This post is about why you need to be pack leader of your dog and also what makes you the pack leader in the eyes of your dog.
The term “Pack leader” has been challenged in the last few years because of something called the “dominance theory” and some people no longer believes in the idea that you need to be the pack leader of your dog.
According to the “dominance theory” stronger members of the pack would lead the others through threats and displays of strength. Thus, traditional, old school dog training is often based on physical dominance, shouting, harshly jerking the lead and even hitting or kicking.
So do you really have to be “the pack leader” of your dog? If so, how do you become leader that your dog admires and really likes to follow? Let’s take a good look at how dogs function and how they think.
Dogs are pack animals and generally (but not always) live in packs. In the pack there is always a leader or a leading couple. They make all the important decisions of pack and all other members follow them. In some cases, the pack only consists of the parents and the cubs but the principle remains the same, the parents will lead and the cubs follow.
The leadership of dogs or wolves is firm but calm and gentle and this is the way a dog owner must act as well. If you remain calm and in control your dog will follow your example and will also be calm and in control.
In the so called “dominance theory” which was launched in the 70s it was believed that threats and physical dominance was the way a pack leader acted in order to make other members of the pack submissive and obedient.
However, there are problems with this theory. The study that led to the dominance theory was conducted on a pack of wolves in captivity. These wolves were simply put together into a pack but none of them knew each other.
This caused the wolves to become aggressive to protect their resources. This is not how packs are formed in the wild. Often wolves in wild simply form packs with their family (mother, father and cubs) and then other Wolves might join them along the way. Threats and physical displays of power is not how dogs in the wild assert their leadership.
This means that the traditional approach to dog training by physical dominance, shouting, pulling the leash harshly or even kicking and hitting is completely wrong. Doing this will only cause a dog to become aggressive and nervous. It will not show your dog that you are the leader but only that you are someone he/she has to fear.
It is also important to note that while it might be easy to physically dominate a puppy from a big breed (for example a Rottweiler) it will be a lot harder once the little puppy grows bigger and stronger. This dog might even challenge you for the leadership and this might indeed turn real ugly. Imagine fighting a big strong dog, this dangerous and might lead to serious injury or even death. So physically dominating a dog is no good way of establishing leadership.
So being the pack leader is important when it comes to training and interacting with your dog but it is based on other things than physical domination.
Being the pack leader is being in control, taking the decisions and showing the way. One example of this would be the walks. In a dog’s world the leader always goes first so when you walk your dog, it should walk next to you, not pull you along. When you leave your house you go first and your dog follows.
Food is another issue. In the wild the leader (or leading couple) eats first and when he/she is finished the others get to eat. The leader thus controls the food. You should do the same when you feed your dog. Once your dog stops eating, take the bowl of food away. This shows your dog that you control the food, not your dog. There are a few more things that are important in establishing you as the leader but this will you an idea what it is all about.
There are some people that seem to do everything right. Their dog follows them everywhere, they obey and no matter how the owner act things always seem to turn out well. It seems like these owners simply have a natural ability to communicate and lead their dogs and all this without any special training or previous experience with dogs. So how come they succeed so well with no obvious reason.
Well it is quite simple. Dogs are individuals just like us human beings and some dogs are simply much easier to train than others. You might buy a puppy and be lucky enough to get one which is really easy to train or you might get a puppy which is stubborn and much more difficult to train.
Does the breed make a difference? Are some breeds of dogs more difficult to train than others? Well to a certain extent yes. Some breeds of dogs are more independent than others, some are more stubborn or dominant and these dogs might a little harder to train but the difference between individuals are much bigger than the difference between different breeds.
So where does that leave you? What should you do if you happen to get a “difficult” dog? The good news is that any dog can be trained and once you know how dogs think and function and know the techniques to make them understand what you want then training will be easy even if your dog is a little stubborn.
It all starts with establishing yourself as the pack leader. Once your dog considers you its leader it will look to you for advice on how to act and react and it will choose to obey you. This is really the basics of all dog training. Once you have established yourself as the pack leader, training will be easy. Apart from this it will be much easier for your dog as well. A dog who sees its owner as the leader will be far more relaxed as all responsibility will lay on you and not him/her. The dog will be happier.
So, where do you learn how to be a pack leader your dog admires? A pack leader your dog is happy to obey and follow? I suggest you take a look at the Online Dog Trainer with Doggy Dan. The online dog trainer is a video based dog training site where you learn dog training by watching videos. Help is always available via a forum, email or Skype should you run into any kind of difficulties.
Inside of the Online Dog Trainer you will find the “Pack leader Section” and in it the five golden rules. The five golden rules covers the areas needed in order to establish yourself as the pack leader. Once you have mastered this section you can continue and start teaching your dog different commands. It is really a very simple step by step method to train your dog.
You can try the Online Dog Trainer for one US dollar for three days. If you don’t think this will work for you, you simply cancel and you will not be charged anything more. If you decide to continue the fee is 37 dollars a month and you have a 60-day money back guarantee. This means that you can get your money back after sixty days if you are not satisfied by the results.
Honestly speaking, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by trying it. The Online Dog Trainer has already helped thousands of people from all over the world to train their dogs and it can certainly help you as well. There are more than 250 videos there covering every training and dog related problem you can imagine as well as a puppy section where you will find everything you need to know in order to raise a puppy.
But first of all you need to establish yourself as the PACKLEADER. Just click on the link below to get started.