Training and Care — Tip Of The Week
Excerpt from Our New Ebook
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
More Tips on Leadership
We've already touched on the idea of the "pack leader" a few times. This is a concept which will keep coming up throughout the book, and you'll learn to understand how it works in practice as you train. But before we get to that, let's talk about what it means a little more. Specifically, we want to talk about the difference between leadership and dominance.
As I already mentioned, many owners make the mistake of thinking "be the pack leader" means the same thing as "dominate your dog." These are two completely different notions and you need to understand the difference to make sure you don't end up doing more harm than good.
Let's get this clear right now. Being the pack leader is not about forcing your dog to do what you want – that's counterproductive, because your dog won't learn anything (there are exceptions to this, which we'll explain later). The idea is that your dog sees you as a leader so she WANTS to do what you tell her to do. Important difference.
When you try to control your dog with domination and fear, you end up with a dog who is afraid of you and will behave in your presence out of the fear of being punished. But as soon as you leave, that good behavior will disappear because it's not coming from inside the dog – it's caused by an external threat, namely: you.
When you train from a position of leadership, your dog will learn how to be a good dog. And a good dog is a good dog, whether her master is in the room or not. So to create real, consistent obedience that you can rely on, you need to train as a leader, not a dominator.
Next time: Building a Bond with Your Dog
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