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Just like human beings, dogs are natural leaders. There is a good chance that you end up with an alpha dog that will always try to take the lead position in its pack. If you are not clear in establishing that you are the pack leader, it will lead to a lot of problems as dominant dogs tend to gravitate towards taking charge if they are given a chance. But, there are certain steps you can take to make it clear to your dog that you are the leader of the pack. Once you do that you will have a balanced and wonderful relationship with him.
- Be more assertive-calm – Dogs do not tend to follow a person with unstable energy. This is even truer in the case of alpha dogs, who try and correct what they perceive as unbalanced behavior. This is the main reason you need to be even more assertive and calm when you are dealing with an alpha dog. If you are nervous or anxious, your dog will pick up on it and consider it his cue to take over the reins. On the other hand, if you are assertive and calm, a dominant dog will understand that everything is alright and will not feel the drive to direct and protect his pack.
- Set boundaries, rules and limitations – Again, boundaries, rules and limitations are very important if you are raising a dominant dog. It is the best way to focus their dominance and provide them with a way by which they can express their confidence in a more constructive fashion. You need to have set rules on where they are allowed to go within the house. You should also train them to wait for your approval before going out the door. You should also make it a point not to give them their food until they are submissive and calm. If your dog is dominant, you can take it a step further by enrolling him in agility training, which will allow him to use up all the excess energy while he is making his way through the obstacle course.
- Do not force affection – Dominant dogs tend to be solitary and aloof. Leaders do not approach their followers. If you give your dog affection when he is not feeling cuddly, it puts the dog in the position of the leader. The best approach with dominant dogs is to ignore them. If he wants your attention, he will have to come to you. That reinforces your position as the pack leader.
- Give him a job – Dominant dogs have a drive to fulfil their role in a pack, which is why it is crucial for you to give him a job. It can be something simple, like wearing a backpack while walking, or training in search and rescue, agility, herding, obedience, Treibball and more.