Dogs are pack animals, and as such need to have a strong pack leader – otherwise they will take over that role. Some dogs are more pushy than others and will take over leadership given the chance. Here are a few simple tips to help you fill the role as Pack Leader.
- “I make a big fuss of my dogs when I get home from work (after all they deserve it)”. – Wrong! By fussing your dogs when they ask for attention, they are calling the shots. Far better to wait for calm, then put them on a lead and go for a brisk walk – (after all, this is what they deserve).
- “I feed my dogs first thing in the morning and at tea time, then I settle down to have my meal“. – Sorry – wrong again! By allowing your dogs to feed first, you are giving them the respect as pack leaders. After all, the alpha dog would always feed first after a kill. Best you eat first (if only a biscuit) then feed your dogs, waiting for calm before putting their dish down.
- “My dogs always rush past me into the garden barking excitedly“. Oh dear, wrong again! Always wait for calm before a door (inside or out) is opened. Command your dogs to wait, then you go first, calling them to follow after an interval. This is telling your dog that they must respect you – only a pack leader can go first.
We have all done these things at some point, but is isn’t too late. It may take a little time for calm to ensue, but dogs are intelligent animals and they’ll get it. Just learn to expect respect from them! There can only be one pack leader, make sure it is you!