Last year I gave a free group class to anyone that wanted to attend. I thought three or four people would show up. I was drastically wrong. A lot of people showed up. A lot of awesome people. That free group class turned into a five hour mini workshop.
There was a woman from a shelter that showed up toward the end with a big beautiful pit bull. She told me that they can’t place him in a home because he’s extremely dog aggressive. I took the dog from her but kept her with me as we spoke. The training had started but she just didn’t know it. Out of all the dogs there I saw that the pit bull was focused on a big powerful Rottweiler. I knew the Rottweiler. He’s a well balanced big beautiful Rotty with an owner that loves dogs as much as I do.
The pit bull was wearing a prong collar. Wrong tool for this situation. A prong collar is used to create activity in the dog. When used in this situation it can create a lot of frustration and make things worse. I’m not against prong collars. They’re good tools, but just usually used incorrectly.
I asked the shelter employee to watch from the side with all the others. I asked the Rotty owner to walk toward me and listen to my instructions. As he moved forward the pit bull started targeting him. I instructed the Rotty owner to stop right where he was and do nothing. I did nothing. The pit bull was focused on him with a serious intensity. After 20 or 30 seconds the pit bull looked up at me. I instructed the Rotty owner to move away from us back to where he was at the start. Then we repeated, each time getting the Rottweiler closer.
After about 10 minutes and several repetitions, without ever uttering a single command or implementing a single correction, the pit bull laid down and relaxed with the Rottweiler next to us.
The shelter worker cried. Well worth a free group class. FOR ME.