Become a True Leader
Become a true leader that your dog wants & needs
I believe the only way to truly change or train a dogs behaviour is to work with its natural instinct. If you try to go against its instincts the dog will automatically shut down and not respond to your training.
There are many theories and training systems being used today, but what we have to remember as dog owners is that in the wild, every dog in the pack has a position/job. This will range from the dominant Male or Female to the lowest level of sentry. The dogs that perform in a superior manner, regardless of his/her position in the pack will receive recognition from pack leaders. The “lower ranking” work hard to be appreciated. The strongest of the “lower ranking” are rewarded with appreciation from their seniors.
Those who don’t fulfil their purpose for the pack are banished or shunned. This is “pack life.” So as long as the natural desires and needs of the pack and individual are provided for, they will be happy and content with their position.
Times have changed
Times have changed for the dog, gone are the days they could just roam and do their own thing all day long and then come back to the home at night to be fed. There were less aggressive dog attacks 40 or 50 years ago than there is today. This is due to the control of dog laws that have been brought in by the government over the last few years. Do not get me wrong they are the correct laws; however some of these laws have been taken to the extreme by some owners and made some dogs less sociable than ever before. Dogs are highly social animals, and their behavioural patterns account for their trainability, playfulness, and ability to fit into human households and social situations.
Natural instinctive behaviour
Much of the dog’s natural instinctive behaviour revolves around learning how to interact with other members of their species. This is where we sometimes slip up as dog owners, it all goes back to the pack instinct. If any individual of the pack does not fulfil their obligation to the pack, for whatever reason, the other lower ranking members will challenge him for his spot. If we do not give them the opportunity to socialise and interact with thei own species and show leadership when doing so, we are not fulfilling their basic need. If we show any weakness to our dog, in its own head it has to take over as leader whether it wants to or not because there must be strong leadership within the pack. The domestic dog prefers living in a social environment, and generally considers us humans as part of their family/pack. As puppies, the playing with other family members and other animals is important as it teaches them how to properly interact. Helping your dog to gently and consistently know what acceptable behavior is will help him/her be more comfortable. If we do not show them or tell them what is expected of them it can be very stressful for them, and can send mixed messages.
Three key elements to becoming their Leaders
- BODY (Meaning exercise)
- MIND (Meaning challenge the mind)
- SOUL (Meaning the love and affection)
Engaging in physical exercise triggers a chain of chemical reactions in the body and brain that promote a feeling of calm. The mechanism works in essentially the same way in both dogs and people. Have you ever noticed how relaxed your dog is after a long walk? Achieving that calm, relaxed state is important, and doubly so for anxious, fearful, “hyperactive,” or aggressive dogs.If your dog zigzags in front as you walk, crowds you as you sit, or otherwise intrudes on your space, that’s not very polite! Leaders control space.
Put Your Dog on a Learn to Earn Program. That means he must do something for you in order to earn anything that is valuable to him. If your dog wants to be petted, ask him to sit first. If he’s already sitting, ask him to lie down. Then pet. Have him sit (or do another behavior he knows) before meals, treats, walks, tossing the ball, and anything else he finds valuable.
Leave your dog with a few toys, but reserve the really special ones for when you are present. Bring them out periodically and play with your dog. Now you are also the source of all fun!
Note: Playing tug is fine as long as you control the game, and your dog knows “Drop it”.
Practice obedience exercises and incorporate them into your everyday life. Down-stays are especially good for establishing leadership. Keep practice sessions short and frequent.
Affection should be given at the right time. It should be for praise and recognition not just LOVE. It should only be given when the dog is in a calm state of mind.
Hopefully this has given you an insight into how dogs work and how you have to be with your dog at all times (learn more). If your dog is exhibiting any unwanted behaviour contact us now.