Zak George

Zak George is a popular dog trainer on youtube with his channel "Dog Training rEvolution" and also is the author of a book called "Zak George's Dog Training Revolution.  Zak is mainly notable for spreading false information on large scale across youtube about dog behavior, bashing balanced dog trainers, and soliciting funds from his viewers.  He is a member of the "positive dog training" community and actively encourages dog owners to avoid doing business with trainers who use various training collars.

Zak George has no formal education on dog training or canine behavior.  Although he has not contributed anything significant to the dog training world, he must be made notable on this website for awareness purposes.  His advice to ignore wolf and dog culture as it related to humans, may result in injury to humans and dogs.

His false claims about canine behavior and dominance can be further investigated here: Dominance Debunked: or is it?

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5 Comments

  1. I hate to be a trouble maker, but I think that this is a bit too harsh on Zak George. In particular, it seems unfair to blame him for the injuries to children, although I agree that these are horrific. It’s interesting that Dr. Mech has himself admitted that the terms Alpha Male and Female are not really accurate (e.g. https://youtu.be/tNtFgdwTsbU).

    If I understand your methods correctly, what you are proposing is a ‘best of both worlds’ approach, which would hopefully reduce the incidence of dog bites, although I would suspect that it might well be impossible to avoid them completely. I speak from a position of relative ignorance, so would appreciate your response.

  2. Hi Andy, You are not being a trouble maker at all and this is why we have the comments section. I always want this site to be a safe place where people can learn and even have disagreements as long as there is a common ground of seeking the truth. No one can be blamed as to how they interpret the truth or how deep they choose to investigate the truth. I will further tell you why we have this post about Zak George.

    You make the statement: “It’s interesting that Dr. Mech has himself admitted that the terms Alpha Male and Female are not really accurate” and also linked to the video of him saying so. The fact that so many people take this carefully edited clip to assume that Wolves (and dogs) do not not have “Alphas” in packs and therefore discredit this very important part of canine bahavior is why we need to point out the people who are pushing out this information. The truth is, Dr. Mech never admitted that dominance or the terms alpha were no longer valid in explaining canine behavior. As a matter of fact he still states over a decade later that dominance is the most important factor in the functioning of a wolf pack. What this carefully edited clip is referring to is that Dr. Mech was stating that calling a parent wolf “Alpha” to their PUPS is not necessary because it makes people assume the wolf had to fight to get that position, even so by all definitions of the word (if you were to challenge Mech) the parent still is ALPHA. He personally doesnt like using the term in that context because it isnt necessary since being a parent of pups already puts the parent in that position. But the reason that he doesnt use the word alpha is because the parents are assumed to be DOMINANT over their pups already since they automatically are controlling the reasources and decisions of the pack, AND that is what dominance is about. He is trying to separate the fact that aggression and fighting is not the same as being an alpha or pack leader. A wolf, dog, or human, can be alpha without fighting especially if they inherited that position. Now, he never ever debunks that the term Alpha is appropriate when there are wolves (any canine) that are at competing at equal levels, such as when there are multiple breeding age wolves in a pack also when new members may enter a pack. Aggression happens during CONFLICT of who has a dominant position. This is where fighting occurs to DETERMINE who will be dominant, but the fighting itself is separate from what it means to be dominant and once a dog is dominant it is meant to minimize conflict and of course aggression/fighting.
    This a concept that can be difficult for people to understand even without a commercialized industry purposely confusing people to discredit other trainers and that is where the problems begins with people like Zak George. They make a living making people feel good not necessarily telling the truth. Without a dog owner understanding the importance of dominance when owning multiple dogs and even when troubleshootng the behaviors between the dog and humans in the household is virtually impossible since it is such an important part of dog and even human behavior. When discussing people like Zak George it is not about discussion balance or the good of two different types of dog training. Most modern professional trainers that have formal education already train with positive reinforcement as well as punishment. If you look at the videos on this site or its youtube channel you will see deeper explanations to the use of positive reinforcement and the science behind it than your average commercialized “positive dog trainer”. What this is really about is TRUTH vs LIES and unethical practices in an unregulated industry. People like Zak George need to be pointed out because people lie him and Victoria Stilwell will have large influence because of charismatic character, TV shows, etc.. But because the industry is nonreguated they can get away with being non-qualified to make such claims and say whatever they want if it will sound good and sell books. Just think how easy it would be to sell anything if there were no consequences for lying. Someone can get away with ignoring dog culture with puppies and lot of very easy dogs by following people like him or even doing no training at all, but it is TRUE that people, dogs, and yes children are suffering from misinformation. Much of this site is geared toward the professional dog training student so i try to put reference material here as homestly as I can. Here is a link to an email exchange between me and Zak George about a year ago: https://www.dogtraining.world/zak-george-email-to-k9-1/ This is an important exchange because it brings notice to many things. Real professionals network with each other and act professionally toward each other. I sent me an email and I acted as a professional trying to help him understand what we did and our policies to give him information about a field he knows nothing about. Since he has no education, what I wrote obviously sailed over his head since it is already apparent he (at least at the time) didn’t even understand the basic quadrants of operant conditioning which is also apparent in many of his videos. Instead he goes on to write me that he has intentions of telling the world through his books and videos to “not give money” to trainers like me. Keep in mind how absurd this is since I have college education in the field, multiple trade schools, and am well known in the industry to teach humanely. Zak is a real estate agent that shoots videos out of his living room since his TV show got canceled. He got a TV show because of his personality and he won Frisbee contest with his border collie (the easiest to train dogs in the world). This gave him a platform to sell from and slander any way he wishes hard working professionals. This style of preaching anything that sells and making trainers that will not fold to polutical correctness is very dangerous to the industry and is running like wild fire right now. As i write this his newest video is about the myths of pit bulls and how they are no more dangerous than a labrador retriever, so everyone should go to the nearest shelter and grab on now. As much as I love pit bulls and german shepherds and rottweilers, I would NEVER EVER EVER lie to people that breeds are inherently different and people need to understand these differences to be a successful owner which each breed. He will bend facts and say things such as “pit bulls do not bite people any more than any other dogs” this is TRUE, but then he will purposely not mention “if they do bite you are far more likely to receive serious injury” and this is why over 80% of deaths in the US last year were from pit bull type dogs. People do deserve to know this and as to WHY their bites are far more serious..which would be getting too far off track. As a professional it is not someone’s job to tell people what they want to hear. It is our job to tell the truth for the sake of the dogs and the people. It is our job to keep people and dogs safe as a number one priority. I can attest what I am telling you here is the TRUTH and you can take the information and form your own opinion whether this is unfair to Zak George but I put it out so people know the truth about him and why he is not considered a real trainer but by every definition of the word a charlatan to be aware of. I would HIGHLY HIGHLY suggest reading both of these pages and the videos on each in FULL if you have doubts about what I am saying and the depth of the problem. I include the links to all of Dr. Mechs studies so you can see for yourself that nothing was debunked about dominance and its importance to canine behavior. The truth is important in understanding how it also relates to our own dogs and even us: https://www.dogtraining.world/criminal-acts-positive-dog-training-community/ (this shows how the science of operant conditioning is being lied about – and how Zak doesnt understand it enough to be teaching about it. This is causing unfair bias)
    and https://www.dogtraining.world/dominance-in-dog-training-debunked-or-is-it/ (this has the links to Mech’s studies and info about wolf/dog culture)

    BTW, we could never teach our leadership exercises and have so much success prevent problem problems if we did not base them on real wolf and dog behavior (which are the SAME for this purpose) : https://www.dogtraining.world/start-self-help/leadership/

  3. Never had any opinion about Zak George either way but took a real dislike to him when I saw a video on YouTube in which he was showing viewers how to use a border collie’s herding instincts to get children rounded up and into the car for school. Actually had a step by step guide with tips on how you can tap into the dog’s instincts so it will make sure the kids move fast and are where you want them to be??!

    That took me aback because he’s no stranger to the breed and should know better.

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