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What Breeds Show Dominance

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Dr. James C. Ha, Ph.D., CAAB is a professor of applied animal behavior at the University of WA and a certified applied animal behavior with over 30 years of experience in animal behavior teaching, research, consulting, and expert witness services.

Are there breeds who do tend to be more dominant?

There is one group of breeds that have been described by the geneticist and are called the ancient breeds. And those members, the breeds that are part of that group basically are indistinguishable from wolves in their genetics. And so they tend to be very wolf-like, tend to be more aggressive, tend to be very powerful hunters, tend to have much stronger dominance hierarchies and there are dominance issues. So when we see dominance regarding very rare as behavior issues in dogs, but when we do see dominance issues either between two dogs or between dog and owner, it tends to be in one of those ancient breeds.


What breeds of dogs show dominance?

The fourteen ancient breeds identified in the study are from the following locations: Central Africa (Basenji), the Middle East (Saluki and Afghan), Tibet (Tibetan Terrier and Lhasa Apso), China (Chow Chow, Pekingese, Shar-Pei, and Shi Tzu), Japan (Akita and Shiba Inu), and the Arctic (Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, and Samoyed). These breeds are almost indistinguishable from wolves in genetics. They tend to be more independent, are more likely to lose the need to “please their human” and are overall more wolf like.

They have very specific needs in terms of jobs and purpose. A simple walk around the neighborhood might not be enough for them. They are some of the more intelligent breeds and need mental stimulation as well as physical.