Dog Whisperer

Season 1 Episode 13

Shep and Sasha (Shepherd Smackdown: Part 1)

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Jul 05, 2006 on National Geographic Wild
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Episode Summary


Old Dogs, New Tricks
Sasha is an extremely aggressive 12-year-old Lhasa Apso owned by Lois Rubino and Barry Heck. She has been biting her owners for nearly 12 years, and they hope that Cesar can help them. She will not walk on leash, and is very toy and food protective, but Cesar assures them that it is never too late to change aggressive, dominant behavior. He teaches them some methods to regain ownership of their home by taking control of Sasha's food, toys, and walks. He explains that once a dog challenges the owner, like for food or toys, and the owner backs away, the dog is in control-she is the dominant one in the relationship. He further points out that this is a common problem with small, fluffy dogs; since they are so small and cute the owners tend to not provide boundaries and limitations. While Cesar is teaching Lois and Barry how to master the walk, he tells them that using tension to pull the Sasha on the leash on the walk passes the tension to the dog and creates a negative impact on the dog's mind. Cesar shakes a bag of treats to re-focus Sasha's attention.

Showdown with Shep
Cynthia Holvenstot and her sons Ricky and Jojo Lopez have a German Shepherd Dog named Shep. He is very sweet to them, but can be very unpredictable and hyper. Cynthia is in a wheelchair and would love to be able to walk Shep, but cannot trust him. She tells Cesar that her sons play with him at least 30 minutes a day, but Cesar explains that this activity is like taking a child to Chuck E. Cheese as opposed to piano lessons. Piano lessons are conducive to a calm, submissive state of mind while Chuck E. Cheese just gets them more excited. First he teaches them to master the walk; this will help drain some of Shep's excess energy. Cesar gives Shep the job of carrying a backpack for Cynthia, and he does a great job. He explains that the backpack gives a dog a psychological challenge and makes them feel useful-instead of pulling, now he carries. Three weeks later, Cesar comes back because Shep has bitten a neighbor; Cesar teaches the boys to keep the collar just below the ears for better control and to put Shep on the ground when he misbehaves in order to demonstrate that they are above him in the pack hierarchy.


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