Dog Behavior Problems

Dog Dominance Behavior – How To Recognize Dominant Behavior In Dogs?

What is Dominant Behavior In Dogs? And how do you deal with Dog Dominance Behavior? Dominance refers to being in command or in control over others. In the society humans demonstrate dominance over others because of the hierarchies of our daily lives.Dogs too show dominance and this is not a bad thing but it should be controlled. A dominant dog is not necessarily an aggressive dog.

Dominant Behavior In Dogs

But if this dog dominance behavior is not managed it can lead to aggressive behavior in dogs. Dominance in dogs can be as a result of lack of training, clarity and high expectations from the dog.

Dog Dominance Behavior 101 – Here Is How To Recognize Dominant Behavior In Dogs:


In case a dog starts showing some stubborn behaviors for example refusing to let go of toys or food on command, then that is a sign of dominance. A well behaved dog should always be attentive and obedient to commands from the master and that is you. Even if in the middle of eating or play the dog should always listen to your commands.

Headstrong and willful

This is yet another dominant behavior in dogs. In certain situations especially when other subordinates are around the dog defiantly refuses to down. In extreme cases the same dog even growls at you just to demonstrate dominance to the subordinates. On top of that the dog can even blow you off on regular basis when you give commands.


A demanding dog is a dominant dog. Instead of waiting to be attended to the dog will nudge you to be fed, petted and even taken out for potty. If the dog is well trained, these are things that are manageable by the dog as he or she understands when everything is done and how. This makes the dog obedient and less demanding. Therefore in order to manage this dog dominance behavior it is good to ensure that your dog is well trained.

Sitting in high places

A dominant dog will always sit in strategic high places in order to oversee everything. Even when commanded to get off these places the dog will always find his or her own way back. This is a sign of superiority and being in control which if not managed on time will escalate into rudeness and stubbornness.

Guarding a human from any approaching individual

Some people may confuse this with protection but it actually demonstrates that the dog owns you. In the presence of other humans the dog draws the territorial line and ensures that no one approaches you. Even if you stop him or her from doing this, the dog will always be defiant.

Protesting in high pitched screams and growling over what the dog does not wish to do

In one way or another you may want the dog to do something that is against the dog’s wish instead of doing according to the command the dog protests in high pitched screams. This is another sign of dominant behavior in dogs which should be managed. For example if you try to take him off the furniture he will growl at you or even ignore you.

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In summary the above are ways on how to recognize dog dominance behavior. And the best way on dealing with this is simply ensuring that your dog is well trained by a professional dog trainer or you can also do this on your own. With the help of the information listed out above, you are now equipped with the knowledge of what Dominant Behavior In Dogs is as well how you could deal with Dog Dominance Behavior.

Ema Clark

Dog Trainer and Writer Since 2016. Over 17 years of experience working with all breeds and ages of dogs, using a variety of training techniques.

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