Testimonial – “Great Help with our Aggressive German Shepherd”

Doug and Zarr

On February 7, 2012, Tammy Cmt  (Charcot Marie Tooth) wrote a recommendation for Michigan Dog Trainer on her facebook page and sent notice to us of her dog’s (Zarr’s) progress.  She and her husband Doug, previously spent an hour with Michael Burkey to evaluate Zarr and give them advice as how to deal with his aggressive tendencies toward Doug.


The recommendations covered:

  • how to identify stress warning signs given by Zarr that he wanted to be left alone,
  • how to interact and play with him in a different format
  • included techniques to  desensitize him to Doug’s presence and
  • how to counter-condition him to things he was afraid of. They will also participate in our Remote Manners group dog class to teach Zarr new manners and reliable obedience to basic commands.

Tammy wrote,  “Great help with our aggressive German Shepherd, he asks for attention now, instead of threatening attack. Great one hour results, look forward to remote manners class next month. Notice Zarr has a way to get out if he feels trapped (we learned to watch for this, learning to read his body language, behavior), he jump in bed with Doug beggin for pets last week, Doug knows now not to hover over top, Zarr is constantly seeking him out now….And new this week he has learned to play with the 5 mo. old pup, who remains dominate over him….he’s not in play mode for long but his trust is building, regardless of his abusive past owners.  We love seeing his tail wagging because it never use too.  : )

Tammy and Doug, thanks for the update on Zarr.  We always love hearing about progress owners make with their dogs.  Congrats on your progress and commitment to Zarr. He is very lucky to have the two of you in his life. We look forward to continuing to work with you and Zarr too!


For help with your dog, contact Michael Burkey of the Michigan Dog Trainer. Note, we do not recommend placing your face so close to a dog’s face that may show aggression.  This can cause social pressure for a dog and they may respond by biting your face as a way to create more distance from you.  However, Tammy and Doug sent us this picture as an example of the progress they have made with their dog. Previously, Doug could not pet Zarr without him growling or attempting to bite him.

About Michael Burkey

Michael Burkey is a professional dog trainer, behaviorist and owner of MichiganDogTrainer.com, a highly successful dog training company whose aim is to promote peaceful relationships between pets and families. Additionally, he is an expert trial witness, certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator for the American Kennel Club (AKC), former Police K9 Handler, Search and Rescue (SAR) K9 Training Director and SAR K9 Handler, obedience and rally competitor and social worker. Dog training is a complex science and art requiring knowledge of behavioral science and learning. You can rely on Michael's experience, teaching methods, and integrity. He can be contacted at info@MichiganDogTrainer.com or 734-634-4152.
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