People ask themselves lots of questions when it comes to training their dogs, and figuring out how to become the pack leader is one of the most frequent ones. The pack leader, or the alpha, in a canine group is the one who makes the important decisions. This includes things like where to go, how to behave, and controlling their response to new stimuli.
Once you figure out how dog packs work, you realize something amazingly important: the pack leader makes all of the decisions. If you leave things up to your canine companion, then things are going to get hairier than normal in a hurry.
Getting it down to the brass tacks, you’ve got to understand that your dog has a different sense of priorities than you do.
That means that all of the things you normally think of as status symbols aren’t going to mean anything to your dog. The house, the car, the cash, your amazing education and ability to charm others in six languages. None of it means anything to a dog, who’d happily trade your sports car for a bag of beef jerky.
What does matter is your relationship with them. Asking them to sit before dinner, for instance, instead of letting them dive their gluttonous noses as soon as the kibble hits the bowl goes a long way.
Dominating and abusing your dog isn’t what you’re after here, the Alpha leads by example and teaching your dog that you control it through physical force will backfire on you eventually. You haven’t convinced your dog you’re worthy as a leader, just that you’re stronger than him and kind of mean.
How do you become the pack leader?
But here’s the crux of the matter, how do you become the pack leader? There’s a lot of information out there, but since a lot of it is in body language you might want to try videos first. Watching someone put it into practice is just a step above reading about it, but keep in mind the following:
The pack leader is in control of the situation at all times. Calmness is your key here, for example if your dog barks, don’t yell at it. Just calmly assess the situation.
Don’t allow your dog to pull on the leash while you’re on the walk. This makes them think that they’re in control, and it isn’t going to end well if that’s the case. Learning to walk your dog properly is actually one of the biggest steps you can make, although it might seem minor.
You should be able to make things so that your dog can relax completely as soon as you’re in your home. The key to this is how you greet your canine when you come in, rather than riling them up you want to get them to remain calm but happy that their leader is home.
Lastly, you need to maintain control around feeding times. This is one of the biggest parts of your “credentials” which will go quite far when it comes to making for a smooth and easy training experience.
Be the pack leader. Be the Alpha. Don’t let your dog walk all over you, and the two of you will get along much better.
If you want to understand more about this topic or see the videos that explain everything then simply take a look at The Online Dog Trainer!