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Pack Mentality is how our dogs are wired. It is our responsibility as dog owners to recognize this and fulfill this need for them.

There are a few other ways to do this besides what was mentioned in the previous article, obedience lessons and setting boundaries in the home. These are easy things that make a big difference and acknowledge how our dogs think.

First, you go through all doors first. The dog does not forge ahead, bounding through and knocking you off your feet, (can you tell I’ve raised a couple of teenage labs?) The way to establish this is to have the dog sit, stay and you walk through and then give a command for him to pass. We use ”heel”, because our dogs know that means stay to our side, close in. Teach this on a short leash for control. Make sure you reward with food or affection when done correctly and scold with a low voice when done incorrectly. This, of course, needs to be taught over several days, and stick with it, even when it is hard.

Second is easier. It involves feeding time. This may seem different, but it will be recognized by the dog. Take your dog’s portion and put your hands through it. This leaves your scent on the food and signals to him where this came from and who provided it. Also, in the dog world, there is “no free lunch”. So ask a simple, quick command of your dog before presenting the food, such as “sit, wait, ok!” The dog sits while you put your scent on the food. Tell him to “wait” while you place it, then “ok!” to release your dog to eat. The reward of course is the food. If you really want to drive the point home, the dog eats after the humans and does not beg at the table. I confess that I feed mine as I am cooking for the family, and yes, mine beg.

Try these two exercises out and stick with them. The first will make your life easier, the first and second will fulfill pack mentality in your dog and make him happy
 

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Well, I certainly wasn't think pack mentality but yeah, I like both those exercises.

The first for Wally's own safety (don't know what he's running off too, might run into the door, etc), and second...well...he won't eat any other way actually.

For me, he won't eat unless I do this. Weird. For my mother, he'll just eat it out of the bowl. For me, he'll even go to his spot, lie down and wait (impatiently from his high pitched moaning vocalization LOL) for me to hide and then release him to hunt for his food.

Oh and yeah, I hold it in my hand when I carry it, so I guess my scent is getting on it from that. (Never thought about that - I hold something and it doesn't smell like me but maybe it does to a dog LOL)
 

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I'm not big on the pack mentality thing...my dog sleeps on my bed but she hasn't taken over my house. she goes through the doors first for her safety. I do make her sit and wait for her food but that's not about being part of the pack IMO. I just want her to know that not everything is free.

Dogs don't hunt in packs; they are in it for themselves. Wolves hunt in packs and do so cooperatively to attain their prey.
 
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