This post is dedicated to the 5 Golden Rules, as I’ve learnt from Doggie Dan. the most important rules you’ll learn about dog training!
The 5 golden rules are simple:-
- Who controls the food?
- Who will take care of any danger?
- When you’re away from your dog, who is the pack leader?
- Who dictates the terms (i.e do you listen to your dog, or does your dog listen to you?)
- Who walks who?
To access the health and relationship with your dogs, these are the 5 key points you have to ask yourself.
However, none of the golden rules matter if you DON'T BEHAVE LIKE THE PACK LEADER. That's the most important, paramount of the information. (which also will dictate who controls the food!)
First off, food control. This is one of the most important aspect of training your dog - especially so if they are shelters dogs.
Food aggression in dogs is a very common issue among all dog owners, and rightly so ; rescued dogs learn from a young age that food is always scarce and they will fight for every little scrap of food.
Such is the way of the wild.
But what is important is to ensure that your dog understands (slowly) that his new life with you is not one of fighting for survival - its one of love, adulation, discipline and a TON of belly rubs. This is why dog training classes, online or not, are essential for your dog to help snap them out of their previous aggressive stance.
Understand that resource guarding however is a natural thing among all animals (yes, even us humans!) but it's also our job and responsibility to train that out of our dogs, a little at a time.
We've all been in situations of real danger - when crossing a street with oncoming cars, reckless cyclists nearly knocking us over on the sidewalks and the like.
Dogs however, are protective over us, and some go further - anything, living or otherwise that approaches 10 feet of us is considered a danger.
This is again very common in fearful dogs that have had a traumatic past, or had pups before, turning them into hyperactive protector dogs.
While for some owners, have their own personal protection dogs are a good thing, particularly so in rougher neighborhoods, for the rest of us it isn't a good thing. Walking and socialising the dog becomes a battlefield, where we always have to watch for our beloved pets displaying signs of aggression or hawkish staring compared to having fun and being free in general.
Not free to read the entire post? Take it with you on the go!
Who's the Pack Leader?
If you've watched Cesar Milan, you'll know what being a pack leader is about - The alpha of the group who controls the behaviour of the rest; something like the head honcho of the dog pack.
Being the dog pack leader is simple - who does your dog listen to? Does your dog obey your commands, or will he just walk away? Most importantly, are you leading your dog, or is it the other way round?
These questions may seem trivial, but it certainly puts into perspective who's the pack leader. It can only either be you, or your dog. I think you know who should be the boss!
Who Listens to Whom?
The next 2 points stem out of the pack leader point. I'm sure you've seen Youtube videos of dogs willfully disobeying their human owners and doing all sorts of crazy things, like this :-
It's definitely funny if you see a dog like that, but after a while it gets frustrating that your dog doesn't listen to your orders or obey you. This can be dangerous in certain situations (i.e. walking your dog on the sidewalk with a ton of people around, or near cars and vehicles)
Who Walks Who?
This also stems from the Pack leader question. When you're walking your dog on a leash, where's your dog? Is he in front of you. or by your side?
The position of your dog is very telling on the who is the pack leader in your own household.
If you have 1 or more of these issues with your dog, you might need to correct it to ensure both the safety of your dog, as well as to passers-by when walking your dog.
Fortunately, there is a highly qualified online dog trainer course around! Have a look at my review on his course.