TIP: The Leader Controls The Resources.
Just as parents control allowance, curfew and use of the car, you should control all the “good stuff” when it comes to your dog.
Food is an incredibly valuable resource. As such, it should come from you, not from that
round thing that is always magically full! Feed once or twice daily, rather than leaving food down. For dogs with severe leadership issues, or to kick-start your program, hand- feed meals (a few pieces at a time) for two weeks. Have your dog sit or perform another behavior for each bit of food.
Control toys and games — Leave your dog with a few toys, but reserve the really special ones for when you are present. Bring these special toys out periodically and play with them, with your dog. Now you are also the source of all fun! Note: Playing tug if fine as long as you control the game, and your dog knows “Leave it”. (If not, teach “Leave it” first.) Bring the toy out; initiate tug. Periodically freeze, followed by saying, “Leave it”. When he releases, wait a beat, say, “Take it” and resume the game. (If at any time teeth touch skin, say, “Too bad!” Game over.) When you’re finished playing, put the toy away where your dog can’t get to it.
Like children, dogs need guidelines and boundaries. Good leadership will earn your dog’s respect and help him to feel secure. Here are a few ways to establish leadership…