Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Being the Alpha Dog: How to Show Your Dog That You Are In Charge

Dogs are pack animals, and as such they follow a sort of hierarchy within their packs to decide who is the leader and who are the followers. When the leader is gone, the next dog in line becomes the leader in charge for that time. If you have dogs at home, they act the same way with your family members. Dogs find their place within the family and follow the head of the family as if they were the leader of the pack that is their family. ‘There are many ways that determine who is the leader of the pack to a dog. If you do the necessary things your dog will think that you are the leader of his pack. If you don’t then he will think he is your leader and that he is in charge. So be sure to teach your dog that you are in charge and he is to follow your rules. It is not mean or cruel, this is how dogs live naturally so they need this type of structure. If you don’t give it to them they will automatically think that they are in charge and will do anything they want at any time they feel like it.

Make The Rules

Dogs will follow you if you simply give them a few rules to follow. In their eyes, this makes you the leader and they will gladly follow. This involves telling your dog to do simple commands such as sit, lie down, stay, etc. Once you start teaching commands to your dog he will start to learn that you are the one in charge. This will promote you to the leader of the pack in his eyes. The same goes for everyone in the family. Every person, including kids, should start to give the dog simple commands in order to show him that the humans are in charge and the ones that give orders. Most dogs want to please and be a welcome part of the pack so they will follow the directions once they learn what to do. If certain members of the family don’t interact with the dog as much or do not give commands to the dog, the dog may think that he is above these people and may not listen to commands when necessary. If the dog gets loose one day, it is important that anybody in the family can call him back and he will not run away from certain family members. This is why it is important that all family members are involved in training your dog.

Be The Leader

When you go for walks or go outside to play, always be the leader to your dog. Make sure that your dog knows that you are the one who decides when to go out. Do this by always being the first one to go. Whether you are stepping outside of the house or out of your yard, make sure you go first. This teaches your dog that he is to always follow you. If you don’t go outside, neither should your dog. But if you go first it shows your dog that it is ok to follow. Always make sure that you take the first step and your dog will learn to watch your leg and follow you once you start walking. It is important, especially at younger stages of your dog’s life, to keep him on a leash most of the time while walking. This teaches him that you are letting him go for a walk and he is to follow your instructions. If you don’t want to walk a certain way, don’t let your dog choose the path. Pick a direction and stick with it, otherwise your dog will learn that he can guide you sometimes and this takes away from your leadership.

Provide The Food

One of the major things in dog culture is who provides the food and what order they give it in. Whoever eats first is the leader of the pack in the dog’s eyes. The leader then doles out food to whoever is next in line. This means that your dog should always see you put the food in his bowl and it is best to do this right after you eat your meals. This shows the dog that you are the first to eat and he is to follow you when eating. Some people even like to scoop the food into the dog’s dish by hand. This shows the dog that you are putting his food in the bowl with your own hand and it also puts some of your smell onto the food so that he really knows who provides his food.

Do The Grooming

Another main part in animal life is grooming. Whoever does the grooming is the master or leader of their group. This shows your dog that you are in charge and that you can touch and handle his body whenever you want. This shows him that you are helping him by grooming and keeping his body nice and clean and checking for injuries or other bad things. Be sure to consistently check your dog’s body, including his coat, legs, paws, and even mouth. Check his teeth and gums by opening his mouth and even sticking your fingers in there to check for anything wrong. This will show your dog that you are not afraid of touching him or him biting you. In general you just need to show your dog that you and your other family members are in charge of him. Once he learns his place in your family he will be happy to obey orders and serve his pack. Remember dogs are pack animals by nature so this is natural to them. They like to make their leader happy whenever they can so they will obey you once they learn what you want. So whether you have one dog or a few, treat them all this way so that they all know that you are above them in the hierarchy of your family.

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