How can you be the RIGHT kind of leader for your dog …without being punitive, and without having to be a non-stop treat or toy dispenser?
One of the core philosophies of my work is that Dogs thrive when being guided by clear, consistent leadership that provides a framework to live by.
There’s a common myth that being a leader means you have to be alpha or domineering.
That is simply NOT true.
Because we have embraced positive training methods and rejected the punitive approach to dog training and the domineering ‘alpha’ role of leadership that comes with it …
… we have often left our dogs without any real guidance on how to navigate through life.
We end up providing No leadership, or a permissive kind of leadership. And neither of those works. Trust me.
With No leadership that will teach our dog how to ‘be’ calm, responsible, resilient members of the family, we have to be in ‘training mode’ or ‘management mode’ all the time. Indefinitely. Like forever. 🙁
When we are in ‘training mode’ all the time, our dogs are too. Think about that. Instead of having a dog who is a responsible part of the family, we have a dog who is dependent on us for every choice, every move.
We tell the dog when to sit, when to stay, when to come, when to leave it, when to take it … you get the idea.
And then sometimes we have a dog who becomes afraid of missing out on a reward opportunity so they are on ‘high alert’ and won’t make a move without our permission…OR, they keep offering behavior after behavior in the hopes they will hit the ‘right’ one.
How exhausting, right? And frustrating too. For both dog and human!
At the opposite end of the leadership spectrum is being permissive.
That style of leadership gives dogs ‘free rein’ to figure things out. There’s little structure or routine for dogs to rely on, and there’s not much management. So dogs end up like sort of a ‘wild child’ … and since this approach often leads to a lack good social skills, activities like going for a walk or interacting with guests is next to impossible.
This is not the kind of freedom that makes us or our dogs happy. Quite the opposite. We are overwhelmed and the dog is overwhelmed, over-aroused, perhaps even anxious or frantic.
Just like children who are raised with guidance, structure and active parenting, our dogs thrive when we master a loving leadership role.
So … if your dog thrives with guidance, but you don’t want to be alpha and domineering (which we know doesn’t work, and has been thoroughly disproven, despite what we see on TV) and you don’t want to be permissive…
What choice do you have?
Loving Leadership that leads to a collaborative, attentive and responsive partnership with your dog is the answer.
It’s part of my foundation formula for partnership.
Watch the video below where Kathy teaches you about loving leadership.
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Starts September 6th, 2018
Great idea on recall. Had never thought about yhe behavior i was modeling. gave me lots to think about.
Philosophy very much like my own but I fail at it sometimes. I felt quite choked when Kathy was upset about her previous dog. Been there. I like the recall example and would like more. I generally try to teach that approach and model it myself but sometimes frustration wins. Must do better! Thanks.
Wonderful information. Just thinking of how I react when Star does and it definitely is sending him the wrong signal. Happy this info is brought to my attention