One of the most important things I want to get across is that dogs are dogs — not humans!
- Find a canine solution. Often, the solution we would use for a human is totally wrong for solving a dog’s issues. For example, when a human sees a scared or nervous dog, s/he will first offer comfort and consolation. This would never happen in the animal world and can make the problem worse instead of better, because it reinforces unstable behavior.
- Speak the animal language. When dogs come into our homes, they meet emotional energy for the first time. We shower them with affection and babble at them in high-pitched baby-talk, so they see us as excited energy. This is why many dogs don’t listen to their human caretakers. Their mothers never acted this way; where did that calm-assertive leadership go?
- Treat your dog like a dog. We often develop a different agenda for our dogs. We want to make puppies our babies. From day one, many humans forget to fulfill and understand their dog’s needs and instead project their own needs and desires on the animal.
- Be the Pack leader! In the absence of a clear leader, a dog, even a submissive one, will seek to fill what they see as the vacant leadership role. The dog will ignore the owner, act out, and can lead to serious behavior issues.
Imagine if your significant other mistook your needs for the needs of a chimpanzee; where would that leave you? Confused and disoriented. It’s the same for dogs. But their confusion and disorientation manifest in bad behavior such as tearing up the couch or incessant barking. If we don’t fulfill them as a species, our dogs won’t live a balanced, centered life.
Understanding and projecting a pack leader’s calm-assertive energy will create a positive and lasting connection with your dog.