Did you know your dog finds it stressful being without a role model or pack leader?
If you can establish yourself as a pack leader you will probably find your dog may relax more and once you have established yourself as pack leader, your dog will have more of a desire to please you.
How do you make yourself the pack leader though?
Dogs operate in a hierarchy
If your dog thinks that he is number one then he won’t take you seriously when you give him a command.
Being number one doesn’t mean being a bully but it does mean being the alpha and offering him leadership.
By establishing yourself as the alpha you will develop a relationship built on love and respect.
Make sure before your dog eats that you eat, even if it is just something small.
It’s also a good idea to feed your dog in a different place every day so you are controlling the environment where he is being fed.
You can also teach your dog to work for his food by using toys like a Kong where you can put food inside the toy and they have to work to release it.
When playing games you need to be in control. Whatever you are playing, fetch, tug etc. you need to make sure you are the one asking him to play and you are making the rules. If you want to stop playing, you stop playing. You make the rules and if he doesn’t listen then take your attention away from him.
If we were given everything in life that we ever wanted we would be spoilt and the same is true for your dog.
If your dog is demanding attention, make him complete an obedience command before he gets his reward – petting, food, or even eye contact.
Like in life for us, we have to work for our entertainment. Limit the amount of toys your dog has access to every day. Let him have access to about three toys every day and before bed, make sure they can see you putting these toys away and out of their reach, then you can give them back to him in the morning.
If your dog ever starts protecting his toys or trying to control the situation, remove the toy from him and try giving it him back again the next day.