Become Your Pet’s Leader and Make Dog Training Easier

Every Successful Dog Training Program Starts With You Being Leader

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Every day in every interaction with your dog, you send subtle cues to your pet, whether you are aware of them or not. Your dog picks up on these cues and they determine your place in your dog’s “pack.” Some signals tell your pet that you are not in charge, which can hinder successful dog training, so you must show your dog that you are the leader.

Before that can happen, you must understand a language that dogs have spent thousands of years adapting to in order to live successfully with humans. Almost all of it is body language, subtle signals that tell your dog his or her social position. Many of these are common sense traits that all leaders share, whether they are human or animal.

The changes you make in this area can make or break your training efforts and lead to a happy and compliant animal who knows his or her place in your family or a confused animal that may be prone to behavioral problems.

Here are some pointers to set a firm foundation for dog training:

  • Leaders eat first, so always eat your meal before feeding your dog. And remember to leave your pet’s food down for 20 minutes before removing it until the next mealtime.
  • Always lead the dog through doorways and make your pet follow you.
  • Leaders are calm and in control, so cultivate personal energy that lacks anxiety and uncertainty. This can be more difficult than it seems but well worth the effort for dog training and life in general.
  • Be the one who sets the pace and the direction when you and your pet are walking or moving from point to point (house to car for instance).
  • Leaders don’t let their subordinates invade their personal space, and this should be the case with you and your dog. It’s OK for you to be affectionate with your pet, but you should initiate the contact, not the other way around.
  • Leaders decide when it’s playtime and when the toys are put away. Don’t leave toys lying around. Rather, structure playtime, so your dog understands that you are calling the shots.
  • Do not beg for attention from your pets. That’s not a leadership trait. And don’t offer treats for no reason. Make your pet work for treats, even if it’s a simple command such as “sit” or “place.”
  • Leaders don’t get out of the way for subordinates; so don’t step over you dog. Make your dog move out of your way.
  • Leaders should always hold the high ground, so reserve the couch and bed for yourself and assign a place for your dog that is his and closer to the ground.
  • Leaders never tolerate being ignored. So if you give a command, make sure that you can follow through and “make it happen.”

Remember, training never ends, and reinforcement is necessary throughout a dog’s life to maintain good results. The amount varies from animal to animal.

Call us today to learn how Tropical Dog Training can help you have a companion animal that is a pleasure to own.