How to Break a Dominant Dog – Controlling Aggression

What is Dog Dominance?

When a dog is stubborn or often refuses to follow the owner’s commands, that could mean your dog has dominant behavior. Dominant dogs are always trying to dominate the environment they are in. They want to be in control and make their own rules. 

Dominant behavior may often lead to dog aggression, such as uncontrollable barking or biting. So, how do you break dominance over a dog?

Tips of Breaking Dominance Over a Dog

Dominance usually starts when adult dogs become overprotective about their things, such as food, bed, or toys. The aggressive animal behavior may escalate when you try to put on his leash or get him off the furniture. 

Yelling or tightening the leash won’t help you break dog dominance. But, these few tips may help you deal with the situation. 

Determine Which Behaviors Are Troublesome

Is your dog possessive over his bed? Is he acting aggressively by pulling on the collar? Is it getting harder and harder to get your dog out of the furniture? Analyzing your dog’s dominant behaviors will help you understand and get a better picture of his troublesome character, so you can start working on that. 

Watch the video to determine if your dog’s behavior is nervous or aggressive.

Stay Calm

Dogs can feel your energy. So, when your dog acts aggressively, stay calm. If you are nervous, your dog will feel it, and a dominant dog will see this as a chance to take charge. 

If you are calm, your dog will sense that everything is all right and won’t feel the need to protect you. 

Consider Dog Training

Once you see signs of a dog’s dominance and aggression, please don’t ignore them. Don’t expect your furry friend to let go of bad habits. As soon as the first symptoms show up, consider dog training and help from professionals before he causes severe damage through attacks and bites.

Professional dog training such as this demonstrated by Americas Canine Educator may required to reduce aggression in your dog.

Give Your Dog a Responsibility

Dominant dogs want to have a special role in the pack. For this reason, dog owners need to give dogs a specific responsibility. It can be something as simple as having them search for an object or wear a backpack.

Remember if you take your dog out in public spaces, it is important to ensure they are on a collar or harness. Check out these collars for aggressive dogs.

Taking Control Over Your Pet

If your dog shows dominant behavior, you need to step in and be an even stronger leader. Dog dominance is not a problem if you deal with it the right way. Once you notice the first symptoms, take control of the situation.

Resources and references

How does dominance rank status affect individual and social learning performance in the dog (Canis familiaris)? by P Pongrácz, V Vida, P Bánhegyi
Further diagnosis and treatment of canine dominance aggression by J Grognet, T Parker


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