How to Handle Dominant Dog Behavior with Compassion? | DogExpress
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How to Handle Dominant Dog Behavior with Compassion

How to Handle Dominant Dog Behavior with Compassion?

Dogs are the best friends of humans. But it is also true that they are pack animals who are always looking to be the leaders of their groups. It is just that some dogs are more dominant than others. This could be because dog breeds are dominant individuals or did not receive adequate training when they were pups.

Five common signs of dominant behavior in dogs:

  • Guarding possessions, such as toys, food, or territory
  • Refusing to move or obey commands
  • Mounting people, other animals, or objects
  • Demanding attention and seeking physical contact on their terms
  • Growling, snarling, or biting when challenged or threatened

If you have a dog that displays a dominant behavior, it is essential to address it with compassion and positive reinforcement. Here are some practical ways to handle dominant dog behavior with understanding:

Regarding dog breeds, King Charles spaniel was reared to be a companion dog and would be far less dominant than a Boerboel created so that they could protect their human parents’ land from beastly predators such as lions. Here in this article, we will discuss Ways of Dealing with Dominant Dog Behavior.

Calm yourself 

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Dogs tend to feed off your energy. So, if you are nervous or anxious about the dominant behavior being exhibited by your dog, they are going to pick that up and react following that. Dominant dogs would see a couple of things over here. First, they would either feel that you are a weak leader and as such, they would feel the need to step up and be the leader or top dog themselves. Else, they would think that they need to protect you.

Please understand that these are the wrong positions to be in as far as your dog is concerned. There could always be reasons you are nervous – perhaps they are being aggressive towards other humans and dogs or being unpredictable.

Perhaps you feel that you are not strong enough to handle them. Quite often, it becomes a vicious cycle. The thing is that this is one that you need to break. Please understand why you are getting nervous and address the issue. Are you being nervous because your dog is being aggressive towards other dogs?

In that case, walk them when it is not as busy as the peak periods – this would help you become more confident. Soon, when you are fine, get back to walking during regular times. If you feel that you cannot walk them alone, get a partner and increase your confidence.

Set boundaries and rules.

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Dominant dogs are always going to try their luck with everything. They might jump at you, try to grab that sandwich out of your hand, or make sure that you cannot cuddle with your partner. The thing is that you must never tolerate any such behavior. So, set some rules no matter what and always stick to them.

Never give in to their naughty behavior because a dominant dog would always perceive this to be a weakness. It would tell them that they could get away with anything. Therefore, it is critical to be consistent with dominant dogs.

Could you make them work for things? 

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Dominant dogs like to think they are the top dogs. As such, they may think you are below them in the chain of command. You have to make sure that they are not thinking that way. You have to act the part of the top dog and make sure that you are in control.

They want a treat; you must ensure they paw or sit for it. They must sit and ask for it if they’re going to cross the road to get to their favorite place.

Could you make sure that they get enough exercise?

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A lot of the dominant dog breeds were traditionally bred to be working dogs so that they could protect people and the estates that they lived in. So it usually means that they have plenty of energy.

If your dominant dog has much energy, you must ask yourself whether you are giving them sufficient exercise. If you still need to, you must ensure they get their fair share of activity. It could mean you have to take on some additional responsibilities.

Never force affection

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This step can come as a surprise because pet parents often think that if they can make their dominant fur babies enjoy cuddles, they may become better behaved as individuals. The thing is that this is not the way that dominant dogs think. Please understand that they are not cuddly.

They consider themselves the pack leaders and expect the rest to come to them for cuddles. This is what makes them pack leaders. So, you reinforce such beliefs when you go to them for cuddles. Instead, leave them to their own devices.

Always reward them when they behave well.

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If you are taking steps to deal with dominant behavior by your dog, and they are responding well to the same, you must reward them. Remember that they always respond better to positive reinforcement training rather than harmful methods. It applies to dominant dogs as well.

Giving warmth and pets to your dog is one way to reinforce your status as the top dog. You can be sure that they would love the praise they get from you and continue obeying your commands for greater recognition.

You can use meal time to your advantage. 

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If your dog is dominant, you must create boundaries at the family’s dining table. For example, it would be best not to allow them to approach you all when eating at the table.

Regarding feeding time, you must ensure they are calm and composed before starting the process. Wait for them to calm down until you put their bowl down, walk away from it, and then give them the necessary cue to eat.

Give your dog a job 

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You can offer your dominant dog some tasks that consume their energy to ensure their extra energy is used correctly by focusing on completing them. For example, you can take them to obedience or agility training, where they can exercise their bodies and minds. This would also provide an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with each other.

Determining troublesome behavior by your dog


Is your dog being possessive over their bed? Are they behaving aggressively by pulling on their collar? Is it getting increasingly harder to get your dog out of the furniture? You must analyze the dominant behavior of your dog as that would help you get a better image of the troublesome character of your dog. In addition, it will help you start working on and correct them.

Dominant Dog Breeds in the World

Many dog breeds are known for displaying dominant behavior. Here are some of the most common dominant dog breeds:

  1. Pit Bull Terrier
  2. Rottweiler
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Doberman Pinscher
  5. Boxer
  6. Great Dane
  7. Siberian Husky
  8. Alaskan Malamute
  9. Chow Chow
  10. Akita


You have to be the pack leader. It is the ultimate step, as nothing else would work. If your dog is dominant, you must step up your game and become more prevalent than them.

Unfortunately, dog parents cannot distinguish between being aggressive and dominant in training their dogs.

Hence, some become aggressive in asserting dominance, which worsens matters in this respect. At times, they confuse distinction with aggression. Therefore, they refrain from being dominant in training their dominant dogs. 


How do you fix the dominant behavior of your dog?

First of all, you need to make sure that you are being consistent with your dominant dog. It would be best to show that you are leading the pack.

What are the keys to handling a dominant dog?

First of all, you have to be calm yet, assertive with your dominant dog. Because such dogs never listen to people with unstable energy. You need to set rules, limits, and boundaries as well.

How do I show my dog that I am alpha?

You have to start the process by teaching your dogs to wait patiently. You also need to be able to maximize the time that you guys spend together.

At what age do dogs become dominant?

Dogs become dominant between one and three years of age. In most cases, such behavioral tendencies manifest when your dog attains maturity somewhere around 1-3 years of age.

How do you tell if your dog is dominating you?

If your dog is dominant with you, they would bark, snap, growl, or even bite you when you ask them to give up a toy, a resting place, or a treat.

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