Understanding how dogs behave in nature can help us to better fulfill their needs when we bring them into our homes.
When a puppy enters the world, his first pack leader is his mother. Canine moms teach rules, boundaries, and limitations from day one!
Newborn puppies don’t get a name like we do. The closest thing to a personality is a dog’s status within the pack. In the animal world, there are two positions: the leader and the follower.
As newborns, first the puppy’s nose starts to work, then the eyes, and finally the ears. As they grow older, dogs still experience the world in this order: nose, eyes, and then ears. This is entirely opposite of how we do: ears, eyes, and then nose. Keep this in mind when meeting a dog for the first time. Let the dog explore your scent fully before attempting any other interaction. This is how she gets to know you.
In their natural habitat, dogs earn food and water and experience the world around them by walking. This activity is ingrained deep within a dog’s DNA. Walking exercises your dog’s body and stimulates her mind.
There can only be so many pack leaders, so most dogs are born submissive. This creates a balance in the pack that fosters healthy and happy dogs.
As adults, dogs look to their pack leader to create that stability. They don’t question the pack leader’s position, and the pack leader doesn’t look to the dogs to affirm his position. This is the natural balance of the pack.
Your goal should be to provide your dogs with the same calm-assertive leadership that they would experience in a pack.