How to be Your Dog’s Leader
Sadly, we hear about dogs who are abandoned or even euthanized because they were too aggressive and could not be controlled. The saddest thing about this is that, as an owner, you have the responsibility to train your dog well so that none of these things happen. A well-behaved dog can be a wonderful addition to the family.
Ideally, you would begin training your dog from the time she is a puppy. This simple step can help you avoid many problems when your dog gets older. A dog that was allowed to dominate humans in her youth, can not only become a nuisance, but also a threat to the whole family.
Like wolves, dogs behave under a strict code of conduct based on the hierarchy within the pack, i.e. a social order. The pack leader is known as the “alpha”, which gets virtually everything he wants. All other dogs in the pack respect the alpha. This hierarchy is needed to limit fights among the members of the pack, and thus, conserve energy for survival.
Your family is your dog’s pack, and it is your responsibility to teach her what her rank is within the “pack.” Dogs like to follow a calm and assertive leader. It is important to practice leadership activities with your dog. A dog will be much happier knowing she has a leader without feeling the stress to challenge another member of the family for this position. As a leader, you can still have plenty of fun with your dog. It is important to know when to end games or set boundaries for a peaceful coexistence with your pooch.