Transcript for ‘Dog: Impossible’ star Matt Beisner’s quest to prove there are no bad dogs
This dog would kill you if he could. Reporter: They are some of the most aggressive dogs imaginable. Viewed by many as lost causes. You need to get past. Reporter: Until they get a dose of zen. Turning this around for dangerous dogs is a matter of life and death. Reporter: He is the founder of zen dog in Los Angeles and his approach to socializing the most difficult dogs is the focus of nat geo's "Dog impossible." What's different about your approach and your method? We don't use force. We don't use treats. We don't use commands. We don't use choke chance, prong collars. We don't need vain displays of dominance. You're secure, Lou, I promise you. You're secure. Reporter: Those put in the practice on some of the toughest cases. Lou is a socially-gifted former street dog. He won't allow anything around his neck. That's a problem because animal control says if they find him wandering off leash they'll take him in. Reporter: This is really a life or death situation for some of the dogs that are brought to you. Yeah. Oh, I'm so proud of you, Lou. Reporter: People are stunned by the results. It's so amazing to watch Lou walking on a leash. It's going to open up a new world. Reporter: How much of your motivation and understanding giving these dogs a second chance at life comes from your own second chance? I battled alcoholism and drug addiction for years. Reporter: What was the turning point for you? My younger brother, 23, he died in a motorcycle accident. I inherited his car, and then one night I was in a blackout, and I hit somebody on their motorcycle. They were scraped up, but they were okay. And I pulled my car over, and I just waited. I basically just said okay, I'm done. I don't need anymore of a sign than this. You need a purpose. And you need to understand that life is about service. If you understand those two things, you can actually have a life. Getting a chance to tell people you're not alone, and there is hope. I almost missed that. This is the Orange room. Reporter: And so he taught himself to extend that grace and then some to animals who seem as hopeless as he once felt. And everything here is really designed to feel like you're at home in terms of its energy and Reporter: Relief for a man who grew up terrified of dogs. As I take this road to my own personal transformation, I move in with somebody who has a little black terrier named king and he's a street rescue. But at the time I'm recovering physically. I can't work, virtually unemployable and I'm living with this dog that keeps attacking me. I have seen something about a grown man who was able to get over his fear of dogs and I thought, that's possible for me. So I started trying to take care of Kingston. Reporter: From there, he developed his method for rehabilitate being the most ferocious and feisty pets. This is one of his hundreds of success stories. When he came here he was dangerous. He was dangerous and impulsive and didn't know what to do. He didn't know how to control himself and had been isolated for the better part of two years. So he not only showed up -- hi, handsome. I'm talking about how amazing you are. Reporter: He was nothing like this. He was nothing like this. He's a black, male, older pitd mix, the kind of dog that getting put down, the kind of dog that doesn't get adopted. Fortunately, we got time to work with him. I got you. Reporter: He believes it's not just the dogs who need to be taught, it's owners. Am I giving the dog affection in a way that keeps the dog riled up. Am I giving the dog affection when it's not calm and it hasn't given me permission? Reporter: And today Lincoln as well as that terrier, Kingston, who terrified him as he started his journey are a part of the teaching team. We brought in our own "Nightline" rescue to illustrate some of his techniques, like gaga. This poodle mix may be cute, but she's had bouts of aggression with other dogs and resisted other training. For the most part in my daily life, she's a great little companion, but she's triggered with other animals around. Reporter: Matt and his team put Ashley behind the fence, using an interior yard where they analyze gaga's behaviors and socialize her with more mellow animals. I was tearing up. I've never been able to see her play like this, ever. We hear that from people. It's amazing. I've never seen my dog do this, ever. Reporter: The next step, introducing her to a more alpha dog causes gaga do react in her old street dog ways. The team reiterates that the training takes time and dedication. Hi. Good morning. Nice to see you. Did you hear her bark? I did. Reporter: Including an in-home visit. So, when I come in to homes, I always ask the humans just to ignore the dog. I want to see what they do. If we don't engage with her, I will get a chance to see her ability to regulate herself and down. And that's beginning of everything. Reporter: Matt's training also requires owners to make some changes. No dogs in the bed. Every dog should have its own space just like you do. I think we're on to they have to be aware of the impulses before she acts on them. They can use the strong bond to get ahead of them before she reacts. We see results here at zen dog that are, well, people say miracles a lot. I think, I've experienced the zen dog and the staff, they do it every day, and so we kind of have like a, you know, expect miracles daily. That's just what we think is going to happen here. And you can catch dog impossible Sunday nights at 10:00/9:00 central on nat Up next, a football fan
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