What you MUST Know About Dog Trainers and How to Pick the Best one for YOU!

You need to know this about dog trainers… This video is sponsored by Petflow! Set up automatic pet food delivery today at http://www.PetFlow.com/ZakGeorge

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Playlist: How to teach your puppy or dog the basics in order: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMssKIjsDxXmMGypWsr8u-yGOUSoPoozb

Here are sources and other interesting studies:

Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in Behavior Modification of Animals,” American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, 2008. https://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Dominance_Position_Statement_download-10-3-14.pdf

“Dominance and Dog Training,” Association of Professional Dog Trainers, 2009 https://apdt.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/dominance-and-dog-training.pdf

What Are Some of the Common Myths About Dog Training?” Association of Professional Dog Trainers. http://apdt.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/training-myths.pdf

L. David Mech, “Alpha Status, Dominance, and Division of Labor in Wolf Packs,” Canadian Journal of Zoology 77 (1999): 1196–1203. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download;jsessionid=76E3BC2982F0501E4E50F58E38065161?doi=

Meghan E. Herron et al., “Survey of the Use and Outcome of Confrontational and Non-confrontational Training Methods in Client-Owned Dogs Showing Undesired Behaviors,” Applied Animal Behaviour Science 117, no. 1–2 (2009): 47–54. http://www.appliedanimalbehaviour.com/article/S0168-1591(08)00371-7/abstract

Andrea Beetz et al., “Psychosocial and Psychophysiological Effects of Human-Animal Interactions: The Possible Role of Oxytocin,” Frontiers in Psychology 3 (2012): 234. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3408111/

Miho Nagasawa et al., “Oxytocin-Gaze Positive Loop and the Coevolution of Human-Dog Bonds,” Science, 348, no. 6232 (2015): 333–336. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/348/6232/333.full

Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods, The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think (New York: Dutton, 2013)

American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, Decoding Your Dog: Explaining Common Dog Behaviors and How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones (New York: Mariner Books, 2015). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4399738/


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  1. Your videos were a great help to my puppy, and he's already in intermediate 2 as a 7 month old! He's aiming for Canine good citizen and good citizen advanced. However, it disheartens me that you put chain and prong collars on the same level as shock collars, and that you fail to mention martingales as another correction collar. My dog is training to be a diabetic service dog, and started on a martingale, but now he is on a prong collar. In fact, all service dogs at my training facility start on prong collars while training in public.

    Why? Because he needs to be a professional, and the stakes are higher if a service dog disobeys the command of someone whose life literally depends on them. Sometimes we can't afford to put up with a dog deciding – even once – that they're just not in the mood to listen to you. I really love your videos, but the story isn't as black and white as you make it seem. Some dogs are not treat motivated. Some dogs – the basenji, for instance – will. not. listen. to positive reinforcement methods beyond basic commands. If anyone here plans to go to an advanced level with their dog, I think Zack's videos are an amazing foundation and give you and your dog a great education, but look elsewhere and keep and open mind as you move up in training world. Many MANY dogs cannot be trained without a collar.

    Shock collars are not used by any professional trainers. Prong and martingale are the two most common. Martingales are so common that they are the most common show dog collar. It is a myth that they damage the animal. You would have to literally pick them off the ground by the collar to harm them.

  2. What are your thoughts on a Thunder leash? (if you don't know, they wrap around the dogs body and if the dog pulls it squeezes them around their body)/ Not necessarily on using them as a training tool but just to alleviate the pressure on my dogs neck when he pulls. Obviously we are still working on pulling with training; however, in the mean time I just feel so bad for him when he pulls the leash so hard on his neck. He's escaped from harness before so I'm hesitant there and he's still growing so I don't want to invest in a really good harness just yet.

  3. I see a lot of people using those bad collars just because they don't have time or energy to teach their dogs. In my own opinion you shouldn't get a dog if you are not willing to train it and spend that time and energy on your dog.

  4. I think with young dogs you couldn't be more right, however with real biters or fearfully aggressive dogs u need to understand both sides of training. I really like your channel so I keep up with your videos and usually agree with everything you say but there are rescued dogs out there that are to far gone for this kind of training. I don't think any dog should be out down and have helped a lot of my friends with aggressive dogs. It's just necessary to inform yourself on all training methods and when one thing dosnt doing work try somthing else, in this age you honestly have no excuse not to. All dogs can be saved they just need a flexible enough person.

  5. Hi Zak, I am a very compassionate trainer that mostly uses a remote collar for obedience training. I am torn, because a lot of the dogs that I train come to me from other trainers refusals and failures. The training methods I use are entirely attention based and use the collar to provide enough stimulus to achieve the dogs attention, never too much to cause the dog excessive discomfort. Every client will tell you that they are advised to never use the collar as punishment! The results provide what we all perceive to be happy and confident. I have used the collar on myself on the highest mode possible intensity for extended periods to ensure I was not using a tool that would cause harm. It is terribly uncomfortable, but not painful. The training is just sooooo successful for these dogs that vets have asked be put down and other trainers have fallen short for. I have considered changing my training methods, but I just don't see how to be successful with these dogs when they have ZERO interest in treats or reward based training. Honestly, the biggest issue lies in the clients. Most have jobs and families and are incapable of spending hours each day with their dogs that require excessive attention. Do you have videos dealing with extreme behavior or dogs that are unwilling to work for treats? Also, please ignore my high school youtube username lol

  6. Well, my parents got a puppy when I was 1 and she would always knock me over, so my dad put me on top of her to show dominance, and she never jumped on me again. I think if you use it gently without harming the dog, it can actually work.

  7. Hi Zak! What is your opinion on the collars that emits a spray of Citronella to correct them? I feel like it is just another product to patch the symptom but not fix the root cause of the barking.

  8. There are some good pointers in these videos but overall they are too treat-based. Treats are not a practical way to manage many situations, and even if they work great at first, my dog got desensitized to them pretty fast. Wish he would devote more attention to transitioning from treat dependence.


  10. You have helped me realize the career I want to pursue in the future! I want to be a dog trainer that isn't prejudice to specific breeds because of stereotypes, and I also want to train and advise completely against training with pain!

  11. So I have a Gray hound and I use a Martingale collar because she can pull out of regular collars I can't put a harness on her because she has a big sore right where the harness would go so what should I do? Not take her on walks? Because I love baby and would never intentionally hurt her!

  12. Hey Zak, really love your videos and respect what you do. I'm picking up my mini Aussie blue Merle pup next Friday and have been binge watching basically all of your videos. Needless to say I can't wait to try and implement your training strategies. I appreciate your approach in connecting with a dog from a place of love and compassion; treating them like the intelligent species they are.

    I'm quite curious your take on neutering/spaying your pup…I personally can't imagine doing that to someone, and I'm leaning against doing it. It doesn't seem like a natural thing to do to a living, intelligent being.

    Would love to hear what you have to say.

  13. Of course I watch this after a few sessions with a trainer who made us use a "choke collar." I felt extremely bad every time I had to yank that chain and yet my parents love the "immediate results" that he doesn't do almost any time after.

  14. this is definitely your most important video. i can't support this message enough. a happy, loved, well-cared for dog will bend themselves backwards to please the one they love most – their owner!

  15. I asked a question 4 weeks ago. I guess you didn't see it or haven't had time to answer it. I agree that ethics and good communication are very important for dogs …and for people. Zak, I need to know where can I see videos of your purely positive training methods for aggressive dogs?? May I say you seem to have a chip on your shoulder in this video for balanced trainers as you come off very condemning. First you start out saying you are "only addressing equipment", but then you go south immediately from there and spend the rest of your 11 min video attacking any and all trainers who are not purely positive. I really have never seen a trainer insult other trainers quite to this magnitude. Disagreement over methodology is one thing, but to insult their intellect, call them "shallow", and to question their ethics is quite another. You have a lot of name calling and very accusatory, inflammatory language in this video: "Beneath you as a 21st Century Citizen", "Scientifically illiterate dog trainers advising the public". "Violent and far less effective training sessions". "Brute force" "Bending animals to our will" "More intelligent ways to train dogs." "Harsh even painful methods" – wow. Who are you describing? Attila the Hun? Isis? Ok, lol enough fun. I just want to follow you on your aggressive dog training videos. I am always looking for more pointers from any MODERN, SCIENTIFIC-BASED, ELITIST dog trainers I see on how they deal with dogs one leg away from the inevitable blue juice. Since you refer to pain and violence, it is crystal clear you ARE judging and do not understand many methods you apparently have never HAD to use in order to save an animals life. Oh, since I have had to use some of these methods and equipment a few times in my career my intellect will soon come under your scrutiny so I will submit my brief curriculum vitae which includes a B.S. in Animal Science, CPDT-KA, 4 years work with a CAAB, a police / SAR / service dog trainer, 9 years as a zookeeper and over 30 years of animal experience. Zak, please try to be less condemning and just demonstrate what you have to offer. Let the clients choose and if you can train ALL animals with purely postive techniques they will ALL just come running to you and all the evil "violent" trainers will just wither up and go away.

  16. Every single part of this spoke to me so much. It IS like raising and taking care of a child, just not one of your own species. They have deep emotions and intelligence and choking/shocking/prodding them with CRUEL collars… well strap them onto a human kid and see how fast your prehistoric-minded, ignorant, abusive ass lands in jail. It's not a matter of alpha dominance and never should have been. Dogs don't work that way. Wolves don't even work that exact way. Treat your dog with love and compassion and patience, and bad behaviors will totally dissipate. Zak is completely correct in saying its just the collar doing the work, you have no bond with your dog if you treat it like a fucking slave. And I've witnessed (unfortunately when I knew very little) owners doing that exact thing. Pretty funny how they leave the collar on. Hmm… However, I don't think some corrections are bad. Nudging your dog sharply with your foot, firmly tapping their nose, or spritzing water doesn't hurt them, it'd be the same as mildly upsetting your child. I think a few corrections have to go hand in hand with positive reinforcement, but for the most part, the latter is preferred. After all, try doing those old methods to a human best friend, then get back to me about how your dog supposedly is. Emotions and intelligence people, we aren't the only species to have them. My furbabies will always be allowed on furniture or happily encouraged out the door first. Its not a "power transfer" that's just bullshit. On a lighter note… inhales OLLIE IS ADORABLE!!!!

  17. I have a show dog, which requires for my black lab to have a nylon choke collar. However, we are not using it for physical corrections (no pulling on it). Is it still a bad idea to have one? Is there another option? (We cannot only use it for showing and use another for home, or it will matte his fur.)

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