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If your dog growls at you when you scold him for getting into the trash can, or if he bites you when you ask him to move over, you might think that he is vicious and nasty when he really isn’t. He’s just an alpha. He has taken over the leadership of the pack from his family. Such dogs do not like taking orders from their families. Instead, they prefer giving orders. You need to understand that he might love you, but will still try to dominate you.How to become the leader again
Dogs constantly watch you and read your body language. They can detect when you are uncomfortable or insecure in a leadership role or will not enforce a command. It will end up confusing him and he will take the position of the alpha and tell you what to do. You need to practice being an alpha. Make sure you stand straight with the shoulders held wide. Walk tall and make sure that your tone of voice is firm and deep.Don’t ask him to do things; tell him to. There is a big difference and it is a difference he understands very well. If your dog has already taken over the entire household, you will need something more than an attitude change and obedience training
. Violence will not work either. Here are a few tips to help you turn the wheel around:
- Attitude adjustment boot camp – Starting today, you need to teach your alpha dog that he needs to earn what he gets. It might shock him, but if you keep at it, he will be eager to please you. Teach a simple command to your dog like “sit”. Reward him with a tidbit and praise. Once you successfully teach him the command, tell him to do it every time he wants something, be it dinner, a walk, a trip or attention. Make sure all the members of your family get turns at doing this. With time, your dog will understand that he is not the leader of the pack.
- Attention and petting – Alpha dogs like being fussed over. If you have seen a dog back, you might have noticed that the subordinate dog keeps licking, touching and grooming the alpha dog. They do it to show their submission and respect. Cut down on the cuddling your dog gets till he shows an improvement in his attitude. Never get down on the floor to pet your dog. That is a show of submission. Pet him, praise him and give him treats from a position that is higher than him.
If your dog has injured someone or if you are afraid of him, consult with a professional behaviorist before you start the boot camp. Also, take him to the vet to ensure that there are no physical causes for his behavior.