When you own a dog, it is up to you to do all you can to ensure that he or she grows in to a pet that is well-behaved. The best way to do that is to ensure that you are known to your dog as the alpha leader. Your dog needs to know that you run the show and that he needs to follow your every command. Sometimes establishing your dominance as the alpha is easy to talk about, but difficult to put into practice.
Why is it so Darn Important to be the Alpha?
Dogs work with a social structure that has a specific hierarchy. The alpha leader is at the top and is the leader. If a dog’s owner has a strong alpha owner, they will do well in their obedience training and will not display any aggressive or destructive behavior. The submissiveness varies in every breed, but dominant dogs need a firm and strict alpha. The alpha leader does not need to be a bully to get the point across.
What you need to do as the alpha leader is be a guide that is confident and provides instructions and follows through on every command that is given. You must provide sound leadership to your dog and here are the ways that you can do that:
Take on an Alpha First Mindset
You must take on the alpha dog mindset and that means that you come first both inside and outside of your home. You are the leader, so you must lead with confidence and if your dog challenges you at any time, you need to always remain calm and assertive.
Always demand Good Behavior
Your dog must have good manners and should only do what you ask him to do, nothing that he decides to do on his own. He must wait for your command before he makes a move because the moment your dog can do what he wants you are telling him that he is in control. If your dog is lying on the floor and is in your way, then you must get him to move because an alpha dog never walks around any other pack member to get by. When your dog jumps up on you, he is trying to look down on you and become the authority. Do not allow this. If your dog tries to bite you or mouth you, he needs a sharp verbal correction immediately.
Display Alpha Behavior
You can display alpha dog behavior to your dog with these behaviours:
* Tap him under the chin with two fingers to mimic a superior dog nipping its subordinate. Never tap your dog on the top of his nose because it can make him shy and could affect his sense of smell.
* Grab his ears – when you grab your dog under his ears and lightly shake them then you should not hold his neck at the same time, or it could cause injury.
* Time out – if your dog is misbehaving, give him a time out in a crate if they have not learned to lie down and stay. Always do this in a calm manner and do not yell at your dog.
* Eye contact – the alpha dog never loses a staring contest, but the submissive dog will always back down.
Give your Dog Basic Obedience Training
Your dog needs to learn rules, boundaries and limitations from the start. This training should include where your dog can sleep and eat. Your dog should not be allowed on the bed or on the couch because the alpha dog always gets the best spot. Sharing your space with your dog will make him see you as part of his pack and not his leader. Your dog should not be allowed to pull on a leash. You must teach him to walk beside you and stop when you tell him to. The will have your dog looking to you for guidance on everything that he does.
Rules Need to be Always Clear and Consistent
The alpha leader does not punish the submissive dog with excessive force or by intimidation and fear tactics. Good alpha leaders provide clear rules and communicate constantly. Every member of the family must be aware of the rules because they should be implemented by all your family members. If there is any inconsistency when your puppy does not follow the rules, then he will always be challenging you.
Communicate with Energetic Body Language
Dogs use body language to communicate with one another and they can tell if you are nervous or anxious. This is the time when a dominant dog will try to take over. You need to use action and emotion together with verbal commands to ensure that you assert authority and discourage any negative behaviour.
Be Fair and Have Consistency When You Correct Bad Behaviour
You want your dog to know that he can trust you. If he needs correction, do it right after he has done something wrong. You should not punish your dog for an entire day for something that he has done wrong. When your dog accepts his mistake by submitting, he will lick you, roll over on his back and drop his eyes. This is the time to show him your approval with positive reinforcement. You should always address bad behaviour from puppyhood right through to adult years.
If you want to be the alpha, this is a role that you must reinforce constantly. You want to prevent unwanted behaviours right from the moment that they begin to develop or when your dog tries to challenge you for the alpha role. As the alpha leader you make a choice every day to be the leader and to stay in charge. To keep your dog from being bored you can challenge him every day by teaching him a new trick or command. You must be a responsible alpha leader with a calm and firm disposition while you establish dominance without being harsh or nasty about it. As you assert dominance, your dog gains respect for you and listens to your commands.