Should I be acting like I am the alpha dog or the dog’s mother?
No, you are a human, and should act as such!
You do not have the proper smell, body language, or relationship to effectively work with your puppy “like a dog”, so you should be creating a loving and mutually respectful canine-human bond with your pup.
Body language is the primary way dogs speak, and professional trainers do mimic dog body language in order to help train dogs. Understanding body language is one of the keys to good training, both from the side of reading a dog’s body language and also from the side of the trainer using the same language.
Many times, I have seen trainers (myself included) get down on all fours, do a play bow, and start wiggling their bodies in order to try and get a dog to loosen up and play. And most of the time, it works! It may look ridiculous, but to the dog, this is a clear indication that it’s time to play!
Once, when I was very inexperienced, I was attempting to teach a dog to take something into its mouth. I was unsuccessful, until I put the toy into my own mouth, showed the dog, and offered it to him. He followed suit, and actually put the toy into his mouth!
Dogs take the vast majority of their cues from our body language, and when we are speaking their language, doors start to open. However, it is important not to delude yourself into thinking that a dog thinks of you like a dog. You may talk like a dog sometimes, but you are always a human to them, and you are most certainly not their biological mother!
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