting at his pants leg like Zak said this is what you want NO Zak showed real-life experiences that dog owners have. Zak was seeking out and showing the real-life issues Iretia has that he has to focus on that are common for most pups and he showed his audience and was clear on what was good behavior and what wasn’t. This guy who critiques his video even changed some of the content. I advise people not to watch it, it has no value! Real Talk as a new dog owner!

    3. I love Zak’s videos but I agree with what was said about Inertia being extremely uncomfortable. There were too many signs if u pay attention and understand her body language.

      What Zak did here was slightly careless and somewhat lazy. He kinda just threw her out there and hope things will figure itself out. It is fun and with his experience on dogs, he knows when to step in and how. With the same dog but an average Joe who watches his videos and tried to do exactly what he did, things could have gone much differently.

      With all that said, I still love and watch his videos. Nothing he says is untrue but there’s just more to it and he’s leaving out some important details. If u dont have a reactive dog, then youre completely fine. But if u have a reactive dog, ull need to do more research than just watch his videos

    4. @vildeeo that person on the link was pathetic. Interesting that none of the links to his pages no longer work. Stopped watching in less than 5 mins. He’s rubbish.

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