How to Be the Pack Leader

Paul Thrasher  |  Dec 15th 2010

Becoming a pack leader isn’t as difficult as people often make it sound. At its core, being the pack leader is all about understanding how dogs behave and how the pack structure works. The Leerburg Website has an excellent piece titled “The Ground Work to Establishing Pack Structure” that breaks things down into very simple, easy to understand portions. Adding to that is something called NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) training, which you can read about here. NILIF training is about subtly reinforcing your pack leader status. For example, make your dogs sit nicely before going out the door. Feed them after you’ve eaten since the alpha dog always eats first in a real dog pack. (Having some crackers while preparing your dog’s meal works.) Don’t give them attention when they’re begging for it – make it attention on YOUR terms. Overall, just be fair and consistent.