Leader of the Pack
One of the biggest fights you are bound to come across at parties is whether it is better to have a cat or a dog as a pet. Dogs are often considered to be the more easygoing species and are easier to train. It is for good reason that man has named them as their “best friend,” as they are also less likely to stray from home.
A part of the reason behind the idea that they are easier to train is because dogs originated as pack animals in which each pack has a leader that leads the entire crew. Even the most domesticated dog does not lose this feeling of belonging to a “pack,” which can’t be said for cats. When a dog does not have a dog in the house that serves as its leader, it looks to you for guidance and validation or it decides it will be the leader.
Just because a dog is your “best friend,” the word friend should not be confused with the word “equal.” A trained dog has been genetically programmed to look up to you, the leader, which essentially leads to a healthier and safer relationship for the both of you! Developing a stance as the alpha leader also doesn’t mean that you have to demand a lot from your pet. All you are doing is establishing certain limits as to what is allowed and what isn’t. They have to follow your rules as well as your lead.
One thing you will have to keep in mind as a leader is to always stay consistent with your action. Your furry friend should always understand what is expected of him by always providing clear, consistent instructions. Being unpredictable can make your pet nervous, leading to negative behavioral patterns such as aggression. The key to any dog training is to be consistent at all times with your commands.
Dog pack leaders should be strong, but honest, and you never want to be viewed as a “poor” leader, or your “best friend” just might want to take over your job, and that’s not good because he may just decide that civilized behavior is overrated.
Just be sure you don’t go too much the other way by being too unpleasant, as then your pet will fear you and no one respects a bully.