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Dog Training; Be The Alpha Or Loose Your Sit

May 16, 2008
Training your dog is a two-way process. Both dog and dog trainer play important parts in the puppy training. Whether you've just added a puppy to your household or you already live with an older dog, dog training benefits everyone. It helps strengthen the bond between you and your dog, and produces a well-behaved dog. You'll end up with a happier, calmer dog, and with family and friends who aren't hesitant to visit you and your pet.

To train your dog properly, you need to understand why he behaves the way he does. Regardless of breed, all dogs are pack animals. Domesticated dogs, it is believed, may have descended from wolves. Like wolves, they consider everyone who shares their living space to be a member of their pack. Most dogs would prefer not to be the pack leader. However, if you do not behave like a leader, your dog will feel obligated to assume that role. It's really just like life in the wild.

For training to succeed, you need to assume the obligation of being the leader of the pack. Your dog must realize that you outrank him. A dog is always looking for the person who can protect and guide him: that's you. If you are very firm and consistent with your dog, he will understand this. Even if you don't think you fit the "pack leader" role, there are things you can do to underscore your position as the Alpha Creature of the house. For example, don't feed your dog till after you (and your family) are finished eating. Letting him wait and follow you out the door will also help. Don't worry about pulling rank on your dog once in a while. If he's curled comfortably in one corner of the couch, make him move over and take the place he was using. If he sleeps on your bed and tends to crowd you over, push him off and make him sleep on the floor. All these actions will help establish the vital chain of command.

Never hit your dog or abuse him in any way if he doesn't do well in training. This will just make the situation worse. Your dog can sense your frustration; the result will be that he loses self-confidence. If he becomes nervous about your training sessions, he will be distracted and perform poorly. Your staying calm and firm will help him try harder to please you, and do better next time.

Remember that practice makes perfect. The key ingredient in any dog training program is consistency. You will teach your pet better if you keep focused on the dog training and do not deviate from the task.

Every dog owner wants a well behaved dog, but to do so, they need to make sure that their dog understands the household ranking. You can have the best dog in the world, but if your dog does not understand that you are the "master" or the "alpha" of the pack, he will want to dominate the situation by becoming what he needs from you.
About the Author
Increase the happy years of your dog by checking out my free e-book. In it I reveal all the secrets I've used to develop a happy, healthier dog. Visit Dr. Alfonso's dog training blog right now...
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