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Thread: Keeping Alpha Position

  1. #31

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    I agree that the human has to be seen as a pack leader and have seen with my own eyes (and still do, on a regular basis), when the dog doesn't respect a person.

    My dog Keeda heels perfectly as taught when we go for a walk. I can let the leash go and she will continue to walk by my side. She sits at curbs without my asking and performs all of the commands and tricks we learned perfectly for me.

    When my mother picks up the leash to take her for a walk, Keeda immediately starts to bolt, tug, pull, and run ahead, dragging my mother with me. She conveniently 'forgets' pretty much all commands she learned and does her own thing. I can see the interaction between them in my mother's body language - my dog is the boss and my mom follows her because "She's just so excited!" or "She's so cute!" or "She's been inside all day, so she's just letting off some steam!"

    My dog loves my mom, but doesn't respect her.

    I'm not against mild positive punishment, but by this stage I haven't needed to apply any physical force in so long that I can't even remember the last time I had to give her a light spank with the leash. My dog learned, now she knows and listens. This isn't to say that she's perfectly trained - just to say that being the 'leader' works for us in our interaction and I'm happy with where we're at right now.

  2. #32
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    Good post, Liza.

  3. #33
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    Frosty does a good heel when she's in the slip collar at dog school and when we're having a practice at home - no lead; and at the dog park in a flat collar - so long as there is an ample supply of treats. .

    But on the footpaths between home and the dog park - if she's attached by the flat collar - pulls like mad. If she's attached by the harness, she heels where I want her. If I don't specify / insist - she does small orbits around me, like I am the Earth and she is the Moon. I always know when I've clipped onto the flat collar instead of the harness.

    So - sometimes she heels and sometimes she doesn't. I don't think it makes a lot of difference. On the footpaths around home - I like her to have a bit of a sniff, it's a huge improvement on the freak out front paws in the air bolt she used to do as a puppy. She still won't take a treat though.

  4. #34
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    Good thread. I am enjoying Fedras posts here today.

    My dogs are ALWAYS fed before us. I make a HUGE fuss when I get home and see my guys, I miss them and they miss me. I roll round on the floor all the time with them. They are allowed to bite in play. They scab for table scraps and sometimes get them. They always initiate attention and get it as soon as they ask for it unless they have been naughty. Sometimes they win tug of war and sometimes they dont. My dogs have their own toys, they are not mine and nor do I want them - but I can take ANYTHING from either of them. I dont make them sit before they eat. They are allowed to help themselves onto any piece of furniture they want to as long as they get off when someone else needs it. I dont always make them move, if I can step over them or go around them, then I do. They greet visitors at the same time I do and sometimes before...and I could go on and on and on.

    Personally, I am not into the Alpha or Leader theories. We probably do most of the stuff people say not to. Are my dogs perfect? Absolutely not but overall, I have a couple of great mutts who do what they are told and respect their humans including the child of the house. Weve never had a dog snap nastily at one of us or another person, or even at one of our other dogs (except the odd minor snap if that makes sense) so I will keep raising my pups the way we are and continue to ignore those theories as I dont think they take into consideration the fact that dogs are domestic and live with humans.

  5. #35
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    Thanks for bumping this post, Lala. Very interesting. I didn't see a huge difference between the OP and NILF. But there are differences and just the use of the word "alpha" makes it into something completely different. As someone already mentioned, that makes it about dominance instead of leadership.

    I think the one point that stood out for me as it seemed to capture the train of thought behind this theory was the 'no tug of war' thing. The first time I started rethinking the whole alpha male theory was when I saw a behavioural trainer at the RSPCA who recommended using tug of war as a reward for recall with my very prey driven staghound x. That's when I did some googling and discovered this guy: How to play tug of war with your dog – and have the happiest dog on the block. - Natural Dog Blog – Training and More

    I don't agree with all of his methods, but most of it makes a LOT of sense to me. You don't have to dominate your dog to make them respect you. You have to be the one that fulfills their needs. Dogs know when they're onto a good thing, even the ones that have a tendency to bully.

    Like some of the others here, I do not want my dog to always 'submit' to me. It's just not my style. I want her to have good manners and behave in a way that makes it pleasant for us to live together. And dogs will learn that if they compromise in a few areas - even if it goes against their natural instincts - they will get rewarded in ways that will make them very happy dogs indeed.

  6. #36
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    Oh and the only exception I make is when it comes to my food. If any dog (or cat!) tries to take my food, I will react quite aggressively. I will growl, hiss, bark, push, and yell if I have to (or grab cat by scruff of the neck and throw her away if she doesn't get the message!). There's no theory behind that though. That just expresses perfectly how I feel about my food. Both dog and cats learn quickly to not get too close when I have food.

    Obviously I would not tolerate that kind of behaviour from them, but that also seems to work.

  7. #37
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    Call it what you will, until folks understand that as much as you may love your dog he must know he is not in control.

    This idea of my dog is my mate without proper leadership is largely the cause of kids being bitten by the family dog/s

    How far you need to go with being 'boss' depends on the character of your individual dog, not only are dogs and wolves different, breeds of dogs differ greatly in general character too.

    And while Huskies may not exactly be 'hybrids' I do believe that they and the Malamutes were originally crossed with wolves, we used to own several Mallies and they did not bark, yet another, owned by a family member had been reared with dogs not other Malls, he did bark as well as sing early morning and evening as they do.

    One thing they will both do is go off hunting and even take young pups with them far more often than many other breeds do so they do need to be carefully controlled.

  8. #38

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    Give them a home And love and thay will be your friend and thay will preter you give them food and water and a place to rest and thay will be there for you
    and thay be obenten loving and loyalty
    Kick then and hurt them. And you get hurt
    I
    a dog whant to be there you love you and to be you friend for ever Forever and thay will bethere to the end
    If you are reading this then you're doing just fine as to
    I'm not going to tell ya I lost the ' , . ? ! " Keys to my head
    No grammar no problem I don't know how to fly it any way Bye

  9. #39
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    I sort of sit on the fence..I am pretty surw I am in charge at home, but I do not growl a lot at my dogs do mostly +ve Reinforcement and -ve Punishment. I also feed my dogs at about 6pm which is before me and hubby.They have to sit and stay before their meal and they have to wait quietly whilst I make it, they all eat together. We often let our dogs ahead to go through the door, but they do sit before they go out. If I went through the door first, I would have to go back in to close the door again....That makes no sense to me.
    My dogs do not pull, I can walk four of them through the entrance of our Kennel Club with other dogs around. I have done the Alpha roll once in my dog-owner lifetime (thirty five years as an adult) This was with my Newf Rescue Annabelle, when she went into attack mode. And I will use +ve Punishment with an aggressive dog.
    But I will always try to be a gentle leader, and want my dogs to want to follow me, not feel they have to.
    I love Obedience and since +ve Reinforcement I have found my dogs so much more animated. I hardly use any food on the dogs I trial, but they get the occasional Jackpot and are forever hopeful that that may happen. Just like Gamblers
    Pets are forever

  10. #40

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    your rigth newf. Im on the fence to but what you said was i was trying to say
    you can lead a horse to water but you cant make it drink
    It the same with dog
    If you are reading this then you're doing just fine as to
    I'm not going to tell ya I lost the ' , . ? ! " Keys to my head
    No grammar no problem I don't know how to fly it any way Bye

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