4th of July Collection | Now Available at the Barstool StoreSHOP HERE


Perfect Dog Handling Technique On Display: What To Do When An Aggressive Dogs Attempts To Bite You By Going "Up Leash"

My wife sent me this video this weekend and I gasped when I saw it. I didn't gasp like I usually do watching training videos because this fella nailed it. After being a chief trainer, kennel master, and chief instructor at the military working dog school, I've seen some really bad training in my day. From top to bottom though, this guy in the video was spot on. This dog isn't an "aggressive" dog. It's a dog that had its play drive and prey drive manipulated at the same time... poorly. Sometimes that works great. Other times, that leaves a dog confused as to what its mission is if you move through the building-block steps too quickly. 

These types of dogs love working. They want to go, go, go. So when a handler tries to teach them protection skills before enough obedience is in place, this is the result. The basic starting point for all dog training is basic obedience. It doesn't matter if you are trying to train dogs to find bombs, drugs, or attack people. Basic OB is the starter's block for all that. So, if you move to more advance training, you can be fucked for a while. This dog is attempting to "attack with or without command." Eventually, with enough training, dogs can determine the threat and respond to it without a command from the handler. This dog was introduced to that concept way before he was ready and now he's an ass eater. Unfortunate, but not a death knell. 

The previous trainer did not have enough buy-in on several commands. The first one is obviously "no." We all know what "no" means for a dog. Sometimes "no" can be used as almost a placeholder correction or a "you did that wrong" type of slight correction. For instance, telling a dog to "down." If the dog hears the command and doesn't do the action, the handler will verbally correct the dog with the "no" command and then give the action command again. "Down." The "no" is the reminder to the dog to pay attention. "No" can also be used as a freezing word. A sharp "NO" should stop the dogs in their tracks. That didn't happen here. My first course of action would be to retrain the basic obedience commands but, before you can do that, you have to regain control safely. 

That's what this guy does so well. He controls a dangerous situation with ease. The guy takes the leash and choke chain and pulls it straight up into the air with his hands out so that the dog's face isn't directly in his face. The handler doesn't freak out. He acts calm and holds the dog with steady pressure from up high above the dog's neck. Why though?

Dogs have something called opposition reflex. Opposition reflex refers to your dog's instinctive reaction to any physical pressure. Pull your dog towards you and they'll automatically pull in the opposite direction; try to push them away and they'll automatically push back against you. So when you want a dog's ass back on the ground, pull them up in the air. Their natural instincts will have their butts going to the ground pretty quickly. If most people had this level of skill, there would be a lot fewer ER docs with stitches practice. Learning to manipulate the natural desires or behaviors of dogs is how you become a good trainer. This dude has that. 

Well done, trainer. Love it. 

For more dog training tips, subscribe to Zero Blog 30.