GUIDANCE FOR FOSTERS AND ADOPTERS
Understanding How to better lead your family pack
A balanced pack must have a leader(s). Regardless of age or size, it is in everyone’s best interest to have all of the humans in your pack serve as leaders. To make this happen, you must help your dog(s) understand that the people in the pack are kind, but in charge. This is not achieved with words and requires you to learn to think like a canine.
Below are five important concepts to help you become leader of your pack or to maintain that position.
1. ENERGY: Weak or negative energy is perceived by dogs as “mumbling.” For your dogs to understand you, you must create a calm, assertive state of mind for yourself and have a clear intention. Please review the following links:
Pack Leadership – Project Calm Assertive Energy
2. CREATE RULES: Dogs want to follow a leader and look to you for guidance. This is not achieved by being physically or emotionally abusive to them. Without your clear leadership, your pack will likely become confused or anxious, and misbehave in order to test the limits of what you will allow them. You must create the rules, boundaries, and limitations for your pack to follow. You must always enforce them: not only for your own sake but, more importantly, for the good of your dog companions.
3. BE CONSISTENT: Once you’ve established your pack’s rules, boundaries, and limitations, you have to enforce them consistently: at home, on walks, when visiting friends. Every human in the pack must be involved in enforcing the same rules.
4. FULFILL YOUR DOG: Another large part as Pack Leader is to give your dogs protection and direction. You are also responsible for fulfilling your dog’s psychological needs. Dogs require exercise, discipline, and affection - in that order. Exercise lowers their energy level; discipline guides and fulfills their minds; and, although affection is important, to maintain a balanced and harmonious pack, this always comes last. Affection is used as a reward for calm, submissive behavior.
5. DON'T THINK, FEEL: Although they are smart, dogs are instinctual and not intellectual. While some of us try, it is not possible to interpret a dog’s behavior as though it has human emotions. Fortunately, humans are animals just like our canine companions. This means that in practice, we can relearn to communicate with energy too. Try shutting down the human “voice” in your head, and try to "listen” with your guts and heart instead. Don’t forget to “feel” and share your love, joy, happiness, and fun with your pack!
Remember: Life is simple. We make it complicated. What dogs really want and need from us is our leadership. For that they will give us endless love and loyalty. That’s a pretty good deal, right?
If you would like to adopt/foster a puppy, please click on the titles below for more information!
Eight Essential Steps to Bringing Your New Dog Home
Ultimate Guide to Raising a Puppy
Puppy Crate Training Made Easy
This toy is very helpful to aid in a young puppy feeling that they are still with the mother, as it simulates the heartbeat. We suggest leaving this when you leave a young pup alone, or at night to help them feel safe and secure in their crate (as with any toy, please monitor closely. If you feel your pup is at the age of destroying the toy, of course do not leave with the pup alone).
How to Stop Puppy Biting and Chewing
How to Train Your Puppy to Stop Jumping
Positive Reinforcement-Clicker Training
Introducing Kids to a New Puppy
Puppy Setup When You Cannot Supervise
We recommend a gated area with a bed or crate, fresh water, puppy pads, toys, and an antler!
- Key to giving affection at the right time
Exercise, Discipline, Affection: At the Right Times
Introducing a Puppy to an Older Dog
Why Socialization is Important