Recognizing Dominance

     You can recognize the dominant dogs in any pack by their body language when establishing status.  A dominant dog will often carry its tail high, well over the back, walk “on tiptoe,” and approach other dogs directly face-to-face.  It will attempt to put its head and neck over the necks and backs of other dogs, put its paws on their backs, or even mount them.  The dominant dog may also show its teeth and emit a low grow.

     On meeting a more dominant dog, the less dominant dog will often lick the first dog’s face to express its friendliness and acknowledge its inferior status.  The less dominant dog may also bow its legs and drop its head or even fall on the ground and expose its belly.  The dominant dog may simply accept this as its due, without any obvious response, or it may lick the less dominant dog in return or sniff it a little.  In either case, after such a meeting, all will likely be well between the dogs.


What’s In

Let the Dog Decide