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How to be the Leader of the Pack

Dogs are trained when they are first born by their mother when they can play, how far they can travel by the mother picking them up by the back of their neck and moving them to a safe place, and waiting for their food. You as your adult dogs pack leader have to instill these boundaries, limitations and rules, without being nervous or emotional. How your dog interacts with his surroundings depends on you as the pack leader to use energy that is calm and assertive.

Dogs think like humans in certain areas and not in others. Without knowing it we show negative behavior. Dogs are known to live in the present. Dogs can be eased back to being a calm and loving pet even after they have suffered abuse or a difficult start to their life. If you as the pack leader show emotions of pity or guilt your dog will see that you are weak. Affection can be expressed not only by being touched they can see it in a look.

Dogs progress through low and reaching a complete frenzy of excitement. To prevent your dog from getting out of control this problem should be addressed as soon as it begins so it never reaches to uncontrollable proportions.

You must act like a pack leader on a consistent basis so your dog will feel happy and content in knowing their place in the pack. Your dog will become frustrated if you allow him to be the leader in your home, but when you take him for a walk you want to be the leader.

Showing that you are aggressive is not the same as being assertive. Speaking in a firm tone is important and not using a voice as you would to talk to a baby. Never use an angry or high pitched voice or one that is like asking a question. If you know your dog is deliberately ignoring you when you give him a command you should stop, it is only making it worse. Being calm and firm in your tone of voice and not waving your hands is calm assertiveness.

It is not physical power, strength or a bigger dog to be a pack leader it is known that small dogs with an attitude also want to dominate their owner.

Dogs need to be walked on a daily basis, as dogs in a pack in nature walk a lot. Your dog can have behavior problems and be frustrated if he is not walked a lot. Walking your dog lets him know that you are the leader and it is very important for him to exercise. As you walk out the door lead your dog out, he must walk behind you. If before you leave he jumps ahead of you, bring him in and try again, blocking him so he can’t leave first. During the walk your dog should walk next to you and be calm. Dogs can read body language and sense your state of mind, so you should walk with your shoulders back, chest out and head up and he will know that you are the leader.

Your dog will have more positive behavior that you can reinforce as you put in clear leadership rolls and become the “alpha.” This relationship will be free of frustration and be fulfilling. Being confident, having silent dominance, resource control and able to give direction and the ability to follow through is how Leadership is obtained. Your dog will be content, free, happy and willing to be a follower when he knows that you are the pack leader.

Photo credit: revolution cycle/Wikimedia

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Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.