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Dog Training : How to Train & Live With a Dominant Dog Dog Training 

Dog Training : How to Train & Live With a Dominant Dog

When you’re working with a dog you consider dominant, first be very careful that you’re using the term appropriately. Dominance in dogs is not as clear as it seems to be. Most often dogs have issues with aggression because of fear, not because they feel that they are superior to you. Dogs are well aware that you are in control of their food source, their water and their access to the outside, so generally there’s not any kind of confusion on the dog’s side of who is in control. What you probably want to consider is setting very clear boundaries for any dog you have, just like you would when you’re raising a child. You teach your dog that these are the things that are acceptable behaviors and these are the things that are not acceptable behaviors.

I would encourage you especially if you think that your dog is – has a dominant personality, to utilize positive reinforcement rather than punishment because you want to teach your dog to work with you and not frighten your dog. A frightened dog is much more at risk of biting and becoming a problem later on that could lead to euthanasia, so Lady in particular came to me as a rescue who was having some problems with trying to control situations that were frightening to the people she was living with. She at one point went through a screen door that someone left, so that might be considered dominance. In her case it’s simply a matter of fear and attempting to control an environment she doesn’t understand. So when Lady came to me she had very clear boundaries of what was acceptable and what wasn’t, and then when things would get out of control, then I managed the behavior. We used her crate extensively. The other things to look out with a dog who appears to be dominant and having issues with behavior is to make sure you’re feeding a good food, and you’re getting lots of physical and mental exercise for your dog, both things are critical.

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