Dogs are pack animals. They like order in the pack, And like to have stable leaders. If a dog has a stable leader they are less likely to become dominant, aggressive or fearful. You will have less, if any, behavioral problems if you act as leader.
A leader of a dog pack would do the following things:
Eat first= Before the dog is fed, you should eat first. Dont feed your dog while you are eating as this is giving in to it. Not even when you are eating a bag of chips or a biscuit.
Walk through doors or gates first = Always walk ahead of your dog. If it insists on leading you, teach it to walk behind.
Say when it is grooming time = To a dog this is not just brush time but also when you pat it. When a dog leans on you or whines at you to pat it, ignore it. You should call the dog to you for pats.
Be higher than the others and have the better sleeping areas = Ever seen a toy dog sit on the back of the couch. Seems cute. But if you watch it with other things it will seem to be bossy. Thats because it is putting itself higher than you because it thinks its your leader. The dog should not be allowed on the furniture or your bed. Have it sit or lie down on the floor no matter what its size.
Lead the hunt (walk time) = Teach your dog heel. Its nose should be by your knee. If it pulls ahead it is trying to lead the way.
Say when playtime starts and stops = Its ok to leave a couple of chew toys for your dog if you are not around. But its ball or rope toy etc should be put up for you to start a game with. And for you to finish the game. If you decide play times over dont let the dog run off with the toy as it will believe it has won the game and that the toy is his possession.
For more information on becoming "Pack Leader" go to the links below.