Dog Obedience Training - Who's the Alpha Dog of Your Pack?

>> 5/8/09

One of life's genuine joys is the companionship of a dog. However, if your dog exhibits major behavior problems, that joy may be compromised. Destroying household items, piddling on the carpet, excessive barking, aggression, and other unacceptable behaviors can usually be eliminated through effective obedience training.

As pack animals, dogs are most content when they know their place in the social hierarchy of the pack, be it as a leader or as a subordinate.

When your dog believes that you are not a very strong leader, he will most likely take over the role of "alpha dog". His bad behavior will only get worse since, as the leader of the pack, he will assume that he can do anything he wants, paying little attention to your commands.

Unless you impress upon your dog that you are the "alpha dog", your efforts to teach appropriate behavior will most likely fail. However, effective obedience training will teach your pooch that YOU are the leader of the pack and that he is expected to comply with your wishes.

When you begin obedience training try to make the activity fun for your dog. Be sure to reward your dog when he does well. Rewards can take the form of tasty treats, petting, giving him a favorite toy or vigorous praise.

Never punish your dog when conducting obedience training. If he associates obedience training sessions with punishment he will do everything he can to avoid it. When you need to correct a behavior problem, try to make it a penalty instead of a punishment. A penalty can be anything from a "time out" (stopping an activity that he enjoys), a quick tug on his leash, or simply ignoring him for a few moments.

When training your dog, remember that rewards are much more effective than penalties. Discover the things that he truly enjoys and make maximum use of it during training sessions. The old adage about training an animal with either a carrot or a stick is not valid. Just throw away the stick and concentrate on providing your dog with a variety of "carrots" that he enjoys.

If you are not sure about specific training techniques you may benefit from studying the tactics used by professional dog trainers. There are several terrific training courses and guide books available online that you may want to consider to help you in your quest for the obedient dog.

Dog Obedience Training - Who's the Alpha Dog of Your Pack? by Jim Navary

About the Author:

Are you a dog lover? If so, I would like to invite you to stop by at my DogBurg web site at You'll find more canine related information including additional articles, videos, photos, humor, and whatever else we can come up with that would be of interest to dog fanciers. Hope you'll find time to drop in at DogBurg web site.

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