Understanding Pack Dynamics

Understanding Pack Dynamics

As pack leaders, we need to understand that dogs live primarily by instinct and for them intellect and emotions are secondary. Humans, on the other hand, seem to have forgotten the instinctual part of life and go about things from an emotional and intellectual perspective.

Dogs in their natural environment explore in search of food so it is the pack leader’s job to replicate that scenario by going on daily walks to fulfill that instinctual part of a dog’s life. It’s simple, dogs walk, birds fly, fish swim. Going outdoors, exploring new environments and socialization builds up the trust.

Once the basic trust is set, you can start disciplining your dog, create respect, set rules and boundaries, reinforce acceptable behavior, or even control playtime. This is how we get our dogs to respect the activities of our daily routine.

As we only know so well and love, dogs are an affectionate species by nature so give them the affection they require at the RIGHT time. For example, do you remember that moment when you walk into your house and as soon as the door opens there’s a ball of fur doing circles at full throttle and jumping like a mad man? Well, as hard as it is to resist that overwhelming feeling of cuteness, by giving them the attention we are only reinforcing that behavior. So think about that next time you have visitors and the dogs are used to greeting like that. Do not deceive them by giving affection at the wrong time. It will just make them more confused and they will not take you seriously the next time. Always give affection when the dog is in a calm state, as affection is the key to satisfy your dog’s emotional needs.

It is sometimes more challenging for us to do than for the dog, because we tend to lose patience more often than they do. So, I can’t stress enough that being patient, calm, and consistent is key.

Remember, all instinctual, intellectual, and emotional needs have to be fulfilled in order to create trust, respect, and love within your pack.