This site is supported by its readers. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. For more info, see my Affiliate Disclosure.
Having a dominant puppy can lead to all types of problems as your puppy grows into an adult dog. Being able to identify these dominant signals is important so that you will be able to correct the problems before they become habits. Training your puppy should start at 4 to 6 months of age and the earlier the better to keep from developing these bad traits.
Here are some signs to watch for and correct with your new puppy:
Jumping on You
All puppies jump so don’t let the fact that your puppy is doing it make you feel you have a bad dog. Your puppy simply needs to be taught that this is not allowed. Teaching this at a young age will keep you from having a 90-pound dog jumping on you at will.
Your puppy may demand attention constantly. In fact, he may bring you a toy or a ball and continue nudging you with the toy until you throw it for him. In the beginning, it’s such a cute behavior that we absolutely do what the dog is asking by throwing the toy. However, over time this cute gesture can become a complete pain in the rear.
Humping can be very annoying and sometimes embarrassing. It not only happens with males but sometimes with females as well. You simply need to teach the dog this is not allowed by pushing it off of you and giving it the off command.
Mouthing can be very annoying and it starts at a very young age when the puppy’s teeth are like little pins and needles that really hurt. The easiest way to correct this bad behavior without any confrontation is by using a product called Grannik’s Bitter Apple. It’s available at almost all pet stores. Make sure that you are getting Grannik’s because there are several other brands on the market that simply don’t work as well.
Growling or Barking
We all find that growling and barking can be kind of cute when your puppy is young. But usually what your puppy is doing basically is talking back to you. To avoid this type of attitude from your dog it needs to be obedience trained. Obedience training will help your dog understand what is allowed, what isn’t and what the rules are.
Resource guarding usually starts with your puppy at a young age. To avoid your dog from guarding his food and toys you should start handling them and taking them away from him in the very beginning. We want your dog to learn that the food and the toys actually belong to you and you just allow him to eat the food and play with the toys.
One surefire way to avoid these dominant behaviors is to teach your dog you are the master.
How do you do that?
It’s simple, with obedience training. Obedience training is a lot more than sitting, downing, and staying. Obedience training is what establishes you as the master in the dog-master relationship. Train your dog early and you won’t regret it, you’ll have a happy dog for the rest of his or her life and you will have a more enjoyable experience as a dog owner as well.