Are YOU the Leader of the Pack! Take our simple quiz to find out!

 

Did you know that all dogs need a pack leader to feel secure and to know who is ‘the boss’? Did you also know that the best candidate for the pack leader is YOU – and that if you do not fill this position, problem pet behaviour and anxiety may result?

Are you the pack leader? The Feelgood Health team shows you how to become a pack leader,  take charge of your dog and help resolve problems like bad behaviour and pet anxiety. 

Ask yourself these questions first…

According to Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, there are certain signs that indicate that YOU are not a pack leader. If you answer YES to any of the following questions, then your dog is definitely in charge!

  1. Do you feed your pooch before you feed yourself?
  2. Does your dog jump on you?
  3. Do you shout at your dog?
  4. Does your dog pull you when you take him for a walk?
  5. Does your dog ignore your commands?
  6. Does your dog rule the roost at home?
  7. Are you the cause of your dog’s excitement?
  8. Does your dog enter or exit a room ahead of you?
  9. Does your dog wake you up?
  10. Do you reward your dog when he does something wrong?

In every family there are a set of rules that have to be adhered to. Likewise, when you welcome your precious pooch into your family, it is important that you establish yourself as the pack leader. When a dog is still a puppy, – he will  seek guidance, direction and training - exactly like a baby and young child will do from the mother. However, when the puppy or adult dog joins your family, the dog will seek out a leader and if you are not a reliable leader, he will assume the role of pack leader – as this is a natural thing for a dog to do. This can also be seen in the wild where dogs form packs and have a designated leader. The pack leader or alpha dog could either be male or female and he or she leads and controls the other dogs.  All dogs, therefore, will either assume the position of pack leader or pack member. This, of course, depends on how you handle things!

 How to become a pack leader

If you haven’t established yourself as your dog’s pack leader, there’s still time to learn the necessary skills.

  1. Be calm and assertive

Practice being calm and controlled when you are at home and interacting with your dog. Avoid being overly emotional or highly strung because dogs feed off such negative energy and they will act out. Dogs can sense your positive energy and will “feel when you are happy with them”. Make sure that you speak to your pooch in a firm, soft but even-toned voice - always be consistent in your approach!

While you shouldn’t shout, beat or ill-treat your dog, if he does do something that doesn’t please you, he should know when you’re not happy. For dogs that may be anxious, stressed or hyperactive, use Feelgood Pets PetCalm – a natural remedy to keep pets calm and relaxed.

HAVE A QUESTION related to your pet?
E-mail the Feelgood Pets team FREE of charge for advice, click here - 

  1. Set rules and boundaries

Do you feed your dog off your plate while you are eating? Does your dog sleep on your bed? Does he have free reign of your house? By allowing your dog to do all these things, you are definitely not being a good pack leader! A good pack leader will set rules, boundaries and limitations. Don’t allow your dog to sleep on your bed or couch or beg for food because in the wild, ownership of space is very important. Your dog must know that you are in charge and your furniture is off limits.

There’s a pecking order and your dog must respect your authority. If these boundaries are not set, you are not only spoiling your dog, you are also confusing him and making it more likely that he will challenge you and try to find out where the boundaries are.

  1. Play the waiting game

Teaching your dog to wait is a good way for pack leaders to show their assertiveness. It’s all part of the pecking order – puppies are taught to wait to eat while adult dogs wait for a signal from their pack leader when it’s time to travel. Making your dog wait for his food by getting him to sit quietly before you signal him to eat is teaching him that while he doesn’t have to hunt for it, he must still work for it. If your dog is aggressive about food, it means he thinks he controls the food supply and you are not respected as the pack leader. If you have an aggressive dog, try Feelgood Pets Aggression Formula, a 100% homeopathic remedy to reduce aggression and calm pets.

HAVE A QUESTION related to your pet?
E-mail the Feelgood Pets team FREE of charge for advice, click here - 

  1. Create a balance between leadership and affection

Some owners may get so caught up in being a dominant leader that they forget about showing love and affection. When you are pleased with your dog, you must praise or reward him for good behaviour. Show affection by patting, speaking in a loving and gentle voice and exuding positive energy around your dog.

Giving doggy treats are a great way to reward your pooch for a job well done – stock up on the Vondi’s range of dog biscuits, packed with natural good goodness and available in a variety of flavours. Get them at the Feelgood Health Shop, Unit 6, Westlake Lifestyle Centre, Westlake Business Park, Cape Town or call 021 797 0193.

  1. Learn to know and understand your pack

Being a good pack leader is knowing and understanding your dog or dogs. Remember, they are like your children and each one will have a different personality and traits. With consistency, setting boundaries, giving affection and spending quality time together, you will strengthen the relationship and bond between dog and pack leader. The result will be a secure, happy and well-behaved dog!

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