Tuesday, May 1, 2007
OUR ATTITUDE TO THE DOG AS WE SLIDE IT DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PACK LADDER....
You don't have to be mean and nasty about sliding our dog down to the bottom of the pack ladder. It's simply a matter of adopting a temporary attitude that is impersonal, distant and firm.
Giving your dog a whole lot LESS attention during this transition period will help lessen its confusion.
For many people, just ignoring their dog for a period of time will be the hardest part of winning back the leadership. Some people find it gut-wrenchingly difficult.
We'll still be walking, grooming and feeding our dog, but we won't be playing with it during this transition period. We won't be giving it nearly as many pats, treats and attention. We'll also be interacting and talking to our dog much less.
While we're winning back all those lost challenges, it'll make the transition period much less confusing if our dog isn't getting any mixed messages from the human members of the pack.
By ignoring our dog during this slide to the bottom of the pack ladder, we're not saying: "We hate you."
Instead, we're saying in clear, simple dog language: "You are no longer the leader of our pack."
As the pushy, challenging behaviour lessens dramatically, we can resume interacting with our dog again - but from now on - only on our terms! Never again is our dog going to rule the household! Its days as leader are over!
"Hey, this life at the bottom of the pack ladder ain't so bad after all..."
If you would like to buy my book, you can buy it on-line at:
It's called "The Dog Man"by Martin McKenna.
(It was written in my pre-dreadlock days and has become an Australian bestseller.)