Leader or Follower? Which r u? Pt.1 of 3 How does your dog see you….Leader or Follower? All of the material contained in this handout is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, copy by writing the information down or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from JH. If and/or when permission is given, any reproduction of this handout must contain the authors name and credit given to them. All Rights Reserved You might be surprised that you are actually following, not leading. Try and answer these questions. 1. Does your dog usually walk ahead of you, either in the house or when you go for a walk? Does he tug or bite at the leash? 2. You know when he wants to play because he…Brings you a toy/ball? Or Barks at you? Plays “keep away”? 3. You know when he wants attention (wants to be petted or you’re ignoring him) because he: A). gets up under your hands? B). barks or makes noises (whining included)? C). puts his head on you or puts a paw on your leg or knee? D). Jumps up on you with both feet or when you’re sitting he just stands upright looming over you? 4. When going thru doors he always dashes ahead? 5. He’s not listening to you and doesn’t pay attention to you? 6. Jumps up on the couch/chair/bed uninvited? 7. Sits with you with a paw on your foot or lays on your feet, or likes to lean into you? 8. He’s growled or refuses to budge when you try to move him or take something away from him? 9. When he's laying asleep, or chewing on a bone or laying in your way do you: try to walk around him or step over him, so you don't disturb him? Or move your feet when he sits on them? Disclaimer: If you are afraid of your dog, or he's nipped or bitten you , a Certified Behaviorist is needed. Don't try these solutions/tips yet until you talk to a behaviorist. See below for solutions and tips. Training is always the Key when you have a dog. Make sure a vet has checked him out. You need to teach him "sit" first before asking for it. Every dog needs a leader, if you do not take the position he will. Once he's in that position, he'll either resist giving up his status, or change because he never wanted the position to begin with. All family members need to do this. You need to give the dog an attitude adjustment, but you can not meet aggressiveness with aggressiveness, no alpha rolls or neck shakes. Stand up straight, scowl on face, a deeper or lower voice and even a well placed “EH!” sound will let him know you mean business. You don’t need to yell at the dog, you need to be calm but confident. From now on you will practice Nothing In Life Is Free. The dog must earn everything he gets. Sit is what he needs to do for anything he wants. Dinner? Sit (only say it once). No Sit? Food goes on counter, walk away and try again 2 minutes later. Solution/Tip #1: Do not let him pull or walk in front of you, he's leading you out on the forage/hunt trip. Let him potty before you head out, this way he doesn’t need to pee and mark everywhere. He doesn’t need a formal heel, that’s no fun, and too much concentration for any length of time. But, a loose leash walk next to you, where his head doesn’t go past the length of your stride, or where your foot falls, is good enough. He doesn’t get to mark or sniff every blade of grass unless you allow it, keep walking if he wants to stop, don’t let him get a chance to, talk to him, tell him he's walking good, praise him for doing so, this way he knows he's doing what you want. After maybe 15 or 20 minutes of good walking make him sit and tell him" okay" release him and let him sniff around or lay in the grass, if he wouldn’t pee at home, let him do so if he needs too. In the house, if he wants to rush ahead of you, (a lot of herding breeds do this), as he start to come up along side of you, cut him off by using your body to block the access, or sometimes it's just easier to just change direction, you may get dizzy for awhile but it will teach him to wait and see which way you're going. Don't let your dog put a paw over the leash or grab, tug or chew on your leash. Apply Bitter Apple or some type of taste deterrent or just tell him "stop" or Uh-Uh. When you teach him "leave it", that can be used so he will leave it alone. Solution/Tip #2: If he brings you a toy or ball and drops it in your lap tell him "Uh-Uh" and calmly put the toy back on the floor, keep doing it until he gives up. If he starts barking at you, tell him "quiet" and leave the room if he doesn't do so (see #3 below). After he gives up, you know he wants to play, you can pick up the object and start the game, the difference is it’s under your terms not his when play happens.And keep him playing, don't let him decide when play stops, if he tries to walk away and chew toy/ball, you'll need to figure out when he usually stops the game, example: after how many throws? and stop the game before he does.Remember: Leaders start and stop activity. Solution/Tip #3: Do not let him demand attention from you: (A), remove your hand quickly don’t let it slide over him, say Uh-Uh and ignore him. (B). Teach him to stop barking. For whining say "quiet" if they do not, get up and leave the room and go behind a closed door for a maximum of 30 seconds, come back out if he's quiet for at least 3 seconds after the 30 seconds is up, only come out if he's calm and quiet. (C & D). Tell him "off", and make him sit if he's standing or jumping , praise calmly if he's calm. You can call him to you 1000 times a day for pets and love, but it’s under your terms, and until he understands you're the leader, keep this to a minimum, call him over for petting for a few seconds and then that’s it until later. Solution/Tip #4: Teach him "wait" taught in our level 2 class, or get a leash and correct him using your voice and confident manner (don't use the leash to jerk and pop, it's only to help keep them there, while you practice) to tell him "uh-Uh" if he tries to rush thru, you can block the doorway with your body, have him sit before you step thru the door, then invite him thru.. Solution/Tip #5: Teach him a focus exercise like "watch me". If he realizes you’re in charge he will start to listen to you, this one falls into place once the NILIF starts, and the teenage phase of his life ends. Solution/Tip #6: Dogs are not allowed the privilege of being on the best places in the house, where the leader sleeps or sits. Only when you invite him. Sleeping with you sends the wrong message. He's at the very least, equal with you. Sleeping in his own space, crate or on a bed next to yours is fine. Maybe sleeping with you can be a goal, but after he knows who is the leader and only if he will sit and gets invited up. Teach him the "Off" command. Solution/Tip#7. Keep him off of you. If he tries to take your space, do not move away to make room for him, tell him "off" or lean back into him so he gets displaced, not you. Solution/Tip #8. This is a hard one, if your dog has growled or nipped at you at you for anything, you will need to really control things, no pigs ears or food type things until he can drop them when you say so, get him off or away from something by using a treat and then control the environment, use booby traps or shut doors and such to keep him off the furniture for now, so there is no physical confrontation. It’s always best to get a vet exam to be sure nothing is medically wrong to cause aggressive behavior. Solution/Tip #9. If your dog likes to sleep in doorways or in the hallway and you have to step around him or over him, don't do it, if you need to get to your spot to sit or lay on the couch or floor, tell him to move, you are coming thru. Whistle, clap your hands, shuffle your feet towards him, make him move. Don't move your feet when they lay on them or lean into you, they are displacing you, taking over the space you just had, lean back into THEM make them get off you. Some dogs get slightly worse before they get better. Consult a trainer. NILIF is a non confrontational way to give your dog an attitude adjustment. *Don’t bend over and give cue words, stand up straight in a position of authority. Get eye contact and tell him one time what you want, if he knows the cue word, he should comply, if not, get a stern look, point or snap a finger at him and deepen/lower your voice, step into him, and tell him again. Wait for him to comply, if he tries to leave, say "uh-uh" and try again. You do not want to repeat your cue words over and over, he thinks he's in charge, you have to let him know, his reign is over. *Don’t get on the floor and have your dog jump all over you., not yet, maybe later when he knows you’re in charge. *No giving of food from table, no begging (pace, jump on your leg, throws a paw on your leg, stand/sit and stare at you while you are eating or just watching TV): Tell them your negative marker Uh-Uh, or make them go lay down, if they have been taught down, while you eat, or watch TV. Do not free feed, he needs to earn it. Leaving food down all the time is a bad ideal. Food is power: whoever has the food has the power, it's a guarded resource, and a valuable one, it's survival. (if the dog has a serious medical condition, that they need food all the time, then do so, but make sure, when you're home, it is offered by you, if you need to, every 5 minutes, this still let's you have some control). A dog that sees you as Leader will usually come to you trying to make his body smaller or with head lowered, a tail wag and ears back. A happy I know you lead look. Teach him what you want thru training. Be calm and confident.