Signs That Show Your Dog Respects You

March 26, 2010

By Linda Cole

The loyalty of our dogs cannot be questioned; they will stand by us through thick and thin. Dogs can be well behaved and guard our homes and property, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they respect you. You can tell if your dog respects you by how they interact with you.

Happy tail wagging, ears laid back and submissive body language when you return home is one sign your dog respects you. Lip licking, grooming you and even a kiss on the cheek are signs that they recognize you as their leader and respect you.

In the dog world, the leader always goes first. A dog who races to the door ahead of his owner is showing disrespect, and doesn’t see the human as the alpha of his pack. When your dog respects you, he stays calmly behind you and waits for you to walk through the doorway first. Whether you are going outside for a walk, up or down steps or someone has knocked on the door, a respectful dog will never push ahead of his owner.

The alpha always eats first and never gives out scraps of food while eating. The dog who recognizes you as his leader and respects you will never steal food from your hand, the dinner table or your plate. He will wait until you decide it’s time for him to eat. Anytime you feed your dog, if you haven’t eaten beforehand, take a snack and eat it in front of your dog and then feed him. If you can leave your food unattended for a short time, that’s a big sign your dog respects you.

The leader of the pack always takes the prime places for sitting or lying down. The respectful dog will move out of your way anytime you claim a spot on the couch, your chair or in your bed. There’s nothing wrong with allowing your dog on the furniture or in bed with you, but never allow him to push you out of your spot. When you get up, the dog should take a position on the floor and if he is lying in your path, he will get up and move if he respects you. Never walk around your dog. Make him move out of your way.

We need to groom, bathe, trim toenails, give medication, put on flea control and do things the dog may not like. A dog who respects and trusts his owner will not growl while things are being attended to no matter how much he dislikes it. Dogs use eye contact to challenge and intimidate subordinates in the pack. If your dog respects you, he will break eye contact with you first. Never look away from your dog first if he is staring at you.

A dog who completely ignores your commands to sit, drop it, stay or lie down is showing they are the ones who decide when and what they will do. Following your rules and basic commands not only shows your dog respects you, but it’s important for them to learn and obey commands because they don’t understand the danger a moving car can present to them if they ignore it.

Being the leader of the pack is an awesome responsibility. Your dog is giving you his trust that you will provide him with what he needs and do so in a respectful matter as his leader. But you have to earn your dog’s trust and respect. It’s not automatic and you do have to prove yourself to your dog. An owner who appears weak as a leader, is inconsistent, unfair, shows that the dog intimidates them and allows their dog to be dominate has lost the battle for control, and the dog will not respect them.

When a dog doesn’t respect his owner, it can open the door to an out of control, unhappy dog and owner who clash every day. An owner who has not taken full command of his dog will have an unstable and potentially more aggressive pet that is difficult to handle. These are the dogs that often end up in shelters or even abandoned.

It’s not difficult to earn a dog’s respect and trust. By taking the alpha role and showing your dog love, kindness and your own respect for him, your dog will gladly follow and obey you. Be consistent in your training, fair in your punishment if and when it’s needed and give your dog lots of praise. Set aside playing time to bond, and stay in control to earn your dog’s respect and the right to the best places to sit and sleep.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Pet Foods.

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Comments

  1. Sue says:

    My lovely dog is 8 and has slept on my bed from a puppy. But I have got to the stage I’m not sleeping because of the snoring. Ad much as o didn’t want to I made a bed for her outside my room. I feel so guilty. She didn’t bark to come in or creates. I know she sleeps as I hear het snoring. Do you think she will hate me for this and will it make het sad

  2. Liz Wright says:

    I have a female rescue from Spain, she’s a Podenco cross & have had her for 18months. She’s perfect in every but when I sit on the floor, she looks pannicked & runs out of the room. Any thoughts on this please? Lizzy

  3. Jesse Peterson says:

    My dog licks my hand and if i have not tsken my medication he then tskes my finger in his mouth and pulls on it . Once i take my medication he stops licking and lays down and relaxes. . Afterward he comes up and licks me once on the nose and lays back down.

  4. Jay says:

    Please don’t read too much into this outdated mess. There’s an occasional slight truth, but the majority of this is just false. The alpha/pack dynamic was disproven ages ago… The person who said this was a human’s ego trip is spot on. Look into Zack George’s youtube channel if you need some pointers for a new puppy. That probably reads like an ad, but it was a lifesaver for me and my husky pup.

  5. Maryjane Archer says:

    I have a Chihuahua l my daughter has a miniature dachshund when I am sitting with a Chihuahua l the Dachshund backs up backward and sits down with us is this unusual

  6. Sam Bracken says:

    I got Max a little over a year ago (senior dog). As far as being first through the door I don’t find it disrespectful, it’ll worry me the day he’s not in front. I make sure he’s by my side going downstairs so I can easily grab him if need be- and he goes ahead of me up the stairs so I can help if he’s having trouble.

  7. Joseph Cole says:

    The part about the dog always staying behind you is not true … in fact that is the hardest thing to train a dog to do … it is not a sign of disrespect… its just there nature … if you have a dog that doesnt kead you … that tells me you took the time and worked and trained that dog . . My mothers name is linda cole as well !!1

  8. Andrea says:

    Funny, our one shelter dog does all of these things, even waits for me to get up from bed. She’ll patiently sit there and relax when we’re sleeping even if she probably wants to get up and play. She’s slightly protective over us, not too much so. Our other shelter dog however, does none of this. Even when we taught him to wait for things, he takes our spots on the bed until we move him, eats our food out of our hands and counter surfs, pushes his way through doors, etc. He was a problem pup from the beginning but we’re still working with him. He used to bark and whine and bite for us to play but has gotten so much better over time. Our other dog even protects us when he sometimes gets in one of his barking/light biting and jumping moods. She’ll stand right between him and us and bark at him. Once he stops, she’ll go and sit somewhere else. Since he was returned 3 times (that we know of) to the shelter, I think it will take him a while to respect us. He’s been through a lot for being 3 and we’re just being as patient as we can.

  9. Ben Tarr says:

    Racing to the door has nothing to do with pack leadership. They’re excited. And this whole notion of a strict hierarchy with an alpha doing everything first is objectively untrue.
    This is humans having an ego trip. If they want to run to the door, let them. It’s not up to you, they can do what they want.

    Humans are animals, and no more special than any other creature.

    1. Joseph Cole says:

      Exactly … my dog jaxon is a very respectful dog … and without a doubt knows who his master is … but he always tries to be first going out the door … and its obvious ge is just super excited about it .. not a sign of disrespect at all !!1

      1. Chandi says:

        Agreed. Though i think to a degree certain dogs need to be trained to tone down their excitement. We have two dogs one is 11 the other is 4 they both get excited and run to the door when they see us take out the leashes but we have to take the youngest one to the backyard just to put the leash on because she just runs through the screen door and down the steps dragging u with her but once shes past the door she is very well behaved and if she feels any tnesion on the leash she will turn around and wait for u to catch up till her excitement dissipates she will then just walk beside you. Shes a large dog though so we dontknow how to control her as far as that first bit goes :/

  10. ...... says:

    When we got a new dog my bonded dog kept getting sad and she keeps fighting and protecting me from him..

  11. Gerardo Castillo says:

    My dog does not do all of these things but he does do most of them.

    Note: He’s a year old

    1. Michael Jhon says:

      Me too I have a 4 weeks old American bully and he followed me all the times.From door to giving food. He respect me so much..

  12. Guillermo Ruiz says:

    I’ve noticed in the past week, my dog (12yrs) has been sleeping by our front door, while everyone is sleeping. He usually sleeps in his bed in our room. Is something wrong? Really out character for him.

    1. Angela says:

      My dog used to sleep with me until we started getting company other than family/close friends and did the same. I thought it was due to his thick coat and the bit of tile in front of the door that was prob cooler, however, taking him camping the first time I noticed he slept in front of the main tent entrance until mid-night, I had to pee and didn’t want to disturb anyone. There was a second opening on my side so I just unzipped it and went out that way. The rest of the night he whined a bit and I noticed he was pacing frim entrance to entrance not knowing which one to guard. This was confirmed when my ex and I split. We shared the same home for a few weeks and instead of sleeping at the door he slept against my feet in the room with me. It may be that he feels you are safe where you are so is guarding the door to protect you all. Possibly its his age, I can’t say but possibly someone new has visited or tried to walk in, new friends of your children or family, maintenance workers… or maybe even sounds… or maybe you have tile and it IS cooler to lay on! I wish I knew but I’d bet with some thought, and maybe this helps trigger ideas, you’ll figure it out. He is getting older though as well as if there’s anything else unusual or troubling, I’d make a list and ask my vet. Otherwise, I’d bet it’s one of these things. For all you know you had deliveries or “walking salesmen” types while no one was home even, a persistent one esp could have set him off! So it could’ve been someone at the door when you didn’t know it too!
      I know when my BB slept w is in our room, I’ve always been up and down and so he’d litetally sleep ON my feet, even while I sat and read so he would wake up to go back up or downstairs w me!

    2. James says:

      Is youre room upstairs? He might just be just not feeling uo to walking up or down the stairs .i wouldn’t worry .

    3. Chandi says:

      It could be his age. Our previous dog did the same for a few yrs before she passed away she died at the age of 12. (Depending on the size of the dog depends on how long they live bigger dogs age faster than smaller dogs to.) But she also slept alot more. Also no need to worry unless he act unusual outside like trying to find a place to hide. We currently have another dog that started doing that a year ago she is about 12 now and is full of life and has a clean bill of health.
      Though honestly the next time u go to the vet just comment on the behavior. I dont want to scare you. As to that is just through my personal experience and our dogs have allways been lrg-xl dogs. Plus if u get them the correct food it prolongs their life and puppies help with that to.

  13. Mark S says:

    My dog is very well trained in fact probably more so than any other dogs I see often.

    The one thing that I have just not been able to overcome after years and years is his excitement when new people come into the home or he meets new dogs.

    I know it’s not that he is ignoring me, he just is so crazily excited that he physically doesn’t hear me. I can tell when after a few seconds he hears me then snaps back into his good behavior.

    I’ve tried everything for this but would welcome any new advice.

  14. KP says:

    Seems more like we are treating dogs as if they are just animals and not pets, obviously a dog should not be disrespectful, but breeds that are incredibly active outdoors lose their respect when they are off the collar, my dog is a alaskan malamute cross siberian husky, the word Walkies drives her nuts and she will not wait for me to get out of the door first before she is racing on ahead, I dont fault her for her excitement as she enjoys it and i enjoy her happiness more than waiting for her to do what I say

    1. Christina says:

      I have found this a very important training exercise. The basis of all other things. To teach dogs to wait. I work on it since they are young. At first I don’t expect a lot, but then we work up on time that they can hold out. Before I release them from the leash outdoors, I ask them to “WAIT”. They are totally pumped to go run into the wild, but I command them to wait, until I tap their butt and say OK, GO! Then they shoot off like a cannon, and I swear they love the build up and the release. I practice this wherever we can. At an intersection, before we can cross. At mealtimes, before I allow them to eat, etc, etc.

  15. Sonya Barton says:

    I have a 70 lb. bulldog that refuses to let me clip her toenails. She will mouth me pretty harshly when I attempt to do it. How do you suggest I accomplish this task without beating her to death, which I could never do BTW!

    1. Chris says:

      Start by simply holding her paws until she’s comfortable. That’s all I would do the first time. Then next time, hold her paws and hold the clippers. If she seems relaxed, tap her nails with the clippers. That’s all I’d do for session 2. The third time, I’d work up to clipping a nail or two. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t cut to the quick or else you probably won’t ever be able to do it. Of course, as she remains calm make sure you praise her. If you remain calm, she should be fine. Eventually she’ll be like my dog who hands me her paws and rolls from one side to the next so I can get easy access. It probably helps that I hold/stroke her paws when we’re watching TV or otherwise relaxing.

  16. Karen Bowering says:

    My jack Russell sits on me as tho I’m a chair

  17. Sam A. says:

    It’s important to remember that I contact can be a challenge but it can also be a dog’s way of showing affection.
    Humans do not immediately intuitively grasp how much of a dog’s behavior is related to dominance. But not all of a dog’s behavior has to do with dominance.
    Extended eye contact, especially when they look backwards over their shoulder at you, is most often more akin to a hug than a challenge.

  18. Dani says:

    This article was a good read, however I feel the concept or the basis for establishing a respectful relationship with your dog is a little outdated. Here is my way of looking at it. My dog(103lb male Pitbull) have a great relationship… for us. Does he sleep in my bed? Absolutely! I wouldnt have it any other way! Does he sometimes take up more of the bed than needed? Of course. But when directed to move over or whatever he listens. When I am in the kitchen and it is dinner time whether it is being prepared or i am at my table eating he does not cross the thresholds of the doorways (except for the tip of his bully nose lol) When we ascend a staircase its a race to the top which I participate fully in everytime however I can also leave my front door wide open and regardless of how many times I go in or out, he will not go out unless called to. I always walk around my dog unless he is laying or sitting somewhere I cant go around or want to sit. When asked to move he does so. Do I have any doubt as to whether my dog respects me or not? Not at all. But I also respect him. I do not treat my dog as though he is beneath me or as though he is less than. And I dont ask much of my dog. I get him toys if he destroys them then he doesnt get that toy anymore, if he picks up my sock as he is notorious for then he picks up my sock he never destroys that so he has a clear understanding of boundries. Which I appreciate. As for growling, I appreciate his growls. Thats his way of letting me know he isnt happy with whatever he is growling about. Thats something he never gets reprimanded for granted its a very rare occasion that he does growl. But never reprimand a dog for growling, yes its unfavorable but take that away and what will be the form of communication he will resort to next? Biting is my guess although I am no professional and my dog has certainly never bit any other dogs or humans. Respect is a subjective term, its relative to the person whose requesting it. My dog does a lot of things most people dont desire, from a dog. He licks, he gets on furniture, he has a lot of energy which I love, he likes to be close sometimes he wants to be directly on top of me. He rears up on people unless instructed to stay down, I allow him to chew and destroy any of his toys he wishes, and he knows only a few commands. Sit and stay and no are the only ones. To most people that is the signs of an unruly animal. But if you were to ever enter my home chaos is not what you would experience. I expect the same from my dog that I expect from any person. Be receptive to my boundries I set. As for the annoying dog behaviors I allow… It seems foolish to be mad in response to dog behaviors as a dog owner. When i signed up to take on a puppy, I expected to deal with dog behavior. I would expect no less of him. But like I said respect is wildly subjective and different for different people. Love your dog, cause theres no doubt they love you, enjoy your time with them, make time for them specifically, theyre not with us forever and all of them leave us too soon. Take care of them, they cannot do it themselves anymore, so what if they growl at the vet think about what you would do if someone unfamiliar was inspecting your hind quarters and poking and prodding. If they are being needy and want to sit with you or on you or lay on top of you embrace that we all need to be held sometimes its a bonding agent your dog sees you do it with people they are smart and make that connection. For those who will read this take from it what you will, but keep an open mind as this article was written based on opinion, it is not an absolute. But as I already stated I am not a professional, and I am writing based on my own experience and opinions. My dog is perfect for me, may not be the best dog for any of you and that is ok.

    1. Couldn’t said it better

    2. Ra says:

      Beautiful said Dani!

    3. karen ann hill says:

      Who are you? That was no.1 so darned true. I was mad at my dog after reading that article, then I was curious as to what others thought and look AT YOU. So true, so articulate, so knowledgeable, such a good speller lol, but also it sounded so professional, and kind but a hint of sarcasm and cleverness; but it mostly felt so poetic and strong and gentle. So I say again(pronounce it with the British accent please), who are you to do all that to me?

    4. A says:

      That was awesome, I love pits but now I am accoustomed to mini doxi ..my living space is apartment living so had to downsize. Love your ability to respect and ne respected..all relationships should have that base.

  19. Linn says:

    Have had anywhere from 4 to 6 dogs at a time, all rescued off the streets by me or that someone has dropped off. I have two doggie doors so they come and go as they please. I’ve discovered that in a multiple dog family, there is always a dog alpha. Usually it is the oldest or strongest dog. It is also the one that I tend to favor and depend on to keep the others in line. When the leader dies and I am grieving , they sense my sorrow and leave me alone. As soon as I discover who the new leader is, I start working with him/her so that it knows who the boss really is. The present leader of my bunch of hounds is a 98 pound Great Pyrenees. I don’t know if Cesar Milan would approve. I am doing the best I can to make sure that the abuse and neglect that brought these dogs to my home is never experienced again.

  20. Maxwell says:

    I think the old alpha and beta dog theory should be researched further when dealing with the complexities of a house dog.

  21. Cait says:

    I have a bullmastiff and I always found it so sweet that, although she sleeps in my bed with me every night, she will sit / lay by my bed or in the hallway until I’m ready for bed. She also will never walk up the stairs or out the door before me unless I instruct her too. I never really understood why but it makes so much sense now. We have a very close bond and she’s also been consistently trained, scolded and praised daily (as necessary). If a dog owner or potential dog owner is reading this, know that it pays off. The bond you form with your dog through doing these things is amazing, and the trust you have for one another is also phenomenal. The only thing with her is sometimes she doesn’t listen to basic commands (sit, lay, etc) when they aren’t necessary, but if you know anything about bullmastiffs, you know that they have a stubborn and lazy streak that can be very difficult to break!

  22. Christine says:

    I have had Giant Schnauzers, great Danes, shiz tuz, all have come with GREAT EXCITEMENT, when I come home. I now have a sheepadoodle, 8 months old now. She waits at door when I come home, but no excitement in seeing me. Why?

  23. Eden says:

    I did this already with my husky without knowing it!
    But I can only take her outside 6 times a day because I’m a cosplayer and most of the time have to work on special costumes and if I take away my focus I can’t finish them in time. I’ve always let her lay under my desk and pet her with my foot but I don’t really understand why she lays on the floor when I let her sit next to me on another chair.
    After I started to show dominance when I got her she didn’t sit beside me anymore. Do dogs leave the best spots for the alphas? She only get up and sits with me when I say “good girl” or “nice job”. She also does the same when I’m in bed. When I start to go outside and I don’t touch or look at her leash she goes to her cage. When we go on walks when she starts to go ahead of me she goes WAAAAY back.
    I’ve never shown any aggression or signs of it I don’t think. But all this was happening Righr After I Got Her. I didn’t have anytime to show dominance. Is this just a normal husky thing? I’ve normally had sheep dogs and just cat my entire life.

  24. Belinda says:

    As a dog owner for over 30 years, I agree with every single word! God bless and good luck with all our doggies… from the past, for the present and the future to come.

  25. Stix says:

    My dog does everything outside of move outta the way. He’s too lazy for that LOL

  26. Legend2508 says:

    My great dane pup is 15moths old and bites each n evry dog who comes in his way. Hes very agressive towrds all dogs bt like ppl playing with him. He listens to me only n no1 else. Im afraid tht this agression will turn on me someday

  27. Tina says:

    My dachshund puppy absolutely respects me and I know that for a fact. Although he is a bit stubborn at times, which they are known for, this lil guy stops when I yell “NO!”, if he nibbles on my fingers and I close his mouth, he doesn’t open his mouth around me for the night. He also sits before I pour his food, does his basic commands like “paw, stay, spin, go”, and he now knows he needs to do #1 and #2 outside, the times he has accidents inside the house he’s already hiding in his cage because he knows I am not happy with it. Don’t get me wrong though, he is disciplined but very happy indeed as we praise him with attention and treats. People are right, you can either be the boss or the bitch to your dog, choose wisely.

  28. Shailesh Kushwaha says:

    I have Zen (Sheprador) since he was 3.5 months old and now in end of May we will hit 1 year together. Our ride is roller coaster and I can say he is one happy dog, my neighbor has mixed breed female dog (3 years) and they produce a lovely puppy Benji, he love her so much and we all can say, while mother is bit crazy she don’t play with her but Zen and herself play like humans. Its magical when they are together. I castrated Zen so now she will be his only daughter and sad part is he don’t even realize it.
    My neighbor decided to keep the puppy as she is very well behaved unlike her mother, who is very active and not social at all, while her daughter has lots of father’s traits, its so good to see her everyday, she is carbon copy of my Zen in her character and her smartness. She plans her move and never disturb people, go aside and play alone if nobody is interested.
    However Zen (1.3 years) these days is calmer as expected but it make me feel sad because I castrated him. He is not same as he used to be earlier more calmer and acts like more than his age.
    But he is more caring now, he never hurts her daughter and she also likes to play with him than with her mother.
    Coming to topic, my Zen very often leaves his place and sit on my part when I say leave for short time (for bringing beer, juice etc) and then don’t go if I come back, but he is NOT dominant, he waits for me to give him food, never ever snatch from my hand, even when I give him treat, he really bring his mount towards my hand in slow motion, and take it very very gently, its a video recording moment for us.
    Then Zen selectively obeys me, he hardly sits when I ask him to, but he comes always when I call him, he don’t listen to me when we are outside and if he sees other dogs he wants to play with them and then I have to detour many times to bring him back. But with my wife, he never dare to disrespect her (because of fear, she can be mean sometimes) she asks him to sit, he sits she ask him to leave he does that. But then again he don’t get much excited to see her, but when he sees me coming after work I have hard time to calm him down, he jumps all over me if I don’t stand strong he can make me fall with his excitement. That is some scene and I can relate with those returning soldiers and their dog videos on youtube.
    So, I don’t think its that black and white with me and Zen.

  29. ok says:

    My Dutch shepherd can be bratty at times. Truly awful, too. But he is never disrespectful. I love him more than I can say and he’s only 5 months along in his life. My Irish/golden mix has been with me since I was 6. I fell I love instantly, and now it’s like we’re both alpha to this dutch shepherd. I’m the youngest in my family, merely a young girl, but this dutchy named Benny respects me like no other. And my other dog? Makes sure he knows that I’m in charge m

  30. Pete says:

    Dogs making eye contact is not disrespectful. Better trainers reward eye contact and train this at an early age to better interact and train our companions. Working dogs with their eyes on you will respond much more quickly than a dog with its focus elsewhere, dog communication is much more non-verbal than verbal. Dog eye contact can be disrespectful when other body language indicates this, but eye contact alone means very little.

  31. Bertha Kelmon says:

    We have a 4 month old pett , he very smart and is growning by the day! He loves kids, every now and then he’ll do number two in the house and he knows better! Anybody have so helpful hints!!

    1. Diana Brown says:

      Keep your pet confine to a crate, take your dog out only for play time, meals, and to go relive himself. When your dog is out of the crate keep a close eye on them. If your pet looks like they are going to relive them self take them out quickly. After a while they will get the hang of it. but, you have to be consistent. Good luck.

      1. Devin says:

        Reward them when they go outside, always for the first few months and then fairly regular after to keep reinsurancing them that it’s worth doing. If they do go inside don’t hit them, don’t rub their nose in it, especially if they already look guilty. We put a bell by our front door that we rang when we took him outside, now he rings it when he wants to go out. Don’t crate him just because you aren’t watching him, that’s just mean. Positive reinforcement works best.

      2. Howard Bailey says:

        What a horrendous post suggesting that a dog needs to be confined to a crate and only let out for three purposes. If we had to confine a dog to a crate then our opinion is that we do not have a lifestyle that supports having a dog.

    2. Chandi says:

      We had the same problem with one of our dogs. We recently learned that to most dogs if u punish them for going in the house the tke it as going at all.so we started rewarding her with praise when we caught her going outside. She has since stopped going in the house unless we r gone to long. We dont say anything but she hunkers down cause she knows better when she sees us with the Bag in our hand as we r taking it to the dumpster

  32. Diana says:

    It’s amazing how many people have no idea what they’re talking about and should not have dogs. Dogs are pack animals. There has to be an alpha in EVERY pack. If you have a dog – guess what you’re part of a pack now. You’re either the alpha or the bitch. Choose wisely.

    1. Pete says:

      Alpha in dogs is overrated! Respect from both results in a companion that will much more readily engage with you than if you try to push the Alpha status. Be a leader and give your dogs structure and both will be much happier.

  33. dude man says:

    My yellow lab steals my car,atm card and raids my bank account and stays out all night… smelling like booze the next day…but he respects me..

    1. Pete says:

      You’re the first person I’ve heard say anything like that about their dog . People think I’m crazy when I tell them about my border collie stealing my car and my money and sunglasses and he’s been stealing my weed too . He hangs out with MY lady friends too always kissin on them . Makin out with em. But he respects me very much. If he didn’t I wouldn’t allow him so much freedom .

    2. Dee says:

      I have the same problem with my dog. He learned it from my teenagers. What a pity.

  34. dude man says:

    “SWEET”….just saying

  35. Burner says:

    My dog usually pees on my head when I’m sleeping and puts lit matches between my toes. I am definitely the alpha of the relationship.

  36. Kayla Lynn says:

    It’ll only be sometimes when my dog disobeys me, but he is old and sometimes I give him his way so that he can be comfortable. He still does all this stuff, but he is still a rebel and he’ll try to get his way around with stuff haha. He’s a sweet dog and he’s not gonna be here for much longer, so I want him to be happy.

  37. hannah brown says:

    I have had my beloved golden retriever since she was 12 weeks old. I have never had to discipline her she has always followed my and obeyed me, she has freedom of downstairs of my house. She has never chewed anything, i have only ever raised my voice at her that is all it takes she knows I mean what I say. And I always follow through with what I am telling her. Dogs can tell by your demeanor. She doesn’t take any notice of my mum as she sees her as weak.

  38. Thanks! This is what I need! I was looking all over to find a paper like this. I wanted to know how I would know if my German Shepherd respected me.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I have 2 pitbulls and the recipe for success is exercise disipline affection. Has worked with all dogs i have owned. I learned this method years ago from a trianer long before cesar millian. If you stick with these 3 things in that order you will succeed. It will always take time but after sometime your dog will do anything you ask. I can leave my dogs in nyc on a conrner tell them to stay come back hours later they would be in the same place not because they have been trianed that way but because they trust and respect me as alpha

  40. worteldrie says:

    my dog doesnt move out of the way when shes in my seat. and if i try to physically move her she growls and sometimes tries to bite me, but if i say “down” and point to the floor she gets right off without making a fuss.

    1. Jessica says:

      Ever since my little terrier had an operation on her stomach she often snaps at the family when anyone goes near that area because it hasn’t healed properly. I’m sure your dog respects you just fine but when you try to move her you might be hurting her without realising it. Try to notice how and where you are handling her when you are trying to get her off of your seat, she might just be grumpy or not realise that’s where you sit nbut that’s all the help i can give,
      best of luck with her.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I understand what this post is trying to say – and I do agree with the majority of it’s message to an extent. Much like the post prior, my 4 year- old mixed terrier rescue is also my family and not much training was ever involved. Besides the basic, potty training, sitting and finding/retrieving his toys on command. I find, along with lots of exercise, delicious treats and love- discipline also makes for a happy dog. You always want to keep your loved one mentally stimulated and challenged. And that means incorporating different regulations / rules – I don’t necessarily think they are specific to what’s listed in this post. I believe every relationship is different and the dynamic between owner and pet varies.
    For example: I don’t feel the need to “win a staring contest” with my dog, neither do I feel he should ignore his excitement when he finds himself racing to our front door after a walk. Again, our relationship has varied in this respect because I know he understands this doesn’t grant him the “alpha” throne. (I know this- because if he’s gone too far ahead, he’ll turn around, sit and wait until I’ve caught up…he’s never far.)

    I am truly one of the lucky ones, my dog is extremely calm, cuddly, and never touches anything around the house- even if there was a plate of my food on the floor, he wouldnt go near it if I left him alone for hours! He’s extremely human-like and everyone who’s encountered him even for a second never fails to ask “is he going to talk soon?” He even stays put for a whole 2 hours while I’m desperately trying to cut his hair with scissors! (Now I’m babbling!)
    Point being- some dogs need to be taught, controlled, and enforced more than others depending on the owners needs. If the owner prefers a dog to walk ahead of them, is the owner automatically deemed as #2? No.

    1. Shirley says:

      We have two dogs, neither have been trained at all. My bf had them before I came here with my kids. I agreed to help him train them as they were pretty much out of control. They have eaten half his house. Ruining rugs, couches and anything held within it. The dogs seem to have no respect for his commands the first time given, second time… and even third time. One of the dogs is not to disrespectful as to playful and needing certain trainings to be considered able to stay here around the kids. The other one is pretty much out of control and thinking he can do and treat people how ever he wants. Both push the kids out of their way. Even me when I first got here. The one dog is going up to the kids when they have food in their hands. Its scary because I know what a large dog can do to a child. As of now, they are only 2… still puppies, and Im considering “its me or the dog” So for these trainings, Its worth a try with them before we end up getting rid of them.

  42. Anonymous says:

    im gonna have to agree with both sides on this. i have a 5 year old boxer.ive had her from the day that i could safely take her from mom. from that day on, she wasnt a family dog, she was family. next to my kids, i love my dog more than than i can put across to you. with that being said, boxers are hyper dogs- so alot of the time she will dash ahead and even somtimes grabs her learsh and meets me on the porch like im the poky one. i work during the day- 8 hrs. so she has run of the house. yes she lays on the furniture, sleeps in my bed, but never ever once has she, pee`ed or pooped in the house. never torn stuff up. and ive never had a break in or stuff like that. so by all means, she probably is spoiled more than alot would allow their dogs to be and im cool with that. she pulls her share around our house.also on an emotional lvl. she knows the feels in the house and i know hers. on the same note, we established the totem pole from day one, meaning that im top dog and she is #2. chain of command type thing. what im trying to get across is- granted dogs need to be taught, and im probably one of the lucky ones, but as close and bonded as we are i really didnt have to teach her as much as 1 would think. it so so much of living and routine, honestly shes just a smart dog. . so if you wanna train your dog to be a dog, your gonna have a dog. my dog is part of my family

  43. Raegan says:

    The problem with these signs of “respect” is that they really don’t have anything to do with the way the dog feels. The have to do with what the dog has been taught is acceptable.

    My dog goes ahead of me through doorways and up stairs. I want to see where he is so we don’t trip over one another. I have the upright body and the forward facing eyes. He stays in front because he’s been TAUGHT to stay in front.

    My dog leaves unattended food along because he has been TAUGHT that unattended food NEVER goes to dogs. Instead, he can get food by leaving it alone. It’s training.

    My dog will stare holes in me with his eyes. Disrespect? No. TRAINING.

    Dogs are opportunists. Not wolves. Teach them how to get what they want and everyone will be happier.

      1. Howard Bailey says:

        Absolutely …

  44. Anonymous says:

    I don’t agree with much of this post – of course all of the behavior she describes should be what your dog does (doesn’t steal food, budge in front to get out the door, etc.), but I think it is more of teaching your dog the house rules then a power struggle for alpha. Read the book “Inside of a Dog” by Alexandra Horowitz for a much better idea of the relationship dynamics between humans and dogs then is presented in this article.

  45. amity says:

    This makes me feel so proud. I have a very “bossy” dog who would happily run the household if I let her. Sometimes I despair that she’ll ever calm down and behave! But these little signs, particularly my being able to leave food unattended, make me feel like I’m doing a good job with her. Thank you for posting this!

  46. Shimla Hills says:

    what a great post. this does talk about good information and i am a dog lover. will surely follow your advice….

  47. Makai says:

    I don’t 100% agree with all the points, but mostly true in my experience.