Having a new dog to be part of your new family member is always a great experience. Certainly, your new pet needs to be trained and, by assuming the role of a pack leader, this will make your dog training a breeze.
Keep reading as I will reveal to you how to show your dog you are his pack leader in this post.
What’s the BIG deal to be the Pack Leader?
Dogs operate in a hierarchical structure and the one on the TOP of the ladder is going to be the “LEADER”. Those below him will naturally have to follow and listen to him.
This is why YOU want to be the #1 – “ALPHA Dog” in this pack. Simply because you want to have full control of your dog and to have him listen and obey your instructions!
Know Your Pack – Challenges Of Becoming ALPHA Dog
Of course, to assure this leader position, it takes some skills and knowledge to train your dog to be submissive to you. Depending on the breed of your dog, this could be a challenge.
Dominant dogs tend to be of some challenge if you want to be their pack leader as they are naturally destructive and aggressive in behaviors. You would need to be firm and strict with your obedient training to get them to be submissive to you.
Breed of dogs that are dominant in characters. Following are a few that I have in mind:
- Giant Schnauzer
- Siberian Huskies
- Caucasian Shepherd dogs
- American Bulldogs
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- Dogo Argentino
- Jack Russell Terrier
Roles of A Pack Leader
So what should you “play” in this role? Simply to lead them? Of course, there are more to this.
You would need to do a similar role as what you would do to raise your kid (human parenting).
Provide them with direction, protection and LOVE! And of course, not forgetting about the resource (foods and toys) controlling.
Work your way to earn their trust, respect and loyalty to you through your action!
What needs to be done?
1. Define your boundaries. This has to be clearly defined and strictly adhered to. List down the Do and Don’t for your dog to follow through, including the house rules, his personal space, where he is supposed to have his meal, his playground, his sleeping area and potty spots.
2. Set up your expectations. It’s important that you do not raise your expectations too high if your dog belongs to the above mentioned breeds as he might take much longer to “accept” you as his ALPHA.
3. Type of training required. This will usually be the obedient training that you would need to embark on for your dog.
What Does It Take To Be The Leader?
What needs to be done to assume this “Position”? Following will be the guideline that you would find handy to have yourself prepare for this role.
Ideal Pack leader should:
– Give them direction. Just like you train your kid when they are young, you show them the direction and guide them what to do. This applies to your dog as well. Give them direction and let them know the behavior that you are expecting from them.
You ought to reward good behavior and ignore (not punish) bad or unacceptable behavior your dog is showing. Adopt the positive reinforcement training approach in your training program
– Manage all happening situations. One of the main roles of an ALPHA dog is to provide and give direction to his “subordinates” when various different situations happen. This is why all dogs look upon their pack leader for a sense of security when uncertainty arises.
For example, when you have a new dog member, do not force your existing dog to be with him if he doesn’t want to. What you should do is to get close to your new pet to calm him down using a relaxed and friendly tone and slowly “invite” your new dog over using rewards or treats!
– Control all resources. Again, I will relate this to your kid training. As a parent, you would want to control when and where your kid will have his meal, his play time and sleeping routine.
You should also assume this role and make sure that your dog follows what you have arranged and prepare for him. Do not ever give in to your dog for his demand as this will make him think that he is the pack leader!
–Give your dog a job. This helps to make him learn that he has to work to get his reward. Many activities such as running errands, tracking and herding can do the tricks. Only give him his rewards when he behaves well.
It’s TIME To Show Your Dominant
What are the ways that you can show dominance to your dog?
1. Take him for a walk daily. During the walk, make sure that he is always beside you or behind you. Do not ever let him walk in front of you or sniff around. This is to exhibit your leadership to him
2. Alpha dogs should eat first. You will have to show your dog that he should ONLY eat after you have eaten. Place his food on his bowl but do not let him touch the food. Make him stay down. Get a snack for yourself and place it near to his bowel and let him see that you are picking this up and eating it. Thereafter, you can let him have the food
3. Ignore your dog craves for attention. Do not give your dog any attention for a few minutes when you first step into the house or room by turning your back on him. Your dog will likely come to you for attention. Simply ignore him for a while. This is to show him that he cannot simply get your attention as and when he wants it. You will only “look” for him when you are ready.
4. Avoid being at the same level as your dog. When you are at the same level as our dog, he will think that you are submissive to him and this will hinder your training to be his pack leader.
Always make sure that you are at a higher height.This will ensure that you are not submissive in your dog’s mind. Never place your dog on your bed as well as, but you can keep him on the foot of the bed if you need him to be with you.
5. Eye contact to show dominance.You can do this by staring at your dog while holding his graze. Do not look away. Keep your eye contact on him. Your dog will look away once he knows that you mean business, and he would consider you as his Alpha.
Strike A Balance Between Leadership And Companionship
Though dominance is important in your pack leader training, do not be TOO obsessed with dominance over your dog. Show him some affection from time to time and gradually build your bond with him.
When he is well-behaved, remember to praise and reward him according. Your dog will enjoy this experience and will thrive well on getting himself to stay obedient.
Who doesn’t want to get recognition from their boss just like you do!
It means a lot to him (your DOG), trust me! Even a gentle pat on his head can make him SUPER excited and happy!
Consistency – Does It Matter As Your Role in Pack Leader?
Yes, this is certainly A MUST! Stay consistent in your requirement and stick to it.
You see, as an ALPHA, your dog takes clues and direction from you. If you keep changing your expectations and rules, this will certainly confuse him.
Try not to have any exception else your dog won’t know what he is supposed to do or behave when this situation happens again.
For example, if pulling a leash is a NO – NO action, you need to make it clear to your dog and “punish” him if he ever pulls the leash while walking. If you make an exception at times, thinking that it’s okay for this time round, he would get the wrong idea that pulling is okay. So the next time you correct his behavior on this, he will start to get frustrated and will challenge you.
FUN is the KEY to be a successful ALPHA Dog!
It goes without saying that your ALPHA dog training journey ought to be a fun and enjoyable session for your dog. If you keep showing signs of frustration, anger and impatience during the training session, there is NO way that your dog will view you as his leader.
In fact, this will deter him from getting close to you. So control your emotion and keep in mind that this is a journey which needs time to get to the end point. If you are getting impatient and frustrated during the training, it’s time to take a break. Having fun should be the Way!