Friday, December 12, 2008
Are You Top Dog?
Your pooch needs you to be his leader. Dogs need to foloow soneone - it's their nature to live and hunt in packs.
Way back in dog history, members of packs with weak or not so smart leaders didn't survive to breed. Those is well led packs fared far better and passed the strong genes on to their offspring. As a dog owner, it is best to understand this insticnt and work with it - otherwise you will have a very hard to manage dog on your hands.
In an orderly pack the leader is the smartest and often the strongest. Under him or her is a dog who can beat every dog except the top or alpha dog and so on down throguh the pack. This is accomplished by testing the pack memebers.
Since you need to be the top dog, you need to set up challenges with your dog to test him. This process is what we call obedience training. It teaches your dog the he must always do what you say even though he may not have done so left to his own choices.
What happens whne the dog accepts you as top dog? A huge bruden is lifted from his mind. He knows he doesn't have to be constantly vigilant for danger outside the pack becasue you, the pack leader will take care of that. All he has to do is your bidding, which is exactly what you want.
The book and television show Dog Whisperer about Cesar Millan focuses on this very concept - of being a pack leader and letting your dog relax in his pack. Check out his book for ways to challenge and train your dog.