Canines are naturally social creatures. They are the ancestors of wolves, who live and hunt in packs. To your dog, you are their pack leader. You must learn to act like one.
A pack leader is calm and collected. They do not lose their cool. They are stern and consistent. They are also reasonable and rewarding.
Think about strong human leaders. They have direction and discipline. They are compassionate. They are great critical thinkers.
Strong leaders establish strong rules and boundaries, and stick to them. They create new rules and boundaries to navigate any situation.
If your dog recognizes you as a strong leader, they will do everything they can to obey you. If they see you as unstable and lacking leadership, they will attempt to fill the leadership position, and this is where many behavioral issues begin. Your dog can sense if you are hesitant or indecisive. Stand strong and be assertive with your dog.
If you are a strong leader, your dog will seek your approval. You will no longer need to use treats as positive reinforcement. When they hear your voice rise as you say ‘good dog’ while petting them, this will become the only reward that they need.
Today is the day to practice how you present yourself to your puppy. Keep it in your head that you are the leader of the pack. Observe how your dog responds to you. If they’re bad, tell them ‘no!’ in a collected, assertive voice. If they are good, reward them. You can be a just, strong leader, you have it in you!