As soon as puppies are born, the mother starts teaching them. She gives them directions, keeps them calm during feeding and controls how they play. When teaching, training or rehabilitating adult dogs, they still need these same directions, boundaries, and limits. This time from you, their new pack leader.
A pack leader isn't angry, frustrated or nervous, so you shouldn’t be either. The pack leader uses calm energy to influence how the dogs deal with their surroundings. They enforce the rules in a calm and relaxed way, like when a mother dog picks up a puppy by the scruff of the neck if he strays outside the established boundary.
Ownership of territory is very important. Dogs claim space by first asserting themselves in a calm and confident way, and then communicating this ownership through clear body language signals and eye contact. When a dog understands that you, the pack leader, own the space in which he lives, he will respect your authority.
Waiting calmly is another way that pack leaders establish their position. Dogs wait calmly before eating, and also wait calmly until the pack leader allows them to walk through door ways. Calmly waiting is a form of mental work for dogs. Emphasis on: “calmly.” Don't give any type of reward unless your dog is in a calm state.
Even though dogs don't need to hunt for food, they still need and want to work for it. Establish your role as pack leader by making your dog earn his rewards, which in this case is food. Take him on a long walk before feeding him. Only give him the food when he is totally calm. Mental and physical stimulation, otherwise known as work, will help your dog achieve this state.
Knowing your pack is the true test of leadership. Understanding their feelings. Knowing everything they want, need and fulfills them. This is what creates balance. Then creating a training strategy. Having a plan and following through is what creates even more strength in your relationship and in your bond. For me, that is what respect is all about. Fulfilling your dog’s needs while at the same time, fulfilling your needs as well.
True pack leader are respectful, honest, and real. They are balanced. They accept. They are present.
For dogs, pack leaders are supposed to set directions, boundaries, and limits. In doing so, we nurture a dog's healthy state of mind.
Always remember: BP4 – Be: Patient, Positive, Peaceful & Persistent
If you need additional help or guidance, let me know if I can help.
www.packmantotherescue.com / 201-937-6123