My dominant Dog

Ahhh! The wonderful world of dominance! I hear about it all the time. “My dog is trying to be dominant because he is always out front when walking!” – “My Buffy is dominant because she charges out the door and almost knocks me over!” – “I was told that Buford should not sleep with me in by bed anymore because he might become dominant?!”
Well, let me reveal my deep dark dog secrets concerning my own dogs. (-Which might make me a terrible trainer in some people’s eyes):
I have three dogs – one is too old for much walking by now but when we used to all go out, Socks is usually out front, Rusty is poking in the back and Mutley is limping along in the middle. It’s a bit like organized chaos but for the most part it works. My philosophy is simple: There are times (- like when I am jogging with Socks) where I expect my dog to be in heel position, but most the time, when we are just walking I could care less if you are in front, next to or behind me – as long as you don’t drag me down the road or make a jerk out for yourself. Let’s face it, I am not walking for myself, I walk to enrich my dogs’ lives. So we take things quite leisurely with lots of time to stop and sniff and smell the roses (-usually made of some unidentifiable stink pod on the side of the road)
Mutley, in his younger days, used to always try to bully his way in the door first. I am quite certain he was not thinking dominance. Actually I am pretty sure he was not thinking at all…he just wanted to go from A to B and I was in the way. So I did have to teach him that the door would not open until he sat, but not to show him who is in charge, but to teach him manners.
As far as the bed and the couch? For our household couch is “ by invitation only” – I don’t like self serving.
As far as the bed: Rusty has managed to attain sleeping rights (He does not snore or push). Mutley does both so sorry…..And Socks prefers to sleep in her crate.
Generally speaking, when it comes to sleeping in the bed, my philosophy is this: If you (-meaning all humans occupying the bed) are ok with it, if the dog likes it and if he does not exhibit any kind of annoying or territorial behavior – snooze on!
The bottom line is that dogs do not spend sleepless nights thinking on how they can gain the upper hand and dominate us. They are just dogs looking out for their best interest. (- Sorry dogs are not very altruistic).
You are in charge of the food, their sleeping arrangement, where they go and what they get to do. – Sounds to me like you are pretty dominant yourself.


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