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How do I know if my dog is dominant?

Living with a dominant dog on a daily basis can be hellish, not to mention risky for everyone in the family, young and old. There are certain signs that can put the owner on the track. It is important to talk to your veterinarian as soon as possible in order to get the best advice on what to do. Let's discover the main signs of dominance in canines and how to behave with your dog to prevent it from becoming dominant.

What is a dominant dog?

Because of its domestication by Man, the dog has somewhat lost its instinctive markers, but it keeps deeply anchored the hierarchical codes linked to its species. Also, the pack instinct is often incompatible with the increasingly humanized lifestyle that masters impose on their dogs. For these animals, it is difficult under these conditions not to present behavioral problems. The problem is even more frequent with dogs that are poorly or uneducated.

Dominance in dogs: the signs that should alert you

There are certain signs that can lead to the suspicion of dominance in a dog. These include excessive authority over other dogs and other animals, but also over its owner, other members of its foster family, and sometimes even when it is in the presence of people it does not know. The animal is asocial and exerts pressure on all its entourage with the sole aim of imposing its own law.

A dominant dog acts like a free agent in his daily life. He does what he wants, when he wants. Impossible to control, he can, for example, intervene at any time between his masters, insistently demand food when they are at the table, refuse to comply, be aggressive. In short, he exerts a constant hold on those around him and does not tolerate any rules. The dominant dog makes life hell for his adoptive family.

In short, you can ask yourself questions if you notice in your dog :
  • A possessive character,
  • A provocative nature,
  • An excess of disobedience,
  • Aggressiveness,
  • Anxiety.
Note also that the posture of a dominant dog is revealing. The animal stands up straight, is quite rigid, and wears its ears erect as well as its tail. His gaze is also telling. It is generally insistent. In any case, the dominant dog does not look down, does not look sideways and does not cower on the ground in front of his master or a fellow dog. Submission is something he doesn't know.

Dominant dog: is it dangerous?

The answer is yes. Dominance in a dog represents a real danger for its master and other members of the family, the neighborhood and the pets. It seems fundamental to us to underline that the danger is all the greater in front of young children. The cohabitation of small children with an asocial dog is incompatible. The reason is simple: this type of dog knows no limits, has not integrated any educational rules and wants to impose itself in all circumstances. To do so, it uses and abuses all the means at its disposal, including biting. It is an animal that generates fear.

How to deal with a dominant dog?

Caution is obviously the first thing to do since, as we have seen previously, the dominant dog is a potentially dangerous animal. But it is necessary to adopt a firm attitude towards such a dog. The master must never be permissive when his little companion tries to get the upper hand. In any case, it is essential to understand dominance and to try to find out the reason for it.

It should not be used indiscriminately. Many people claim that their dog is dominant, when in fact the dog will do whatever it wants because it is allowed to. Not all poorly trained dogs are dominant. It should also be noted that this problem is more common in dogs whose owners are not familiar with their pets' social codes. It is important to know that a dog's temperament has absolutely nothing to do with this problem, which manifests itself over time, especially when the owner does not show any firmness towards his animal.

It is necessary to be coherent so that all can return in the order, it is moreover necessary in front of any dog, even the softest which is and the most docile. To educate does not mean to dominate. The issue is that the dog can be perfectly socialized. To do this, he must be able to understand from a very young age what is expected of him. A master who one day is permissive and the next day ultra severe can only disturb his little companion because a dog does not have the capacity to adapt to such an educational scheme. It is impossible for him, in such conditions, to integrate the notion of hierarchy between his master and him. This is how dominance can be insidiously established.

To get a dominant dog back under control, it is preferable to contact either a dog trainer or a veterinary behaviorist. The dog will learn from experienced professionals how to integrate into the social group that is his foster family. After some time, the dog should be able to develop a much better social relationship with humans. Relationships with other dogs and other animals are also likely to be less turbulent.