Dogs are naturally dominant so it is important from an early age to determine dominance. A dog doesn’t have to be aggressive to be dominant as there a many forms of dominance from passive to extremely dominant. Your dog can be influenced by his or her surroundings so it is important to understand the signs and in particular the signs you may not be aware of.
To help with these signs we have found 5 common traits a dog may show to establish dominance that people are not aware of:
- Sleeping above your head
Have you ever noticed that your dog likes to sleep above your head? Maybe they like to lay their head on your shoulders? Although that may be cute, it is your dog showing dominance so the next time your pet does this, tell them off and make them move. If your dog fails to comply then we would recommend they sleep on the floor in their own bed to help you re-establish dominance.
- Stopping while walking
Does your dog ever decide to stop moving while they are on a walk? Maybe they are walking nice and slow behind you and for no reason they decide to stop? This is passive dominance. They are trying to tell you that they don’t want to move where you want them to and they will continue to move when they are ready. Our tip to help stop this would be to use your voice correction to tell them off and keep them moving. You dictate when it is ok to stop and smell the roses not them.
- Jumping up on furniture
It is ok to have your dog up on the couch with you but it is important for them to understand it is your couch not there’s. If they always jump up without permission or refuse to get off when told, then this is a sign of dominance. Getting them in the habit from a young age that they are only allowed up when invited and to get down when told is important for their ongoing obedience training.
- Nudging you for attention
We all like to show our four legged family friend attention, with lots of pats and lots of play time. Have you ever noticed that when you stop patting your dog they nudge you to keep patting them? Or maybe they give you a look or start whinging? Maybe they love fetch and constantly put the ball back in your hand after you tell them that’s enough. This is another sign of dominance. They are demanding your attention. Although this trait can be quiet cute, especially when they nudge you, it is a trait that should not be encouraged.
- Rarely licking other dogs.
Lastly you may not be aware that by your dog never licking or kissing other dogs is a sign of dominance. Ever noticed when your dogs don’t kiss? Or maybe they have a furry best friend they don’t kiss? A dog kissing another dog is essentially the same as humans and our social kiss on the cheek when we great each other. It is their way of saying hello and that they come in peace. By your dog not doing this it is them establishing dominance.
There you have it! Our 5 signs that your dog is showing dominance that you may not be aware of. Obviously there are way more than 5 signs and things to keep an eye out for are:
- Not listening to known commands
- Growling at people or other animals near their food
- Walking in front of you
- Growling if disturbed during sleep
- Running through the door before you
- Excessive barking
At an early age it is important for your furry friend to understand that you are top dog. The main reason being to help with their obedience training. They are more likely to listen and follow your commands if they understand you are top dog.