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#pack leader #dogsofbarkbustersSo often as a Brevard County dog trainer I walk into client’s homes and quickly realize who is in charge. Without realizing it, pet parents have relinquished control of the home to their dogs. In fact, many adjust their schedules to accommodate the dog!

While I observe the dogs and owners, I can often see how well the dogs have trained the owners. Dogs are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. In fact, the root of many behavioral issues is that the dog thinks he is the “pack leader”. It’s not something owners realize until we point out the tell-tale signs. Suddenly the owners see things from their dog’s point of view and have a new respect for their dog’s intelligence.

Pushy dogs come in all forms — from the chihuahua that rules the front door to the Rottweiler that refuses to let his pet parent vacuum. Many of these dogs like to dominate, but others assumed the role of pack leader by default — when no one else stepped up to the plate.

For fun, I have listed some examples of dogs I have seen in my travels as a dog trainer. These dogs knew how to get what they wanted! These are real-life scenarios compiled from my clients. You may see yourself or your dog in these behaviors!

  • Merlin (a border collie) wakes up my husband in the middle of the night to go out and then sneaks back upstairs and takes his spot in the bed.”
  • “My Boxer Rhett walks us. We seem to go where he wants at his pace. I feel like I am in a tug-of-war!”
  • “Our Labradoodle Mollie loves to play in the mud. My husband started offering a treat to Molly so he coud clean her paws off with a hose before she comes in the house. Now she runs away from the hose unless he throws a treat.”
  • “Our German Shepherd King has learned to use the door handle so we don’t have to let him out. That is the good news. The bad news is he doesn’t shut the door after himself, letting all the bugs in! When he is at daycare, he often opens the door to the garden and lets all the dogs out. This can be dangerous!”
  • “Our dog Cuda has my number. When he wants to go for a walk, he goes and grabs his leash. He is relentless in his begging and I always give in because I work from home and don’t want my client’s to hear his barking!”
  • “My Groodle doesnt like it when I talk on the phone. He won’t stop barking until I end my conversation.”
  • “My two dogs love to play fetch. Every time I go outside they will appear with a tennis ball and start jumping all over me until I throw it.”
  • “The minute the doorbell rings, my dog Ruger goes crazy. He will drag out a huge toy and shake it at our guests until they pay some attention to him.”
  • “My miniature Poodle dog has been crate trained. He is fine if I put him in there during the day. .. in fact, he loves it! However, at night, he barks uncontrollably until I let him out and put him in bed with me.”

Remember that dogs are pack animals and are used to having a strong leader. If your dog perceives you as a weak leader, it will take over that role, often with disastrous consequences. You need to establish the rules and be consistent in enforcing them. Bark Busters Brevard County will teach YOU to be the leader at the top of the pecking order. Call me today so we can establish YOU as the boss!

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