Preventing Dominance Issues in Lhasa Apsos

Lhasa Apsos are cute and cuddly creatures that make wonderful pets. However, just like any other breed, they are not immune to developing behavioral issues. One of the most common issues is dominance, which can manifest in several ways. As a pet owner, it’s important to understand what dominance is, why it develops, and most importantly, how to prevent it from becoming an issue in the first place. In this article, we’ll explore various prevention methods, as well as ways to recognize and deal with dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos. So, if you’re a first-time owner or a seasoned pet lover, read on to learn how to keep your furry friend happy and obedient.

Understanding Dominance in Lhasa Apsos

Understanding Dominance In Lhasa Apsos
As a Lhasa Apso owner, it is essential to understand the behavior of your pet. One of the most critical issues that you might face as an owner is dominance. Dominance is a common behavioral problem that Lhasa Apsos exhibit. It is when they exert control or authority over other animals and humans in the household. Understanding the causes and triggers of dominance in Lhasa Apsos can help prevent issues from arising. In this section, let’s delve into what dominance is and why Lhasa Apsos tend to develop this issue. To learn more about the triggers that cause dominance behavior, check out this link.

What is dominance?

Dominance is a term used to describe a dog’s behavior wherein they try to assert their power over other dogs or even humans. It is important to understand that dominance is not a personality trait of a dog, but rather a behavior that can be modified through proper training and socialization.

Dogs that exhibit dominant behavior often display aggressive or controlling behaviors, such as growling, biting, or refusing to obey commands. They may also exhibit territorial behavior, marking their territory or denying access to certain areas.

It is important to note that dominance issues are not exclusive to Lhasa Apsos, but they can be more prone to it due to their history as watchdogs. In the past, these dogs were bred to protect their owners and their property, which can lead to guarding behaviors that can become problematic if not addressed early on.

As a pet owner of a Lhasa Apso or any dog breed, it is important to establish a clear and consistent hierarchy so that your dog understands their place in the household. This can be done through proper training, socialization, and reinforcing good behavior. Refer to our next section, Training, to learn more about how to prevent and address dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos.

To understand more about dominance behavior in Lhasa Apsos, refer to our article about recognizing dominance behaviors in these dogs.

Why do Lhasa Apsos develop dominance issues?

One of the reasons why Lhasa Apsos develop dominance issues is because of their naturally strong-willed and independent nature. They were originally bred in Tibet as guard dogs, and their history of being trusted to work on their own and make decisions has contributed to their independent nature. However, this can sometimes translate to them trying to take charge in situations that they perceive as needing leadership.

Another factor that can contribute to dominance issues is lack of socialization. Lhasa Apsos that have not been exposed to different people, animals, and environments from a young age can become fearful and aggressive towards anything new or unfamiliar. This can lead them to try and take control of these situations in order to feel more comfortable and secure.

Additionally, inconsistency in training and rules can also lead to dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos. If they are not taught from a young age what behaviors are acceptable and what rules they need to follow, they may try to take advantage of their owner and exert their dominance in different situations.

It’s important to note that dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos can also be the result of medical or psychological issues. Pain, illness, or anxiety can all contribute to changes in a dog’s behavior and may cause them to become more dominant or aggressive. If you suspect that your Lhasa Apso is experiencing any medical or psychological issues, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist for advice.

To learn more about Lhasa Apso dominance issues, visit our article on lhasa-apso-dominance.

Prevention Methods

Prevention Methods
When it comes to preventing dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos, there are several methods you can implement to establish a healthy relationship with your dog. It’s important to remember that prevention is always better than trying to solve the issue later on. By taking a proactive approach in preventing dominance issues, you can avoid a lot of stress and frustration for both you and your furry companion. So, let’s dive into some effective prevention methods that will help you maintain a harmonious relationship with your Lhasa Apso.


Socialization is an important aspect in preventing dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos. It involves exposing your dog to various people, animals, and environments to help them develop good social skills and become well-adjusted to different situations.

To socialize your Lhasa Apso, you can take them to dog parks, walks in the neighborhood, or introduce them to family members or friends with other pets. During these interactions, make sure to supervise your dog and use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage good behavior.

It is important to start socializing your Lhasa Apso from a young age, as early experiences can shape their behavior and disposition. Exposure to different stimuli can help your dog develop trust and confidence, making them less prone to exhibiting dominant behavior.

Make sure to gradually introduce your dog to new experiences, giving them time to adjust and get comfortable. Overwhelming your Lhasa Apso can cause stress and anxiety, leading to negative behavior.

To help your dog feel comfortable and secure during socialization, carry treats with you and use verbal praise and encouragement to reward good behavior. This can help your Lhasa Apso associate positive experiences with socialization and create a strong bond with you as their owner.

Remember that consistent socialization throughout your dog’s life is essential to prevent dominance issues and ensure a well-adjusted furry companion. By exposing your Lhasa Apso to various stimuli and creating positive experiences, you can help them become a well-rounded and confident pet.


Training is an important aspect of preventing dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos. Proper training can help establish boundaries and ensure that your dog understands that you are the alpha. Here are some key training tips to keep in mind:

  • Start early: The earlier you start training your Lhasa Apso, the better. Puppies are more receptive to training and can learn faster, so start training as soon as you bring your new pup home.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is key to successful training. Use treats, praise, and other rewards to encourage good behavior, and avoid punishing your dog for bad behavior. Punishment can cause anxiety and aggression, which can lead to dominance issues.
  • Be consistent: Consistency is important when training your Lhasa Apso. Use the same commands and rewards every time you train, and make sure that everyone in the household is on the same page. This will help your dog understand what is expected of them and avoid confusion.
  • Teach basic commands: Teaching your Lhasa Apso basic commands like sit, stay, come, and heel is essential for establishing boundaries and maintaining control. These commands can also help keep your dog safe in potentially dangerous situations.
  • Enroll in obedience classes: Enrolling your Lhasa Apso in obedience classes can be a great way to socialize them, learn new training techniques, and reinforce good behavior. Look for classes in your area that are specifically designed for small breeds like the Lhasa Apso.

Keep in mind that training is an ongoing process. Even after your Lhasa Apso has mastered basic commands, it’s important to continue reinforcing good behavior and teaching new skills. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can help prevent dominance issues in your Lhasa Apso and build a happy, healthy relationship with your furry friend.

Consistency in Rules

Consistency in rules is one of the most important aspects of preventing dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos. Dogs thrive on routine and predictability, so it’s important to establish a set of rules and stick to them. Conflicting or inconsistent rules can cause confusion and anxiety in Lhasa Apsos, leading to dominant behavior.

To ensure consistency in rules, it’s helpful to create a schedule for feeding, exercise, and training. Establishing a routine can help your Lhasa Apso feel secure and understand what is expected of them. Additionally, it’s important to establish clear boundaries when it comes to behavior, such as not allowing your Lhasa Apso on the furniture or not allowing them to jump on people.

Another important aspect of consistency in rules is ensuring that all members of the household follow the same guidelines. Lhasa Apsos can become confused and overwhelmed if different people have different expectations for their behavior. To avoid this, sit down with your family or roommates and establish a set of clear rules and consequences for breaking them.

To keep track of the rules and expectations, you can create a chart or table that outlines them in detail. This can be posted on the fridge or in a common area where everyone can see it. Below is an example of what a consistency in rules table might look like:

RuleExpectationConsequence for Breaking Rule
No jumping on peopleAll four paws remain on floor when greetingVerbal correction and time-out
No begging at the tableLying down in designated spot during mealtimeNo food scraps during mealtime
No barking at visitorsSit quietly when guests enter the homeVerbal correction and time-out

By establishing consistent rules and consequences and ensuring that everyone in the household follows them, you can help prevent dominance issues in your Lhasa Apso. Remember, dogs thrive on routine and predictability, so consistency is key to a happy and well-behaved pup.

Avoiding Physical Punishment

It is important to note that physical punishment should always be avoided when dealing with dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos. Using physical punishment can actually make the situation worse and cause the dog to become more aggressive. Here are some alternatives to physical punishment that can be effective:

  • Positive Reinforcement: Instead of punishing negative behavior, focus on rewarding positive behavior. When your Lhasa Apso exhibits good behavior, reward them with a treat, toy, or verbal praise. This will encourage them to repeat the positive behavior in the future.
  • Redirecting Behavior: If you notice your Lhasa Apso displaying dominant behavior, instead of punishing them, redirect their behavior. Distract them with a toy or treat and redirect their attention to a different activity. This will help to prevent the dominant behavior from escalating.
  • Ignoring Negative Behavior: Sometimes the best approach is to simply ignore negative behavior. If your Lhasa Apso is exhibiting dominant behavior, do not give them attention or engage with them until they calm down. This will show them that their behavior is not acceptable and that they will not receive attention or rewards for it.
  • Timeouts: If your Lhasa Apso continues to exhibit dominant behavior, a timeout can be an effective way to show them that their behavior is not acceptable. Place them in a separate room or crate for a short period of time as a way of showing that their behavior is not acceptable.

By avoiding physical punishment and using positive reinforcement, redirection, ignoring negative behavior, or timeouts, it is possible to effectively prevent and manage dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos. Consistency is key, and it is important to be patient and persistent in training your Lhasa Apso to exhibit positive and non-dominant behavior.

Recognizing Dominance Issues

As a Lhasa Apso owner, it’s important to be able to identify potential dominance issues in your furry friend. While it’s natural for dogs to have leadership or territorial tendencies in their behavior, it can become problematic and interfere with their training and socialization. In this section, we’ll be discussing the signs of dominance in Lhasa Apsos and the steps you can take to address these issues. Let’s dig deeper into this topic and become more aware of our pets’ behavior.

Signs of Dominance in Lhasa Apsos

Lhasa Apsos, like any other dog, may display signs of dominance. It is important for pet owners to be aware of these signs and know how to deal with them effectively. Here are some common signs of dominance in Lhasa Apsos:

  • Growling and snarling: Lhasa Apsos may growl and snarl when they are feeling threatened or assertive. While growling may be a natural form of communication for dogs, it should not be ignored or dismissed as normal behavior.
  • Defensive behavior: If your Lhasa Apso is constantly on guard, barking at strangers or other dogs, it might be a sign of dominance. This behavior shows that your dog is trying to establish authority or protect its territory.
  • Resource guarding: All dogs can be territorial when it comes to their food, toys, and sleeping area, but if your Lhasa Apso becomes excessively possessive, it might be a sign of dominance. This behavior can lead to aggression if not addressed early on.
  • Jumping up: Lhasa Apsos might jump up on people as a way of asserting their dominance. This behavior is often reinforced when pet owners give in to their demands or pet them while jumping up.
  • Pushing other dogs: Lhasa Apsos may try to push other dogs around as a way of showing their dominance. This behavior can escalate if not addressed and may lead to fights or injuries.

If your Lhasa Apso is displaying any of these dominant behaviors, it’s time to take action. Ignoring or dismissing these behaviors can lead to more serious problems in the future. But with the right approach and consistent training, you can help your Lhasa Apso overcome dominance issues and become a well-adjusted and happy pet.

How to Deal with Dominance Issues

Dealing with dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos can be a challenging task. However, with patience and the right approach, it is possible to overcome this problem. Here are some effective methods that can help pet owners deal with dominance issues in their Lhasa Apsos.

Positive Reinforcement TrainingTraining your Lhasa Apso using positive reinforcement techniques can help establish you as the leader and teach your dog acceptable behaviors. Rewarding good behavior with treats, praise, or toys can encourage your dog to repeat those behaviors.
Ignoring Bad BehaviorOne way to deal with dominance issues is to ignore bad behavior. When your Lhasa Apso displays unacceptable behavior, such as growling or nipping, ignore them until they calm down. This approach can help your dog learn that bad behavior does not get attention or rewards.
Physical Exercise and Mental StimulationLhasa Apsos need regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Lack of exercise and mental stimulation can lead to boredom, anxiety, and unwanted behaviors. Providing your Lhasa Apso with plenty of physical exercise, such as daily walks, and mental stimulation, such as food puzzles or training games, can help reduce dominance issues.
Consulting with a ProfessionalIf your Lhasa Apso’s dominance issues are severe or persist despite your best efforts, consulting with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist can be helpful. They can assess your dog’s behavior and provide personalized training plans to address the problem.

It’s important to remember that dealing with dominance issues takes time and consistency. With the right methods and approach, pet owners can help their Lhasa Apsos overcome this behavior and live happy, balanced lives.


In conclusion, it’s important to understand that dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos can be prevented through proper socialization, consistent training, and avoiding physical punishment. A dominant dog can be difficult to handle, so it’s essential to recognize the signs of dominance early on and address them promptly. By being patient, firm, and consistent, you can establish yourself as the pack leader in your Lhasa Apso’s eyes and prevent any potential dominance issues from arising.

Remember, Lhasa Apsos are small but mighty dogs with a big personality. It’s important to understand their innate tendencies towards dominance and work with them to achieve a happy and harmonious relationship. By providing them with the proper training, socialization, and consistency, you can ensure that your Lhasa Apso remains a loyal and loving companion for years to come.

In conclusion, prevention is key when it comes to dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos. By understanding the root causes behind dominant behavior and addressing them proactively, you can raise a well-behaved and obedient furry friend to share joy and happiness with.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the temperament of Lhasa Apsos?

Lhasa Apsos are generally affectionate, playful, and loyal. They can be stubborn at times and may exhibit dominant behavior if not trained and socialized properly.

Is it possible to prevent dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos?

Yes, with proper socialization, training, and consistency in rules, you can prevent dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos.

What is socialization, and how does it help prevent dominance issues?

Socialization is the process of exposing puppies to different situations, people, and pets to help them become well-adjusted adults. By socializing Lhasa Apsos from a young age, you can prevent them from developing dominance issues.

How can training help prevent dominance issues?

Training is crucial in ensuring that your Lhasa Apso understands their place in the household hierarchy. Through obedience training, your Lhasa Apso will learn to respect your authority, thereby reducing the likelihood of dominance issues.

What does consistency in rules mean?

Consistency in rules means that you establish clear and consistent rules for your Lhasa Apso and stick to them. This way, your Lhasa Apso knows what is expected of them and what behavior is not acceptable.

Is physical punishment acceptable when dealing with dominance issues?

No, physical punishment is not an acceptable way to deal with dominance issues. It can lead to fear and aggression in your Lhasa Apso, worsening the situation.

What are the signs of dominance in Lhasa Apsos?

Signs of dominance in Lhasa Apsos may include growling, snarling, barking, nipping, or biting. They may also exhibit possessive behavior over their food or toys.

What should I do if I suspect my Lhasa Apso has dominance issues?

If you suspect your Lhasa Apso has dominance issues, you should seek professional help from a reputable dog trainer or behaviorist to address the issue.

Can dominance issues be resolved in Lhasa Apsos?

Yes, with proper training and behavior modification techniques, dominance issues can be resolved in Lhasa Apsos.

What is the best way to prevent dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos?

The best way to prevent dominance issues in Lhasa Apsos is through proper socialization, consistent training, and setting clear rules and boundaries. Avoiding physical punishment and seeking professional help if necessary can also be helpful in preventing and resolving dominance issues.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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