Besides the obvious guarding, growling and biting many dogs display a variety of dominant behaviors that commonly go unrecognized by their owners. Very rarely will a dog display his highest level of dominance overnight. There are usually signs leading up to it over course of a few years. Dominant alpha dogs won’t always growl and bite. If you the owner are giving the dog what he wants, there sometimes is no reason for the dog to growl or bite unless they feel challenged.
Dogs generally understand that they exist in a human world. After all, who feeds them and opens the door for them to go outside to potty? When humans perform these tasks on demand from the dog though, why wouldn’t the dog think they’re the leader? It is easy for dogs to get the impression they are alpha in their pack. There are many alpha dog behaviors that are not acceptable in human society, such as biting, which is a communication tactic that a dog may use. It is very important for humans to remain the leaders over their dogs.
Just looking at a dog and the way he presents himself can be a sign for what frame of mind the dog is in. A more dominant dog will walk high and proud, puffing themselves out as much as they can. He carries himself with what looks like dignity to the untrained eye.
Submissive dogs on the other hand carry themselves in very much the opposite way. They hold their heads low with shoulders and tail down, in a sense making them smaller. Generally, it will appear that a submissive dog is a sad dog. Not so, the posture of these submissive dogs is telling all around them that they do not wish to challenge any other dog or that they come in peace. Dogs are animals that will fight amongst each other naturally. This means their natural defense is to fight when they feel threatened. That is why they make it as obvious as possible when they do not wish to have an altercation of any kind.
Since dominant dogs look so proud and submissive dogs look sad since they hold their heads low, it’s no wonder so many people have dominant dogs. When their dog acts submissive they mistake that for a sad dog. When their dog acts dominant they mistake it for a happy proud dog.