German_ShepherdSteps to Establishing Your Role as Alpha part 2

6. Give permission. Give it for what is about to do anyway as long as it is OK with you. This does not mean you say OK when you see your dog about to steal a plate of cookies. This means you do say OK when your dog is about to get into the car for a ride with you, eat the food in his bowl, or go out the door.

7. Monitor your dog’s behavior.

8. Do a sit-stay. This is an easy way to reinforce your role as alpha. Put the dog in a sit-stay for two to five minutes. For particularly dominant dogs, make it a down-stay, and even more submissive position. If he’s a wild animal and he doesn’t know the meaning of the word obedient, all the better. If he breaks, put him back. If he breaks 10 times put him back 10 times. At the end of a few minutes, the dog knows you’re alpha. He knows that anyone who holds his leash can call the shots. And this is with no yelling, no hitting, no electronic stimulation, no leaving him in the kennel or garage for three days, no nothing. Just a sit-stay. Easy and effective.

** Remember, when you practice your sit-stay, increase the timing FIRST, then the distance. Done properly, you won’t be placing your dog back in position 10 times !

9. Be benevolent, but tough. Act like a top dog. Tough, but loving. Always be fair an never get angry. Dogs understand what’s fair and what’s not.

You may think that this system is just being too controlling and not “fair” to the dog. Actually, by being inconsistent in your handling you are being unfair! He needs structure – to understand what you want and what his responsibilities are. What is unfair is giving up a dog because of behavior problems – problems caused by the lack of structure and guidance. Unfortunately, animal shelters are filled every day with these dogs. Firm, loving, training will keep you and your dog happy – and keep you together.