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Wednesday Wisdom: Who's the Boss?

Many behavior issues can boil down to the basic problem that the dog is in charge. Puppies are so adorable, whether small breed or large, and we tend to treat them like a toy and buddy. Watching dogs in a group, the alpha dog sets the record straight of who is the boss. The alpha dog makes the other dogs wait, move away, leave the food to them, keep a distance, and look away. So ask yourself: does my dog try to snatch food from my hand? Does he try to dart through the door before me? Does he jump up in my recliner and steal my seat just before I sit down? Does he refuse to let me take the toy or growl when I try to make him move off the bed? Does he jump up behind me on the sofa and try to push me with his feet? The dog clearly thinks he is the boss of you. This is not only frustrating, but can lead to dangerous behavior! You must clearly and firmly make it known that you are the alpha. Thwart his attempts quickly. Pick one behavior that is worst and soon the other behaviors should diminish once you have established who indeed is the boss. I am not talking about an alpha roll or beating the dog. If my pup tries to about knock me over dashing through the door ahead of me, I quickly block the way, scowl and growl then step through alone. If he tries to grab the sandwich from my hand, I do not move my hand away, but block his path, scowl and growl. Do not let your dog make you move. Once he "gets it", you can go to sit in your chair and the dog will jump down voluntarily. Obviously, the sooner the pup learns that he is NOT the boss, life will be happier for the both of you.

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