So, you want to train your dog (or puppy) and you do not know where to start. You need to establish the basic rules for your dog first and to do this, you must have and show confidence. Your dog is a pack animal and will either be dominant or submissive. He will be able to read you by your body language and voice tone. What are these golden rules and how do you enforce them?
Show that You are in Control of the Food
You need to show your dog that you control the food, and you will take care of him. You must eat before you feed your dog so that they know that they are below you in rank. Never feed your dog from the table with scraps, this sends the wrong message. Crate training your dog can be helpful, place your dog into his crate. The dog must remain in his crate until you complete your meal, at which time you can let him out.
Show Your Dog that You will be His Protector
When danger presents itself, show your dog that you are there to protect him. Danger comes in many forms when you are a puppy or a dog that is just learning. It could be traffic, strangers, objects that he does not know, etc. Your dog relies on you to keep him safe and take care of the “bad guys”.
Who is the Pack Leader?
Establish dominance right away by showing your dog who the pack leader is. I will give you a hint – it is you. Always use a firm speaking tone and do not get down on your knees in front of your dog. Never beg your dog to do something, tell him. As the alpha dog, your commands must be followed. If you have doubt in yourself, your dog can sense that. You must act like the alpha always.
If Your Dog is Misbehaving, Ignore Him
If your puppy is doing something that you do not like, then ignore him. Do not speak to him if he is acting out, not a single word. Act like he is not in the room until he stops, do not acknowledge his presence. Do not say a word when he is doing something to annoy you. Ignore it like you just can’t see him. Do not try to give him any commands until he stops doing what he is doing. When your dog finally calms down and submits, reward him for his good behaviour.
Always have a Routine
Your dog needs a routine to feel safe and cared for. You must always have repetition in your routine. As a leader, you should always have a routine established and follow it closely. As the alpha, you decide what the routine is and stay with it. Always have the same time for meals, poops, walks, nap time and training sessions. Your dog will conform to your routine and will feel secure once he does.
These rules are effective when you follow them yourself. You must be always the pack leader and establish dominance immediately. For example, some people think it is “cute” to have their dog in bed with them, but there are a couple of problems with that. First, the dog will be your “equal” if you allow him to be at the same level as you. Second, when the dog is fully grown, you will have to share your bed with him. Allowing your dog to climb up on sofas and beds correspond, in your dog’s mind, to who has the upper rank.
When you implement these golden rules into the daily training that you will do with your dog, you will impose your authority upon the dog and show him that you are the alpha dog. Your dog must never, for even a short moment, be led to believe that they can take over as the alpha, because if they do, you will have a dog that you cannot control. These rules do not use aggression, punishment, force or fear to enforce them.
Becoming the pack leader is something you start as soon as you bring your dog home. If your dog is modeling inappropriate behaviour, then you must deter those behaviours by working together with him to deter those behaviours. The moment you bring your dog home, he will size up all the humans in the household. He will then try to find his place in your pack, which must always be last if you want him to remain obedient. Your dog must always follow you up the stairs, through doors, down hallways, if he goes first, he is alpha.
When your dog does something right, give him a lot of affection and praise. It is important that he understands how to get that affection and praise. When you follow the five golden rules, you are sure to have a well-behaved dog that will be a valued member of your family.
Article suggested by Paws Claws Tails Dog Training Sunshine Coast