Ancestral canine leadership programme acknowledges that the dog has evolved from the wolf. The grey wolf to be specific. Rewinding 14,000 years or more to when we were hunters and gatherers we would have earned the trust of the species that was before us. We knew we had to work with, not against and communicate to the best of our ability with what evolution was presenting. We also knew that there had to be a distinct hierarchy not just about the food being delivered to the table, but the processes of daily living, trust and leadership were the core, they had to be, how else would this partnership flourish.
Philosophy of the wolf pack was essential
Sets of rules were established not only for hunting, but around our dwelling areas as well. The hunters would have been, unwittingly feeding before their dogs, then allowing the dog to have the scraps after. The pack philosophy of wolves was still being carried through, maybe they had already done their studies! With hierarchy established and because this species knew where it was in the pecking order it had no stresses placed upon it, it knew where it stood and what it’s role was. It was free to understand the commands and signals given, not misreading them under stress or anxiety.
It was all about the hierarchy
Body language and communication was also essential to succeed and of course there would have been an element of trial and error, but survival happened not just for us, but for the dog as well. Over the years the species that wasn’t wolf or dog would continue to look different, but the rules of living alongside each other would have remained the same, the hierarchy never changed, and would have continually been established at every opportunity. We knew we had to be seen as the leader and decision maker!
Knowledge of living alongside nature was passed down generation after generation
How we used the species and lived alongside it, was passed down generation after generation. It worked and it was very successful. Mankind was using nature, but nature had to know what we wanted from them, we learnt from them too! Over time other instinctual characteristics came to the fore as our communities expanded, the need for more specifics in dogs was required like guarding and herding, as we stumbled across other settlers and merged communities, mating in dogs was about specifics as we realised that the function of the dog could be expanded on to what they had currently evolved.
Specifics were bred for!
Many communities wanted to know if threats were about, they needed different strategies for the dog to be able to deliver food to the table, the dog needed to be adapted for the environment it was living in and so on. This was all part of the dogs evolution. But how has this ancestral leadership become lost over time?
You can’t take the wolf out of the dog
Forward 14,000 years and we are still living with dogs. Dogs are still being used for purposes to help us in society, but for most dogs its life is spent in our confused world which is our homes. It doesn’t understand cyclists, joggers, large Lorries, tractors, motorbikes, traffic lights, and fireworks, and so the list goes on. Why? Well because the dog still to this day has the strong instincts that we first started to tame and use all those thousands of years ago. Not only that, but the dog is all too often denied of fulfilling its breed instincts as well.
Too many dogs are led to think they have to be the decision maker
There are many dogs living today making decisions on how and what comes naturally, unwittingly we are giving signals to our dogs that there is a weakness in the hierarchy in our homes and this is by the way we communicate to our dogs, and from our body signals too. This tells the dog that they have to be the decision maker, we also confirm this to our dogs with our poorly timed affection, and our strong human ways of leading with love and sorry, instead of leadership. We are all too often confirming that we are the lower ranking members in the pack, and that our adorable dog is the highest ranking member, the decision maker!
Communication is key to keeping a dog balanced
This all too often becomes too much for the owner being exposed to these behaviours either through frustration or at a sheer loss on how to stop bad behaviours or in some cases, severe behavioural problems like dog aggression. For us to live aside dogs in harmony we must acknowledge a dog is an animal with ancestral instincts connected back to the wolf which is based on a simple formula called hierarchy. Yes there has been many years of evolution and my leadership programme takes this into account. More importantly it allows communication to restore harmony with our dogs, and how they are positioned within our human pack. I call this “Ancestral Canine Leadership” It’s affective and gentle approach can be applied to all dog breeds, but most of all the dog responds to it positively and goes further in enhancing the relationship between us and our dogs. All you need is what all good leaders display PATIENCE, TIMING, CONSISTENCY and a commitment to changing how you communicate to your dog currently. Once you start looking at things from the dog’s point of view and changing your ways, the results will make your dog owning a real joy and built on a true bond and trust.