Aside from basic obedience and teaching your dog actual commands, there are a few general principles that go a long way when it comes to raising a balanced dog.
Even if you don’t buy into the pack leader mentality, all dogs just like people, need leadership. If you do not take the leadership role and set the rules then your dog will – plain and simple and this will cause unwanted behavioral problems.
There are a few simple and gentle steps that you can take to affirm your role as the leader :
General Rule # 1: Do not allow your dog to pass through external doors before you
As the leader you should go first. If you are trying to go outside with your dog and you open the door only to have him bolt out before you, what kind of precedent did you just set? Your dog was in control of that situation, not you. The proper thing to do is to have your dog sit and stay, you pass through the door, and then you verbally release him to come outside by saying “ok”.
This has put you in control of the situation and made it clear to your dog that you set the rules.
General Rule # 2: Exercise goes a long way
A tired dog is a happy dog as they say. Many problem behaviors are simply caused by a dog that is frustrated and full of pent up energy. At an absolute minimum, you should walk your dog once a day with the length of the walk being dependent upon the size and the age of the dog.
For most larger adult dogs, thirty to forty-five minutes is required. If you have a puppy you will need to scale down the walks and check with your vet regarding how far you should be walking.
The repetitive motion of long walks can be bad for the hips and joints of a developing dog. It’s strongly advisable to walk your dog twice a day in addition to playing routine
General Rule #3: Make sure that you control your dog’s food
Have your dog lie down in the vicinity of his food bowl. Scoop your dog’s food and pour it in his bowl making sure that he stays calm and lying down. If he gets up then have him lie back down and stay there until he is perfectly calm. When he is calm you may verbally release him to go eat, telling him to “go ahead”.
You should stick to this routine every time you feed your dog to assert your position as the leader and to create a dog that is calm around food.
General Rule #4: Do not reinforce negative behavior
Giving your dog attention or food at the wrong time reinforces negative behavior. This is important to keep in mind because every time you interact with your dog and give him attention or a treat you are reinforcing what he is
These 4 rules are very important if you want to master your dog training, of course there are other several rules to respect : more rules to come in the next article. stay tuned 😉