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  • Be your dog’s leader. He will only follow a stable, confident leader whom he trusts and respects. Remember: Leaders make the decisions for the pack.

  • Think of your dog as a mirror: What you show him is what you'll get in return. Calm results in calm, confidence yields confidence, and anxiety and nervousness gives you anxiety and nervousness. Positive energy produces positive energy and negative energy produces negative energy.

  • Dogs thrive on the stability and structure of a pack…even a pack of only two! Give your dog guidance, rules and—above all—exercise, and you’ll be rewarded with a well-balanced dog.

  • Teach your dog that his default setting should be calm and submissive. A calm, submissive & relaxed mind is more receptive to your guidance. Plus, you’ll have a more peaceful household and easier time dealing with any situation when your dog understands that being calm is his best option.

  • Know Your Dog. Really learn who your dog is so you can predict his behavior and prevent any mishaps. And because dogs are naturally physical creatures, getting to know your dog includes touching him. Roughhouse with him, learn how strong he is, which parts of his body are sensitive, etc.

  • Leash walk your dog every day. By providing your dog with the exercise he needs, he’ll be more relaxed at home, he’ll be more receptive to your training, and he’ll have less energy to get into ‘trouble’. Additionally, the structured walk reinforces your role as Leader (and your dog’s role as Follower), it strengthens the bond with your dog, and it provides endless opportunities to train your dog — e.g. he must sit every time you come to a curb, he must wait for your signal in order to resume walking, he may greet people and other dogs only when you allow it.

  • Don’t play favorites. Reinforce desired behavior and correct undesired behavior from any pack member. Being fair to each dog will help build a strong, unified, consistent mentality from the entire pack.

  • To a dog, a lack of correction is permission. So if you let him do something without addressing it, he’ll think it’s okay to do it again.

  • Visualize the ideal environment and relationship you want with your pack and work towards those goals both inside and outside your home.

To learn more about these concepts and how we can help you with your dog, call us directly at (703) 489-1319.

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