Learning how to train a dog that has a dominant demeanor can be a challenge. While dog training is not always easy, an aggressive or stubborn American Staffordshire brings added difficulties. They may not appear to listen to your commands or they may use certain behavior to assert their authority.
The dominant behavior that your dog may be exhibiting does not have to be a permanent problem. They just need some behavioral dog training.
Use the following tips to learn how to train a dominant dog.
Teach Your Dog the 5 Basic Dog Training Commands
As part of your dog training, you need to teach your American Staffordshire the most basic commands. Without these commands, you will find it incredibly difficult to correct negative behavior. These commands include:
These 5 commands are key to having a well-behaved dog and should be the starting point for your training. You will use these commands in almost every step of dog training. Remain patient and take your time.
You should start with sit and down. These are generally the two easiest commands to teach. Come and heel are equally important commands, but may take additional training.
When playing fetch with your American Staffordshire or feeding a treat, you can focus on the stay command. Make your dog wait for your command before accepting a treat or going to fetch a toy. This helps reinforce the concept that you are the leader of the pack.
You Should Enter the Room Before Your Dog
When going through a doorway, such as entering or leaving your house to go for a walk, you should enter the room before your American Staffordshire. You are the leader of the pack. This means that you take the lead. Do not let your dog rush ahead of you.
Teach Your Dog to Earn Your Attention
Dominant dogs will attempt to get what they want when they want. Teach your American Staffordshire to earn your attention. If your dog regularly attempts to initiate games and interaction, you should make them wait until you are ready. In order to do this, perform a simple command before you play fetch or give your dog affection. This could be as simple as commanding your dog to sit and stay or lay down.
Keep Your Dog Stimulated
Make sure that your dog is properly stimulated. A bored dog is more likely to display dominant traits. They may also chew on household items and furniture or exhibit other destructive behavior. The two best methods of stimulation include going for a walk and playing games.
Pay Attention to the Games You Play
Playing games with your American Staffordshire is a great way to keep them entertained, while teaching positive behavior. But, you need to pay attention to the games that you choose. Playing games that that do not promote aggression will help with dog training a dominant dog. This includes playing fetch.
Playing fetch teaches your dog to work with you and for you. You are teaching your dog to fetch the toy when you throw it and then to bring back to you. This is the opposite of playing tug-of-war.
Tug-of-war can encourage aggressive behavior in your American Staffordshire. This teaches your dog various negative lessons. They begin to learn how powerful their jaws and teeth are. They may even learn that they are stronger than you. This could be detrimental to your success at learning how to train a dog.
Whenever playing a game with your dog that involves a toy, you should “win” the majority of the time. This means that you are the one that ends up with the toy in the end. You should also never use your hands to play in an aggressive manner with your dog.
Ensuring that your dog gets plenty of exercise and stimulation will help prevent boredom and can encourage positive behavior. Take your dog for regular walks and play friendly games, such as fetch, instead of tug-o-war.
Dog training is not always easy. In fact, it can be incredibly frustrating at times. Remember to be patient and firm with your American Staffordshire. It may take a while before you notice significant results. But, even a dominant dog ultimately wants to please his or her owner. Use these dog training tips as a starting point as you learn how to train a dog.
See you soon.