dog psychology is a fascinating subject and one we will explore today. Taking the time to understand your dog's pysche a bit better will prove to be quite helpful in understanding your dog and in applying it when you train your dog.
When we learn to understand why a dog behaves and acts the way that he does , then we are essentially learning dog psychology. The way the dog-a descendant of the wolf- has adapted to human social organization is truly fascinating.
Dogs have learned to live with and obey humans through successful training. When you and your dog build a trusting bond, there is a cooperation that is established: the dog behaves well and he will be rewarded.
To better understand dog psychology it is important to understand how wolves live. Wolves live in the wild in packs of two or more.The males and females of the wolf pack use a strictly defined dictatorship system.
The leader or “alpha leader” of this system is almost always the biggest male in the pack.The alpha leader is eagerly followed by the other wolves with the utmost respect.
Thousands of years ago wolves were able to adapt domestically with man because of the similar social organization and instinctive mental or psychological structure. Wolves are accustomed to dividing duties, particularly when it comes to feeding: one determines the track, one stands on guard, one makes the attack, etc.After the alpha leader feeds first and is satisfied he will allow the other members of the pack to finish his “leftovers”.
As part of your household your dog views the members of the family as the pack.Your dog will be watching everyone closely until he can figure out who the alpha leader is and exactly where he fits into this new system.
The physical size of each family member as well as the tone of voice of each person will be clues for your dog as to who is the leader.The way everyone interacts with one another is another clue your dog will watch for throughout the day.
It is essential to establish yourself (or another responsible adult in your household) as the alpha leader.The sooner this is established, the fewer behavioral problems you will see.
You need not only establish yourself or someone else as the alpha, but you must also have a clear understanding that your dog is at the bottom of your family's hierarchal system.
If your dog sees that no hierarchal system is in place, he will create one and put himself in charge. This is when a lot of dogs can become overly dominant and destructive. Your dog should understand that he is subordinate to everyone-including children.
Because of their small size and their dependency on adults, it is sometimes difficult for a dog to understand that he is lower ranked than children. Dogs can sometimes become very aggressive towards children for this reason and might even bite on occasion.
Your dog will realize he is subordinate to every other family member through disciplined training.To help you in this process you need good quality dog training resources.
Remember, training does take time and effort, but it is definately worth it!
All the best with the process of training your dog.
Darcy Austin is editor in chief of Dog Obedience University, a comprehensive resource on dog obedience training.
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