Stop Your Dog Being Dominant... Pfft!

Stop Your Dog Being Dominant... Pfft!

Let's chat about this whole dominance thing with dogs!

So, you Google dog training, and boom, you're hit with stuff like "my dog is trying to be the alpha" or "how do I stop my dog being dominant." And then they give you these tactics:

- Pin your dog down
- Growl at them
- Spray them with water
- Always go through the door first
- Always eat first
- Don't let them on the furniture

All to show them who's boss or the pack leader, and they say if you don't do this, your dog's disrespecting you. Well, guess what? It's a load of crap!

If your dog's acting up, it doesn't mean it's trying to climb the social ladder. More likely, that behaviour got rewarded before.

Like, if your dog's jumping on the sofa, it's not because it wants to rule the house; it probably just wants attention, a better view, or maybe it smells your dinner.

Dominance is not some inbuilt dog personality trait!

Back in the UK, walking groups of dogs daily, we'd hit the same gate to our field. All the dogs were off-leash, and did they line up in some alpha order? Nope! It was all about what rewards were up for grabs that day.

Throw a ball over the gate, and the ball lovers rush in. Toss treats, and the foodies lead the way. It's all about what's on offer.

And this whole idea that your dog sees you as part of its doggy social rank? Nah, they know you're not a dog!

Take my King Charles Spaniel pal – she'd only go through the gate when I did because she wanted human fuss. Unless her crush, Skittles the doodle, was around, then I was invisible. Young love, you know?

Our deal with our dogs should be based on reinforcement, not this alpha stuff. Ask yourself: What's driving my dog's behaviour? If it bugs you, figure out a smarter way to train them that gets them what they want but in a way you're cool with.

For instance, if Buddy jumps on the sofa for a belly rub, why not give him tons of belly rubs in his bed? He'll catch on that it pays better in his bed.

In a nutshell, it's all about reinforcement, not dominance. Your dog's not planning world domination; it just wants good vibes and treats. So, relax, forget the dominance drama, and build a chill relationship with your furry bud.
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