It is known that all dogs have a natural pack instinct. They are used to being in a group, working together relying on the Alfa male or Alfa female to lead them. Today domesticated canines still have that pack instinct. We must first understand this so we can integrate theminto our lives and be more independent. When a dog first moves in with their new family he looks to his human leaders to fulfill all their needs; fellowship, food, shelter, comfort and boundaries. You will find that your puppy will follow you around every place you go if you let them. They know you are the source of food and good things. An easy mistake people make is treating their new puppy like a brand new baby. If you continue to treat a dog like an infant you might end up with a puppy that is insecure, whiny, and has severe attachment problems. They will not be able to get over being separated for any length of time and most often develop a bad habbit to cope.
There are many different ways to encourage your puppy to be independent. First do not react immediately to their demands for food or play. Engage your dog when you are ready on your terms. This demonstrates to them you are the boss and most importantly giving them the social skill of waiting. Remember it is not unkind to make your dog wait even if they bark or jump on you. You are teaching them a skill. When you do engage your pet, perhaps give a hand signal or a call and praise. Make it special and they will be eager for the interaction. If your puppy is overly excited when you come back home ignore them and walk by until they quiet down then use your gesture to call them and greet them. The other way to create a confident dog is to make them work for attention, such as doing obedience training with them or perhaps teach him some fun activities. Another thing that is helpful is to keep your dog engaged with games and plenty of exercise.
Finally, don?t allow your puppy to follow you everywhere you go in the house. You should close the door and allow them to be separated from you and your family. They need to understand that they are alright even if they can?t see you or be with you all the time. The quicker you begin encouraging your dog to be more independent the better. This does not mean they will not need you, but it will mean they will not learn to rely on you for all their emotional well being. They will grow to be independent and secure when they are alone for a short period of time and will most definitely be a happier member of his new pack.
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