Let’s Talk About The Walk
The walk, which is a key fundamental in your bond with your dog. You need to establish leadership from day one! Start off each day with a nice, long walk and make sure the dog is next to you or behind you. Position matters – canine pack leaders walk in front and this is one simple way to implement rules, boundaries and limitations right from the start.
Be consistent. Don’t send the dog a mixed message. If you allow the dog to assume the leadership position one day, and not the next, then go back and forth, you are not being the pack leader. No one wants a “wishy-washy” leader!
At the end of the day when the dog is in resting mode, you can share all that affection you’ve been storing up! By starting off right and remaining consistent, the first family can help prevent bad behavior down the road, such as excessive barking, leash-pulling or biting White House reporters. It’s important for our political leaders to be good examples for the country, so why not extend that example to include their dog?
Humans are the only species that follow unstable pack leaders. Not only do we follow them but even after they’ve proven to be unstable, we still follow them or re-elect them or give them even more power. You would never see an unstable leader in an animal pack!
The selection process for Pack Leaders is very different in animal species than human. Humans tend to choose pack leaders because they are “lovable,” or seem intelligent or charismatic; basically we choose them for their personality – someone we’d like to spend time with socially, rather than for their professional qualifications or ability.
Animals select pack leaders because they instinctually know who is strong and who can best lead them. It has nothing to do with personality or physicality. Just watch some animal kingdom shows and you’ll see there are some pretty strange-looking pack leaders out there! But they provide (1) protection and (2) direction!
An animal pack leader is concerned for the pack, not for himself. It’s an unselfish role and an instinctual role. Dog pack leaders don’t go to graduate school to learn how to lead a pack; it’s just in their DNA. In return, the pack completely trusts the pack leader. They instinctually know that the pack leader is there to protect them and guide them.
I think President Kennedy was a good pack leader. He said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” That is a pack leader. The interests of your country are greater than the interests of an individual. Thus, you need to ask yourself what you can contribute to your pack.
Another lesson we can take from natural packs is that they live in the present. There is no past or future, there are just the needs and wants of the present. Compare this with human pack leaders. They live mostly in the past and in the future… and in some cases, human pack leaders are focused on making sure the past never goes away. The mistakes of the past are constantly brought up, reminding people of what happened the last time they elected that party or politician. “Leaders” want us to remember the bad times and promise a better future! It’s never about the present. The past never goes away – we remember the hurt, the guilt, the fear – and our pack leaders use this to lead and control the pack. A fearful pack is a reactionary pack. And that’s dangerous for any species. Likewise, our pack leaders use the future in a similar fashion. Only it’s fear of the unknown. In the animal world, there is only the present. You live in harmony and with nature NOW and the future takes care of itself. Make the right choices today and there won’t be mistakes or messes to fix in the future.
America must restore honesty, integrity, and loyalty in our relationships, both here and abroad. This starts at home. We need to re-connect with the fundamentals of relationships, and in the process, we can restore the trust and respect from other countries.
My pack and I want to let you know we are practicing what President Kennedy said. It takes a pack to rehabilitate a country, just like it takes a village to raise a child.
This is my humble message to our presidents and leaders, past, present, and future.
The power of success is in its simplicity. It’s just like being a father. The principles I want to leave my kids with are the same principles that I practice in my life every day. One of my favorite Ghandi quotes – “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – says it all.