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Episode 301 - The Seinfeld Episode

“Even a celebrity’s dog can be insecure, and that’s exactly what I found when I dropped in on Jerry Seinfeld to help with his dachshunds Foxy and José. But the secret to rehabilitating an insecure dog is exactly the same as the secret of comedy — it’s all in the timing!”


Q&A with Cesar

My dog is not only afraid of my husband. He is afraid of all men. What can I do, Cesar?

As I mention in the episode, timid dogs are actually harder to rehabilitate than aggressive dogs because it’s a matter of slowly teaching them not to react to the fearful stimulus, whether it’s all men, loud noises, or energetic children.
To help a dog that’s afraid of a specific type of person it’s always a good idea to enlist a few friends to aid in the training. It’s important to remember, though, that the goal is not for men to be able to approach your dog — it’s to teach your dog that it’s okay to approach men whom you know.
Your husband and assistants should practice no touch, no talk, no eye contact while the dog is in their space. Let him explore, but don’t try to force him to interact at first. Dogs are naturally curious, and once your dog has decided that there’s no danger in a situation, then he’ll begin to explore more and approach on his own.
However, none of the men should attempt to interact with the dog until he shows no signs of flinching, cowering, or running away when they turn their attention to him.
You can also have one of your male friends come along while you and your husband walk the dog, switching off among the three of you on the end of the leash once your dog seems to be calmly enjoying things.
Eventually, when your dog approaches on his own, that’s when your husband can start rewarding him with a treat. This final part of the process will help your dog relax and associate good things with your husband and men in general.

I want to be a better Pack Leader and start working with my dog at home too, but for how long? What’s the ideal duration of each training session, and when can I move on to the next lesson?

The length of the training session depends a lot on your dog. For puppies, you should limit each session to no more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time. Any longer, and they’ll begin to lose focus. For older dogs, the goal is not so much time as it is progress — when they learn and master a new command, then you can stop the session. You don’t want to drag it out for too long. No more than 30 minutes is ideal, although stop sooner if your dog’s attention starts to wander.
At the start of any session, begin with a review of what your dog learned in previous sessions before moving on to a new command.
And remember, if you become frustrated, then it’s time to stop the training session until your energy is in a better place. Your dog will pick up on that frustration right away and stop responding to you.

I get the calm part, but I need to learn to be assertive. I appreciate the tip on voice inflection. Can you give me more pointers to bring out my assertiveness?

Assertiveness is all about intention. You have to have a strong, clear intention in order to be assertive. Otherwise, you’ll come across to your dog as uncertain in what you want, and she won’t follow your leadership.
One thing that helps to develop assertiveness is to envision the positive outcome — before you even tell your dog to sit, see that moment in your head as if it’s something that’s already happened.
Also be aware of your posture: stand up straight with your shoulders back and your feet planted below your shoulders. You don’t need to lean down to the dog to give a command if you have the assertive energy.

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How to Watch

TV: "Cesar 911" appears in the U.S.A. on Nat Geo WILD. Check local listings.

Watch "Cesar 911" the day after air, via authentication through a cable provider, on TV-VOD and TVE platforms which include, iOS handsets and tablets, Android handsets, Apple TV, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Samsung Connected TVs and Roku.

Computer: Stream "Cesar 911" approximately 30 days after air at no cost on Hulu.

International: "Cesar 911" will premiere internationally in May. Please visit our schedule page for more information.