Loving dogs and being able to lead them are very different things. Some people believe that because their dog does not directly act out, he/she is obedient and respectful. That is not always the case. Dogs can act out in many ways, some of which can be hard to detect. We hope every dog owner out there loves and cherishes their fur babies but we also hope more dog owners learn to become dog leaders. You can still obsess over your dog, but learning to be in charge is important for the both of you.
It’s important to understand how to be your dog’s leader because your dog will take you more seriously and listen. Those cute little misbehaviors your dog has can lead to dangerous situations. Does your dog pull the leash while walking? Does your dog jump on strangers when they enter? Those may seem harmless to you but can cause others discomfort and harm your dog. Here are some tips on how to take command of your house and your pet.
Nothing in life is free– Adopt this mantra when it comes to your dog. Make them work for everything. It gives a dog purpose and teaches them they only get good things when they behave. Before giving your dog treats make them sit, shake, roll over or whatever other commands they know.
- Walk your dog properly– First off, make sure you feed your dog after you walk them (nothing in life is free). Teach your dog to sit before you let them walk through doors and before they cross the street. Demonstrate yourself as the pack leader by making sure your dog walks alongside you; not leading and pulling in front.
- Learn how to discipline properly– Trust us, we understand dogs can be frustrating. But if you want to make sure your dog listens to you and respects you discipline is important. Say a command once in a stern voice. Repeating a command over and over again lets the dog know they don’t have to respond right away. Another common mistake is yelling or explaining the dog’s behavior to them. Unfortunately dogs don’t respond to reason. Don’t: “Fido please don’t chew on the couch it was very expensive and you are making mommy very upset”. A simple and stern NO is the best way to teach your dog. Keep commands uniform and be consistent in discipline.
- Set Boundaries– It can be good for your dog to have their own designated space in the home. It can also be good for humans to have their own area of the house that is just for them. Teach your dog where they are allowed and where they are not. You may want to teach your dog to stay off the furniture and only lay on the floor or in their crate. Now, we fully understand allowing your pet on the furniture, it can be a difficult boundary to set. Just because you have your pup cuddle during a movie on the couch does not make you a bad dog leader.
- Make them follow your lead– Just like when walking your dog, make sure you do things
first. Walk through the door first, get yourself settles first and eat first. In wild packs of dogs the leader always eats first and everyone else after. You must eat first to show your dog you are in control.
So, how would you rate yourself as a dog leader? Let us know how you show your dog you are in charge!