Join Date: Apr 2014
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I found this on the internet and believe the advice to be spot-on. Our Robbie demonstrated his dominate behavior at 6 weeks old.
1. Roll the puppy on its back and rub its tummy. How easily does it allow itself to be on its back with its tummy being touched?
2. Gently squeeze its paws. Put the pup on the ground and hold its two front paws, then hold onto its back paws. Restrain the puppy for a minute, but do not hurt the puppy. Does it allow its paws to be touched without getting annoyed or growling?
3. Play with the puppyís ears. Does the puppy mind if its ears are touched and gently tugged?
4. Hold the pupís tail. Does it allow its tail to be tugged?
When performing your test, be careful not to hurt the puppy. Any dog in pain may react. You are simply trying to see how well he tolerates being handled. Rolling the puppy on its back is putting it in a submissive position. A more dominating dog will not tolerate this as well as a puppy that is more on the submissive side.
How does the puppy approach humans and the other dogs in the litter? Is he standing high and proud, or is he holding his head low, as if he was a little sad? Dogs with higher dominancy levels will approach standing high and proud, ears perked. While this looks adorable, keep in mind this is how a dominant dog carries himself. A submissive dog will hold his head low, ears back, and slink himself down, trying to look smaller. Submissive dogs are easier to deal with than dominant dogs. If you do not feel you have a complete understanding of canines and what it takes to be a true pack leader to your dog, you should pick a submissive puppy. Read up on the subject because all dogs need a pack leader, no matter what their dominancy level is. All dogs need to have their instincts fulfilled to happily coincide with humans.
If possible, watch the litter at feeding time. Which pup is the most assertive at getting the food? Which pup tries the least? The pup that gets most of the food or is more pushy about it is the more dominant pup.
Place all of the pups up on something such as a chair (one that is at a safe jumping distance). Which pup insists on jumping off first? Which pup is content to stay longer and watch the others? The pup that is willing to sit back and watch will tend to be the more submissive pup, hence an easier pup to handle.
Watch the pups play and interact. Which pup is dominating the play?
Kris and her big boy Robbie!