What does leadership mean to you? Lately, the term leadership has gotten a bit of a bad rap from the “purely positive” crowd. Somehow it has developed a connotation of dominance and harsh discipline.

However, if you look up the definition of leadership this is what you will find;

the action of leading a group of people or an organization.
“different styles of leadership”
synonyms: guidancedirectioncontrolmanagement, superintendence, supervision

Nowhere in that definition does it talk about anything unpleasant. Even the words dominance and discipline don’t need to be negative, but that is for another post.

So how does being a leader translate into your relationship with your dog? It is simple. Be someone who you yourself would want to follow. So lets break it down given that definition above…

Give your dog guidance. Your dog is an animal, a predatory animal. He is not born knowing how to navigate this human world as a pet. Guide him, teach him, and show him how to behave as a pet dog.  Give your dog direction. This means teach him right from wrong. Communicate to him when he is doing something right, and when he is doing something wrong. This does not mean physical corrections (though sometimes it can), but simply disagreeing with a behaviour will often be enough. Control and manage your dog. Put him on a leash until he can be trusted without it and crate train your dog until he no longer requires it. You don’t need to control every tiny aspect of your dog’s life, but through control and management you will be able to stop them from practicing unwanted behaviours. Supervise your dog. If you cannot supervise, then crate him. Supervision means that you can guide, give direction, control, and manage your dog. When there is no supervision your dog is left to make his own choices (which with young dogs is often a choice we do not like).

All of that combined with being calm, clear and confident is what makes a good leader.

If you are struggling with your dog’s behaviour, sit down and honestly evaluate your role in your dog’s life and whether your provide them with calm, and clear leadership!

We can help you become the leader your dog needs! Contact us today