Pack animals are what dogs are by nature and this means to conduct their everyday lives, they require an alpha to lead them. Fast forward to their training and for it to go smoothly and correctly, the owner must be the alpha and take the position of the boss. Be aware however that different dogs will vary quite a bit in the area of submissiveness, so it is important to properly establish one’s dominance over the dog and then make necessary adjustments to maintain it. There are a number of different ways of how to get this done. And you should not be overly concerned as most dogs have no problem in being submissive. You just need to make certain you assert dominance when tested and show approval when they are submissive.
Dog obedience training is divided into two components. Behavioral problems are addressed by one and a command-response pattern called “Obedience Training” by the other. The one good factor needed in both, of course, is a good Alpha!
Very often comparisons can be made between the younger adolescents who push their parents to find out just how far they can get, to the young pups pushing their trainer to see just how much they might get away with. It is so important the trainer firmly correct them when they push, but do so in a professional manner that gets the intended point across and understood!
You never want the dog to show any distrust of you which will inevitably lead them to rebel in some way. We were speaking before of the adolescents pushing the limits of their parents. Corrective measures taken by the responsible parent may include a small spank or a strict word to get the job done right. The parent is certainly not going to smash the child against the wall and continue physically abusing them. The individual training the dog must keep in mind that in most instances, the dog will be 1 to 3 years old making them similar to the younger child we talked about above. Their correction should be appropriate to get the point across in a civil manner, just as it is done for the child.
The author of “Behavior: Modifying and Understanding”, Cindy Moore, points out the importance of the alpha leader being fair and thinking things through carefully. They do not want to use brute force, punishment or fear to achieve their goals. They want to get across the message of what behaviors are approved and acceptable and what ones aren’t. The good leader should always be rational, focused and calm!
As it is with all types of training, dispensing praise will help build great egos and establish a solid relationship. Praise your dog for all positive things that they do from listening properly to licking your face. Never be afraid to enthusiastically rub that tummy when the dog lays on it’s back. A little bit of positive loving goes a long way in getting things done.
The one thing you always want to keep in mind in your role as alpha is to be fair and consistent in the corrections that you make. You want the pet to understand that they can trust the orders that you give to them. They will continue building trust in you as the process moves on.
A great way to gain it’s trust is to socialize a lot with your puppy!