Posted by: Ridley K9 Academy | November 12, 2010

Dog Behavior Problems – Dominance or Arrogance?

Dog Behavior Problems – Dominance or Arrogance?

Over my years of dog training, I have come across quite a few dog owners who seem to get dominance and arrogance confused. Yes, the two can go hand in hand. However, true canine dominance is born and cannot be taught, while arrogance can be taught by inadvertent reinforcement and or raising a dog a certain way.

  • Dominance – High status in a social group, usually acquired as the result of aggression that involves the tendency to take priority in access to limited resources, as food, mates, or space.
  • Arrogance – Offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.

Yes, an arrogant dog can show dominant behaviors, and a dominant dog can show arrogance behaviors. However, if these two dogs were pushed by the same stress they would both act according to their true and natural temperament. The dominant dog does not & will not give up; it’s in their nature to use aggression to take back their social dominance. While the arrogant dog may use dominant behavior however, it’s only a show and display of superiority. The arrogance goes away and they eventually give up to dominance.

This is the reason it is so important to get an accurate temperament evaluation if you think your dog is truly dominant. I believe an arrogant dog can be changed with good obedience training as well as a good behavior modification program. But, a truly dominant dog needs very special handling, proper obedience training and constant behavior management.

If you’re having trouble determining whether or not your dog is naturally dominant or just arrogant, Ridley K-9 Academy can help. If you have any questions or comments we would love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading!

Garrett Ridley



  1. Great article…thanks and your puppies are SO cute and show very accurately that not all puppies are created equal.

  2. Wow, I never thought of it like that! Jack is definitely ARROGANT not dominant!!! LOL, it really is just a show, even sometimes just for himself. This post was insightful, thank you!

  3. Great post. After reading and watching your video, I’m thinking that my dog has an arrogant attitude. She’s a tiny dog too, but with big personality. I’ve never thought like this before. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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