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Dog Dominance Behavior: Watch for These Signs of a Dominant Dog

All too often, we view certain actions as cute when in fact they are dog dominance behaviors. Ignoring and encouraging these behaviors will lead to problems later on as the dog grows.

Any dog that is boisterous, push, in your face and constantly under foot tripping you is a dominant dog.

You have to remember that dogs live in the moment. They are very much like children who are oblivious to your commands. They do not understand right from wrong. While children will reach a point where they do understand, dogs do not.

In both cases, discipline must be taught at an early age or it will get tougher later.

In a traditional dog pack, such dominant behavior would not be tolerated, and that’s the pack mentality you have to develop with your dog.

Problem Signs

You must keep control of your dog at all times and pay close attention to his actions. Some are subtle, but they are signs of a dominant dog.

1. Bursting through doorways ahead of you. You might think the dog is just excited about getting outside. While this is true, it’s a behavior that must be stopped. It is a clear indication that your dog does not respect you.

Solution: Make your dog sit and wait while you open the door. Then, make him wait a few seconds before you give him the cue to go ahead. Having him wait with the door closed is one thing, but once it’s opened he will be focused on one thing only – getting out, and will dart. Making him wait those few seconds with the door open lets him know that he still must wait for your command.

2. Pulling on the lead is a huge problem, especially if you have a strong dog. Injuries are common when a dog drags his owner around. The punishment to your body can lead to problems later. The damage usually occurs in the shoulder and back. Falling is another major concern which can lead to broken bones.

Solution: Use an appropriate collar and leash. Do not use the expandable leashes that are common today until your dog learns not to drag you. Keep him as close to you as possible, preferably right at your side with his nose even with your leg. Show him that he is not the leader.

There are many excellent collars that are designed specifically to control strong dogs. One of the most effective styles is the Haltie which goes over the nose. Some people see them as cruel, but in fact they will deter your dog from pulling and are specifically for teaching your dog to heel. Simply follow the instructions on the package.

You want your dog to respect you at all times, which means checking to back to see where you are. A dog that is more focused on following a scent are showing that they are the dominant pack members. In essence, they are putting you in your place as a follower, rather than as a leader.

Dog dominance is most evident in larger breeds, like German Shepherds, but it occurs in all breeds to some degree. Scent trackers like the Shepherds are extremely focused, which is one reason they tend to forget about you.

When you see signs of a dominant dog, take immediate steps to correct him. If you cannot overcome it yourself, seek a professional dog trainer to assist you.

Source: Internet

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