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A dog displaying dominance will carry her ears straight up or forward, her mouth will be slightly open to display teeth, and her eyes will be wide and staring. Her body will be stiff and she'll learn slightly forward. Her hackles (fur on the back of her neck) may be raised and her tail will be stiff with a slight wag. She may assert herself with a low growl.
This tip describes aggression, not dominance. Dominant dogs are often the strongest, most confident dogs in the pack. Dominance doesn't imply malicious behavior, and shouldn't be interpreted as a negative personality trait.
My fox terrier has a dominant personality, but is never aggressive or vicious. He tends to be stubborn or headstrong, and can require more work to train, but he is also incredibly affectionate, funny and intelligent.
With proper training and socialization, dominance is a very positive trait for a dog to have.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|