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How to become Top Dog - A Dog Owners Guide to Sanity

Peeing on the carpet, knocking you down, or stealingdinner off the counter are all signs that your dogdoesn't respect your rules. In other words, you are notthe Alpha Dog.

If you ever want to have a peaceful and happy relationshipwith your dog, you need to learn how to become top dog.

It's not just a silly phrase. Dogs have a heirarchialranking system. In simple reality, the only two ranksyou need to know of are top dog , and not top dog....The Ruler, and the Rule Follower. Naturally you don't wantto be caught in the trap of being subject to your dog.

You want your dog to respect you and obey you. Don't confusethe two. A dog may obey you out of fear, but not respect you.That is a dangerous situation to be in. Have you ever seenthe movie Iron Will? If not, watch it. It gives some greatinsight.

There's a dog sled driver who beats his dogs into submissionand treats them terribly. They respond to his beatings andhe has a winning team, but at the first sign of weakness,they turn on him and... well it wasn't pretty.

Of course that's a dramatization and worse case scenario.Frankly, I think anyone who beats dogs has it coming. It'sjust not necessary to rule with an iron fist.

Most dogs are receptive to attitudes that are as basicand primal as fighting, but are much less violent.

For example, simply giving commands and being consistentgoes a long way. If your dog is always made aware ofwhat is and what is not acceptable, you will have a greaterchance of success.

When your dog disobeys, scold him and send him to his quarters-whether it be a dog bed, a kennel, going outside or just aspecific place in the house.

Don't allow him to beg for food. Doing this gives him theimpression that it's okay to whine to get what he wants.

It's not.

If and when a dog should bite you, and you have had thisdog and don't believe him to be wild or sick, then you haveto take action to ensure he knows that it will not be accepted.(If there is any indication of disorientation of your dogat this time, call a vet. Dogs can bite if they are sick, hurtor scared. You should seek professional advice.)

Appropriate action would not be to scold or hit the dog butrather to grab his head firmly, not in anger or rage but incalm control, and bite him on the ear. Don't try to breakthe skin or really hurt the dog. You are just making a point herethat you are the leader and he needs to respect you.

It is also highly recommended that you train your dog towalk with you on a leash, at your heel level. This puts thedog in an active submissive role on a regular basis and helpsyou to enforce that you are the boss.

I would suggest getting a book or training video to getmore details on the topic, or research dog forums for advicefrom other owners who prefer to train themselves and not sendtheir dogs to obedience school.

Remember that if you want to be the top dog, you have totake control. Leadership is essential in a dog's life. Youare the one who gets to choose who that leader is.

About the Author:
Tina Spriggs is an expert dog lover whose lifelong interest in canines provides the motivation for her site. To learn more about dogs or to find gifts and toys for them visit her site at Dog Gifts and Toys for Dog Lovers.

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