Learn how to be your dog’s nat­u­ral leader

Macclesfield Express - - DOGFATHER -

DOES your fam­ily pooch have a train­ing prob­lem or a re­la­tion­ship prob­lem?

I work with lots of dogs who will sim­ply not sit, stay or walk to heel for their own­ers, par­tic­u­larly out­side the home.

“He needs train­ing,” is the common ex­pla­na­tion.

Of­ten I take the lead and the dog im­me­di­ately walks to heel sit­ting and stay­ing on com­mand.

Ob­vi­ously this is not a train­ing prob­lem, but a re­la­tion­ship is­sue.

The dog knows per­fectly well what th­ese com­mands mean, he just doesn’t feel he has to obey his owner.

Imag­ine a pack of wild dogs. There is a leader and a clear hi­er­ar­chy.

You wouldn’t re­ally ex­pect a dog at the top of the pack to take much no­tice of one at the bot­tom. It just wouldn’t hap­pen.

Pack an­i­mals take their or­ders from above not be­low.

If your dog un­der­stands the com­mands but only obeys when it suits him, clearly he be­lieves him­self su­pe­rior to you.

You can­not change his be­hav­iour un­til you ad­dress this is­sue.

You may think you can live with your dog’s dis­obe­di­ence, but what are you go­ing to do when he chases a cat across a busy road?

How are you go­ing to stop him if re­fuses to lis­ten?

I’ve seen too many dogs killed in this way to be blasé.

If you are not your dog’s leader you are a fol­lower and no pack an­i­mal wor­thy of the name lis­tens to a fol­lower.

If you doubt the pack men­tal­ity of pet dogs, just look what hap­pens in a dis­as­ter area.

Do­mes­tic dogs form packs very quickly.

They don’t think about it. It’s in their DNA, it’s what gives them se­cu­rity.

When the leader moves they all move to­gether.

It’s not ne­go­tiable. Those in­struc­tions come down from above.

If you want to learn how to be your dog’s nat­u­ral leader, en­rol in my week­end master class on Oc­to­ber 11 and 12 for help and ad­vice.

Full de­tails of the ses­sion are avail­able at vicbar­low.com/ out­door-master­class or al­ter­na­tively you can text me on 07590 560012.

●● Vic and his pack of dogs

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