This year, Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer , became my mentor. What is he about? He is about teaching us that the human family is not only part of the pack, the human family has to become the pack leader! From the tiniest to the oldest member in the household.
A pack to a dog is any group of people and animals that it lives with. A pack has a set of rules, and those in the pack have to follow those rules, otherwise, there are consequences.
Of course in a domestic situation, humans are the ones that take the lead of pack leaders. If the owners fail to make all humans in the house pack leaders, the dog will consider the humans inferior and take over this role. And, for some strange reason, owners of small dogs often think this is funny. It’s not. It can actually become a dangerous situation. At best, it is a very unpleasant situation to all except maybe those dog owners.
A dog that behaves as an alpha dog in a home becomes very dominating and unpleasant socially. Unfortunately, because humans do not step up to the plate, these dogs are often locked away for the best part of a day, excluded from family activities, and the worst scenario, they are put to sleep. And, the remedy could be so simple. Humans must be alpha – the pack leaders!
When you bring your puppy home teach it its place right from the start. Don’t get caught in the "cute puppy" web. Puppies don’t remain cute and small, they grow up! Set up boundaries right from the start. Here are some suggestions:
1 – Do not allow your dog to jump on people. Stop this right from the start.
2 – Do not allow your dog on the furniture. If you want your dog to sit with you
for a while, INVITE it up. And, when finished, ask it to go back down.
3 – Same goes for the bed. Only allow your dog on the bed when you invite it up.
4 – Don’t allow fence biting- that is attacking through a fence. Do as Cesar says, claim the fence!
5 – Right from the start teach the main commands: Sit; Stay; Lie Down; Come…These are imperative commands for your dog to learn.
6 – Start socializing your dog and teaching it good social manners right from the start.
Another way to claim dominance is to walk through the door first, and your dog follows you. When you leave for a walk, or come back in with your dog, YOU go through the door first.
When you go up and down the stairs together with your dog, teach it to go behind you. This is not only great for establishing yourself as a leader, it’s also good for safety.
On the other hand, if you have a dog that loves to lick your face, hands or legs it shows total love, submission and affection. This dog is submissive to you, so when you want this behaviour stopped, don’t yell or discipline your dog, rather, say the word -no- firmly, and then distract him right away with some other activity.
You are not doing your dog a favor if you allow it to run around being your boss. Take control, become a firm, gentle and loving pack leader. There are even home dog training systems that teach you how to train your canine companion.
This article is for your information, please do two things: 1 – Watch Cesar Millan. 2 – Seek the advice of a dog trainer of you have any problems.