Establishing your self as the pack leader using your energy

Dogs use constant energy to communicate. Energy is what I call beingness; it is who and what you are in every moment. Dogs don’t know each other by name, but by the energy they project and the activities they share. They know humans in the same way.

As humans, we too are communicating with energy—whether we realize it or not. And, though we may attempt to persuade, explain, and rationalize all day long, these energy signals are the only messages getting across to our dogs.

The first energy that a puppy experiences after birth is mom’s calm-assertive energy. Later, the puppy will follow a pack leader who projects the same calm-assertive energy out of association. As pack followers, dogs return a calm-submissive energy that completes the pack balance. It is important to understand that most dogs are born to be submissive, because there can only be so many pack leaders.

When a naturally submissive dogs lives with a human that does not lead, he or she will attempt to right the pack balance by filling what they see as a vacant pack leader role. This is how behavior problems develop.

To establish yourself as the pack leader, you must always project a calm-assertive energy. If you don’t know what I mean by calm-assertive energy, think about Oprah Winfrey. She is calm and assertive in the human world. This natural balance (calm-assertive leadership with calm-submissive behavior) nurtures stability and creates a balanced, centered, and happy dog.

About The Author

Cesar Millan is a world-renowned dog behavior specialist, known for his uncanny ability to walk large packs of dogs at a time. For more information, please visit

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