All the Signs that Your Dog is Calling the Shots!
By Kevin “The Dog Prodigy”
Whether your dog is a puppy or an adult, big or tiny, mean or nice, pay close attention to these defining examples. It will open your eyes on exactly where you stand when it comes to the leadership with your dog.
You Are Definitely NOT in Charge if Your Dog…
* Can jump up on you, on your guests, the glass door, on counters and even on kids. And no matter how many times you tell him, “NO,” “Down,” “Off,” “NO Jumping,” he acts as if you are speaking a different language or became invisible.
* Barks nonstop or continues with her whimpering, scratching the door and throwing a tantrum to get her way. She also gets real mad when she doesn’t have a free access to everyone and every room as she pleases.
* Play-bites nonstop at your hands and feet. Some dogs do so even when you are in the middle of walking or training them. How about getting on his hind legs to wrestle you by mouthing and pushing down on the leash with his paws?
* Hardly responds when you have company. In fact, you always find yourself physically restraining your dog or putting him outside, in the garage, another room, or end up locking him in his crate.
* Comes to you only when he is ready. How about running away or bolting out the front door any time he gets the opportunity? Things get even more exciting when he spots a person, another dog, or a cat.
* Squeezes through doors and pushes you out of the way. Basically, the dog shows you no respect whatsoever.
* Obeys commands only with his favorite treat or if you happen to be munching on something. Your dog is basically saying, “Look, if you have something tasty, I might listen. If not, don’t even bother.”
* Pulls you the first two to three blocks of the walk. Maybe you are one of the lucky ones whose dog drags you the entire walk. I especially love the small breeds that pull sideways. I call those the “two or ten o’clock pull.”
* Urinates or defecates the minute you let him in. Even worse, maybe your dog was out in the backyard for hours or you took him for a long walk and he STILL peed or pooped inside your home. And if you happen to catch him in the middle of peeing on your carpet, even if you scream, clap, or yell out his name to stop, not only does he not even budge, but he goes as far as giving you the bird while puffing on that Cuban cigar and adjusting his shades.
* Bites your ankles and at the leash while bouncing back and forth, barking and growling every time you walk him or the second he lays an eye on a dog, a cat or even a person. In a nutshell, the dog’s trying anything so you let him win.
* Rarely obeys the commands that he already KNOWS. This is especially obvious around typical distractions. You most likely find yourself getting louder and louder, and end up pushing your dog into a sit position.
Sometimes you have no choice but to grab your dog’s collar or hug him tightly. This is where you may find yourself doing lots of leash tugging or trying to restrain him with all of your strength.
* Throws himself on the ground, playing the dead fish game in the middle of the walk, or whenever he refuses to be put outside or in his crate. Some dogs do this once they get tired of the training. Stubborn, spoiled and dominant dogs are famous for behaving this way. It gets worse when some owners make the mistake of picking up or carrying their dog like a baby. (Nice. Try carrying a Bull Mastiff, Great Dane or Saint Bernard!)
* Likes to rest on the highest part of your couch or right next to your head and shoulder. Of course, I am referring to smaller breeds here. But, even if you own a large dog that insists on lying on your bed, your couch, or even on YOU, all these indicate that he sees himself on top of the world! Some of these dogs sit and lay on tables, their dog house, and anything that might make them appear higher and taller.
* Grabs the leash tightly in his jaw when you are in the middle of training or correcting him and won’t let go without a good fight. In your dog’s mind, he is actually trying to control and discipline YOU! This might seem cute to some of you, but in reality, your dog sees you as the dog and is trying to take you for a walk. Awww…how cute.
* Leans, pushes against you, tries to squeeze between your legs, or sits on your foot. Sometimes this is a sign of a scared or nervous dog. But look closely: If your dog does this every time you give her the Stay or the Down command, you’d better believe it is to dominate you. Think of it as that neighborhood bully who loves to push around the weakest kid on the block. In this case, it is YOU who’s being pushed around by your dog.
* Tries to hump any chance it gets. This is rarely sexual. Most humping is an attempt to establish authority. Your dog doesn’t really care whether it is a dog or not. And some dogs are a humping machine: They’ll hump your leg, a kid, your spouse, the couch, a stuffed-animal, another dog, and of course, your poor guests. Again, this indicates he definitely sees himself in charge in that room and at that moment.
* Out of the blue, urinates or defecates to get even with you. You know for a fact that your dog is completely housebroken and isn’t sick. In fact, it’s been weeks or months since his last accident. He was outside for hours AND had access to the doggy door. Does it seem as if he did it just to upset you? This usually happens when you don’t give your dog the attention he demands of you.