Your Dog Requires a Strong Leader, You!
When you buy a dog or obtain one through other means, you will likely go through what is known as the ‘honeymoon’ period in which your dog simply can do no wrong. This however will fade rather quickly and before you know it, you will be wanting to make a change.
As a dog owner, there are certain things that that you will need to understand about your new canine companion. First of all, they require discipline, and second, they require a leader. As descendants of wolves, dogs are used to the family unit and they are used to an alpha male leading the pack. If no one is stepping up to fill that role, then your dog will be more than happy to do so. You will, in fact, be run by your dog and that is not a pleasant situation for anyone to be in.
Taking charge of your dog requires not only discipline but consistency in those disciplinary measures. There are many ‘dog owners’ who feel that being a disciplinarian is too harsh or too controlling but your dog requires that structure and will otherwise be very confused.
I said “A” stick!
Without the proper social structure established within your pack, your dog will begin to develop behavior problems . Notice that we called you a ‘pack’. Yes, we meant to say that and it might not be what you signed up for. Your dog views you as his or her family, though you can be rest assured that their definition of family is far different from yours. That being said, it is important that you learn your dog’s body language, their mannerisms and what they like.
In order to establish consistency you can start by providing treats for good behavior but discipline for bad behavior. This is a great start, though it becomes much more complex than that later on. Any good dog trainer knows that it is useless to attempt to train a dog before establishing themselves as the alpha and it is important for you to establish the same line of logic in handling your own four legged companion.
Every dog is different but many of the training methods are roughly the same. Give it a try and perhaps even consult with a professional dog trainer for more advice.
Remember, your dog needs a strong leader, you! So get started and establish yourself within the pack.