Wolfie Thinks He is King!
I get this question almost every day from dog owners. Being the boss, the king, the big cheese, top honcho, etc. is based on different perceptions within the canine environment and human environment. There are a lot of things that we could discuss, but there is one, major issue, that if addressed, could solve most of your problems regarding "who is the boss".
I bet that Wolfie comes over to you all the time with a ball or toy and gives you a nudge or whimper asking you to play with him. I am sure that, nine times out of ten, you take the toy and begin playing. I bet that when you come home at night and sit down in the family room, Wolfie comes over to you, nudges your hand with his nose for a pet, and you pat him on the head and rub his belly. I bet that you do this all the time and still wonder why Wolfie thinks he is king...
Here comes the rub. We have just entered an area where the canine perspective and human perspective regarding dominance and leadership part ways. In the human world, in a family, anyone can have a great idea and the rest of the family will willingly follow. Going to the mall, turning in at a Wendy's for lunch, or taking a walk have no implication of individual dominance or leadership. If one of the family members have a good idea, everyone else willingly follows. No big deal!
Now, let's think about Wolfie and his canine perspective. In the canine world, the only one who can tell the rest of the pack what to do is the Alpha Leader. A pack member never directs or leads the pack. It is always the Alpha Leader.
When Wolfie comes to us, asks us to do something, and we comply, we have initiated a scenario where Wolfie is the leader and we are the follower. We unknowingly repeat this over and over again each day. Every family member repeats this with Wolfie over and over again each day. Everyone is (unknowingly) telling Wolfie that he is the king multiple times every day. Of course, Wolfie will believe he is king and can do whatever he wants!
What can we do to stop and reverse this process? Al we have to do is to make sure that everything is always our idea with Wolfie. We must always initiate, begin, commence. The way we accomplish this is through a method called Passive Assertion.
When Wolfie comes up to us with a ball, we ignore him. As soon as he turns away, we call him back to us requesting the ball so that WE can play ball with HIM. When Wolfie gives us the ball, we have initiated the scenario where it was OUR idea. Since it is our idea and Wolfie complied, Wolfie understands that we are the leader and he is the follower. This sounds like a stupid little game, but it is critical in our relationship with Wolfie to maintain our leadership, alpha role.
Try this the next time Wolfie comes over to you and wants you to do something. Also, remember that everyone in the family must do this on a consistent manner. Try this for a few days and you will start to see a remarkable change in Wolfie's demeanour. For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.