Regain Your Leadership With Your Dog


puppydoor1Our last blog was a quiz to determine if your dog sees you as the leader.  If you failed, no worries, we all have been there at one point or another.  We may even be a leader with one dog and not the other, all for various reasons.


If you did not pass the quiz as a leader and now want to regain that leadership here are the steps you need to take.  First make a list of your dog’s top five to ten resources.  These are what they perceive as important items to them.  Not what is important to you, but what gets your dog excited. What makes him happy?  This could be certain foods, car rides, attention from you, laying on the furniture, etc.  Now make a list of all the behaviors your dog knows.  Rank each behavior on a scale of 1-5 on how well the dog performs that behavior, five being the highest rating.


This is your “go to” list.  You now are going to put your dog on a “Nothing In Life is Free” or a “No Free Lunch” program.  Anything the dog wants to do, they must first pay for.  They will be paying you with items you put on your list of behaviors that they know.  If your dog wants to go outside, he must sit first at the door.  Then you will open the door.  If he wants to lie on the couch, maybe you ask for a shake of the paw.  They must always give something to you first.  The reason this is all so important is this is the language that dogs understand.  In their world, leaders of the pack do everything first.  All other dog’s follow behind that leader.  So if your dog is to respect you and the fact that your rules apply at all times, they must know that you are in charge all of the time.


A sit or down will be your dog’s starting point.  You will soon want to make this more of a challenge to your dog.  You will want to put a few behaviors together.  You may ask for the sit and a shake, then take them for a car ride.  Don’t get caught in keeping it simple for your dog.  Challenge them, as that also helps to curb there over excitement for their high resources.  This will force them to concentrate and focus on you more.


Another area, which is extremely important in gaining leadership with your dog, is your consistency.  You are your dog’s leader twenty-four hours a day.  They don’t understand, that you had a bad day at work, or that you are worried about bills that are due.  They need you, that is all there is to it.  Their world does not revolve around elements that they do not relate to or understand.  So even if you are exhausted from work, just to tired to ask for that sit before you open the door, please stop and think.  All it takes is a few times of not making the dog participate in “Nothing In Life Is Free” and your role as a leader quickly changes in their eyes.  It is really very simple if they don’t give you what you want, they don’t get what they want!


If you would like more help in gaining leadership with your dog and teaching him that “Nothing In Life Is Free” contact Kim Paciotti at 704-877-7821 or by email at Our website is

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