Becoming the Pack Leader
Why becoming the Pack Leader is critical
Dogs are wonderful animals, in fact they are often our best friends and become part of the family and our everyday life very easily. But there is one thing that most of us don’t get taught as dog owners, and it is the most important thing of all: how to become the Pack Leader in the eyes of your dog. This one fundamental point forms the basis of my whole training technique, and is the key cause of nearly all the dog behavioral problems I see.
All training is good
Importantly, I don’t wish to take away the significance of any early training. Taking your puppy to puppy class is often fantastic for their socialising skills and development. Letting them run around and play with others can also be a lot of fun for both you and the puppy, and it is where many people learn to teach their puppies to sit, stay and, if you’re lucky, walk properly on the lead. It allows for relationship building between you and your dog, and can assist you in forming the basis for future training.
But unfortunately none of these things make you the Pack Leader in the eyes of your dog. And that’s where problems will occur. Many, if not most of the dogs that I work with attended puppy school (several even graduated top of their class) and yet their owners are now experiencing every dog behavioral issue you can imagine. Of course their dogs still perform a wonderful sit, stay and recall… well, most of the time!
Dogs are not just dogs
You see dogs have descended from wolves, and while we’ve domesticated them over thousands of years bringing them into our homes, 99.8 percent of their DNA is still wolf. So there is no point in reasoning and thinking like a human when it comes to trying to understand where things are going wrong with our dogs. And this point is crucial if you really want them to choose to listen to you of their own free will.
When your dog is running up and down the fence barking and ignoring your cries to stop, they aren’t disobeying you because it makes for an entertaining game, rather it is much more likely that your dog is ignoring you for the simple reason that it doesn’t think it has to listen to you. Only once you’ve established yourself as the Pack Leader will your dog want to listen to you.
Being pack animals, there are leaders and followers, and dogs will listen to the Pack Leaders and not the dogs below them in the pack. Many dogs bark and annoy the whole neighbourhood because they thinks it is their responsibility to protect the property, and you, from any potential danger.
Natural Born Leaders
At their very core, dogs are pack animals and they will respond best to training after you have established the ‘pecking order’ in the house. Taking your place as the Pack Leader doesn’t need to be difficult, and shouldn’t require you to shout, scare or dominate your dog. In fact the best Pack Leaders are calm and balanced, and fair and subtle in the way they conduct themselves – much like the best human leaders!
So next time you are trying to get your dog to listen to you rather than shout and become frustrated, take your dog by the collar or leash and simply direct them calmly without any sound or words and you may well surprise yourself how they respond. Actions really do speak louder than words as you will find when you start putting it into practice!
Discovering the 5 Golden Rules
I have dedicated my life to teaching every dog owner to become the Pack Leader. I’ve found that there are 5 Golden Rules to becoming the Pack Leader, and these form the basis of my unique training method. I’ve documented this method and all my other techniques that make me a successful dog trainer, and put them into a membership training website called The Online Dog Trainer. Read more about it on the blog here.
Recommended: I’ve also added another post about Mastering The Pack Leader.
I encourage every dog owner, all over the world, to become the Pack Leader.