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8 Ways to Become a More Confident Pack Leader
09/28/15 at 01:36 PM | Published Under Dog Play
If you’ve recently adopted a young or adult dog—or if you’re considering adoption—keep in mind that you’ll be spending plenty of time teaching and training your new family member. It’s imperative to establish yourself as the pack leader in the process.
Here are a few steps to follow in the training that will help your dog understand that you are in charge.
1) Praise your dog with intention. Either hug your dog, put your hands firmly on him, or pat him so that your hands get warm from the contact. Don’t praise timidly or drag out the process.
2) Correct quickly and fairly. Then praise. When making a correction do it calmly, but with authority—whether it’s a leash correction, collar correction, or verbal correction. Then praise him when the behavior is corrected.
3) Expect action on the first command. Since your dog's hearing is significantly better than yours, don't fall into the habit of repeating yourself. He likely heard you the first time!
4) Give permission. Say OK when he’s about to eat his food, hop into the car with you or go for his afternoon walk. It’s a subtle way of teaching your dog to look to you for approval and permission.
5) Deny permission. Work to teach him what’s acceptable behavior. He should wait for permission. If you deny permission, he should not do certain things.
6) Be benevolent, but tough. Behave with confidence, dignity, authority and intelligence so your dog will be calm himself. Be fair, and always calm yet confident.
7) Do a sit-stay. Place your dog in a sit-stay for 5-10 minutes. When he breaks, put him back. This is one of the best ways to establish authority quickly.
8) Make time for play. Being a pack leader doesn’t have to be boring. Help your dogs stay mentally stimulated with frequent games of fetch, tug-o-war, or reward with playtime with any of our durable plush goDog toys. Well-exercised and mentally stimulated dogs are more likely to be better behaved and follow directions from you.
Firm, loving training will keep you and your dog happy—and keep you together, with you as the pack leader.