The number one thing you can do as a dog owner to reduce the impact of bad
behaviors to ensure your dog listens to you at all times, and that he doesn’t embarrass you in front of friends and family, is to put yourself into the role of pack leader. However, for many dog owners, this can be a hard path – it requires having a firm hand and making sure your dog knows who is in charge at ALL times. So, for those that are big softies or just don’t know where to start in their road to Alpha leader, here are some easy tips to follow.
* Praise Correctly – Believe it or not, there are right ways and wrong ways to praise a dog. The right way involves putting your hands firmly on your dog, hugging him, putting your hands on him firmly and holding them there. Don’t be shy with your praise. If you touch your dog, it should be done firmly so that he knows you’re in charge. However, never use that contact to hit or punish your dog. Additionally, make sure you don’t drag out the praise. Give praise, be warm and then leave him be.
* Proper Reprimands – if your dog does something wrong, don’t hit him or yell at him endlessly. It’s confusing and it can create fear issues that can cause even worse aggression. Instead, use calm, assertive gestures to correct the behavior. You can grab the leash or collar and adjust it, but don’t yank or yell as you do it. Be quick, hold authority, and show the dog you are in charge of their movements. This will work extremely well.
* Only Give Commands You Can Enforce – If your dog is 200 feet away from you, what’s to stop him from doing whatever he wants. Only use commands that can be enforced as the pack leader. Once the leadership has been setup, this will be much easier to do, but for now, you need to beat hand to adjust behaviors if the dog decides he doesn’t want to listen for any reason.
* Permission and Boundaries – Much like your kids, a dog needs to have boundaries of where they can go and when. Make the couch off limits, make the kitchen off limits, and make sure the dog isn’t allowed to change his behavior whenever he wants. The key here is that your dog should always look to you for permission to do these things. If you want him to stay on the floor, it doesn’t mean he is never allowed on the couch, just that you have to give permission to do so.
* Long Sit-Stays – One of the first obedience commands your dog will learn is “sit-stay”. This is a very dominant command. If the dog is extremely dominant or aggressive, make them lie down and stay. The longer you hold them in this position, the more you assert your role.
* Be Consistent and Dignified – Your dog will mirror your personality. If you get mad easily, give in on occasion and are not consistent with your commands, your dog will be equally erratic. Be consistent in the commands you give and the way you follow through on those commands. Only then will your dog respect what you’re requiring of him. A dog is a very smart, very quick to adapt animal. It’s how they survive in the wild.
However, if you don’t spend time teaching your dog to respect and follow your commands at all times, he will soon see himself as the alpha, and your work is all for naught. Spend time, teach your dog the pecking order and then be consistent in enforcing it. Before you know it, your dog will behave better than you ever expected possible.
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Akinluyi Jerry is a young entrepreneur, Animal lover, Dog Consultant and Security expert, CEO of Jeak’s kennel and securities. Certified dog behaviourist and Pro trainer, Member of international association of canine professionals (IACP) .A graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile ife and National K9 School ,Ohio, USA; email@example.com or tweet @jerry_akinluyi, +234 7033576097 (Tel), +234 9033309314(Mobile), Skype jerryakinluyi, www.facebook.com/jeakskennnel and join Dogs Profile channel on BBM C0032AD19