How to control your dog’s behavior by becoming pack leader

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

No question stands out like that of ‘how to become a pack leader’ of all the inquiries I get regularly because of its importance. It is about showing your dog that you are the boss. View the pack leader as the guy who takes the major decisions like what direction to head to while on a walk, how to react when confronted with strange things and how to respond to different scenarios you are presented with.

The moment you become familiar with the way dogs pack, you recognize how vital it is for the pack leader to always have the final say. Allowing the dog to make decisions may make him commit many errors and mistakes. Before you can comprehend how to assume the role of a pack leader, you have to identify the things which a dog does not value like-Your type of car, how big your house is, your income or how many tongues you can speak in. You should know that your dog would choose a great snack over all of these.

Becoming the pack leader goes beyond asking your dog to sit before dinner and only in cases where your dog leads would you experience walking through doorways.

Also, you need not be physically domineering for you to become the pack leader as it could send the wrong message to your dog about the use of force. Although it may force your dog to be submissive, it would not give your dog enough reasons to believe you deserve the position of a pack leader. To the dog, you may be nothing more than a bully.

Dogs of all breeds have a common way of trying to recognize or establish the pack. To master it, you have to see it being practiced on video just like those I uploaded on a video site. The necessary aspects to take charge of are outlined below:

  • As the pack leader, you have to calmly control the situation in cases where your dog notifies you of danger by barking. By ‘danger’, we mean whatever your dog sees as a threat and barks at within or close to the building.
  • Ensure your dog does not pull at any stage including at the start. I have learnt from experience that you can only master the right way to walk your dog by watching videos.
  • As the pack leader, your dog should be find time to fully relax and totally switch off a home. A dog which does not relax and is always on is showing signs of being the pack leader.
  • How you greet your pet on getting home influences your ability to make your dog switch off. Like you will see when you watch the video, it plays a crucial role in deciding whether you become the pack leader or the follower.
  • Feeding your dog the right way will influence who becomes the pack leader. It involves much more than making your dog to sit. Having a dog who is not motivated by food may throw up a few surprises.

A website that will teach you how to become a pack leader and it’s importance in effecting a behavioral change with the use of videos is available.

To understand more about this subject or view the clips that teaches everything then simply log on to: The Online Dog Trainer

All healthy relationships hinge on respect. This rule holds true for humans and their dogs. Earning your dog’s respect starts with establishing yourself as a caring authority figure, which is what makes a good pack leader. A dog’s respect must be earned and maintained; with it you can have a long, healthy, loving relationship with your canine companion.

It’s All in the Attitude

You must look at your dog’s body language to understand how he’s feeling, for instance raised ears, a tucked tail, panting, staring or averting of the eyes. Your dog does the same to you. He, like all dogs, is an expert at reading body language. Simple things like a tremor in your voice, avoiding eye contact, faster heart rate or shaky hands tell your dog how you’re feeling and whether you can lead effectively. The key to becoming an effective pack leader is confidence in yourself and your ability to lead. If you are feeling unsure of your control over the situation, your dog can feel that uncertain energy and see it on your face. If you are unsure, your dog will be unsure of you. However, if you go into dog training confident that you are able to get the result you desire, your dog can sense your confidence and will inherently trust you to lead him.

Commands and Communication

What you say to your dog is not as important as how you say it. When you give your dog a command, the goal is for you only to have to say it once. Establish that you have your dog’s attention before giving the command, otherwise it will be lost on him. Dogs can usually only focus their attention on one thing at a time. After you give a command, hold your dog’s attention through eye contact and body language until it is carried out. Relenting will lead your dog to realize he doesn’t have to listen to you. Individual dogs respond to different tones of voice, specific commands and rewards more than others. Once you settle on a means of communication to which your dog responds readily, use it consistently.

Rules and Routine

If your dog can trust you, he will follow you to the ends of the earth. Maintain a regular routine with your dog as much as possible to earn his trust. Establishing rules and remaining consistent with their enforcement is another way your dog will learn that you are in control and he is safe relinquishing control to you. For example, feed your dog at the same time each day, in the same place. If he doesn’t eat within his meal window, take away the food. Your dog will trust that you will provide for him, as well as learn the rule that he must eat when you feed him, not whenever he pleases.

What’s Mine is Mine

Behaviors that help humans get along well with one another don’t always translate into healthy relationships with dogs. People who share their belongings are considered good friends. But not establishing control or possession with a dog can lead him to challenge your authority. Feeling that he has more ownership over an item, or even another person, leads the dog to think he has some power over you, and might be able to challenge your top spot in the pack. Every object in your home belongs to you, even if it is a chew bone, dog bed or food bowl. Practice taking objects from your dog, and correct your dog if he resists. Every game of tug-of-war should end with the human winning. If this is a problem area for your dog, don’t engage in the game at all.

In dog packs, the pack leader is the decision maker. That means all decisions. If you let your dog make the decisions, you’re letting them assume the pack leader role. And it’s likely they’ll make mistakes and get some decisions wrong. Plus, you’ll have trouble getting them to show the behaviors you want them to.

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

How to be pack leader

So then, how to be pack leader? Well, your dog isn’t impressed by how big your house is or how much you earn. Or even by your flash car! They’d much rather have a nice doggy treat than any of that.

And making your dog obey the “Sit” command doesn’t achieve anything much when it comes to being pack leader. Nor does making them wait for you to go through doorways first.

Finally, using domination and fear is not the answer to the question of how to be pack leader. Teaching your dog that being pack leader is all about physical strength and violence is sure to cause problems later on. Your dog won’t see you as being worthy of being pack leader. Rather, they’ll just see you as a violent bully.

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

It’s important to realize that all dogs use the same methods of establishing the pack leader. This is true of all breeds everywhere in the world.

Dogs had been used to live in packs when in the wild. Therefore they possess a natural ‘pack’ instinct. This pack mentality ensures that you can have rules of obedience with your dog. They need the guidance of a pack leader. When a puppy is born, its mother starts giving training right from the birth. She will make puppies wait for food; exercise control when they play, give direction how far they can travel. Just like it, they need the rules, controls, and limitations from you, their pack leader when they are adult. You as an owner need to control his behavior and create a stable, comfortable environment for them by acting that you are the leader in your pack.

If it is your dog who leads you, then when it comes time to command him, he won’t take you seriously. He will believe he is above you. It is only if you are able to demonstrate clear leadership roles before him that your dog will respond to you. Being the pack leader does not mean to frighten or oppress. Leadership should normally be carried out in silent authority. It is having the ability to give direction and get it followed. But remember, being a good leader without teaching your dog what is expected of him will be futile. It is the combination of both learned behaviors and able leadership that will create lifelong results and a great relationship between you and your dog.

Here are some points, you should give due consideration in order to maintain your pack leadership.

Let your dog earn

Make your dog think that he has to earn things. He has to work for a living just like us. If he learns to earn then he won’t expect anything for free. If he gets everything that he wants for free then he will become dominant. Your dog must respond to an obedience command before he can get anything.

Don’t be overprotective

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

Let your dog be independent. Don’t get too protective. Your dog is not supposed to get afraid or nervous of something. A fearful and nervous dog can become insecure and aggressive. Make your dog work and obey to get your affection and admiration.

Ownership of territory

It is very important. When a dog understands that you, as the pack leader, own the space in which he lives, he will respect your authority more.

Eat before your dog

Pack leader is the one who should eat first. This way you can establish dominance by How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leaderasking your dog to wait tolerantly for his turn. To have control as a pack leader, always eat first and decide when to eat, and when to play with your dog. Don’t think that your dog will stay away from your food if you feed him before you.

Lead while you are walking

alt=”imagesCAH8X0WC” width=”256″ height=”136″ />Make sure during walks that your dog walks either beside you or is behind you so that his eyes always follow you. While going out, don’t let your dog come out of the door first. It is you who should walk out first followed by your dog. In the pack dynamics, the leader is the one who leads the way.

Be calm and assertive

A pack leader has to be calm and assertive. Shouting and screaming does not work on a dog rather it will confuse your dog. You have to make impact over your dog by the proper use of your voice.

WaitingHow to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

Waiting is another good means to establish your position as the pack leader. Waiting is a form of psychological work for the dog. Make them wait to eat, or make them wait for travel until unless you as a pack leader wants it to happen.

Praise your dog

Praising a dog is important but how you praise your dog is crucial. All your praise should be related to some feat or work performed by your dog. You must have a clear idea when to pet your dog and for what act.

Train them right

Training your dogs is must. Make sure that your dog has had enough exercise before training session because this is the time when they are calm and submissive. They will respond well to your training commands.

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

Dogs are pack animals and it’s important that you establish yourself as a pack leader. They are descendants of wolves and although they have been domesticated and socially integrated into the human society, the mentality of being a part of a pack still remains.

No matter how much we love and adore our furry little friends, we need to maintain the proverbial “Chain of Command” when interacting with dogs. You should always be in charge, no matter what the situation is.

There is a reason Dogs are called man’s best friend. Beneath all that love and devotion, there is a huge amount of respect dogs give us as the alpha member of the pack.

So, how does the pack order work?

Pack Leader – Pack Order

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

For wolves (and subsequently dogs), the pack is their order of standing. It’s comprised of Alphas, Betas, and Omegas. There are one Alpha male and one Alpha female – they rule the pack. A number of Betas follow them. Omegas follow everyone and generally are at the bottom of the order.

In case of domesticated dogs, humans become the alpha and hold the dominant part of the relationship.

Here are a few signs that show that you are a pack leader. Go through the list and tell us which ones match with your dog!

#1. Your Dog Follows You Around

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

Following the master around is one of the things dogs really like to do. This also shows that you are a pack leader.

The pack code tells us that leaders or alphas lead the way, omegas are the rear lookout and betas fall as mediators for both.

Observe carefully and see if you are an alpha or beta. If the dog follows you more than anyone else in the family, then you’re in the top spot!

#2. Let’s You Walk Through A Door First

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

The alphas always lead the pack. So if your dog lets you go through a door, then it’s a sign that he is following your lead.

A pack leader has the responsibility of leading and protecting the rest of the pack. Your dog will be looking for protection by letting you face anything dangerous on the other side of the door. In other words, he will be looking up to you because, in his mind- you are in charge.

The same behavior can be seen with dogs and wolves in the wild. An alpha will always enter a cave first and make it safer for the rest of the pack.

#3. Adores You with Affection

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

Dogs are incredibly social animals. They shower people they like with love and affection. Jumping hugs, licks and kisses are very common.

The subservient attitude also comes in a form of approval from the alpha. So the constant licks and kisses you get is a sign that your dog is looking for your approval.

While wolves are not social like dogs, they have their own form in getting approval from their superiors. The affection they show also varies from pack to pack. Whatever the form of affection is, affection giving is always a sign that you are being looked upon.

#4. Doesn’t Steal or Snatch Food from You

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

If you are a dog owner, then you know that dogs love to eat. In the wild, they have an unwavering rule of allowing an alpha to get the first bite.

A respectful dog will not snatch food from you. As you are the alpha in the household, he will respect you and allow you to eat first.

In the household, you decide when it’s time for your dog to eat, and what to eat. You’ll notice that he doesn’t jump and steal food from your plate. He will wait patiently for his mealtime or for table scraps.

It doesn’t, however, stop them from staring.

#5. Leaves the Best Spot for You

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

Dogs mark their territory, it’s in their genes. But if you are the pack leader, he will leave the most comfortable spot (according to him) for you.

The spot may be occupied when you’re not present and he might have a lie-in the couch where you like to relax. He will undoubtedly get up and leave the spot the moment you’re on his radar.

It’s also not unusual for them to greet and guide you to the spot. It’s a sign of respect – one only and alpha will receive.

#6. Breaks Eye Contact First

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

Intimidation through eye contact is even recognized in the animal world. Dogs are no different. The eyes are the windows to the soul and in addition to growling, alphas intimidate betas and omegas with their eyes.

You are the pack leader in your household. With that, you have the ability to discipline your dog by just one look. Your dog will always break eye contact first.

The breaking of eye contact and bowing down their head also show that they are submissive to you, the alpha. It may also mean that they are sorry- in case if they have made a mistake.

#7. Stays Calm in Stressful Situations

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

As a pack leader, it’s your responsibility to take care of your pack (i.e. your dog) at times when they are feeling stressed out or nervous. Such times can be when you’re visiting the vet, giving them inoculations or rough weather such as thunderstorms.

You’ll notice that he will be calm during those times when you are present. That means, less whining and squirming. However, they might lose faith in you if you abuse or hurt them during the times when they’re most vulnerable.

Owning a dog is a big responsibility. And like every relationship, you have to give something to receive. Repay their undying loyalty with lots of love and the best care possible. Dogs have a shorter lifespan compared to us humans. So make the best of what time you have with your furry little friend.

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

Posted by John Web on Jun 16th 2020

​How to Stop Dog Aggression Towards Other Dogs

It can be challenging to live with a dog that exhibits aggressive behavior towards other dogs. A simple walk outside can become a hassle and a stressful experience for the owner. Typically, an aggressive dog will bark, lunge at other dogs, and bite other animals.

Just because a dog is aggressive to other dogs doesn’t mean the dog is an overall aggressive animal, it merely means that the dog lacks training or is missing something in its life.

Luckily, there are ways to train a dog to be more obedient and erase some of those harmful aggressive behaviors. Unless it’s a severe issue, owners can usually improve their dog’s behavior using some tips & tricks.

Identify the Reason for Aggression

There is always a pre-existing reason why a dog is aggressive towards other dogs. Here are the common reasons for aggression:

  • Fearfulness
  • Over-protectiveness
  • Dominant dog
  • Stress
  • Curiosity
  • Over-excited states

Now, it’s time to figure out the reason for your dog’s aggression problem. The best way to learn to identify the issue is to observe the encounter between the two dogs. If the tails are wagging, the dogs may be over-excited or hyper, so you need to correct them and snap them out of it with a pull of the leash to the side.

If the issue is fear, you’ll probably need to socialize your pet with other dogs more often so it can learn to trust and play.

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

Become the Pack Leader During the Walk

The most crucial first step is to master the daily walks with the dog. It is during the walk that many dogs exhibit aggressive behavior most often. As the owner, you need to assert your position as the pack leader. Here are some ways to be a good pack leader:

  1. You can assert your pack leader position by using your body language and energy to send signals to the animal. A pack leader must exhibit confident behavior at all times during the walk. Make sure that you keep your shoulders back, head high, and keep a steady tempo.
  2. If a dog senses the human’s weakness or fear, it will use it to its advantage and continue the bad or aggressive behavior. Never walk beside your dog in a fearful or cowering state. Don’t look around you nervously, pointing out other dogs, or pulling your pet away from other dogs always.
  3. Make sure that the collar is placed at the top of the dog’s neck because it is a sensitive area on the animal’s body. If you pull the collar, the animal will feel it and snap out of the aggressive state.
  4. A dog should be walking behind you or beside you, never in front of you. Don’t allow the dog to pull you and lead you. A dog that is pulling you can feel like the owner needs protection, and that’s when an aggressive attack can happen. When other dogs approach, it will see it as a threat.

Never Encourage Bad Behavior

If allowed, dogs will repeat bad behavior because they don’t know what the boundaries and limits are. As the pack leader, it is the owner’s role to train the dog and set the boundaries of what’s acceptable and what’s not. Of course, this can be hard because we all love our pets and let them get away with naughty behavior sometimes. Here is when you need to take on the leadership role:

  1. Small dogs are often hard to train because the owners don’t reinforce the rules. Most aggressive behavior with small dogs comes in the form of barking or snapping at other dogs. What owners tend to do in this situation is that they pick up the dog and hold it in their arms. This is not best the way to deal with this problem. The pet will internalize this behavior as a reward for trying to protect or control you. Instead, let the little dog walk by the other dog and snap it out of the barking state.
  2. When you are walking with your aggressive dog, and you see another dog approaching, never cross the street or pull your animal far away. If you panic, the dog will understand that those other dogs are an imminent danger, and it will try to protect, thus lunging, barking, and biting.
  3. Never begin to yell at the dog. This tone will actually raise the dog’s energy, making it excited and potentially more aggressive. Always speak in a calm voice, even if it’s hard to do so in a tense moment.
  4. Don’t pull the leash back during a difficult moment. This backward pull will panic the animal, causing it to lunge even harder. Instead, pull the leash upwards or to the side and use the tip of your foot to touch the ribcage area. This will snap the dog out of the aggressive behavior.

Teach the dog avoidance

To help make walks easier, practice avoidance. It means ignoring other dogs and their owners. It can seem like you are being rude to others, but this simple act will help your dog avoid fixation on other animals. You want to ensure your dog doesn’t obsess over other dogs. It must learn to ignore them unless you deliberately take them over for an introduction.

When walking, keep your head high and look straight up and ahead. Walk at a natural pace and avoid eye contact with other dogs or their owners. By not making eye contact, we are teaching the animal that we do not want confrontation. Instead, we seek avoidance of conflict. Dogs are quick learners, and the chances are that if you practice restraint for a while, your dog will begin to ignore other dogs unless directly engaged.

You can also teach avoidance by distracting your dog from the other dogs. Keep some yummy treats handy, and when you are out on a walk and sense danger, distract your dog from the others by giving it some treats. This is a quick way to prevent a fixation or obsession because most dogs will just be happy to receive a treat, and they’ll stop worrying about the other animals nearby.

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

Keep practicing

The best way to help your dog be sociable and happy is to be consistent and to keep practicing. Being a pack leader is not easy, and you must continuously reinforce good behavior instead of the bad. Remember that dogs usually have a motive for acting aggressively, so consider your options and always be prepared to apply small corrections when you notice any bad behavior.

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leaderOnce Again, Here’s Our Ask The Trainer Feature!

I often get asked the question: do dogs need a pack leader? My answer is yes, dogs need a good pack leader. Dogs by nature need some one to lead them. Even the small breeds need a leader. Problem dog behavior such as social issues, fear biters, separation anxiety and other dog behavior issues develop because the dog does not have a good leader.

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leaderHow To Be The Alpha Dog/Be A Good Pack Leader

So, what is a good pack leader? A good pack leader has calm, assertive energy. A good pack leader does not yell or scream. A good pack leader is consistent in what they are asking of their pack. They do not ask the pack, “Would you like to do this?” Instead, they lead the way . A good pack leader has great focus on what they are asking of the pack…and is also very clear in communication.

How To Solve Dog Behavior Issues

Some of the ways you can become your dogs pack leader are: Always have your dog walk beside you and be your partner. Reward calm behavior. Never reward a dog when they are feeling nervous or scared. This only makes the dog think they are doing the right behavior. Pack leaders always go out the gate or door first. As the pack leader, you should be able to take food and toys away from your dog. Always feed your dog when they are calm.

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

Your canine friend will be a happy well balanced dog, if you will be a good, calm, assertive pack leader. And here’s a great video to demonstrate how to be the alpha dog with subtlety!

How to control your dog's behavior by becoming pack leader

Tina Caldwell, our Training Editor and author of “ask the trainer”, has been training dogs and their families for about twenty years. She likes to work with all kinds of dogs and people, and has shown and competed in many different events over the years. Some of her specialties are conformation, obedience and agility trials. Her favorite breed of dog is the Cane Corso. You can contact Tina through Petsmart Eastgate in Cincinnati, or at [email protected]

In the absence of a strong leader, your dog feels obligated to assume that position in the family pack’s social hierarchy. Since a leader must control all that goes on, his inability to control your leaving causes him stress and anxiety. Obedience training is the best-organized method of establishing yourself as a strong leader.

A dog that is lacking exercise is more likely to have stress and tension. Tiring a dog out with a long walk, run or play goes a long way in reducing stress. Mental stimulation helps as well.

By teaching your dog obedience commands, you are applying both mental and physical exercise. Commands are the foundation for communication between you and your dog and create an environment where your dog begins to see you as his leader.

Through obedience training, you will learn what your dog likes in the way of touch and sound. Using this, you will encourage and reward your dog for the right behavior and find out what the dog dislikes to correct it for the wrong behavior. By modifying the praise and correction to fit the situation, obedience becomes a way of life and the foundation for communication between the dog owner and their dog.

It is important to remember that your dog is not bad or trying to make life miserable-although it sometimes may feel that way!

The beauty of dog training is that, much like counseling, it can put the relationship back on track so the love affair can flourish.