Roblin Animal Hospital/ Red River Spay & Neuter:
Being The Dominant "Dog"
- Dogs are pack animals and will maintain this pack mentality during thier life and may try and establish this within the family unit.
- As a dog owner it is important that you need to establish a routine of being "First" or being the "Alpha"
- "Alpha" does not mean being agressive or mean to your dog, it is more about controling resources and being "first".
Use the motto: "nothing in life is free"! Especially if you have a dog that is dispalying more dominant behaviors.
Some tips to establish a pattern of more "alpha" in your home are:
- Eat first, then feed your dogs their meal. Make them sit and wait for food. Always train a realase command for your dog.
- Ask them to sit for their food, and give an "OK" to release and allow them to eat.
- Go through the doors of your house first. Have your dog sit and wait until you use your release command to allow them to walk over the threshold of the door.
- Get into the car first. Have your dog in a sit position and paitiently wait until you are settled and again give your release command to allow him into the car.
- Some tips to establish a pattern of more "alpha" in your home are:
If your puppy is already running the show:
Make your puppy work for every basic need that he requires (food, water, and affection)!
He wants to go outside?
Make him sit for a minute before you open the door. You can vary the amount of time he has to wait until he is allowed outside. Make sure to use your release command "ok"
He wants more water in his dish?
Make him lie down and wait for a period of time before you issue your release command and allow him to have a drink of water
He wants to be fed?
Food is often a major resource in a dominant animal. If the dog feels like he is in control of this resource, he will often feel more dominant than you. Make sure to train your dog to sit and wait for food until you issue your release command.
He wants you to pet him?
Make him do something for you first.
By having him "work" for everything that he wants, you will take back your position at the head of the pack. The denial of attention/affection is a very powerful tool in reworking dominance.
It may take a while, some dogs are more stubborn than others, but it will work.