Understanding the Nature of the Dog Pack

Dog Pack leaders don't project nervousness. They don't project panic. They don't project tension.


What's the same about a dog, an elephant and a horse? These animals all organize behind a leader.

People make a mistake when they treat dogs like humans. Every species has its own psychology if we understand its psychology we can control the behavior because we know how to relate to them.

Newborn puppies need to find a place or status within the pack. They don't get a name like we do because personality is something we create and only exists in our world. In the animal world there are two positions: the leader and the follower. Dogs are simple we make life complicated by misunderstanding what they need as a species.

Dog Speak
Dogs communicate through constant energy. The pack leader always projects a calm, assertive energy. Energy is what I call beingness; who and what you are being at every moment. (If you don't know what I mean by calm, assertive energy, think about Oprah Winfrey. She is calm and assertive.) Pack leaders don't project nervousness. They don't project panic. They don't project tension.

Simply put, the pack leader is a calm, assertive presence that provides balance to the pack. They control everything and its not open to debate. Its also not about gender a female or male can become pack leader.

Two Worlds Collide
When dogs come into our homes they meet emotional energy for the first time. We shower them with affection and they see us as excited energy. This is why dogs don't listen to humans. Their mother was never this way. Where did the calm, assertive leadership go?

We often develop a different agenda for our dogs. We want to make puppies our babies. When people see a nervous or shy dog they see it as human and console it like they would another human.

In the animal world this nurtures instability, something a pack would never do. From day one the human fulfills himself and forgets about what's important to the dog.

In the absence of a 100 percent leader, the dog even a submissive one will seek to fill what they see as a vacant role. The dog will ignore the owner or act out in other ways. This is the beginning of giving control to them.

One of the most important things you can remember is that dogs are animals. If we don't fulfill them as a species, they won't live a balanced, centered life. Understanding and projecting a pack leaders calm, assertive energy will create a positive and lasting connection with your dog.

Next Step: Interaction Without Words

Cesar and his pack
Get more tips from Cesar.

Note: Cesar Millan is a professional. Please consult a qualified trainer before attempting these techniques with your dog.

For more information, visit Cesar Millans Dog Psychology Center where the express purpose is to rehabilitate and maintain a dogs natural state of being.


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Jane   Cranford, NJ

4/29/2010 9:01:44 AM

we have just brought a new puppy into our home which presently has 2 dogs. my daughter visits with her 2 dogs often-my one dog is the pack leader-how do I get them to accept the puppy-our dog who now lives with the puppy and is the pack leader bite her when the puppy tried to take a bone from her that she was chewing-suggestions please.

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frank   killeen, TX

3/12/2010 6:55:29 PM

i have two adult dogs one male and one female. my dogs do not show any agression twards me or my wife. but they are uncomfortable around my 9month old daughter. they even growl at her and we have to quickly remove the baby from the sistuation. we love our dogs and dont want to have to get rid of them. any advice on how to get my dogs to become more comfortable with our daughter to avoid her from getting hurt will be much appreciated thank you

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janet   bethlehem, PA

1/11/2010 4:48:00 AM

good article thanks

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Gayla   Burleson, TX

10/28/2009 5:38:42 PM

I have a dog that is aggressive towards all other dogs. She will try to fight other dogs. She will show aggression to all the animals she comes in contact with. She is submissive to me. She turns over on her back when I walk up. Please help

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