The Role Of Leadership For Your Puppy

Your role as a leader right now has many facets. Safety Patrol, Tour Guide, Teacher, Mom/Dad, Leader, and Role Model are all roles that you will fulfill. The Friend role will happen later in life, so be a parent now. Parents teach, lead, set rules, and reinforce them.

Safety Patrol. As Safety Patrol, you will be responsible for all of your puppy's safety needs. You will need to puppy-proof all areas of your home and supervise your puppy continuously to ensure safety.

Tour Guide. As Tour Guide, you will be responsible for teaching your puppy about the world. Take this role very seriously and actively show your puppy new experiences. You will need to "explain" everything to her!

Teacher. It is up to you to teach your puppy the expectations of the household and society. Don't think for a minute that your puppy can follow a command as if you had a remote control! You must teach her everything you want her to know.

Mom/Dad and Leader. As the Parent and Leader, you will need to lead your dog just like you parent children. You need to make decisions for them, direct their activities, and praise them when they succeed. Good parents direct their children well. If good parents "parent" well, then good leaders "lead" well! Don't be afraid to take the lead in all situations. Your puppy will appreciate this. Leading him tells him he is not out there on his own. Leading will boost his security.

Role Model. Since a puppy learns critical lessons about humans in this stage, we must be very aware of how we respond to the inevitable accidents of puppyhood. The occasional chewed object or "puppy puddle" should not be met with maniacal screaming. (If so, your puppy may surmise that humans are imbalanced!) Remain calm when finding errors, firmly say "no," and calmly redirect your puppy to learn the appropriate behavior.

The Patient Leader. When you find yourself out of patience, crate your puppy. If your mental batteries have worn out, chances are that your puppy's batteries have also worn out. By crating your puppy, you are getting an essential break from your job, and your puppy is getting "recess" and naptime. This dramatically cuts the chances of losing your patience.

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