|Does your dog work for his paycheck?|
How You can Become Your Dog’s Benevolent Leader
We all strive for peaceful and respectful relationships with our dogs. In order for that relationship to remain in balance, one of you must be the benevolent leader in the relationship. A dog will gladly work to earn his paycheck (the rewards) from his benevolent leader if that leader provides consistent and fair leadership.
Establishing your leadership does not require physical methods or a daily battle of wills. It requires wrapping your hands around their minds, not their bodies. By instituting a daily practice of asking your dog to do something in order to get what he wants, you can maintain a balanced relationship where you are the benevolent leader and your dog a willing, respectful follower.
You must first teach your dog some simple commands and/or tricks such as “Sit”, “Down”, “Paw” or “Shake”, “Wait” or whatever else you wish to teach your dog. Once your dog has learned how to successfully respond to your command(s) you can use those commands to institute this program. Remember to use a firm (but not angry) tone of voice when giving commands.
It is very important that you - the benevolent leader - must control your dog’s resources such as food, treats, toys, walks, petting or any other attention. Anything that is valuable to your dog can be used as the “paycheck” they receive for successfully completing their “work”, i.e., appropriately responding to your commands.
The formula is simple:
You give a command + your dog successfully responds (i.e., works for you) = you provide the paycheck!
Use this simple formula in your every day life. With consistent practice your dog will realize that you are the giver of all good things if he works with you.
Here are some good examples:
Mealtime: Ask your dog for a “Sit” and you may put the food bowl down after the dog sits.
Doors: Ask your dog for a “Wait” or a “Sit-Wait” at the doorway. Go through the door then call your dog to follow. The leader should control entrances and exits. Also, ask your dog for a “Sit” before getting attention from any guests that may come through the door.
Play/Toys: Ask your dog for a “Sit” or “Down” before throwing the ball or playing any other game. You should start and end all games. If your dog nudges or barks at you to initiate play, ask them first to “Down” before starting the game. Make sure there are rules for all games, particularly tug-of-war. Rules should include “teeth never touch human skin” and any violation of the rules automatically ends the game.
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