We often hear owners attribute their dog's behaviour problems to that darned 'dominance'. But is it more accurate to describe these unruly K9's as simply untrained instead?
Take a look at our top 5 behaviours that are wrongly attributed to a Dominance Problem:
1. Pulling on Lead. Most culprits of lead pulling are young, energetic dogs who simply want to get to where they are going faster! Ever seen an adolescent dog walk sedately around the park...? No! Focus on training your dog to walk politely on a loose lead rather than blame it on 'dominance'.
2. Rushing out Doors. What's outside that front door? An unexplored world of smells, dogs, people, the neighbourhood cats - basically Disneyland for Fido! A dog that rushes out the front door simply needs to be taught a solid sit stay at the door way.
3. Growling over Food. Otherwise known as 'resource guarding', this natural behaviour is displayed by about half of all dogs. Think about how successful Fido would be in the wild if he happily gave up his meal to the first stranger that came along. Dogs just need to be taught that a human approaching their food is a good thing rather than a threat.
4. Humping. This behaviour is about one of two things - sex or over excitement. Puppies often hump toys, humans or other puppies because it is fun. They often get reinforced for it when humans shriek with laughter too! So just calmly redirect your pup to something else if he starts chatting up your leg…
5. Trying to Sleep in Human Beds. Now this one is easy - human beds are warm, comfortable and smell like humans. Why wouldn't Fido try and sleep on them? So long as you can ask your dog politely to hop off the bed then this just isn't a problem. And if you don't want him on your bed put this in place from day one and be consistent.
So before you suspect Fido of trying to take over the world - stop and think. Have I trained an alternative behaviour? Am I reinforcing this unwanted behaviour in some way? You’ll find the solution probably requires just a little more training.