Becoming Your Dog’s Own Boss

What are the things you can do to ensure that your dog training becomes a success? Here are just some of the steps you might want to keep in mind to make your dog understand you better.

  Becoming the pack leader : As you know, dogs operate on a hierarchy or a structure of rank. In this sense, dogs have this so called leader called the “alpha”. If you let your dog get his own way, he would feel like he is your leader and he would not follow you when you command him. You need to put a clear difference in the standing between you and your dog.

  Being the leader does not mean that you are a bully. It is your responsibility to lead your dog in a way that will benefit him or her as well. There are certain steps you can try to ensure that your dog knows that you are the leader. Here are some of them:

  Determine if your dog has dominance issues: If your dog keeps on barking on people you pass by at parks or is biting his or her leash when you take walks together, he might have issues on dominance and is looking for some sort of leader to follow. You need to take the role of the pack leader if this is the case to reduce the anxiety of your dog.

  Think like a dog : In order to understand your dog better, you have to think that you are him. Sometimes, petting him or giving him treats does not guarantee that you get into mutual understanding. Sometimes, you only need to look your dog in the eye and then you can already convey the message you want to say. Eyes are like windows to the soul, after all.  

Create boundaries Pack leaders sleep in a different place than his followers. Do not make this situation an exception to that rule. If your dog likes to sleep on the couch, the bed or other places that are yours, remove him there and make sure that your dog understands that that place is yours and that he has a place to sleep on his own.

  Basic commanding Let your dog be used to some basic commands you can teach him. You can teach him tricks like sitting, jumping and other techniques that will later on be for your convenience as much as your dog’s.

Visiting the veterinarian The veterinarian is your dog’s friend and he or she must accept this as well. You have to let your dog know that the vet is his friend. In order to keep him calm in the situation, you have to understand how he or she must be feeling. Imagine yourself in a place that you haven’t been before full with strangers you know nothing about. How would you feel if you were in that position? Here are some of the tips you can try so that your dog would stay calm even if it is his first time to visiting the vet.

  Play doctor with your dog Do the things that a vet would usually do if you brought your puppy or dog for a regular check-up. Open the mouth of your dog, inspect it, look at his ears and such. Make him accustomed to the things that might be done to him when your dog goes to the vet.

  Go to the vet regularly The key is to get your dog used to going in and out of the vet so that he is not scared when the time comes that he needs to go. Take him there for regular check-ups or just for visits so he will get to know the people working there and not be afraid of them in the future.   Make vet days fun After going to the vet, treat your dog into a favorite activity of his or her. Maybe let him or her go on a swim or play with him or her after. You need to do this so that he or she will keep in mind that going to vet means doing something fun later on so the dog will definitely look forward to vet visits.

  Housebreaking your dog There are certain things you can do so that your dog will know the rules in your home. Although this process may bring you some stress and worries, you do not really need to stress yourself and your dog in this process. Here are certain things you need to keep in mind.

  Setting a routine You need to let your dog be aware of a certain routine that he or she can do every day without fail. For example, every morning, you can take him or her out for a walk. As the weeks go by the dog will go out for a walk by himself without a leash and when he does, you have to give him a treat or a look of praise. This will make it easier to train your dog to adapt to the house rules you will set later on.

  Eating schedule In order to become more disciplined, you have to set an eating schedule for your dog. You need to set a time of feeding until your dog gets used to it. This is so that he or she would not be asking food every time. It also makes the housetraining easier for you.

  Do not punish your dogs for mistakes Being human, you make mistakes, but so do dogs. You don’t need to punish your dog for his mistakes. You have to dedicate yourself to taking care of your dog and this means that you have to give positive reinforcements. When he does something that cannot be taken back, just do something to make him remember the right thing to do.

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