Pack Leadership


RANK REDUCTION PROGRAMME. (Also known as Nothing in life is free!)

Put a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs. Never allow your dog on the furniture, in the bedroom, on a bed or up the stairs. To be allowed to do these things raises the dogs status over you.

Always feed your dog after the family has eaten, both morning and night. Prepare his meal at the same time as you prepare yours, but put it out of his reach whilst you eat yours. In the wild, the pack leader always eats first, (always feed twice daily). Do not play tug of war games with your dog. If you lose you will have taught your dog that he is stronger than you. If you win all the time it is frustrating for your dog. Do not play chase games with your dog as you will teach him that he is faster than you and often the dog that is faster and stronger is the pack leader, or a serious threat to the pack leader. Do not play wrestling games as this will heighten the dogs aggression levels. Play carry or finding games with your dog as this will provide him with much needed mental stimulation. Please Note – the owner must always remain in control of all games.

Never let your dog use his teeth on anyone, even in play. Mouthing can develop into more serious biting if the dog is allowed to do this. If he already does this, sit quietly ignoring him with your arms folded and turn away from him until he stops. Do not speak to him or push him away as this will be giving him the attention he wants and will make his behaviour worse. If he persists, simply leave the room until he calms down and keep repeating until he learns that undesirable behaviour leads to isolation from you. You can also use taste deterrents on your hands arms and clothes so that when he mouths you he receives an unpleasant taste.

Never give your dog attention when he demands it. Only give him attention when he is working for it e.g. during training sessions, or when he is behaving as you would wish, then praise him and make a fuss of him. Ignoring your dog means paying him absolutely no attention. This includes eye contact, absent minded stroking and talking to him. You should also ignore all his attempts to gain your attention, however sweet, including resting his head on your lap, leaning against you, pawing at you and barking. If he persists, then say nothing, but either exit the room closing the door behind you, or simply put him out of the room for five minutes. Remember, you can give your dog lots of attention, but only if he earns it and always on your terms.

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