Alpha dog – leader of the pack
It is obvious to many people but for those that don’t know this, it is very important to make sure that your dog KNOWS that you are the leader of the pack. Many problems are avoided when your dog knows that you are the Alpha. Your dog won’t feel the need to challenge you by growling/nipping/biting or not listening when it KNOWS that you are the boss. There are many ways to establish your leadership, and the first step is to take your dog to obedience school with other dogs. There the dog will learn to respect what you say even if there are other dogs present.
A really quick tip for dominance problems or dogs that challenge their owners is food control. Make sure you and your family eat first. Make sure your dog sees that you eat first. The top dog in the wild ALWAYS eats first.
When it’s time for your dog to eat make sure your dogs sees that you put the food in the dish. You are the controller of the food resource which is usually the most precious resource. Make your dog sit first then give him/her the food. This simple tip will go long way to establishing your role as the Alpha dog.
As always potential serious aggression problems should be discussed with your veterinarian or dog behaviorist.