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Dominance Issues?

Updated on January 16, 2015

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Dominance Issues?

When dealing with the question of if your dog has a dominance issue, there are a few things I like to look at. The behavior of the dog, the way in which she/he is doing the behavior and what those behaviors are telling me in themselves and as a whole.

No one knows your dog, better than you. Sometimes a dog can display a certain feature of dominance in a certain type of behavior and not actually be displaying dominance. Because the manner in which the dog displayed the action was not dominate. Usually giving cue body signals are key factors in knowing if the action is dominate or not.

However, there is an easy list in which you can easily determine if your dog is being dominate, keeping in mind a few key factors of the body language of a dog. Such as, when a dog has his tail wagging, low at mid point and level with this body or his head lowered he is being submissive, even if displaying a "dominate" behavior. However, the opposite is true, if the dog has a tail raise straight up and stiff or held still, that is, not wagging, and his head low and eye locked on an object or person, toy, etc. He is displaying some form of dominance and this should be addressed in a gentle but firm way.

Also, in order to give your dog a command and have him listen to you, your dog needs to respect you and see you as "pack leader". If your dog does not see you as "pack leader" then no matter what you say he is not going to listen to you. If your dog does listen sometimes and not always, then he sees you as pack leader but is testing you in that role. If your dog does not listen, he does not see you as pack leader and you need to establish that role within your home with your dog by doing the things listed within and on the website I am about to post here for your convenience. Which goes over the action that is dominate and the way in which you can easily correct this behavior and obtain your leadership role within your dogs pecking order.

Collars or a Harness?

Many professional dog owners will recommend a harness or a lead pull, that is a piece that goes around your dogs mouth rather than his neck or chest and is placed on much like a halter is to a horse, aiding in easy guiding, less behavioral problems and less ways for your dog to get wrapped up in his lead and twisted with the rope. As with a harness you have to be right above the dog with the lead for the dog to not get wrapped or stuck with the lead, a head lead takes that away.

The fear most professionals have is that a collar can choke a dog if he gets tangled in it. Or for less stiff necked dogs, like pugs, collars are an absolute no. As if you use a collar, the eyes of the dog can "pop" out and it can do a lot of damage to a dog. Not just any dog can wear a dog collar. Sometimes a head collar for the snout or harness is needed.

Make sure you look into which you prefer and what is best for your breed of dog. Make sure you do your research, especially if your dog may be dominate. More than just a collar will most likely be needed and should accommodate for the use and behavior, like pulling on a lead that it will need to accommodate.

Dog Behavior Wrap Up

A dog with his tail up and none wagging isn't always a sign. Other cues are pretty clear, if a dog as pictured has his teeth shown and head low and tail down, that is a sure sign signal of "back off". This usually only happens when you pass into a dog's territory or when owners are gone. As after we leave we leave our possessions and home to the dog to protect or "rule" if left out and not in a crate.

This is why crate training is so essential, it gives your dog boundaries as well as give him his own space to do what he wishes with and quiet place all his own in which to recharge. We all need that quiet place, so do our dogs. After a busy day, just like us, they need a place to go to that is all their own.

A crate with the door left open, while someone is home, is a place where your dog can go when he wants to relax, when you are gone, or when he has been bad as a time out. Many professional dog trainers recommend crate training because of these three reasons. As it has so many advantages to it for you and your dog. And helps aid in the good behaviors we want.


Conclusion in Ending

To know if your dog is asserting any other behaviors or signs you may not be aware of, I have an article that maybe of interest to you. This article goes into depth of body language and what each one means. And then goes to explain each one. It certainly is a point to understanding what you are looking for when beginning out in trying to understand dogs and their language.

Remember again, it is just as confusing for your dog to understand you as it is for you to understand your dog. You are both in two different worlds, and together you need to navigate the waters and find the channels that are going to work for you and your family. This may take some time, but don't give up. Once you find the right channels, the rewards are endless.

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