With all the dog training methods out there, how do you know which one is best for your dog and will turn your hyper, aggressive or insolent pooch into your beloved canine companion that everyone wants to clone? Training methods may come and go but you will never go wrong if you remember that nothing in life is free.
Nothing in Life is Free (NILIF) Dog Training
If you want to know what will work with your dog then pay close attention to wild dog packs. Within the pack there are the subordinates (beta) and then there is the dominant (or alpha) dog. The pack has a natural hierarchy that was put into place by assertive and consistent behavior by one or more dogs to let the pack know the pecking order of their family. The beta dogs must submit to their alpha pack leaders and have to work for their food by hunting and yielding to the ways of the alpha dog. The alpha does everything first and the beta dogs must be submissive for the alpha dog to permit them to do anything. Consent must be asked for before received.
What does this have to do with the pup that is crawled up cutely at your feet right this very moment? Everything!
Dogs were breed to be domesticated but they still have the innate or natural instinct to be like their wild brothers and sisters. They must have a dominant or alpha dog owner in the family or will fight for that alpha spot through aggression and manipulation.
The NILIF approach is the method through which a human being maintains their assertiveness when communicating or engaging their dog. Some processes of the NILIF approach include, but are not limited to:
- Having all dogs sit or perform a trick before being given a treat.
- Feeding dogs in rank order of dominance. Alpha dogs eat first and continue down the line.
- Placing food in front of the dogs and having them sit and wait for a command before they can eat.
- Having the dogs in a calm and submission stance before allowing them to have their toy or ball.
- Making the dogs wait inside a doorway to let you through first and then waiting for a command before they may walk through that doorway to go outside.
These are some approaches that we use within our own pack at the Lab Brats house. Both Labrador Retrievers are not allowed to do things without permission from me and my husband when either at home or outside. If they disobey this pack hierarchy or challenge the pack order they have whatever item taken away from them immediately and removed from them until they can maintain a submissive demeanor to the humans in our home.
The NILIF method of training in our home is constant and has not only made our pups happier, healthier and the most enjoyable to be around but everyone we meet wants one just like them.