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Dog Training

Dominant dogs: how to control your alpha dog dominance 2022



When dogs don’t listen, they are aggressive with other dogs, show an exaggerated protective instinct, and do not let anyone near their food, this behavior is usually interpreted as alpha dominance, which must be prevented. But what exactly does alpha dominance mean in dogs? Are only alpha animals dominant dogs and do I have a dominance problem if my dog does not obey?

Life in the wolf pack

Leader or subordinate by nature?

Is the alpha dog a myth?

Where does the fear of dominant dogs come from?

Does alpha dog training make sense?

A dog is not disobedient because he is dominant

What is dominance and how is it detected?

How to Correctly Interpret Problematic Behavior in Dogs

The right training: consistent, but not dictatorial

Life in the wolf pack

Dogs are descended from the wolf and, like wolves, naturally live in packs. Like their ancestors, they know that life in a pack is easier and less tiring than living alone. Together they can better protect themselves from danger and hunt much better than alone. Contrary to popular belief, there is no strict hierarchy in wolf and dog packs that must be upheld through violence and aggressive power struggles. On the contrary: wild dogs and wolves live together in a kind of family group that is guided by the oldest and most experienced animals in the group. However, there are no aggressive fights for the position of the alpha animal, that is, the leader.

Leader or subordinate by nature?

Recent studies on wolves and wild dogs affirm that there is no clear alpha who is always the undisputed leader. Some pack members may indeed display dominant behavior. However, this does not depend on his role in the pack, but on a specific situation. For example, if a dog has a bone, now he is the leader who decides on the bone resource. The other members do not question him and accept that he now has the floor. They thus become subordinates automatically. With this, the owner of the bone does not become the absolute leader who always receives the food first. For example, if a previously subordinate animal gets hold of the prey, it can now decide on it alone and must not hand it over to the supposed alpha first. Whether a dog behaves in a dominant or submissive way depends on each situation and moment.

Is the alpha dog a myth?

If wild wolves show aggression, they usually do so only against wolves that do not belong to their family and that pose a threat to the pack, either because they want to fight for their food or their territory. Contrary to popular belief, neither wolves nor dogs crave a position of power in the pack. Alpha dogs that must prove their rank with dominance fights within the pack do not naturally exist among wild dogs.

Where does the fear of dominant dogs come from?

Despite these discoveries, the theory of the alpha dog showing too much dominance over its human leader persists. If a dog does not obey, this is often interpreted as an attempt to take the lead role from him. He wants to give himself the alpha animal and demonstrate his power to humans. If the training has no effect and the dog fights the handler, this is usually justified by the fact that the dog is very dominant. But what is dominance? Can it be detected by certain disobedience before the reference person? And, conversely, does the dog have to be submissive to obey its handler?

Does alpha dog training make sense?

Experts and trainers have agreed for years that training can only work if the dog accepts that its handler is the leader of the pack. To reinforce this leadership position, methods must be implemented that show the dog his subordinate position in the pack. Today there are still many who think, p. e.g., that a dog should not receive their food until its caregiver has eaten. In addition, the handler must always cross the door in front of the dog and never give way. Sleeping in the caregiver’s bed or sitting in their preferred spot should be prohibited.

The alpha roll technique was described in many dog ​​training books. It consists of keeping the disobedient dog in a submissive position on the ground. Unfortunately, these methods had very little success. Supposed dominance problems, such as leash pulling, ignoring commands, aggressively defending food, or jumping on people, were not resolved by this training. And because?

A dog is not disobedient because he is dominant

The problem with this training for alpha dogs is that it is based on the assumption that dogs naturally want to assume leadership and continually try to impose this desire with dominant behavior. As we said, recent scientific studies on wolves and wild dogs question this instinctive desire for the alpha role. Furthermore, it is uncertain that dogs view their human family as truly a pack. Many experts today believe that dogs only form a pack with their peers. This means that they know perfectly well that they and we are not the same. Therefore, to say that the cause of disobedience, aggressiveness, or stubbornness is the desire for dominance would not only be false but would not correspond to the real desire of the dog. The fact is that a dog is not disobedient because he is dominant, but because he is poorly or poorly trained.

What is dominance and how is it detected?

As easy as it sounds, dominant dogs do not display their behavior by pulling on the leash because they want to call the shots or being aggressive towards strangers because they are in the role of a protective alpha animal. Dominance in dogs is manifested rather with a remarkable presence and inner peace of the dog. Dominant dogs are sure of themselves. They are aware of their superiority and do not need to growl or bark loudly to prove anything. In a group of frolicking dogs, the dominant dog is more likely to be the one that stays relaxed on the sidelines. It’s not that he’s shy, but he doesn’t need these silly fights. His posture is upright and he moves with confidence and stability, with his head and ears raised. A tight tail or rounded back, signs of fear or nervousness, are rarely seen in dominant dogs.

How to Correctly Interpret Problematic Behavior in Dogs

Despite this new knowledge, the real problems behind the fear of dog dominance have not gone away. An alpha-male-looking dog that ignores all rules and commands is a danger. However, instead of excusing the problem with the false reference to dominance, it is convenient to know the real causes of this behavior. Why doesn’t my dog ​​pay attention to me if not because he instinctively dreams of taking charge? With the following five examples we explain the possible causes and how to control the dog’s behavior problem.

“My dog ​​doesn’t obey my commands.”

A dog not obeying the commands to lie downsitout, or there is not only exhausting but also dangerous. Walking with a dog that won’t walk by your side or come when called can turn into a drumstick race. But the cause of disobedience is not that the dog is an alpha with a desire for self-determination and freedom. Hard as it may seem, the origin lies in incorrect or insufficient training and, therefore, it is the fault of the caregiver. It doesn’t matter if he’s a confident German shepherd or a nervous terrier: all dogs can learn commands. They are willing to follow their caretaker, as long as they trust him and his abilities. This means that they must be convinced that you always have the situation under control and that it is worth obeying you, either because it is less tiring or stressful or because they will receive a reward.

Earn your dog’s trust

One of the most frequent causes of disobedience is that the dog does not trust the orders or their consistency. This happens, p. eg, if they are not clear, are repeated constantly (nothing happens), or are contradictory. Dogs pay close attention to body language. If this does not correspond to the order, this may be a reason for disobedience. For example, if you tell him to lie down, but you run from one side to the other without stopping, your dog will not understand why he has to lie down quietly. Therefore, make sure that your dog can trust the accuracy of your commands.

Your orders must always be unambiguous. In addition, they must correspond to your posture and occur at the right time. Like praise and reprimands, dogs only understand commands if they are directly related to actions. Scolding a dog hours later because he has peed on the carpet is useless. It is also useless to explain to him on the way to the supermarket that later when you arrive, he has to wait for you.

“My dog ​​pulls on the leash.”

When dogs pull on the leash, many excuse themselves by saying that they are dominant dogs and want to decide the way. In reality, no dog pulls on the leash because it is dominant, but because the person on the leash allows it. Some keepers laugh as they stumble after their playful pup and, when he is an adult, wonder why he always pulls on the leash. If your dog learns that it’s worth pulling on the leash because he gets to go where he wants, he’ll try again every time. Good Leash control is not a matter of submission or alpha dominance, but of training. Teach your dog that pulling on the leash will get him nowhere.

An effective technique is to stop as soon as the dog begins to pull on the leash or even take a few steps back. Do not move forward until the leash is loose again. Keep this exercise with perseverance. If you let him pull the leash from time to time because you are in a hurry and you have to get him out quickly, in the end, you will have more work than if you try from the beginning to always learn to go in your direction.

“My dog ​​is aggressive towards strangers.”

It is proven that a dog is not born aggressive. There are races, such as the rottweiler, the german shepherd, the Doberman, or the pit bull, which have a somewhat stronger protective instinct by nature and a lower arousal threshold than e.g. eg, a golden retriever or a labrador. But no dog attacks another dog or a person because he does or because he likes to show his superiority. Aggression is not a problem for alpha dogs, but for those that feel insecure or uncomfortable.

One of the most frequent causes of aggression towards strangers is that the dog perceives your insecurity. Therefore, he believes that he must defend and protect you. If you get nervous when you meet a passerby in the woods and you fear that your dog will start barking aggressively as soon as you get close, your dog will surely notice it and will end up showing this behavior. Attempts to reassure him with good words or caresses will only confirm his behavior.

Show your dog that you have the situation under control:  You have to convince your dog that there is no reason for him to defend or protect you. Never show him fear or nervousness. He acts with poise and tries to ignore the dog’s aggressiveness if the situation allows. Never go to him and pet him and praise him only when he has managed to stay calm before the stranger.

“My dog ​​won’t let anyone near his food.”

Dogs are selfish by nature and care about their well-being. Therefore, defending vital resources, such as food, is not a consequence of alpha dominance, but of the innate self-preservation instinct. The defense of prey in packs of wolves and wild dogs are natural and a right of all members. On the other hand, when living with people, when the dog begins to growl when its caregiver approaches the trough is a problem. He needs to learn that he does not have to defend his food to his human caretaker. A good way to do this is to give him something to eat out of his hand, apart from the feeder (a bone or a candy ). Thus, the dog will perceive the presence of the person next to his food as something positive. Another riskier option is to remove the feeder and not give it to him until he calmly waits and patiently accepts your closeness.

“My dog ​​is always fighting with other dogs.”

Aggression against other dogs can have many causes. The two most frequent are that the dog believes that he has to defend you from the other dog (read “My dog ​​is aggressive with strangers”) or that he perceives him as a rival, either in the fight for his food, his favorite bed, or your attention. The latter has nothing to do with jealousy, but simply with the fact that the dog looks for his benefit by nature. It is also not about hurting the other dog, but about getting the best for yourself. If two or more dogs live in a household, these fights for resources occur from time to time. As is often the case, the problem is not the behavior of dogs, but that of people.

If several dogs live in a household:  as a dog sitter multiple dogs, you want to treat them as fairly as possible. It pains us to see how one dog always grabs the treat or goes through the door first while the other has to give in. We want to ban this behavior, but by doing so we only make things worse. Dogs don’t take it personally when they lose out. They establish hierarchies in each situation between them and accept that their congener is the most dominant in many of them. If you give preference to the supposedly weaker dog by giving him the treat first and berating the alpha dog for his selfishness, you will harm the relationship between them. Instead of seeking peace, you must encourage confrontation. Even if it’s difficult for you, show them that you accept their hierarchy and that you don’t have to constantly prove it.

The right training: consistent, but not dictatorial

As you can see, disobedient and mischievous behavior, aggressiveness and rivalry have nothing to do with alpha dominance. In general, dogs simply have never learned that their behavior is unwanted. So, the problem is ours, as almost always.

When a dog, in our opinion, behaves dominantly, in most cases it is simply poorly trained. Dogs are guided by people and logically test which behavior pays off and which has consequences. They don’t do it to take on the role of alpha dog, but to fit in with society. Therefore, making it clear to them that they are submissive to the man with alpha training methods usually does not help at all. It is much more important that you become a trusted companion for your dog. Show him that he can trust your judgment and offer clear guidance in every situation. To show him the right path you must not act like a dictator, but with sovereignty, self-confidence, and, above all, consequence.

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Dog Training

Treeing Walker Coonhound Basic Information 2021




Treeing Walker Coonhound History and Roots

The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a breed that originated from the English Foxhound brought to Virginia by Mr. Thomas Walker in 1742. Originally known as the English Coonhound, they split off in 1945 and adopted their current name. The reason why the dog breed name has “Walker” is because the ancestor dog developed into a dog called “Walker Foxhound” later.
Known as an agile and tireless hunting dog, they are good at hunting small animals such as raccoons and opossums and driving them into trees. When it finds prey, it makes a distinctive trumpet-like call, which can be detected from a distance, and signals the location of prey to the hunter. In 2012, it was certified by the AKC’s Hound Group.

Treeing Walker Coonhound Personality and Characteristics

The Treeing Walker Coonhound has a calm personality and likes to interact with people. They rarely show aggression and get along well with other dogs and children. However, due to their strong hunting instincts, living with small animals is not recommended. He is very intelligent and seems to prefer somewhat complex educational toys to simple toys.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are short-haired, shiny, and display a bi- or tri-color pattern consisting of white, black, and tan. Characterized by well-moving shoulders, large ears, and a drooping upper lip that hangs over the lower jaw. It is said to take two years to reach maturity.

Treeing Walker Coonhound Care and Precautions

The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a lively breed and needs at least an hour of daily walks or jogging. They have droopy ears, so check their ears regularly.


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Dog Training

How to train a Maltese puppy 2023




Do you have a Maltese or are you thinking of fostering one soon? So, to offer the best to your pet, you will be interested in knowing everything it needs in detail. Some of the most relevant aspects that must be known well are care and basic needs, but also how to teach everything you need to know so that you can live together enjoying your company to the fullest.

So, if you are interested in knowing how to educate Maltese so that you both are happy living together, do not miss this OneHOWTO article in which we tell you all the necessary details so that you can give your furry the best.

Characteristics of the Maltese

The Maltese is a small breed or even a toy dog since a weight of 1.8 kg is the minimum that usually occurs in toys and the maximum that is seen in small breeds is 4 kg, being the most usual weight between 3 and 4 kg. In addition, its height is between 20 and 25 cm at the withers. As usual, females are usually somewhat smaller than males, both in weight and height.

Its coat is white and smooth, it grows very easily and has a silky touch, although when they are puppies or if they are cut a lot, the hair can look somewhat wavy and not straight. Some specimens have white fur with some soft golden spots. Its eyes are always dark, like its nose, which is always black, its legs are short, its tail is dense, and its ears are long and fall to the sides.

These furry ones are characterized by being fun, affectionate, playful, happy, intelligent and enjoying the company of both people and other pets, in fact, they hate being alone. In addition, these characters are very marked when they are puppies but as adults they also retain these very positive characteristics, being the joy at home throughout their lives.

Likewise, they are nervous, very vigilant, and have a lot of energy, for this reason, they do not like to be alone and locked up at home for hours, in addition, they can notify us of the presence of someone unknown.

For all this, it is a very popular dog among families around the world. But we must bear in mind that it is suitable for living with adults, but it tends to get stressed in the company of children who demand too much play from it, touch or hold it continuously, pull its long fur, etc. For this reason, a Maltese can get tired of being in the company of a child in a short time, but if the little ones are also educated and explained how to relate to a dog, then there doesn’t have to be any kind of problem.

Why socialization is important

It is vital to socialize a dog so that it can interact with its environment, other animals, and people without any problem. If we do not get used to living both at home and on the street with other living beings and with common noises and situations, our pet will suffer stress, anxiety, and fear and may even become aggressive on certain occasions.

As we have pointed out, children must be used especially to be with whom they may have more difficulties when living together. Therefore, we must educate both so that they treat each other with respect and enjoy themselves. It is very important that, for this social education to give good and solid results, the dog gets used to it and is taught everything necessary during the first months of life, since at that moment its character and its way of understanding things will be forming.

Likewise, they must be accustomed from a young age to interacting with other dogs of all sizes, since due to their small size they can see other larger furry ones as a potential threat and become defensive or even attack if they have not gotten used to it. they.

Necessary standards and limits

To train and educate a Maltese dog correctly, it is very necessary to teach him rules and limits that serve to respect each other. In addition, you have to start teaching these guidelines from the first moment he enters the family, help him understand them, and teach them with positive reinforcement. All family members must agree on what rules to set regarding what the dog can do and what not, being consistent is what will help you understand it well.

Also, a common mistake is that being so small, we tend to hold them a lot or allow them to climb where they want, but if this becomes a habit, it can trigger a dominant attitude on the part of our furry. This will mean that when someone does something that does not seem right to him for whatever reason, he will impose himself by barking and even marking. For this reason, it is important to avoid over-pampering him and to teach him the boundaries between the things he can and cannot do and when he can do them.

Within the rules there must be established routines and schedules, that is, hours and areas for walking, sleeping, eating, etc. In this way, educating our Maltese will be easier and it will be more balanced and happy.

In this other OneHOWTO article, you will be able to find out all the details about how to teach your dog to relieve himself outside the home.

correct bad habits

It is very common for our pet to have a behavior or habit that we do not like, and this happens to a greater extent if it has not been socialized and educated well since it was a puppy. Thus, we must correct this unwanted behavior as soon as we detect it, but it is vital that we do it with positive conditioning or reinforcement and never with negativity or aggressiveness.

The screams, the pulls, the blows, and the punishments do not contribute anything good to your relationship and the learning of the dog. On the other hand, rewarding good and desired behaviors, whether with caresses, words, or food, is something that always produces a good reaction and helps to learn better.

For this reason, if your furry does not comply with something that it is supposed to already know, do not punish him and ignore this behavior or stop the activity you are doing, such as stop playing or walking, if he bites hard or pulls on the leash until he calms down or stops doing what you were doing wrong. Thus, he will understand more easily that what he does is not desirable and by rewarding him when he does things well, for example when he walks by your side without pulling hard, he will see that those are desirable and he will do them instead of the others that do not contribute to him. positive results.

Basic commands for a Maltese puppy

To educate a Maltese dog well, it is essential to teach him some tricks and commands, some more complicated and others simpler, so that he feels fulfilled, and useful in the family group or herd and thus creates a more intense bond with us.

As this canine breed is very intelligent, it is easy for him to learn new things as long as we spend some time teaching him well. If we teach them these commands or tricks they will feel more balanced and develop well, they will also get less bored. Here are some basic tricks and commands that this breed will pick up quickly:

Come here

Be quiet

lie down or lie down

walk next door

bring the ball

Advanced commands for a Maltese puppy

When your little pet has learned the most basic things, it’s time to teach him some more complicated things so that he continues to develop his abilities and feel better. As we have said, thanks to their intelligence, these little ones do not have a hard time learning the following advanced commands :

Spin around

Stand up on your hind legs


give a paw or both

roll over itself

Playing the dead

Bring the toy or object that we indicate

jump obstacles.


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Dog Training

How to make your dog listen to you: all the keys




It is possible that at some point you have seen yourself in a situation where your dog ignores you and disobeys your orders. This situation can become very frustrating and desperate. Disobedience can have different levels and appear in different contexts. To help you solve this problem, we show you how to get your dog to listen to you.

Why doesn’t your dog listen to you?

The education and training of dogs in their early stages of life are very important since they will largely prevent behavior problems in the future. On many occasions, dogs disobey orders and behave badly, becoming a frustrating situation for the owners. At this point, it is normal for you to ask yourself: “why does my dog ​​not listen to me?” Here are some of the possible reasons:

Lack of training or education: sometimes, inexperience or ignorance means that proper behavior patterns are not established in dogs. Difficult situations may arise during learning: reinforcement of unwanted behaviors, trying to go faster than the animal can assimilate, lack of patience, etc. Therefore, you must train and prepare for these moments.

Age: it is important to take this factor into account because you do not learn in the same way at all stages of development, nor can you demand the same level from all dogs.

Problems interpreting commands: dogs often ignore commands because they don’t interpret them as such. It is important that your verbal and non-verbal language reflects the same message and that it is consistent with the order you want to convey.

Problems in the affective bond: having a dog at home as a companion is much more than covering its basic needs. You have to establish a solid and trusting affective bond if you want your dog to listen to you.

Use of punishment: dogs, as they grow, learn to relate to the environment around them. It is common for them to do things they don’t like and make mistakes because they are learning. In these situations, it is normal for you to raise your voice and scold him. However, punishment cannot be the basis of learning.  It is much more effective and rewarding to use positive reinforcement.

Very demanding standards: one must not forget that dogs are very different from people, they learn and process differently. It is important to understand this and accept that they also have their needs and need a certain level of freedom. Just like when a person sees something that they like or catches their attention, they stop to look at it, a dog needs to stop to sniff, play, run around, etc.

You don’t like the reinforcements used: the reinforcements are very stimulating to increase the appropriate behaviors. However, it is important to use a booster that the animal likes. Find what he likes the most: sausages, trinkets, etc.

An environment with many distractions: if there are many distracting elements in the environment, the animal’s ability to obey decreases.

How to make your dog listen to you? keys

become a leader

Dogs are pack animals and need a leader. You must become their leader with respect and trust. You must show him that he can trust you and that you can protect him and resolve complicated situations.

In this way, he will trust that the decisions you make and the things you ask of him are the best for him, and your dog is much more likely to listen to you.

grab their attention

For your dog to obey you, it is important that you first have his attention. To do this, you can teach him a command that shows him that it is time to direct his attention to you. Try picking up a treat, putting it in your hand, and holding it close to your eyes while giving the command. It can be: “look!”, “pay attention!”, or the one you like the most.

Improve communication

Dogs do not innately understand the words you use but are guided by the tone of voice and nonverbal behavior. Therefore, you must take care of these factors when showing an order.

On the other hand, it is convenient that you do not use his name to scold him or indicate that the game or the walk is over, because it will associate it with something negative and you will not get your dog to pay attention to you.

Set clear rules

Choose the rules and regulations you want your friend to learn and then show them the commands clearly and consistently. You must maintain coherent guidelines about his behavior so that learning is consolidated.

You can apply different exercises and turn the training into games to make it more stimulating. This step takes time and should be practiced daily. Sometimes you have to spend weeks or months on it.


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