This adorable pack helps troubled dogs find their way in Vancouver

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The Dog Dudes
Photo: The Dog Dudes

Do you own a badly behaved pooch or a cantankerous canine? Or, are you dealing with something even worse: a dangerous dog.

As hard as they may try, many Vancouverites struggle with keeping their furry friends in check. So, after countless obedience classes fail, that’s when the The Dog Dudes step in.

Dylan and Darijan Northstar, aka “The Dog Dudes,” utilize a unique approach to canine rehabilitation: more dogs. 

While that may sound confusing, the pair swear by it. Using a pack of four dogs, they translate the wisdom of the pack to troubled canines via the well-behaved dogs. In other words, they teach dogs the right way to behave and stay calm using their own “doggie language”.

Now, the dudes and their pack have their own TV show, and it spotlights various doggie owners across the Lower Mainland who need a hand (or a paw) with their troubled canines. Essentially, dog parents learn to establish their role as calm, confident and conscientious parents and pack leaders.

In the first episode, viewers will meet Sky, Phoenix, Orca and Ocean — Dylan and Darijan’s four Siberian Huskies who play an integral role in training. While other training focuses on distraction and avoidance, the dudes note that these techniques may actually reward bad behaviour.

“Most dogs are removed from their birth parents very early and are put into a household of humans where they are expected to read and understand human communication and body language,” explains Dylan Northstar, Dog Trainer/Behaviourist.

“As a result, many dogs never learn appropriate canine cues and communication which can lead to many behavioural problems.”

The show introduces a number of dogs who have their own unique issues. For example, ‘Cisco’ the German Shepherd/Staffordshire mix, can’t get along with other dogs in the neighbourhood, which makes a simple walk to the park impossible. ‘Time’ – the usually friendly Jack Russell Terrier – has a possessive behaviour over food that is totally out of control.

“It’s just as important to work with the Human Parents as it is to work with the dogs,” adds Darijan Northstar, Dog Trainer/Behaviourist.

“We work closely with the owners and coach them about how their energy and actions impact their furry family members — it’s about tapping into both canine and human psychology.”

As for how long the improved behaviour will continue after the show, the dudes say that all depends on the owners. Since a great deal of the issues stem from lack of owner knowledge, it is up to them to continue with the training they’ve learned.

The eight-episode series premiered Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. on OUTtv and is also available to stream on OUTtvGo.com, on the OUTtv Amazon Prime Video Channel, and on the Apple TV app in Canada.