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Who’s the Boss?

YOU ARE! It is very important for your dog to know “who’s the boss”. If your dog is showing aggressive behavior towards the family, you have to make sure he knows his place in the house. If he doesn’t your dog will get confused and a confused canine is an unhappy canine. An unhappy dog will affect everyone in the household and might even cause arguments within the family. If your pooch tries to take food from you, display destructive behavior or even being too demanding or pushy then you have to start taking action.

There are a few ways to show your dog clearly who the pack leader is. I will be stating a few here:

1. Play games which encourage teamwork

If you are an ordinary dog owner then playing games that encourages your dog to work with you are usually the most effective. The best examples of this are Fetch and Frisbee. It encourages your pet to work with you and not against you. Those games teaches your dog subconsciously to work for you and it will be clear to your dog that you are the leader of the pack.

2. Take a walk

Not just any walk. A walk where anything you say, goes. Your pooch needs to heel beside you or behind you in order to show you are leading the way. Your dog can only do the things you allow him to. ex: Do not let your dog sniff anything he wants. Your dog will slowly realise that you are leading and he is following. This is very important to both the dog and the trainer as it clears the status of your relationship with your pet.

3. Territory

Tell your dog he’s not allowed to go on stuff that belongs to you. ex: bed, couch. If your dog wants to be on your bed/couch, you have to be clear to him that it does not belong to him and he is not allowed to use it. Use a stern voice but do not yell or hit your dog. A dog should appreciate being allowed on a furniture, and not consider it a normal activity.

4. Be the First to Go

If you’re dealing with dominant dogs then you HAVE to keep this important tip in mind: to always go first. If you’re going through a doorway with your dog, make sure you’re the first one to enter and exit. If you’re walking you’re walking up the stairs with your dog, make sure you walk up first. If you’re going to feed your dog snacks, make sure you eat first. In the canine world the leader always gets the good stuff first and you must portray this to your dominant pup to make him not so dominant anymore. This isn’t degrading your pup, just to be clear, this is teaching your pup that he must accept and respect you as pack leader. If your dog attempts to go first, you must command him to stay and come after all humans have walked ahead. If your dog tries to block pathways you have to prevent him from doing it by stern commanding. Do not walk around the dog. Either make the dog move or step over the dog. This behavior should never be allowed.

5. No “Free” Stuff

Before a fun time with your pet, you should always give a command to your dog beforehand. Give a simple command like sit, lie down or roll over. If your pooch does not follow your orders do not reward him in any way. Only if he carries out your orders, he can have play time or snacks. This tells your pooch that he can’t get free stuff. He will then gradually drop the dominant behavior as your pooch will realise he can’t get anything out of it. This is a really effective way to show your dog who’s boss.


Looking back at number 1 you can try another technique. It might work and it might not: a double-edged sword. You can choose to play tug-of-war.Hold It! I know what you’re thinking. I just advised you to not play games that is you vs your dog but there are some benefits of playing tug-of-war. You have to make sure that you always win(maybe not 100% but… 80%). This will show your dog that you are stronger. If you chose to follow this technique then here’s a few things to keep in mind.

-Be the one who initiates it (important!)

-No rough stuff allowed! (when your pup(or you) starts to become aggressive, end the game abruptly)

-Use a tug or chew toy

-Make sure you are able to end the game WHEN you want too

Well, looks like I wrote a lot and there are still so much things to write about! Remember that this does not mean your dog will fully stop his dominant behavior but it will give him a clear idea to “WHO’S THE BOSS”! See you next time!

Source by Ryan Chin