If you have ever watched the National Geographic Channel for any length of time then chances are that you have seen a show titled The Dog Whisperer staring Cesar Millan. Fro those of you who have not had the pleasure, Cesar is a television host who travels across the country helping people gain control over their unruly dogs. He solves dog behavioral problems by teaching people how to understand the psychology behind why their dogs exhibit said behaviors. Cesar’s main advice is to remain the calm and assertive pack leader. For those of us who don’t speak Cesar fluently; here are 5 ways to be a pack leader:

1. You must understand why dogs need a pack leader. Dogs are wild animals who descended from wolves. Before dogs were domesticated they lived in the wild in packs. Within those packs there was a pecking order from the pack leader or alpha down to the most submissive member. In order to have a successful and happy pack you must establish yourself as the leader of it. By doing this you let the dog(s) know where their place is and what roles they play within the pack. Without this structure your dog is more likely to act out through destructive behavior or other undesirable actions.

2. Pack leaders always win. You must never let your dog win when playing against you. If your dog is sitting in your favorite chair and you try to move him and do not follow through after he growls or snaps then you have just lost. Go calmly back to the situation and urge your dog to move by nudging or enticing with a treat. The moment your dog relinquishes his position you should praise liberally. In this scenario you have won, but your dog is also happy because he learned his place in the pack and got a treat in the process.

3. Pack leaders go first. Whenever you are in a situation where you can go first or the dog can, always make sure you go first. If you are getting ready to walk out the door to go on a walk make sure your dog sits and waits for you to go first before he is allowed to exit himself. When on the walk make sure your dog is by your side and not out in front leading you around the block. You should also go first at mealtime. You eat your food first and then feed Rover. All of these behaviors will reinforce your alpha role in the pack.

4. Make them work for it. Pack leaders do not give treats to their dogs for being cute (OK, well maybe sometimes when no one is looking), they make them work for it. It can be something as simple as a sit or as difficult as an extended down stay, but it should always be something. Always make sure to have your dog perform some type of command before giving him any type of treat. He needs to learn that there is no free lunch.

5. Remain collected and confident. Body language is very important to dogs because that is how they communicate with other dogs. Use body language like keeping your head up and shoulders back. This alert posture shows your dog that you are confident and assertive. Use a firm voice when administering commands. Make it known that you are telling and not asking.

This might sound stern to you, but keep in mind that there is always room for affection in a healthy pack. Be firm and decisive when achieving pack status, but reward desired behavior and give love liberally when shaping your pack. Good leaders know how to balance discipline and affection.

Author's Bio: 

This article was provided by Brian Spilner who writes for Pet Super Store - visit this site for great savings on pet fences and petsafe radio fence. Read more of Brians articles and Learn about how owning a pet removes impacts of loneliness