Emily, a pit bull, is a classic red-zone case. She pulled her owner on walks and growled, barked at people, especially those people walking other dogs.
Emilys owner would drag along after her and yell at her to be quiet. Not surprisingly, this tactic didn't work.
It is important to understand that red-zone dogs are usually frustrated dogs. To control a powerful breed you need to master the position of pack leader. The sheer size and strength of a powerful breed will quickly transform any frustrated and dominant animal into a red-zone case. You must get control of the situation before it escalates out of control.
Then I explained how he must become Emilys pack leader and set rules, boundaries and limitations. Next I turned my attention to Emily. It was clear that Emily held the dominant position in my clients household. First, I spoke to Emilys owner about the importance of recognizing the animal in the dog and fulfilling the dog as Nature intended her to be fulfilled.
Out came my roller blades to give Emily a good, tiring workout. I suspected she wasn't receiving adequate exercise for her breed and energy level. This was probably the cause of a lot of Emilys frustration.
Remember, in order to talk to the mind you need to remove the energy from the body. Emily loved our fast tours through the neighborhood and she easily kept up with me. She started to ignore distractions along the way and focus on where we were going. With her excess energy gone, I was able to get her to follow commands.
The results of our workouts helped Emilys owner recognize the importance of exercise in maintaining a dogs healthy state of mind. Most dogs require daily walks, but please don't think of exercise as one-amount-fits-all. Exercise needs vary depending on the dogs breed, her energy level, and her size.
Emily now receives ample exercise and her owner has established himself as her pack leader. His calm, assertive leadership means Emily doesn't need to fill that unnatural role. Balance has returned to Emilys life, and she and her owner are the better for it.