Knowing your dog's nature

To deal with a dog's behaviour issue you need to first understand the dog as a unique individual

There are times where Mr Jackson just looks at me with that teddy bear face he has and I forget that he is a front of the pack, medium energy, dominant natured dog and I give him too much affection. For which I suffer later when I need to rain him back in. That?s why you need to know your dog?s nature to effectively manage their behaviour. Like humans, all dogs are different and have unique personalities. Because of this you need to be aware of how you interact with your dog based on the type of dog he/she is. Whereas Maia, my middle of the pack (happy-go-lucky), high energy girl I can give her equal amounts of exercise, discipline and affection and she thrives on it.

For the basis of understanding your dog and to generalise, all dogs will fall into one of three categories; Front of the pack, middle of the pack and back of the pack. This does not mean that a dog that is a natural born front of the pack (Leader) dog is any more important than a back of the back (sensitive) dog. It is only us humans who will determine one position to be more important than the other. To a pack of dogs they are all one big family and as with humans; all members of the family are important.

Then within these three positions in the pack you then need to look at the type of energy level the dog was born with. You get Low, medium and high. This in some ways is more important to know than the dogs pack position. For if you have a high energy dog that does not get enough exercise you are going to have a barrel load of behaviour issue.

Pack positions:-

Front of the pack: These dogs are more confident and self assured. In my experience they tend not to bother with things like chew toys (unless they are not mentally stimulated and bored) and they are not interested in a bit of rough and tumble, unless it is on their terms. When they are in a group of dogs they never try to ingratiate them self on other dogs and other dogs will gravitate to them. These dogs are really only for very experienced dog handlers, as they need constant vigilance and a recipe of exercise, discipline and considerably less affection than the other pack positions.

Middle of the pack: These are your happy-go-lucky dogs that everyone should want to have. If these dogs are raised properly from puppies you will have a wonderful dog you can enjoy and relax with. These dogs are not interested in dominating other dogs and just want to enjoy life.

Back of the pack: These are the nervous, sensitive or timid dogs. These ones need a calm environment and patience from their human family members. Again if this dog is raised properly from a puppy you and the dog can have a lot of fun together.

Once you have determined the pack position and energy level it is then possible to deal with any behaviour issue your dog may have. For if you try to deal with a back of the pack fear aggression in the same way you deal with a front of the pack dominance aggression, simply because they are both aggression based, you are doomed to fail and only increase the behaviour problem. To resolve a dog?s behaviour issue you need to begin by understanding the dog as an individual and starting from there.