Have you always had dogs around ever since you were a kid? Do you feel like you still don’t know how to properly train a dog. As long as it didn’t go to the bathroom on the floor, chew on your shoes and finally came to you on the fourth yell of “come” you thought things were fine, right? Like all dog owners we think we know how to train them because the dog sits on command or offers a paw when you have a treat in your hand. These are just party tricks things to impress your friends into thinking you know how to train a dog.
Training as a puppy will prevent your grow dog from being a liability. If you don’t train your dog properly she will wander off, never come to you when called and turn into a vortex of crazy when anyone is around. What could happen is that a visitor will come and she’ll tear into the house and scramble to sit on the lap of that person who happens to not be a dog lover and his face will show it.
The problem is most people treat their dogs as furry friends giving in to those classic puppy eyes. What you don’t realize is that the dog sees you in a totally different way. Dogs are pack animals and because of this they are very aware of their position in the pack. You and your family are its pack if its its just the two of you.
If you can grasp this fact of dog psychology then you are well on your way to a happier you and happier dog.
From this point on you are going to make it apparent to your dog that you are the leader or Alpha male/female pf the pack and what you say goes. All of the furniture, its yours not the dogs. Let them lie on the floor or on a dog bed. Don’t fee the dog table scraps from dinner. In fact the dog should be in his bed while you eat and only be fed after everyone else has finished.
I know this sounds mean and feels like it’s taking all the fun out of owning a dog.
The truth is that in a dog pack the alpha male eats first and sleeps in the best spot. The leader takes no notice of the subordinate dogs fussing around him when he returns from hunting. When you act as the leader consistently you are telling your dong in a language that he understands: “I am the boss in this house”.
When you get home from work ignore your dog’s attention seeking commotion until he calms down. After he has been calm for a little while and you have taken off your coat and put down your keys then praise him. It won’t be long before your dog releases that he has dropped down a couple notches in the pack hierarchy an acts accordingly. Soon enough you will see that your dog greets you in a quiet manor and quickly settles down as he’s discovered that this is when he receives praise from you.
Still don’t believe me that training your dog in fact makes him a happy dog? Let’s look at it from the dog’s point of view. He’s living in a world of humans which is full of confusing things and behaviors he can’t understand. By not training your dog and putting him in a place in your pack he will feel it’s his duty to take charge. This leaves your dog stressed out resulting in an unruly and confused dog who is constantly trying to make sense of the overwhelming world that it can’t understand.
However when you assume the role as the leader of the pack you take this responsibility off of his shoulders. Just like a well trained soldier he will be happy knowing his role in the pack and what is expected of him. And most importantly he’ll be happy to defer to your leadership knowing that you will take care of the “big stuff”.