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How to Be the Alpha in Your 'Pack'

The number one thing you can do as a dog owner to reduce the impact of bad behaviours to ensure your dog listens to you at all times, and that he doesn't embarrass you in front of friends and family, is to put yourself into the role of pack leader.

However, for many dog owners, this can be a hard path - it requires having a firm hand and making sure your dog knows who is in charge at ALL times.

So, for those that are big softies or just don't know where to start in their road to Alpha leader, here are some easy dog training tips to follow.

* Praise Correctly - Believe it or not, there are right ways and wrong ways to praise a dog. The right way involves putting your hands firmly on your dog, hugging him, putting your hands on him firmly and holding them there. Don't be shy with your praise.

If you touch your dog, it should be done firmly so that he knows you're in charge. However, never use that contact to hit or punish your dog. Additionally, make sure you don't drag out the praise. Give praise, be warm and then leave him be.

* Proper Reprimands - if your dog does something wrong, don't hit him or yell at him endlessly. It's confusing and it can create fear issues that can cause even worse aggression.

Instead, use calm, assertive gestures to correct the behaviour. You can grab the leash or collar and adjust it, but don't yank or yell as you do it. Be quick, hold authority, and show the dog you are in charge of their movements. This will work extremely well. on training puppies.

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* Only Give Commands You Can Enforce - If your dog is 200 feet away from you, what's the stop him from doing whatever he wants. Only use commands that can be enforced as the pack leader.

Once the leadership has been setup, this will be much easier to do, but for now, you need to be at hand to adjust behaviours if the dog decides he doesn't want to listen for any reason.

* Permission and Boundaries - Much like your kids, a dog needs to have boundaries of where they can go and when. Make the couch off limits, make the kitchen off limits, and make sure the dog isn't allowed to change his behaviour whenever he wants.

The key here is that your dog should always look to you for permission to do these things. If you want him to stay on the floor, it doesn't mean he is never allowed on the couch, just that you have to give permission to do so.

* Long Sit-Stays - One of the first obedience commands your dog will learn is "sit-stay". This is a very dominant command. If the dog is extremely dominant or aggressive, make them laydown and stay. The longer you hold them in this position, the more you assert your role.

* Be Consistent and Dignified - Your dog will mirror your personality. If you get mad easily, give in on occasion and are not consistent with your commands, your dog will be equally erratic.

Be consistent in the commands you give and the way you follow through on those commands. Only then will your dog respect what you're requiring of him. This is an essential puppy training tip that you need to bear in mind.

A dog is a very smart, very quick to adapt animal. It's how they survive in the wild. However, if you don't spend time teaching your dog to respect and follow your commands at all times, he will soon see himself as the alpha, and your work is all for naught.

Spend time, teach your dog the pecking order and then be consistent in enforcing it. Before you know it, your dog will behave better than you ever expected possible.

For the Ultimate Guide to becoming the Alpha dog in your pack, so that your dog obeys you wherever you go, make sure you get yourself a copy of 'Secrets to Dog Training' from:

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