Pets & Animal Dog Breeds

Gaining Respect From Your Dog

When I walk my rescued greyhound Zoe, I frequently meet up with other people walking their dogs.
While Zoe always walks with me on a loose leash, more often than not the other dogs, usually small ones compared to a greyhound, bark and strain at their leash.
Their owner usually either pulls them away while reprimanding them (to no avail), or picks them up and tries to calm them down (the worst thing you should do).
One problem is that their dogs don't respect them.
Another problem is that the dogs have had little or no obedience training.
In order for you to get your dog to respect you, you have to earn it.
To do that you must become the alpha dog of the pack.
Dogs are pack animals and establish a pecking order in their minds.
They look for a leader, and if they don't find one, they decide to become the leader.
If that happens, then they consider the human(s) in their life to be subordinate to them.
Here's how that happens.
When the dog wants to go out, he's taken out.
That's not a bad thing by itself.
But along with that, when the dog wants to be petted, he gets petted.
When the dog wants his food, he gets fed.
When the dog wants to get up on the sofa or the bed, he does so.
When the owner wants the dog to come to him, the dog may or may not, depending if he's in the mood or not.
If the owner tells the dog to sit, sometimes he does, and sometimes he doesn't.
The list goes on and on.
The dog does anything he wants to do including deciding whether or not to do his owner's bidding.
The owner doesn't insist that the dog obeys him.
Thus, the dog is the alpha dog and the owner, in the dogs mind, is subordinate to him.
The dog, however, would be much happier and less stressed if he were subordinate to the human.
The alpha dog has to protect the subordinates.
In some cases he may become aggressive towards other dogs and even other humans in his attempt to protect the subordinate owner.
When the human is the alpha dog, life is much simpler for the dog.
The human is the protector, so the dog doesn't have that worry about.
Since he has a protector, the dog feels more secure and will have less of a tendency to be aggressive.
To become the alpha dog is not very difficult, but it does take persistence.
First, you should obedience train your dog.
If there aren't any good reputable dog training classes available, there are a lot of excellent downloadable dog training eBooks and videos that you can get.
They allow you to train at your own pace, but you do have to spend 10 to 20 minutes every day training your dog.
The key to getting and keeping your dog's respect for you is to make sure that your dog does what you tell him to do, one way or another.
The way you do that depends on the methods taught by the trainer or the author of the training books.
But as soon as you let your dog get away with not doing something you told him to do, he starts losing respect for you.
Aside from obedience training, to be the alpha dog, your dog does what you want him to do and does it when you want him to do it.
You should give him a command such as "sit" or "sit stay" before you give him a treat, or his food, or before you put his leash on to take him out, or before you play with him.
There are some trainers that say that you, as the alpha dog, should go out the door first, but sometimes that makes it difficult to close the door behind you.
Letting the dog go out the door first is okay, but should go out only on your command.
An owner who is the alpha dog is a happy owner and has a happy dog.
Addendum: I use the phrase "alpha dog" do denote the leader of the pack.
Please don't think of me as a sexist because I refer to the owner and dog as male.
I find it very cumbersome to use "he/she" or her/him" etc.
for personal pronouns.

Leave a reply