Many of our clients think they are doing the right thing to train their dog. They work on the commands like come, sit, and stay, keep them off the furniture, don’t let them jump, etc. They still feel like there is something missing and that their dog still feels that he is the boss…
Do you remember the old saying “Walk a mile in my shoes“? Well, this is the problem that my current Home Dog Training client in Buford is having with his dog. He is doing all the correct things of teaching, directing, and bonding; but still is missing a big point. What my client doesn’t remember is that his dog sees the world through a canine perspective. He judges my client as if my client were a dog and not a human. There is a difference.
So why does my client’s dog act like he is the boss? The reason is that unknowingly, my client is telling his dog that the dog is the boss! My client doesn’t understand what he is doing this because he views world from a human perspective and his actions reflect that perspective. From his dog’s perspective (the canine point of view), my client is continually and unknowingly telling his dog that the dog is the boss.
So, let’s look at what my client is doing, why that is allowing his dog to think that he is the boss, and what my client can do to fix the problem…
Let’s say that it is a typical Saturday afternoon and my client is sitting on the back porch checking his text messages. His dog comes up to him and sticks his nose in my client’s hand asking for a pat on the head. My client thinks nothing of it and gives his dog a big pat and maybe even throws the ball for him. My client has just told his dog that the dog is the boss. Since the dog is the boss, the dog can do whatever he wants. (I call this “The Paris Hilton Syndrome”.)
In a human family, anyone can have an idea. The rest of the family may like the idea and act upon it. Simple compliance does not imply leadership. We (humans) believed that it was a good idea and did it. Alternatively, the dog world only consists of the leader and the rest of the pack (everybody else). The only one that tells the pack what to do is the leader. This never, ever changes.
As soon as my client’s dog requested “pet me” and my client did what the dog wanted, my client submitted to the dog’s wishes, placed himself in the role of the submissive follower, and promoted his dog to the role of dominant leader.
We (humans) unknowingly do this all day long. We are continually telling our dog that he is the boss. This normally equates to a misbehaved dog that is always annoying us. So what can we do to fix this?
We must always make sure that it is our idea and not our dog’s idea.
When my client’s dog comes over to him and requests a pet, my client must ignore him. After a short time, the dog will loose interest and turn away. At that point, my client can call his dog over for a pet. It is now my client’s idea. The dog’s responding to the request places my client in the alpha leadership role and his dog in the submissive pack member role.
The more my client initiates the requests and the more his dog respectfully responds, the faster my client’s leadership role will be established. Since he is the leader, his dog will naturally look towards him for leadership and direction. This is the basis of a well behaved and happy dog.
This all sounds so simple and obvious, but it is really hard to do. This is because we don’t care whose idea it is. Dogs care whose idea it is because that equates to leadership and their general safety.
The bottom line is just make sure it is your idea. You will be amazed at how your dog will respond and give you respectful focus all the time.
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 or (770) 718-7716 if you need any dog training help. We are blessed to have been your local dog training professionals for over fifteen years. We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.