• Tori Lynn Crowther

10 Ways To Establish Leadership With Your Dog


Establishing Leadership is very important for training to be successful. Dogs are social, pack animals that communicate primarily through body language and will be reading your body language from the minute they meet you. If you are frustrated with how your dog relates to you, you may need to establish your leadership.

For you to be a strong, fair, clear leader.

From the minute you meet them for the rest of their life.

To be their leader

Anywhere you go with your dog

This is a behaviour that needs to become a way of life. You should be first through the door, they should be quiet when you ask, and you should be able to take anything off them if you wish. If you cannot, they believe they are the leader and you are reinforcing how they act, even though for some dogs, being a leader is very hard, if you are not willing to step up to the challenge, they will think they must do it.

1. Praise

Always praise your dog as if you own it.Do not be timid, make them feel your love and power. Keep praises short and sweet.

2. Punishment

Reprimand fairly and quickly, do not hold a grudge. A quick, firm “No” and redirect them to doing something positive that you can praise for. Never scream or give physical punishment to your dog.

3. I’ll only say this once.

Only ever ask for something once. Do not repeat yourself, you were heard the first time. Ensure they react on your first command. If you know they will not respond, do not ask in the first place, once they respect you, they will respond.

4. Ensure they wait for your permission

Your dog should have manners; bad manners are liked by no one.If you allow them to climb on the sofa at home, that is your choice, but they should wait to be allowed up anywhere else.Practice their sit and wait.

5. No free lunch

Your dog should only receive anything after completing a simple command. This can be anything, such as to make them sit before they eat, to wait while you go through a door or to lie down before you pet them.

6. Controlled meals

You need to be in charge of the food. Your dog should receive set meals at set times and after 15 minutes, you should pick it up and they only get it back at the next meal. After 6 months old, they only need two meals a day.

7. Doorway management

A very easy way to position yourself at the top in your dog’s eyes. When you go to a door, practice a sit and wait. For very dominant dogs, make them down and wait, as this is a more submissive pose. When you are ready, you can invite them out of the door. If they stand up, put them back, only allow them to stand when you invite them.

8. Tough love

Tough but fair and loving. Always be fair and never get angry. Dogs understand what is fair.Being consistent in your handling of your dog and giving its life structure is fair.What is unfair is causing a dog problems because it does not understand what you want of it.Firm, loving training will ensure your dog understands its place in your house and its guide through life.

9. Pecking Order

If there is more than one dog in your house, you work out the pecking order, always ensure your dog is aware any children are above it in the pecking order. Feed the top dog first, and make the others wait their turn. This is a way of showing your authority and building a contented, secure pack.

10. Be a role model

The top dog behaves with dignity, fairly, confidence and intelligence. You must be consistent and fair. Always show you are in control, if your dog trusts you to structure their life, they will be much calmer and happier than if there is hysteria in the air.

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