Boss Battles: What Do You When Your Dog Thinks He’s The Boss

A dog in glasses and a tie sits at a computer.

You pay the bills in your home, but if your dog thinks he’s the boss, it may not feel like you make all the decisions. A bossy dog might be the one setting your schedule, getting first-choice when it comes to where to sit, and pushing their noses into all of your business (literally). If you are tired of bowing down to your dog boss, Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital has some tips to help you take back control in your home:

Be The Leader Of The Pack

Dogs are pack animals and they look to the leader for instruction. If you want your dog to start listening to you, you have to demonstrate that you are in charge with your body language and the tone of your voice. Stand up tall and speak with confidence when addressing your pup. Use an authoritative, yet gentle tone. Your dog will pick up on this change in body language and tone and, in most cases, will start to listen and modify his behavior

Watch How You Walk

While out on walks, use a short leash that gives you control over your bossy canine. Be sure your dog stays even with you so his head is on par with your leg. If the dog gets eager and starts to pull ahead of you, give one swift (but gentle) tug on the leash so he returns to the position where you want him. Try to mix up your speed and direction frequently so the dog has to keep paying attention to you and the way you want to walk.

Use Positive Reinforcements

As you start to work with your dog on simple commands like “sit” and “stay,” be sure to use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior. Small training treats are helpful when teaching your dog new tricks. When your dog performs the way you want him to behave, offer a treat and some words of encouragement. Dogs respond much better to positive reinforcements than they do to negative ones.

Just Say No To Dogs On The Furniture

If a dog is naturally bossy, you should enforce a strict no canines on the furniture policy in your house. Even if your dog starts to listen to your instructions in other areas of the home, once you let him on the furniture, he will still maintain some bossiness. Crate training can help you maintain your authority while giving your pup a place of his own. You can even place a few dog beds on the floor of different rooms, but you should never get down on the floor to address your dog or he might think you two are switching roles.

If you need more help with your bossy dog, the team at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Center is here for you. From training tips to wellness care, we want to provide you with everything you need to keep your pet happy and healthy. Call (916) 624‑PETS (7387) or visit us online to schedule an appointment