Woman training a small dog in a park

Finding Common Ground While Living With A Diva Pooch

Dogs are truly a man’s or a woman’s best friend. There are a lots of people in the world who will tell you that their pooch is much more reliable than any human that they have ever met, and this includes their spouses. Dogs can add so much to your life, and if you have managed to adopt a diva dog, you will certainly never be bored, but you had better beware.

A diva dog is one that believes that she or he has complete authority over you and your home. He honestly believes that he calls the shots, and if you are not careful, you might find yourself being completely beholden to your dog. Other characteristics that define the diva dog include, but are not limited to:

  • Dictating where he wants to be, when he wants to be there and for how long
  • Positioning himself so that he is the first to walk through the door after a walk or outing
  • Preventing you from having a conversation on the phone without interruption

Make no mistake about it, when it comes to a Yes this is Burger King, and I most certainly will have it my way kind of a dog, you can’t be dismissive of their behavior because of size or level of cuteness. As a matter of fact, there are some shih tzus out there who will turn your world upside down if you don’t put their attitudes in check. You have to understand that diva dogs are extremely confident, and their boldness has no boundaries whatsoever. You have a pooch that relishes and even takes pride in the fact that he has the ability to dominate you and any dog that he encounters.

At this point, you may be thinking that you have adopted a furry adaptation of Alexander the Great, but there is some common ground that you and your little king or queen can find. Here are some training tips to help you and your pooch reach some consensus so that you are not left feeling like you are the hired help.

Assert Some Authority And Give Some Direction

A dog with no direction is just going to make it up as he goes along. But in the case of the fur baby that has taken control of the house, often times he has chosen to do so because he does not have the sense that anyone else has assumed the role of pack leader. You need to show your dog that you have authority over your household.

If your pup is engaging in behaviors that you find less than desirable, like jumping on your couch with his favorite stuffed toy just dripping with a fresh coat of doggy saliva for instance, it is simply not enough to tell him no. You should try telling him to get down and then place his toy on the floor. Taking the extra step of placing the toy on the floor along with giving the command of down gives your dog both a verbal and visual indication that placing his juicy toy on the furniture is something that displeases you.

No Mixed Messages

If you have decided on a training method for your dog, everyone in the house needs to be on one accord. You absolutely have to present a united front when dealing with a dog who believes that they rule the roost. Make sure that everyone is using the same verbiage when giving your dog directives. If you have made the decision that your furniture is off limits, everyone in the house must be committed to making sure that they are consistent when dealing with your dog. You should also avoid getting down on your dogs level once you have decided where he can and can’t play. If the floor is his designated play space then you need to resist the urge to get down on the floor with your pooch when he is playing and enjoy your free time on your couch.

You have to remember that the more socialized a dog is, the smarter he becomes, so if you have laid down the law, you are following the plan to a tee, and your spouse allows your dog to sit on the couch with him while you are away, you are going to have some serious issues because you are not only sending your pooch mixed messages, but you are teaching him that he can play one of you against the other. There is no peace to be found in a home with a manipulative dog.

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You have to provide an overbearing dog some structure. Obedience training is a great way to for you and your dog to learn how to effectively communicate with each other. Commands like stay, sit, and wait can be used as often as necessary while you are preparing meals for example, to control begging. These commands are also good to use when your pooch is getting out of the car, walking out of your home or while attempting to groom your pushy dog. Train your dog to lie down and stay in place when you sit down for dinner. Feed him only after you have completed your meal, this will serve as a subtle reminder to your dog of where he is ranked in the family pack.

You can reclaim your kingdom from your pushy pooch without ruling it like a dictatorship. As history goes, that whole dictatorship thing has never really worked out for anybody anyway. Instead take the lead when going on walks. Provide your dog with the structure that he needs, and before you know it you will find the common ground that will satisfy both you and your pooch.