Puppies & Children
Need Help & Advice?
If you cannot find the puppy information, articles or training courses you are looking for, or you have an idea for our website...we want to know! Please let us know here...
Puppy Leadership and Dog Psychology
A puppy's need for leadership, most especially in relation to dominance aggression, is a hot topic in today's climate. Some argue that dogs do not form hierarchal packs with humans - information based on studies of dogs in the wild and domestic dogs in both controlled and uncontrolled environments. In these circles, rank reduction programmes are without merit and in severe instances, will induce aggression in response to inappropriate correction (often guised as training).
While we agree that there are such rituals (or methods of puppy training) that are nothing more than meaningless motions, and in some cases, detrimental to the dog's emotional stability, we believe there is something to be understood about balancing the relationship of a dog or puppy within its family unit.
Consider that dogs share in excess of 97% of their genes with Wolves and the fact that both species can still procreate with each other indicates how closely related they still are. We naturally expect dogs and puppies to adapt to our human world (and many do without remark), and we treat them as equals. However, dogs, like wolves and other canine species cannot live as equals; they either lead or are led in each circumstance.
Dogs and puppies without boundaries or inconsistent boundaries will live as opportunists, establishing their own rules and stirring conflict when otherwise accepted behaviour is denied. Furthermore, enforcing puppy obedience to a dog without clear boundaries is counter-productive, not to mention plagues a dog with unnecessary confusion, which translates to stress.
With this said, we do assess every trainee puppy's role in their home environment and we do make recommendations based on the individuality of the situation. In most cases, a form of a leadership programme is necessary to complement the puppy training.
Please know, however, that leadership need not be confrontational, rather defining the expectations for a harmonious relationship between human and dog.