Douglas Della Toffalo, Understanding Psychology Of Dog Training: Pack Behavior & Establishing Control

Super Star candyshop999 at
Fri Jan 4 06:10:20 PST 2008

Douglas Della Toffalo, Understanding Psychology Of Dog Training: Pack
Behavior & Establishing Control

Dogs are descendent of wolves. To study the psychology of dog training and
understand the pack hierarchal system of dogs, we must go back and examine
their ancestor - wolves.

Wolves live naturally in packs of at least 2 and more... They live in a
dictatorship system with strictly defined hierarchies of males and females.
In their system, a leader - usually always a male, the biggest and toughest
wolf also known as alpha leader would be in charge of the pack and will have
the right to everything. The rest of the dogs in the pack would be followers
and follow their leader willingly. This hierarchy system is not static and
would change when another dominant member challenge the leader's authority
and win.

For your dog, your family is the pack and every member is part of the
hierarchy system. From the moment a new puppy or dog is introduce to the
family, the new dog will start to pick up signals and indicators to figure
out his own status in the family and who's in charge. If your dog see you as
a "alpha leader", he will follow your commands willingly and this will
allows you to train him easily.

On the other hand, if your dog is very dominant (because you allow him to
pick up the wrong signals) and starts to challenge your "alpha leader"
position, he may refuse to follow your command and turn aggressive against
you easily. This situation usually happens in children where dogs see their
chain of command higher than that of them. This also explains why children
suffer more dog bites than adults do.

If you would prefer to own an obedient dog that pay attention to your
command, assuming the role of the "alpha leader' and establishing control
over your dog is extremely important!

Your dog must learn that he is the lowest ranking in the family, subordinate
to you, to the children, and must recognize you to be the leader. If such
hierarchy is not set up properly, the dog will try to take charge and assume
the role of the leader. This'll eventually lead the dog to turn into
"dominant dog" and thus tend to misbehave. If this happens, you'll face an
uphill task to properly train your dog.

As we live in a democratic society, most of us will find it hard to
understand the dog's concept of dictatorship. Nevertheless, it is necessary
that we adjust ourselves to understand how the dog live and think. By being
dictating, you would think that this is cruel or even inhumane to the dog.
If you think so, you are very wrong!

In fact, dogs are more than happy to be a follower and taking instructions
from a leader. You have to give your dog directions, organize his space and
activities for him, and he'll be more clued-up and know his boundaries of
life, which means knowing what is expected of him when he's indoor or

Your dog will be able to lead a less stressful and happy life and so will
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