My goal is simple. Help you develop the ability to communicate with your dog so he is a willing partner. It does not do you or your dog any good if your dog listens to me, another trainer or your spouse. You need to be the person your dog looks to, depends on and follows.

A dog will only follow someone they respect. Your dog will give you exactly the amount of respect you have earned, no more and no less.

While we may be capable of forcing a dog into submission, I believe this only teaches the dog that we can , and will, cause him discomfort for no apparent reason – he will think this as he will not understand what you are trying to communicate. In the short term this approach may get the desired result, but I believe in the long run this will undermine, or even destroy, your relationship with your dog. You may end up with longer term training problems as well.

Pack Leader, Dominance and Submission:

In the reality of dogs; dominance controls the competition, it does not destroy it. Dominant dogs have a high rank among the pack. The subordinate dog usually avoids confrontation and voluntarily submits.

A good bitch shows her pups very early about lessons in pack hierarchy. The mother will start with hardening of her eyes and holding her head very still. A soft growl will come next. If the pup ignores the message, the mother will escalate the warning into a loud, scary snap in the direction of the pup. If the pup still ignores these threats the mother will grab the pup for a few seconds. The pup then retreats. The intent of these actions is to decrease the likelihood that the pup will repeat this behavior. The mother will not have to escalate the punishment next time and in fact, less punishment will make the same point.

People tend to be sloppy in our body language and conversations with our dogs. We are inconsistent and our timing is usually ineffective. We need to work on the proper way to communicate with our dog so they can effectively learn what we are trying to communicate.

Who’s Leading and Who’s Following?