Yorkie and Dog Expert SHADA BAKER says - No one says Patting and hugging your dog is wrong, but if you want to be alpha, be advised before you spoil your dog too much. Usually the fussing is done over the alpha dog while the dogs lower down in the pack have to be doing the entire show of licking and groveling. Physical cuddling is a show of subordination.
So if you are constantly picking up your puppy and cuddling it all the time, and leaving the training of simple dog obedience commands till later, you could be on the way to losing the alpha spot. Pat your dog or puppy, but first teach him or her to sit down. Once they learn the sit command, call them to you, make them sit and then do the patting.
Use the “no” and the “sit” commands from the beginning. If he comes up to you with a wagging tail, wanting some attention, don’t rush to cosset him. Sit him down and then pat him.
Touch your dog, as in roll him over, rub his belly, feel his face, stick your finger in to feel his gum. All these actions will not only help you when you groom him, these are also acts of submission on the part of your dog. If he lets you handle his body without growling, it means he has accepted you as the alpha.
Grooming your dog is a great way of establishing a bond with him or her and a way of showing you care and also a way of showing you are in control. Handle your older dog patiently, as he or she might object while a puppy would be more accepting. Trixie used to HATE to be combed or brushed. But I used Treats! To get her to be submissive, and now she waits patiently, while I comb her, knowing treats come at the end!
Increase the handling of the dog gradually and soon you will see that he or she is more comfortable with your touch, because they trust you as the alpha.