how to be the pack leader

The reason you need to know how to be the pack leader with your dog is so that you control the dog and not the dog controlling you.

Before we tamed dogs to be pets, hunters, and work as guards; dogs were pack animals.

The pack had always one leader, the alpha dog!

Now that we have dogs as pets, we must become the alpha dog and lead the pack.

*Disclaimer: The overall training process should be done by people who know what they are doing. If you want to train your puppy on your own, you should be well informed before you begin. The following online program will teach you a ton of useful methods, and we highly recommend it. It’s the training method we use for our own puppies as well.

If you like, you can get the cheat sheet of this post here. Thanks!

Why you want to be the pack leader

If you do not establish leadership over your dog, the dog will take over as the leader and cause chaos.

You providing leadership in the proper way will lead to fewer behavior problems with your pet.

The mother dog controls the pup in feeding, how far the pup can go, how long the pup can play; when you bring home your pup you must take over that duty.

When the dog in the home thinks they are the pack leader, the dog will nip and bite guests, family members, and can be very nasty in the way it treats the family and home.

That is why it is so important for you to properly take over the leadership role of the pack for the dog you bring into your home.

What are the responsibilities of the pack leader?

As pack leader it is your responsibility to provide a consistent schedule when it comes to eating, playing, working, and learning.

Giving your dog duties will help ensure good behavior.

It is also important to include all the family members in the household in this.

Everyone must follow the pack leader (kids follow parent).

Each animal in the pack has duties to perform which helps the pack stay strong. Duties include;

  • Scouting
  • Hunting
  • Watching over the pups
  • Guarding the pack’s territory

dog playing fetch

What are the benefits of being the alpha dog?

There are benefits to being the alpha dog in your pet’s life.

Some of those are;

  • Your pet will have more balance both mentally and physically.
  • Good behavior which will allow for you to groom your pet more easily including brushing the teeth, clipping or dremeling the nails, and bathing.
  • Your visitors and you will not have to worry about the pet jumping up on them.
  • The dog knows that he or she does not need to guard its food against you.
  • Your dog will be easier to socialize with other people and animals.

Tips and tricks on being the alpha

In order to assert your role as alpha with your dog, there are some tips and tricks you can use.

Most of the tips below are pretty clear but if you have any issues with you setting your leadership role of your dog’s pack then it is best to hire a professional.

  • You must continue to be the pack leader for the life of the dog.
  • Most dogs will recognize any weakness you show and take advantage of it.
  • Once you have established pack leader status with your dog, the dog will watch your body language and respond by following your lead. This makes training easy.
  • Always stay consistent with your alpha role so you do not confuse the dog causing behavior issues.

dog obeys

How to become the alpha dog

You may be wondering just how you become the alpha dog.

Is there something you need to do physically with the dog to assert that leadership right away?

Things you should do to assert your leadership role for your dog are;

  • Always walk through the door first before your pet when leaving.
  • Stick to a schedule when it comes to walking, eating, or playing with the dog.
  • Make sure you have time every day, preferably around the same time each day to spend with your dog providing mental exercises, following rules and boundaries.
  • Provide work for your pet ahead of food, water, or treats. Have the dog complete the sit, down command, or allow for the dog to have outside play time that includes enforcing boundaries, come, and sit commands.
  • When you walk your dog remember the dog should be at your side or just behind you never in front of you or pulling you down the street.

Remaining the alpha in the relationship with your dog

It is extremely important that you assert the alpha role with your dog as a puppy when you bring them home.

During the dog’s life, you must maintain that leadership role to remain the alpha.

The reason you need to maintain the alpha leader is to help prevent bad behavior but also to help keep the dog from becoming stressed and confused.

While some may think that this relationship with the dog is too controlling and unfair, the truth is the dog needs that structure in order to be secure and healthy both mentally and physically for its lifetime.

dog looks leader

Things to remember about being the alpha

A few things to remember when establishing the alpha role and leadership;

  • All family members need to be included the pack and follow the leader
  • Your dog will do better with a confident leader to follow
  • Have duties for your dog to complete give them a role or job to do
  • Make sure that you choose the right dog for you and your home dynamics.
  • Above all remember that the somewhat strict routine and leadership will benefit your dog so that the pet does not suffer stress and confusion which could lead to the dog trying to take over the leadership role.


It is important that on the day you bring the dog into your home you assert yourself into the leadership role and become the alpha of the pack.

This provides the dog with safety and clear understanding of his or her role in the family and household.

When the dog understands that you are the alpha training will become easier.

You must maintain that alpha role for the life of the dog to benefit the dog both physically and mentally as far as health for its lifetime.

Before you leave our pack, take a moment of Alphaness with you: