Raising a dominant puppy is a lot like raising a puppy that has no display of dominance, with the exception of having to be just a little more restrictive of the puppy’s freedom as wellbeing stricter and consistent.
A puppy that is dominant can become aggressive as it gets older or can remain extremely confident. Either way, your relationship MUST begin at the early ages where the puppy is still very impressionable & bad habits are not reinforced to the point of no return.
Raising a dominant puppy or aggressive dog calls for the same action plan; however, with a puppy, it’s easier to implement the game plan.
Top 7 Reasons Why Puppy Owners Struggle with a Dominant Puppy
Most puppy owners that we encounter on Long Island, NY struggle with their dominant puppy & then aggressive dog because of their preconceived notions of how to raise a puppy or if first time puppy owners, their idea of owning a puppy is not in-line with the reality of how to raise these puppies.
Puppy owners of dominant puppies DON’T:
1. Crate their puppy a lot MORE than they are doing; they spend way too much time out of the crate forming bad behaviors.
a. This allows the puppy to go unsupervised and effects potty training, chewing on furniture, nipping, and a RELUCTANCY to go in the crate (which becomes a problem for the dominant to aggressive puppy as it matures).
b. Also, the puppy never has a chance to be separated from their owners which can lead to other behavior problems that are difficult to make better such as puppy separation anxiety.
c. Additionally, depending on the puppy’s temperament the puppy can become very possessive or protective of you as it matures to a dog.
2. Employ a NO furniture policy – a policy that we strongly subscribe to when dealing with aggressive dogs or dominant puppies. This helps you assert your position and often doesn’t give the over-confident puppy a chance to become territorial over human items; thereby, reducing the chance of an incident.
Additionally, with puppies that are dominant, implementing a NO furniture policy shows them that there is a separation between the humans and canines; they need this rank structure, otherwise chances of conflict are greater.
3. Keep a leash and collar attached whenever the puppy is out of the crate & supervised – this allows the puppy to realize that there is a constant restriction employed by the human. It also acts as a safety net for aggressive dogs. Most puppies & dogs know the owner’s limitations and will act accordingly.
4. Employ a “NOTHING is FREE program” – do NOT give treats for NOTHING. When feeding your dog meals, employ some obedience. This does two (2) things:
a. It establishes a routine training schedule for you and your dog;
b. It allows the puppy to view you in a different way, he or she MUST listen to you in order to eat.
5. STOP laying or sitting on the floor while playing with their dog – puppy owners find this to be ridiculous because this is why they got a puppy; however, the puppy you have is not the one you thought you were getting. So, we have to come out of denial and deal with the problem at hand.
6. Make their puppy go into the crate when they are awake – Not when they fall asleep. Many times puppy owners allow the dominant puppy to pick where they want to sleep and then when we decide it is time to go to sleep we wake the puppy up and he or she shows discontent and growls or even worse snaps – how dare you wake me up!
7. NOT Have their puppy sleep in the room or bed with them
Treating a dominant puppy like a canine is key – Instead, many puppy owners treat their puppy as a human, some puppies you’ll never have a problem with but, this post is for the ones that are having difficulties with that puppy that has more canine than human traits.
With all this said, we understand that many puppy owners will have a difficult time employing this and this is the NUMBER ONE reason they will always have problems.
Knowing this is not enough, you must employ this to make things better.
Having Trouble with a Dominant Puppy? What Comes Next?
If puppy owners of dominant puppies need some motivation to be strict with the above outlined requirements, then they should fast forward a bit and try to imagine what it will be like owning an aggressive dog……because, that could be next.