When I first got my Lily girl, she had a lot of aggression toward dogs—especially other female dogs. I started taking her to the dog park and within a few days of visiting, she had already gained a reputation. “Don’t let your dog drink out of the water bowl while that dog is drinking.”
Well that’s not the reputation I want for my dog. So I consulted the expert: Cesar Milan. I watched YouTube video after YouTube video of his for hours and hours and hours, trying to figure out how he can turn an aggressive dog into an ideal member of the family.
I want to summarize for you what I learned because maybe it will help you too!
Cesar uses 5 natural dog laws as guidelines for how to provide discipline and leadership for the pet. Once I learned that:
- Dogs are instinctual
- Energy is everything
- Animal, species, breed, name—backwards from how we think of ourselves
- Dogs are pack animals
- A dog’s sense form his reality
In order to be the perfect pack leader, you need to implement 5 pack leadership techniques:
- Project calm & assertive energy. If you yell at Fido, he’s going to meet your energy level. And if he’s already acting aggressive, this is not going to change his energy.
- Provide exercise, discipline & affection—in that order. Many times a lot of dog owners do not take the time to exercise their dog, but they provide boundless rewards and affection. This is backwards. First, take your dog on a good walk and get out all that pent up energy. For me, I took time to walk Lily BEFORE getting to the dog park. Then it was easier to correct her at the park. Once she began to obey, then, I provided the affection in the form of treats, toys, attention, chilling on the couch, head rubs, and “atta girls”.
- Provide rules, boundaries & limitations. Our dogs want to please us, their Pack Leaders. We just have to be clear and consistent with what we want. Creating rules, boundaries, and limitations and enforcing them provides that clarity and consistency for our dogs.
- Master the Walk. Have the right equipment to walk your dog. I suggest buying any of Cesar’s products from Petco.
- Read your dog’s body language. Maybe he’s trying to tell you something. Listen and figure out what you need to bring inside from Nature to achieve balance.
In order to achieve this balance in your dog, make sure you are conscious of your own energy. Honor your dog’s instincts—that’s Mother Nature working on your behalf. Once your dog is in a calm and submissive state, life becomes very simple. You are the pack leader once again.