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do I have a problem?

Posted by:  Robbie
Category:   General Training
Posted on:  August 09, 2001 at 15:11:52

Question:

Last week I saw a snippet of an interview with a woman who authored a book called "The Dog Listener." She indicated that dogs bark more when they don't see you as alpha . . . their line of reasoning being, "If I'm the boss, then it's MY job to protect us and our home." A dog who trusts his owner as alpha would bark less because he would trust the owner to protect everyone and everything.

For a first-time dog owner, I thought I had done a fairly good job of establishing dominance with my almost-2-year-old Jack, but this is making me wonder. She does bark (more than I would like but not insanely) at people and cars coming around, but I had assumed that was a mixture of typical dog behavior and the fact that our home is fairly secluded so it's more of an event when someone comes by. She barks at cats and squirrels in the yard too, but I assumed that was typical as well.

Do you agree that the barking means she doesn't trust me to take care of her . . . or did I maybe take something out of context from this interview? I know I don't do all of the things I COULD do to establish dominance, but I was operating under the assumption that "if it ain't broken, don't fix it." Maybe it really is broken, and I just didn't know it?