Yes, Dogs Need A Leader!
In this field, a lot of people have asked me if I believe in being an “Alpha” owner. If you aren’t aware of this term, it means showing dominance over your dog to make them respect you and in return act as you wish. This question has led me to write my thoughts on the subject…
Through my personal experiences and throughout my career as a dog trainer, I have found that dogs do indeed like to look to a leader for guidance. When I say leader, I mean someone they respect, trust and follow in all situations. You can say this is a “pack” mentality. Dogs look for structure and clear responsibilities to understand what their role is within their “pack”. When owners of dogs fail to become the leader, the dogs tend to misbehave in various ways.
Now, I don’t know for sure what dogs are truly thinking, but others theorize that dogs in this situation will try to take on the role of the pack leader. Leading the owner to see their dog being rebellious, dominant or displaying aggressive behavior. This behavior can be directed towards the owner, their family or other pets in the house. Households with multiple dogs usually see more severe behavior due to the challenging between dogs.
So, how do you stop this from happening and become the leader of your best four legged friend?
It’s quite simple in theory. Like I said above, dogs want and NEED structure!! You as the owner have the responsibility to give your dog the structure it needs. In my training program, I focus on implementing a routine in you and your dog’s everyday life and focus on owner-to-dog communication. Improving communication will lead to less confusion and ultimately trust between you and your friend.
Structure will let the dog know what is expected of him each and every day. I also believe in improving leash handling techniques while walking or taking your dog out and about. Implementing these techniques will take away your dog’s freedom to make decisions and create a controlled behavior each time you are out. Once these few things are implemented you will see your dog look to you for guidance even in the furriest of situations!
If you believe you need to improve your leadership skills or think implementing these training techniques will improve you and your dog’s relationship, call us at 206.451.5829.