If you need advice on how to train a dominant dog, you’re in the right place.
We understand how stressful training a dog can be, especially if you’re not totally sure of the best methods.
That’s why we are about to share 10 dominant dog training tips.
Understand Why Your Dog is Dominant
The first step is to know that your dog isn’t acting this way to frustrate you; it’s a trait rooted in him. The descendants of dogs were pack animals. In that social system, there is one leader that had the power to decide what they were going to do and where they were going to go.
The leader, also known as the alpha, is the one who commands the respect and, in turn, the obedience from its other pack members.
It’s vital to set the same hierarchy with your dog.
You are the leader. If you want your dog to respect you, you must be the alpha. And don’t worry, you can be with the right training!
Have Scheduled Feeding Times
Show them that you control the food.
Once they understand that it is you who has the power when it comes to feeding time, you will gain respect and ascend in their mental hierarchy.
Control Toys and Rewards
Especially early on in training, do not leave toys out to be tackled and thrown about whenever. Show that you are giving the toys at very given, specific times.
Show that you are the one who gets to decide when they get to play with that chew toy bear or squeaky ball.
Just like that original wolf pack mentality, this makes it clear to them that you are the one with the ability to give and take away. That will garner respect.
To Let On Furniture or Not?
As cuddly as Fido or Rover may be, allowing them to join you on the sofa can translate to making them equal and saying to them that it is “okay” to sit in your alpha space. If they do not agree to get off, feeling like alpha, they should not be on the furniture.
Plus, this type of dominant dog training keeps shedding hair off the sofa and pillows, which is always an added bonus.
Keep Them Out of Bed
When they are able to snuggle in bed with you, that makes them feel as if you are equals – and not anymore dominant than them.
To further establish the order in which you are the one to be listened to, keep them off the bed and on the floor. Try putting their doggy bed on the ground so they are still close to you but they’re not intruding on your space.
Be a Calm Leader
Dogs respond to your behavior; if you have a consistent attitude of authority around your pup, they will listen. Like a good leader for humans, gain their respect by being tough yet loving. It’s best to be consistently calm and assertive.
Do NOT Physically Punish
When it comes to dominant dog training, physical punishment is more likely to spark aggression in dogs or instill fear. Instead, use other techniques to show a dog what is right and wrong. For example:
- Exile them from a room if acting aggressively to show dominance or continually not obeying. Now, they will see they do not have the control.
- Reward good behavior. Give a set amount of praise, pets and/or treats when they are doing a great job listening or obeying.
Train with the Sit-Stay Technique
One method to reinforce that you are the pack leader is the sit-stay.
Command your pup into a sit-stay for up to 10 minutes. If a dog is truly dominant or dominant-prone, use down-stay.
If they break away, simply put them back into position. It’s much kinder and more effective than any physical punishment, electronic stimulation or other harmful tactics.
Teach Your Dog Manners
Show your dog what good behavior is. Give them the okay to proceed with good habits, such as:
- Taking their morning walk around the park
- Showing it’s time to hop in the car
- Knowing it’s officially dinner time!
Once a dog understands the importance of obeying their owner, that’s when you will be able to tame their dominant behaviors.
Give Praise & Reprimands Quickly
It is best to show your emotions and feedback in a quick, effective manner with dominant dog training. Let them know they did great or poor fast, and move along.
As you can see, it is not impossible to train a dominant dog. All it takes is a little extra work and training to get your four-legged friend to obey you and learn correct behaviors.