How do I know if he thinks I am the pack leader?
DogForums.com is the premier dog Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: How do I know if he thinks I am the pack leader?

  1. #1
    Senior Member croll326's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    197

    How do I know if he thinks I am the pack leader?

    What types of behavior should I be looking for if he thinks I am the pack leader? When we go for a walk he walks at my side or very slightly behind me and when I stop he stops. I guess this is a good start although a dog trainer said that when he starts in to his "teenage puppy" stages he might get nuts and start pulling. Any other signs I should be looking for?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    DogForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,613

    Re: How do I know if he thinks I am the pack leader?

    You want some advice? Give up the pack leader thing if you think this means being "alpha". Alpha theory is wrong, it's been disproven in wolves and since dogs are not wolves it didn't have much to do with dogs in the first place....

    How old is your puppy? He already walks by your side and stops when you do? That's pretty good. Remember though that heeling (right at your side) is hard work for a dog, they naturally move faster than we do, this is why I prefer to teach loose leash walking rather than strict heeling, only using heeling when it is needed. And yes when he hits adolescence you will think he's forgotten everything you've ever taught him...he hasn't forgotten it, but the world at large suddenly starts to be much less frightening and much more interesting than YOU. This is perfectly normal, and all you do is continue on with your puppy training and be patient and one day he will settle into adulthood. Continuing is key. Patience is key. More dogs at teenage time get given up to shelters than at any other because people think their dogs "just don't get it" but it's not true..this is a normal part of their development and it passes, just like it does in humans.

    You control the food, the walks, the affection and the toys. You already ARE the leader. The trick now is to be a GOOD leader. Reward good behaviour. Learn how to handle unwanted behaviours by teaching him something DIFFERENT to do in a positive manner. Being a leader is about TEACHING and training, with patience and lots of reinforcement.
    A dog sees you as a leader when he wants to be with you, it has nothing to do with who goes through the door first, who eats first or who walks ahead and certainly has nothing to do with punishment.

    Pick up a copy of "The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson and move into the twentyfirst century with your dog.
    Pat Miller's "The Power of Positive Dog Training" is also a great book with great information and training logs etc.
    Last edited by Cracker; 09-01-2009 at 09:06 AM.
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


  4. #3
    Senior Member Poly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,241

    Re: How do I know if he thinks I am the pack leader?

    First of all, don't worry so much about it and don't be concerned about "signs". All that worrying shows a lack of confidence on your part and your dog will pick that up.

    Be confident in yourself that you are your dogs leader. Keep up your training every day at least one session per day. Two sessions would be better. Add new instructions and/or tricks from time to time. Keep up with NILIF. Enforce your rules and boundaries continuously and consistently.

    Watch and be aware of your tone of voice and body language when interacting with your dog - make sure that both project leadership and not tentativeness.

    Yes - leading up to and during adolescence, you should expect your dog to "test" the boundaries - it's part of his growing process. If you stay consistent and confident, you will both be better off.

    If you have ever observed how a good trainer interacts with a dog they don't know, you'll notice that the trainer always projects confidence even when the dog is misbehaving badly.

  5. #4
    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Gulf Coast of FL
    Posts
    3,700

    Re: How do I know if he thinks I am the pack leader?

    Quote Originally Posted by croll326 View Post
    What types of behavior should I be looking for if he thinks I am the pack leader? When we go for a walk he walks at my side or very slightly behind me and when I stop he stops. I guess this is a good start although a dog trainer said that when he starts in to his "teenage puppy" stages he might get nuts and start pulling. Any other signs I should be looking for?
    Do yourself and your dog a favor, and forget about all that pack leader stuff. The fact is that you control all the resources, so you're it by default.

    Establish a daily routine.
    Provide daily exercise to release pent-up energy.
    Provide daily mental stimulation to engage his brain, and make him think.
    Provide brief training sessions throughout the day.
    Enroll in a basic obedience class, and learn to communicate effectively with your dog.

    During adolescense, you may need to reinforce what he's already learned. Implement NILIF into daily life.

    Relax, and enjoy your puppy!

  6. Remove Advertisements
    DogForums.com
    Advertisements
     

+ Reply to Thread

Quick Reply Quick Reply

  • Decrease Size
    Increase Size
  • Remove Text Formatting
  • Insert Link Insert Image Insert Video
  • Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2 ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.