Are you a dog lover? Do you own a dog? Are you the boss or is your dog trying to boss you? Do you have a problem asserting yourself where your pet is concerned? Don’t worry because you are not alone. There are so many pet owners who actually are owned by their pets.
I am not ashamed to say that I was one such owner. The keyword here is “was” yes, I used to be one of those pet owners who was bringing up a little monster. Right from the time our dog came to us we were in love with all his antics and were totally smitten by all the adorable things he did. As a puppy, he was such a bundle of fun and cuteness and all of us in the family were in a race to see who could pamper him more.
Soon he was no longer a puppy and little warning signs started cropping up which we continued to ignore. He would cry and howl when left alone, demand treats at any time, want to cuddle and sleep with one of us, bark for attention, only eat what he liked, not allow us to give a bath without a good fight and so on.
We did not realize that we had a big problem on our hands till the day he jumped on the dining table in front of guests and started to eat. The last straw was when I tried to lift and put him down he bared his teeth and almost bit my fingers off. That was the day we decided to do something concrete about this issue. If you also find disciplining your dog a difficult task, just go through the points. These are all tried and tested actions and can be helpful in different situations.
Around 30 years ago, canine behaviorists discovered that dogs had a hierarchy system within their pack. Some trainers believed that dogs could be trained by showing physical dominance over them.
This thinking has undergone a big change over time. Who doesn’t remember the rise and fall of Cesar Milan? This thinking has undergone a big change over time. Let me share some important points which will help you deal with your dog in a confident manner.
Learn How To Show Dog You Are a Pack Leader.
Be consistent with the corrections
Before a dog can trust you have to gain the dog’s trust. Correct your dog right from the puppy days. Corrections after the deed doesn’t work because dogs don’t have associative memory like humans. Consistency is important and also difficult in a family.
People have different ideas and it is good for the family members to first agree to certain rules. Consistency in correction is also crucial. Any action which requires correction has to be corrected every single time. If you don’t want your dog climbing your sofas or beds then correct him every single he time, does it?
Tackle your dog’s challenges
Just like us humans dogs also try to test and challenge authority in their adolescence. Take care to nip this behavior in the bud. Small things like crowding the doorway, hopping off the car before permitted to, snatching food from your hand need immediate, calm and sure handling.
You don’t have to scream, shout or use physical force. Calm confident behavior is required from you to establish authority.
Learn Alpha behavior
You will have to first learn how to behave like you are in control. The dog should be made aware of what is and what isn’t allowed.
If your dog crosses the boundary of expected behavior, then, deal with him in a calm, firm and matter of fact way. The right attitude is very important. Using physical force is to be avoided in all situations except when there is no other alternative. Some of the ways you can show dominance is:
- Eye contact: staring is a clear message to dogs. Don’t back down when in a staring contest with your dog. When your dog backs down, immediately praise him.
- Time-outs: because dogs are very social, this may work wonders. Remember not to create any drama and take your dog to his crate or his room in a quiet, authoritative and fuss-free manner.
- Physical correction: sometimes it becomes necessary to give a small tap but not on a regular basis. Also holding tightly to show dominance is alright if done properly.
Never ever hit or physically abuse your dog.
Control with meals
Meals can be used in different ways to discipline and control a dog. I don’t mean that you should withhold or ration your dog’s meals. Here are a few things you can try:
- Feed your dog after you have finished eating: when you are eating don’t allow them to stare and bark and beg for more.
- Control the treats: treat them only if they listen to you. Use the treats judiciously.
- Schedule the meal times well: and stick to the timings. Don’t feed your dog whenever he asks for food.
- Teach your dog to obey every family member
It was a big problem in my family. My dog just would not listen to my son. He was well behaved and on his best behavior when with me or my husband and even with my daughter. When it came to my son it was almost as if he was a different dog.
When we sought help with our dog’s behavior this issue also came up. We all had to learn some skills like backing up our son every time he asked the dog to do something. We did this consistently and firmly and slowly but surely our dog was obeying our son.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed sharing it. As a dog lover, it pains me to see dogs and owners struggling to get along or to find the balance in their relationship.
The bond between the master and his dog is pure and can be very enriching if it happens in the right way. When you want to assert yourself and let the dog know who the boss is the first thing to do is to relax and understand that this is possible. Not only puppies but also mature dogs can be trained. Just remember these things:
- Stay calm
- Eat first
- Assume higher ground (beds, chairs, sofas)
- Do not offer free treats
- Set the pace and direction when walking your dog
Related Topic: 4 Ways On How To Become The Alpha Dog With Your Puppy