Do’s and Dont’s of Dominance

I have posted this in order to answer some common concerns I hear from dog owners, this is by no means a complete list of how to live with your dog. Every piece of advice that you read or hear can be construed in many different ways. Unfortunately many dog owners are confused or misled about how much love they can give a dog, or when is the proper time. I also hear many questions about nipping, jumping, etc, so those are addressed.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Dominance


· Give your dog plenty of love and affection

· Allow your dog into your space if you desire (on your bed, couch, lap, etc.)

· Give your dog treats and special bones

· Give your dog free time to smell, run, and be a dog

· Allow your dog to go out of some doors first when you feel like it by giving him permission (going in the back yard)

· Whatever you enjoy with your dog

· Give him personal space if you know he enjoys it

· Play games that you enjoy with your dog


· Give your dog affection when he demands it or is showing any behavior or state of mind you want to stop (petting him when he jumps on you, paws at you, when he is barking at another dog, when he is nervous…….)

· Allow your dog into your private space uninvited. It should always be your decision

· Allow your dog to demand treats from you by whining, barking, or pawing at the container

· Allow your dogs free time to be more prevalent than his structured time. He should walk in a calm submissive state first, and then get free time as a reward

· Allow your dog to push through doors or go first on leash

· Let him be the decider that tells you what should be done right now (walking, petting, playing)

· Allow him to growl at anyone to tell them to leave him alone (pain and fear is not covered in this article)

· Allow him to use his teeth on your skin or clothing

Matt Covey
Suburban K-9
Elgin, Il