Pets & Animals 

Most People Are on MOUNT STUPID When It Comes to Training Dogs.

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123 Thoughts to “Most People Are on MOUNT STUPID When It Comes to Training Dogs.”

  1. Cara Ziegel

    haha watching this right after putting a big bandage on my road-burned leg after nearly losing control of my newly adopted reactive dog . . . yeah i worry i’ve bit off more than I can chew, but just yesterday I bought some high-value training treats and a long training leash yesterday and today was just a crazy busy day. And we’ve had these dogs for 5 days. So i definitely havent given up but i have wondered a few times if this wasnt a great choice

  2. Janine Kurzinger

    ok I missed my chance to ask . how to stop a jumpy standard poodle 7 mo old puppy from jumping up on everything and everyone. turnin my back doesn’t work . sigh. oh yes we certainly have a puppy. a very busy jumpy puppy. way more so than our previous standard poodle that we got when she was 6 months. Our current one we got at 8 weeks.

  3. Suzanne Carmean

    My 9 month old heeler has been through to 2 positive training. She did everything she was supposed to do and graduated from both. Now at home unless I carry around a bag of treats she won’t do crap. She will sit, but if I ask for anything… she flips her head in the air in defiance.

  4. That Doodle Suki

    My dog is super friendly when excited and loves people, but when she is tired she gets super grumpy. She may even growl if you walk past her or snap if you pet her while tired. Any training tips??🙏🏼

  5. Jody Sheridan

    New dog dispare, oh my… I’ve raised herding dogs for 30yrs and now have a standard poodle puppy. I haven’t learned the poodle language and feel like I’m an idiot because I’m missing a piece of the puzzle. I have questioned if changing breed categories I’ve made a mistake, herder’s were so easy.

  6. T J

    My pug puppy is literally standing on my table while I eat my supper and watch this. I”m guessing I might be one of those “mount stupd” people you are talking about lol don” worry we will work on his manners more over here lol

  7. Monarae Morquecho

    I’m so sorry for having followed to the top of Mt. Stupid with other “Professional Celebrity Dog Trainers” in the past – only to the detriment of my previous dog. Now, I’m so grateful to have fallen into the Valley of Despair thanks to Zak, and Bree, and other like-minded dog training professionals that I’m now marching steadily on the Road to Enlightenment!! Thank you Zak & Bree for all your dedication.

  8. Libby Elliott

    Absolutely! I wonder a times if I’m not good enough to keep her happy or do I do enough training so she can socialize well with my friends and their dogs. But after 2 years I’m starting to see really great results

  9. Georgia Nash

    I feel like you guys should have a podcast by now. I would love to listen to you guys telling us about everything dog related.

  10. S. Rees

    Three years ago you did post a video entitled, “How To Train Your Dog To STOP SNAPPING at People (Stop Aggressive/Reactive Behavior.” So, aggressive behavior (unless the dog is trained to be aggressive) can actually be “reactive behavior?

  11. Mudamaza

    In regards the regrets. My first dog yes, because I was way in over my head and didn’t have Zak George to guide me. With my current border collie, no regrets. I know what i’m doing now, and if I don’t, you’ve most likely covered it on your channel.

  12. jessica boon

    I am going to be a new dog owner soon, but it is under the circumstances that my mother in law is sick and can no longer take care of her Australian Shepherd. My partner and I are committed to caring for this dog to the best of our ability. I have owned dogs before, but they were considerably more chill than a dog like an australian shepherd. I am super overwhelmed, but this channel has been helping a lot and I also just recently bought your book.

  13. Marydee Mock

    LOVE Q&A videos!!

  14. Byron Mejia

    Please do more videos like this 🎉 it’s humbling to hear the questions being asked – I feel less alone for knowing so little. Been reading your books in preparation for a new puppy coming soon. 😊

  15. Leanne Campbell

    I have adopted sevral dogs with high needs and they brought me to tears many times but the work i put in paid off.

  16. MySuperPack

    I currently have 6 dogs, some of them I got as puppies from breeders and some as adults from shelters or difficult situations. I can assure you I regretted getting EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM for the first 1-2 months. It’s a life changing event and you grief the life you had before that particular dog. Obviously now I can’t imagine ever not having one of them, they’re all essential to my happiness

  17. Ilona

    I have definitely felt overwhelmed many times with my dog Ruby. She’s both our first dog and she’s a Shiba Inu. 😹 I’ve only had cats before. I don’t have a job so I thought I could handle it.

    It was such a steep learning curve, one of the hardest things I’ve done, probably made a ton of mistakes and there’s things I should have done sooner. It’s only around 1 and 1/2 years old that I started to feel like she was more mellow, being more mature and well behaved. She’s approaching 2 so it’s been way better now, even the more challenging days are nothing compared to the puppy days!

    She’s a good girl the majority of the time and I love her so much. She’s stubborn, cheeky, funny, curious, quite clever and very loving. She cuddles me a ton and I’m lucky I have an affectionate and friendly Shiba.

  18. Sami Torki

    I never understood the rational owners have to feel compelled to try and get there dog to make as many friends as possible. Like they would be missing out on this huge part of life by not having 200 dog friends. My dog only needs me and is only friends with dogs of the people who are my friends. She seems happy enough..

  19. Wanda Bagley

    Reply to your comment about “dog remorse”.. I’m going through it right now!! I have a 4.5 month old puppy and feeling VERY overwhelmed!! He is really a good dog for a puppy. Like Bre said, Im totally exhausted working full time and essentially feeling like a full time new mom. Im trying to train him and learn at the same time and feel like Im not getting it, therefore not teaching him well enough. I have often thought of putting him up for adoption but then feel like I need to push through and try.
    I LOVE watching your videos and do feel like I’m learning a lot.

  20. Laura Lucas

    You asked about people questioning their decision… yes. My dog when a puppy was so high energy and my arms were getting bloody from the teeth and he was jumping at me and over me and I panicked at about the 2-4 week point. Like I’d made a huge mistake. But he was a big puppy with sharp teeth and high energy and it was a lot for me to get used to and get through until I could get him to calm down. He is still a high energy dog but his baby teeth came out and it quit hurting me and I could really start being patient and working through the issues. I love him with all my heart and now that panic is just a very distant memory. But yes,I had serious questions and concern about what I had done.

  21. Emma

    We definitely have had some tough moments, and I had to reframe my mindset and expectations to get through it. He was not what I had expected, and yet I love him so much, more than anything. He is over two years old now, and things are slowly improving, but i changed expectations (he doesn’t love meeting new dogs and new people, so no dog off leash areas, no outdoor seating areas, highly managed public outings at all times). He is allowed to have his own personality, even if that’s not what I was expecting when I got him, and I’ll continue to work with him to make both of our lives easier and less stressful over time. Accepting him for who he is has been a huge part of reducing the amount of sadness and regret I had been feeling, as well as recognizing all of the great things about him!

  22. Erika M

    Do you ever have issues where you don’t agree on how to handle a certain situation/ behaviour to the point of fighting about it?

  23. Emma

    Can you do a video on singleton pups. My dog was only pup in litter and has a few issues with other dogs and being possessive with her treats etc

  24. Linda S

    Great video I like the q and a style. When you talked about getting frustrated with the dog/training and learning how to see it coming, step back and take a break before it becomes an issue then returning fresh, I thought, “that’s how you help a frustrated (aka reactive) dog as well!”. Emotion is emotion and behaviour is behaviour no matter the species. Be compassionate with yourself, be compassionate with your dog. That’s what I learned in the valley of despair. 😊

  25. Emma

    I really regretted my puppy for first 8 months at least but she was very needy and still sleeps across me every night but I can’t live without her now. She’s my baby ❤

  26. Michaela Dodd

    I got a spaniel puppy expecting an easy baby girl – and in some ways I did, in others I truly had to ask myself “have I caused an irreversible mistake? I can’t do this.” I persevered and she is a wonderful, well adjusted dog. But it’s certainly often very, very hard.

  27. Nair

    I honestly feel like watching your videos have made me and my family at ease with a new puppy. We’ve noticed that just sticking with training (both potty and obedience) works, even if our puppy is regressing. Your videos have made it clear that these changes aren’t going to happy overnight, so that gives my family at lot of hope as we continue to work with our puppy.

  28. Ciera Jones

    Hey there Zak! I was wondering if you had any experience or knowledge on Canine Dysfynctional Behaviour? We suspect our dog may have it but were going to have it confirmed/denied tomorrow at the vets, just curious to find out more about it and what i can do to make my dog’s life easier. Love the vids!!

  29. Diana T.

    About regretting getting a dog. 5 days after getting Freyja I was so overwhelmed and literally crying. The craziness, biting, peeing, outbursts while walking when she tried to rip our clothes apart, and probably a lot more that I now don’t even remember. It was just too much. So I googled it. I googled what to do if I regret getting a dog (or something like that, don’t remember the exact wording). And I found a blog, that answered this question exactly. It said that it is totally normal and it will pass. That having a new puppy (for the first time even) is crazy and often very hard. And that they felt the same way with their dog. Thinking of if they should return it and how to cope with having to tell everyone that knew of your new puppy that you didn’t have them anymore if you do that. It’s a horrible feeling. But it will pass. The blog also said to take a lot of pictures, cause puppy days won’t last forever and you’ll want the pictures.

    So I relaxed a bit, made an instagram account for Freyja and kept at it. It did pass, didn’t even take long. And I love her with all my heart, would never give her away. Even though she’s pretty problematic with her anxiety and being scared of certain things, so it’s not easy with her, not at all. But she is MY dog and will be that always. She’s 3 years old now and the best doggo! And the pictures, especially puppy ones, are SOOOOOOOOO cute to look at.

  30. Dede Colwell

    OK! YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!! DON’T YOU DARE STOP MAKING VIDEOS! LOL!! My husband and I recently rescued a 5 mo old Aussipoo mix… and the day before she came home, I BINGED your YouTube channel… since then, our “Eden” (now 6 mo) is a bonafide dog-genius!!! Well, not really a genius… but using your techniques… REGULARLY and FREQUENTLY.. she is making great progress!! We are sooooo in love with Eden and the awesome progress that we are making together… THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! ❤

  31. Chris Wenderoth

    I enjoyed your “Q and A” format video. Key are relatable questions that can resonate with many of us who are not professionals in your field. More of this format would be helpful! Being relatively new to your channel and thrust at 12 weeks into training a puppy full time I can say that the segmented series you did with Inertia and other dogs from day one a few years ago have been very helpful. I’ve referenced them so often. Please continue series like this. Also very helpful to a novice like me were early videos where you visited a home that had a dog with a common training issue and you worked through the training with them. Basic and simplistic skills, but essential to watch and reference before going further. That’s all many people with pets have time for to be honest and they need a place to start and build confidence.

    I’ve been in a full time training capacity to our now seven month old Golden Doodle for the last four months and I can’t agree enough how difficult, frustrating and isolating this can be. I love our pup and she’s doing really well in the big picture, but as much as I have done with her I’ve honestly had moments of serious doubt about whether she would ever show progress and whether I honestly wanted to keep going or give her up. Of course I will love her forever, but those moments are real and raw. I’ve encountered so many people (even in my own family) who offer Mt. Stupid advice with confidence and also people who have an untrained off-leash dog in a public place where they have no business doing so. I have seen so many people use and train with shock collars and “dominance” training in the last few months, but I believe it’s largely due to human impatience and the desire to quickly get the result they want rather than doing it the way science teaches. Please keep doing what you are doing. Stay close to the basics and stay relatable to those of us who are doing the best we can around a bunch of people just as stupid as we are and don’t understand why we don’t just yell “no” a lot and then buy a spiked collar for our dog before going for a walk.

  32. Maiza *

    I love the sit and talk as I don’t have to look, I can just listen while getting on with stuff’s

  33. Robin Rouse

    Thank you for always helping me bring my expectations to the right level. I have a 6 month old puppy who has learned a lot. She is still very reactive to seeing other dogs on leash. She used to bark very quickly at people and dogs but has improved a lot on that. She still gets very pumped and lunges. Trying to work on it but it is hard! This is where I need to keep my expectations in check!

  34. Here This

    When one dog is great at dog parks , it changes with a second dog . Our younger doesn’t want any other dog near the first one , same at walks , so it needs a lot of tactical work to watch the environment .

  35. Here This

    Mount Stupid lays next to Mount Stubborn . But when You’re over them , the road becomes very smooth .

  36. Rhian H

    The dog I have now is my first dog that wasn’t a family dog and I’ve had him 6 years now but I spent the first few weeks with him just exhausted crying because he came with anxiety/separation issues and it was so draining but after a few weeks, the bond was there and I knew the struggle was worth it❤

  37. A. Ebert

    I feel like this is such a HUGE topic among owners that needs to be addressed ❤ I feel it’s a lot like postpartum depression, something people are thankfully talking about more openly now, “Post-pet” depression is something so many people feel too. I bet so many pets get sent to shelters because of it.

    I felt that way when adopting both my pets but our puppy was significantly more draining. We adopted her during the hardest time in our lives and made the same mistake most probably do that “a puppy would help” us de-stress 😅🤦‍♀️ (yes.. I know..) We weren’t looking, she just kinda came into our life and we said “sure”. We see now she found us, but the road hasn’t been easy 😅💕

    For a long time I felt I regretted our decision. Much like you said Zac, I didn’t regret HER- we loved her so deeply, it was that I regretted bringing her into a difficult environment and for the strain it put on us when we were already so drained. I felt so ashamed and guilty to her, ourselves, and to everyone who had to “deal with her” when we just couldn’t. She deserved better, and it tore me apart knowing we were failing her and she was pushing us past our limits.

    I knew I wanted to train her properly and thankfully did so much research before and during her puppyhood (I still do). But that didn’t mean I was prepared. I’m not a trainer, and the amount of indecisiveness, confusion and lack of confidence that comes with “not knowing if you’re doing it right” can be an added stress that makes everything harder. Every puppy is different, so while some results are copy paste, others are just a bit skewed so you ask yourself again “am I doing okay?”

    Please address this more as I feel it’s therapeutic to know it’s okay and you’re not alone ❤ it also gives you more confidence knowing YOU’RE not perfect, and neither is your puppy. ❤🐶🫂❤

  38. Veronica Marciano

    I’m laughing people ever looked at Inertia and thought she was difficult. She always seemed like such a good smart dog!

  39. Mason Stoufer

    I see a lot of comments about overwhelm and want to share my two cents that I learned. My puppy is DRIVEY she’s a rescue with all the kinds of high drive dogs. There were times I would cry bc I really thought I knew a lot. But something that always stuck with me that my mom said in the context of raising a baby/toddler is get yourself into a right headspace. If you need to put the baby in the crib or somewhere safe for a few minutes so you can get back to a space of patience or clarity for not only yourself but for the baby – then give the space to do that. the same goes for a puppy. Put them in their crate, let them cry, and remove yourself from the situation for a little bit until you can think clearly again. We don’t have to keep pushing on if we need a minute. Give yourself the time to recoup if you are overwhelmed and come back with clarity. I can’t tell you how many times I put a Kong of PB in the crate so mine could hang out when I would feel overwhelmed. The progress is the big focus – not the end goal. Dogs are life long learners like us humans. Times of needing some space won’t hinder a dog’s progress! It doesn’t mean you’re giving up it means you care enough to make the puppy your priority by getting some space for a bit of time!

  40. Lloyd Straight

    We didn’t want to keep our Blue Heeler puppy after a couple of months, but we persevered and even though he is a handful, we love him and will never give up on him. He’s a very smart companion which makes training him fairly easy for the most part.

  41. Eric Boner

    Great video imo! I think even some of us who are “good” with dogs need refreshers and to be reminded to get off Mt. Stupid. A month ago I adopted another pit mix who’s about 3-3.5 years old, he’d been at the shelter for almost 2.5 years! He’s a very good boy, but obviously he has his issues.. so whenever I see something starting to manifest itself, I look up some of your old videos! I also have a 1.5 yr old pit mix, Layla, whos taken on the alpha role, and Hey Jude, who’s a 8 month old whits gsd mix.

  42. Jackofl3lades

    The valley of despair is where I live. My girlfriend brought a new dog in to our lives and she’s certainly affectionate and gets along with our other husky but she’s also from the streets. She was homeless and clearly had puppies once or twice. The problem is she just does not listen when outside. It’s hard to gain her attention unless she knows you have food, she pulls towards dogs to try and play and sadly we have no fenced yard so I have to check if dogs are walking by on the street before I let her out. I just bought a 50 foot long leash to hopefully combat that. It also doesn’t help that her bad habits are influencing my old man instead of his good habits transferring to her. I’m frustrated but I’m still working on it.

  43. Charlotte & Lexi

    There’s a certain dog trainer with a programme on Channel 5 in the UK who seems to have created a whole new “mountain” – I find people who don’t even have a dog are now giving out advice on how to “train” dogs, thinking they’re somehow an expert because they watched it on TV!
    I wish I’d listened more to your training methods when I was younger and first got my golden retriever – she’s 7 1/2 now and I have certainly been through the valley of despair with her! Thankfully we made it out of the other side a few years ago and I was converted to positive reinforcement only and games-based training thanks to AbsoluteDogs (UK based) and yourself Zak. ☺️🐾

  44. Heather Smith

    My last 2 dogs were such good boys never naughty never reactive never bit anyone, but the dog i have now I adopted at the age of 12 weeks, he is a hybrid Black Labrador Belgium Mali,OMG he’s so naughty he steals anything thats loose, ie, sox boxers shoes teacloths, towels, anything he can get his paws on. From the 1st day we had him I gave him sft cuddly toys fresh comfy bed n blankets, n he’d rather eat them, so now all he can have are big beef knuckle bones n lamb hooves. Parks are out as he can’t tolerate having his leash on if there are other dogs passing , but fine if he hasn’t got it on, but then he runs up to other dogs not aggressively but to play, some dogs are scared so they bark at him then its starts a barking match. So I can only take him where there are no other dogs like fields etc. Hes 3 now n we’ve tried everything,even had a puppy course at a kennel club registered club, I was advised by the lady that ran the club ,hes not a house pet as hes got Belgium Mali in him. No way would I part with him,hes my boy n would put his life before mine, I know this he is fearless, but loving ❤

  45. Jacqueline D

    I wanted a medium dog. I was told the pup I chose would be about a 20-25lb dog. Here we are at 40lbs , and I have been overwhelmed many times and thought I made a big mistake getting her. I have had her in obedience classes and watch videos galore. It’s helping slowly. I’m glad to see I’m not alone based on these comments!

  46. yogiyoda

    I’m live in the Valley of Despair. Opening a bed and breakfast if anyone wants to visit

  47. Mohamad As

    Hey Zak. I have a German Spitz who always finds ways to “outsmart” my training which is based on your videos. For example, he really understands “No” and knows he’s not supposed to do that, but for example last week we were at the country residence, he was interested in tomatoes growing in the front yard, I told him no so he stayed far from them. few hours later, I found him hiding in the back yard eating a tomato he “stole” from the front yard and hiding to eat it, it makes for a wonderful story when the family is gathered, but I was wondering how to get him to behave well even if I’m not there. Also, he knows that I like calm behavior, so he “pretends” to sleep under my desk when I’m working and peeks occasionally to see if I noticed, I love it that he tries, but I would also like for him to behave similarly when I’m absent. He doesn’t care what my wife thinks of him when I’m away 😛

  48. Edin brüht Kaffee

    Only time I regretted my dog was the first night because I thought I cannot handle such responsibility. But nowadays I miss our time, when my partner walks her instead of myself !

  49. Jacob Labbé

    I have experienced regret with my dog like when she chewed on my brand new hat… then i told myself i guess it s normal to have had the thought but if everyday before walking them you get the thought then maybe you re not fit to lead a dog ..

  50. Dina Kennedy

    my pup is 7 months this week. I got her when she was 3 months. I had three meltdowns about her Thanksgiving morning we were so not in sync. When I sat and thought about it I realized I was super exhausted and stressed, and my poor pup was just the “things are not going my way” straw that broke the camel’s back. She wanted so much more than I was capable of that morning. Like Bree says in the video, exhaustion is a culprit on the days I regret getting her for sure. And then I feel awful and think this is a terrible home for her because she truly wants to “get it right” and sometimes I just don’t have it in me. Sigh. As I type this she’s lying on the floor next to me working over a new barkbox toy 😉

    I do have to say that I’ve trained myself to hear Zach’s voice in my head telling me, when I begin to get frustrated, that I’m the problem, she’s not, and that I just need to back things up. It’s really helpful. Thank you.

  51. Fleur Elizabeth

    Onto my 3rd dog but first puppy (our other two are adoptions). Puppies are like small children and I use pack walking with another trainer twice a week and dog daycare once a week to get a break. My tip is not to feel guilty for taking time out as long as your pup is happy, safe and well cared for. There is a cost to these services but the proper dog socialization for pup and break for me is worth it

  52. sonnyandcobi

    Great video. I’ve learned so much from your channel but I don’t have a dog currently. I’m itching to find the perfect dog for me and I feel ready to train. With that being said, since I’ve watch your channel for years, I know that it ain’t easy. You’ve had ups and downs and I know I will once I get the chance to put what I’ve learned from you into practice. I’ll be on Mount Stupid at first but I have high hopes that knowledge will kick in quickly.

  53. Keller Ayra

    I’d like to mention the dog parks I have been to have a separate area specifically for small dogs. Probably for that specific reason.
    Dog parks also turn me off as they get beat up, muddy, gross during poor weather. Play time better be worth two or more hours of cleaning two dogs one car and half my house. I have a 11 month old border collie like yours. With the added pleasure of destructive chewing and digging if not completely supervised. And skin allergies constant scratching makes training a huge struggle. Throw in wanting to balance my senior years with my ten year old “one in a million dog” And yes I regret getting this puppy overwhelmed to the point of not plugging in enough making things worse for entire house. Normally I adore training. I swore I would not attempt to test myself with this challenge. Here I am.

  54. Emily Rivera

    Love this video!! Definitely want more! I’m late to the Q/A but, I wanted to know if you could suggest a book (either written by you or other) on dog behavior?

    Through your videos and experience I learned that any time I struggle/struggled is/was because I couldn’t understand what my dog’s behavior meant. My husband makes fun of me because I’m always googling “What does [insert basic dog behavior] mean?” I’ve learned that even within a behavior there are nuances that make them entirely different. Dog wagging its tail doesn’t always mean happy.

    And yes I was 100% overwhelmed and regretting my first dog the first week (or maybe first few months) I had her. I had watched your videos and was like “I have a basic understanding. I can do this” and I just wasn’t prepared. Mentally and emotionally. It felt like I had to constantly watch her every move and that felt exhausting mentally. Like you said, I didn’t know what I didn’t know and that realization was hard to overcome. When I got my second dog and I was much more prepared and new what kinds of things to expect, not all of course there were things that still surprised me as every dog is different but like Bree said, I was accustomed to that overwhelming feeling, I knew how to say “let’s take a break and revisit this another time”.

    Sorry for the rant 😅 love this style of video feels like we’re having a conversation.

  55. kendall haslam

    How do I get my dog not to be skittish and not be afraid of big dogs

  56. Carolinagirl1028

    Experienced dog owner here with a 5 month old cocker spaniel puppy and I absolutely have moments of regret. I have raised other dogs from puppyhood, both high and low maintenance so this isn’t new to me, yet still having a puppy is such a shock to the system. My puppy is really largely a good dog. Her main struggles are leash pulling on walks, some excitability on leash when seeing other dogs, occasionally chasing our cat, and chewing/puppy biting. Compared to our last dog she is so much easier and yet I feel overwhelmed most of the day. I thinks it is from a combination of always being ‘on’ and worrying all the time that I am going to do something wrong to negatively impact my dog for life. Doesn’t always help that when looking for answers about dog behaviors online you get a wide range of conflicting answers that makes the stress over doing it the right way much worse. I just keep taking everything one day at a time. Try to give yourself some breaks, be kind to yourself and your dog, and remember if you have a puppy they are just a baby. Many puppy behaviors almost naturally improve with age so when you add in training the liklihood is in a year or two you will have the dog you have been wanting.

  57. Beachie

    I wish I could have gotten in on the submitting questions part, but I missed it. So I’ll leave it here: what do you do when your dog has a breed-specific, ingrained behavior that was intentionally bred into them but isn’t appropriate for your current living situation? Case in point: I have a Great Pyrenees. I got him when I lived in CO and had much more land space for him and his alert barking was appropriate. However, now that we’ve moved to suburbia CA, his alert barking is excessive as there is much more going on. I wish that I could give him the same kind of space, but this is SoCal, and I don’t have $5M for an acre+ of land. I’ve watched so many of your videos and tried all the tricks, and while I can interrupt it once it starts, I cannot get him to not react in the first place. I’ve been told from other Pyr owners that this is just our lives now. Your thoughts?

  58. WilbyLove

    Unkind, selfish, unhappy people tend to create reactive dogs. Sometimes, they don’t even realize they are unhappy – as a culture, we live in denial of our emotions. 🤷🏻‍♀️

    My dog is an absolute love. It wasn’t always easy with him. For more than 7 MONTHS I debated whether or not I made the right choice. I had to remind myself daily of all the great moments we had – to give me the energy to get through the tough ones. And, I told myself, these puppy moments are not going to last – one day, I’ll beg for them again… this one thought really put things into perspective for me.

    He is husky/GSD mix. SUPER intelligent, worker dog with genetic tendencies towards anxiety (pack dog needs a well defined pack leader for stability). It’s a tough combo. His only speed was sprint. And he would watch me do things and then try them himself when I turned my back – always ending in chewing or digging because he couldn’t do exactly as me and frustration took over.

    I had to invest time in building our relationship for MONTHS. (Notice, this looks a lot like my statement above regarding my regret for adopting a 6 week old puppy.) Lots of patience, love, benevolent authority, and we finally connected.

    He is the joy of my every day. We are still working on a lot of things together, but we’ve settled into a very happy, healthy space.

    FTR, I use “no” every now and then. It is powerful, so I do not abuse it. But most of the time, all I have to do is talk to him with a concerned voice about the situation… of course he has no idea what Im saying but he picks up on the tone… and he will redirect himself to get the positive feedback. (And, deer liver. I’ve discovered my pup loves fried fresh venison liver. He’ll automatically run through every command without my asking just to get a taste, 🤣🤣)

    Hope this helps someone struggling. Patience and love, lots and lots of love, will win EVERY TIME with a good spirited puppy.

    You CAN do this! You just have to commit fully to the puppy. ❤️

  59. Trumpet777 C

    Wish bark box with come to Australia. They are awesome

  60. Trumpet777 C

    Puppy turns 10 weeks tomorrow Zach. I’m so excited she’s going really well. Thank you for your videos. I love your work❤

  61. Del Hek

    I cried so much when I got my puppy, I couldn’t see my way out of the “mistake” , I thought about returning him but I was embarrassed cause everyone loved him so much, and then I started comparing him to all the perfect floppy, cuddly, sleepy dogs people (and social media) kept telling me about and I got into the mindset that I was doing everything wrong, I shouldn’t have gotten a heeler cause he deserves a better life (someone with kettle and fields) and every opportunity was a training opportunity, we were both so tired and I missed out on a lot of the puppy phase
    But 1.5 years later and we much better, he is so loving and smart and loud and goofy, I still get overwhelmed sometimes when I think I’m not doing enough but I don’t know what life would look like without him anymore


    Just want to say just because a person is using a aversive method doesn’t make it wrong. I worked with positive reinforcement for Over 5 years the results was so slow and my dogs were just afraid of everything and blew me of all the time. I switched to balance training and it has been 180% change. My dogs are happy because they understand that no means no and they get to have more freedom. In the beginning I was conflicted but now it is like so much easier. My reason is trusting balance is if one of them over step the other once boundaries they get a firm correction from that dog. They still play together and even cuddle a lot but they respect each others boundaries. Dogs speak dog that was something my trainer told me. It works for me might not work for everyone but the only wrong way to train a dog is if this dog is just insecure or being beaten until they listen.

  63. Jasmin Marion Porh

    The video was informative. I liked what you all shared about Dunning Kruger Effect helped me to remember that there is always room for improvement in all fields and specifically as a dog parent, in learning dog training skills. Thank you for the video.

  64. Lucy Oman

    I had a revelation from my view atop Mt Stupid. Years ago, I started taking riding lessons with my horse and realized at that time that I didn’t know what I didn’t know until taking lessons. A “green” rider should never start with a “green” horse. I think this would hold true for dogs also. ie puppies. This was a very humbling experience.

  65. Beverly Deardurff

    I’ve subscribed to both Barkbox and the Pupford Box. Gucci’s an aggressive chewer. She demolishes every toy I give her and I let her. Is that okay?

  66. Ancor Yanez

    “most people” but you don’t… lmao, okay

  67. Margaret Fleming

    Never regretted any of my dogs. I’m an ardent watcher of your videos and recommend them to friends, family or anyone who will listen! I taught my dogs the basic commands before they were 3 months old, using clicker. Were they 100% reliable on these, no, but reliability came with practise, but even now with my current dog on occasions, if the distraction is great enough, can still fail. All my dogs have been house trained by 14 weeks. That said, I’m retired and had the time to put the training in and enjoyed these sessions. However, I’m amazed how many dog owners think that to start training at 8 weeks old is too young. I point out that puppies bred for working purposes are routinely assessed younger than this. For example, Seeing Dogs for the visually impaired, Service Dogs and Police Dogs, to name but a few. There are lots of trainers still using aversive methods on YouTube because it delivers quick results in this hectic world. It doesn’t deliver a dog that ‘wants’ to perform the command but one that ‘has’ to. I suppose it all comes down to what kind of relationship you want with your dog and the amount of time you have to put in to their training. I’m not criticising but prefer the positive approach.

  68. Adam Ahlman

    With huskies why not train them to pull your bike or your rollerblades or something, they are bred to be sled dogs if I’m not mistaken. I feel it’s best to exercise your dog in a similar environment yo what they were bred to do

  69. Aimee Rodriguez

    Your videos always make me feel better. I have adopted a two-year-old high maintenance breed (jack russell/ blue heeler) with all the intentions of working through it all. I was getting down on myself just the other day for being frustrated and tired. It’s good to know I’m not alone in that feeling and a good reminder to get rest.
    I also have to remind myself that when my really skittish dog is afraid of something it’s not me nor his confidence in me. His fears have to do with both his breed and his upbringing before I took him in.
    I just have to train him through all the bad experiences and make them a good, shared experience. Over the holiday we had some smaller children stay with us and thank goodness for the training that we already had because he really needed the support while dealing with the noise and attention that he was receiving. We were far from perfect, but I really think that he handled himself really well. I like to think that some of this victory is because I work with him so much and I really credit this channel with adjusting my expectations, so I am not hard on him. Simply knowing that a dog acts out on the leash because he’s getting to know his environment is HUGE! It changes the focus and the level of agitation coming from me. Honestly, you two could be human therapists and not just dog trainers- THANK YOU!

  70. Jillian Darr

    I keep seeing the title and thumbnail change for this video. What’s going on?

  71. Ricky Rai

    I don’t usually comment, but when I got my puppy, there were certain times where i regretted getting Simba. I love him and he’s awesome now, but throughout the early months, it was difficult. What helped me was talking to other owners and knowing they went through the same thing and it gets better.

  72. The Migraine Warrior

    I feel famous since my question was addressed in your video! 😂 For anyone who heard my question about being totally overwhelmed with a new puppy, I just want to say that my pup is about to turn 2 years old in December and he is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Zak and Bree are so right about the puppy stage and not necessarily getting the dog you expect. My dog and I managed to power through with a lot of help from Zak’s videos and things are great now. I’m really glad I brought up this topic because it seems to have resonated with so many of you and that was my hope: that anyone struggling with this would feel less alone. 💜

  73. S

    Training my dog is my priority but I lack training. I have been reading, watching and digging into canine behavior and training for the last 3 years. I am preparing two years in advance for my next puppy. I am currently training my 3 year old but I still feel like I am not prepared. That I am doing things wrong! Professionals are expensive! My handling skills can be so much better. My timing can be so much better. I’m trying but struggling!

  74. Chace Hawkins

    so, you touched on being exhausted, stressed, full of regret, burned out, etc with a new dog/puppy. Next time you do a Q/A can you talk about What to do when you feel that way? How do you (or better yet Bree who’s more fresh to the feeling) do when you feel this way?

    I think many of us feel like a bad pet parent if we feel this way, but even worse if we say “take a break” from our dog, or from training.

  75. Rachel Crossen

    Wait, you have an aggressive dog with a biting history so you take it to dog parks?! You are the reason so many people can’t go to dog parks! Your dog has no business being there at all. You could traumatize and injury a perfectly well behaved dog. Find other ways to exercise your dog. That is your responsibility. Don’t make your problem other people’s problem.

  76. Pumpkin Panda

    As a new dog owner I can’t believe that dog training isn’t the priority of most dog owners, I prepared before getting my now 7months old puppy by learning for a year prior about dog training (by reading books, yours included, and watching videos, yours included) and I am still going to dog training school just so I can train with her while other dogs are present instead of just in the fields or forest at home. The only mistake I made is, because she can be very active and is a husky x australian shepherd mix I thought she needs way more exercise than she does and over did it, I slowed down a bit on that and figured out how much is enough for her and now she’s way more calm than she used to be.

  77. LittleMissAmelia2010

    I love my dog, but damn yeah definitely feels hard at times – especially when the dog training feels like it’s going backwards. But then it feels great when the dog finally clicks and the jumping or trouble you’ve been having finally seems a little better.

  78. Monique McDonald

    While I don’t regret my dogs INDIVIDUALLY I do regret the timing of getting them. My son is finishing chemotherapy THIS week after a year and an organization granted him a “wish”. His wish was for a Siberian Husky puppy and we currently have a 6 month old Victorian Bulldog so having TWO puppies and basically only me training due to my son’s current health is where I’m struggling. More so what to do with older puppy while working with younger puppy

  79. Ciara

    To answer the questions “Have I regretted getting my dog?”
    I had to remind myself that the puppy stage isn’t forever. I also have realized that I don’t want a high energy dog so there are types of dogs that I absolutely love the look of that type but it’s not the best suited type of dog for our life style.

  80. Auric Goldfinger

    Looks like Phoenix in your current environment

  81. Francesca Mamlin

    I love my puppy more than anything in the whole world. I struggled a little emotionally when I first adopted him. It was mostly from physical exhaustion and mental exhaustion from constantly troubleshooting as we built our communication and learned how to live together. I had fostered puppies before, so I was expecting and prepared to feel some “puppy blues” and I just saw it as part of the process. Emotions don’t have to be labeled as “good” or “bad”. Feeling sad about a new puppy or a new baby or any big life change is perfectly normal, and there is no need to label it as good or bad. It’s just something that happens. For me, the puppy blues passed pretty quickly because I allowed myself to feel and process them. My puppy is 7 months now and he truly is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

  82. swami rose

    He’s so tan 😆

  83. Chace Hawkins

    I just adopted a 6 month old puppy a week ago…I have had moments of frustration that “edge” toward regret, then I remind myself, that this is what a well behaved dog starts out as, and it is up to me to get him there. I enjoy and love having a puppy 95% of the time, but when I’m tired and stressed and he is in need of exercise and training I do have those moments.
    (though with me it is more a regret that we adopted a puppy 2 days before my wife went out of town for a week and a half and I am alone with the puppy, so I am solely responsible for keeping an eye on him.)

  84. AmandaDgL

    First puppy I got, caused more stress crying episodes than I ever had before, but no regrets and if needed I got help.

  85. Carolyn Vines

    Oh, well that explains a lot. I thought Veronica was a young puppy; but she was an older puppy during her barking phase. I never thought she was going to be a small dog; because I thought she was maybe 6 months old through most of this series.

  86. wes of all trades

    This was so helpful. Slightly discouraging to realize I’ve been on mount stupid in dog training and so many other aspects of life, but I’d much rather be discouraged than ignorant, so thank you both for sharing this!

    I recently (less than willingly) acquired a very cute Gordon-doodle puppy named Lola after a significant amount of pressure from my wife and two small children. Discovering this channel and especially this video has been a life-saver! It has been very hard attempting to train Lola with a 5 and 8 year old wanting so badly to “help”, and a spouse who believes training is unnecessary and boundary setting is abusive.

    The odds are against me, but your videos and your Pupford training program give me so much hope. I really do want this to work out well for my whole family (two AND four-legged members).

  87. Ambi Cahira

    I took in a senior pekingese in 2015 and the state he was in and the behaviors he had really made us clash the first few months. He stressed me out and he couldn’t trust me for a good while so that rough patch I had days I just hated facing his issues but I knew how to fix them and that moving to a new home and life takes time to adjust so I hung in there and we became such buddies. The following year he went blind and I helped him navigate things so despite the tough start I became the person he trusted the most. He didn’t have many years left but the years I had him were happy ones. 💜 Grouch to love bug. ^^

  88. DOG HAIR DONT CARE Lindaniel

    Love the cactus view……

  89. Christie Lawrence

    Could anyone tell me if Zak has spoken on his opinions of head collars for walking? (i.e. Halti, Gentle Leader, etc.)

  90. Christie Lawrence

    I got a great laugh of the original thumbnail for this video 🤭

  91. kro mtz

    I recently rescued a puppy I found on the street and initially she was malnourished and scared so she was very calm but as she got better and become more comfortable with me and my older dog her true destructive puppy self came out and sometimes I do get overwhelmed, mostly because my old dog is 4 now, so we are in a point where he is just free to roam because I trust him completely but he has been showing an attitude with the new puppy probably gets sick of her and going back to day 1 in training with a puppy is something I didn’t really wanted to do at this time, but I love her now so I am keeping her and she is super smart so I am sure we will make progress fast, I guess it is normal to be like: what did I get myself into?!! and get frustrated from time to time, specially if we are trying to be good owners and attend the dogs needs and training. Thank you for all your videos, really helped me with my older dog and rewatching to refresh the process for the new puppy.

  92. Woopwoop 123

    I would like to know what you think about people like the doggy daddy etc, being big on platforms like YouTube, instagram, TikTok. With up to millions of followers, and people liking and commenting on how good of a trainer they are.
    I actually struggle to understand how people can enjoy videos of people literally strangling a dog to make it oblige to them. And how people can agree to training methods that isn’t just punishment based, but actually pure abuse in my eyes

  93. Green Thumb

    Wow this was a very helpful video thank you

  94. Kirsten Widdison

    I definitely cried during the puppy months frequently. I still think he’s overwhelming and he’s almost 3, but he’s super energetic and smart and I have 3 small kids and a husband who hates dogs. Most days I’m glad I got him though!

  95. Noura Diwan

    Yes! I have gone through phases of regret. I still do when I know my dog is not having the best time living with me.

  96. Savannah M.

    I definitely have regretted getting my dog in moments!! It’s super normal to feel that way bc a dog changes so much about your life, especially if you didn’t have one before hand! I love my dog so so much, but he has behavioral issues (separation) I wasnt anticipating. We’re working through them, and i see progress every day, but it’s slow going and Ive had to really allow myself to feel that frustration and work through it on my own so that i can approach training with a clear head and get back to focusing on the small (and amazing!!) daily progress we make as a team, as well as appreciating his other WONDERFUL qualities that make my life so much better.

  97. T D

    Dogs are naturally aggressive. Zak is, again, full of crap.

  98. Manuela*

    Hi! I have two rescue dogs. It was difficult to adapt to both of them coming into our lifes. First we got a chihuahua mix female dog Uva, we adopted her in sept 2020. She is very low maintenance and independent.
    Luchin on the other hand is a male mini poodle we adopted in may 2022.. and boy did I feel like I regretted getting him. This made me feel so guilty and awfull at the same time. He was super needy and dominant and wanted to be in my face all day, had no idea how to walk on a leash, he didn’t even like walking on grass, he didn’t know how to play, super reactive and agressive to other dogs. For the first 2 or 3 months since we got him I was an emotional mess.. (wich I think made things worse actually). Lots of difficulties to go through: The dogs’ relationship between each other, the potty training (drove me to the edge a couple of times), the reactivity to other dogs..
    6 months have passed now and things are going better! They both go on a 3 hour walk and socializing with a trainer twice a week wich is very helpfull. And we are starting to get comfortable into our new routines. It was not easy!!! I did feel regret but I also look at him and love him so much I would never go back. He has been a great teacher and the best boy. Look for us in IG @uvita_laperrita_y_luchin !

  99. Marit Husby

    I like that you make this ‘talking about things’ videos in between the others. I wish you would make one on the topic of ADOLESCENCE. How to think/approach typical situations.

  100. amy shaw

    Haha. I can’t wait to watch an episode where people are accused of being stupid

  101. Shiny Nickel Blades

    I have fallen into the valley of despair! Lol. I thought I knew everything about dog training because I raised good dogs growing up. Now I have a difficult dog and have found so many different training methods during my search for knowledge on the subject. I have found that I like your training style the best. I have learned so much from you and others, and I’m still learning. Your advice has helped me to get good results out of our training opportunities.

  102. John O'Shea

    Have a 22 month old German shepherd and have had some very dark moments where I feel he’s getting worse instead of better and I feel ‘what have I committed to?’ I love him so much but he is so intense, so demanding and so high strung. Hearing that this feeling is normal has been so reassuring. I will keep going..

  103. Green Thumb

    You are in Arizona?

  104. John O'Shea


  105. Karyssa Power

    We’re getting a puppy in January (ACD). When it reaches 6 months, I’ll be living in my van once again (my husband and I did van life with our two dogs (our oldest one passed away in August) for two years and ended up staying in Anchorage for the past year, but he’s going to Kyrgyzstan for Peace Corp in June, while I head back to the lower 48 to do vanlife). How do you create a sense of security and stability when you don’t live a stable life? (I’ll never be someone who is okay with just staying in one place.)

    It didn’t seem to be a problem for my other two dogs, but they were older and had lived in a house for a few years before we did vanlife.

  106. Jen Kirby

    I have a big border collie who never reacts even if a dog attacks him. (He avoids them in the future.) What I would like Zak’s comment on, is dogs who think it’s funny to frighten my dog. You can see the big grin on the other dog’s face as Jasper cowers.
    (There was one that lived down the road so she was walked by my house often and my best moment was the day that my cat ran out and chased her 😂)

  107. Kristen Manders

    Hi! I’m a first-time dog owner and I have regretted getting my dog almost every day for 5 months since we got him. The regret moments do get further between as more time passes and we both learn. Having a big dog with a big voice was a drastic change from having cats all my life. I had to adjust to the neediness, noise, and activity, learn a new communication style, build a relationship with him, figure out a food allergy, treat him for a parasite, panic about a tick he had when we got him, and deal with a host of behavioral needs (live with cats, reactivity, and resource guarding). It was very hard, very demanding, and often leaves me feeling like a bad guardian. But the more time goes by and the more Zak George perspective I get, the easier it gets with us. Deep breaths and hang in there for a wild ride.

  108. shae

    The question about the dog & garden problems, I found mine were super curious about what I was doing in the garden and why they couldn’t be with me. I brought them in and started sharing with them. Now they pretty much chase ea other around outside of the garden unless I’m picking stuff.

  109. Germaine Bingham

    I need help can you help me please I had a trainer charges 4 -5 thounsad my name is Germaine

  110. Randy Miller

    “The valley of despair’ can be the magic moment you find something worth studying deeply and enjoyably. It’s when your eyes are opened

  111. kytten

    Cane Corso, Dachshunds, Presa Canarios etc. Are aggressive dog breeds on purpose, so that’s not true

  112. Jan Hankins

    First, where are you guys? My guess would be not Alaska!! Unaware that they have cacti in Alaska. I really enjoyed this video and hope you’ll do more like this one. I’ve got to have my weekly Zak fix!

  113. jeff65ish

    Great video! Helpful and encouraging. Thank you both.

  114. Ms. Oliver’s Life

    High maintenance dog owner over here! 🙋‍♀️Dog parks didn’t work for us either and that’s ok!!! My GSD was kind of annoying to other dogs, and also picked on smaller dogs! So, we stopped going. He does MUCH better with me on a long lead in a field for exercise! One of my favorite tips is “a tired puppy is a good puppy”. He also stays on a leash when inside with me. Always. That’s how I manage him for success. And he is very exhausting for me. Once or twice a month, he goes to doggie day camp because I need a break from him. He LOVES it there and wears himself out running up and down their huge kennels. It’s a way for him to SAFELY interact with dogs!! Try it!!! It’s life saver!!!!

  115. Germaine Bingham

    Hello, I am knew how do you stop a dog from jumping in licking

  116. Growing in Grace

    Great video title! I very often feel stupid about training my dogs. We have a Havanese (18 month old female) who is constantly (constantly!) sitting and asking for something. She’s a wonderfully fun, smart and trainable…NAG! She verbally nags the daylights out of us for treats and chews. She has many, but knows the pantry door can open unto her for a new something delish and she’s willing to campaign long and hard for it. Even cutting her back for days on end isn’t encouraging her to be content with what she has. She’s a foodie, big time! Any suggestions?

  117. Ryan Michaud

    I just got my first puppy I’m raising myself a few months ago and I definitely feel down a lot more. Currently a 5 month old Golden Retriever male. Getting a puppy was NOT what I expected it would be. But I started binging your videos after we got him and it’s been much better! Just dreading the adolescent stage. Thank you for the great content! Focusing on love and respect is the best way to do it!

  118. Stephanie May

    I know you are but what am i

  119. Sara Texas

    I’m just here to say I love the title of this video 🤣.

  120. Izzy

    First!! I love your videos!!

  121. Eric Swells

    Calling people stupid seems beneath you.

  122. Jade Gutierrez

    Thanks Zak! ❤️

  123. Humbly Questioning

    The truth of the title compelled me to watch lol

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