Our dog was a rescue. He’s been abused and he trusts men more than women. However, as time has passed he learned how to trust my wife and myself equally. But how does a dog decide who he likes best when it comes to nap time and should he be napping with you at all?
Doggie Feelings Aren’t Concealed
Dogs don’t hide their feelings when it comes down to who they like. They do not discriminate or hide to whom their allegiance belongs. Some dogs prefer the male for some things and prefer the female for other things. Their bonds are undeniable however and you can visually see when a dog likes someone as opposed to when a dog worships someone!
A dog may actually love and become close to every family member but usually a very special bond is established with one family member.
Alpha Family Member
Your dog can sense who is the boss of the house and will want to be with that person who will keep him safe, fed, groomed, and entertained. This person, in the eyes of the canine, becomes the alpha member of the pack and Fido will follow the alpha everywhere, even into bed when invited (unless Fido is crate trained where the crate becomes his own safe place).
Pup Should Know Pup’s Place!
It’s important for your dog to know its place in the human pack. If your dog growls and guards his food or growls at any family member, you could be in serious trouble if you allow this behavior to continue.
A dog without a place within the pack will be an unhappy dog. Aggression isn’t the only way a dog manifests unhappiness. Unhappiness can be displayed by signs of separation anxiety, like wrecking the house while you’re away! Another sign is when a dog steals food right out of your hands. This means he has no respect for you and doesn’t see you as the human pack leader. A dog that knows his place in the household is a happy dog and a dog that doesn’t know his place is an unhappy and confused dog who will display much unwanted behavior because of it!
One way to establish yourself as the pack leader is to take your dog for a walk on the leash, believe it or not! This isn’t just a regular every day simple walk however, this is an obedience walk. This walk will have you making your dog heel beside or behind you, never allowing him to get ahead or dawdle behind in some sniffing frenzy. In a dog’s mind, the leader always leads the way.
Nap Time No No’s
When it comes to nap time, the choice shouldn’t be left to the dog. In an ideal situation a dog should never be allowed to sleep in your bed, the bed is reserved for the highest members of the pack! If you allow your dog to sleep in your bed he must be invited into your bed and not simply jump in the bed and push everyone out. Making them sleep at the foot of the bed and not on your pillow is also advised if you want your canine friend to realize who’s the pack lead.
Alpha Is Important
Establishing yourself and other humans in the household as alphas is an important task if you want your dog to obey and respect you and others. Without stern guidance your family pet will become more of a nuisance than a friend – and no one wants that outcome!
By Tom Matteo
About the Author
Tom Matteo has been a freelance writer since 1992. He has written hardware and software reviews for computers and gaming systems, and now writes about animal behavior and care. Tom resides in Bethlehem, PA with his wife, Tina, and their beloved cockapoo, Angel.