BECOME THE PACK LEADER
Pack training is the most important element in dog training and the least understood. In this article on pack training, you will learn how to become a pack leader and why it is essential that you become the pack leader to your dog or dogs.
I receive countless emails outlining dogs with behavior problems from people looking for solutions on how to train a dog. In most cases the problems center on lack of pack structure and lack of pack training.
People write wanting to know how to fix their dogs behavior problem, when the fact is, truth be told; they are the ones with the behavior problem, not the dog. Of course I can't tell them that bluntly. But the fact is, unless they make the change and become the pack leader and engage in pack training, they are going to put up with a dog that no one else but them will ever like. Sadly, it is not the dog's fault, as the dog simply lacks pack training.
The first step in pack training is to examine ones own thinking in regards discipline. We live in a world that lacks discipline. Crime, violence, stealing, uncontrolled anger, lack of self control, and the like, are a by-product of sociologists trying to tell us what is proper discipline. Gone is the day of school boys being "taught by the tune of a hickory stick". The thinking that any type of corporal punishment is barbaric is new to our era and anyone with half a brain can see that such thinking has not made the world a better place. So if you have bought into such thinking and you are one when disciplining your children are often heard repeating; "how many times do I have to tell you", "OK I'm going to give you a time out", if you are of that sort, chances are, you will not be successful in pack training.
When we speak of discipline, we are not talking about beating a dog; only a fool would do such. Pack training, teaching your dog pack structure requires someone who can train with firm, but loving discipline. One has to be able to become the pack leader. Sadly some are not able to be a pack leader, and such ones should not own a large breed dog capable of doing serious damage to someone because of the lack of pack training.
PUPPIES. In a litter of say 10 puppies, each pup FIGHTS to establish his or her position in the pack. By the time the puppies are six or seven weeks old, their positions have been established. Those pups that share an equal position in the middle of the pack will continue to fight over an item. But when the pack leader comes, the other pups quickly give way without showing any aggression. The other puppies are subservient to the pack leader.
UNDERSTAND PACK STRUCTURE
All dogs are Pack animals and thus respond well to pack training and pack structure. They have a natural desire to be a member of a pack and live by pack rules. Just as certain birds know to fly to Capistrano, and Monarch Butterflies migrate to Mexico; dogs were created to live under pack structure rules. To be successful in pack training, a dog owner has to understand what makes a dog tick. Understanding pack structure and becoming the pack leader is the key.
To understand pack structure training you have to look at what takes place amongst a litter of
TEACH PUPPIES PACK STRUCTURE
When you take a puppy home, you become his pack. Some puppies resign themselves to be submissive and look to you as a pack leader, while other puppies will try to determine their position in the pack the same way they did in their previous pack; BITING. They may even defend their food, or some other object, or establish their own ground they defend. Now is the time to begin pack training and establishing yourself as the pack leader.
When I was a child, my parents were the pack leaders. My siblings and I did not fight over who would set where at the dinner table, or who would have what room, or who would get to control the remote. When guest came over, we knew exactly what was expected of us. My parents decided everything. They told us when to eat, what to wear, and when to go to bed. There was no arguing, there was never a challenge or a protest to their authority. Their rules, firm and consistent, left no doubt as to who was the pack leader. Such an environment fosters peace, harmony, love and security. The type of home that is nice to live in. Sadly, it is not like that in many homes. In some homes the children challenge the parents rules and authority. When parents are not able to be the pack leaders, before long, the home is one filled with chaos and discord. Likewise, the same holds true with your dog. If you cannot unequivocally be the pack leader, your dog will continue to challenge for his place in the pack.
PACK TRAINING WILL SOLVE MOST DOG BEHAVIOR ISSUES
How many times have you been to someones home and their dog or dogs bark at you and threaten you? Even after you sit down and the dogs are put away, you know the minute their "time out" is over, they will be challenging you again. Pack training is the key to solving this issue. Now, who is to blame for the dogs behavior? Is it the dogs fault they lack pack training and a pack leader? I could take those dogs to my house and in one day, with pack training and pack structure, they would act completely different. And in the end, they would be happier dogs. They would feel secure in their environment, knowing that I am their protector, their pack leader. With pack training, pack structure, and you being the pack leader you will have completely different dogs.
The Bible says "take a warning: To the making of many books there is no end, and much devotion [to them] is wearisome to the flesh." Those words are certainly true when it comes to books devoted to dog training and pack training. One could spend months and years reading someones ideas on how to go about pack training and being a pack leader. Most of these so called pack training experts, frankly don't have a clue of what it takes to be a pack leader. Take any field of study and get 40 different books by 40 different "experts" and you will find little agreement. So who can you trust for sound advice on pack training? MR PITBULL!
Half these people writing books on pack training and pack structure and being a pack leader, apparently don't even own a dog. I own dozens of pitbulls. I could have a half dozen of my dogs in the yard and anyone could open the gate and walk in the yard, and none of the dogs would even bark; if I am there. They know that I am the pack leader, that the yard is mine, and that I control who comes into the yard. There is no need for them to try to assert themselves and establish position to this "newcomer". This leaves them free to focus on just being a dog and opens up the way for them to be petted, which is really what they want (this is not true of all breeds, but is the dominant nature of pitbulls, believe it or not). Without pack training, and pack structure the person entering the yard is someone stepping into their pack, and a pecking order is what they will try to establish, or they will try to defend "their" territory.
I encourage you to read all my training articles