10 Mar 2012
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Is your dog not listening to you, or having temperment issues? Is he not paying attention to what you have taught him, and eveyday when you come home there's some mess or the other? Well read my article to find out why.
It is a sad truth that most dog owners just purchase puppies without bothering to read about them, or find out more about them. All they want is that cute little adorable bundle of fur and happiness. Well, there's a lot more to dogs than being cute and adorable. Most owners treat their dogs as humans, like they are their children, but the truth is, dogs are NOT humans and never will be. Treating your dog in such a manner will lead to issues later on.
Being the pack leader: Dogs are wild animals, with canine instincts and are descandants of the wolves. They lived in packs, and have one pack leader who is the man in charge, and the rest are followers. The pack leader has to be responsible, fearless, dominating and protective. The followers look up to him and respect him. Yet if the leader is weak, another brave dog will not hesitate to take over as leader for the welfare of his pack. When you get a dog, you are the pack leader. Displaying emotions such as crying, hyperness, sadness, over-excitedness and anger are seen as weak by the dog. The dog will now try to take over as the leader, and you become the follower. When the dog is leader, he is dominating and fierce. He still loves you, but considers you beneath him/her. Dogs do not want to be leaders as this is very stressful for them, especially since humans do not understand his concept of being leader. Let me give you a few examples why this is stressful if the dog is pack leader:
1. You are going to office/school. You leave your house and the dog tries to stop you. You pat him, tell him you'll be back in sometime and leave. The dog is confused. He is the pack leader, and you his follower. He owns you. He has not given you permission to leave, then why have you left? If you are the pack leader and leave, your dog will not mind, because you are the leader and can do what you want.
2. When you scold your dog, he is confused. he is the one who should be scolding you, not you him. But if he is not the pack leader, then he will lower his head and go away to a corner and avoid eye contact, implying that he is sorry for his actions. In this case, most people will go over to their dog, pet them and make a fuss, saying that he looks so guilty, he has accepted his mistake yada yada. Then they will try to hug their dog, establish eye contact with them. This is not to be done. When the dog goes away avoiding eye contact, it shows that he is sorry for his actions, and avoiding eye contact shows that he has accepted you as leader. When you go and comfort him however, the dog will get confused, thinking that my owner has just scolded me, and now is trying to take it all back. This is seen as weakness by the dog, and when you try to establish eye contact with him, you are showing yourself as weak, and the dog will take over. However if you let your dog show that he is guilty and let him go to his corner, you are showing that you are a trusted leader. The dog will then come back to you after a while, which shows that he has accepted you as leader.
This is why most dogs have so many behavioral issues. It is not their fault. They have not been brought up properly. Dogs want a calm and confident leader. You need to show your dog who is the boss.
The proper way to walk a dog: This is a common mistake made by most owners. While walking your dog, the dog should never lead, because the one who leads is the leader. Your dog should walk behind or beside you, and you should never let him guide. If he tries to walk in another direction, simply stop and don't move. he will come back to you and you can proceed. Never let him pee wherever he wants, or go in whichever direction he wants. You are the leader, you will guide. He can only relieve himself where you want him to, not where he wants. He will go only where you want him to, not where he wants. This will establish you as the leader.
If your dogs constantly jumps up on your lap, or nudges you or always tries to lick you or kiss you, it is not a sign of affection. It is a sign showing that he is leader. In the dog world, space is respect. You will find that if you are leader, he will not constantly show you affection. Instead, he will behave calmly and not get over excited whenever you are around. The dog does not like it if you also show him too much affection. Of course, dogs want to be loved, but also want a strong leader. Hugging your dog once in a while, not too often, rewarding him when required, not simply, kissing him only when necessary, will show your dog you love him and that you are a confident leader.
Always remember to eat before your dog, because the pack leader eats first.
Is your dog repeating the same bad behaviour even though you have already punished him for it?
This is not your dogs' fault. It is yours. Dogs live in the moment. So if you want to punish a dog for doing something wrong, catch him in the act. or just before he is about to do the act. Suppose you come home from work one day and see that your dog has again chewed up the couch. You yell at him and throw shoes at him. Yet again the next day the same thing happens. This is because your dog does not understand anythng you are saying to him. he was probably waiting for the shoe to be thrown. Dogs do not live in the past. He will not think that oh, because I chewed the couch I am being punished. Dogs do not think like humans. He will think that you are a weak person who throws around things, and he will repeat the act, along with establishing himself as leader. To prevent your dog from repeating te mistake, wait until he is chewing the couch or whatever and then ctach him in the act, not after he is done. Do not yell at him or even hit him. Do not use treats to lure away your dog from the couch. This will tell the dog that every time he does the same mistake, he will be rewarded. Instead, tell your dog firmly No! in a calm yet firm voice, and keep repeating till he listens. Another method is to squirt him with water (avoiding the eyes) saying No. In future if he does anything bad, repeat this punishment. The dog will never repeat his mistake because he will realise if he does that mstake again he will be punished. Soon, just saying No will also work, because the dog will relaise that when you say no, the water is also bound to come. To prevent the water attack, the dog will stop immediately. NEVER use physical punishment, as this only harms the dog, and later the dog will eventually become frightened of you.
Raising the dog in a proper manner will give you the best friend you have always wanted. The opposite will result in a bad and aggressive dog. So please think a lot before buying a dog. It is not easy task. If you do not train your dog properly, he will become agressive when he grows older and then you will either put him to sleep or send him to a shelter, where he will eventually be put to sleep unless someone buys him first. DO NOT get a dog if you are weak, or just want a cuddly fuzzy creature who you can keep cuddling, or if you have not read up properly about dogs. Most dogs end up in the shelter because of their bad temperment, when it s actually because of the way they have been raised. I would suggest getting a dog from a shelter if this is your first one, since most are already housebroken and can still be taught many tricks, and are easier to manage. They need love, and a nice home. So I suggest a shelter, though if you are confident and want a puppy, buying from a reputable breeder is also fine. Please think a lot beofre buying a dog, because there are many dogs out there in shelters who have been abandoned by their owners, when it is not even their fault. You do not want to contribute to that number. So please, please, adopt a dog only if you know how to raise one, and are ready for one, and do not want it only because you can either show off or because it is cute. Most people misinterpret dog emotions, and this can be very stressful for a dog. In such a household, a dog will never truly be happy.
If you are buying a dog, I strongly recommend Caesar Millan's books and DVDs. They are extremely helpful, and will help you bond with your dog and raise him to be a beautifully trained one.
I hope ths article has helped you. And remember, dog can only be man's best friend if we understand their emotions and needs. Dogs are wonderful creatures, but need to be loved and understood.