If you own a dog, then it is likely that at some point you have wanted to train annoying or bad habit traits out of your dog. No one likes a dog urinating on the floor or a dog that chews your shoes into bits. However, before you can begin training your dog, it is essential that you get some insight into dog psychology . . . essentially trying to learn just how a dog thinks. Without insight in dog psychology, your training efforts won’t be nearly as effective.
Leader of the Pack
Dog psychology is majorly centered on one area, and that is the Pack. Most animals, including dogs, will live in small groups known as packs. In these packs, there will be adults, teenage dogs and young puppies. Now, the key point is that within every dog pack, there will always be a top dog which is called the alpha male and there will also be a female alpha which will lead the female pack. With this knowledge, you can take the advantage of the dog’s psychology and pretend to be the alpha male. Your teachings and training will sink in much faster if your dog has some respect for you.
The trick is to make sure that all your family members are classed as higher members within the pack, with you as the alpha male (you do not have to be male, of course). This will ensure that if you have kids, the dogs will respect them as well, as they will see them as higher authority. When the dog is much older than the children, the relationship will be more equal, which is okay as long as the dog shows respect.
Maintaining Your Status
Dog psychologists have different opinions on how to maintain the alpha role, but some have shown good results. One, never feed the dog in or near the dining area. It should eat in its own separate area. Do not let the dog sleep on your bed as this makes the dog think you are equals and some can give the impression that your behavior is submissive. Two, if the dog misbehaves, give a strong “NO!” to show who the boss is. If the dog’s bad behavior persists, then a physical punishment – but not a forceful one – may be required. The point is to make it clear that you are the boss!
Providing Immediate Feedback
Another crucial aspect in dog psychology is the dog’s inability to associate two events that are separated by a long interval of time. This is something you will need to remember when training your dog. For instance, if a dog urinates on the floor, don’t wait for two hours before you punish it. The dog will not be able to know what it’s being reprimanded for. The dog will never be able to associate the urination earlier with the punishment now.
It really is vital for you to understand how dogs think before you start training. If the dog is trained in a wrong manner, it can take a very long time to undo those mistakes.