Image courtesy: Commons.wikimedia.org/
Dogs being pack animals, look for a pack leader to get a sense of security. If you do not establish rules and boundaries, and display actions that station you as the pack leader, your pet will just look at you as a playmate or even position himself as the pack leader. It can become difficult for you to command, control or discipline him/her when he/she does not look at you as a pack leader, while it can also be stressful for him/her. Here is a look at signs that your dog does or does not look at you as a pack leader.Leading the way
If your dog is leading you when you take him/her for a walk, then you are probably not being a pack leader. Of course, it is a little different if you have a sniffer dog on the leash
. Your pet would not want to follow you if he/she is sniffing a trail, and it would make more sense that he/she leads. You can even watch for cues on how your dog behaves when you are walking in/out of a room. If your dog looks at you as a pack leader then he will let you take the lead. If he/she is having a free run around the house, jumping on the couch, bed, kitchen and everywhere else, then you have not set clear boundaries with your pet.Food rules
Do you feed your pet first before you eat? It may be a nice gesture, but in canine world you are clearly marking yourself as one of the pack members, and your dog as the pack leader by doing so. In canine packs, the leaders always eat first. So if you want to establish yourself as the leader, you eat first. Stealing food
is a big no-no. Your dog would not steal from a pack leader, and if he is stealing food from you then it means that he/she does not respect you as the leader. Be sure to set clear boundaries on who is the pack leader with your pet.Vocalization and actions
Do you find the need to yell or scream to get your dog's attention? Does that sound like what a pack leader would do? Pack leaders effortlessly command attention and respect. Dogs easily pick up cues from your body language, energy and tone of voice. If you have to use force or yelling to get your dog to listen to you, then you are probably doing something wrong. Also, this kind of energy can make your dog feel anxious or scared, so you want to refrain from being that way around your pet.