5 Ways to Ensure You Are the Leader of the Pack

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Just as a child looks to his parents for guidance and limits, your dog looks to you for the same. Be calm, assertive, and consistent with the boundaries you set for your dog. Enforce strict rules and do so knowing that it instinctively makes your dog feel more comfortable.

  • Start with obedience training 

Obedience classes teach you and your family the proper way to train your dog. This includes learning how to enforce commands and how to gain—and keep—your dog’s respect. 

  • Stick to a strict feeding schedule

Feed your dog two or three times a day—after you and your family have eaten. Have your dog do a short sit-stay for meals. Communicate that you are in charge of the food and feeding times. 

  • Always walk through doorways ahead of your dog

If your dog always goes ahead of you, put on his leash and open the door. When he rushes ahead, pull him back and tell him “No. Wait.” Have him sit-stay. Then, walk through the doorway and give him the “come” command. 

  • Control your dog's sleeping areas

Even if you allow your dog on the couch and bed, he must know that you are in control of these areas. If you give the command “Off,” your dog should immediately jump off. If your dog doesn’t respond, immediately remove him from the furniture and on to the floor. 

  • Control the games you play with your dog

Attending to any unwanted behavior, like barking, can actually reinforce it by causing him to believe that barking is an effective way to get your attention. You can play later when it is on your terms.


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