I have been professionally training dogs for close to 20 years … whew! That’s a long time. But the days have flown by and I have enjoyed most every minute of it. Dogs have given me a wonderful way of life.

Over the years I have been to many seminars and training schools. I have a massive library on dog training, animal behavior and psychology that would rival most any animal behaviorist. There have been many ideas expressed and I have learned from many of them. But it all boils down to one major point …

Dogs are pack animals.

Bring them home and you become a member of their pack. Every pack has a chain of command. If you lack consistent leadership capabilities, it is only natural for your dog to lead. It’s all about survival … survival of the pack.

Everything I do in training revolves around the natural premise … dog order. And before someone misunderstands, it is not about dominating, intimidating. breaking a dog’s spirit or physically harming a dog.

It’s about leading.

How do you lead?

Although structured obedience is essential for any dog in any family, there are subtle ways to lead. These things are accomplished in every day life.

Don’t pet your dog when your pet wants you to. When you do that, you are the one doing the obeying. Of course we all want to pet and love our dogs. The key is to make your pet obey you for his and your reward. Obedience leaders will have their dog perform a quick command. Release them and then praise to their hearts are content.

Always enter doors first. Even better, make your dog sit and wait until you enter. Then release him. He begins to understand you are the leader.

Never let your dog see you clean up his mess. You don’t want him to think that is your purpose in life do you? Let him out, put him up or do whatever you need to do. Just don’t let him watch. Note: Never ever punish your pet for the mess unless you catch him in the act. Many people think their dogs know why you are punishing them. They don’t. They see your body, face and tone transform into the incredible hulk and they start to slink. Why? Because whenever you change into that form you take it out on them!

Ignore attention getting maneuvers such as jumping, barking, whining, etc. Give him attention at these times and you are insuring these actions will be repeated.

Once you and your dog gets the idea, life starts getting a little bit easier. Next time we will talk about consistency and Choosing A Professional Dog Trainer.