Be The Pack Leader Your Dog Wants (And Needs)

Doggy Dan’s Training Reviewed

These days it’s become fashionable in certain dog training circles to ignore dogs’ ancient ancestry and to say that “Pack Theory” is outmoded. The people who promote “Purely Positive” training techniques assert that you can train dogs perfectly well by simply rewarding good behaviours and ignoring the bad.

Now there are dogs in many homes that are just too happy to please. They just do what is asked of them without hesitation. They are easy to train, and the owners are convinced that it is all because of how good they are as owners.

This used to really upset me when I’d meet other dog owners who had their canine companions walking calmly next to them unless released to play and my dog would be trying to wrench my arm off lunging at those other people and dogs.

Their recalls were 100%; mine were hit and miss – and only seemed to work if there was a treat reward involved – and some other distraction wasn’t much more important to my dog than the offered reward.

I’d start a walk with a bulging treat pouch and end with a dog that had taken all it had to offer and then gone in search of more exciting things.

How could that be? I’d read all the puppy and dog training books I could get my hands on; I’d watched lots of YouTube videos (mostly contradicting each other), and I’d made my fingers sore endlessly Googling for more solutions.

I’d also tried puppy classes (didn’t help at all), puppy creches (in an attempt to socialise my pup properly – hah!) and group behaviour training that focussed on building a relationship with my dog through rewarding the good behaviours and ignoring the bad. This worked for some dogs, but all I can remember is leaving the class with other dogs happily walking back to their owners’ cars – with mine trying to get to them to have a play. No matter what I’d learned in these classes, she still wanted to do her own thing rather than listen to me.

Worst of all, she is a Golden Retriever which is supposed to be one of the more biddable breeds.

But I would be left in the embarrassing situation of having other dog owners telling me that I was the problem, not my dog. (Those who’d got problem dogs themselves were too busy to chat). 

You may even know such people. They have this fantastic, simple, calm dog, and you can’t figure out how, because the owner doesn’t seem to do anything special. Well, allow me to tell you a secret. It’s like this… 

It usually has nothing to do with how good the owners are. Some dogs are just much easier to train.

If you have a relaxed, compliant dog, you can get away with so much – and many people do. They have had dogs for years and are convinced that they are good with dogs and know exactly what they are doing. They are always eager to give advice on how to do it, even though in reality, they only have a very non-driven, compliant dog!

However, if you have a difficult, very intelligent, driven dog, then you need to know precisely what you are doing and what messages you are giving your dog. It is much more difficult to train these dogs if you do not understand what you are doing.

The secret to training this type of dog is… 

make sure YOU are the pack leader in your house. Only then will they listen to you. And the difference between these easy and difficult dogs has nothing to do with breeds. It is only about character and personality. Unfortunately, you will never be able to recognise this until they are in your home.

Now most reviewers might continue by saying “this is where I found out about Doggy Dan, and it transformed my dog’s behaviour”…

But I’m not going to lie to you.

The thing that actually turned things around was a fortunate chance meeting with a highly experienced dog behaviourist here in the UK. No, he’s not the one on TV, and he doesn’t want (or need) his name published – he has enough word-of-mouth clients to keep him constantly working until he retires – if he ever decides to!

What changed for me? The realisation that my dog wanted a leader to take over that role from her and relieve her of that stressful responsibility.

Now, I would like to explain two significant facts about your dog…

The first one concerns the question of whether you really have to be the pack leader or not.

And the second is whether the pack leader needs to be aggressive in his/her behaviour. For example, is it necessary to smack your dog on the muzzle, to shout and to shake your dog’s scruff to become the leader?

The answer to these two questions could change the relationship you have with your beloved companion. Almost instantly and forever.

So let’s look at question 1: Do I really have to be the pack leader?

Let’s look at the facts…

Dogs are descended from wolves and are pack animals. Within a pack, there are pack leaders, and there are followers. This cannot be changed. It’s just the way dogs work… and it works very well. The pack leaders make the decisions, and the henchmen follow. It is very simple.

In the wild, dogs are pack animals. And what most people don’t know is that even in your own home you form a pack. Sometimes there are other members of the pack, perhaps children, more than one dog, even a cat…

The fact remains that dogs will consider all these creatures as members of the pack, and the pack leader must make all significant decisions in their eyes. 

And question 2 – is the pack leader aggressive in his/her behaviour?

The thing to recognise is that the best pack leaders are calm and consistent. They are firm but fair; there is no screaming, no shouting, no hurting and no reason to hit. All the things that were associated with being a pack leader many years ago are old-fashioned approaches. In the dog training of the old school, it used to be taught that you had to dominate your dog physically. It required a lot of strength and confrontation with your dog. And this often became ugly.

The best dog training is where people are taught how to win the mind of their dog calmly and gently so that their dogs accept you as pack leader, and do so through choice, not fear. This new method of dog training will revolutionise the way we work with and train our dogs at home.

By learning how our dogs see the world, we will then be able to adapt our behaviour to communicate clearly to them in ways they understand. It’s critical that we give them the right messages, rather than merely applying human psychology to a dog. Let’s face it; we would never apply fish or bird psychology to a dog, so why do we always use human psychology?

We are primates who evolved from monkeys, but your dog is a dog who evolved from wolves, and there are some subtle but crucial differences!

And what was I getting wrong? I didn’t understand that people tend to treat dogs like people, while dogs treat people like dogs. Two animal cultures with very different views!

If you don’t become the pack leader your dog will step into that role. And leaders don’t take directions from subordinates!

If you understand your dog’s mind and know where he comes from, you don’t need to be afraid or aggressive during training… if you struggle, chances are your dog won’t see you as the pack leader.

And now to “Doggy Dan”?

– a rather twee name in my humble opinion but behind this is a person who really knows how to address the not-so-acceptable behaviours of dogs who are – shall we say, more assertive – than their easier to train brothers and sisters.

Now, why did I bother to tell you about my own turnaround with a professional trainer instead of just telling you about Doggy Dan? Well, I’m not going to treat you to a whole load of untrue bovine excrement. The fact is, I met the trainer first and began to understand where I had been going wrong. The training my dog and I received put us on the right path to a more harmonious relationship – but it was very expensive. Worth every penny, but costly when totalled up over weeks and months of one-to-one (or one-to-two!) lessons.

I found out about Doggy Dan’s instruction and was curious as I always am about dog training methods. And I was gratified to find that it wasn’t the usual “teach them tricks and reward them with treats” type of stuff. He actually taught what I had found to work with my own dog’s personality. The great thing was, it wasn’t going to cost anywhere near what I’d been paying for instruction, and so I thought you’d need to know.

In all my years of dog training, I have never come across a site as comprehensive and clear as Doggy Dan’s, although there is one drawback…

But first, what I really liked:

  • there are over 300 videos alone, including live consultations in people’s homes – the scope is enormous, but the quality is top-notch
  • there are clear explanations on how to become your dog’s pack leader
  • there’s a whole section dedicated to puppy training
  • plus another section dedicated to stopping undesirable behaviour
  • the Forum – one of the free bonuses is a forum – I really loved this as the questions asked in the Forum are all currently answered by Doggy Dan’s itself. This is very different from many other forums where users just get to chat with each, or where a third person is assigned to answer questions.
  • inside The Online Dog Trainer, Doggy Dan is there to help. This is a massive bonus if you want specific professional advice for your individual situation
  • And most importantly, you can test it for 3-days for just $1 – this is a real biggie for me.

The minor snags:

  • no online course can ever replace one-to-one instruction – but it is a whole lot less expensive
  • I think it will work for any dog, but if you have a dog with a compliant, pack-follower personality then I’m not sure you will need this level of training
  • the trial period is a bit short at three days – but I think you can get a pretty good idea of whether it will work for you in that time

Want to get a sneak peek?

So, should you get Doggy Dan’s Online Dog Training?

Well, as I said earlier, this might not me necessary or suitable for all doggy personalities.

If you have a relaxed and compliant dog, then the answer is probably no. You can concentrate on relationship building exercises such as sit-stay, fetch, touch and the like. Just make sure that your dog listens to you and comes every time you call.

However, if your dog only pays attention and obeys your commands when there’s nothing more interesting going on, then the answer is a definite YES. For your dog’s safety and your own peace of mind you need to establish yourself as the pack leader so that he or she will focus on you whenever you want to command them to do (or NOT do) something important to their wellbeing.

If you are serious about having a well-trained dog that you can be proud of, then I suggest you take a look at the site now.

And at far less than the cost of a handful of dog biscuits, you can get a good look at the quality and scope of the content before committing yourself.

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