By Jamie Wolf
Accidents, aggression, unruliness, and challenges by your pooch, they are all coming if you are not alpha over your dog! If your dog has countless housetraining accidents or other behavioral problems you are not alpha no matter how you THINK your dog views you.
One way to develop alpha status is to simply catch your dog’s eye. Does your dog look at you often? Is it only on HIS terms? That is NOT eye contact. That is him telling you he wants something from you, but you CAN establish eye contact on your terms.
Take your dog, on a
Make sure when you bring your hand up to your eye that you stand up so he is truly looking UP at you. Then…end with praise like “Good boy Buddy’! Then turn around and go. Your rules, your time. Don’t feel bad about walking off, his mom used the same technique when she was teaching him as a little pup to keep her babies in line. If that didn’t work for mom, she’d give a low growl to get his attention.
I’ve witnessed this often, as recently as this past week, over and over again with a litter of pups and their mother that I am taking care of. So, if you’ve been yelling at your dog…STOP and stop today! Try using the human equivalent of a dog’s growl when disciplining him. Use eye contact and a LOW growl together to speak to him.
While your dog will likely learn some human words (sit, stay, come, down, let’s go walk, etc) he will never have your vocabulary, so dog speak is a great way to see how your tone influences him. In dog speak, the alpha growls, while littermates, whine, cry, or whimper. So use that low tone and you will be regarded as alpha. Whine or whimper, and you are demoted to subordinate status.
Remember, when you’re frustrated you may “whine by saying something like “PLEEEEASE, STOP DOING THAT BUDDY” – resulting in sounding like a littermate instead of alpha. For instance, some folks use a rolled-up newspaper to discipline for a housebreaking accident. Not only is it inhumane, it just doesn’t work. Mom never ran to get a newspaper or any other implement for that matter. A low growl with eye contact will do the job, especially if caught in the act.
Always make sure your pal has a collar on. If ever you reach for your dog and he plays that game of ‘catch me if you can,” you have been lowered to littermate status and are most definitely NOT ALPHA. Littermates play chase and enjoy it. Where do you reside?
Have your dog wear a short leash around the house but only when you are home, for obvious safety reasons, and this will help to quickly resolve many problems before they become “the way it is”. You will soon appreciate the leash, knowing that you can retrieve him any time you want. You can start using this method at any age, to set new rules and new pack orders. This method works to resolve many behavioral problems and makes training obedience so much easier.
Some people like to spend the first few days using this method, with the leash actually tethered to the person. This way your dog is always near you, looking up for his next job or command from you. After about 30 minutes of this, let them off the leash, they will continue to “check-in” with you throughout the day. Your dog will know he better pays attention soon enough.
After a few days, just let that leash drag around the house so you can always assert a command and be guaranteed that your request of him will be granted.