What Does It Mean to be Dominate?

What Is Dominance Based Dog Training?

When it comes to training our dogs, we hear the word “dominance” all the time. What exactly does that mean? Some people think that it means to be pushy, bossy, or even to show that they are angry with them when a dog does something wrong. Actually, it’s nothing of the sort. Let’s look at the definition of dominance.


  1. a: commanding, controlling, or prevailing over all others
  2. b: very important, powerful, or successful
  3. overlooking and commanding from a superior position
  4. of, relating to, or exerting ecological or genetic dominance
  5. being the one of a pair of bodily structures that is the more effective or predominant in action

Nowhere in that definition is the word pushy, bossy, or angry.

Your dog should respect and look up to you, not fear you!

The Dominance Based Dog Training Uses “Pack Leader” Method

Never mistake the word dominance for mean or angry or aggressive. To dominate over your dog means to communicate to your dog that you are the leader and they must follow you.

Many scientists no longer believe that the domestic dog is like wolfs in the wild. But, even if that were true. Alpha wolves or pack leaders are not aggressive, angry, or bossy and the lower members of the pack do not fear them, they respect them.

Pack leaders set the rules and expect them to be followed. They set boundaries and expect them to not be crossed. They set limits on what the others are allowed to do or are not allowed to do and expect everyone to stay within their limits. They are not dominate-aggressive, they are calm and assertive.

How to be a Good Pack Leader:

Dogs need a dominant, (calm, assertive) leader.  They need to know where their place is and what their limits are. Dogs instinctually crave this leadership and guidance. Size means nothing. What really matters to them is the energy that you give out. They know by your energy what you are feeling. Angry humans make fearful angry dogs. A person who lacks confidence will have a dog that lacks confidence and will not listen to that person’s commands.

This is a scared little Chihuahua. (notice the body language). Don’t do this to your dog

If you find yourself correcting your dog with anger, STOP. Your dog should respect you, never ever fear you. If your dog respects you they will happily and even eagerly follow you. You will never get respect from your dog using fear and/or aggression.

There is so much emphasis on dominance in the world of dog training, but so many people have the wrong idea as to what that means. Our precious fur babies are paying the price. Feel free to share this with others by clicking on one of the social media icons below, or forwarding it to a friend by email.

Recommended Training Supplies:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *