Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The training you do in the first months of a puppy’s life is all important for a successful relationship in the years to come. Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, believes you must be the pack leader from the start.
He says: Puppies are hard-wired for a structured life. From the time they are born, they seek out boundaries and want to learn what they are supposed to do and what they are not supposed to do. Some people feel uncomfortable asserting authority over their dogs and will say things like “my baby is only two months old! How can I make rules for it?” But dogs, like all social animals, need structure in their lives. They need to feel a sense of direction and stability.
In nature, the puppy’s mother started making rules the moment it was born. She was the first pack leader, and as soon it was old enough, she took it on walks and set boundaries for it. She made it wait for food – not feeding it on the puppy’s schedule. In nature, that is what all animals do. Food has to be hunted and doesn’t just show up. It’s important that dogs still work for it.
This is why training is vital – and why you must establish yourself as pack leader. Your dog is an animal, not a human. It is a pack animal and needs leadership and structure to be fulfilled and happy. Exercise and discipline are both good for the dog; they fulfill him as a member of the pack. Fail in this and you are opening the door to trouble – in the form of an unfulfilled, annoying and even aggressive animal.