Puppies are cute and adorable until the natural instincts develop and a dog emerges. Savvy dog owners know that the dog training process is similar to that of raising great kids. From the earliest days in the household, the pup will assess the boundaries and rules. Owners who are unaware of these subtle tendencies will allow the young dog to dominate family time through unwelcome behaviors. Without intervention in the form of obedience training, the dog will become unruly and might present a danger to the family. This is not the dog’s fault. The result is that local dog shelters are full of dogs living like dogs.
Natural Dog Traits
In nature, a dog pack functions with a specific hierarchical order where the alpha dog dominates the life of the pack. A secondary group consists of beta dogs, and the rest of the group members follow. This hierarchy determines who eats first, chooses a mate first and where each member sleeps. The alpha dog receives many benefits from his status, but he is expected to protect the entire pack from external threats. Challenges for position from other dogs are a part of life for the alpha dog.
Challenges to the Family Order
A puppy has these natural instincts when he enters a human family unit. Without clear direction, the growing dog will jockey for the alpha position. Strong human roles within the family will communicate the dog’s proper position. Good training ensures that the dog will respond when called, refrain from unwanted behaviors and participate in family life on human terms. Guidance for the young dog is essential because the natural instincts begin to surface at about four months of age. A dog that bites, chews on shoes and barks constantly is challenging the family order. The owner can take specific steps to correct behaviors that challenge the family routine.
Be The Boss
The family dog will learn his place when he is fed after the family has left the dinner table. This simple practice shows the dog that he is not the most important family member. A dog should never enter or exit a room before a human family member. Walking behind a human is a reminder of his position in the family. Some dogs prefer to sleep in front of stairs and doorways. The dog should be told to move instead of stepping over him. This reminds the dog that he is not in the alpha position. A dog will demand constant attention if family members do not provide attention in the ways that fit into family life. The dog will learn to obey and enjoy time with the family when the training starts early.
Live Happily Ever After
The difference between an unruly dog and a well-behaved family dog is the direct result of dog training in Toronto from a caring owner. Families with great dogs spend time with the animals and teach proper behavior. Structure in the household is as important for the pets as it is for the children. Predictable routines allow the dogs to anticipate meals, playtime and sleep. Early efforts to train the puppy will translate into many years of enjoyment and fulfillment from a great dog!
Remember – “the more you treat your dog like a human the more your dog will treat you like a dog!”