Dominance or Dominant Aggression with Dogs


This behaviour is less common than nervous aggressive dog behaviour. Dominance is usually displayed by male dogs, and dominant type dogs will gladly walk over a soft owner who is failing to set up a training schedule (on-going training can help resolve a dominant or pushy dog).

Clear leadership and handling skills are required with this sort of dog, and should you see this behaviour in a large breed from Labrador to Rottweiler you will need to stop and think carefully as to how you handle it.

Whilst some dogs may be inclined towards dominance as a behaviour, it is usually reinforced over time by a lack of ground rules and clear guidance.
The word 'Dominance' has created a lot of debate in the dog profession in recent years, and if you want a bit of fun, place 10 trainers in a room and ask them to discuss the subject and agree a definition!

Owners who try to live with their dog within the principle of packs and trying to become 'Alpha' can encounter all sorts of problems as we are not living with wolves but domesticated dogs. Our modern domesticated dog is in fact now far removed from its cousin the wolf. As with all of these things, I encourage a sense of balance in how we live with our canine companions.

Also see:
Aggression to people
Nervous aggression
Dominant agression
How to Introduce a Muzzle to your Dog
Assessment for legal cases

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  • Nick Jones, Alpha Dog Behaviour, Dog Expert witness

  • Nick Jones, Dog expert witness