How to Assert Dominance Over a Dog? Becoming a Pack Leader

How to Assert Dominance Over a Dog

Does your dog act overly aggressive around you? They instinctively want to become a pack leader and may exhibit alpha leadership over you. Learn how to assert dominance over a dog so you can establish clear boundaries with your pooch and teach them that you’re the alpha leader.

In this guide, you’ll receive helpful tips from the experts at The Dan Gentile Dog Training Center, the leading dog training center in New Jersey. Discover the signs of dominance in dogs and what you can do to teach your dog that you’re the leader.

Understanding Dog Dominance

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but they can quickly assume the role of pack leader if their owner doesn’t. Taking care of your dog goes beyond feeding and walking them; you must also recognize harmful behaviors and correct them with consistent training.

Your dog may exhibit behaviors that show their alpha leader mentality, including:

  • Not following commands
  • Showing hostility with eye contact or after being reprimanded
  • Aggressive behavior toward children
  • Guarding their food or toys
  • Inappropriate mounting

Start a consistent training program to shift your dog’s thinking and show them that you’re the pack leader instead of them.

Tips for Asserting Dominance Over Your Dog

Ask various trainers how to assert dominance over a dog and they’ll likely give you the same set of steps. Use the tips below to show alpha leadership over your dog.

Practice Calm Assertiveness

Use assertive body language with your dog to show that you’re the leader but avoid shouting and using physical aggression. You want to remain calm yet assertive in order to prevent the dog from being fearful of you or continuing to see you as passive.

Use Positive Reinforcement 

Dogs respond best to positive reinforcement rather than harsh punishments. When they show any signs of good behavior, reward them for it with treats, verbal praise, and friendly playtime. This enhances your bond with them and shows that they can trust you as a leader.

Enforce Clear Boundaries

When a dog believes they’re the alpha leader, it will often test you when you try to assert dominance. Letting your guard down won’t teach the dog any different, so it’s essential to stick to your boundaries. If your dog has a lot of new behaviors to learn, focus on small goals first and gradually increase your training.

Stimulate Your Dog

Many dogs exhibit bad, dominant behavior out of boredom. Make sure you give your dog plenty of exercise throughout the day with walks and playtime, as well as letting them use puzzle-based toys when you’re not around.

Enroll Your Dog in Professional Training Sessions

If you’re a new dog owner or struggling to train a pooch on your own, contact The Dan Gentile Dog Training Center. Our dedicated training team works with you and your dog to teach them important behavioral skills. Learn how to assert dominance over a dog, address impulse control, teach basic obedience, and more.

To sign up for a training session, contact us today at (732) 938-5040.