• Michael D’Abruzzo

    August 1, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Thanks for the detailed. Sounds like you are definitely doing everything in pack structure great. Keep in mind that it doesn’t automatically make you “alpha” in their mind. You may or may not at this point. It only means you are communicating the right way that you are not recognizing their status as above yours. It puts you in the position to move foward.

    You can’t enforce your status, if you send mixed messages that there is an opening. So you are doing great. As per the rules of dog culture, from my experience, the top pack member whether dog or human is in control of initiatives and also UNCLAIMED possessions, food, etc..

    Ideally we want the dog recognizing this and willingly not challenging it. If this is too much work to accomplish, what is the best management plan – or best combination of both..

    To make the best plan, the next question is… what are your goals for this dog? It sounds like you actually have a great management plan in place, so what are your goals beyond this? Is it just for the dog to know a down stay? Is it to know a down stay so you can use it in a certain situation that would make life easier?

    Again, thanks for your good details – it will help even the casual browser with a similar dog.