Your Leadership & Guidance Helps Your Dog
There are some people that are born leaders, and there are also some people that would rather allow others to take the lead and direct. No matter the personality of the person, when someone becomes a dog owner, it is for the owner’s and the dog’s best interest for there to be some owner leadership. Dogs are like the second type of people listed earlier — they prefer to have someone guide them and lead them to happiness and fulfillment.
A dog wanting a leader is part of their pack instinct that they inherited from their wolf ancestors. Within a dog or wolf park, there is the alpha, who leads the pack when it comes to basic survival and day-to-day activities. When a dog is adopted by a person, the dog expects that person to take on the role of alpha, showing them how to live their lives in their new home and with their new family. If an owner doesn’t not follow through with this, this will inevitably lead to a behavior problems from the dog and could negatively affect the relationship between dog and owner.
Being a leader is just showing your dog how to succeed. It’s not about punishing them, being “mean” or “bossy”, severe dominance where we make dogs obey out of fear. When an owner shows leadership and confidence, it gives the dog a feeling of security and trust for the owner. When I take on a client in any of my Tampa dog training programs, they begin to learn how to demonstrate leadership for their dogs, no matter what issues they are dealing with from their dog. Any dog that is experiencing any severe behavior problems, like anxiety or aggression, need that leadership from their owner the most.
Yesterday I finished a second lesson with a dog named Tallulah, who had been getting more and more aggressive with dogs and with guests coming into the home. Her owners would scream “No!” any time she would lunge toward a dog or a friend coming over to the house, but Tallulah’s behavior would persist and the only way to calm her down was to get the trigger out of her sight. She would only stop reacting if she can no longer see the dog, or if she was put away in a separate room away from the guest in the home. Her owners didn’t know what to do and any corrections they gave her were inconsistent and wasn’t reaching Tallulah when she was in such a high-anxiety state of mind.
At our first lesson, Tallulah reacted very aggressively to me coming into the home. When I was able to instruct the owner how to be a consistent leader and get her attention, Tallulah showed amazing responsiveness! By the end of the first lesson, she sat in the same room as me, paying me no mind. When I came for the second lesson, she let out an alarm bark, but it was nothing like the aggressive barking she did prior to training. Once she alerted her people of my presence, they were able to command her to calm down quickly, and we began and ended the lesson with me in the same room as Tallulah, without any aggressive behavior!
Owner leadership does wonders from a dog, and helps eliminate or prevent anxiety from developing in the first place. Training can give your dogs the tools to succeed, but also give YOU as the owner, the leadership skills that will guarantee a healthy, happy life for you and your dog!
Call 800-649-7297 if you’d like to become a leader for your dog through our different in-home dog training programs!