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Didnt realise so many people believed in Alpha nonsense.

13498 Views 172 Replies 45 Participants Last post by  Pawzk9
So I have moved areas and become part of a face book group for the local dog park.

There are quite a few members who post, asking how do I get my puppy not to be the alpha over the older dogs and blah blah blah she needs to know she is at the bottom.

I REALLY did not realize how many people bought into that BS.

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IF three dogs are in a room and you put three bones in the center of the room and one dog takes control of all three bones, what do you call that?

If your dog takes orders, follows instructions, and commands given by you, what do you call that?
Call it whatever you want, but a dog the regularly controls resources is above the other dogs in hierarchy.

And yes a dog that obeys commands is trained. He obviously understands what you want when you give a command. But what motivates him to obey?

Commands always roll downhill. At work, in family, society, in animals. They never go up hill and equals do not command each other.
The dog whining at the door is not a valid comparison. The dog is not commanding you to get up and let it out. You have a choice. You can sit there and ignore the dog. But hopefully everyone is intelligent enough to realize if they don't let their dog out, the dog is going to pee on their floor.

But when you tell a dog to sit. You are not ASKING it to sit. You EXPECT it to sit. IF the dog chooses not to sit do you say to yourself, oh well, and walk away? ( probably a lot of folks do that) But if the dog refuses and knows the command it was given, most people are going to work on that. But either through reward and repetition, or whatever method a person choose use. The goal is to have a dog obey. And if it obeying you even when it does not want to ( Example - you put the dog in a stay in front of two dogs running and playing) then you have control and are socially higher than the dog. If you were not, the dog would blow you off and run out and play with the other dogs. And why are you dominant at the end of the day.... Because YOU control the resources. That is exactly why NILIF works so well.
That is the same reason you listen to your boss... He or She controls the check book.

Now.... I DO think folks get way way too wrapped up in Alpha, Dominance, etc.... When I hear someone talking about it, I roll my eyes....... They caught the Cesar Fever..... I NEVER talk about dominance or Alpha when I am training people. We didn't talk about it 35 years ago. But we knew it was there. But just because people go overboard with it, does not meant it does not exist.

And just because there are "experts" that have discounted it exists in canines..... Does not make it so. For every "expert" that says it does not exist, there is an "expert" that says it does.

It is there.... Not just in dogs, but people, all higher animals. The only question is.... How big a part does it play in a given animals life. You don't have to be an "expert" to see it. It is there right in front of you. If there are five doe deer in a field and in season, and three bucks walk into the field, one buck is going to run the other two off and breed the does. Pick any animal and you do not have to look far to find some social aspect of that species in which dominance does not play a roll.

Now someone is going to say but dogs and deer are VERY different. Yes they are.... But if you see a stray dog in heat in a vacant lot and three male dogs come into that lot... One is going to run the other two off and breed the female. I have a feral cat feeding station outside my office window. Every day, when the lady comes and dumps the food, all the cats rush in to feed. But there is this big biscuit headed Tom that takes his sweet time. When he gets there, all the other cats back off the food and stand clear. He eats his fill and they wait, sometimes he lays down by the food and rests before eating more. They all wait. Whenever he decides to move off the rest of the cats feed. Is that cat not dominant?
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How do dogs "control resources" for other dogs? Is a dog that's cranky and possessive really dominant, or do the other dogs just kind of roll their eyes (so to speak) and give that dog whatever she wants in order to avoid a fight?
In your scenario...... Yes the Crankly dog is dominant. Avoidance is submission.....
Orrrr, the litter ends up with three different papas (not uncommon at all)
Quite possible.... But pappa two and three will wait until Pappa one leaves. When puppy litters end up with multiple sires, it happens often over days. They are not standing in line to take turns.

Well I do not think I want a pup because mom's moral values are suspect. (kinda trampy)
Very trampy...... Lie down with dogs and wake up with fleas...
I would call that person an idiot if he instagated that type of behavior !
IT was theoretical..... But every night I watch one dog pull all the toys out of the toy bin, just to have another dog take them and stack them up.

Explain this.....

Two dogs meet.... One dog immediately goes on its back and gives its underside to the other dog.....
Hattie does that sometimes... but will also snarl and growl at every other dog and person when she's eating and they come too close to her bowl. She will claim a crate or bed for the night. She likes to pull on the leash and *gasp* walk ahead of me.

Is she "dominant"? I dont think so.... I think she's sort of like the weird kid that had a crappy upbringing and doesn't have good social skills.
I am not saying that social heirarchies rule every facet of dog behavior. All I am saying is tht they exist...
I don't routinely make my dogs wait at the door while I walk out first. I am not neurotic..... But I can if I want to....
I agree that dogs who live together tend to have a hierarchy, though it is frequently in flux. I just think that posturing like dogs is a rather silly model for humans to follow.
That is all I am saying.... Dogs have a heirarchy.... Some are dominant and some are submissive....

I do believe it plays a role in dogs obeying your commands.... But all that alpha rolling,etc is crap....

I met a guy once that would bite his dogs on the neck and ear.... Loony toons.
I also believe that some owner/dog relationships are much more casual than others.
I think the higher the drive dog, less affable, less biddable, the dog the more heirarchies MAY come into play. That is a bit of THEORY on my part.

But keep in mind, I come from 30 years of looking at the litter and seeing the MOST OFF THE WALL, PICKING ON ITS LITTER MATES, NOT BIDDABLE BREEDS, and saying.... That is the ONE I want.....
Oh my goodness I just got a reply from someone I gave advice too. Told me I was stupid for telling them that the older dog won't correct a 12 week old puppy. And why would I give such dangerous advice. Argh!
And to comment on this.... IMO that is NOT good advice... Having been around dogs and puppies for all of my nearly 45 years, an adult dog most certainly will correct an over enthusiastic puppy. As PawzK9 mentoned it should not be a serious correction... But depending on the dog it can be HARSH. Young puppies should only be around VERY Reliable dogs and with supervision. An Adult dog can hurt a puppy in a flash.

Could be but not in many cases....
I have not had time to read all these posts but I will comment on what I have read.

The idea of an older dog teaching a young 12 week puppy is a farse.....My older dogs could care less and will run off and ignore or either maul the puppy for being annoying.When we brought Dakota home we introduced him to the pack at about 13 weeks...bad idea and no they didnt teach him a thing.

I do not believe my dog thinks I am a dog.I have 4 dogs..our old cocker spaniel is not well trained but he listens, its a difference.Our Amstaff is well trained in obiedence not from intimidation or abuse to teach him that I am the alpha dog,He respects me from months and hours upon hours of working with cues and positive reinforcement.Treats..pats..good boys when he has done what we have asked.Dakota is also hand signal trained and even watches facial expressions for the next command.(amstaffs are awesome dogs to train they are attentive and quick to respnd to their owners needs,they are a pleaser and will go to no ends to please their owners).

This post is a farse....
The practice of sending a pup out with older experienced dogs has been used for thousands of years in certain jobs with dogs. Herding dogs in real life working situations, hounds in hunting situations, etc. It is standard practice to send the pup out with older experienced dogs. Whether the older dogs intentionally teach the pup is debatable. But the pup learns and the older dogs cover the pups mistakes and allow him to learn from his mistakes.... It is one thing to do herding trials with a pup or hunt birds with a pup. But Putting a pack of pups on a sounder of wild hogs or a herd of wild woods cattle will cause you to end up with dead pups quick.....

Yes indeed I always thought alpha rolling puppies destroyed them because pups and babies can do no wrong. Then adding to that I thought alpha rolling the big dogs might destroy my body.:)
But Alpha rolling looks good on TV.....
Yeah, but I think I would flunk the look good on TV
You are a reality tv star in waiting
Maybe it will work with your dogs,don't work with mine.
They have been training free running hounds that way for hundreds of years. It is downright foolish to send out a pup/young dog out without older experienced dogs. With some game it is a good way for the pup to get lost plus the chances of it being successful are not good. With other game, Cats, Bear, Hogs, etc.... It is a good way for a pup to get dead.....

If all a guy has is young inexperienced dogs, he needs to find someone with good experienced dogs to run with until the dogs get some experience...

Back when I was running dogs, my first dogs ran with my father and grandfathers dogs at first. Over the years I ran dogs, I allowed other folks green dogs to run with my dogs many times.
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