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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have only had our rescue dog for 5 days. She is doing pretty well, no major complaints to be honest.

I just get the feeling she thinks she is boss. I can get her to sit with treats, but playing with the ball, there is no way she will drop it and she won't look at me.

She isn't that great on the lead when walking at the moment but I think that will calm down.

I'm wondering if there are any little tips out there for dog owners to ensure their dogs know who is boss. I get the feeling she is trying to dominate all the time, but biting the lead, jumping up etc.

She is also sleeping on a bed outside our room, I'm wondering if that is Ok also.

Thank you!
 

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We have only had our rescue dog for 5 days. She is doing pretty well, no major complaints to be honest.

I just get the feeling she thinks she is boss. I can get her to sit with treats, but playing with the ball, there is no way she will drop it and she won't look at me.

She isn't that great on the lead when walking at the moment but I think that will calm down.

I'm wondering if there are any little tips out there for dog owners to ensure their dogs know who is boss. I get the feeling she is trying to dominate all the time, but biting the lead, jumping up etc.

She is also sleeping on a bed outside our room, I'm wondering if that is Ok also.

Thank you!
No, she does not think she is boss. No, she is not trying to dominate you. No, she is not out to take over your house.

She does not know what your rules are. She does not know what you are saying to her. She does not know how to walk properly on lead.

My main tip is to quit thinking she's trying to be dominate. Dogs do not operate like that. They simply do what gets them what they want. They pull because they thinks it gets them where they want to go. They jump up because it gets them attention. They resource guard because they think people or other dogs will take what they value. They don't obey commands because they do not understand what the owner wants. They only obey when the owner has treats because the owner didn't know how to use treats properly. Here's our sticky thread on dominance http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/dominance-dogs-4076/

The sad thing is that when owners start to try to find dominant behavior they can see it in just about everything the dog does that they do not like. In my own dog, if I didn't know better, I'd say he was trying to dominate people because he barks, growls, and lunges at them. What he's really trying to do is scare them off because he's afraid of them.

For his obeying only for treats, you should not show the dog the treat. Get some treats and put them in your pocket, or a treat pouch, carry them around with you so that he always smells treats but he stops paying attention to them. Then when you train him you give him one of those treats. When you do that your treats are a reward. When he has to see them to obey they become a bribe. Make sure to train first in a place with minimum distractions, once he's good in that place move to a place with a few more distractions. Here's a link to training with treats http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/thoughts-training-food-1219/
 

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The only real boss is Alisa Milano!

But seriously, whatever notions of dominate behaviour you have in your head forget them, they are outdated and wrong.

Your dog is being a dog. And has only been with you for 5 days, takes a few weeks, sometimes months for their true personality to come out.

How old is the dog?

Re: playing with ball she doesn't want you to take the ball away because she's not sure she'll get it back. Offer her a treat and ask her to 'drop it'. If she doesn't drop the ball, put the treat right infront of her nose and again say drop it at the same time. Keep reinforcing this and always give or return to playing with the ball (works with other toys too) if you want to stop playing with the ball give her a few treats, take the ball away, and say that's enough. or something like that.

Walking takes time to teach. By biting the leash and jumping it sounds like she just wants to play. Loose leash walking takes time.
 

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You've had her for five days! You just haven't trained her yet! Have you taught her what drop it means, or do you just expect her to know? Dogs don't automatically know how to behave in a human dominated world- a lot of "bad" behaviors like jumping, biting the leash, pulling, etc are just normal dog behaviors.

Maybe she won't look at you because you are getting frustrated or trying to dominate her. Dogs can find direct eye contact to be threatening so she might be fearful, stressed, and/or trying to calm you down by not looking at you.

A lot of people on this forum suggest kikopup on youtube and her videos and training methods are easily accessible. But there are a lot of other great trainers out there as well!

Kikopup:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-qnqaajTk6bfs3UZuue6IQ
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you both!

She is actually a lovely thing and really does want to please. Quite sooky and always wants cuddles. Both of your messages have been very comforting.
 

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A good book for you might be Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson. Explains why we sometimes have trouble understanding our dogs and what is motivating their behavior. It is a very enlightening book for dog owners.

Dogs are not out to boss us around. They do what works. We have to teach them how to get along in our world which must seem quite insane to a dog. Pee here, don't pee there. Chew this, don't chew that. Run and get the ball and then give it to me. None of that makes any sense to a dog. :)They're really very good at adapting to our crazy rules, if we learn how to effectively communicate with them. Good for you for asking for advice.
 

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