In the last post, we talk about in every strong dog pack, there is bound to be 1-2 confident, calm, balanced dog and a leader. In our opinion, these ‘top’ dogs and the leader are what makes the whole pack strong, great and amazing.
The leader, is the one who calls the shots, the one who sets the rules and the one who decides where to go and what to do. In every human-dog pack, the human must be the leader. This is absolutely non negotiable. When you allow a dog to be the leader, you are obviously heading for trouble. So then, what to the 1-2 top dogs do? – they help to regulate the whole pack.
Can you have a pack with a leader and no top dog? – A-absolutely. But this makes a difference in the whole make up of a pack. Lets just imagine for a minute. The leader of the pack as the rule setter of a soccer team. Every member in the team has to abide to the rules and the code of conduct and that makes a united team. But what differs the team from an average team and an amazing team? – the star players. These star players are none other than the 1-2 top dogs in the pack. In other words, these dogs will be the Leo Messi in FC Barcelona, the Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid. Can these teams function without the star players? -Sure, why not. But will they be a top winning team? – Maybe, maybe not. These dogs, although amazing , are also often the most challenging dogs. They require very strong leadership, they require a strong handler. In a corporate company, you could use a low salary to hire an intern, but you would need a convincing and well worth amount of salary to hire your right hand man. Similarly, you will need a lot more skills to convince a top dog that you are it’s leader. As silly as it sounds, this is exactly how a pack works.
Can you have a pack without any top dog? – Yes, just as the soccer team, the team will still stay united and focused as long as the leader is strong. Can you have a pack with ALL and ONLY top dogs? – Maybe? But we think this will be a pack set up for trouble. Can you have only star players in a soccer team? Can you have only leaders in a team? Too many opinions, too many decision makers can be conflicting and the failure of any team, dogs and humans alike.
Many owners get their dogs without knowing which position the dogs are in. This is why, very often trainers, breeders stress not just once but repeatedly to get the dogs that suits you. If you have an easy dog, teaching them anything is easy, convincing them you are the leader is easy, the amount of leadership skills needed is not as much. When you have a strong dog, one that is bred to be at the front of the pack, you would certain need a lot more attention, time, patience to convince the dog and let it find its place.
How to form your own pack? – If you already have a dog, start by being the leader that your dog needs. With consistent work on both you and your dog, the relationship bond will become stronger. Remember, a dog is always ready to learn if you are ready to lead. If you plan to get a dog, be sure to pick a dog that suits you. Never pick a dog just because it’s cute, it’s active or it’s cuddly. Pick one that you can handle, get a trainer to go with you if you cannot decide. There is no such thing as fate when picking a dog. The dog looking at you with it’s puppy eyes, the feeling of the dog telling you to pick it up, is not fate. Get a dog that suits your lifestyle and energy level is always the way to go, it is the start to creating a good, healthy relationship and a strong foundation to your pack.