The dog is a social animal that, in the wild state, lives in a hierarchized pack. In the age of puberty, he naturally wants to define his place in his adoption family, his new "pack".
Within the group, the dominant dog has various prerogatives, that is, it can afford a large number of behaviors formally prohibited to the dominated.
The man does not know well the functioning of the packs and the communication man / dog is not easy.
Many misunderstandings between the dog and its masters can result from a misinterpretation of the behavior of our pet and we can, by our own attitudes and reactions, falsely believe the dog that it can take the place of the pack leader In our family.
How does a dominant dog behave?
When a dog perceives itself as dominant, it can present a whole bunch of behaviors hardly acceptable to its owners:
Aggression can be part of these behaviors, the dog that sees itself as dominant will growl or even bite
Faced with any constraint: Some dogs will growl at caresses, in the face of any attempt to brush, administer a medication, toilet or even when the master wants to put their necklace. They can also react very sharply if they try to dislodge them from the armchair or the bed where they have chosen to live ...
When it does not get very quickly what it wants: This type of dog can "pinch" if it does not get quickly to eat at table, if it is not released as soon as it wishes Or if the master decides to leave his house when the dog has not authorized it ...
But dominant dog does not necessarily mean nasty dog.
A disturbance in the hierarchy may be translated otherwise than by aggressiveness. The dog is then adorable with his family of adoption but some abnormal behavior show, nevertheless, that these animals consider to be pack leaders. This can result in:
Particularly at the level of exits (door or window frames where the dog saw his masters leaving when he had not allowed them to leave)
- untimely barking:
In the absence of the owners or when the dog is no longer the main focus of interest (for example when the masters are phoning or trying to have a discussion with guests ...)
Urine or stools are always present in a conspicuous place (the dog raises his paw on the furniture or makes his stool prominently in front of the door, on a table or on the sofa ...)
To avoid these disadvantages, a few simple rules can be introduced at home to give each one his place and to signify to the dog that he is not the head of the family ...
These rules will prevent the various undesirable behaviors associated with disturbances of the hierarchy.
What preventive rules should be introduced at home?
Organization of meals
A dominant dog eats first, slowly, in front of its congeners.
So that the dog avoids perceiving itself as dominant:
- The dog always eats after his masters, without anyone watching him eat.
- The bowl is left for 10 to 15 minutes and then withdrawn even if the meal is not completely finished.
- The dog should not get anything at the table.
The organization of space
A dominant dog controls all the movements of his pack.
To maintain it in a dominated status:
- The sleeping place of the dog must be imposed by the master.
- The basket must not be located in a strategic location (avoid places where it can monitor all the comings and goings of the family such as entrance hall, stairs, landing ...).
- Send it to the basket as soon as it settles in the passageways of the house (dog lying in the door steps and that you must step over to move from one room to another ...).
- To forbid the dog any high position (on the sofa, the bed ...).
- Cross the doors before the dog when going out.
Managing contacts and taking initiatives
The teachers must take all the initiatives:
- If the dog comes to claim caresses, send it back to his basket (you will nevertheless be able to call it a few minutes later to caress it but you will have decided when cuddling).
- Do not let the dog interpose between the family members and send it to his basket if it is the case (a dog that has a habit of coming between his masters on the sofa, which jumps between them when 'they are kissing…).
- Take the initiative of the games (refuse to play with the dog that brings his ball but decide yourself a game and when it starts).
- The masters must choose the moments of the walks (the dominant dog often brings his leash to show that he wishes to leave ...).
- Do not argue in front of the dog (if two members of the family disagree as to the dog's education, discuss it calmly in the absence of this one because if he perceives any misunderstanding in the pack it Will try to profit from it).
The dominant dogs express their sexuality in front of the whole pack. It is therefore necessary to prohibit the dog from overlapping on objects or persons.
Good cohabitation between humans and dogs requires good communication between them. It is therefore important to have some notions of the behavior of the dog in a pack and thus avoid sending him contradictory messages which not only risk causing embarrassing behavior but also make him anxious Dog is punished for things that the master has unintentionally allowed him to do ...).
Any dog who has trouble with the hierarchy will not, fortunately, become an aggressive tyrant, but he can nevertheless adopt very unpleasant habits for his masters (barking, fugues, destructions, uncleanliness ...). Respecting a few simple rules at home will help prevent the onset of these disorders.
If you recognize certain behaviors of your pet in this article, do not hesitate to discuss the problem with your veterinarian.
If your pet has already pinched or bitten you, you should consult with your veterinarian before changing your habits to tell you how to proceed with the various changes to be made and whether you have any medical treatment Consultation with a behavioral veterinarian should be considered (this is particularly the case for aggressive dogs that do not even growl before they bite because they represent a real danger).