Problem Dogs: Establishing Owner Dominance with Positive Reinforcement

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Tags: Puppy 101, Health

Problem Dogs: Establishing Owner Dominance with Positive Reinforcement

Dominance is a problem in dogs and may be solved by establishing owner dominance with positive reinforcement. Some dog breeds are more dominant than others.

Using positive enforcement to establish dominance means rewarding your dog when you get the desired behavior. The reward may be a treat, a caress or an encouraging word.

Some of the most frequent behaviors dominant dogs display are:

  • Entering through a door before you – in this case use a firm “No” closing the door before he gets the chance to go through it. You can also give him a penalty (like putting him in his crate).
  • Barking or growling while playing – Try to dominate the games. Use simple games at first and make sure you initiate them and you decide when the play time is over. The last round of the game should be always yours to win.
  • Jumping on food or toys before you give them away. Ignore him and hide the toys or food for 5 to 10 minutes and the second time around your dog will probably be more patient.
  • Jumping on the couch before you allow him. Use the collar and stop him from getting on the furniture. After you are seated, allow him to join you. However, make sure he understands commands such as “Off”.

Other common unwanted behaviors that are typical to a dominant dog are the marking of your items and chewing of shoes. You can correct these by offering the penalty time and send your dog off to a space where there is nothing to do. Apply this only if you catch the dog in the act.

Always use treats and affection to reward positive behavior.

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