How to handle a dominant dog?
Many people, including experienced trainers, misunderstand the essence of the problem of dominance in dogs. They believe that dominance can only be suppressed by force. Just crush the dog and end it! here is a common approach to the problem. In most cases, this approach is incorrect. In addition, many believe that dominance is a problem only in dogs of large breeds and are mistaken. For example, a large dog is able to send you to the hospital, the small of your child. Dominance in all its manifestations must be fought, and if the dominant dog cannot be completely subordinated, then it must be controlled no matter what size the dog is.
Doberman on the sleeve, photo dog training photo
Doberman. Grip on the sleeve. © Photo by Julia Boldinova
Dogs are pack animals, and the best way to learn more about dominance is to study pack behavior. For this, the study of the behavior of dominant individuals in wolf packs should be used first of all. In a wolf pack there is always a dominant pair of animals, which, without entering into direct confrontation with the rest of the pack, maintains a leading position exclusively with the help of various skillful tricks. The main role in maintaining a dominant position in the pack is played, in particular, by body position and posture.
I have been a Schutzhund sports fan since 1974. Unfortunately, for many years, newcomers who came to practice Schutzhund have heard: “You must not train a dog for obedience until she turns one year old or until she has been trained to protect.” Nothing could be further from the truth than this statement. German experts who came to our country and conducted seminars on training issues expressed the idea, which in translation was: “No obedience in the first year.” The true meaning is what was lost in the translation. They had in mind only one thing: before reaching a certain age (about 1 year), i.e. until full physical maturity, the dog should not engage in jumping, power aporting and exercise using coercion.
Unfortunately, many took the translation literally and during the important period of the formation of the dog did not engage in any training, which led in such cases to problems with dominance. I want to note that according to my observations, most owners often, through negligence, by their own behavior and lifestyle contribute to the development of dominance in their pets. Understanding the characteristics and nuances of the dominant behavior of dogs will help the owner to take the position of the leader of the pack in his own house.
Doberman gave a paw to his mistress, photo photograph of a dog
Here are some examples of the dominant behavior of a dog in a house:
– the dog sleeps in the owner’s bed,
– does not allow her husband to enter the wife’s bedroom after a long absence,
– growls near food or toys,
– does not allow the owner to pick up the toy, showing aggression,
– always goes first at the door,
– requires attention and affection from the owner when he is busy with something else,
– extremely aggressive towards other dogs,
– Selectively aggressive towards family friends.
If the dog is adult and can bite, you need to take it on a short leash and make a series of sharp corrective jerks with a leash. If the dog is still holding the toy and continues to growl, she needs to make a suggestion in a strict voice and get the dog to drop the toy. Before raising the toy, the owner must take the dog to a safe distance. Until you have learned how to fully control the situation, you cannot give the toy to the dog. It is the owner who rules the dog’s world, and the dog must understand this. One of the points in this scenario is: “Only the owner determines which toys to play with and for how long.”
If the dog does not give the toy back even after correction with a leash, and the owner is not sure that he can safely pull the toy out of the dog’s mouth, there are two options for further actions:
1) Avoid dangerous situations, engage in battle only when you are confident in your victory. When the dog finally releases the toy, pick it up and remove the subject of dispute forever. The dog should never play with this toy again.