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Thread: Keeping Alpha Position

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minibulls mum View Post
    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.
    The difference between being a leader and the boss is not just about the word.

    The theory behind the 'alpha male' (which has been debunked by lots of research in the past decades) is that they make the dogs submit to them by using fear. A leader does not need to resort to this. They make a dog do what they want by earning their respect. And this goes from merely being the one that provides them with food and shelter, to playing games with them to satisfy their prey instinct or training to stimulate their minds. And you can also demand respect by asking them to "say please" for all the things you offer them, which is what NILF is about.

    I strongly believe that if you are a good leader to your dog, you do not have to be constantly worried that your dog might try to dominate you because you averted your eyes when he stared at you or because you let him sleep at the same height as you, etc. They are insignificant details as far as I'm concerned.

    The whole alpha male theory was based on studies of wolves in captivity. Since then they have discovered that wolves in the wild act completely differently as a group and the pack dynamics revolve around cooperation and strong family bonds, not around dominance and submission. Lots of interesting articles and books have been written on this subject.

  2. #42
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    Yes, Beloz what you are saying above is pretty well what I do, the minute you use a word like boss or alpha someone imagines you are some sort of dog Hitler, that is for the sick poor sods who cannot get a win elsewhere 8>)

    None the less the dogs I like to have do need to know that it is not up to them to decide on all courses of action, IE I must be 'boss', if I allowed my favourite boy his way he would annihilate anyone who dares step into our private home, except kids, he loves all kids, adults he does not think are really needed on this earth, I must be able to tell him no and mean it and he must obey.

    He is a big strong dog and strong minded, he is not afraid of me or the Lord himself, the idea that to be leader, boss, alpha, CEO or whatever you want to call top spot does not mean you ought to have your dog grovelling, I do not think Huskymum meant to convey that idea nor anyone else in their posts, nor would either method gone into in such length by her and Fedra lead to a grovelling dog if done right.

    What will do harm is the old B in Townsville on Current affair recently shown bashing a dog in a kennel.

    I think we all love our dogs and probably are not as strict as we often ought to be, but this ought not to lead us to encourage those without experience to think all dogs react favourably to love and spoiling alone, they do not, just as it is the spoilt brat who breaks the parents heart it can be the spoilt dog who attacks/kills the child just as much as the abused one, this is a fact known to many dog trainers not just my idea.

    Experienced people like Lala often know through instinct as much as experience when to play and indulge and when to stop, others can take this too far not knowing when play is turning to prey and so on to all out aggression until too late.

  3. #43
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    You know I have been thinking about this...At our Kennel Club we have some Instructors who always have their dogs submissive, they often yell at their dogs and it all seems just loud and noisy to me, they are very much the Alpha leader. these dogs are very good at Obedience and do well in Trials. BUT...............Socially they are not good, they are not able to deal with the other dogs, unless under strict control, they do not seem happy and even though they look great when under control. Their general obedience seems to involve a lot of loud yelling, especially when they are loose. My dogs only need quiet reprimands, at the most a "enough" or whistle. Their main aim in life is to get back to us.
    I know horses are not the same, but we used to have a gelding, who was the top horse for many years. he was a major bully (Alpha)and all the horses did what he wanted when he wanted. Lots of horses had bite marks on them and he even pushed one horse through a fence. Since his death we have had a passive leader, he only uses a quiet way to get his way, visually, flat ears and body language. Only very occasionally does he follow through, with a bite or kick, it is rare, usually with a new horse in the herd.
    He has the respect of all the horses, but the big difference is they like him and hang around with him. They would avoid the other gelding and never hang out with him.
    Pets are forever

  4. #44
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    "Their main aim in life is to get back to us."

    I think that very much captures the modern way of dog training. The dog doesn't behave nicely because we force them to, but because they so very much want our approval and to be liked by us and to be near us.

    Which is why I think things like "never let your dog win at tug of war" are a bit old-fashioned and don't really fit in with how most of us train our dog. It's perfectly fine to have fun with the dog and even letting them "win" a game. As long as they play by our rules. If they don't, the fun is over and they don't get to play at all. And we decide what those rules are. I do not think it is necessary to let some theory on how wolves behave in the wild as a pack decide the rules.

    The key indeed - which is definitely what huskymum also mentioned - is consistency.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minibulls mum View Post
    Yes, Beloz what you are saying above is pretty well what I do, the minute you use a word like boss or alpha someone imagines you are some sort of dog Hitler, that is for the sick poor sods who cannot get a win elsewhere 8>)

    None the less the dogs I like to have do need to know that it is not up to them to decide on all courses of action, IE I must be 'boss', if I allowed my favourite boy his way he would annihilate anyone who dares step into our private home, except kids, he loves all kids, adults he does not think are really needed on this earth, I must be able to tell him no and mean it and he must obey.

    He is a big strong dog and strong minded, he is not afraid of me or the Lord himself, the idea that to be leader, boss, alpha, CEO or whatever you want to call top spot does not mean you ought to have your dog grovelling, I do not think Huskymum meant to convey that idea nor anyone else in their posts, nor would either method gone into in such length by her and Fedra lead to a grovelling dog if done right.

    What will do harm is the old B in Townsville on Current affair recently shown bashing a dog in a kennel.

    I think we all love our dogs and probably are not as strict as we often ought to be, but this ought not to lead us to encourage those without experience to think all dogs react favourably to love and spoiling alone, they do not, just as it is the spoilt brat who breaks the parents heart it can be the spoilt dog who attacks/kills the child just as much as the abused one, this is a fact known to many dog trainers not just my idea.

    Experienced people like Lala often know through instinct as much as experience when to play and indulge and when to stop, others can take this too far not knowing when play is turning to prey and so on to all out aggression until too late.
    LOL minibulls! I don't think I am particularly experienced, especially when compared to other people on this forum. I still learn every day.

    And like I said, my dogs are very far from perfect (they could definitely do with more obediance to get em perfect), but they do do what they are told and are respectful to people and thats how we like it.

  6. #46
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    That last bit is the important bit Lala, imperfect obedience only matters if you are competing or must take out in public a hard, toey dog, as long as the family dogs basically respect their family there is no problem, many dogs do not respect their family because the family fail to be able to observe behaviour, the meaning behind it and relate to 'dog'

  7. #47
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    Yep I agree with that completely which is why we dont put a hell of a lot of focus on "training". We just "expect" our dogs to learn by example/osmosis/some other word and they seem to.

    It's so interesting to see all the different ways that people raise their dogs. I sometimes do think itd be nice to have a "perfectly obediant" dog (though Pippi seems to be heading that way without any help from us LMAO)

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lala View Post
    Yep I agree with that completely which is why we dont put a hell of a lot of focus on "training". We just "expect" our dogs to learn by example/osmosis/some other word and they seem to.

    It's so interesting to see all the different ways that people raise their dogs. I sometimes do think itd be nice to have a "perfectly obediant" dog (though Pippi seems to be heading that way without any help from us LMAO)
    I think some dogs as they grow older do seem to intuitively know what is expected of them. But I also think that they are only happy to comply because they know they are onto a good thing!

    Only today I met a woman on my walk who has an older kelpie cross. I've met her a few times before and our dogs love to have a play. But she mentioned that she thought it was funny that - even though her dog knows my dog and had always been allowed to go up to her - her dog looked back at her as if to ask permission to go greet mine (who was lying flat on her belly in stalk position) and only went over to Banjo when she said 'ok'. And she said she never trained her dog to do that at all.

  9. #49

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    The Alpha position should never be given to your dog.
    If your dog has this position in your household I think that you have to readjust both yourself as well as your dog.
    You have to be a fair leader but when the time comes up you have to be there to put your dog in its place.
    No, not for one second am I saying belt your dog. We are using Ah Ah and he takes notice and as soon as we have don't that we tell him no.
    But being lucky to own a pup that is willing to learn and he does adjust to things at a quickish rate.
    You and your family have the bearing to how you pup will turn out. Yes all what he or she is born with are always there but you can keep them at bay if you do the very basic to your pup. Training it.
    A pup comes to you like a blank sheet of paper. You have to write on that paper to the way you want your pup to progress. The final result is in adulthood.
    You will hit barriers here and there but overall your pup is only wanting to please you. So just be fair with what you want out of your dog and if at all don't yell and scream at it. you might get it to do thing but it is doing it because it is more scared of you and only doing it cause it is scared if it doesn't.
    How would you like to got to work and be yelled at while you are there. I would think the next day might be a sicky.

  10. #50
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    Rid, I don't think anyone her is denying that you should make the rules and that the dog should stick to them and not the other way round.

    But I think most find that things like "never let your dog go through the doorway first, never avert your eyes before your dog does" etc are a bit silly. Who wants to be constantly worried about breaking some 'secret dog code' and their dog suddenly thinking that they are the boss because of that? I do not believe it works like that.

    Dogs should want to follow our rules because otherwise we will not give them what they want. As long as we do that, they'll get used to our funny human habits too.

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