dog iconMy Philosophy on Dog Training

Rules of Leadership

PupCanine relationships are of only two types: Leaders and followers.

RULE 1: Leaders are confident -- dogs read body language and energy levels better than human vocal communication. If the leader is filled with tension, fear, or uncertainty, the dog knows this immediately.

RULE 2: No teeth on human skin -- teach this from day one.

RULE 3: Nothing in life is free -- leaders are respected, and in the canine world, that means you must be valued for what you provide in life. If it is able to control you, and make no mistake, it will try in many subtle ways to do so, you will become a follower without even realizing it.

RULE 4: Every thing belongs to humans -- in the canine world any object that is not in the immediate possession of a higher ranking individual is open to acquisition by any dog that can get it and keep it. To gain and keep your place as leader, every thing must belong to you. Toys, furniture, food, treats and physical locations.

RULE 5: Every dog must have a safe place. This is where it goes when it needs peace and quiet.

RULE 6: Never chase the dog -- leaders are in front and a chase will reinforce your role as a follower. A reliable recall is important to support this.

RULE 7: You must be in charge of every situation -- leaders are able to protect their followers. When you can do this to the dog's satisfaction, it will not feel the need to attempt to do so on it's own.

RULE 8: Leaders make their expectations in black and white -- dogs function best in a world free of grey areas. Consistency every time is important.

RULE 9: There are no favorites -- in a home with multiple dogs, a common mistake is to have an assistant leader. When the human leadership is strong and sufficient to maintain order and disscipline, it is not necessary to have the assistance of a canine pack member.