How to Get Your Dog to Respect You as the Alpha [15 Effective Ways]

Dogs can be loyal and devoted companions to their owners. But before you form this unbreakable bond, you first have to gain the canine’s trust and respect. This is every owner’s goal, which can be challenging depending on the dogs’ breed. Still, knowing how to get your dog to respect you isn’t a lost cause. You just have to take it slowly, until the pooch yields to your tender love and care.

Becoming the leader of the pack

When you own a dog, you must become the leader of the pack. This way, your pooch will learn that you are the alpha. If not, they will dominate your household and it will make obedience and advanced training a pain.

Also, as the leader of the pack, you can control your dog. They will also look up to you before doing an action. It’s essential so your pooch will grow as a discipline canine and they will also be safe around other people.

Are you a bad leader? In this video, McCann Dog Training tells us more about the type of leadership and how you can be the alpha to your dog:

Does your dog respect you?

This question is quite tricky. Still, some general habits may show if your dog respects you as its owner or if they are trying to reign over.

One tell-tale sign here is if your dog doesn’t listen to you. However, we have to factor in the possibility that you’re yet to impose obedience training to the new pooch. But if you already taught basic commands and the doggo declines to follow, you need to reassess the relationship between you and your pet.

Also, if your dog walks away from you when you’re talking or scolding them is another possible sign.

When your dog steps over the line, it’s time to show it who the boss is.

Let’s answer a few questions:

*Does your dog lunge over your plate of food?
*Do they pull your pants so they can drag you outdoors?
*Does he put his butt on your face when you’re lying on the couch or your bed?
*Does the dog sit on the other side of the room instead of joining you?

How to get your dog to respect you?

If your answer to these questions is yes, then you probably have a reluctant dog. It’s time to teach the pooch some lessons.

1.      Be the protector

Before you get the trust and respect of your dog, you have to show them that you’re their friend. Always guard them against aggressive dogs and other potential harm. If you’re bringing them outdoors, make sure that you can break dog fights right away even before it becomes a problematic situation.

how to get your dog to respect you

Aside from guarding them against direct harm, you should also protect them from fleas, ticks, and other parasites that will hurt their bodies. This includes giving them proper nourishment so they won’t get sick or susceptible to various illnesses.

When you get to do this, you’ll start winning the heart of your pooch.

2.      Give the dogs’ needs

Do you want your dog to follow you around? Then be the one to feed them. By providing their needs, your dog will depend on you for survival. This includes food, water, healthcare, playtime, and more.

So what’s special about feeding your pooch that will earn you their trust? Let them earn their dinner or let the pooch earn extra treats by following your commands. Once the pooch knows that you have control over what they can eat, they will start to give you their respect.

Also, let the dog wait. This way, you can instill your authority. Never give in to their begging or whining as this will fuel a negative behavior.

3.      Know the difference between firm and terrifying

When it comes to new dogs, you have to be firm so they will know their boundaries. However, there’s a fine line between being firm and being terrifying.

Do you shout fiercely when your doggo does something you don’t like? If so, you’re being terrifying. Instead of earning your dog’s respect, you’re developing fear. This isn’t something you’d want to happen. The next time you try to woo your dog, it will hide thinking that you will shout or hurt them.

If you want to reprimand your dog, just say a firm “No!”. If the pooch doesn’t yield, leave them or skip playtime. This is the process of teaching the pooch that every bad move has a consequence.

4.      Play and walk with them

Do you really want to form the bond between you and your dog? Nothing does it better than taking them to regular walks. Canines are obsessed with walking outdoors as it allows them to discover a bigger world aside from your house.

Once your dog realizes that you control walks and playtime, they will respect you like never before. Still, make sure that you are leading them and not them leading you during the walk. Also, don’t let your pooch go wherever it wants to go.

It’s best to control their tracks so they will know their limits. Once your pooch follows your lead, give it a low-value reward. It could be a small snack or a piece of kibble.

5.      Comfort the doggo

Vet visits can be terrifying, especially for puppies. During this moment, you should be present to comfort your pooch.

Is it the New Year? Make sure that you keep them cozy inside an enclosed room. If possible, accompany them until the sounds of the loud fireworks are gone.

Such simple acts never go unnoticed when it comes to dogs. Pair it with other tips here and your dog will surely look up to you as the alpha.

how to get your dog to respect you

6.      Let them earn their keep

If you really want your dog to respect you, never spoil them with toys and treats it never earned. Like humans, your pooch should earn its keep by following commands. It’s a good way to promote continuous training while raising a well-rounded canine.

You can perform drills and see how your dog will fare. By doing this, your dog will know that treats don’t come free and it should be worked hard for.

A spoiled dog will be whiny. It will be challenging to correct this behavior, especially if you’re letting them get what they want all the time.

7.      Employ obedience lessons

Do you know how to get your dog to respect you? If not, start with obedience training and everything else will follow. Teach your pet basic commands like “Sit!”, “Stay!”, and “Leave it!”. These are the foundations of other commands and it will help mold your dog into a disciplined pet.

Like what they say, start your dog young. Obedience lessons are imperative for all canines, regardless of breed, intelligence level, and predispositions.

You can also use obedience training for your dog to earn its treats. As you see, these tips converge at some point.

8.      Use the reward system

If you are to train your pooch, only use the positive reinforcement technique. This process uses rewards instead of punishments to encourage the canine to obey and learn new commands.

Instead of hitting your dog when it fails to follow, you’ll just deprive it with the delicious treat. This positive way of dealing with negative behavior is widely used even by expert trainers.

Take note that violence will form more behavioral problems. No matter how stubborn your dog is, you should be patient. You can always ask the help of a professional dog expert if your dog breed is challenging to train than most.

9.      Set the rules

It’s very important to set the rules between you and your dog. It includes no sitting on the couch, no sleeping in the bedroom, you exit the door first before him, and so on. These little details will catapult you as the alpha.

Once you set the rules, you should stick to it, come what may. This way, your dog won’t take chances of stepping beyond the line.

Also, a set of rules will help you as the owner to know how to deal with your dog’s behavior. So aside from setting the rules for your pet, you should also set some rules on your end as the master.

how to get your dog to respect you

10.  Bring them to your adventures

Dogs love fun owners. So if you’re going to an out-of-town vacation, you can consider bringing the pooch with you. This way, they can be exposed to other people and other environments aside from the path you take when walking around the neigborhood.

Also, going on adventures with your dog will strengthen your bond with each other. It’s also a great time to enhance your connection with your pet.

11.  Show that you’re the boss

It may sound tough, but your doggo must know that you are his boss. This way, they will not try to do things on their own. Even if they attempt to do so, you can impose your authority.

Remember, you need to be the alpha. But unlike dealing with humans, you have to express this superiority in different ways when it comes to dogs.

So how can you show that you’re the boss? Well, control when playtime starts and ends. Also, ask your dog to surrender the toy once you’re done playing.

12.  Be consistent

Inconsistency on your rules and practices won’t just confuse your dog. It will also make them realize that they could get away with a negative behavior if they try.

Like raising a child, you have to be consistent with training and socialization if you want your dog to grow properly. Remember, your dog becomes who you raise it to be. So if you’re a negligent dog owner, you will have a careless dog in a few years.

13.  Give them their private spot

As much as you are the master, you should give your dog its private spot where it can rest. Also, this will become the canine’s territory, which is something that aligns with their hard-wired instincts.

And just like how you want your dog to respect your space, you should also respect theirs. Never change their private spot repeatedly, or they will think that the whole house is theirs.

Moreover, make sure that their bed or private spot is cozy. This is so they will have a comfy sleep at night. It will also save you from being kicked out of the bed by your large dog.

14.  Don’t let them reign on the couch

This one’s simple, but it says a lot about how your dog treats you. If they don’t scoot out of the couch for you, they probably think that they are the boss. Worse, they will snarl or growl at you if you try to remove them.

The key here is training and positive reinforcement. Setting boundaries is also crucial, so you and your dog can co-exist harmoniously.

You can still let your dog into the couch, but only if you signal them to do so. This way, the pooch will know that the couch is your territory and they have to ask permission first.

15.  Be there for them

Most of all, be there for your dog. Although there’s a saying that goes “distance can make the heart grow fonder”, it doesn’t apply to new dogs. You have to be present first so that they will recognize your scent, your voice, your habits, and your personality.

This solid foundation is crucial, so your dog will get used to your presence. Once you form a strong bond with your pooch, it will be unbreakable. Knowing how to get your dog to respect you starts with your presence.

Wrapping Up

Knowing how to get your dog to respect you can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. You just have to be patient and caring as a new dog owner. Also, never hit or shout at your pooch when they’ve done something wrong. Positive reinforcement is always the name of the game.

Owning a dog is a wonderful experience. Once you become the alpha, you and your dog will grow closer. Also, you’ll form an unbreakable bond with your pet.

What do you think of our suggestions here? How did you gain your dog’s respect? Let us know in the comment section!