Most problem dogs are leader types, they are trying to control the activities of the family or certain individuals in the group. In some cases the dogs are in conflict with their physical environment or external social elements, such as fences, tethers, neighborhood children, cats, other dogs, mailmen or visitors. A dog that wants to control these elements, or to lead the activities of its human family pack, is doomed to a life of frustration.
Leader-type dogs exhibit any or all of the following behavior, both on and off their home territory:
- – Precedes owner through doors or when walking in almost any direction.
- – Does not obey the owner’s commands.
- – Displays anxiety about new people or situations.
- – Interferes with the owner’s interactions with other people.
- – Nudges the owner persistently for physical petting.
When a dog assumes a leadership role in its owner relationships, it usually exhibits behavior that provides clues, even off the home property. Some easily detected signs are:
- – Protectiveness of the owner.
- – Nervousness (anxiety about the new area, scouting the area).
- – Lack of response to the owner’s direction.
- – Rushes in or out of doors ahead of the owner.
- – Interferes with the owner’s interactions with other people in the new situation.