As the alpha dog, Mom creates and maintains discipline by using physical discipline.
The following summarizes her disciplinary technique:
The Alpha Dog Approach to Puppy Discipline
Mom uses physical discipline to maintain order in her family. She's not aggressive, but just assertive. If a nip doesn't do the job, then she'll raise the level of discipline to the point where her puppy stops the unwanted behavior.
You see, Mom doesn't know that her puppies will be leaving her in the near future, so she isn't concerned about hurting their feelings because she may never see them again.
Instead, she begins her discipline with the puppies as soon as they are old enough to learn from their mistakes. Besides, the last thing she wants is a whole bunch of of unruly puppies tackling her. Mom doesn't make some big huge emotional ordeal out of her discipline either. She just does it!
Mom does not hold a grudge. As soon as her puppy stops the bad behavior, the correction is over. And typically she will then give him some affection to let him know that she still loves him.
She doesn't apologize for the correction, AND she certainly doesn't cave in to the oldest trick in the book...pouting.
You see Mom isn't concerned about damaging his self-esteem. This is where we, the humans, get things wrong by thinking "if I correct him I might hurt his feelings. booo hooo
On the contrary, NOT correcting will raise a very unruly adult dog.
Puppy Discipline by Alpha Dog "Bailey"
Ok so let's set the stage. . . Mom, Bailey, gave birth to 7 beautiful little Golden Retriever puppies
six-weeks ago. Can you smell that puppy breath! I Can!!
If you watched this six-week-old litter of puppies for a long time, you
might see one or more of the puppies decides to attack some area of
Baileys body for a fun game of tug-o-war.
So as we continue to watch, perhaps one of the puppies now decides to
start chewing on her tail. At this point Bailey most likely will give
him a quick nip on his booty to say "Stop That!"
Ok, so now we have a little defiance going, the puppy decides to keep chewing. . .. If the puppy continues with his game of chew-on-mom, she probably will yet again give one more quick bite and maybe this time she will even throw in a shake by the scruff of his neck (or what ever she can grab) just as a little reminder to say "Stop That!"
Most likely at this point the puppy probably will scream and yelp for a minute but then the puppy stops.
Once the bad behavior has stopped Bailey usually will then give kisses and in her way let him know she still loves him, after all, she is Mom.
The Puppy is happy because he got disciplined and bounces off to play as if nothing ever happened.
What Lessons Have Been Learned?
As you can see, the order of the pack leader was established, rules and boundaries were identified, the alpha dog took charge and handled it, the puppy completely understood, and all is well in the puppies world.
Can you see how Bailey is the "Alpha Dog" here and the puppy understands the basic principles of what holds the pack together?
He understands that discipline is necessary, but he also realizes that without discipline from an appointed Leader of the Pack, this now opens up the door for someone else to establish the "alpha dog" role.
When you bring your puppy home who will be the alpha dog, you or him?
So to sum it up. . . training must begin as soon as your puppy comes home. Period!