Dec 27

5 Powerful PACK PRINCIPLES your dog may be TRAINING YOU by right now; Knowledge IS Power:

PACK MENTALITY is your dog’s strongest instinct.

Dogs, being domesticated from wolves, are predators.  Like their ancestors, they are also very PACK oriented – therefor very social and able to live in harmony with each other.  Yet, in order for any social organization/pack/family to get along & work together in harmony, there must be structure & rules.  Everyone has a job, and everyone has a rank.  Canines, are born with instinctual principles with in PACK MENTALITY – just as we are born with instinctual morals.  These PACK PRINCIPLES are hard wired into your dog’s genetic make up, and serve as a governor with in establishing rank (therefor behavior).  Since you & your family are your dog’s pack, it’s crucial to learn these principles so that you can establish rank as his/her PACK LEADER.

“One of the most useful traits dogs carry over from wolf society is the innate sense of social rank, and the system of communication that supports this rank structure.”  –  Stephen Budinsky (Ecologist)


Your dog pulls/gags, barks, becomes neurotic on walks because it is fun.
  • Does this sound like fun?  No!  It’s not for you or your dog.
  • Your dog is more so anxious than excited, as well as frustrated.  By permitting your dog to walk in front of you, you are permitting him/her to LEAD you, yet also prohibiting him to fully do so by physical restraint of the leash.
  • This would create frustration in anyone; “I’m permitting you to lead yet physically restraining you from doing so.”
  • LEAD your dog on walks. This will remove his anxiety & frustration (and yours).  For then he’ll understand that you are in control of the walk – you make the rules: decide where to go & who and how to meet, how to behave on walks-regardless of distractions.  Eventually, you won’t need a leash, for you are the leash (control).
  • Example:  ever see a homeless person walking their dog?  No leash, no neurotic behavior, no training-yet the dog follows; Why?  B/C he is ‘Pack Leader’
  • KEY TIP:  The leash should have slack in it on the entire walk.
My dogs jump on me & guests because they are excited to see us, and wish to smell & kiss our face with in saying ‘hello’.
  • It is not with in Canine Conduct/Manners t0 jump on one of higher superiority. With in play once acquainted – yes, but it is not a respectable introduction/greeting.
  • EXAMPLE 1:  Ever see those exuberant/inexperienced dogs try this to a more dominant dog at the dog park?  What happens?  They usually get reprimanded, esp if the jumping is excessive.  Dogs do not tolerate this rudeness – why do we?  When we do, we are tolerating our dogs to dominate us with rudeness (and usually anxiety more so than excitement).
  • EXAMPLE 2:  Ever see two balanced dogs meet?  IF they are being social & polite, they smell the rear first, not the face – that eliminates the myth that jumping is with in a polite greet.  Also, puppies jump on their mother in request for her to regurgitate food.  Once the regurgitate phase is one in the past, the mother will reprimand jumping on her with  in introduction with in teaching the puppies canine conduct/manners.  Unless you are going to regurgitate food, you should not allow your puppy to jump on you either, yet teach manners as his mother would.
  • Also note, that the mother does not greet her puppies with excited/anxious energy.  She is calm.  She is our dog’s first Pack Leader, and we are to fulfill her role as such.
  • PRINCIPLE # 2: Canine Conduct/Greetings
  • Don’t allow your dog to practice this rude behavior.  Find an effective consequence.
  • In addition, give no attention to your dog until he is NOT demanding it.  Guests are to follow this procedure too.  By ignoring your dog when you first come home, you are not only greeting as Pack Leader, but  as Pack Leader who only gives attention & affection to stability – not anxiety, and definitely not rudeness.
My dog ONLY prefers the couch/my bed because it is comfy.
  • To dogs, height is power, it’s symbolic to status.  Similar to ‘Bigger office = higher in rank’; likewise, higher resting place = higher in rank/status.  This is a no brainier & very instinctual to dogs.
  • In addition, it gives Pack Leaders not only an over view of their pack, but of possible threats as well.  HEIGHT is POWER – it’s status & responsibility.  Ever notice how your dog jumps onto his watch tower (couch) upon guests arriving?  He’s claiming his status as the Leader/protector/commander of his pack.  Even kings & queens have the highest, best view able rooms to rule & lead (esp. upon intruders); they may rest in other places, but if ever in doubt, they retreat to their highest quarters to reign. It’s status with purpose.
  • Don’t let your dog on furniture with out permission.  Your permission is key – it communicates you own it, not him/her.  It’s your big office, your highest place of reign with in your kingdom (home).  You make the rules, decide who’s a friend or foe upon visitors, decide who to share the office (couch) with.  ‘My couch, my home, my rules, my guests.’  If you don’t claim it your dog will – they are always willing to take a promotion
Dogs push you out of the way &/or knock you over to get out the door (with no disrespect to you) because they’re just excited & don’t know better..
  • To dogs, SPACE IS RESPECT!  In order for your dog to respect your space, you must earn it – LEADERSHIP – empowering you to create & enforce structure: rules, boundaries, and limitations.
  • Patience is a submissive state of mind, pushy is a dominant state of mind.  Require patience/submission from your dog, don’t let them be pushy/dominant of you & your space.
  • PRINCIPLE # 4:  Leaders 1st.
  • Teach ‘WAIT’ at doorways – the best antidote & preventative to ‘door darting’. 
  • Responsibility of being Pack Leader is creating boundaries for pack’s safety
Dogs don’t come when call solely due to a lack of training
How much training do you suppose your dog’s mother did to get him to come when called.  Or, the Alpha to round up his pack.  None.  It’s instinctual; you come when you’re called or suffer the consequence (usually isolation &/or death of a threat, at the least a missed hunt/meal).  It’s instinctual for a dog to come to his/her Pack Leader when called – it’s a survival mechanism.
  • PRINCIPLE # 5:  Follower comes to Pack Leader  when called.
  • Training a recall with rewards & consequences is definitely a plus, but don’t depend on this alone with out the foundation of Leadership – esp when your dog’s temptation is greater than your treat &/or consequence.  Only Leadership controls instinct.
  • EXAMPLE:  As puppies, most stick close &/or come as soon as you call.  Why?  Because they are dependent on you.  Yet, as they mature they become  more independent.  One maintains this dependency (reliable recall) by maintaining Leadership.

CONCLUSION: Leadership is your foundation for a healthy relationship & an obedient dog (follower) – the very definition of disciple is a disciplined follower. Yet, in order for your dog to be a disciplined follower, you must be a disciplined Leader. It takes work, but is less work than managing disobedience/instability.  In addition, it will create the intimate, balanced, & fulfilling relationship you wish for you & your dog.

If you need help with in applying these principles, please contact us for a FREE consultation.

Video by: Mishka sings Big Bad Wolf by – YouTube string

1 comment

  1. wanchai hotel

    Glad to share

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