Defining a Balanced Dog

A dog wants to feel a connection with a strong, stable pack leader.

A dog wants to be told what to do every day. Dogs look to their pack leader human or animal to project a calm, assertive energy and guide their every movement..

In any relationship you need to fulfill each others needs. Its the same in the dog-human relationship.

In the dog world, male or female does not matter. Equally, a female can be a pack leader, just the same as a male can. Both male and female dogs follow the pack leader regardless of their sex.

Humans make a mistake when they treat dogs like people. They think if they show enough affection to their dogs everything will be OK. But what the dog really wants for a balanced and happy life is to feel a connection with a strong, stable pack leader.

Nurturing Unwanted Behavior
When people see a dog in distress, the first thing they will do is share love, food, or compassion. This is human psychology, not animal psychology. In their world, dogs or other animals don’t nurture weakness, because it will only serve to nurture unbalanced behavior and reinforce negative experiences.

For example, lets say you have a dog that is anxious. To ease his anxiety, you give him a treat. Seems like a harmless thing to do, right? The reality is that you may have distracted him from his anxiety for a moment with the treat, but you have also reinforced his anxious behavior and increased the likelihood of its reoccurrence.

You can become your dogs pack leader by acting like an animal pack leader would. This is not 50 percent of the time; you must master the leadership role. The pack leader tells the pack, through his calm, assertive energy, what do and where to go. He doesn’t ask the pack if they are OK with his decisions. This is how dogs behave and communicate and create pattern behavior.

How can you tell if your dog is the pack leader? Its simple: If he jumps on you when you arrive home, he’s the pack leader. If you open a door and he goes in front of you, he’s the pack leader. If he barks and then you feed him, he’s the pack leader. Whenever he makes you do something he is the pack leader.

Conversely, when you walk through a door and he follows, you’re the pack leader. When you make him sit to be fed, you are the pack leader. This must be done 100 percent of the time because it will confuse and frustrate your dog if you suddenly give them the space to lead you.

If we don’t structure the relationships with our dogs, guess who will? The dogs. If they don’t get leadership from us, they will fill what they see as a vacant role out of necessity. In order for them to feel connected and balanced, they must connect to a strong, stable pack leader.

Let that be you.

Next Step: Bringing Out a Dog’s State of Mind

Cesar and his pack
Get more tips from Cesar.

Note: Cesar Millan is a professional. Please consult a qualified trainer before attempting these techniques with your dog.

For more information, visit Cesar Millans Dog Psychology Center where the express purpose is to rehabilitate and maintain a dogs natural state of being.

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Behavior and Training · Dogs