When you have eaten your meal and cleared away, make your dog sit before giving him his bowl of food and allowing him to eat. If you have been in the habit of feeding your dog before your dinner, or even during, this new routine may be very confusing for your dog at first. Be patient – if he whines or makes a fuss while you’re eating, it is simply part of his learning process. You are giving him new signals, new information about the pack and you must give him time to understand this. Be firm, kind and patient.
Secondly, you should always enter boundaries before your dog, especially doorways, stairs and narrow passages. You must NEVER let your dog push past you or go in front of you. The alpha dog in a dog pack would not allow a subordinate dog to enter a boundary before him, and neither should you. Use a lead to control your dog if necessary, but always ensure you enter before your dog.
You should never let your dog run up a stairway in front of you. This allows him to run to the top and look down on you, exhibiting dominant behaviour. The key to this is NOT to punish the wrong behaviour – it is too late to do that – simply physically stop him from exhibiting this form of alpha dog behaviour in the first place. Use a leash, close doors, give a short, sharp shout, whatever your dog responds to, and always remember to be firm, kind and respectful. You are talking to your dog, not trying to bully him into submission. The key these principals are repetition, consistency and patience.