Alpha Dog Training
Alpha dog training is necessary when your dog begins to misunderstand the social order in your household. If your dog starts displaying aggressive behavior and attempts to dominate you or members of your family, you should begin alpha dog training immediately.
Dogs are commonly thought to be descendants of wolves. Wolves have a strongly defined social structure and clear rules for dominance and leadership. The wolf's social system is known as a "pack," and there is an accepted hierarchy in the pack. The pack is led by the alpha. The best of everything is reserved for the alpha, and the alpha gets everything first. Your pet, regardless of breed and temperament, has inherited a strong belief in this social order and may test the limits of his leadership in your home.
Your home is your dog's pack. If your dog is inclined toward leadership or social climbing, you may inadvertently awaken his alpha dog instincts. If you treat your dog as an equal, if you allow him special privileges, or if you consistently allow him to disobey commands, he may begin to consider himself the alpha dog--only an alpha would normally receive these privileges. And don't be fooled by my use of the male pronoun--female dogs can aspire to the alpha position just as strongly.
Dogs crave leadership and are more confident when they understand their place. It's crucial for you to re-establish the proper relationships in your home through alpha dog training. You're going to have to reclaim your spot as leader of the pack.
A major portion of alpha dog training is attitude. Your body language and voice should exude a quiet confidence, authority, and expectation of obedience. A deep firm voice and straight, tall posture may be all you need to communicate your position to the average dog.
If your pet is a natural leader or social climber you may need additional alpha dog training. The core of alpha dog training is reminding your dog of his place. Instead of allowing him to make demands on you, you must teach him that he has to earn what he gets.
Give your dog a command (for example, make him sit) and give him his food only after he obeys. If he doesn't obey, don't feed him. Try again at twenty minute intervals until he obeys. And be sure you eat before he does. If it's not your normal mealtime, eat a small snack and make sure he sees you. Don't feed your dog table scraps during your own meal.
Don't allow your dog to go through a doorway ahead of you. Good alpha dog training demands that you (and everyone else in your family) go through the doorway first. Then he can pass through.
Your dog should not be allowed to sleep in your bed. Alpha dog training teaches the dog that the best sleeping place in the house is reserved for humans.
Never place yourself at or below the dog's height. This means don't lie in the floor watching television with your dog, and don't roll around on the floor playing with your dog. If your dog is in your path, make him move. Don't step over or around him even if you can. In the pack, the alpha makes the subordinate dogs get out of the way. Your alpha dog training has to mirror this behavior.
One of the most critical aspects of alpha dog training is eye contact. If you make eye contact with your dog, it is crucial that you wait for your dog to avert his eyes first. If you look away first, you'll only be reinforcing his alpha position. This means no staring contests with the dog for your children.
Alpha dog training takes time and patience, but everyone in your family will benefit. Your home will be safer and everyone will be happier--including your dog--when everyone understand their place in the pack.
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