Ask Victoria – Lauren (Dominance)

Dear Victoria:

I love your show! I have two mini Australian shepherds. My female Alice was rescued from a puppy mill. She is very territorial when it comes to men. The second a man comes near her she begins barking non-stop. I’ve tried my command leave it, ignoring her, giving men treats to entice her, but nothing has worked! How do I get her to be more comfortable around men? Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you!

Thank you,
Hamden, CT

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21 thoughts on “Ask Victoria – Lauren (Dominance)

  1. Deborah

    Hi Victoria, I have 2 dogs who keep jumping up on people when they enter our home, we say down and sit but to no avail, Dogs are 1 year old female Athena, and 14 month old Alaskan Malamute male, they are too big and can hurt people by doing this.

  2. Jessica

    Hi!! Victoria,
    I love your show. I have a problem with my 2 year old Germen Shepherd mix; I thought you would know the right thing to do for him. We found him in the road when he was about (vet said around 4- months). Could not find owner but he was very thin (bones showing). He jump out of the car ran straight to me and hide his head in between my legs. We gave him a little food and then pulled it away with a stick while he was eating. He just looks at us and waited for us to put the bowl back. He didn’t even get up. We also could not put a collar or leash on him. He would flip out acting like we were killing him (crying and jumping). Who knows what happen to him.

    Now he is the Best Dog. Great with kids!! Loves People!! Thanks to God and your shows!!
    Only 2 things I need help on.
    1. He talks a lot which is fine till I want him to be quiet. I want him to bark if someone there but when I see and acknowledge I’ve seen them or talk to them he will not be quiet. Just at our house. I haven’t taken him to a lot of places but he is well behave if we go to a store (Lowes and Tractor Supple) or a park no problems but he had started to bark a lot at the first couple car rides but is doing a lot better.
    How do I keep His Wonderful Watch dog Behavior but have him not park when I say quite??

    2. We have a basement and he will not go up or down the stairs. He barks and cries like he’s panicking. He wants to do it but he scared. I don’t want to push him to hard He has made it to the second step now without a word. I have been working on it for about 2 year! We do have a walk out basement he has no problem being in the basement but he only goes to the third step platform and cries and talk the whole time. He really wants to do it he just so scared!! I’ve even taken him to the park where there are bleachers and he does not have a problem with it at all. He love climbing and jumping. He is a wonderful dog but I need to get him to help conquer his fears. He trusts me with everything but this. What should I do? I don’t want to push him too far!!

    How do I know if I’m pushing too hard. He wants to do it so bad, but he is afraid!!

    Victoria, Could you Please Rescue My Dog from the stairs. Thank You So Much!!
    PS. I saw you training on the stairs with a dog on you show and I did everything you did, but I have a problem it’s a good problem but still “He Can NOT Be Bribe” even with his favorite toys or food. My best thing for training is he wants to please me, but this basement thing is like it killing him. He wants to do the right thing but he’s scared. He even looks down and wants to go but he’s too scared. PLEASE HELP!!

  3. Amy Hartzel

    Hello, I need help with the people and the dogs I live with. A papillion, and 2 lab australian shepard mixes. The papillion licks everything. Your face, pants, even the porch railings. How do we stop her from that? The 1st sheperd is not too bad. But the 2nd. wow!! He does not like people. I don't think he would bite them but not sure. Barks everytime i enter the room he is in. And my room mate screams at him and chases him. How do we get him to calm down when I enter. HELP!!!! Amy, in Pa.

  4. Joan Snudden

    Hi Victoria,
    We are fostering a fiest mix (f) who has been at our no kill shelter for 6 months. She did not do well there as it is very loud and busy. She had to be moved away from the others and she is very shy and is afraid of men.

    I wanted to give her a better environment and lots of love to see if she would get comfortable. She has relaxed quite a bit and enjoys playing with my sheltie mix.

    Concerns: her fear of my husband, jumping up, barking.
    We have started slowly so as not to overwhelm her. Any sudden movement and she panics.

    Any advice for us as to help her feel more comfortable?

    Many thanks,

  5. Betty Jones

    Im sure this isnt the place to ask questions, but could you telll me where do I email my questions Thank you b Jones

  6. francine cameron

    Hi, i love your show i watch as much as i can. I need help with my two american pitbulls prince and princess. prince was recently taken from me for biting a little boy in the park i got lucky and he was returned after four months of court hearings. I am now unable to walk my dogs in the park during normal hours due to lots of dog barking and fighting with other dogs. I have walk my dogs at 3am or sometimes 4am in the mornings when there are no other dogs on the road ...please can u help me

  7. Megan Poole

    Hi Victoria, I'm having trouble with both my dogs eating poo. My first dog would eat poo as well before e we had to put her down for medical reasons. We tried to give her pineapples to stop her from eating the poo but it didnt work. We now have a new dog from the HSPCA to make friends with our other dog that is still living. Both dogs are wonderful until it comes to eating poo. I'll sometimes catch them outside playing or going potty then eating their poo. I'll bang on the windows to get them to stop then open the back doors to bring them in. We've changed their eating habits because our original dog is a picky eater and he loves the new food. Yet they are still eating poo. And it's not just their poo, it's our cats poo as well. We have 4 cats total and they're all great. 3 are from the shelter and the fourth is a feral that we brought in last Thansgiving. Our new dog is on antibiotics because of all the crap he's eating which is not limited to just the poo. He eats wood, plastic, etc. Please help! Thanks, Megan Poole

  8. keith burness

    hello victoria i have 17 month old husky x alaskan malamute
    is it possible to train him to stop running away and also digging in the garden
    and also i have a chinchilla in a large cage and the dog goes mad to get at him
    the dog gives us an visitors lots of love
    but jumps up as being excited please can you help
    thanks in advance

  9. Brenda MacLean

    First, and foremost, you are a treasure! You have given so much to so many through your teachings, and enlightening positive training methods. You deserve so many thanks! I, like many, would love a pinch of advice. We recently rescued a bull mastif mix. The dog has been amazing. To be able to completely open your home to a dog and have him fit right in without any training is a miracle. He does not eat things or chew things that he should not. He's learned how to handle a cat and another breed/size of dog. He is very smart, very attentive and aims to please. We cannot get over what a great dog. Now comes the "however" part...he has the worse case of separation anxiety I have ever seen. When he is with us, he is the perfect dog. But, as soon as we leave, he cries and barks. But the worst part, he destroys. We have had him approx 2 months now. But he cannot handle being apart from us. He has chewed a wooden door (or 2), completely destroyed the screening on our sideporch to try to get in. He has tried chewing his dog house. He has to take it out on something. We tried an 8x10 pen, but with his powerful jaws, he ripped right through it in about 45 seconds. I would not have believed it has I not witnessed it myself. I was hiding in my car to watch. We've thought about changing his name to Houdini b/c he has escaped every time we thought we had him successfully left somewhere. Over the top of the 8x10 pen, out through screen, chewed through a crate...etc. I visited my vet and used a prescription (actually 2) to help with affect. I use techniques you have used on some dogs you've worked with. And I am very patient. But now, if we dare leave the house all at once, we know we are coming back to some damage. And it is getting very costly and frequent. I don't want him getting hurt, but he "goes blind" with panic when he is left alone. ANY suggestions would be welcome and necessary. I have worked with dogs for years...either owning, breeding, rescue/rehoming, etc and this fella has me stumped!! I am almost to a point that I have never been before, putting him in a shelter. I cannot place him in a home knowing what he will do to it. I do NOT want to send him back. I do not want to give up on him. He is so smart and loving. He has SUCH potential...but I have a family and home to take care of. If you, or someone affiliated with you could send me some advice, I would implement it immediately. We need help. I thank you and/or anyone that can help us with this guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Janel


    My 6 month old (Lab & Pit mix) puppy is a wonderful addition to our home. For the most part he obeys me but not my 10 year old daughter. He jumps on her, bites (nips) at her, pulls her clothing, etc. He feels as though he's "above" her. I'm scared that he'll dominate her one day and maybe hurt her. I'm really at a wall. I'm scared that my daughter might be at danger if this behavior doesn't change between them. What do I do?

  11. Tracy

    Our 12 months-old Jack Russell frets when we leave him in the house on his own, neighbours complain he is barking and howling continously. Would appreciate your advice regarding this.

    Many thanks.

    [email protected]

  12. Anca

    Hi Victoria! I love your training techniques and I used them on my dog Reyah. Since I had to move back home Reyah does not listen to my mom and she has become aggressive. While at the dog park Reyah will start barking like crazy at me and biting at my feet and legs. She does not do this to anyone else but it is very embarrassing, especially since she was one of the best behaved dogs at her last dog park. At home she listens to me but I feel as though I can't take her to the dog park anymore due to her behavior. I try to ignore her but she just gets crazier when I do. My mom suggests getting a trainer. What should I do?
    Thanks so much!

  13. Danny Williams

    Hello Victoria
    I really love your show. And I watch it everyday on animal planet. .I admire your training the dogs. I have a miniature dachshund puppy. I have trained her successfully through watching your show. It is very rewarding to See your dog happy with a positive behavior. I am a huge dog lover and have been raised with dogs basically all of my life. So dogs have always been a part of my life.

    Thank you Victoria for your hard work and devotion to dogs.

    Danny Williams

  14. Elia Rodriguez

    Hello fellow dog lovers....
    I have a question....I have a 5year old cattle dog. She's incredible! We love her, she flipped out and snipped at a person. Apparently, this person was petting our dogs the fence and she snapped getting this person on the hand. Yes, she broke skin, and even though the affected person assured me that it was nothing, now I'm worried.....does anyone have any suggestions? I'm desperate for help! I'm worried that my neighborhood association will get word of it and make me put her down. She's never done anything like this before....she's my girl and has been an incredible dog her whole life! What do I do?? Any response is welcomed. Please email me. [email protected]

    Mom of moody cattle dog

  15. Owner of Bruno

    Hi Victoria, I have a 3 year old boxer. He is a very protective dog when the family are home!, he will bark agressively when a car Arrives on the street. we are terrified he will bite someone who gets out of the car. When we are not at the house the dog never gets agressive. He also has a tendancy to jump on people. How can we stop him reacting like this? Please help.

  16. alexis curtis

    i have a boxer mix aand he is my watch dog and i sometimes let my kids walk him but he gets to protective he has bitten many people and its only when my kids walk him why??????

  17. Teresa

    I have a puppy who is about 2 months old, I am having trouble potting trianing. When she does use the puppy pads I praise her give her loving and treats. Then at times she uses the floor,or whereever she can do her business.I was working a lot, have slowed down completely from my job. I work night shift 11-7. I was working7p-7a i have been sick, I have just went back to work. I have work with her on the basic commads. I want her to slept in bed with me at night, but she has acciendts, i get upset with her is can now get off the bed by herself, so she doesn't have excuse to wet the bed. I need help with potting my puppy, I know some of it is were I haven't showed a lot of attention. But, I talk and praise her for doing good things I haven't had to spaked her using the bathroom in the floors, i have solled her for doing with her pad right therei n plan sight. She likses to chew on my fingers too! I am getting her not to chew on fingers. I need to know what i do for my puppy named Addie. She is part dashen/peg. P.S. I watch your show that's how I get some of the commads for my puppy. Thanks again! Teresa

  18. Nancy

    We recently adopted a beagle aussie mix from a local rescue. She came from a hoarding situation. The foster was unstable and the rescue folks removed her. She has been at our home for for about six weeks . She is terified of my husband. We"ve tried treats, she will not let him walk her on the lease and she runs out of her kennel shrieking when he opens the door. She barks continually when he comes home from work. She is on Prozac prescribed by our vet. My beagle was put to sleep this summer and I am still saddened from the loss, this little girl makes me feel better and I want to make her feel better. Thank you Nancy

  19. Dawn Lee

    Hi Victoria,

    I watch your shows and find them amazing. I have a Yorkshire Terrier (Mia) who is 16 months old and is still going to the toilet in the house. She knows that she must go outside and is alwasy rewarded for doing this, She will never go the toilet in front of you (in the house) it is always when you are out of sight. She will ask to go out if you are near the door, but if you are not often you come back and she has been on the mat by the back door, mainly it is the mat by the door, but sometimes if she is allowed upstairs un-supervised she will go on the bedroom/hall carpets.

    She is an absolue deam of a dog in all other aspects, but this is really driving me mad.

    Please do you have any advice.

    Many thanks

  20. Deborah. Burkett

    I am writing on behalf of my son. He and his girl live together and a year ago they got a boxer / lab 9 week old male. So Matt, Carrie and Arbor are doing OK, typical pup issues. Now he has grown into a very aggressive dog. They brought in a trainer, no help. They love this dog so much. They cannot handle him anymore. They think they have to put him down because he cannot be regimes,according to his vet and the local shelter. I feel so bad for them.l watch I.M.O.T.D. faithfully. Matt a.and Carrie haven't seen it (no cable ). They need. Victoria. On there behalf I would be. Grateful. Arbor is a beautiful dog that needs help so he won't die. Thank You.
    603-662-9244 Matt Burkett, dog owner.

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