Leader of the pack

Leader - a person who leads.  Yep, pretty self explanatory; but do you?  Do you lead your dog?  The whole term leader has gotten a bad rap because of the ever so famous television dog trainer.  He yanked around so many dogs by the neck that the term leader quickly became Alpha in a very negative way.  

Being your dog's leader means just that, to guide and lead through life.  It has nothing to do with yanking, choking, yelling, hitting or alpha rolling.  Our dogs need a leader; after all we put them smack dab in our human world and expect them to deal with it all.  They need guidance, they need an education.  

It is a little mind boggling how little many humans know nothing about dogs.  Much of what people think they know is human behavior, not canine.  I cannot tell you how many times people have explained what is going on with their dogs through their human eyes.  They see much of it as things that we humans do; but dogs are not humans, far from it.  

If you add a dog to your family you should start reading.  Of course you should read a great deal because there are many different directions that advice will come from.  If you keep a "do no harm" mindset then you will hopefully know when to move away from "alpha dog" mentality training.  

Understanding dogs takes time.  It also may take a whole mindset of letting go of what you think you know.  The "I have to walk out the door first" or "they have to walk behind me" or "they are pulling to dominate me" need to be tossed.  Dogs do what dogs do; they are not out to take over our world; although if we allow them to be the leader, many will.  Most don't want to be the leader and if we don't step up and lead they are left vulnerable and shaken. 

Learn about dogs if you want to live with dogs.  They are highly complicated yet very simple once you figure it all out.  Each is as different as we are; but in their own amazing dogness, not human at all.