(Or, How You Tell if Your Dog is the Boss of You)
Its simple! If your dog jumps on you, he is the boss. If he jumps on others, he is making sure that they also know that he is in charge.
Joanne unfortunately saw this behavior in action recently. Out on a hike with her dogs, she encountered another owner with her dog off leash – and without warning the dog charged at Joanne and jumped up on her. The dog scratched her so hard it broke her skin and she was bleeding. The owners response was “Oh, yeah – she is quite the jumper when she wants to say hello”.
Remember dogs are animals, and the kindest thing you can do for your dog is to treat your dog like a dog and communicate in a way he’ll understand. The dog’s mother, the ultimate pack leader, would never tolerate inappropriate activity. She stops it by moving the puppy out of the way in a calm assertive manner. When your guests arrive, ask your dog to sit patiently in that same manner.
Your dog will follow your commands when he respects you as his leader, and you can’t be a leader only some of the time. Leadership is forever; inconsistency triggers confusion and anxiety in a dog and can lead to more issues. Animal pack leaders never waver from their leadership role, and neither should we.
A dog with a leader is a Happy Dog!