In dog training, the most simple acts often produce the best results. In any dog pack, the alpha sets the rules and the rest follow. Therefore, by establishing yourself as the alpha, you can be sure that your obedience training sessions will be that much more productive. The following is a list of 8 simple things you can do to teach your new puppy or unruly dog that you are the alpha in your pack.
1. Never feed your dog from your plate while you’re eating. A dog must learn that your are the alpha and that it can only eat when you are finished with your meal.
2. Never allow your dog on the sofa or on your bed. And if your dog sits on your path, gently shove it out of the way with your foot. By setting boundaries, you will instill in your dog that it must obey the alpha.
3. Never allow your dog to chew on your towels, socks, shoes, or clothing. Use bitter apple to discourage these behaviors.
4. NEVER HIT YOUR DOG FOR MISBEHAVING. Instead use the tone of your voice and a collar/leash to teach and make corrections.
5. Never allow a puppy to chew on your fingers. Otherwise, it will become a habit that will be very hard to break when it becomes an adult. Spray you hands and fingers with bitter apple and then allow the dog to proceed. The dog will learn not to bite your fingers without associating any negative thoughts about you as the alpha.
6. Never leave a hyper dog unexercised. Playing ball before you leave for work and after you return can help alleviate your dog’s pent-up energy.
7. Never keep your dog alone in a yard for days at a times. Without proper socialization your dog will become aggressive towards other dogs as well as other humans. A dog needs contact with its own species in order to learn how to behave in a dog pack equally as well as it must learn to behave in a human pack. A dog left alone for long periods of time will believe itself to be the alpha and try to dictate to its master instead of the other way around.
8. Never allow your dog to jump on you or your guests. Its fun when your dog is a puppy, but it isn’t fun when it becomes a 100lb behemoth. Practice with a collar and leash and set up situations where a neighbor rings your doorbell while your dog awaits their entrance. Make a sharp correction and command your dog to “sit” when as your neighbor enters the house. And, of course, don’t forget to praise the dog as soon as it follows your command. Once the dog knows what to do, try the same thing off leash, but this time use a water spray bottle and spray your dogs face with water as punishment for jumping with a stern vocal correction of “NO”. Proceed to praise your dog once again when your dog obeys your command. This way, it will learn to associate praise with correct action.
By following these steps, you will establish yourself as the alpha. And, you will have a head start in training your dog because it will have already learned to respect your authority as its leader.