Becoming "Pack" Leader......
There is no equality in the dog world. You're either ahead or behind your dog in line and that is decided by how you interact with your dog. Being a good leader means being calm, kind and consistent. Here are a few suggestions to follow:
- Teach your dog to control his mouth. If he mouths or nips you, react with a resounding, "No bite!" Stop play immediately. This will teach him that you are not another puppy and he needs to treat you differently. If he plays rough, you will stop play.
- Have him "sit" or "down" before you give him anything he wants, from petting to tossing a toy. When he responds to you before you respond to him, he will start to look to you to set the rules, while at the same time getting in daily training practice.
- Practice submission exercises daily. These include holding him in your arms or on his side and speaking to him gently until he stops squirming. When he stops, release him, then praise him. Gently handle his ears, mouth and paws so he learns to accept this. These exercises are easy with most dogs but if your dog really struggles or gets upset, seek assistance from a prfessional.
- Use tone of voice to communicate. A higher than normal pitch is exciting andf playful and perfect for praise. A normal tone - direct and confident - is your command tone. A lowered voice your dog hears as a warning, like a growl. With practice, your puppy can learn to understand your mood through your tone of voice.
- When you get home, you and your family should eat in your dog's presence before setting out the dog food. Among dogs, the most important dogs always eat first.
- Walk through doors first.
- Remember: Pack leaders NEVER share their food with other dogs. If you follow all of the steps above and then give your dog table scraps and bites of your sandwich you are sending mixed signals to your dog.
If you do these things consistently, you can elevate yourself in your dog's eyes, which can make all the difference in training!