A Dog for the Family
 
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Dog Behavior

In your search for canine companionship, it's natural for you to wish for a four-legged furry person.  There are even vets who recommend puppy ownership for those considering adding a two legged addition to the family.  But as much as many of us want to believe that dogs are just people with four legs and fur, they aren't.  Dogs are so much more.
"But I love my little Pookie dog just like a person", you say.  Knowing how to love your dog is probably the most important skill you can learn.  Remember, you are two different species and as the more intelligent of the two (generally speaking), YOU must communicate on his level, not vice versa.  

Your dog can "love" you with abandon, 
but still not "respect" you. 

A dog's world is built based on a pack identity.  Wolves in the wild can not survive alone, they must live together in a pack.  Within the pack there is one leader, and below him the pack has an ordered hierarchy.  Dogs are very comfortable with this arrangement.  In a dog's mind, the world is full of leaders and followers. Fido knows that if you aren't the leader, then it's up to him to define the rules.  This is the basis of most dog/owner problems.  

Dogs don't need self-help books. The dominant dog does not seek to be more submissive and vice versa.  If you don't exert your authority over your dog, he won't wring his paws and worry about how to not hurt your feelings.  He'll take charge.  This is why choosing the correct breed is so important (and the reason for creating this web site).   

Within the pack, the top dog or "alpha" gets the best of everything: 

  • the best food
  • the best women (for he's always a male)
  • the best place to sleep
  • etc.  

He courts (humps) whomever he wants, whenever he wants.  
He'll issue a warning growl to keep subordinates in line.  These subordinates spend most of their time licking him and seeking his approval.  He, on the other hand, never solicits them.  He never licks their face or ears, nor rolls on his back exposing his belly.

In Fido's world, when he's top dog,  HE gets to eat first.  He'll eat as much as he wants and then if he's feeling gracious, he'll allow you to eat.  (If you're in need of correction, he'll urinate on the remaining food to teach you who's boss.)  

As for sleeping arrangements, he'll do as he pleases there too.  If your bed is more comfortable, then that's where he'll sleep. He'll decide if you're allow up there with him. 

Can you begin to see the problems involved when Fido thinks he's in charge?

This is why it is IMPERATIVE that you establish yourself and the other humans in your household as ranking higher than your adorable puppy.  This includes children as well, for the way a dog handles a dominance challenge from a subordinate is by growling and, if the challenger does not back down, a vicious attack.  If your child is seen as a subordinate, he/she could become another alarming statistic.

Read more about canine pack rules.....