Dogs are highly social animals. In order to survive as a pack there needs to be some structure. When your dog comes into the household you need to develop a relationship were the dog understands that you are at the top of the pack.
The leader of the pack is often referred to as the Alpha. Becoming the Alpha is not done by a lot of force and intimidation. Instead we want to control the activities that important to your dog. In this article we will cover the four steps that you can follow to become Alpha.
Not being the Alpha can lead to problems. There are four steps to becoming Alpha-the four steps are:
1. Control the games you play with your dog.
2. Control the food and feeding times.
3. Control the sleeping areas.
4. Control the social contact between you and your dog.
Step #1: Control the game-control your dog. The great English dog trainer John Rogerson contends that if you want to control your dog you need to control the games. He is 100 percent correct.
Dogs quickly train their owners by learning how to steal things. Dogs love to steal a pair of socks and have their owners chase them all over the house. When you play with your dog always make sure that you are in charge. If you play tug, always make sure that you win the tug game.
Don't let your dog pull the toy away from you. If your dog likes to steal socks, keep a leash on your dog in the house. This way when your dog steals the socks and takes off, all you need to do is step on the leash and stop the game.
Step #2: Sit and down stays are great to do at feeding times. Feed your dog once or twice a day. Have your dog do a short sit-stay for meals. This way you communicate that you are in charge of the food and feeding times.
Step #3: Make sure your dog understands that you are in charge of sleeping areas. You can allow your dog on the couch and bed, but your dog has to understand that you are in control of the sleeping areas. If your dog is on the couch and you give the command “Off" your dog should immediately jump off the couch. If your dog doesn't your dog should lose the privilege of getting on the furniture.
Step #4: Control the social contact between you and your dog. A lot of dogs smack their owners with their paw or bark to get attention. If your dog likes to smack you with his paw, have your dog perform a quick command like “Sit" or “Down. " This way you are in control of the social contact.
By following the four steps outlined in this article you can start to teach your dog in a non-verbal way that you are the alpha. It is best to do this without using physical force. When you get physical with your dog there is a good chance your dog will get physical with you.
Harsh training methods are the number one reason we have so much aggression. Learn how to train using positive training methods, communicate to your dog in a way that they understand and you'll develop a great bond with your dog.
Eric Letendre the author of The Amazing Dog Training Man invites you to visit http://www.amazingdogtrainingman.com for leading edge dog training tips, instructional video clips and articles that will help you train and understand your dog. You can also get free dog training updates with a free Smart Dog Newsletter subscription, available at http://www.amazingdogtrainingman.com