Leadership is 24/7

One of the biggest (and most common) mistakes dog owners make when attempting to correct their dog’s behavior problems is, to only focus on that moment – the moment when the dog does something they really dislike, or something that is really serious. What they forget about is, the other 23 hours and 50 minutes of the day – all those other moments when they unintentionally were teaching their dogs that they need not listen to them – that their humans were in fact pack mates, not pack leaders.

What you say to your dog about who you are in his life, and what position you wish to play in his life, is determined by how you interact with your dog the majority of the time you spend together – not just when he bites the mailman or the neighbors dog, or when he growls at you when you get too close to his food or toys etc  – you can’t constantly spoil, baby, not enforce rules (or with some dogs, just be  mildly loosey goosey) and then, when the chips are down, expect your dog to listen or take you seriously. If your dog is exhibiting any behavior problems, you have to first create the proper relationship, ALL THE TIME(!)…then once things are good, you can turn down the thermostat a bit, ease up, and adjust if desired or necessary.

Remember, only pack leaders have the ability to change/influence unwanted behavior. Leadership is a 24/7 gig!


  1. Linda Schroeder said:

    Well said!

    Just to clarify one point—creating a proper relationship means the PERSON is the alpha….You call the shots!

    Everything can be a learning experience. This can be as simple as sitting before going out, waiting as the food dish is put down, sitting every time you stop on your walk, and waiting until you tell them it is okay to get in the car.

    The more you practice, the better you and your dog will be!

  2. oshandy said:

    And well said to you too! Those are all great suggestions. Thanks Linda!

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