The Dominant Dog
Dogs have different personality types. Since you and your dog share such a close relationship, you obviously know your dog better than anyone else. However sometimes emotional closeness and long years of togetherness can interfere with objective judgment. You and your dog play long familiar roles with each other. Of course if you are happy with the status quo there is absolutely no reason to change.
But if you would like to add some variety to your daily routine, then you need to introduce some new experiences, new activities and new tricks. This is where you will have to identify and ask yourself what personality type your dog really is. The range of canine personality types is as follows.
Now it is for you to decide what you really want from your pet. Then depending on his personality you can add emphasis wherever necessary. Be gentle in your approach or firm as required.
The Dominant Dog
Dominant dogs can prove to be quite a challenge to handle. They are so self assured and cocky. This personality trait is quite evident in the puppy stage itself. A dominant puppy will be demanding and fearless. He will always be the first to attempt to do anything. In other words his leadership characteristics will be quite predominant.
A dominant dog will try to take complete control of a situation. He is competitive, a high-risk taker, very tough minded, assertive and rather dynamic. He can prove to be quite a challenge to train. A very firm hand of authority must be used to deal with such a dog. When playing a dominant dog must not use what it presumes to be freedom of action to consolidate his dominant position.
Thus you must set the rules when playing competitive games such as tug-of-war or chasing a ball. Your dog must know in very clear terms that he must let go when told to do so. So he must begin and end the game on command. If he starts growling or snapping menacingly you must stop the game immediately.
In other words a dominant dog needs to be dealt with very firmly. Being lax on your part will result in him assuming the role of a pack leader. And this will just not work in a human – canine relationship. Any dog regardless of the personality trait must clearly know his place in the hierarchy of human society.
The timid, shy or fearful dog
The diametric opposite of a dominant dog is the timid, shy or fearful dog. Such a dog requires an experienced trainer to handle him. He will shy away from a sharp or loud command. But being too soft with him will also get your nowhere. A shy dog can be quite an opportunist and use his shyness consciously. A shy dog knows what he wants and will get what he wants maybe even more easily than his confident counterparts.
The right method of strengthening the self-confidence of a dog that is fearful is to play with him. In this manner he will gain self-assurance. He will also acquire agility skills such as seeking, retrieving or even competing. You can start with simple agility skills that your timid, shy or fearful pet will learn quickly before moving on to more complicated stuff.
The dog that is sometimes brave & sometimes fainthearted
Most dogs would fall into this category. They are neither outstandingly brave or totally fainthearted. They react depending on the prevalent situation. They are both brave and stouthearted or they just keep a cool distance. Thus try to maintain sort of flexibility when playing with him. If your doggie gets a little flustered when asked to do stuff that he is rather unaccustomed to you must try to simplify the task. So start with simple stuff first. Gradually build up the complexity. Your doggie will gradually fall in line.
Who is the boss?
Now regardless of the personality of your dog you must clearly establish one factor in no uncertain terms and that is that you are the pack leader. So you are the one who will decide when to start playing, the length of the playtime and the end of the play session. As a pack leader you should evaluate your dog’s mood on that particular day and decide what kind of game to play.
It is a good idea to have a fixed schedule with a pre-determined slot of when to play. In this way your dog will not bother you to play with him at just any time of the day. Failure to do so will have him bringing his ball or Frisbee and dropping it at your feet at just any time of the day. Or else he will come scratching at your door, beseeching you to play with him. You must store his playthings that include his toys and sports equipment somewhere that he cannot see them. In this way he will not be tempted to play at just any part of the day or night.