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Man as pack leader: are dog owners the alpha animal?

Man as pack leader: are dog owners the alpha animal?

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Does man have to act as a pack leader towards his dog or dogs? No, you can't say that. Should man lead and guide his four-legged friend? Yes, definitely! Here you can learn more about the modern view of a good human-dog relationship. It is best if the dog freely follows the person - Shutterstock / Melounix

Strictly speaking, it is wrong from the start to speak of people as "pack leaders". You cannot be a pack leader at all, because you are not a dog, but a human being - your fur nose knows that. The keyword "pack leader" is therefore misleading. But let's go step by step ...

That is why people cannot really be a "pack leader"

A pack is scientifically formulated a group of related animals. In the case of free-living wolves, for example, a pack is automatically structured in such a way that the two parents take the lead and the children submit - everything happens voluntarily and without power, oppression or demonstration of strength. The behavior is similar to that of a human family.

Since we humans are not related to our pets, there can be no question of the pack leader. Added to this is the fact that our dogs are not wild wolves - and therefore do not live in dog packs. So we don't have to be the pack leader. Instead, it is more about guiding and guiding our dogs, without any dominance or even violence, but on the basis of security, love and trust.

Outdated view: The strongest has the say

Power and strength used to be the tools for "good" dog training. According to this outdated view, humans had to show strength and dominance towards their dogs in order to be viewed by them as "alpha animals". This type of dog training was based in part on intimidation and is today an premature attitude that can no longer be considered sensible. It is better for humans and animals if the dog voluntarily "subordinates" - in the same way that wolf cubs in a wild wolf pack or human children in a family orientate themselves to their parents as "leaders".

New view: the dog as part of the family

In order to gain the trust and compliance of our dogs, we need to instill trust and not demonstrate power. Our leading role should not be based on power struggles, but rather that we have more experience in this world, make the right decisions, offer security and feed the family. Violence and dominance have no place in modern dog training!

If dogs recognize your skills as a competent "pack leader", they voluntarily subordinate themselves, out of respect and trust in their leaders. Dogs can be seen as part of the family and see themselves as part of the family - after all, it is best for their wellbeing if they are ranked below humans. It is quite normal for them to test their limits every now and then - if the worst comes to the worst, problems should be solved with consistent training and clear, dog-friendly communication.

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Caregiver instead of pack leader: This is how you behave correctly

It is important that you gain the trust of your dog or your dogs by making the right decisions, acting confidently and competently, and staying calm in difficult situations. Make sure your dog recognizes this. Another important factor in dog training is consequence. Only if you educate consistently and reliably will you be taken seriously and respected on a voluntary basis. All rules and actions should be carried out in a friendly but determined manner and without pressure, violence or uncertainty.

You can get specific tips on the correct handling and training of your dog in the "Dog training" section.

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