Are Dominant Dogs Trainable?

Have you ever had a dog that you considered aggressive towards other dogs? Have you ever been in the situation that when you are walking your dog you run into another dog and your normally calm dog turns into Cujo.

training dominant dogs
pulling on leash

You usually tend to do a couple of things. Maybe when you see the dog approach you cross the road to avoid him or you may just stop walking your dog altogether.

Your dog’s actions are controlling your actions. So this can only mean one thing. Between you and your dog, your dog is the boss when it comes to your relationship. He is the one calling the shots not you.

Sure you have tried pulling on the leash, tried a different collar or even a harness, maybe you have even tried to entice him with treats to no avail.

You need to take back your rightful position in your pack. You need to be the leader not the follower you have become.

You see your dog as aggressive but he is also dominant. A dominant dog is only doing his job and that is to protect the pack even if you are the only other member of the pack. Anything that he deems a threat to himself and you he is going to react in protect mode, thus the aggression.

Over the years we have domesticated the dog to the point that we often forget where they originally came from and how they lived.

Back To Basics

We need to remember that dogs once upon a time before they started living with us lived in a pack situation. Everything was done for the good of the pack. Being the leader of a pack afforded you many benefits. For example you were the one with the breeding rights and you were the one that ate first. Of course with these privileges came responsibilities. The biggest responsibility was to protect the pack from danger.

So even though the dog has been domesticated for years they still hold on to the pack mentality. If you do not step up and take that position they have no choice but to do it. Therefore you are putting the responsibility of the pack onto your dog.

Taking Back The Alpha Spot

It is time for you to take your rightful place in the pack and that is “The Leader”.  Now some trainers use very forceful methods when taking back control. You need training that uses a more gentle approach.

training dominant dogs
establishing the pack leader

Doggy Dan knows dogs. He can show you how to take back your leadership role in a very simple way. Not only does he offer a simple approach but his approach does not use some of the harsh tactics used by other trainers.

If you have ever watched any of the videos showing Doggy Dan and his pack around other dogs you will notice how well behaved his dogs are. The reason they are so well behaved is that they are relaxed because their leader Dan is relaxed. They have no responsibilities that is all on Dan.

Right now you may be following a great training program but as soon as a distraction is introduced you have lost your dog. Why you ask? The reason your dog loses his focus is because he has to switch into protect mode as the leader of the pack.

In order for your training to work you need to first establish yourself as the Alpha.

Doggy Dan has what he calls the 5 Golden Rules that he uses to establish himself as the Alpha. These rules are enforced by using simple gentle techniques.

Here are some training techniques that Doggy Dan is willing to share with you but he does emphasize this works really well when you are the Alpha.

These tricks or techniques are for when other dogs are approaching.  This will help distract your dog and keep him calmer.

Doggy Dan’s recommendations are as follows:

Use of Food: Using food to distract your dog works really well with dogs that are food motivated. Use food that your dog find especially tasty like chicken or cut up hot dog.

Take It Slow: This is going to happen overnight. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you overdo it your dog can become bored and things will not go as planned. Going at a nice slow pace will help build the bond between the two of you and help build your dog’s confidence.

The Walk: Before taking your dog out where he is sure to meet another dog make sure you can control your dog on the walk. If you need to use a training collar to do this then use it.

Focus: Try to concentrate on what you want your dog to do not on what your dog is doing.

Be Prepared: You need to be on your toes at all times. If your dog steers off course it is your job to step in and guide him back on course with a gentle tug or simply walking him in the other direction.

Anytime that you correct your dog’s behaviour remember to be relaxed.

The reason that training works well after you establish yourself as boss is it plays right into your dog’s natural instincts.

If you have two dogs one of the dogs will be dominant over the other. They will never be on the same level. When you are thrown into the mix and have establish yourself as the alpha you have taken all responsibility away from your dog. He can now relax as he does not have to protect or become tense etc that is all on you.

Watch the following video of two dogs playing at being dominant and being submissive.

It is time for you to take the Alpha Spot away from your dog!   You need to become the kind and gentle leader that your dog or dogs are looking for. Follow the link below and get a 3 day trial for $1.00 at Doggy Dan’s amazing site.

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    • Austin
    • September 1, 2017

    Great article. I never thought about the idea of being the leader of the pack. Rarely have I lived in a household with more than one dog so I have never had to consider the thought of taking that leadership position. As of yet I have not had a dog that portrays a dominant personality which I know can be challenging and require different tactics when training as you point out.

      • Maureen
      • September 1, 2017

      Hi Austin Thanks for dropping by my site.  Even with one dog you need to take the on the leadership role.  Since you never had any issues with your dog he probably accepted you as his leader.  Dominant dogs who challenge for the leadership role can be quite dangerous especially if it a larger breed dog.

    • Karl
    • September 3, 2017

    My dog Bella is the most submissive being at home or when driving around but as soon as she sees any other dog, she goes nuts. She’s a medium sized Lab-whippet mix (I think) and the power she has is crazy. I’m 6’1″ and 245lbs and she makes me work. It’s not always negative if the dogs interact but it’s the drive she has to get to the other dog. I have stopped a couple nips but most are intense anyways. How do I stop this? Food will do nothing and walking another direction will just make me tired. I don’t like the idea of the training collar if you mean the ones that gouge the neck and throat. She is my 4 year old puppy and acts like one too. Help me please!

      • Maureen
      • September 3, 2017

      It sounds like Bella has a lot of energy.  Burning off that energy will help to calm your dog down.  Maybe teaching her to catch a ball or a frisbee will help get rid of that excessive energy.

      The dog we have now was so wound up when we brought her home(we got her from a shelter) that walking her was not enough.  I used to have a horse so I had a old lunge whip laying around.  I tied a toy to the end of the lunge whip and got her to chase it.  Not only did she love it but it did calm her down.  Since whippets are known for their speed you may want to get her into agility or flyball.  Sometimes our dogs need more exercise than just walking.

    • Randene
    • September 5, 2017

    This post couldn’t have been more timely. I have two American Bulldogs, one is two years, the other is 10 mos. The two year old is great, and always has been, so when the pup started doing exactly what your post talks about, we were stunned. We understand the Alpha principle but are likely slack around the house, not making her work for things, etc. Your post is a great reminder of the importance of gaining and maintaining Alpha role, and also to ensure that the whole family is on board. Thank you! Great post!

      • Maureen
      • September 5, 2017

      Hi Randene I could not have said it better myself.  Being the Alpha is so important.  I find when you have more than one dog, if one is acting up that behaviour will rub off on the good dog and not the other way around.  It sounds like you know what you have to do just make sure the whole family is doing the same thing.  Good luck!

    • Arie
    • September 5, 2017

    Interesting read. I actually was terrified of dogs (mainly the big ones) when I was a kid because I assumed that they were always going to bite me if I didn’t run away fast enough.

    I do think it is a good idea that dogs are trained not to feel threatened by others since one of my cousins had a dog which got bit by their neighbors big dog which was sad.

    My question is, how long on average would you say it takes to fully train your dog?

      • Maureen
      • September 5, 2017

      Hi Arie that is a very good question.  What exactly do you mean by fully trained?  Do you mean just the basics like sit, stay, down and come or are thinking you want your dog to be trained in agility, flyball etc.  

      The thing about training your dog is it is an ongoing day to day thing.  You can train your dog to sit in a couple of days.  Now if you do not ask your dog to sit for the next week does he still know how to sit?  Well yes he does but he will be a lot slower to respond initially.

      It is very difficult to put a time on how long it takes to train a dog.  The more time you put into it the faster your dog will learn.  After your dog has learned, it still needs to be reinforced on a regular basis.  What’s that saying if you don’t use it you lose it!  Hope that helps.

    • Steve & Kris
    • September 6, 2017

    Interesting, I have never thought about a dog being relaxed because its leader is relaxed. I also like how you refer to the leader as just that, a leader, not the owner. One question for you, can you use treats instead of food? Your tips seem easy to follow, be prepared, be patient, etc. Another question, we have a dog and she was about 4 years old when we got her. We never really did any training with her. I wasn’t sure if it’s possible to train a dog that is new to an owner and isn’t a puppy. Basically, can you teach an old dog new tricks? Thank you for sharing, this is very good information for anyone training a dog.

    • Steve & Kris
    • September 6, 2017

    Hi! I can think of times where I forgot that my dog is not the leader, I need to be. Very helpful information about remaining calm while correcting the behavior. It makes perfect sense! So often, I see people freaking out at their dogs on a walk, their yelling never works. Our dog is pretty relaxed, but we had a dog years ago that tried to be the leader with me. I wish I had been more relaxed with my discipline back then. Thank you for the great tips with positive ways to train your dog while going for walks!

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