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), YOUmust 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
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
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
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.