DISCLAIMER: Caution with potentially aggressive dogs. If you are not comfortable performing these techniques or require aid for an aggressive animal, please seek professional help. Alpha based techniques can potentially increase aggression in already aggressive dogs.
It is important that you are in a pack leader, or alpha, relative to your dog. The above video describes the benefits of being a leader to your dog. The vast majority of dogs are followers, or betas, by nature. When we do not assert our leadership and fail to provide our pets with consistent rules and structure this can force our dogs into a leader role. Dogs that are not meant to be leaders will often display unwanted behaviours such as fear, aggression, and barking.
Practicing the canine dominance technique described above, several times a day, will help you convey to your dog that you are the leader, or alpha. These techniques, combined with consistent rules and structure, will allow your pet to learn that you are the master. A dog with a master will feel protected and safe. This means that when your dog hears a noise or sees another dog that is scary, your dog will look to you for guidance on how to react. If your dog trusts you and sees you as a leader then your calm energy about a situation will help to relax and protect your dog. Outside of a burglary, you don’t want your dog protecting you!
More canine dominance techniques are described above. The reason these techniques work is because dogs love to communicate with touch. Developing a gentle physical relationship with your dog will earn you a great amount of respect in your dogs eyes. The amazing calming effect of gently pushing your dogs head to the side, demonstrates how significant eye contact and body language are to a dog. In the canine world a pack leader does not get stared down.
Feel free to practice these techniques several times a day with your dog. In combination with consistent rules and structure you should be on your way to being a pack leader in no time! These techniques work even better with puppies, who are constantly looking for solid direction.
If you are struggling with these techniques or you feel your dog might need a little extra attention, please do not hesitate to arrange a behavioural consult. Every dog is different and will present there own special challenges so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks.
DISCLAIMER: Caution with potentially aggressive dogs. If you are not comfortable performing these techniques or require aid for an aggressive animal, please seek professional help.
Dr. Kent Ackerman and the King West Team