Why Dogs Need Leadership
Recently, I had an in-home consultation with a woman who was trying to get her aggressive Australian Shepherd under control. The dog had bitten her boyfriend and was becoming territorial, behavior she attributed to the fact that she hadn’t “established dominance.” Similarly, I had another consultation for an aggressive Boston Terrier that had bitten the owner in the leg. The owner confessed that he wasn’t a good “pack leader” and asked that I show him how to better dominate his dog.
Many trainers would suggest that these dogs go through dominance training, where the owner physically and mentally dominates their dog until it no longer exhibits bad behavior. While this can, admittedly, be an effective way of training dogs, it isn’t the approach to dog training that I take. I don’t focus my attention on transforming owners into “alpha dogs.” I don’t find it necessary to teach dogs to fear.
Instead, I believe that an owner should be a good leader for their dog. They should set clear expectations and clearly communicate to the dog what it should and shouldn’t do. This doesn’t require physically overpowering a dog or teaching them to be frightened, both of which lead to a damaged relationship based on mistrust. Teaching good behavior and building or repairing a relationship between a dog and its owner should be based on a balanced approach. I try and set dogs up for success, use positive reinforcement, and minimize negativity to teach them how to make good behavioral decisions. However, I’m also not afraid to appropriately correct a bad behavior or let a dog know that their behavior is inappropriate.
As a Queens dog trainer, I work hard to equip owners with the leadership skills they need to help their dog be successful. Owners are the most important people in a dog’s life. Their whole world usually revolves around them! Good dog behavior requires consistent and effective leadership. It requires constant communication between dog and owner, structure and routine, and firm boundaries. I work with you to teach you how to communicate with and understand your dog. I also help you learn how to correctly address bad behavior without making your dog fear you. Perhaps most importantly, I show you how to reward your dog so it understands how much better life is when it is obedient. Good behavior not only improves your quality of life as an owner, but your dog’s quality of life as well!
If you are struggling to communicate or to build a relationship based on trust and respect with your dog, our in-home training might be the perfect fit for you. You don’t need to scare your dog into good behavior! Call 718.855.4425 or fill out our contact form to start working on your leadership skills today.