The phrase “you must be the pack leader” is thrown around often and when you ask questions, the actual meaning varies greatly between the people using the term.
Being the pack leader doesn’t mean you need to be aggressive. You don’t need to bully your dog to be respected. When was the last time you respected a bully in the playground or workforce??
Being a pack leader is more of an air of authority. A confident leader is assertive and calm and keeps a cool head in stressful situations.
Think of the teacher you had in school who you most respected. It wasn’t the cranky one, it wasn’t the one who yelled at you to do your work and dominated you. It was most likely the one who gained your respect by treating you with respect, gave you fair rules and expectations and took the time to communicate with you.
If you take the time to build your relationship with your dog by giving them fair rules, realistic expectations, clear communication and respect, you will find it will be returned and you will have a wonderful relationship.