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Thread: Where Did the Packs Go?

  1. #1

    Default Where Did the Packs Go?

    I have started taking a close look at pack structure since last year and applied techniques and methods from the books I've read on my two dogs. It still hasn't failed to astonish me how important it is and how peaple take it for granted. I'll enumerate a couple of things I found out:

    1) The end result is total complete control of a happy confident dog.

    2) The process is achievable but not easy like you see in so many TV shows.

    3) I found out that you not only control your actions but most of all your emotions. Dogs communicate through "auras" and people project an emotional aura. This is foreign to the dog.

    4) When you do this it also changes you as a person.

    I walk my dogs every day In a park where a lot of dog owners walk their dogs. I try to look for a human pack leader. Until now, I've only seen two human pack leaders that will fit one of the criterias - the dog does not pull on his lead and walks beside or behind the pack leader. That will be two out of possibly 100 people or more. That is 3% (including me) in our area.

    Considering all behavioral problems in dogs are pack-related, this figure clearly states something needs to be done about this issue.


    Does your dog jump at you when you greet it coming home from work?
    Does it walk in front of you during walks?
    Does the dog obey a learned command 100% of the time?
    Is it not calm and submissive in your presence? Too excited? Fearful?

    If any of these questions has a "yes" for an answer, you are not a pack leader.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Yes to a few of those!
    Help me!
    How do I stop the jumping?
    She is either jumping or submissive.
    Walks part of the time next to me the next ahead and back and forward we go.
    Any hints would be appriciated.

  3. #3

    Default

    Unfortunately, there are so many aspects to cover about this to fit in one email. For that I am sorry.
    Try reading these articles and I hope you'll get some good advice. If you have any specific questions after reading these, you can post your question on this thread.
    Leerburg's Dog Training eBooks
    Dog Channel: Cesar Millan

    A few tips:
    Force yourslef to be calm and communicate by projecting a calm assertive aura whenever you're in front of your dog. Don't talk to it and don't overpet. Be a bit aloof and make him feel that you'd rather be watching TV rather than be with him. Do this for as long as it takes until he becomes calm submissive when you're around. Then maybe you can give him a pet or two. NEVER allow your dog to jump up to other people. If he's too excited and cannot be controlled around them-leave. A dog that jumps at people is trying to remind those people who the boss is -him. It is a dominant gesture. It's not cute. He is also showing no respect towards you by doing this. Another dominant dog will not tolerate this sort of behaviour- thus a dog fight breaks. Ignorant people will sometimes not ask your permission to pet your dog and just come over and give him a hug while encouraging jumping and trashing about. Stay away from them cause they will ruin your dog. Make sure your dog "work" for his food. Make him sit, stay or down before giving him his food. It is best if you walk him before feeding him.

    This doesn't get perfected overnight. Keep trying and persevere.
    If he jumps at you, always correct it. There are different types and levels of correction and it varies for different dogs and level of offenses. For example, I correct my little ball of energy by saying "NO" when she jumps at me. Mind you, I don't yell the word, I simply say it. But it's enough to put her in a low bow and sitting position. Calm and submissive.

    Reminder: Going to obedience class will teach your dog tricks but most of the time you'll end up with the same behavioural problems because you haven't establish a good pack structure.

  4. #4
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    Hi

    I sooo agree with your OP!
    ATM I am training a bull arab pup (she's 15 weeks)..and is comming along nicely with me (it's with my 4 kids that is going to be a tough one!!, but we are slowly getting there). She has picked my eldest daughter (8) to try and dominate, but I am teaching my daughter how to overcome this problem and to be the dogs leader rather than the other way around.
    Candy also likes to play bite!!!...so I am using a muzzle for when she doesn't obey the big NO command and keeps up the play biting. Also when she does this while inside..she's sent outside!

    My first dog (see in the rememberance section) Jess was an absolutly awesome 1st dog..she was easy peasy and she new from day 1 that I was her master! We had the best 14 yrs and everyone used to comment on what an awesome, obedient dog I had (and she tookout all the 1st place trophies while in agility and obedience!!). We were a great team

    Getting back to Candy...she is much more outgoing than Jess was...probably due to her being part of a HUGE litter...she used to gulp her food down without swallowing...now she is chewing it up and learning that it's not a fight for food here. I walk her daily and she is going very well with Heal and Sit..she is overcomming her fear of passing cars and barking dogs (good to have a confident master )...so I am truely hoping by the time she is one yr old...she will be just as awesome as I hoped...and into the obedience training..getting reading for trialing


    ETA: this info is sooo important as there are sooo many dog owners out there who don't understand that a dog NEEDs a master!
    Last edited by ozeymum; 02-04-2009 at 01:45 PM.

  5. #5

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    I also largely agree with the OP

    However just keep in mind that not all behaviour can/should be attributated to a break down in pack structure.

    Jumping for example ( sorry Erinah ) can sometimes be just over excited enthusiasiam and is usually a learnt trait anyway. It will not automaticly mean that you are not seen as the pack leader.

    I discourage jumping but our young girl will still at times not be able to contain herself when playing or when I first get home after a day out. This certainly does not show I have suddenly relinquished my place as alpha...it does show at times that my training may have laxed and then at times it simply means "geeze! It sure is good to see you mum!"

    GageDesign Pet Photography
    Site still in construction so will post link when it's finished.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERINAH View Post
    Yes to a few of those!
    Help me!
    How do I stop the jumping?
    She is either jumping or submissive.
    Walks part of the time next to me the next ahead and back and forward we go.
    Any hints would be appriciated.

    With the jumping....turn your back, fold your arms and sternly say NO.
    Get your dog into a sit position, then praise and pat. If this doesn't work, you may need to put a leash on your dog to physically control the jumping (by standing on the lead before patting and praising).

    As for the Heal position(always lead on the left hand side) a check chain or a halti is great to use for training...walk briskly and as you correct the dogs position, say 'heal' and praise (good dog)..
    keep repeating this. I also use..'Close' and 'watching' as commands to get my girl to heal correctly and watch me as I am walking.

    Every now and then..stop (with your right foot first, then bring your left to stop next to the right one)... and teach your dog to sit at your heal each time you stop...and they are to stay and wait until you walk on and say "heal" (leading with your left foot first).

    Hope this helps

  7. #7

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    Well, if you think that a chiuaua jumping to greet you is cute, I don't think the same is true when my Bullmastiff jumps at me or any visitor for a greeting. Thing is, in the dog world, they see things in black and white not in shades of gray like we do. You cannot be sometimes a pack leader and sometimes a playmate. You have to be a pack leader in every occassion. This will only send wrong signals to your dog and confuse him, thus behavioral problems occur. A pack leader controls every aspect of a dog's life and that is what you are trying to replicate. You'll never see a pack leader wolf pepper his packmates with hugs and kisses and lets them jump all over him. If you don't assume this role - the dog will, even fearful ones would.

    I'm not a big fan of choke chains or haltis. Some people may find this work for them but I certainly haven't. I used to use choke chain on my German Shepherd x cattle dog because of her hyper-aggressiveness towards people but it took me almost a year tro use it properly. People think you just put it on the dog and take its head off when it starts misbehaving. Wrong. A choke chain is my last resort if I have any other choice I'd use a prong collar cause it's safer. If used improperly, a choke chain will tear the dogs' ligaments in the neck.
    A halti will not make the dog obey you on its own will. It's like puting a remote control on the dogs head but not on its brain.
    What you want to do is to give corrections so that the dog will MIND your command. It must know that it is YOU who is giving the correction so that the next time it feels like lunging at the lady's poodle or run accross the traffic, it will think twice. In the dog's world, the pack leader's command sould be obeyed without question or the pack doesn't survive.

  8. #8

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    I own and rescue a DA breed.
    I am alpha.
    My dogs do not however 'fear' me.
    The day my dogs are fearful of me I will be worried. Fear aggression is the number one cause of bites. People push and do not understand enough of the dogs body language and lo and behold wonder why they are bitten or worse.

    And yes , I play with my dogs.
    Everyday in fact.

    I do not own a wolf pack. I own dogs.
    GageDesign Pet Photography
    Site still in construction so will post link when it's finished.

  9. #9

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    Out of curiousity .
    Before you read these books last year.
    How did you handle your dogs?
    And you say you have applied these methods after reading of them .
    Did you enlist help from someone knowledgable who was already experienced in it ?
    Last edited by ChoppaChop; 02-04-2009 at 11:52 PM.
    GageDesign Pet Photography
    Site still in construction so will post link when it's finished.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Does your dog jump at you when you greet it coming home from work?
    yes, and I love it. In fact, I embrace them both. that doesn'n mean that I am not a leader. They will stop if I tell them to.

    Does it walk in front of you during walks?
    yes, because if I let them go free, they can be free. If I tell them comand "heel", they'll do it. Don't see anything wrong if dog goes in front of me.

    Does the dog obey a learned command 100% of the time?
    older one does, younger one about 90 %

    Is it not calm and submissive in your presence? Too excited? Fearful?
    No, I don't want my dog to look submissive in front of me. They both act normal, relaxed. Just as they should

    If any of these questions has a "yes" for an answer, you are not a pack leader.
    and my answer to that is simple - crap. sorry 'bout my language, but I don't believe in such strictly "by the book" described situations. It's the same sort of thing when they say "don't let your dog on a couch, it will become dominate". Well, I had so far 7 dogs in my life, and none of them dominated, and none of them acted as he did not accept me as their leader. It's a very relative thing.

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