How to Let Your Dog Know You Are the Pack Leader

September 1, 2015


Become The Pack Leader

Most animal lovers understand that dogs are pack animals and yes, that includes teddy bear dogs. Long before they were domesticated, dogs traveled the earth in packs for safety, resources and protection. Wild dogs, such as wolves and coyotes, can still be seen engaged in this type of instinctual behavior all over the world. And there's one thing every pack has in common, they all have a leader that makes the big decisions.

While our dogs are no longer roaming together in the wild, they still need to know that they have a leader who will protect them, provide for them, and keep them calm in tense situations. That's why one of the most popular questions that pet owners ask is, “how do I become the pack leader?”

If you want your dog to recognize you as the pack leader, you must first try to understand how your dog sees the world:
  • Your furry family member isn't impressed with how much money you have, how well you are dressed or how big your house is. Don't be surprised when your dog doesn't recognize these as symbols of power and control.
  • Simply sitting before they walk or waiting patiently for their dinner should not be sufficient evidence to show you that they believe you are their leader.
  • Most importantly, trying to control your dog through dominance is never an effective solution. You are teaching your dog that aggression is normal - something that can end up having disastrous consequences. While you may get a submissive response from your dog, they will surely not recognize this type of behavior as that of a pack leader.
Teddy on the run

Running to Pack leader

How to Earn Your Dog's Trust

If you want become the pack leader, you must learn how to gain control in every situation with absolute calm and certainty. Whether you have a pit bull, a poodle or even a teddy bear dog your pooch must understand that you are always in control, no matter what. Here's how to communicate that in a way they will understand:

  • Establish Control on Walks: Taking your dog(s) for a walk is the perfect opportunity to show them who is boss. You are likely to encounter a variety of situations (i.e. - other dogs, cars, people, lots of smells) and it is crucial to exhibit complete calm throughout the entire experience, no matter what happens. Even if you are feeling tense inside without showing it externally, your dog will pick up on this energy and respond accordingly.
  • Good Indoor Behavior: Many dog owners will excitedly greet their dog every time they walk through the door. While this is undoubtedly a joyful time for both you and your dog, making a big deal out of your comings and goings leave them in a constant state of anxiety. Let your dog know you are in control by simply entering and exiting rooms without any commotion.
  • Feeding Your Dog: Food is one of the most important parts of your dog's life. In the wild, the pack leader would always have complete control over hunting patterns and food rations. In order to establish yourself as the leader, feed your dog at the same time everyday. This will let them know you have control over the food – just like any good pack leader would.

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