Are You The Pack Leader? - Put the Kettle on.... Blog at - 266726

Put the Kettle on....

Are you the Pack Leader? 
Feb. 7, 2012 5:23 am 
Updated: Feb. 9, 2012 8:49 am
Friday night was a fun, educational night out for Jon and me.  My parents had tickets to see Cesar Millan.  Yes, Cesar the Dog Whisperer.  They asked us to go with them.  I'm not a TV watcher so I had never seen any of the shows, but I have heard of the Dog Whisperer.  Who hasn't?   He was at the Akron Civic Theatre - a grand, historical building in Akron, Ohio.  Just going there was fascinating.  My parents had gone to see movies there 60 years ago and walking through the doors was a small trip down memory lane for them.  The architecture inside was gorgeous. They don't make buildings like that anymore.

Cesar was fantastic!  Very entertaining. He had his pit-bull on stage with him the entire 2 hours.  Let me tell you, his dog is one well-behaved pooch.  He explained how with dogs you do need to "sweat the small stuff"; to be the pack leader you must always be the pack leader.  Even for things as small as going out the door-human first, then dog.  Hmmm.... first mistake at our house. We just open the door and let them out.  So, when we got home I decided to try it.  Suzy was told to sit and stay. Then I opened the door, walked out on the porch and let her go out.  She busted thru the door and practically flew off the porch!  She let me "Be the leader" but she beat everyone to the yard.  All weekend I practiced that with her and this morning she didn't push her way to the door but instead sat back on the carpet and waited her turn!  It works!  This got me to thinking - if the Pack Leader is the first one out the door - does that mean the woman is the pack leader?  I mean, a gentleman will hold the door for the lady and let her pass through first.  Thank you, sirs! Thank you very much!  I always knew I was the boss.

The next thing he talked about was how you feed your dog.  We got an "A" in this category - for we've always done what he said; Nobody eats until we give them the "OK".  He demonstrated this on stage with his dog by placing the food bowl on the floor and proceeded to talk to the audience.  In the meantime, Junior sat patiently and waited.  When he was allowed to begin eating I pointed out that pit-bulls obviously don't value food as much as labradors.  My dogs will sit back and wait for the "OK", for as long as they have to wait. But - give that "OK" and they start eating quickly.  Food doesn't last long in a dog dish around my house!  Our girls have a ritual that is performed after every meal, too.  Lick your own bowl clean, then trade places with the other dog and lick their bowl clean, too.  You never know what might have been left in that other bowl.   He talked about how you should be able to interrupt their meal times.  We got an "A" here, too.  I've always taught our dogs that if someone reached in while they were eating, or petted them, they were to step back and wait until they got the "OK" to continue.  I had children and didn't want them to get bit should they bother the dogs at dinner time, though we also "trained" our children to leave the dogs alone at mealtime, you never knew when they wouldn't listen. 

All in all the evening was a great time.  We enjoyed spending time with my mom and dad and we learned a thing or two. 
Feb. 7, 2012 5:51 am
LOLOL! The pack leader, I knew who that was at my house even if some of the others don't. Bane knows who it is :) I spent the money and went to a reputable trainer when I got Bane. It was money well spent!
Feb. 7, 2012 6:23 am
Good morning. Cesar the Dog Whisperer helped us a lot when we first got our Lab. She was 14 months old and had developed a few bad habits. She decided on the way home that she and I were a team, then she proceeded to try and chase NB Papa out of the house! She would bark and growl at him - he was about ready to take her back. That is when we started watching the Dog Whisperer. The next day instead of trying to bribe her with food (she's a Lab and works for food) he put her on a leash and took her for a walk - made her obey him and that was that. It never happened again. The other thing we really worked on was taking food from our hands 'gently'. No snatching food or stealing people food. Thanks for sharing your fun evening with us.
Feb. 7, 2012 8:05 am
Good morning Cat! Our dogs have always been pretty well-trained; they have to be since they are hunting dogs, but we definitely are guilty of encouraging their nasty habits! :) And, I always knew who the boss was/is at my house, too - I just now have an "expert opinion" to back that up! LOL
Feb. 7, 2012 8:07 am
BN: We're guilty of that bribing with food trick, too. Labs love their food and will do anything for it! We can sit a plate of food on the end table in the livingroom, tell them "No" and walk into the other room. When we come back the food is still there and the dogs are staring at it very intently, drool running down their chins.
Feb. 7, 2012 11:15 am
I watched him on TV just the other night. I hadn't seen him before. I have no dogs now, but it was gratifing to see we were on the right path when we did. I had been told years ago to use treats as a reward when they did exceptionally well. I always thought we just got lucky and had several mellow dogs, but now can see how our behavior shaped theirs.
Feb. 7, 2012 2:19 pm
Oh MA, glad to hear you had a good time and got some useful info from Cesar. I totally agree about teaching the dogs not to get mean at meal time. That is one criteria for rescue dogs up for adoption, if they growl or bite, they have to be put down. Can't take a chance a child would get bit. I have 3 dogs and I can take their food whenever I want to. Thanks for a good blog Mother Ann. Take care!
Feb. 7, 2012 5:16 pm
I have a dog I guess he is the Alpha Male, All The Girl And Boy Dogs Hate Him. He Wont let them go out side on there own (We Have A Doggy Door) sometimes. Sometimes they want to eat and he will not let them. He is a terror, but with Sue and I He is a perfect angle. I wish I could change his ways.
Feb. 8, 2012 5:49 am
BSM, thanks for stopping in. I guess a lot of what he said I already knew subconsciously; it was nice to hear him say it and be able to think "hmmm... we do that!"
Feb. 8, 2012 5:52 am
Patty Cakes, We also have 2 cats and our oldest one (11 yrs.) rules the dogs. I'll put the food down, give the OK for the dogs to eat and the cat will nonchalantly walk up and stick his nose in their bowls. The dogs will stop eating and back up, waiting for the cat to decide to move. It is very comical to watch. He does the same thing with the water dish; you know he's teasing the dogs because he won't really drink just stick his paw in the water or sniff at it. Our youngest dog will get impatient and nudge the cat in the rear to make him move along but our old dog just stands there patiently waiting.
Feb. 8, 2012 5:55 am
KingSparta, It is interesting to watch dogs interact with other dogs. There is definitely a "pecking order" in their world. My daughter's cocker spaniel comes over to play with our labs and they will let her take all the toys, even right out of their mouths while they're chewing on them. She's not mean about it, she just walks up and takes them and they let her. It makes me laugh that my big 75 lb. dogs let that little 25 lb. pooch take their toys. I guess mine are just polite to their company, huh??
Feb. 8, 2012 11:14 am
I have never seen the dog whisperer but have heard things about him. I think the obedience instructor I had was very similar and very effective at training me to train my pup. People still think I'm crazy for some of my training ideas and advice but they worked. I once bent over in obedience class and all the treats fell out of my shirt pocket, who do you think was sitting right there in front of me and never even flinched? There is nothing like a well trained dog. :)
Feb. 8, 2012 11:24 am
linda2d - having a well-trained dog is great! I'm not sure my pooches would have let those treats fall out of my pocket and not at least make an attempt to snag a few!
Feb. 8, 2012 2:25 pm
At one time we had a female cat named Georgie and a German shepherd named Mike. I would feed them at the same time every night and they each had a "dining area." Frequently, Georgie, who wasn't an especially large cat, would decide Mike couldn't come in the kitchen. She'd sit in the doorway and growl at him. And that poor dog would tuck his tail between his legs and lay down in the hallway until little miss meanie got bored and went away.
Feb. 9, 2012 3:12 am
Cats sure do rule the roost. It's funny to me; must be their claws and that hiss that gets the dogs' attention!
Feb. 9, 2012 8:06 am
Hey Mother Ann, I have never watched "The Dog Whisperer" but my Dad loves it. He tries to get pointers for controlling their two boxers who are sisters from the same litter. (Good luck on that one) It sounds like you had fun this weekend but didn't need to be taught anything new! You have it down pat. Now, I wonder if the whisperer can work on kids?......... ; )
Feb. 9, 2012 8:49 am
Hi dragonfly! I always have said that everyone should own and train a dog before they have children. The process is very similar for both! :) Thanks for the compliment! Have a great day!
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Mother Ann

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Streetsboro, Ohio, USA
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Ravenna, Ohio, USA

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Oct. 2009

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About Me
I've been married for 33 years, and live in Ohio. We have a daughter who is married and lives nearby. Our son graduated from college and moved to South Dakota. He has his own place but still goes to visit my sister and brother-in-law and have dinner with them occasionally. We have two black labs that get to go duck hunting with dad and two cats. We own a Mexican restaurant and are learning alot about the food industry. I love to eat, go camping, read, spend time with family and friends, watch movies, and drink wine; not necessarily in that order.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake - anything chocolate is fine with me. Seafood, chicken dishes and slow-cooker fare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband and I enjoy cooking together with wine. We pop open a bottle of wine and get cooking. :-)
My cooking triumphs
Whenever I can put together a meal that gets many compliments and leaves the diners satisfied is a triumph in my book! I love to cook meals for family and friends.
My cooking tragedies
When I was first married we had my grandparent's-in-law over for a pot roast dinner. The meat came out great, but the potatoes and carrots were still half raw. My husband's grandfather went to cut his fork into a carrot and it flew off his plate. He looked at me, winked, and said he loved his carrots that way!
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