Having a dog is a wonderful experience, but in order to have the best possible relationship with your dog, you need to establish yourself as the Pack Leader.
From the moment they’re born, puppies look to their mothers for guidance and training. But once that puppy or adult dog joins your family, the Pack Leader torch gets passed on to you. You need to set rules and boundaries with your dog to ensure both of you lead happy, balanced lives.
If you’re new to this and you’re not quite there yet, don’t worry! You can learn the skills necessary to establish yourself as the Pack Leader. You just need to first identify the areas you need to work on and then put Cesar’s techniques and principals into practice.
You know you are a follower in your pack if you can answer yes to any of these questions.
- Does your dog wake you up?
If your dog wakes you up, it means he doesn’t respect you. In order to correct this behavior, you will need to change your dog’s habits to let him know that you are the one who will wake him up. So if your pup tries to wake you up, simply ignore him. And then when he finally exhibits the desired behavior, reward him for following your lead.
- Do you reward your dog at the wrong time?
Don’t pet your dog when she does something wrong. This affectionate act — or reward — nurtures the very behavior that you don’t want and will only convey that it’s okay for your dog to act that way. Instead, learn how to master affection.
- Do you feed your dog before you feed yourself?
A dog mom makes her babies wait to eat. So it should be no different with you as a Pack Leader. Instinctually, dogs know that the Pack Leaders eat first. So feed yourself before you feed your pup to show that you’re the leader.
- Does your dog enter or exits rooms ahead of you?
Just like with food, dogs instinctually know that the Pack Leader is in control and should be the one to lead. Dogs don’t walk ahead of their Pack Leader, so you will need to change your role if you’re the one following your dog around the house.
- Does your dog jump on you?
Jumping is a dominance behavior. Enough said. So when your dog jumps on you, he’s asserting his dominance over you. But you can’t just jump on your dog, so you need to let your dog know that his jumping isn’t okay and learn how to manage jumping issues.
- Are you your dog’s source of excitement?
Without rules, boundaries, and limitations, you make yourself out to be a playmate instead of a leader. Remember, your dog needs to follow a Pack Leader to feel secure and to be balanced. Strive to be your dog’s source of calmness and direction by creating your dog’s calm, submissive state.
- Does your dog have the run of the house?
She is on your bed, on the sofa, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, and going berserk at the front door if anyone dares to ring the bell. You need to set boundaries for your pack, so she knows what is and isn’t allowed. Follow these tips for building boundaries with your dog.
- Does your dog turn a deaf ear to your commands?
If you haven’t trained your dog in basic obedience, you are losing pack leadership points. Work on teaching your dog these five essential commands to establish yourself as Pack Leader and curb behavior issues.
- Do you yell at your dog?
Yelling is actually the best way of making sure your dog 1) never listens to you, and 2) develops fear and anxiety because of your unbalanced energy. So instead of yelling at your dog — which gets you nowhere, fast — try being calm and assertive.
- Does your dog pull you on the walk?
This is the ultimate sign that you have yet to master pack leadership. On top of that, if you don’t walk your dog daily, it’s hard to establish your leadership. That’s why mastering the walk is essential to every Pack Leader.
Remember, when it comes to pack leadership, you are the one in charge. By setting boundaries now, you and your dog will be in great shape towards building your relationship and strengthening your bond for years to come.
Scoring: count your “yes” answers.
0 yes…………………………………… You are the Pack Leader
1 – 10 yes…………………. You are not the Pack Leader yet