Dominant Dog Behavior

Dominant dog behavior usually develops over a period of time. Dogs that display such behavior often growl or bark at their pet owners when their demands aren’t being met. If there are two or more dogs living in the same household, the pet that behaves dominant is considered the leader of the pack. Such dominating pets also try to gain leadership in their relations with their pet owners.

To prevent this from happening you need to be aware of dominant dog behaviors and take measures to alter these behaviors so that you have an obedient and loving companion.


Some of the symptoms of dominant behavior in dogs are similar to the symptoms of separation anxiety. To find out if your pet is really showing signs of dominating behavior you will have to monitor his behavior and find out if he behaves in this dominating manner only when he’s left alone.

If you notice any of the symptoms of dominating behavior mentioned below, you should discuss the problem with the vet and also seek the assistance of a professional trainer to train your dog to be more obedient.

Symptoms of Dominant Dog Behavior

  • Dog is stubborn
  • Barks loudly
  • Doesn’t listen to your commands
  • Defecates on your bed
  • Tries to get in and out of the house before you do
  • Stands proudly with his head held high
  • Resists walking on a leash 
  • Growls and barks when he can’t have his way or when he’s corrected

How to Stop Dominant Behavior in Your Dog

If your dog’s disobedience and dominant behavior has progressed to biting and aggression, trainers may not want to work with your pet. If this does happen, you should learn a few training techniques to control your pet’s behavior and gain leadership. In some cases you might have to give your pet certain medications to keep him calm. This has to be done under the guidance of a vet.

If the behavior isn’t aggressive in nature, you should consider signing your pet up for obedience training lessons. Instead of taking your pet to an obedience training class you could bring home a trainer and alter the dog’s behavior in his own environment.

Tips for Pet Owners

It isn’t easy dealing with dogs that are dominant in nature. If the dog has disobeyed you and has growled at you when you tried to correct him, avoid shouting at him or venting your frustration. You have to remain calm and speak to your dog in a firm commanding tone.

You should also make sure you exercise your dog daily so that his energy is put to good use. The exercise will not only offer him many health benefits but it will also help him stay focused on the commands you use while you exercise him.

Although you will find it a challenging task to alter the behavior of your dominant dog, you can successfully change your pet’s behavior if you remain calm and persistent during his training sessions.