Good Boy - Command Before I begin, the 'good boy' wording is only an example for the ease of writing in this article and 'good girl', 'well done' or any other words of praise may be easily used in place of 'good boy'.
The good boy command is not so much a command as a general consistent learning or rewarding exercise, the aim of this exercise is to get your dog to associate 'good boy' with times when he or she has done something well and a time when you the owner are happy.
A lot of dog breeds actually enjoy performing tasks for their owner and it's what they are accustomed to, and aim to achieve. These dogs are generally dogs with a working background and breed past, such as sheepdogs and collies, but it can be done with just about any dog breed with some work.
This exercise can be taught as soon as you get your puppy or dog and can be a natural reaction to good behavior by many already, also making the command easier to remember and easier to be consistent with.
The good boy command should be taught along with any rewards you give your dog, if your dog behaves well you should praise them to encourage them to do the same in the future, this is common sense in dog training. The 'good boy' command should add to this praise and give you another option for rewarding your dog. Emotional praise like the 'good boy' command can be much more rewarding for some dogs and great on the rare occasions when you haven't got treats to hand (although it's not recommended, but it does happen).
So when your dog behaves well and has deserved a treat or other form of reward, recite 'good boy' to them in an excited and impressed voice and give your dog cuddles and love. This, over time will be seen as a great form of reward that means just as much to your dog as treats do.
The good boy command gives more emotion to your rewards and gives your dog a new form of praise to aim for, making the relationship between you and your dog closer, and making this a very important command or reward.
Come Command One of the most important commands for dogs in their early years, or as an untrained dog for safety, is the 'come' command. If your dog breaks the leash and runs free, this command could save your dog from running in front of a car, a lory, or into any other of the many dangers untrained dogs face.
In this article I will guide you through the different steps needed to control your dog using the 'come' command and how to do it in the easiest and least confusing way for your dog and you. This command is best learnt when the dog is a puppy or very young and has not yet picked up too many bad habits or actions.
To start, you should get someone else to help you out, whether it's a friend or neighbour, you will need help to make this command work quickly and effectively. Get this person to lightly restrain your dog from being able to run after you at the wrong time. Then, from a short distance apart, show your dog a tasty or well loved treat to entice them towards you.
To begin with, keep yourself not too far away from your dog or puppy until they get the idea of the game. Once you are the correct distance get your friend or neighbour to let go of the dog so they come running towards you, as they do this you should say the command 'come' in a solid and happy mannered way.
When the dog reaches you, reward him with the treat or 'good dog' and a hug. After the first success it should get easier as you retry the game from further and further away. After a few times of playing this game your dog will get familiar with the way things are done and you can use the sit command instead of having a friend.
When you feel comfortable with this training method, try playing hide and seek with your dog and let them find you when you shout 'come', rewarding still after every success. When your dog is comfortable with this method your training is complete and ready for the next time your dog darts for the road.
As with many training excersizes, the key is to be persistent in your ways. The more you practice different commands, the easier things will get.
Down Command If you are hesitating, the "down" command is a very rationale set of rules to live by. After you have given this command, and your dog has taken in his position, it means that he has been obedient. The "down" command can be used as a thermometer to check the manners of your dog. The enthusiasm of the dog to do as they are told or their battle to do so will be a direct indication of the state of mind that they are in. When the dog responds in a positive manner, it is a sign that they are obedient. But if they are familiar with the command and they do not comply, it is a sign that the dog wants to compete or that they have too much confidence.
Once they obey these commands, their mindset will be a more obedient one. When your dog is taking off or jumping up on you or other people, the "down" command should be used straight away. The command "down" should be given in a tranquil and a solid tone of voice. A talented dog instructor by the name of Tamar Arnon suggested that the word should be said as if it was spelled "Dhown" - by doing this the word is kept soft. A mistake that is made by many is that the word is said too quick or as a long "Dooowwwnn". Saying down in a requesting manner or just too rapidly is also not right.
When using the hand signal for the "down" command, make sure you move your arm downward from the shoulder. Then lift your left hand upwards and then move backward and forward and downward, so it will eventually stop along your side with your palm facing to the back. Make sure that this is a still but yet at the same time a purposeful move that is not too slow or too fast. It will also be good if the arm movement is supported by your voice. You should not be too worried if the dog does not take notice of the arm movement at first as they will learn it later on.
In the end you will be able to give this signal from a distance, and they will recognize and respond to it accordingly - even if it is not supported by a vocal command.
Down Placement The above mentioned method is similar to the one mention in the puppy segment. This method is made more difficult due to the size of most of the mature dogs. This specific method is well liked as it doesn't involve lots of difficulty if done correctly.
In order to apply this method the dog should be placed on your left side while you reach over your left shoulder while putting your left hand on the dog's left shoulder - then with your right hand clutch the right leg of the dog just above his foot. After you have done this, lift up the right foot of the dog and then move him to the right side - this can be accomplished by pushing his left shoulder to the right.
The idea behind all of this is that the support is taken away on one side, and then the dog is moved in that direction. This can be done in both directions, and all depends on how the dog is sitting at that moment in time. When sitting in the upright position, you can go both directions. When they are slouching on one of their hips, the best option will be to move the dog over in the position that they are slouching.
It is advised you make sure that this is done on a surface that is not too hard, and then move him over in a gentle manner. If the dog is uncomfortable, they might be reluctant to be moved again at a later time. Make sure that the dog is praised enough once they are lying down - it is advised that at least 15 seconds are spend on praising the dog.
Release the dog with a command of "OK" after you have finished flattering the dog. After the dog gets up, commend him some more. After a little while, the dog will enjoy the whole process - and you will be able to see it by them wagging their tails all the time.
Enforced Down Command After your dog starts to allow you to put them in the "down" position without any trouble, it is time to go to the next step in the process of training your dog. At this point it's good if your dog stays down, even if you remain in a standing position. If you bend down at first, and then get your dog to assume the down position while you are upright, it will be a very big step.
This method should be applied with a loose collar, and you should start on a slick surface - tile or wood floors are ideal. While your dog is to your left, give the command as well as the hand signal. Then take your foot and place it on the clip of the lead. Make sure you keep the lead tight while you apply some pressure with your left foot and it is important for you to know that this is a process of guiding. Force should not be used. It is a good idea to lean against a table or wall if you are having trouble to keep your balance. At first your dog might not know what is happening, and they might oppose the downward force that your are applying.
Your dog will try to pull away, but it is important that you remain calm and not force them to stay down. For a one or two minute period your dog might oppose the first time that you are trying to enforce this - but after that they will start to comply. If you caress your dog in a gentle manner, it will help them to stay calm. When your dog stands up, direct his behind into the "sit" position - do not tell your dog to sit though as this will baffle your dog. This method works really well when they comprehend that the lying down position is more comfortable than trying to oppose to the pressure they are feeling on their necks.
If they eventually obey, sit down and praise your dog so that they know how well they are doing. This process should last for about 20 to 30 seconds. Follow this with the "OK" command, and then smile while you are clapping your hands and then try this whole process again - this way your dog will stop to resist, as they are seeing that obedience brings a lot of pressure about. It is important to always be encouraging of your dog.
Many of us dream about our dogs running across fields, and them responding by you calling him once. Your doorbell may ring, you open the door and tell your dog to sit and he does so without moving. This can only remain a dream, or it can become a reality if you keep on persisting by training your dog. Make sure to give your dog sufficient praise if he gets something right and to reprimand him if he does not. If you only complain and don't persist with practice, the above will only remain a dream.
The Sit Command It is common knowledge that 'sit" is the most command and helpful command that exists between a dog and its owner. This command is not difficult to use, and you can use it to stay in control with your dog for the whole of the day. This command can be used to keep you dog away from trouble, if you want to take care of your dog or just want the dog to calm down when visitors arrive.
If you train your dog with treats from an early age on, it might become a problem later on as they will struggle trying to learn new commands without getting treats. You should stop giving them treats immediately if this is the case. Also do not let that look in their eyes make you feel guilty - rather learn to praise him when he does something wrong.
Giving treats can however by good in training by being a first step for dogs that are shy or full of fear. But as soon as they are making progress, you should stop giving them treats. For a start you can give them a treat every few times they get something right, and then phase it out completely. Then make sure you keep on praising your dog in an excited manner. Regardless from whether your dog is being learned the "sit" command for the first time; it should be done without having to use force.
Getting your dog in the correct position is done by slowly applying pressure while at the same time pushing the hind of your dog in a downward position. Applying force will make resistance. If you are finding it hard to get your dog into the "sit" position, he will also find it difficult to remain standing. In the end you want to show your dog what you want him to do, and eventually he will comply with that.
It is best if you try to teach this command to your dog while they are on their leash. Make sure that the lead is tight, and that it is not loose. At the same time of giving the "sit" command, you should also give the signal with your left hand. This sign should be started with your palm forward while your left arm hangs at your side. After this, you should bend your elbow and bring your hand back up - all in one even movement. Dogs tend to more easily learn hand signals then voice commands as the movement will attract their attention.
If your dog does not take note the first time round, you should not be too worried. He will eventually see it as you progress with the training process. If you get this right, your dog will also achieve success eventually. After giving the spoken and hand signal at the same time bring your hand to your hip. At this stage the leash should be over your body, and loose. When you see that your dog is having difficulty breathing or that his head is moved up you should give some slack.
While the lead is over your hip, you will have to reach downward and place your forefinger and thumb in front of the hipbones with your left hand. This will mean you forming a "U" shape by using your fingers. After the "U" has been formed, you should press your fingers to the inside as you move your dog down, and then to the back. After performing the movement your dog should move over in the "sit" position. By pushing your dog too hard he will probably resist what you are trying to do. Try giving the same sort of pressure that you would like on you, and this will probably be successful.
After your dog took in the "sit" position, you can stop applying pressure on him. Now you can convey praise to him by speaking in a warm voice, and maybe even stroking his chest. If the dog stands up immediately, you should not be worried as he does not know the "stay" command yet. If he jumps up immediately, you can just place him in the right position again - and then give him the necessary praise. It is important that you don't reprimand him now as it takes time to learn a new command.
Enthusiasm is very important when you want to teach your dog something new that you are enthusiastic about it. Dogs want you to guide them when they should learn something new. If you show more enthusiasm toward something, they will probably be more happy and excited. Your dog will think what you are trying to teach him is fun if you look excited. Of you come across as bored, you won't be able to keep the attention of your dog. Make sure that you set a positive environment for your dog to learn.
Common Sit Command Problems Dog turns and mouths. Make sure that your leash is in a tight position at the side of your right hip. By doing this, your dog will be prevented from making a turn and mouth. Make sure that you are applying even pressure, and being very gentle. If your dog shows a lack in comfort, you might want to check with your vet that there is not a physical difficulty. A condition like hip dysplasia is one of the things that can cause your dog discomfort in this situation.
Dog resists placement.
It is quite common for a dog to freeze if they're confused, and this may lead owners to think that their dogs are being stubborn. By being more vigorous and angry in a situation like this will only make the situation worse. Be sure to relax if your dog freezes - just continue by applying smooth pressure. It is advised that you move the hips of the dog from side to side while praising your dog in a calm voice as well as applying some mild pressure. If the dog is relaxed, eventually he will allow you to place him in the correct position. Keep on praising your dog for the whole time they take to move into the "sit" position. Eventually they will respond quicker as they learn to relax.
Dog lies down.
If your dog is good-humored and obedient they might fall down on the ground and roll over to play when you try to put them into the "sit" position. In such an event, make sure that the leash is in the correct position as it will them make it more difficult for your dog to misbehave. A good idea is to start scratching the chest of your dog as this will automatically help many dogs to resume the "sit" position. If your dog continues to fall down and roll over - do not give him the attention he craves. This will only lead to your dog being more disobedient. Make sure that you praise the dog enough after performing the "sit" position, and also make sure that you stop them immediately if he collapses. He will eventually get the message. If he still has problems with the "sit" position, you may want to use food or some other form of reward.
Different from the "sit" and "down" commands which should be being used on your dog several times during the day already, walking to your left side is a bit trickier and more difficult. In most cases your dog will not see the point of it. Most people teach their dog this command by repeatedly pulling back on their leash while repeating the command. In the end this doesn't make lots of sense to the dog as they are probably wondering why you are pulling them back all the time. Most dogs will probably pull more to get away from the pressure that is being applied, and they may even be chocked by this.
The best way to teach your dog this command is to guarantee that they know why it is they are doing it and why they should be walking with a slack leash. A step in the right direction is to hold the lead correctly. Make sure that you put the thumb of your right hand through the lead, and then make sure that your hand is closed around the loop. Then rest your hand at the area of your belly button - relax your hand in this position.
The job of your right hand is to hold the lead, and hold the lead only; it should not be used for doing anything else and should not be pulled in all directions. The active hand in this case will be your left hand. You will make use of your left hand to direct your dog in many different ways.
If you use the leash to signal to your dog that you are making changes in pace and direction such as sidesteps and turns to begin with, they will learn to look where you are moving next and pay more attention to you presence and thus begin to learn the reason for walking by your side. If he stops watching you, make sure you quickly tighten the lead to make him aware of your presence again. After he has been made aware, make sure to give your dog plenty of praise in the form of cuddles and treats. In the end the goal is for your dog to walk comfortably on your left side with his head being the same height as that of your knee. The lead should also be loose, and the dog should follow you without any trouble.
It is important to know that words contain no magic when teaching your dog new commands; dogs do not understand specific languages. Words will not matter - you should only make sure that you are completely clear on what you want them to do. Make sure that you are certain about what you want form your dog, and express this clearly to them, following it with a reward if necessary. You can even teach your dog to sit down by using the word "car" and not "sit". Use whatever words works for you and your dog.
Heel Command Problems
Dog pulls ahead.
In achieving success with the "Let's Go" command, you should now know that timing is very important. Correcting your dog should be done exactly at the same time as your dog starts to misbehave by moving in front of your knee or leg. After doing this, your dog will find it difficult to understand what the right position is for him to take. This can be quite tough in doing as many dogs move forward so fast that it might be even more difficult in getting the timing right. Here it might be a good idea to issue the "Let's go" command; make a 180 degree turn and then move forward.
All the turns that you can do are good for your dog, especially the left about turn seeing that they can be done while your dog is moving forward. You might trip over your dog if his shoulder is at the same level as your knee.
Dog lags behind.
If your dog trails behind you it is important that you do not correct him as this will cause them to lag even more. There are many reasons causing a dog to lag. It might be a problem with your leash being to long and hitting him in the face all the time, or your corrections might be too harsh - causing the dog to be frightened. Another reason might be your dog struggling to keep up with your pace, or he might be a bit unsure about what you want from him.
Try to ensure that the leash and the collar is the right length and size, and also that the dog is not being injured in this process. A choke collar should not have more than two to three inches of space when it is tightened to its max. If the dog is not comfortable with this type of collar you might have to consider a collar that can't tighten around the neck of the dog. Many dogs will get scared of these collars, and eventually they will not want to walk at all.
If the dog is comfortable with this and if you know that he can keep up with your pace, you can then up your pace. When you slow down if your dog slows down, he will take advantage of this. It is important that you take the lead here; otherwise your dog will dominate. If you come across as being hesitant, your dog will not take your lead. Give your dog enough praise while you move along.
If you move the lead across your legs and put your right hand in a steady position on your right and keep it there your leg will pull the dog up and release it again in a steady rhythm that your dog will react positively towards. If he maintains this pace, you should give him enough praise - and eventually sit down with him and praise him even more. As you continue this, tour dog will soon be walking alongside you at whichever pace you want him to.
If your dog decides to stop, you should just keep going and not stop with him. Do not look at your dog or say anything about it - just keep walking. If you dog then starts to walk again, sit down and ask him to stand and then give him some more praise. You should not go toward the dog, as he will see this as enforcement for him to stop walking. A dog in this situation will probably jump up and down a bit - see that you are not giving him any attention and then eventually will stand up and start walking again.
If you get them to get up after they have stopped, you will just make your own task a lot harder. You can always put a collar with a buckle on your dog, tie it to your leash and then get them to follow you while walking through the house. The floor has a good surface which will be nice for his feet, and you won't be covering long distances. He will in the end see that it is better to follow you than to oppose.
Dog jumps up.
If your dog jumps up, you should take a step to the side and then make sure that you correct your dog. This is the best method to follow if your dog jumps up while he is on the lead - this will give you the best results. You may need to do this a few times before it will sink in.
Dog puts foot over lead.
This usually takes a smart dog to do this, but also a way to show its owners that he can stop them. Do not stop and disentangle him, as he will keep on doing this. Just keep on walking as he will then hop after you and then untangle his paw on his own. Do not give him any praise for doing this. Just unhook his foot, and keep going. Eventually your dog will come to see that this is not the right way of doing things.
Dog cuts in front of owner.
Make sure that you do enough turns before your dog tries to cut in front of you - this will teach him to stay behind you. Always walk through him if he is blocking your way - if you move around him, he will keep on doing this. He your dog does this the next time - place your left hand on the leash halfway down and move it to the left quickly in a snappy movement. If you have a very large dog or if he is standing completely in front of you - take a turn to your right hand side. If you do this, the dog will be put automatically to your left which is the right position.
Dog cuts in back of owner.
There are two methods that you can follow to stop this behaviour. With the first method you should simply keep walking while at the same time pulling the lead to your right hand side. Eventually your dog will return to the right place. The second method is to stretch to your back with your left hand and correct him to your left while you keep moving. Similar to all the other corrections, timing is also very important here. If you correct the dog as he is trying to cut in front of you, it will be a lot easier.
The first step in this process is to learn your dog to watch you carefully. In the beginning most of the dogs are so excited that they pull you all over the place. If your dog displays behavior like this it is advised that you start doing lunge work. Lunge work means that you become unpredictable, and that you will not just follow your dog all over. It is not needed of your dog to keep an eye on you, but if he does not watch you - he will see that you are going in a different direction. With this method, you will have to keep both of your hands on the leash for the longest period of time. You should hold the circle over the thumb of your right hand, and put your fist around the rest of the round part. Then you should take your left hand and clutch the leash halfway down in order for it to be tight between your left hand and the dog and more relaxed between your right and left hand - while you are in this spot, say "Let's go" in a firm manner and start walking with your left foot first.
It is assumed that your dog will try and pull ahead, but as the leash becomes tighter, relax your left hand and put it over your right hand while you are holding onto your stomach. While you are doing this, move 180 degrees to your right and start moving in the opposite direction with purpose. You should not look back while you are doing this, and while you are doing this, the leash will become tighter and force your dog in the correct direction. If he follows you, give him enough praise and support him to move to the side of you. After he has assumed the correct position, move your left hand to the middle section of the lead and carry on as normal. If you keep praising the dog, he will find you and this whole exercise more interesting. This should probably be done more than four times in order for your dog to realise what you are trying to teach him Teaching Your Dog To Halt
To get your dog to come to a halt and sit calmly on the left of you will take lots of practice and particular methods. If you want to apply the halt procedure, you will have to follow four different steps.
1. You should take the leash, and move it halfway in the direction of your dog.
2. Then take the leash from your left hand by reaching crossways, and over your body, in order to accomplish this.
3. Then bring the leash to the region of your right hip, similar as to when you will sit.
4. Then take your last step as you bring your right hand into the correct position by putting your right foot in front of the dog and your left foot next to it. When your left foot is in the correct place you should give the "sit" command together with the hand signal for it.
Your dog should also do his part by placing his head at the same level as your left knee while adhering to the "sit' command. If they get this right, make sure that you give them enough praise. Seeing that this is something new learned by your dog, you should give praise, even if they don't do it flawlessly. There is always the chance that you didn't do it without error. You can always place your dog in the correct position with your hand if they didn't listen to the "sit" command.
There are several mistakes to be made such as pulling the leash too tight which can lead to your dog sitting in a twisted manner. If you give the command while you are walking, it will be more difficult to act upon by your dog. When giving the command after you have halted completely, your dog might have enough time to get preoccupied. It is best to give the command as soon as you start to walk - the leash being at your hip and when you give the hand signal.
To apply this method, you will need enough practice - and you will have to start by working on one section at time in order to achieve success. It might be a good idea to first start it without your dog. At first it may feel somewhat odd, but it will help you to get the movements right before teaching your dog. When you feel comfortable with these steps, you can start doing them with the leash. And then you can start doing them with your dog.
Fetch Command The fetch game is probably the most popular and most used dog activity for rewarding your dog and giving him exercise at the same time. Giving your dog regular exercise is essential in keeping your dog fit.
Playing the fetch game with your dog is very easy and takes as much effort as you want to put into it. Simply take some form of ball, Frisbee, or stick and get your dogs attention with it, as soon as your dog has their eyes on the swinging stick, throw it as far as possible and command your dog to fetch the stick and pointing in the direction you threw it in with some enthusiasm to make it seem fun for your dog.
Dogs love this game and are happy to play it all day long with you, some dogs like the game more than others due to breed tendencies to please the owners. There are many different products available to help you with this command if you suffer from a bad back or similar and are incapable of bending down or throwing, this product is a long stick that cups the ball and makes it easier to throw and pick up the ball.
This activity can be an energetic exercise for both you and your dog if you want it to be. Running around after your dog and throwing for your dog to fetch is a way used by many to keep fit and not just their dogs. A helpful two in one exercise to keep both parties healthy can't be a bad choice!
A Simple Dog Trick
There are plenty of dog tricks around to choose from but starting off with your first puppy or dog and knowing which dog tricks are easy can be a bit of a challenge. If you have a puppy then training them will be a lot easier than an older dog because of the habits dogs fall into when they are brought up.
Older dogs will have different habits and a strong personality by then so they may find some advanced tricks easier than others.
Although the same as above can be true for puppies also, this is more likely to be because of the breed of dog you have and the different general personalities that go with them breeds.
This is similar to other commands you will have taught your dog and involves you using treats to encourage your dog to perform actions. To do this trick you simply have hold a treat in one hand and guide your dog through one side of your legs, through the middle then around to complete a figure of eight motion. Try to hold the treat close to your dog's nose to keep them interested and always reward them with praise afterwards and the treat afterwards.
After you have mastered this and can get your dog to do it on command you're ready for your next trick and one step closer to the skateboard. Good luck!
I hope all is well with you and your Shih Tzu I just came across an interesting article that I thought I would share with you. I guess it is something that we as dog owners need to be mindful of and adds a different voice on the topic about being the Alpha dog. I know we covered this in my book, but I am always looking around for interesting articles, and different perspectives. We never stop learning I guess! Have a read of it, it might be useful.
All the best Rebecca
How to become Top Dog - A Dog Owner's Guide to Sanity by Tina Spriggs
Peeing on the carpet, knocking you down, or stealing dinner
off the counter are all signs that your dog doesn't respect your rules. In other words, you are not the Alpha Dog.
If you ever want to have a peaceful and happy relationship with your dog, you need to learn how to become top dog.
It's not just a silly phrase. Dogs have a hierarchical ranking system. In simple reality, the only two ranks you need to know of are top dog, and not top dog.... The Ruler and the Rule Follower. Naturally you don't want to be caught in the trap of being subject to your dog.
You want your dog to respect you and obey you. Don't confuse the two. A dog may obey you out of fear, but not respect you. That is a dangerous situation to be in. Have you ever seen the movie Iron Will? If not, watch it. It gives some great insight.
There's a dog sled driver who beats his dogs into submission and treats them terribly. They respond to his beatings and he has a winning team, but at the first sign of weakness, they turn on him and... Well it wasn't pretty.
Of course that's a dramatization and worst case scenario. Frankly, I think anyone who beats dogs has it coming. It's just not necessary to rule with an iron fist.
Most dogs are receptive to attitudes that are as basic and primal as fighting, but are much less violent.
For example, simply giving commands and being consistent goes a long way. If your dog is always made aware of what is and what is not acceptable, you will have a greater chance of success.
When your dog disobeys, scold him and send him to his quarters-whether it is a dog bed, a kennel, going outside or just a specific place in the house.
Don't allow him to beg for food. Doing this gives him the impression that it's okay to whine to get what he wants.
It's not. If and when a dog should bite you, and you have had this dog and don't believe him to be wild or sick, then you have to take action to ensure he knows that it will not be accepted. (If there is any indication of disorientation of your dog at this time, call a vet. Dogs can bite if they are sick, hurt or scared. You should seek professional advice.)
Appropriate action would not be to scold or hit the dog but rather to grab his head firmly, not in anger or rage but in calm control, and bite him on the ear. Don't try to break the skin or really hurt the dog. You are just making a point here that you are the leader and he needs to respect you.
It is also highly recommended that you train your dog to walk with you on a leash, at your heel level. This puts the dog in an active submissive role on a regular basis and helps you to enforce that you are the boss.
I would suggest getting a book or training video to get more details on the topic, or research dog forums for advice from other owners who prefer to train themselves and not send their dogs to obedience school. One good example is at www.dogtrainingmasters.com
Remember that if you want to be the top dog, you have to take control. Leadership is essential in a dog's life. You are the one who gets to choose who that leader is.