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My Papillon LOVES to sleep perched on top of things like a cat. Everything form the back of the sofa to the highest pillow on the bed to his dog bed which is sitting on TOP of a dog crate--the list goes on and on! I don't personally mind, but I did hear that letting them be up high can spur a dominance issues between you and the dog or give the dog some sort of alpha complex. What are your thoughts on this? Do your dogs do this??
 

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Hey, my Mini Aussie does this too!

I think it's hilarious.. and no, it doesn't spur a dominance issue or any issue, unless your papillon reacts protectively at you when he's on this "area" that he's sitting on. But if that happens, then your papillon already HAD dominance issues.

Just the activity itself won't change a thing. It just looks adorable.
 

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Forget all of that dominance stuff! It's all untrue. Here's some stuff to read:

First, a quote from Dr. Ian Dunbar:

From an assortment of books, I have discovered the following cautionary “advice” for owners. Never let a dog stare or jump-up, never stand, crouch or kneel down in front of a dog, never look a dog in the eyes, or reach over his head, never loom over a dog and reach down around his neck, never get down on the floor or allow a dog to stand over you, never give a dog food treats or human food, never allow a dog to eat before the family or go out of a door first, never allow a dog on furniture, upstairs, in the bedroom, or on the bed, never let a dog mount your leg, never let a puppy mouth or bite, and never play chase, tug o' war, or play-fight with a dog. Instead, novice owners are routinely advised to enforce “elevation dominance”, “dominance down-stays”, physical restraint and discipline and especially, the “alpha-rollover” — grabbing a dog by the jowls and forcing him onto his back.

All of these recommendations destroy the fun and enjoyment of living with a dog, most recommendations are just too silly for words, some are counterproductive and others are downright dangerous.

The above behaviors and actions were misconstrued as the dog's intention of dominating people even though these behaviors and situations have absolutely nothing at all to do with social rank or aggression during dog-human interactions. Basically, if an owner is OK with the dog’s behavior, then there is no problem, whereas if the owner is worried about the dog’s behavior and can neither prevent nor control it, then there is a problem.
Some more great links:

The Dominance Controversy (by Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS)
De-Bunking the "Alpha Dog" Theory
AVSAB Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in Behavior Modification of Animals
Leader of the Pack
Wolf expert L. David Mech's site
 

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I think it's hilarious.. and no, it doesn't spur a dominance issue or any issue, unless your papillon reacts protectively at you when he's on this "area" that he's sitting on. But if that happens, then your papillon already HAD dominance issues.
That would actually be resource guarding, which is easily fixable. Patricia McConnell has a great entry about that right here.
 

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My Papillon LOVES to sleep perched on top of things like a cat. Everything form the back of the sofa to the highest pillow on the bed to his dog bed which is sitting on TOP of a dog crate--the list goes on and on! I don't personally mind, but I did hear that letting them be up high can spur a dominance issues between you and the dog or give the dog some sort of alpha complex. What are your thoughts on this? Do your dogs do this??
Unless the dog is resource guarding his spot, then the only problem I have with it is that my furniture might not survive.


Of course, a Papillon would fit a whole lot better on top of the sofa :)
 

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I have two dogs that LOVE to be on the top of the couch back and will fall asleep up there. All three love the dog bed I have on top of the kennel. We also have a short 20" or so table/bench in front of the bay window with a dog bed on it, they all love this spot!
 

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Murhpy lives on top of our couch too. It's a sectional, and he "has spot" (like Sheldon on Big Bang) where he can nicely look out both windows from his perch. And he has crushed that part of back cushions.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Shell and Momtolabs, that is too funny!! I guess I can now be grateful my Pap only weighs 11lbs! It's nice to know I'm not sending mixed messages or hurting our relationship. Thanks everyone for the advice and input!
 

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My papillons are on the back of the couch right now. Never had a pap that didn't claim that spot.
 
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