Training Your Dog By Understanding Pack Mentality

You can get to know your pet really well via dog training. While there are a variety of ways to train your dog, the best ones have owner participation as a common element. One option is taking your dog to a trainer — this option is particularly well suited to young puppies and first-time pet owners. Another good choice is training your dog yourself. This option is facilitated by the wide availability of dog training equipment such as dog training collars, books, videos, and blogs and websites on the Internet.

Do some research into the factors that go into a dog’s behavior before you dive into training your dog. Long ago, before the domestication of dogs as pets, they lived and traveled in packs, such as current wolves do. A dog’s instinct goes back to the days of the pack, and a dog will naturally see himself as part of a group always. Even a litter of puppies is a pack in many ways: siblings must fight for their food and battle for their place in the litter’s hierarchy. The problem is, your dog is no longer in a pack: now he is in your home!

Your dog views both you and himself as members of the same pack. In a pack, there will be a leader. In the wild, packs have alpha dogs – both male and female. In the wild, the alpha male and alpha female will pair up, usually. If you have more than one dog, you need to know about alpha behavior, as the alpha dog has the most freedom in the pack. The alpha dog will eat first, sleep where he wants and take what he thinks is his.

Since your dog considers you a part of the pack, training your dog must include the establishment of the alpha pack member, if you don’t want your dog in control this must be you. There are several ways that you can manage this quickly and easily with a puppy, but it may be more difficult with a full grown dog. If you have an aggressive dog it would be beneficial for you to utilize the services of a specialized trainer in behavioral modification.

There are two ways to let your dog know that you are alpha. The first way is to stare at your dog. The submissive dog will quickly look away, in a submissive manner, as only the alpha will engage in this behavior. The second way is to make your dog sit before any activity such as eating, being petted or playing. This lets your dog know that you are alpha.

There are two possibilities: your dog will be submissive to you if you’re the alpha, or you’ll be following your dominant dog if he’s the alpha. Since only you or your dog can be the one in charge, you’ll need to consider whether you’ll be training your dog or whether you’ll be trained by him.


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