Monday, January 14, 2013

Leadership

Leadership comes from within, not from what you do or don’t ask another to do. The qualities of a leader have more to do with inner strength and a calm, confident manner, not how good you are at getting compliance or fending off rivals. Communication plays an huge role in being a leader. Respect comes from understanding and ability to convey and receive information.

Your dog’s respect for you will also grow the more you understand each other and can effectively communicate. Learn dog body language, teach your dog more then just six or seven human words. Label everything for you dog. Off means gets off, down means put your belly on the ground, sit means put your butt on the ground and keep it there until I tell you otherwise.

Our tendencies as humans are to find short cuts, especially in our current magic wand society. Your dog is not going to understand that "no" means, get off, get up, stop that, move away, leave it alone, stop barking, don't dig, etc. Label everything. Stop taking shortcuts and bring out the fullness of your relationship with your dog in such as way that your dog understands.

And don't forget to play.

Few dogs are beyond repair. If you as the rational thinking species actually use your creativity, sense of fairness and need to help, your dog can become who you wish her to be in a very short time. Tap into your dog's instincts. Dog's run, chase, pounce, shake things, dig and howl. Use these activities to teach them when to do what they already know how to do. Then show them how they can do them better and help them via the best method there is - play.

Want you dog to learn how to get you a beer out of the fridge? Create several games that show the dog how to: open a door, grab a can, close the door, bring the can to you and drop it in your hands. None of this is beyond the intelligence or physical ability of a dog. If you make each segment a game (which implies a goal with a reward), not only will he learn fast but he won't forget because the pleasure never goes away.

When you have this level of communication with your dog, being "the boss" isn't really even necessary. A creative, calm, confident leader can teach anything and fix anything.

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