If you find yourself asking this question, it's probably because you are having problems controlling your dog. You find yourself following and adjusting to whatever your dog wants. If this is the case then you should keep on reading. I'll tell you the reason why your dog is behaving that way, and what you should do to change this behavior.
Your dog may not have been born in the wild, but the pack mentality is still part of his instincts. He will sort out the social order by showing dominance and power. Because of that, he will either see you as his leader or his follower depending on how you act, behave and treat your dog. It could be because you have spoiled your dog and routinely give in to whatever he wants, he will start to think that he is the Alpha male, and you the follower.
What Should I Do?
You see, dogs are like children. You should be able to set rules for them to follow; lack of rules will just make your dog spoiled. If you try to use these few simple rules, it can help you, not only discipline your dog, but it will also teach him that you are the boss or the alpha dog.
You First Before Your Dog
Even simple things like this will let your dog know who is the Alpha male (or female) around the house. In the wolf pack, the leader always eats first. If you show that you are eating first before your dog, it will let him know that you are the leader of the pack. Don't try to give in when he whimpers and gives you those sad puppy eyes. Try to also avoid giving him bits of food from your plate while you are eating. He should only eat after you have eaten.
Another rule that applies to this is when you are walking through the door. When you allow your dog to go through the door first, you are implying that he is the dominant dog. You should always keep this in mind. Leaders lead and followers follow. So whenever you are going through a door, make sure that you go through first to make him realize that you are the leader and he is just the follower.
We have seen on a lot of movies and stuff on TV of pet owners letting their dogs sleep in their bed. That is a huge no no. Letting him sleep in your bed signals to him that you are both equal. Provide him a bed or crate that he will feel comfortable sleeping in. Make sure that his bed is placed on the floor. If your dog has been sleeping on the floor, do not walk around your dog. Dominant dogs sleep wherever they want, and lower dogs walk around them so they don't disturb their sleep. So if you see your dog sleeping in the couch and you want to lie down, give him a gentle nudge to let him move out of the way. If he's sleeping in the hallway and you have to walk through, wake him up gently so he will move out of the way, of course don't try to step on him.
These are just few simple rules to let your dog know that you are the leader. Keep these things in mind and in practice all the time, and your dog will soon realize that you are the Alpha male of the house.
Christina Graham has been a veterinarian surgery tech and/or dog groomer for over 15 years. And in those years has gained an invaluable knowledge regarding all aspects of dogs. That's why she created The Daily Pooch, a daily blog dedicated to dog lovers. She posts regular updates on all aspects of your dog's life from training to health and nutrition and everything in between. Head over to TheDailyPooch.com to see what it's all about.