Let’s throw away the saying, “I have to be the Alpha of the pack.” First of all, when you bring a puppy or dog into your home, they become part of your family, not part of a pack. A pack of dogs are dogs that are unrelated and usually means 3 or more animals together. Like at the dog park.
Leadership is one of the most forward-thinking training procedures you can use on your puppy or dog. I am using Leadership in this instance to mean setting boundaries, both physical and behavioral. You wouldn’t let your young child decide what time to go to bed, or let them decide what time to eat, so why do that with your puppy and/or dog?
You don’t need to yell…yelling can aggravate the situation by bring more stress into the situation. If you don’t want the dog to beg at the dining room table during meal times, put the dog away during those times (i.e., crate or tether it). If you don’t want the dog to jump on you and your friends, then don’t let him/her do it when they are a puppy.
Physical boundaries relate to where your puppy or dog can physically go in your home and outside, depending on the dog’s age. Discuss these with your family:
- Can the dog be up on the furniture?
- Can the dog beg for food at the the dining or kitchen table?
- Can the puppy have free run of the house? If not, what room(s) can he have access to?
- Should the dog wait at the door before being let out?
Behavior boundaries relate to what behaviors are okay for your puppy or dog. Again, discussion with your family leads to compliance from everyone in the family, even the dog.
- Can the dog jump on you?
- Can the dog bite you or your clothing?
- Do you want the dog licking you or your friends excessively? (Do you really believe a dog’s mouth is clean? Not!)
- Is the dog allowed to pull on the lease?
- Can the dog chase small animals? (My fear is of skunks!)
Give me a call and we can discuss way to avoid pitfalls and get you on the right track.