How to Get Your Puppy to Respect You

Guess who's the boss in this relationship.
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If Muppet doesn't respect you when he is a puppy, he might rule the house by the time he's an adult. He might demand that you walk and feed him, and expect to sleep in your bed. To avoid this, teach Muppet when he's a puppy that he's your subordinate, not your equal.

Discipline and Praise

Understand that dogs live by a social system where only one can be the leader of the pack or the alpha dog. When you bring Muppet home, you instantly must take on this leadership position, because if you don't, he will. Each time he misbehaves, reprimand him in a nonviolent manner. When he's obeying, lavishly praise him. This tells him you're the boss. Avoid being insecure and letting him get away with disobeying you. If you're confident and authoritative, he'll let you be in charge.


If you think Muppet's biting, chewing and nipping on your hands is cute, think again. In dog language, allowing this behavior sends the message that he's the boss and you're his subordinate. Also, when Muppet gets older, those nips and bites can do serious damage. To show him you're in charge, stop him before he starts mouthing. Grasp him by the skin at the nape of his neck, and then look him in the eyes and say "no." Do this consistently, and eventually, he'll get the message that mouthing isn't tolerated and that you're the boss.


Teaching your puppy to wait for your permission before everyday tasks will make him respect you as his leader. Obedience training can teach Muppet what it is that you want him to do. Rather than rushing out the door for his walk, teach him to "sit" at the door so you can open it and walk through it first before giving him permission to follow you. Have him "sit" and wait for your permission during daily activities, such as eating and playing. Ensure all family members are on the same page.

Daily Activities

Everyday activities can make Muppet believe that he's in charge. If you allow him to walk in and out the door before you, he'll perceive you as his subordinate. Allowing him to sit on the couch or to sleep in your bed also sends the wrong message. If Muppet tries to mount you while you're sitting or lying, instantly reprimand him, because allowing him to get on top of you, puts him in charge. Also, eat before he does, because in the world of dogs, the leader eats first.

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