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5 Golden Rules To Establish Yourself As Pack Leader

Category: Behaviour Issues
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“How to establish yourself as pack leader”? This is by far the most frequently asked question by dog owners. This is the most important question of all. How to convince your dog that you are the pack leader or the person in charge.

Think of the pack leader as the decision maker. Where you should go on a walk, how to behave in different situations and how to respond to all the strange things that are out there.

Understanding How Dog Packs Work

Once you appreciate how dog packs function you will very quickly appreciate just how important it is that the pack leader makes all the decisions. If you were to leave the decision making up to your dog then there is a real chance that your dog would probably get it very wrong.

To understand how to be regarded as the pack leader you have to initially be aware that the following means nothing to your dog:

  • What car you drive
  • The size of your house
  • The money you earn
  • The fact that you speak several languages

Your dog would be very happy to swap all of them for a treat!

If you are to become the pack leader, then getting your dog to sit before you give him his meals is not enough. You need to do a lot more.

Lastly, dominating your dog is certainly not the way to become the pack leader. In fact, this can backfire badly on you later if you teach your dog that physical strength is what it is all about. Whilst you may force your dog into submission he will not be convinced that you are worthy of the position. He will not recognise you as the pack leader, just that you are a bit of a bully.

What Are The 5 Golden Rules To Establish Yourself As Pack Leader?

All dogs, regardless of breed, use the same methods to establish the pack leader. 

The important areas in which you need to take control are the following:

  1. When your dog barks and alerts you to danger, you, as the pack leader, will be calm and in total control. This includes anything that your dog barks at in, and around the property, if he determines something dangerous.
  2. When you are walking your dog he should never pull on his lead. The best way to learn to walk your dog properly is by watching it on a video.
  3. With you as the pack leader, your dog should be able to relax and switch off completely inside your home. However, if your dog is switched on for most of the time, he won’t relax as he will believe that he is the pack leader.
  4. Getting your dog to switch off is directly connected as to how you meet and greet your dog after you return home. It is best if you watch how to do this properly on video. The technique is quite subtle, however, it makes the difference between you being either the pack leader or the follower.
  5. Finally, feeding your dog correctly will further establish you as the pack leader. There is much more to this than asking your dog to sit before he receives his food. Also if your dog is not ‘food motivated’ then you may experience problems.

Final Words

What are your experiences of becoming the pack leader? Please let us know in the comments below.

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