Dogs are meant to live in packs, or in family groups; to hunt, breed, and raise their young together; and to protect each other. Each pack has a pecking order with the alpha animal - the strongest, both mentally and physically - at the top. The pecking order continues downward, ending with the animal with the least power. When a dog lives with a human family (even a family of one), that family becomes that dog's pack. This family, too, needs to have a caring and confident pack leader to keep things under control. If there is no pack leader, the dog will attempt to assume leadership himself, since someone has to do it. The lack of a leader can be very confusing for your dog, because he never knows what the limits are. Once your dog knows his place in the pack, he can relax and get on with being a dog. However, if he's on top, you might not feel so relaxed! A dog who feels himself to be the pack leader might growl or bite to keep you in line, creating a dangerous and unpleasent situation. It is essential that you establish yourself as the pack leader.