Dog training has changed a lot over the last few years and one term we have been hearing more and more often is “Pack Leader”. Is it important to establish yourself as pack leader? Will it help to train your dog better? Will your dog listen to you more if you are the pack leader?
Many dog owners are now desperate to find out how they can become the pack leader. They are tired of being taken for a walk, being yapped at when the dog wants something etc. Dog owners want to be in charge in all situations and they want to know how their dog will respond to unfamiliar things when they are out and about.
As a responsible dog owner you need to understand how a dog pack works. When you grasp that you will also understand why it is so important that you be in charge and not your dog. If you let your dog be the pack leader he or she will eventually make a mistake and there may be dire consequences to that mistake.
So how does a dog owner establish themselves as pack leader? To be the leader of a dog pack you need to learn how to speak dog. You need to understand what is important to your dog and what is not.
Your dog is not the least bit impressed with the car you drive, the beautiful home that you live in or the size of your paycheck. Money and material things mean nothing to your pooch. Now his/her favourite snack is a whole different story.
You may have heard that making your dog sit for their food will establish you as the pack leader, as well as making sure that when going through a door you go first and your dog follows. These are definitely good practices to put into play, but is that all it takes to be the pack leader?
Just for your information going through the door first applies when your dog is on a lead. If you are just letting your dog out in the backyard you do not have to go through the door first.
At one time we were taught that in order to become the pack leader we needed to dominate the dog. Dominating your dog required physical strength which is great if you are training a small breed dog like a chihuahua but what about the bigger breeds? Forcing your dog to submit to you as pack leader teaches your dog one thing – “You are nothing more than a Bully”. If you have a dog with aggression issues and you have basically beaten them into submission this could really backfire down the road.
So again inquiring minds want to know how do I establish myself as the pack leader? The same rules apply to all breeds. Becoming pack leader is best learned by watching what exactly has to be done. There are certain areas that are important for you to take control of.
Let’s take a look at those areas of concern.
Imagine you are in a dangerous situation with a bunch of other people. What actions you take can mean the difference between life and death. You yourself have no idea what to do. Two people however have some ideas. One person is hollering and screaming out things that they think the group should be doing. Meanwhile the other person is calmly explaining what options the group has and what he thinks the best course of action the group should take. Who would you listen to? Who would you follow?
I would say that the majority of you would follow the calm person as they are displaying better leadership qualities.
So if your dog starts barking to alert you to what they are perceiving as danger you need to stay calm and be in total control.
In order to establish yourself as the pack leader you need to learn how to properly walk your dog. Your dog should at no time be pulling you along. You want to go on a nice calm leisurely walk with a relaxed dog.
If you find your dog cannot relax this is telling you that they are on duty. They have taken on the position of Pack Leader and until you take that away from them they will not relax.
Getting your dog to relinquish the pack leader position depends on several things. Things that will help him give it up depend on how you interact with your dog when you return home after being out for awhile and how you feed your dog.
Trying to explain this verbally is rather difficult. Watching it in action is the best way to learn. The best place to learn this is at a site that trains through video. These videos capture the subtleties that are verbally hard to explain.
The site that I am talking about is The Online Dog Trainer. At the Online Dog Trainer you will learn through videos made by Doggy Dan.
So if you are having any behavioural issues with your dog, becoming the pack leader will go a long way in changing the bad behaviour.
Bad behaviour is the number one reason that dogs end up in shelters. Just think what a little time and training can do for your canine companion.
Check out The Online Dog Trainer