One of the best ways to tell is, if the dog is less than a year old and is exhibiting some of the behaviors listed.
For example, if you have a six month old puppy that growls at you when you try taking away his bone.
There is a good chance he was born with it. You may say, my dog only growls at me and does not bite. He only does it when I try to kick him out of my bed. Is my dog trying to be dominant over me? Yes!
Keep in mind that just like people, each dog is different. Some dogs will have issues with you only when you press that one button. A dog can be confident in his dominance and not feel the need to always let you know how dominant he is. With this type of dog you may only see severe acting out when you add new people or dogs to the pack. He has to tell the new pack members something the old pack members already know. I am the boss.
How Do We Turn A Dog Like This Around?
The owner of a dominant aggressive dog has to be willing to put in consistent time towards training. The owner has to accept the risk of being bitten or growled at during the process.
Working with a dominant aggressive dog should not be done without the help of a professional dog trainer.
(continued next week)
Paul Reedy is a new Urban Chic columnist. He was in law enforcement from 1994-2001. He decided to venture out into the area of dog training and made a point to do everything in his power to increase his knowledge of dogs and how they think.
He attended Triple Crown Dog Academy and is certified as a Canine Behavior and Training Specialist. In December of 2001, Reedy attended Adlerhorst International for additional training as a police dog handler. For questions about your dog contact Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org
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