Having the respect of your dog, and being its pack leader is the most important thing in helping establish a healthy relationship between you and your pooch, and make the relationship as enjoyable and easy as possible.

People often talk about how unconditionally their dog loves them; however, no matter how much love your dog shows you, it still does not mean that it respects you. Even though love between a dog and its owner is an important thing, having the respect of your dog will make showing your love to your dog easier, and more meaningful. So, let’s figure out whether or not your dog respects you as a matter of course, and sees you as its pack leader.

Are You the Pack Leader?

A fine point, which people often miss, is that a dog doesn’t want a best friend; instead, a dog wants a confident and kind leader. It needs to be guided, shown the right way from wrong, and receive this guidance in a confident and gentle (yet firm) manner.

Being the pack leader, and the alpha, is not getting angry and yelling every time your dog does something you don’t like. Providing firm leadership and guidelines, and making sure your dog sticks to it is what she needs.

Signs that Your Dog Respects You

There are many physical gestures and body signals that can tell you whether your dog see you as its leader.

  • When you come into your dog’s presence, if your dog approaches you in a submissive body language, such as laid back years, then it can be a sign that your dog respects you.
  • If your dog waits for you to cross a threshold before it follows you, it is a sign of respect. On the other hand, if she rushes through the door ahead of you, then that is a sign of disrespect.
  • If your dog never tries to steal food from your plate or your hand, and always waits his turn to be fed, it means she respects you.
  • If your dog frees space on the couch or anywhere in the house to allow you space to sit or stand, then it is a sign that she respects you.
  • If your dog obeys your commands, that is a sign that it respects you. Not following commands is a very basic way to figure out whether your dog respects you; of course, she needs to have been taught the command beforehand.
  • If you are walking your dog, and it walks next to you or follows you, it is a sign of respect. If it moves ahead of you and pulls on the leash that is a very clear sign of disrespect.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of earning your dog’s respect, and the role it plays in making a happy life for the dog, and having a great pet by the owner.