Be Your Dog’s Pack Leader
Dogs are naturally pack animals. If you want to help your dog feel more secure and be well-behaved, you must let him know that you are the leader of the pack. Just as it causes problems if children feel that they have to take on the parent role, it will cause problems if your dog feels that he needs to take on the pack leader role.
What can you do to let your dog know that you are the leader?
1. You get fed first. Eat your dinner before serving your dog his dinner. Or at least, start eating yours before he starts eating his.
2. Don’t give your dog some of your food every time he begs for it. Occasionally is ok. The idea is that it is YOUR decision to share your food, not the dog’s.
3. If you both come to a doorway, you should be the one to go through first.
4. You should make the rules. You decide which furniture the dog can sit on, etc.
5. If the dog is in your way, the dog should move. You should not have to go around the dog.
6. You are in control on walks. You decide where to go, when to stop, where your dog can go, and so on. You don’t just follow along wherever the dog leads.
7. I think you get the idea. You can be nice to your dog, give treats, affection, etc. Just be sure it is your decision to do these things, not because you are being pestered (i.e. “controlled”) by your dog.
If your dog is aggressive and is trying to run the household, you should follow these rules very strictly. If your dog is naturally submissive and meek, you don’t have to go overboard or follow them all. Just following a few of them will be enough to let a meek dog know that you are in charge.
Give these ideas a try and let me know how they work.