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Discussion Starter #1
Sometimes I will get down to Ren's eye level when playing with him. Yesterday while I was on the kitchen floor on my stomach, he got up on my back and started walking around. I let him do it because I enjoyed his paws tickling my back, and he came around to my front and licked my ear. :)

This morning we were doing it again, and my husband said it wasn't a good idea. He said that letting a dog stand on top of me will make him think that he is "top dog" in the relationship. I know that Ren already thinks of me as dominant, as he sometimes displays submissive behaviors toward me, such as when I go to pick him up. I asked my husband if this could really cause a problem and he said, "Look it up." I tried googling but wasn't able to find much. Has anyone else heard of this?
 

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I wouldn't worry about it. He already knows you are the leader. He is playing 'king of the mountain' and that's OK. If he was growling, snarling and trying to be nasty, I'd worry, but this is pure play.
 

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Doesn't sound you have anything to worry about tbh, a dog isn't constantly tryign to 1up you or to be dominant, people can get too obsessed with apparant alpha behavior and status.
I'm sure he is quite content! I'm sure in the wild packs the little pups annoy and climb all over the parents all the time :D
 

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Yeah, as everyone else has said, letting your pup climb on you won't give him sudden delusions of grandeur. Even when dogs play together, the 'top dog' will sometimes flop onto their back and let the more submissive dog stand over them. It's play, it's not meant to be taken seriously.
 

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I agree with everyone else. Kerri will take naps on me while I am laying down on the couch, or crawl on me while we are playing and she is the least dominate thing on the planet. I am certainly the leader in my house and I enforce rules and don't take bs from my dogs- so it is not like I am just oblivious to it. Maybe if you had a wanna be alpha dog with a big attitude problem who you had no control over it would be a bad idea to play like that but otherwise it seems just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the replies everyone! I told my husband that I couldn't find anything online that said letting the dog walk on you was bad, and if he found something that said so, to let me know.

Ren seems very happy letting me be the alpha dog, so I guess I have nothing to worry about. :)
 

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I just saw this and I'd agree with the majority of the answers you've been given.
I've even got one that sleeps on my back! ha ha
 

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Bella and Lina like to climb on top of our laps, our chest, or all over us when my hubby or I are sitting down or lying down on the sofa for a nap. The girls just want to play, cuddle, and get as close as possible to us. They love to be all over us, and at the same time both girls respect us as their alpha leaders. :)
 

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The 'alpha/dominance' theory is slowly but surly loosing ground nowadays. If you truly watch a pack of dogs (or wild canids) you will realize there's a heirarchy, but not a dominant/submissive order so much as a family group working with each other and full of respect.

IF you are sticking with the dominant//submissive theory, once play has been invoked, all the rules change and everyone gets a turn at being top dog/underdog. One of the best ways of bonding with your dog - of whatever size, is to get on the floor and just PLAY! Laughter and fun builds bonds in all species. Think about it, what made you become friends with your human friends? Dominance or laughter?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If he is growling and biting when you put clothes on him, you may well have dominance issues.
You may have a point, but so far that is the only time he has growled at me. It may be like others said in the thread, that it was hurting him to have the shirt pulled on. I did manage to get the larger size shirt on him without growling or biting, although it looked much too big when it was on. So I will be taking things more slowly with clothes and also sticking to stretchy and/or sleeveless items for now.
 

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Rolo loves to cuddle under my chin too. He likes to be as close to my face as possible and he climb all over me all the time. I'm sure he knows I'm boss because when I go to pick him up (especially if he's doing something he shouldn't be) he rolls over onto his back and gives me his tummy. I wouldn't worry. It would be different I think if we were talking about big dogs. I think sometimes they realise we are boss purely because of the size difference !


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