Sunday, July 10, 2022

Dealing With the Dominant Dog

#AlphaDogTraining #dogtrainingsaltlakecity Dealing With the Dominant Dog Published by Alpha Dog Training One of the biggest mistakes dog owners make is failing to recognize signs, signals, or warnings that dogs offer before they bite. Pet owners don't understand how strong pack instinct is in their family dog. This lack of understanding is what gets them into trouble. Dogs, by nature, are social animals. Their instinct makes them want to be part of a social group. This is the same for horses, chickens, and many other species. Each social group is a hierarchy of members. There is a saying in the dog world that there are no equals within a group of dogs. Every social group will have its own pecking order. Lower-ranking members always defer to higher-ranking members. If the group doesn't have a clear leader, one member will always step forward to become the leader even if it's not genetically predisposed to leadership. What's interesting is that many times, a dog that finds itself at the top of the social group doesn't feel comfortable in that position. Rank is almost always communicated through subtle behaviors that each member of the pack understands and respects. Over time leaders will always establish their own set of rules that all members of the pack are expected to live by. There are well-understood consequences for breaking rules. Dog owners can and must learn to become leaders even if they are not predisposed to leadership. They need to think about establishing their own set of rules that their dog is expected to live by. These rules can be no biting the leader, no inappropriate aggression to visitors, no jumping up on people, stay away from small children, etc. Owners must also learn to be 100% consistent in enforcing those rules. When a dog believes that every single time it breaks a rule there will be some form of consequence, that dog is less likely to break a rule. Once that threshold is reached (where the dog accepts and lives within the framework of the leader's rules), that dog becomes an easy dog to live with.
For that to happen, dog owners and their dogs must come to an understanding that every single time the dog breaks a rule, there will be some form of consequence. This doesn't necessarily mean the dog gets a strong physical correction every time. Some dogs, with soft temperaments, may only need a verbal warning while other dogs need a leash correction for the same infraction. Learning to evaluate temperaments falls under the category of "the art of dog training". Just as important, owners must be consistent. They can't pick and choose when to apply a consequence. If they do this, they end up with a dog that will pick and choose when to obey a rule. Inconsistency always leads to some level of behavioral issues.

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