Pretty much all dog behaviour problems occur because the dog thinks it is Top Dog. This means it is either behaving in a dominant way, or trying to take responsibility for the family. Many people are lulled into a false sense of security by their dog, if it shows obedience when they request certain things. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that. Just because your dog does what you ask more often than not, this does not mean that it sees you as leader. If your dog does any ONE of the below things, it is either trying to be Top Dog, or thinks it is Top Dog. Either way, you need to step up and show your dog it definitely isn’t!
Ten signs your dog thinks it is Top Dog
- Your dog pulls on the lead (literally leading you, seeing itself as top dog)
- Your dog goes through doors before you do (ditto)
- Your dog jumps up at you when you come home
- You play with you dog when it asks you to.
- Your dog leans on you, or lies on your feet without you asking it to.
- Your dog gets on your furniture without you asking it to.
- Your dog steals food.
- Your dog barks a lot at things that worry it (e.g. visitors, other dogs)
- Your dog won’t come back when called.
- Your dog follows you around the house.
This is not an exhaustive list, but these are just a handful of the subtle signs that your dog thinks it is top dog. So why is this a problem?
Isn’t it okay if my dog thinks it is top dog?
In a word; no. If your dog thinks it is top dog, whether its behaviour is causing you a problem or not, your dog will be unnecessarily stressed. If your dog is trying to lead, it is trying to take responsibility of things that it doesn’t understand and people it can’t communicate with. Imagine how you would feel getting off a space ship in an unknown land and trying to look after a number of children who all speak different languages to you… A bit stressed? However if someone else stepped up and confidently took charge of everything, that would take that stress away wouldn’t it? Would you like to do that for your dog? If so I can help. Just get in touch.