Training your unruly dog – Part 2

Training your dog is all about the dog knowing its place within the family pack and until that has been established, most of the other training stages are not worth starting. I know we all love our dogs and want them to be part of the family but dogs are pack animals and look to us as pack leader. If we do not fulfil this role correctly then most dogs will not hesitate in taking this up. This is when most of the problems start.

Some of the first mistakes we make with puppies is letting them on the furniture and picking them up too often. Yes, its nice to cuddle up with your dog on the sofa and to give them lots of attention but in your dogs world this is promoting them to an equal level with yourself. If you look at wild dogs or wolves the pack leader will elevate themselves on logs or rocks to sleep and survey their packs. This shows domanance and also gives the pack leader a vantage point. Therefore, allowing your dog onto the furniture makes him think he is on equal terms to you and confuses their place in the family pack. This can also be the same when picking up small dogs and carrying them around as they think they are above the rest of the pack and show little or no respect for you as leader.

You may from time to time allow your dog onto the sofa for a cuddle but this should always be under your terms and never uninvited.

The other important part of showing you are pack leader is at feeding time. You should always eat before your dog and never feed them from your plate or table. The pack leader would always eat first and again if you allow your dog to eat with you or before you this will confuse him. Once you have finished your meal let your dog eat in peace but if he does not finish everything in his bowl remove the remaining food until next feeding time. Leaving food out for him to eat as and when he wants it is not a good idea.

Finally the last thing you must always do to let your dog know where he comes in the family pack is to greet him last when coming home. If there are other family members such as your husband/wife or children in the house when you arrive home always make a point of greeting them before the dog. A major mistake is to greet and play with your dog because he is excited that you are home. Again, greeting the dog first will elevate his status within the pack.

Your dog must look to you as his pack leader so that he fully trusts you and the decisions you make. This is so important at every stage of training and for your dogs future happiness. If you don’t take up the role of pack leader and be consistant throughout his training this will only lead to confusion and you will find that your dog will fight against you for control. If you dog thinks he knows better than you, or does not trust you, this is an accident waiting to happen. Imagine if your dog is off the lead and runs towards a busy road, if you are unable to command the dog to stop he could be seriously hurt or worse.

Remember you only have the best intentions for your pet and a well trained dog will

be a happy and content member of the family. Don’t be afraid to take control and be the boss…. you really do know best!

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