Are you the owner of the dog or is the dog the owner of you?

United States
March 23, 2010 11:31am CST
While growing up, my family had cats...not dogs. Now that I have my own family, we got my first dog (but not my husbands) a year ago and I am still learning. Not only did we buy her from a breeder, but we had to bring her home a few weeks early as well. I'm not sure if that made a difference in her personallity and all, but sometimes I wonder if she owns me more than I own her. She almost never listens to me and she is quite hyperactive and always tries to play with me as if I am another dog. It's comical from time to time, but when she does something bad, like jumping up on the counter, and it's time to punish her...that is the only time that I feel like I own her since she will "bow down" and take the punishment. Although she still hasn't gotten the fact that it is a bad thing. Another reason why I think she is the owner of the household. We try everyday to make her understand that we own her, and she doesn't own us. It's a bit odd to think about, but at the same time...understandable when looking at wolves and wild-dog packs and how they work as a pack with the "alfa" and all. How to make her understand that we are HER alfa dogs and she is not the alfa...that is the ultimate question. It will be even harder to get that through her hard-head when she is now 1 and almost fully grown. Hmm...
3 responses
• United States
23 Mar 10
Tricks for teaching your dog that you are alpha are: When you ask for a command to be done use a firm voice but do not yell. - In pack mentality the firm voice is a donminant growl. She will know that you mean buisness and are not looking for play. Often people want to as for a command to be done in a happy easy voice and to a dog that only hears tones, this is a play sound. Look her in the eyes until she looks away. - Making her look away first shows that you are the owner of the property and she should respect you. Put her food bowl down, let her eat a bit and then pick it up and pretend to eat from her bowl. - In a pack, the leaders eat first and then allow the underlings to eat. At any time the pack leader may choose to come back and eat more. This is what you are teaching. Also a good obedience class would never hurt. This will teach you better how to handle her properly.
@Wizzywig (7858)
23 Mar 10
Neither really, I just happen to live in the same house, give him treats and play ball with him. I'm not really a dog person and I think the dog and my husband have come to an understanding as to who is the boss - and they take it in turns.
@epsjoice (57)
• United States
23 Mar 10
You really need to get the dog into some training classes. Once they learn really bad habits it is tough to break them. If you area has any type of kennel clubs they will usually provide classes for a very low fee. Also, places such as Pet Smart and Petco, or anything similar that caters to pets will also usually provide training. In training classes you typically use a "choker" type collar. This collar will cinch up on their neck if they start pulling or doing the opposite from what they are told. They learn quickly to do what they are told to in classes with the use of the collar. You don't use the collar except when training. We just got a puppy, large breed, Golden Retriever/Black Lab mix and she is now 5 months old. We got her into training right away and it is immensely helpful as she is in the puppy biting stage. Best of luck.