Becoming The Pack Leader

In the dog world everything is governed and regulated through a social class system. Every pack has a leader. There is a pack leader in every household, whether that be you, your spouse, your son, or even your dog. In most cases, the dog is actually the pack leader. It is tremendously important that you take position in higher hierarchy. The pack leader makes every single decision for the pack. When it comes time to command your dog, they won’t take you seriously if they believe they are the alpha dog. However, if you put in some clear leadership roles and become the “alpha”; then your dog will respond and present more positive behaviors. Being the pack leader does not mean that you are mean and or abusive to your pets. Leadership is carried out in silent dominance, resource control, being confident and having the ability to give direction and follow through.

Your dog has to work for everything that they want, just like we humans do. They should not earn anything for "free" just because they're your pet. If your dog learns to work hard for their “Paychecks” then they won’t expect everything for free. This means no petting, playing, feeding, talking to or even eye contact if they are demanding attention. they have to earn everything, including your attention.

Control all aspects of their feeding arrangements. Your dog should not begin to eat until you give them a cue to do so and invite them to eat. Make them wait (this will teach your dog patience and it serves as a form of psychological work for them) . Don’t feed them in the same place everyday, control the environment and feed him in different areas. Teach them to work for their food.

Be in charge of every entertainment resource– they have to work to get each one of them released(make them wait for everything) .Their toys must be rotated daily(so that they do not lose interest in them). When you pick up their toys in the evening, be sure they are watching you control these items. Put them away and bring out 2-3 different toys the next morning. If at any time your dog tries to protect a toy or tries to control the situation, remove the toy and put it away for the day.

Have your dog move out of your way a few times a day. If they are lying down in a hallway, walk through them by gently shuffling your feet until they get up and move. The alpha never walks around his littermates. Don’t let your dog treat you like a sibling, be the parent. In control, but calm and silent dominance works best. Save the verbal corrections for when you really need them.

Do not let your dog pull on leash. If they lead you on a walk they will want to take lead in all other aspects of life. Be the pack leader; teach them to walk beside or behind you. You can also, frequently stop them on walks and give them obedience commands. Make them stop at all the street corners, have them sit. Don’t allow them to get up until you release them to “heel” again. If they advance forward or get up, use the verbal correction “no” and command them again. Be calm and confident. Getting flustered makes them feel like they are winning.

Control access to all doorways and narrow openings. This forces them to look up at you for guidance, checking in to see what is next.

Dogs want us to step up as the pack leader. Animals select pack leaders because they instinctually know who is strong and who can best lead them and protect them. A pack leader is concerned for the pack, not for himself. The pack leaders natural instincts are protection and direction for the entire pack. It’s an unselfish role and an instinctual role, just like human parenting. In return, the pack completely trusts the pack leader, the parent. You need to earn your dogs’ trust, loyalty, love, and respect before they will look to you as their leader and you do this by giving them clear boundaries, rules, limitations and conditioning good behavior.