Many, many new puppy owners often fall into the mistake of endlessly worrying about finding the right accessories, puppy treats, or bed. They spend little or no time thinking about how or what they will teach their new puppy. Yes, a puppy needs nutritious food and a safe, warm place to live, but another equally powerful and important biological necessity is the need for a strong pack leader. In the wild when the mother raises the pup, she doesn’t focus on the question, does my puppy have the most expensive and best toy, she worries about it’s safety and it’s ability to learn how to become a well balanced dog so that it can be safe and serve the pack so that it may live a happy and balanced life.
Puppies are naturally hard-wired to follow a pack leader. A Pack Leader is, by definition, strong, stable, patient, persistent, compassionate and consistent. These traits many new puppy owners forget. Many of my clients are strong leaders in their jobs, but when they come home, they turn to mush with their dogs. Then they come to me puzzled as to why their dog won’t behave or why they are aggressive or destroying their property.
Puppies sense our confidence levels and will take control if they perceive us as weak, this is a survival instinct reaction out of the puppy. Example, if your child feels that you are not fit or strong to lead the family, then your child will step up to the plate and take control. When this happens, bad behaviors, such as excessive barking, leash-pulling, or anxiety, will develop. This will then escalate into aggression.
The most important thing you can do is become your puppy’s Pack Leader. This role doesn’t begin when your dog is six months old or when he’s bad. For your puppy to grow into a healthy, balanced dog, you must demonstrate leadership from day ONE!
Always find safe ways to exercise your puppy! Talk to your vet about the risk of long-term bone development problems, parvovirus, and other health issues before implementing an exercise routine.
If at any point you are not sure or confident, then I prescribe booking a session.