How To Be An Effective Leader For Your Dog

Posted: May 18, 2014 in Dog Behavior
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In order to train a dog effectively you need to think like a dog, you can’t apply our human view of psychology to train a dog, it just won’t work. Showing your dog that you are setting the rules is easy. There are a few things you need to do consistently to assure your dog that you know how to be an effective leader  for your dog, and he has nothing to worry about, that you will take care of everything. All your dog needs to do is relax and follow your lead.

The first thing you need to learn is what is important to your dog. What we as humans view as important is not the same as your dogs idea of what holds value. For example… if you found a hundred-dollar bill, you would probably go shopping and tell all your friends of your good fortune, but if your dog found a hundred-dollar bill lying on the ground he would most likely pee on it or eat it.

However if your dog finds an old bone with no meat on it and has been half buried for a couple of months, they become excited and chew that bone and bury it in the yard, and if another dog comes and tries to take that bone, well your dog is going to try everything to protect his dirty old bone, because to him it’s the same as finding a hundred dollars. To you it is just a dirty old disgusting bone that is not worth anything.

That is why it is important for you to become familiar with what your dog finds valuable, and it is not the same for all dogs, each dog is unique and can have different ideas on what is valuable. My dog Lola for example cares nothing about a bone unless it is fresh and there is meat on it, but show her a stick, or anything made of wood, and she acts like she just found that hundred-dollar bill. So I use this knowledge to reinforce good behavior, for example, if she lies quietly while I write this post, then I will reward her good behavior with a good game of fetch the stick.

The key here is to make your dog wait for what it is they want, teach them to have patience by setting rules, boundaries and limitations as to what they get and when they get it.

Always have your dog work for what it is they want. For example, go for a good walk before meals and have your dog perform a variety of physical and mental exercise in order to earn their food, not only are you demonstrating that you know how to be the leader for your dog, but it also helps drain excess energy and provide structure to their life.

There is a lot more to understanding this principal that will allow you to control your dogs behavior, if you want to know more, contact me through the many opportunities offered on my blog.

That’s it for now,

Good luck, and good training



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