Dog Hierarchy in the Family
In the pack's order or hierarchy period, or its equivalent the family context, the puppy tends to be promoted spontaneously. This is a completely natural phenomena, and is better to be prepared for it.If the dog is surrounded by people that act as hierarchic superiors, he will accept this without problems his subordinated position. The problem may arise when the dog perceives people around him are weak and permissive, that fear him, or worst than that, that don't know the pack's rules. In this case, if the dog has a strong character, he will try as hard as possible, to take the lead of the pack-family. He will surely start trying when still a puppy (growling when his bowl or bone is touched, refusing to get down off the, etc), and if the owner shows some doubt or fear, the dog will have a point in his favor. Then, when adult he will, impose his will.
If the first attempts of the puppy find a firm reaction, the dog will accept his owner's superiority. Probably he will try again when five months old, an age when he has the possibility of changing the hierarchic positions of the pack. To face this behavior, it is basic for the owner and the rest of the family, to keep in mind they are dealing with a simple "teenager" trying to be shrewd, not a ferocious dog. When a six month dog shows his teeth, many people get scared, and resign to order him; in canine language that attitude means that dog's rule is accepted, and is the worst mistake an owner can have.