In detail

Dominance behavior in dogs: how does it express itself?


Dominance behavior in dogs can show up, for example, towards other dogs or humans. With certain gestures, the four-legged friend makes it clear that he is Dominance behavior shows itself when clarifying the ranking - Image: Shutterstock / AnetaPic

would like to rank higher than the other living being.

When dogs rank among themselves, it is necessary that one of the two be more dominant. Gestures of dominance are therefore not only normal in many situations, but inevitable. A tendency towards strong, undesirable dominance behavior, regardless of whether it is humans, animals or both, can also occur. This can be innate, for example, resulting from poor parenting, socialization or wrong attitudes. Even an owner who lets his four-legged friend go through everything can be the reason why a dog tends to have behavioral problems, in which he shows that he does not want to submit. This is how dominant behavior can manifest itself:

Dominance behavior towards people

If the dog sees a person as lower ranking, this can lead to different behaviors. For one thing, he's pretty likely not going to listen to him. He could be disobedient, pushy, or even aggressive. Growling when the biped comes close to its food bowl is also not uncommon.

Whether the behavioral problems are a dominance problem, a general upbringing problem or possibly the consequences of physical suffering should always be discussed with a specialist dog trainer or a veterinarian, because the distinction is not always easy.

Dominance over other dogs

A higher-ranking dog usually has the right of way when it comes to choosing a favorite toy, favorite place or the best place on the food bowl. This is quite normal and whoever is the higher must be identified among the dogs at the latest when several dogs are kept before they are usually determined once and for all afterwards.

Beautiful hunting dog: The Labrador in chocolate brown

During a walk it is rather rare that the ranking among dogs is clarified. However, there are also four-legged friends who constantly provoke strangers. This can, but does not have to be, dominance behavior.

If the four-legged friend very strongly tends to let the boss hang out, for example because he belongs to a dog breed that tends to be like the Weimaraner, you should be a little careful when walking that disputes about a toy or the like with strange dogs do not at all only emerge. Even in such a case, a dog trainer should be consulted.