Our Thoughts on Aggression and other Unwanted Behavior...
Your Dog's State of Mind...
At CPC we feel that aggression, and other severe behavior, is a state of mind and not a breed issue. We have learned over the years that a Labrador Retriever can have just as serious of an aggression (or other unwanted behavior problem) as a German Shepherd or other 'dominant' breed. See photo below! However, some breeds are much more powerful than others, mostly the Molosser breeds, and some were ORIGINALLY and specifically bred to fight and kill other dogs. The more powerful the dog, the more damage it can inflict if it does choose to utilize aggression as a way to control its world.
25% of CPC's business is young women with Pit Bulls or their mixes. Love is a very important part of the human/dog relationship, but it does NOT prevent aggression!
Some of the most aggressive, dangerous and out-of-control dogs we have worked with in 30+ years have been Labrador Retrievers and their mixes. Next are the herding dogs and their mixes, like Australian Shepherds, Cattle Dogs and Border Collies. And, back in the early 1990's the number one biting breed on record was the Cocker Spaniel! EVERY dog knows how to bite and living inside the human home, EVERY dog has issues, whether subtle or severe. Yours and mine are no exception.
We at CPC have learned that EVERY dog is a product of its environment. A dog that is not trained, not well-behaved and not under control is not only a very unhappy dog, but can become a very dangerous dog, even if biting/aggression is not the problem. No matter how much money, time and energy is put into a dog's 'training' the dog will still feel the need to make its own decisions in times of stress IF the dog does not look to its owner/handler for guidance.
Dogs do NOT make smart decisions in the human world and they often get themselves injured or killed simply because a well-meaning owner didn't learn to effectively communicate with their cherished pet. Please don't lose your dog to a car, a law suit, another dog or even the needle because you thought that love would bridge all communication with a different species.
Please remember that if you choose to work with CPC, there is a chance that we would be 'managing' your dog's unwanted behavior instead of 'fixing' the behavior.
Most bad habits can be broken, but changing a dog's perspective on life in general requires a lot of patience and a loving, but strong 'pack leader' and most of us have a very hard time fitting that mold! Humans in general are horrible authority figures in the eyes of a canine, anyway. We are incredibly inconsistent! You may think your dog views you as a TRUE pack leader, but I'll bet it doesn't. If your dog does not think YOU can control the rest of the world it will more than likely feel the need to do so for you.
Why does CPC believe in the 'Wolf Pack Theory'? Because it works!!
It is great to have a dog that will sit, lay down, stay, come when its called and walk nicely on a leash..... but if your dog does not view you as its 'pack leader' or an authority figure, your dog may choose to not obey those commands in times of stress or distraction. You then end up simply restraining your dog, which is not a form of communication.
We have also learned that pack leadership starts inside the home - whatever happens inside your home with your dog will govern what happens outside of your home with your dog, as well as when 'outsiders' enter your home.
Many dogs take life very seriously, especially the insecure/fearful ones, and if your dog 'thinks' you are not in control of the outside world, it will more than likely attempt to do so for you. If you want to change your dog's unwanted or aggressive behavior, you must first be willing to change your own behavior. There is no way around this fact and anyone who tells you differently does not know how to truly conquer your dog's aggression or other severe behavior problem. CPC does know how and we have 30+ years of experience dealing with and rehabilitating aggressive dogs…. and are willing to prove it to you.
Note: On this web site, 'we' refers to me, Suzi Schaefers. There is no 'combined experience'.....those 30 years are mine only.
In the animal kingdom, there are only 2 positions: LEADER and follower. Which are you?
Science has proven that most of today's domestic dogs are 99% gray wolf genetically and they are hard-wired to think, act and react like a wolf in a pack....and we are not. We cannot teach canines to think like humans, so humans need to learn to think like canines. Your dog may have bonded with you and may 'love' you, but still may not respect you. If your dog does not view you as a GENUINE leader it simply will not trust your judgment, your decision making ability or your ability to control your surroundings.....it will continue to follow instinct instead of your lead and will continue to make its own decisions.
Many, if not most dog trainers and behaviorists these days will tell you that the 'wolf pack theory' is outdated, 'old-school' or harsh. Sadly, most of the trainers who say that do not have the experience, knowledge or desire to fully rehabilitate an aggressive dog. They will often tell you your dog needs more and more obedience training. They will often tell you to have your aggressive dog placed on mind altering drugs or even euthanized. They will often tell you to stay away from trainers/facilities that still practice 'natural' training methods. Often times, if they do take on an aggressive dog, many of those trainers will have their clients use food or other positive methods in an attempt to 'redirect' the dog's aggression. These trainers are one of the main reasons CPC is in business. Dog owners need a trainer out there who can truly change the way a dog looks at humans in general without the use of food, clickers, bribery and hours and hours of practice. Suzi Schaefers is that trainer. CPC does not teach obedience training - CPC teaches appropriate pack behavior in dogs and pack leadership in owners.
If you search the internet you will find a LOT of information out there that will tell you the 'alpha dog' theory AKA 'wolf pack theory' has been officially debunked…that it just does not work. Just like abortion, religion, gun control and other hot-button issues, there is huge debate. Animal trainers, animal behaviorists, animal psychologists, animal communicators and even dog lovers will debate the 'wolf pack theory' until the day they die. Each one will 'swear on a stack of holy bibles' that THEIR way is the best way and that the 'wolf pack theory' simply does not work and is not necessary. However, I would really like to meet those people, and their AGGRESSIVE dogs, and see how far they have really come. Are they still just 'managing' their dog's aggression or has the aggression ceased.....?
Many of these 'debunkers' seem to think those of us who DO believe in the WPT are too aggressive, or rough with dogs in order to train them to no longer be aggressive. CPC also does not believe in being abusive or aggressive toward any dog, unless the dog is actively attacking the handler. Even then, a necessary leash correction is short, sweet, to-the-point and rarely needs to be repeated. Whereas, the 'debunkers' will tell their clients to 'redirect' the AGGRESSIVE dog with food, clickers, lots of babbling, lots of body language and lots of unnecessary and nagging work. These methods may seem to work at the time of the training session, but do they REALLY change an AGGRESSIVE dog's outlook on other dogs, people or situations? Probably not.....
If you have an aggressive dog, how many trainers have you worked with so far? CPC feels that aggression rehabilitation is extremely simple! Plenty of references available!
With all of that said, thousands of desperate dog owners who will NOT euthanize or give away their dangerously aggressive dog still need somewhere to go for help!Contact CPC!
A personal and frustrated note from the head trainer: "I would LOVE to meet all of the people out there who think that today's domestic dog is NOT 99% gray wolf genetically and that learning to communicate with a dog using its own language is NOT effective. What the….? It is a scientifically proven fact that they are and it is! I have also been living proof of that for the last 33 years! Ugh…..I would LOVE to meet even one of the 'debunkers' who will even take on a dangerously handler-aggressive Pit Bull, Rottweiler or German Shepherd. I would LOVE to meet a 'debunker' who can rehabilitate that type of d dog and then return it to the owner and teach the owner how to maintain real, reliable and safe control of that dog for the rest of its life. If my life's work has been 'debunked', 'is a joke' and 'doesn't work', then how come I keep receiving deeply heartfelt thank-you's from almost every client who thought there was no hope with their aggressive dog after working with multiple trainers? Then why am in business and have a 99% success rate? Most of the trainers who do not believe in the 'wolf pack theory' (WPT) will tell an owner to euthanize or drug their dog; or, they simply won't work with that type of dog. It's funny how many hundreds of calls/emails I get every year from people who have already tried working with those other trainers (you know who you are!) who don't believe in or utilize the 'wolf pack theory'….or, who will take on a client, take their money, promise to help with aggression, but then show fear of the aggressive dog, won't handle the aggressive dog or give dangerous misinformation and the owner never gets a 'finished product'. I hear the same basic complaint from EVERY one of those dog owners: "I paid a trainer(s) to help me with my aggressive dog and while they did teach me some things, my dog is still aggressive and getting worse! Please help!" Thank you for listening to the head trainer's frustration and her continued hope for a 'village' someday with which to raise our 'children'......
PLEASE VIEW "WOLVES AT OUR DOOR" (52:13) on YouTube! You will learn more about your own dog's true, primitive behavior by simply watching wolf pack behavior, than you ever will from ANY dog trainer/behaviorist…including me!
What Our Clients Are Saying
"Hi Suzi!! I just wanted to give you an incredible update on our boy Gunnar. A few weeks ago I had an episode while my husband Casey was busy and thanks to you and your training techniques, I was able to get Gunnar to tell Casey I was having a problem and I was able to keep Gunnar and I calm (which is incredible considering I was on the floor immobilized and only partially able to speak).
Not only that, but Gunnar actually stayed calm when the paramedics were in our home! And then today, while doing some outdoor chores, Gunnar "spoke" to tell me there were "intruders" and then pointed them to me in perfect form. I truly cannot thank you enough for helping me with my "problem child" and even if he isn't perfect...he did save my life and stayed completely calm about it!"