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Hopefully you won’t need these Tips to Cure Dog Dominance Behavior, but it’s a behavior that can develop with any dog.
Dog aggression due to dominance can be very hard to cure if not acted on soon after it starts. It is one of the most common animal behavior problems. It usually takes time and effort when one has to deal with and control dog dominance and aggression. This article will show you some causes and Tips to Cure Dog Dominance Behavior.
First of all, let us know what dominance is. When a dog is being stubborn about something, such as constantly refusing to follow his master’s commands, then that could mean your dog behaves in a dominant way, and could often lead to aggression such as very loud barking or worse, even bites. Confident or assertive dogs are different, since they still follow commands from their master. Dominant dogs are trying to “dominate” the situation – they want to be in control instead of being controlled by their master or trainer and make their own rules. In short, they want to be the boss, and they will try to prove that they are.
Tips to Cure Dog Dominance Behavior
Dominance usually starts off when your dog becomes overprotective about his things, whether it is food or his bed, or even toys and chew toys. They may also act weirdly when being groomed, punished, stared at, and even in eating. It may escalate even more when you try to put on his collar or a leash, or try to get him off the furniture but he does not obey. Physically strict discipline, such as tightening of collars or even yelling at the dog does not help cure the dominance. It will instead serve as a challenge to him and cause him to further reinforce to you that he is the boss. He will become more aggressive if you use brute force, plus such discipline could also injure him.
Dogs around 18 to 24 months are the most likely to exhibit dominance, since this is the age that they start to mature, although some cases of dominance happen to some younger puppies. For those who need some advice in taking away their dog’s dominance and aggression, here are a couple of tips:
- Ask your vet for some help. Usually, dogs with dominance as a behavioral problem will be given anti-anxiety medicine. Also, dominance can also be associated with some diseases like hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, arthritis, and epilepsy. A few physical and medical tests can be given to your dog to rule these out.
- Once you see signs of your dog’s aggression and dominance do not ignore the situation, thinking that it will simply pass. For example, when your dog loves to bark at people walking by or is constantly nipping at you and other people, do not expect your dog to simply let go of the habit, as it can really turn into a hard-to-cure habit. As early as possible, get some help from professionals in training your dog’s behavior before he causes damage to others through dog bites and attacks.
The most likely cause of dominance behavior is stress, due to lack of physical activity. PsychologyToday.com explains it like this in an article on their website:
Dominance is—in all probability—a by-product of stress. More stress = more dominant behavior.
The article goes on to describe the 3 basic steps to a cure:
There are 3 basic steps to curing dominance in dogs.
- Make the animal feel safe. The dog has to know and feel that you aren’t going to hurt him.
- Give the dog an acceptable outlet for his aggression through games like tug, fetch, keep away, and “chase me.”
- Teach basic impulse-control behaviors such as the sit and stay, particularly where the motivation for obedience is the opportunity to bite a toy.
Exercise gets your dog out of behavioral problems. Just as a depression can be cured when a dog is active, so can dominance and aggression, as can most all dog behavioral problems. Play some games, like Frisbee or play catch in the yard. In other words, keep him busy and too tired to get into bad behaviors. Bond with your dog through many activities and adventures. You may even try obedience classes if your desire.
Dog dominance is not a major problem if you approach it in the right way, and quickly. These Tips to Cure Dog Dominance Behavior should do the trick.
Have you used other techniques to cure your dog’s dominance behavior? If so, please tell us how below.