Pets & Animal Dog Breeds

Signs of an Alpha Dog


    • A dog that growls at or bites you is showing signs that it is in charge, states the Dog Breed Info Center website. Alpha dogs often growl to protect their possessions, such as food or toys, or might growl when they don’t want to do something. They can even growl when someone comes near their owner. Either way, they are sending a clear signal that they think they are in control. Alpha dogs will also growl at other animals to show them that they are the leaders.

    Jumping on Furniture

    • While it may seem that a dog is just looking for a leisurely place to relax when it jumps on your couch or bed, it is actually showing its dominance. Lying on a piece of furniture is a dog’s way of claiming its territory. When your pooch jumps in your bed, it actually thinks it is the owner of the bed, not you. Once a dog understands that you are in charge, it is acceptable to let it on the furniture, as long as you were the one who invited the dog up.

    Pawing at You

    • When a dog paws at you, it is not asking you to hold its hand. Actually, it is claiming its dominance over you. When a dog has any part of its body on you, even if it is leaning up against you, it is showing you that it is the leader and is claiming ownership of you. In addition, a dog that jumps on its owner is often showing alpha status. Dogs that jump at people are trying to get close to their faces, which is often alpha behavior.

    Walking Through Doors First

    • As trivial as it may seem, the order in which a dog and human walk through doors is a big part of the alpha struggle. Dogs that walk through doors ahead of their owners feel that they are in control. Humans that walk behind their dogs are being lead by them, which literally puts the dog ahead of them. However, the roles are reversed when humans walk through doors first, as this puts them in control.

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