How to socialize a dominant Rottweiler
When a dog becomes overly dominant it’s not a pleasant or particularly easy issue to deal with, especially if the dog is large. Dominant dogs are generally not scared of other dogs and they are not looking to fight, more a case they are simply looking to dominate the other dog. This could be in a mild way such as a dog that simply doesn’t know where the boundaries of play are, so keeps pushing the boundaries. Or a more serious situation where a dog really wants to put every other confident dog on their back.
Prevention is best
With many issues if you catch them early on when the dogs are still young you can avoid a serious issue occurring later. Many owners fail to take notice of the early warning signals, either because they do not want to believe that they have an issue or they really do not actually spot them. A growl from a dog is generally a warning, some dogs will growl when playing however when one dog is clearly asking for the other dog to back off (by continual growling) and they refuse then this is not a great sign. If this behaviour happens repeatedly with several different dogs then you could probably assume that your dog is behaving unacceptably and very possibly showing dominant behaviour.
Taking away your dogs freedom
Let’s look at how to socialize a Rottweiler puppy. In this situation Bex is in need of some clear rules and boundaries regarding what is acceptable and what is not. When my dog clearly asks her to back off and leave her alone Bex keeps coming for her. When Bex gets carried away I use the short line to catch her and then take away her freedom and simply walk her around. Dogs are so logical that they will connect immediately their behaviour with the following response. So when Bex becomes too dominant and pushy with my dog, Inca, she ends up on the lead for 5 minutes. Needless to say dogs do not like having their freedom taken away and so they will change their behaviour pretty quickly.
At the end of this consultation Bex and Inca were back together and happy once again. This was a great example of preventing a bad situation from occurring – it could so easily have turned nasty. The owner immediately put in place the 5 Golden Rules making sure that Bex knew she was not the pack leader. This minimized a lot of her dominant behaviour. Several months later I saw Bex’s owner when I was working with another client, he pulled over in his car and ran up to me. At first I didn’t recognise him, he came up to me beaming…”Bex is a different dog, she’s awesome with other dogs now”.
It was great to hear such a glowing testimony to what we had achieved.
Remember, it is always easier to bury your head in the sand and hope that problems will just disappear, but they rarely do. Learn to spot unwanted behaviors at an early stage and put a stop to them. This way is often a whole lot easier than dealing with more serious issues later on..
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