ALPHA DOG OR DOMINANCE

Alpha Dog Or Dominance

Alpha dog or dominance training relies on a dog’s instinctual pack mentality to create a relationship of appropriate submission and dominance. The theory is that dogs see their family as their pack and follow a social hierarchy like wolves in a pack. When dogs see themselves as the alpha, they need to be taught to instead respect their human as the alpha and learn to submit.

Some of the methods used in this technique include understanding dog body language and responding accordingly, projecting confidence and authority, and going first when it comes to eating, entering or leaving rooms, or walking on leash. If your dog wants to go out, they have to sit before you open the door. If they want to eat, they have to wait calmly while you prepare food. Generally with alpha training, you don’t allow your dog on furniture with you, including the bed, and you don’t get down to your dog’s eye level, as these are signs that your dog is equal in the relationship.

You are in charge, you are dominant. This training method has been popularized by Cesar Millan, though he sometimes combines dominance training with other methods when appropriate. Some modern trainers say this technique is outdated as new research has shown that dogs do not rely on pack mentality as much as previously thought, and the pack dynamic of wolves isn’t structured in the wild the same way it was when the animals were observed in captivity. Although dominance training can be effective in curbing unwanted behaviors, it is mostly considered outdated by modern dog trainers. It often fails to address the underlying causes of bad behavior and can leave dogs feeling anxious or fearful. The dominance struggle becomes constant and needs to always be reinforced, which can be difficult or even dangerous for children or the elderly.