Becoming the leader of the pack, how to feed your dog with authority
If you have read my other articles, you understand that you have to be the Leader of the Pack. This should take place by structured obedience training, by real life dog training and by everyday real life living.
One of the many ways to show your dog that you are his leader occurs when you feed him everyday. With many families, feeding their dogs is an act of servitude.
I bet many of you didn’t realize that, did you?
Why not let the act of feeding your dog help change the way your dog looks at you? Here is what I do with my dogs and what I recommend to my Winston-Salem dog training clients.
1. Always run your hands through the dog food. I like for my scent to be all over his food. Why? In the wild, the Leader of the Pack is always the first to eat. By putting your scent on his food, we are teaching our dog that we are the leader. Our dog will eat only after we have finished with it.
2. I don’t just put the food down for him to eat. I will hold it and make him do some form of obedience for it before he eats. This can be sitting, laying down or just standing their being calm. Many dogs are so excited to eat and devour their food, it becomes a frantic process. I purposely slow down the event. I am showing my dog I am in the lead position. By doing this, you are also giving your dog mental stimulation in this process by making him relax and be patient. This is a mental exercise which is just as important as physical exercise for a well rounded dog.
3. I also make sure I praise him for good behavior and I make sure I always win. I never give in without getting the respect the Leader of the Pack deserves. If you do give in, you are just showing your dog you are not his leader, that you are pretending to be. Nothing good can happen in this situation.
You have to be consistent with all aspects of training in the obedience setting and in real life. If you do this, you and your dog will explore a totally new relationship together. You as his leader. Your dog as willing follower. Believe it or not, you dog will be much happier with this relationship.
That’s all we need to discuss right now! If you have a food aggressive dog you must contact a dog training professional before you attempt this; but, this should be a relatively safe event as long as you are not trying to remove his food while eating.
Note: Jim Hodges is a certified master dog trainer training dogs in Winston Salem, NC. He also trains dogs from other areas of the country via his North Carolina Residency Dog Training Program. The information he shares is from his many years of training and observing/studying dog behavior.