People who have dominance problems with their dog should also read my article on working with aggressive dogs. Particularly the safety aspects of that article.
Dominance can sometimes, but not always lead to aggression. A wise man once said, “Never start a fight you can’t win”. This is especially true with your dog. A medium sized dog is physically capable of defeating the average adult, that’s a fact.
Dominance can be as simple as your dog sticking his ball in your lap to growling or biting you when you try and get it off the couch, and many steps in between.
Any sign of dominance should see the owner making plans to seek professional advice.
Remember a dominant dog is in Rank drive; his life goal is to elevate his pack position.
One of the best programs in behaviour modification is one called NILIF. Nothing in Life is free. This keeps the dog looking to you for instruction so that it can get it desired rewards. Take a look at my article on NILIF for more details.
Another step in combating dominance issues is obedience training. Many people will tell you that “your dog needs a firm hand”. If you put a leash and training collar on your dominant dog and jerk him around, there is a good chance he will kick your ass for it.
A dominant dog will attack not out of fear but for leadership and survival, the bites delivered by a dominant dog are most severe you will see from an untrained dog.
Dominant dogs need to go through a specially designed behaviour modification program; this should not be attempted by someone other than a professional trainer with experience in this area with this breed.
If by some chance you have gained success by correcting your dog with a training collar, you have more than likely forced your dog to be submissive to you. Some will tell you that was the idea and your problems have gone, but they are wrong.
A dog that is submissive toward you isn’t satisfied with his position in the pack, as he has been forced there. Good chance, the minute he feels he has the chance to win, he will take that opportunity to give you a royal flogging. I have seen it more than once happen to trainers who advocate and advise what’s commonly known as an Alpha Roll.
This is a technique in which the loose skin around the dog’s neck is grabbed and the dog flung onto its back, the trainer climbing on top of the dog and giving it eye contact, much like the winning dog would do in a fight. People all around the world still bare the scars from dogs nearly tearing their faces off.
Do not attempt an Alpha Roll on your dog, it’s not the job for novices or professionals, it will achieve no positive results.
To gain the respect of your dog, you will need to put in place a program that will see the dog make the decision as to who is in charge, without the need for a fight or conflict.
This can be easily done with the right trainer, who will specify you a step by step, low conflict, low risk program that he or she can demonstrate and you can practice and implement at home.
We have many such programs that will improve the bond you have with your dog out of site.