In nature, dogs – like wolves – live in packs. They are social animals and, as such, are comfortable living with a strict social order. Each pack has a clear leader and that leader’s job is to tell the other dogs what to do and when to do it. Without that leader, the pack would literally be lost until another competent leader stepped forward. In exchange for guiding the pack, the leader is treated with respect by the other dogs.
In dog packs, following the leader is what is expected. It comes naturally. In your home, of course you’re not going to willingly follow the whims of your dog. Plus, your dog may not be a very good leader. Some dogs are just more comfortable being submissive, but they know the pack needs them so they’ll take on the role if it’s vacant.
The bottom line is living with a dominant dog is not pleasant, but it can be overcome and even prevented.
Transforming Dominance into Submission
Turning your dog from a dominant monster into a submissive companion is easier than you might think. First, you just have to make up your mind that you are the boss and stick to it. If you say no, then the answer is no, regardless of how much bad behavior results. Second, you have to take every opportunity to establish your own dominance. For example, never let your dog eat before you – the pack leader eats first, always. You should also make your dog get off the furniture for you. During walks, you must have firm control over your dog’s movements. He should stay by your side at all times. If he’s in front of you, then he’s leading the pack. For additional tactics to employ when training your dog, read this article from Dr P's Dog Training.
If you are consistent, you’ll find your dog abandoning his dominant role and willingly taking on his more submissive position. And the result will be a more healthy and happy relationship for both of you!