How to be the alpha dog for your Jack Russell

Owning a dog, especially a Jack Russell, is not as easy as bringing your dog home, feeding it and playing with it. Having a dog implies a commitment on your part. As such, one of the first things you will need to prepare for your dog is for him to participate in canine obedience training.

However, to make it easier for you to train your dog to obey, you will need to establish this role, popularly known as the “alpha dog” role. In this role, you actually assign yourself to become the leader of your terrier’s pack. It’s important that you get into this position because you can adjust your perceptions to be more like your dog, not the other way around. Dogs also cannot understand the consequences of their actions.

In the role of Alpha Dog, you will need to perform a specific set of tasks on a daily basis. This set of actions establishes the control and structure necessary to shape your dog’s life. Ideally, you should start implementing these strategies as soon as possible.

I would like to share with you some of the strategies that I have used with success.

Alpha Leader Strategies
It’s important that you do these things daily and consistently so that it becomes a part of your lifestyle, your dog’s and your family’s. You should create a set of “rules”, as it is easier to apply them if something is not in line with those rules. The rules could be something simple, like not yelling at your dog when he barks excessively, etc.

As an Alpha leader, you will need to ensure that you observe and practice the following:

• Set and make the whole family understand the rules
• Implement and enforce the rules immediately, as soon as you bring your dog or puppy home.
• Be consistent in applying the rules
• Never apply the rules when you are angry or tired.
• Never yell at or hit your dog.
• Never reinforce fearful or aggressive behavior
• Always reward good behavior with affection and treats.

Your Jack Russell is a very intelligent dog. Even with the rules in place, he will always challenge you for the Alpha Dog position unless you establish this dominance first. Here are some important factors to consider in the process of establishing yourself as the Alpha Dog.

• Be calm and assertive – As a leader, you must be calm and confident at all times. You should always be consistent and persistent in your actions. On your dog’s side, before you allow your dog to do anything, you must require him to remain calm and submissive. This is especially important during leash training and feeding time. Training your dog to be calm and submissive will also make it easier to avoid the anxious behavior symptom commonly known as separation anxiety.

• Reward your dog: Like all of us, dogs can be conditioned with rewards. For example, when you train your Jack Russell to sit and give him a treat the first 10 times he sits, he will associate the fact that sitting is a good thing. Later, you can replace the treat with praise and he may still sit because he expects positive attention from him. Eventually, simply responding to his command will suffice.

• Body language is key: Dogs respond to many stimuli and body language is one of them. Stand tall, keep your head up, and don’t back down when you’re coming at them. You don’t need to look them in the eye or yell, and you should always remain confident and in complete control.

Understand how to be an alpha dog to your Jack Russell and you will find that your dog will respond to your commands and will also be more trainable and obedient. On top of that, the dog problems that your friends have with their dogs are strangely no longer present in your Jack Russell when you become his Alpha leader.

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