28 Comments on “We should talk”

    1. I’d love to see a good reinforcement-based trainer do a series on aggressive behavior. Many critics of reinforcement-based training say that it simply cannot be done. That for aggression, you need harsh methods. The science says something else entirely–that harsh methods often evoke aggression. I firmly believe that a good positively based trainer can work with a dog exhibiting aggressive behavior and do it well. I would love to see that so that critics of positive-based methods could see it as well.

    2. @Jan Hankins absolutely agree just don’t know how to go about it. I know from zak about desensitisation but where do you start when even the sight brings on fear aggression….

    3. @Lucinda Darby You start far enough away so that the sight does not bring on fear aggression. If that means the other dogs and/or people, look like little ants because they’re so far away, so be it. If that means you have to out of visual contact (but your dog can smell other dogs/people), so be it. That’s what I’ve always done with the fearful rescues I’ve worked with and it has always worked. Some dogs have to start further away than others and some dogs take longer than others, but it isn’t a race.

    4. @Jan Hankins thank you. Its the groomers and having a bath! We went away in August and left him with a police dog trainer I had been using. Her methods were firm including nudging him in the ribs if he really didn’t do as he was told. I was unsure but he seemed to improve. We were away for 1 week. She told me she had bathed him and that he loved it which I found strange as he doesn’t even like his feet being wet! However he had always been OK just a bit nervous. Same at groomers and she is brilliant with him. Took him last week and would not go near the bath. He went for her twice!! She knew it was fear aggression and handled him really well. Since being back home he likes corners where he can lie with his head against the skirting board and had to work to get him to sleep in bed in kitchen at night as he refused to go to bed. Also had 2 trips to vet for diarrhoea and have same issue with fear aggression towards vet and he has now told me to muzzle train him. Really tried to avoid this. Getting a behaviourist involved now and also doing his DNA as he is Romanian rescue. I am not finger pointing as I don’t believe that’s helpful but wondering if leaving him elsewhere has started this. We have had hin for 14 months. Any views welcome. I am going back to pure reinforcement until we get help

  1. Thank you so much for answering all my questions and taking time out or your im sure otherwise very busy day! I really enjoyed chatting with you and Bree! *cough* “Surprise Your Wife with Dog” Series needs to happen. *cough* 😂❤ Thanks again so much and I VERY MUCH SO look forward to your future uploads!!! 😊

  2. Hi Zak! Do you have any tips about how to set a dog up for success and reduce stress when moving house? Or how to capitalize on a move to get a reset in training around separation anxiety?

  3. You and Bree are quite enjoyable to watch, but more than that, y’all are producing valuable content for training our doggies. Thank you so much!

  4. Would love to get a video/series on separation anxiety. You touched on it with Kona, but it would be great to see it more in depth. Many pups suffer more from it past covid.

    1. I’d like to see Zak talk about this on an in-depth basis, but I’m not sure a series is “workable”. The same with fear and anxiety. It takes a lot of time taking tiny little steps and it isn’t really “view-worthy” a lot of time. A lot of folks might be bored. I’d love it, but a lot of people might be bored. And you have to move at the dog’s pace and that is sometimes really, really slow. I took in a Great Dane that was slated to be euthanized due to her fearful behavior (people were afraid she could be aggressive in the “right” (wrong) situation and I think she could have been). An aggressive Great Dane is dangerous!! At any rate, our Lina was very, very slow to move forward past her fear and anxiety. It took me several months to get her to trust me enough to even think about training and then it took more months before I could do anything of “use”. And our first training session, she stood frozen in fear and I started what I called the “gimme game”. If give me behavior–of any kind, I don’t care what it is, I give you a yummy treat. You blink–treat. You move a paw–treat. It took months of that before I could even think of luring her with a treat. Not good viewing!! Lina lived her life with us to a ripe old age (for a Great Dane) and I miss her every day. But we had to manage her environment very, very carefully for the rest of her life. She was NEVER allowed to interact with anyone that was not a trainer or veterinary professional due to her overwhelming fear. It took years before she could interact with someone who wasn’t a professional.

    2. Second this. Despite all the desensitization (hundreds and hundreds of reps) and counter-conditioning, just not getting there although we have our pup sleep in a different room and spends remote work days on the same space as she sleeps in and would spend her alone time as well.

  5. I’d love to see a series on small reactive dogs.
    Also resource guarding with another dog. My 1 yr old Havapoo sometimes won’t allow my 10: yr old Smooth Collie into the house, near me, etc. I’ve had a lot of success teaching “wait” when I give each of them a treat or food, other commands and reinforcement of “good things happen when _____”, is helpful, but I also see it progressing. Trying to stay positive vs corrective is challenging when the little (younger, smaller) one growls at the big (mellow, sweet, lovely, older) one.

  6. Hi Zak!
    About a month ago a stray dog entered my yard and we decided to keep her, the vet saw her and estimated that she is about a year and a half old.
    I was able to teach her (Sit) but I am having a hard time teaching her other basics.
    Do you have any advice for me?

  7. I would love to see Bree train a dog. 👍🏼 She calls her self a layman, so to speak. So seeing her overcome difficulties would be so relatable. Yes pls!

    1. I would like to see that, too. I have a lot of experience with training (helping with Great Dane rescue and training a lot of the rescues with behavioral problems) and took a number of college courses in animal behavior and learning theory (which helped me immensely). But I certainly don’t consider myself a “trainer” by any stretch of the imagination. So I’d like to see someone learning from a real trainer. I’m sure I’d learn as much as Bree would!! I learned stuff from classes, but sometimes applying that to “real world” situations isn’t quite as easy as we’d like. So I’d love a series like this. If Bree doesn’t want to do it, come to Knoxville and train me!!

    2. I just love her energy. I would really enjoy that. I love Zak, and I think he probably has more time available to train than Bre does because she does editing and production stuff, but I would enjoy that if she wouldn’t be too overwhelmed.

  8. I missed this! I didn’t know you were going live. How did I not know that? I’d have loved to watch this truly live. As a first-time owner of two small dogs (always had Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds in the past and as we got older, it got more and more difficult to help them when they got older and had difficulty walking, so when our last Wolfhound died, we got two small dogs–one is 10 1/2 pounds, the other is 8 1/2 pounds–what a difference between them and a Great Dane or Irish Wolfhound), I’m hoping you will do a small dog series.

  9. How about training in winter in Alaska? Being from Colorado, you need to be creative. Work around due to weather and less daylight. I like your Alaska series. We live a more rural life. Not as much access to the big city. It has its own challenges. Thank you.

  10. Hi Zak, I have a Basset Hound puppy. I would love to see leash training with a hound. Their nose pulls them everywhere. I can get his attention, but once he’s got a scent it’s hard.

  11. This is probably the only person I believe when they say I’m not here for super chats and don’t give money. And I’m usually a skeptic but after watching how genuine you are with training, I believe.

  12. Zak, I love your videos and I love your training style. I’m sad I missed this. I would love to see Bri do training AND I do have a question. I adopted a german shepherd whom I think spend a lot of time in a kennel or confined in general, and she is scared of nervous of everything. She’s not reactive and I’ve been training her to be a service animal, but when we go somewhere new or outside of the home it’s very clear she’s nervous. She won’t eat treats unless we are indoors in the house. She also doesn’t like or play with any toys (including the Playology ones with the scents in them). So, I don’t know how to fully get her attention when we are training when we are out. She’s a great dog, just stubborn and nervous.

  13. I just watched the replay and I love getting a chance to casually interact with you! I know everyone wants to see you do a series with whichever breed of dog they have 😂 but I’d love to see a series with an English Bulldog. They pose such an interesting training challenge by being low to the ground and super powerful and solidly built all at once. I’d also love to hear your ideas on how to train (and specifically exercise) brachycephalic dogs. Keep up the great work! 💜

  14. You are the one person I consistently look to for dog training advice because I respect and trust you. You keep up with the latest research in your field and adjust your training strategies/outlook accordingly. We need more people like you in the world.

    Also, you ARE a scientist. I just completed my Ph.D. in genetics at the University of Pennsylvania, and I basically do what you do every day, but in a different context. You perform an experiment during every training session with a dog.

  15. I always appreciate how you emphasize that training a dog takes time, like you said today 1-2 years.
    I was very disappointed with your answer about shock collars . In your videos I have heard you say many times no to shock, prong, choke collars. Also the video you put out to address the statement from AFVAB (sp?) re: aversive methods. When the guy asked about “having to” shock a hunting dog, the answer should be NO you don’t. People are out there doing just that.

Leave a Reply