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Signs of Dominance

January 12th, 2007, 12:09 PM
I was just wondering what some signs might be that my dog is trying to be the dominant one in the house. Right now it's four girls (myself and roommates), my female dog (5 1/2 months), my female kitten (6 months) and my male cat (5 years).

I'm wondering if she might think because we're all females that she can easily dominate us because the lack of a male figure in the house. I'm not sure whether female animals react better to men and visa versa, in my opinion it does matter just because experiences with previous cats, our old female loved my dad but hated my mom and our male cat loved me and didn't pay much attention to my dad or brother.

I have the dog in training and the trainer told us that we should eat before her, she should be the last one to enter the house when we're walking her and she shouldn't be allowed up on the couch because that makes her feel like an equal so she should have her own bed on the floor, below us or not an equal. All of this to let her know that we're the dominant ones. I'm not really sure whether its working or not because I don't really know the signs of her trying to be dominant. I'm not overly concerned unless it's a huge factor in her behaviour, which isn't that bad other than jumping up on people.

Any help would be great to know. Thanks!

January 12th, 2007, 12:35 PM
try reading sites like this

January 13th, 2007, 01:03 AM
The advice from the trainer is good, but your general mannerisms around the dog have to show that you're the alpha member of the pack. Some dogs are naturally more submissive than others, so they'll come into a new home knowing that they are low on the totem pole, but most animals try to work their way up in the hierarchy, so they'll test whoever they think is one up from them. It's good make animals come to you and not let them invade your space without permission. Your dog can walk over to you and look at you, but she shouldn't jump on you, stick her head in your lap, or anything else unless you ask her. To establish this respect you need to keep her busy. Teach her different commands like sit, stay, heel, lie down, and even some tricks. When she runs up to you for affection, ask her to sit, then ask her to come to you and THEN cuddle her and have fun with her. It's okay to let an animal into your space, but it has to be because you asked her to, not because she feels like it.

Right now she may just be a little pushy, but that behaviour can lead to aggression if you don't show the dog her place in the house.

Also, I don't think that animals necessarily respond better to a man or a woman unless a prior situation has made them respect or be wary of one sex. I think an animal responds best to whoever spends time with it and trains it.

January 13th, 2007, 01:26 AM
You can also try the NILF method (nothing in life is free).