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Lee Wastler Trainer
Sorry we forgot to mention that do to the Memorial Holiday we will be sending out the bills the following Tuesday. That's our bad..... We'll try not to forget again! LOL
Lee Wastler May 28 '18
Lee Wastler Trainer
Grab your appointment spot now! Spots are filling up. We offer many different types of training. Contact us today to see if we fit your needs. Don't let our down to earth ways hinder you. We are very professional and reliable...... We just like to have a great time with your pup and your family. We treat you like friends, Not clients. Anyway I'm done babbling...... Contact us soon!!
Lee Wastler May 21 '18
Lee Wastler Trainer
What is fear aggression?

You’ve heard about the “fight or flight response,” right? Generally, when a dog is confronted with something scary, it’s first response will be to run away from the threat – flight. If the dog is unable to run away, they may resort to submissive behavior in the hope that the threat goes away, or they may decide they need to fight. So fear aggression is when a dog feels the need to intimidate someone or something that they are afraid of. 

What causes and contributes to fear? Dogs who were not socialized properly as puppies are more likely to have many fears – and therefore fear aggression – than those who were introduced to a wide variety of sights, sounds, people, and other dogs when they were puppies. Dogs who were abused are also more likely to have a lot of fears that they approach with aggression. 

Since fear is the root of this type of aggression, owners and trainers who use punishment-based techniques can make the situation worse, as they are only adding to the dog’s fear instead of addressing the root causes. 

It’s important to note that not all dogs displaying signs of fear aggression will bite. Many only bark or growl when they are afraid. However, heavy-handed approaches at addressing the behavior can make these dogs escalate to biting in the future. 

What are the signs?

The differences between fear aggression and dominance aggression can be subtle, and they rely heavily on you being able to read your dog’s body language. Dogsaholic and The Balanced Canine both have excellent infographics to help you decipher your dog’s body language.

Generally speaking, dogs who are fear aggressive will have more of a cowering, retreating posture that those who are dominant aggressive. Fearful dogs will have their ears pinned to their heads, their mouths open and panting while their teeth are bared, and their eyes squinting or so far to the side that you can see the whites of their eyes. Dominance aggressive dogs will have a more upright, rigid posture, their ears are usually up, their mouths are closed when they bare their teeth, and they are looking directly at the threat. 

Fearful dogs who bite usually start off with a “snap and retreat” type of bite. They’re trying to get the thing, person, or dog away rather than trying to inflict damage. However, once that behavior achieves the result they want – the source of fear goes away – they can escalate to much more aggressive and damaging bites because they’ve learned that it works. That can make it more difficult to treat the behavior. Whenever possible, it’s best to start addressing fear aggression when it first starts out with growling and snarling, before it progresses to actual biting

Are dogs from shelters or rescues more likely to be fear aggressive?

While there are no statistics that definitively say that dogs from shelters and rescues are more likely to be fear aggressive than dogs raised in one home, many dogs wind up in shelters as a result of things that can contribute to fear aggression, such as abuse and neglect, or as a result of the symptoms they have developed of fear aggression, such as growling and biting. 

Mild to moderate fear aggression can usually be worked out with the right kind of training, so you should never let the worry that you might be adopting a dog with fear aggression stop you from rescuing one.

Since lack of early socialization and being weaned from their mother too early can also cause puppies to be fearful, buying a dog from a breeder, especially an unscrupulous one, is no guarantee that the dog won’t be fear aggressive. Any bad beginning can set a dog up for failure, regardless of where that beginning was. 

What are some triggers for fear aggression? Are there things owners might be doing that contribute to or increase the risk for their dog developing fear aggression?

The biggest contributor to fear aggression is a lack of proper socialization. The most important time window for socializing a puppy is from the ages of 3 weeks to 20 weeks old. Puppies this age experience very little fear, so the more they’re exposed to, the less they’ll be afraid of as they get older. This includes new dogs, new people, new objects, new sounds, etc. The more your puppy can see, hear, and do, the less likely they are to develop fear aggression as they get older.

If your puppy is older than 4-5 months old, it’s not too late to start socializing them! You’ll still want to introduce them to new people, dogs, and things. You should avoid walking your dog the same route every day so they can see and experience new places and things. You should teach your dog to be alone to reduce the chances of your dog developing separation anxiety. And you should never punish fear.

Socializing an adult dog is much more difficult. At this point, it becomes more a matter of tackling problems and fears individually. You may need the help of a professional trainer.

For more information on socializing dogs and puppies, check out the Animal Humane Society

All that being said, dogs have many different triggers that can cause a fear response. Unfamiliar dogs and people are common triggers. Children can be a big trigger for fear aggression, because they haven’t learned how to approach dogs, and small children don’t quite have full control of their limbs yet, posing an intimidating figure to a dog. Kids can also poke eyes or pull ears and tails. Having been hurt by a child, even unintentionally, can have lasting consequences for your dog. 

Loud noises can also be very problematic for fearful dogs. Fireworks are especially terrifying. According to animal control officials around the United States, there is a 30-60% increase in lost pets from July 4th through the 6th. One of the busiest days of the year for shelters is July 5.  For great tips on keeping your dog safe on the 4th of July, click here.

Can dogs with fear aggression overcome their fears?

While dog aggression can never be fully “cured,” there are many ways to help manage the condition and help your dog overcome their fears. While their fear and aggression may never fully go away, the fears and behaviors can be reduced with proper training. 

What to do – and what NOT to do – to help your fear aggressive dog

The best thing you can do is to hire a humane, positive trainer to help you learn proper desensitization techniques. Not everybody can afford a trainer, though, so here are some DO’s and DON’Ts for helping your dog.


-Figure out what triggers your dog and ways to avoid that trigger as much as possible.

-Make your home environment as predictable as you can. Stick to a routine and try to avoid big surprises. 

-Start doing “rituals of behavior.” These actions and behaviors can be practiced by your dog anytime they are in an uncomfortable situation. Read more about “rituals of behavior” here

-Expose your dog to things they are afraid of one at a time in a controlled manner, starting small in a way that doesn’t frighten your dog. This means showing them the scary thing from a safe distance and rewarding them for not reacting with fear. Over time,  slowly bring the scary thing closer for longer periods while rewarding your dog. 

-Use your dog’s own body language to keep him calm. Try turning away from the scary thing and pretending to yawn. Keeping yourself calm can help keep your dog calm.

Back away from a cage or crate door after you open it and use treats to get a fearful dog to come out on their own.

-Practice obedience training. This encourages your dog to listen to you and look to you for cues on how to behave.

-In a house with multiple dogs, make sure there are enough treats and toys to go around to prevent competition. 

-Give your dog plenty of exercise. Pent up energy from lack of exercise can contribute to fear reactions.

-Treat underlying health conditions. Many dogs that are suffering from pain or dementia will resort to fear aggression to avoid more pain, or because they are confused. If your older dog suddenly starts displaying symptoms of fear aggression when they hadn’t before, take them to the vet to make sure there aren’t health issues causing the behavior change.

-In severe cases of fear aggression, medication can help reduce your dog’s overall anxiety level. This should be done only as a last-ditch effort and always under the supervision of a veterinarian. 

-Ask people to follow your rules when interacting with your dog. A person who thinks they know better than you is likely to reverse your dog’s progress, or worse, get bitten.

-When approaching a fearful dog, you should squat down, turn sideways, and avoid eye contact. Stretch out your arm toward them with your hand open and low to the ground to allow them to sniff it.

-Provide them a dog house or a safe place they can hide when they’re afraid. 


-Punish your dog for displaying a fearful reaction. Punishing a fear aggressive dog will only make them more afraid and more aggressive.

-Try to baby talk your dog out of their fear or seem overly nervous. Your dog will see you acting differently and decide that your nervousness and attempts to calm them mean that there is something they should be afraid of. Remaining cool, calm, and collected helps to reassure your dog that everything is okay.

Look your dog in the eyes. This is a threatening sign and will make your dog put his guard up.

-Reach over or pet the head of a dog who is displaying signs of fear aggression. The hand reaching toward their vulnerable head can frighten them further and lead to a person being bitten.

Disturb a sleeping dog. Startling a fearful dog will only add to their fear. Try whistling or calling their name from a distance rather than poking or prodding them.

-Physically punish or correct your dog. Again, this will only lead to more fear.

-Allow strangers to approach your dog. If your dog is calm, you may allow your dog to approach the stranger on their own terms, but they should never be forced, and the stranger should be instructed in how to interact with your dog.

-Leave a fear aggressive dog alone with children.

-Make sudden movements or loud noises that may startle your dog. 

-Punish your dog. This really can’t be overstated. The only way to help your dog overcome fear aggression is to treat their fears. Punishment will never work and will usually make the problem worse.

How to explain to others about your dog’s fear aggression

Many well-intentioned strangers may think they can walk right up to any dog or have amazing tips that will help. Calmly explain how people should react to your dog and educate them about fear aggression. Explain to them that if they react improperly to your dog, they may be bitten. Give everybody ample warning about how to approach your dog.

Having a fear aggressive dog can be challenging, and working with them to address their fears can be an arduous task. However, there is hope for fear aggressive dogs and you shouldn’t just dump them because you’re afraid to put in the hard work required for them to have a happy, safe life.


Lee Wastler Apr 25 '18
Lee Wastler Trainer
Thank you for your time! We were not sure if we wanted to have a simpler website but, we chose to keep this site. Thanks!
Lee Wastler Apr 25 '18
Lee Wastler Trainer
Its that time of year again! Keep your dog safe in the car. We have a new shipment of dog seat belts coming in at $5.00 per belt. Contact us today!

Lee Wastler Apr 17 '18
Admin Admin
Just to keep you informed that we will continue to train service dogs for Emotional Support but, we will now require a Prescription from a Licensed Professional to help prevent service dog fraud. You may contact us for more information. We will also continue to train Regular service dogs with a diagnoses from your doctor. Thank you

Admin Apr 6 '18 · Tags: service dog
Admin Admin
A well-trained dog is a happy dog; there are fewer restrictions on them. They can enjoy their freedom as owners know that they are responsible dogs. Training is important for the well being and health of your dog. Emotional support dogs also require training to deal with the mental instability of their owners. The best part is that most domesticated dog breeds are very easy to train and you can do it yourself by following the instructions correctly. This method is a form of operational training, which uses a clicking sound to control the dog’s behavior and train it. In simpler terms, clicker training requires the owner to carry a plastic clicking toy with them and every time the dog does thdog training clickere right thing the clicker is clicked and a treat is delivered to the good boy/girl. Dogs learn well by association and clicker training is a good way of associating the right behavior with the click. Here are a few reasons why clicker training might be the right method for you. Training is more like playtime for your dog where it has your undivided attention. Clicker training provides the right kind of stimuli for the right behavior. Slowly you will start to notice that your dog is trying to score points by introducing new behaviors and doing new things in hopes of getting the click. Trainers for dog competitions and dog sports praise the effectiveness of this method. They are able t teach dogs anything, from dance routines to dialing 911 on the phone. Clicker is considered a purely positive form of reinforcement, as it uses fun, food, and games. It is a science-based method which uses the rules of association; dogs will associate the sound of the clicker with a treat or a belly rub and are inclined to get as many of those as possible. Studies show that dogs who are taught using the clicker training method often try to go the extra mile..

Admin Mar 18 '18
Admin Admin
We are aware the website states (Not Secure) That is because we renewed our hosting and the SSL certificate code uploaded wrong. We are in the process of fixing the code. We do assure you that our website is secure. It's just an error from being renewed. Thank you!!
Admin Mar 4 '18
Lee Wastler Trainer

Meet Butters! My 1 1/2 year old male Fox Hound. He is now ready to start teaching other dogs! He  has done very well with his training and where I can't take Little Miss because of Pittbull laws I will be taking butters. Little Miss has done a great job teaching other dogs and has many more years to go but, still we too have to obay the law. This Wednesday is Butters first training job in State College. Wish him luck!!
Lee Wastler Nov 13 '17
Lee Wastler Trainer
hoosing the Right Dog to Join Your Pack

Adding a new dog to your family means, in dog terms, adding a new dog to the pack. Dog packs are social units. Dogs are much more the victims of their own instincts than humans when it comes to relationships with their own species.

If the dogs you put together in a pack are not compatible with each other, the results are stressful for everyone involved. The violence that can result from dogs not being able to work out their differences can cause grave injuries or death. These factors make the choice of the right dog to join your pack an important one.

Must They Be a Pack?

One way to keep multiple dogs who are not compatible as a pack is the method kennels use: keep the dogs separated. This requires an organized set-up that minimizes the risk of accidentally putting incompatible dogs together. Families with young children in the home or without adequate physical facilities may decide against this option.

Some kennel operators want their dogs separated from other dogs rather extensively, while others simply separate the dogs into groups that get along. It depends on the dogs being kept as well as the purposes for which they are there. Whenever you consider adding another dog to your pack, consider whether this addition may take you into an entirely different category of dog-keeping.

What works for the family with one dog, or with two dogs of opposite sex, will eventually not work any longer when you add enough dogs. Just exactly which dog will put you into that next category is not always apparent in advance. It depends on breeds and individual personalities.

When you go from two dogs to three, you'll have at least two dogs of the same sex together and those two will be forced to determine which of them is dominant over the other. When you go from three to four, pack dynamics are greatly complicated, no matter what the mix of sexes. At four to five dogs, the likelihood of fighting becomes high. But this varies with breeds, some being likely to fight when you have two of the same sex, and others possibly getting along somewhat peacefully in a fairly large pack.

One thing that takes most people by surprise is that puppies usually get along fine. The fighting starts later. Growing up together does not prevent two dogs of the same sex from starting to fight as the younger of them matures.

Be sure to carefully research pack compatibility with any breed you are considering. Knowledgeable breeders in that breed are generally your best source. One way to find these breeders is through their national breed clubs, and most of these clubs have websites as well as volunteers who answer inquiries.

If you want to manage your dogs in a kennel, you'll be able to select the dogs you want for your own purposes, without necessarily making their compatibility with each other a priority. (You'll also need to make sure your property is zoned for the number of dogs you're keeping there.) If you want dogs who can live together peacefully with your human family, your priorities in dog selection will be different.

The Easy Way

Dogs are individuals, with exceptions to every rule! In general, though, if you have a male dog and you bring in a female dog of similar size, the chances are good that they will get along.

There are some things you may need to change in how you've been managing your one dog. Multiple dogs need to be separated for food and highly desirable toys, because it's dog nature to compete for these items. Your family and dogs are safest not to let this competition ever get started in the first place. So you may need to resituate your single dog's food dish to keep his new sister's nose out of it, and stop leaving his toys out all the time.

You'll also need to make more of an effort to give each dog individual attention away from the other dog, in order to maintain a full and satisfying human-to-dog relationship with each of them. The dogs can benefit from each other's company, but they also need individual time with you to be able to function in a human world. This tends to work out to it being more than twice as much work to properly train and manage two dogs than just one!

If your first dog is a female and you add a male, she may exercise "a woman's prerogative" and knock him around a bit at first. This tends to smooth out over time, if you're able to protect them from themselves while they work it out.

They may deliberately "fight" in front of you, so they can act out while feeling that you'll protect them from themselves. While you want to break things up before anyone gets hurt, you don't want to give them attention for fighting, favor either of them, or intervene with bad timing that escalates the conflict.

If the dogs are big and you're not an experienced dog handler, you may need expert help. On the other hand, introducing them on neutral territory may be all it takes, especially if they can have a few play meetings before moving in together.

If you find yourself in a bind with two dogs acting testy at each other, one tactic that can help is to let them take turns being crated. When they stop reacting to each other through the crate walls, you might try a wire fence. If that goes well, they might be ready to run together in a large area that's not home territory to either dog. A relationship that starts off with the need for this level of caution will likely require a knowledgeable dog person to integrate the dogs into a peaceful relationship. This stuff can be tricky.

The size factor is critical if two dogs seriously fight. It is a little less critical if they are opposite sex, especially if the larger one is the male. Males are somewhat inhibited about beating up females. An extreme size difference can be dangerous for a tiny dog, though, no matter how genial the much-larger house companion. The power of a large dog running is enough to injure and sometimes even kill a tiny dog. If you decide to keep dogs of greatly differing sizes, plan some separations to protect the tiny one.

In some breeds, two dogs of the same sex may get along okay together. In other breeds, putting two of the same sex together is a pure recipe for disaster. Male dogs seem to be somewhat more likely to work out a pack order successfully than females. Females seem to be more likely to fight to the death. Be sure to do your breed research homework and think very carefully before putting two dogs of the same sex together.

Number Three, or Four, or More…

A lot of people successfully keep three dogs together, when the dogs are the right dogs and the people manage them well. Think about what you want to do with your dogs. If you want to breed dogs, participate in dog sports, do therapy dog work, or follow some other working pursuit with your dogs, it may make sense to carefully add a third dog at the right time to continue your chosen activity with dogs.

The right time can vary greatly, depending on the temperaments of your dogs, their health, your family, and other factors. Adding a new dog is a bigger decision than people realize, and usually the best idea is to wait until you can't wait any longer! The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the perfect dog will become available to you. The more impulsively you act in adopting a new dog, the higher the risk that you'll choose a dog who isn't right for you or for the rest of your family-especially your other dogs.

Think about what is important in your dogs' lives. Consider whether adding a dog would mean your dogs losing things in their lives that are important to them. One or two dogs riding along in the car or going with you on vacation may work where one more dog won't. Adding another dog will likely mean that high-value toys will be available to your dogs less of the time, to prevent fighting over them.

And of course your time and finances will have to be divided into smaller pieces. We all have limits, and each dog needs consistent human attention as well as financial support in order to be healthy and happy. You'll need to factor in the time and expense of grooming. Grooming neglect of a long-haired dog becomes inhumane when  mats cause pain and skin damage.

The Future

During the life expectancies of the dogs you have and the one you're considering to add, what is ahead in your own life? Are you planning to marry, have children, retire, or enroll in college? Are you facing a move into less dog-friendly housing? The physical facilities where you live make a big difference for your dogs. Do you currently have really good facilities for the dog you want to add?

It's a sadly small percentage of dogs who live out their lives in the homes that adopt them in puppyhood. No one expects to be the person who gives up a dog because they can no longer provide care, but too many people indeed become the ones who do.

Think carefully about alternatives to adding another dog, if your situation is less than ideal. If it's a puppy, you can be sure someone else will come along who is capable of giving the pup a good home. If it's an adult dog, perhaps you could help by making some phone calls, getting involved with an adoption outreach, or fostering for awhile. Helping a dog find a great forever home is a wonderful thing to do for the dog, and terrific for you, too.

Decisions, Decisions

Adding a dog to your family may not be as big a decision as having a human baby, but in some ways it compares. It's a bigger decision than buying a car or a house, because unlike these big-ticket purchases, a dog feels pain. Bringing a dog into your home is an adoption rather than a purchase. With forethought and love, it can be one of the best decisions you've ever made.

Lee Wastler Nov 11 '17
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